National Institute for Trial Advocacy

Taking Your Opening Statement to the Next Level

September 13,2019 thru September 13,2019
NITA Education Center
1685 38th Street
Boulder, CO 80301
Tuition: $1500.00

$500 deposit will be charged to reserve your spot upon registration using payment code PP500 and the remaining balance of $1,000 will be charged to your credit card paid upon meeting the minimum enrollment for a total of $1,500.


Take your Opening Statement to the next level of persuasion with NITA’s cutting edge program on Openings. NITA listened to busy trial lawyers and designed a single-day course that blends learning formats to push your skills to a higher level of sophistication.

What makes this program different? In addition to the new format, unlike other NITA courses, you will use one of your own cases. You will transform your existing Opening to a compelling story that makes your case memorable, sets expectations, and informs the judge or jury what you want for your client.

Participants who choose not to bring their own case to this course may choose one of three NITA case files an automobile accident case, a commercial case, or a criminal matter. As with personal cases, participants will be expected to develop proof charts and potential story lines in advance of the course and will also have the individual pre-program meeting with the Program Director to discuss the case.

NITA recognizes the potential for conflicts of interest in using actual cases at this course. Participants must seek client permission to bring an active case to the course. Participants will also sign a conflicts waiver and must do their own conflicts check to participate. NITA will provide information on who is attending and teaching at the course in advance to allow sufficient time to conduct all necessary checks.

You will work with a team of experienced trial lawyers, communications experts and mock jurors to hone your skills and develop your case for a real trial.

This course is limited to 16 participants


If you attend this program, you will learn how to:

• Convert plain facts into a persuasive story to engage listeners

• Maintain interest throughout your Opening

• Explain damages in a realistic manner

• Persuade without engaging in argument

• Be realistic and not over-promise

• Provide an honest and supportable request for damages at the close of your case

This NITA course allows you to bring your own case and consult with experienced trial lawyer instructors and communication/storytelling experts. Designed as a single performance day this program blends online preparation and an individual discussion with the Program’s senior instructor to help you prepare for the performance day. We hit the ground running with drills and finish the day by your opening to an actual jury.


We believe the best way to retain information is to practice, receive immediate faculty feedback, and repeat. This blended learning experience of online preparation and in-person training not only fits within your schedule it also combines the most advanced of NITA's teaching methods.

Before the Course:

In lieu of in-person lectures and demonstrations you will view online presentations. In addition, you will have an individual pre-course online meeting with the Program Director to discuss the case you are bringing to the course. During the consultation you will receive direction for your own preparation.

Day of the Course:

The performance day starts with drills for focused learning that coach you in ways that enhance your case story and presentation style. The course then shifts to the traditional NITA learning-by-doing performances with faculty critique, video review, and individual coaching. The course also employs a process of collaborative learning, where other participants offer specific comments based upon their own practice experience. Finally, the day concludes with your Opening to an actual jury who will give frank comments on what they heard during your opening. All along the way, your recorded performances are there to reveal your mistakes and confirm your successes. In short, everything you do during this single intense day is geared to helping you improve.


This is not a program for the inexperienced lawyer. We expect that participants will understand the basics of Openings and who want to use this focused program to advance their skills to a higher level in anticipation of trial.

This is a single day, high intensity set of workshops, where the focus is on performance. During each workshop you will have multiple opportunities to perform and fine tune your skills.

If you have a case you are getting ready for trial, or case that settled before you had the chance to test your skills, this program is the perfect opportunity to confirm your skills are ready for a judge or jury.


– Honest and realistic feedback on your preparation for an upcoming actual trial

– Video Performance Review and Feedback

– Individual Coaching by trial lawyers and communication/storytelling specialists

– A final performance in front of locally recruited jurors.


NITA is bookending its course on Opening Statements with its other new skills offering on Closing Arguments (September 14, 2019). Combine the two courses to ensure your case is ready for trial.

*If both courses taken, qualifies as one course credit toward the NITA Master Advocate Designation. Cannot be purchased with designation package at a discounted rate.


Enrollment: Minimum of 10, maximum of 16.
If the course does not draw 10 individuals three weeks prior to the course date, it will be cancelled.
Enrollment will close two weeks prior to the course to ensure there is enough time for each participant to get 1:1 session in advance.

Tuition: $500 deposit will be charged to reserve your spot upon registration using payment code PP500 and the remaining balance of $1,000 will be charged to your credit card paid upon meeting the minimum enrollment for a total of $1,500.
No discounts are available on the full tuition price of $1,500. No substitutions or transfers.

Cancellation policy: If course registration does not meet its minimum of 10 individuals and is cancelled, or if a participant cancels before the course reaches the minimum enrollment number then the participant is entitled to a full refund.
However, once the program meets its minimum and is officially scheduled to run participants who cancel are subject to a $500 cancellation fee. In addition, Participants who have had a 1:1 session with an instructor and then cancel are subject to a $750 cancellation fee.

To cancel your registration please fill out this form and email it to customer service or fax to 720.890.7069.

Christina M. Habas

Keating Wagner Polidori et al
Denver, CO

See Full Bio

Gene Tanaka

Best Best & Krieger LLP
Walnut Creek, CA

See Full Bio

Siddhartha H. Rathod

Rathod Mohamedbhai
Denver, CO

See Full Bio

Check in will start at 8:00 am on Friday, September 13th and will end at 8:30 am at which time the first session will begin.

The program will be held at:

NITA Education Center
1685 38th St, Ste 200
Boulder, CO 80301

Participants are responsible for making their own hotel arrangements.  Please contact the hotel directly for reservations and additional information.

Residence Inn Boulder

3030 Center Green Drive
Boulder, CO 80303
(1.8 miles from the NEC)

Courtyard Boulder
4710 Pearl E Circle
Boulder, CO 80301
(1.3 miles from the NEC)


The Denver International Airport (DIA) is about 1 hour from Boulder. 

The Boulder Super Shuttle has an airport shuttle that goes between DIA and Boulder and is open daily from 5:00 am until 12:00 midnight.  The cost is around $25.00 one-way or $46.00 round-trip to any Hotel in the area. For more information, please call 303.227.0000. (Note: Travel time may be up to 2 hours.)

The Green Ride Boulder has airport shuttles that run between DIA and Boulder as well.  The cost is approximately $25 one-way and $48 round-trip.   They have a pick-up and drop-off depot right by the Homewood Suites Boulder Hotel for quick and convenient service. For more information, please call 303.997.0238. 

Taxi service is also available at level 5 of the airport.  There is a stand with cabs available.  The cost is approximately $85.00.  Union Cabs can be ordered by calling 303.922.2222. 

Parking Information

Parking at the hotels and facility are free.


NITA will provide snacks and lunches throughout the program. Please let the Program Coordinator know as soon as possible if you have any food allergies or restrictions.


Courtroom attire is preferred throughout the program.

CLE Credits

All states have different MCLE requirements. Please make sure that the state(s) you require credit for were either noted in your registration or communicated to the Program Specialist prior to the start of the program. NITA will not apply to states for course approval after the start of the program. Please note that if you do not complete the program in its entirety, some states do not award partial credit.

For an estimate of credit hours by program type, please see below.

States Based on a 50 Minute Credit Hour:
Trial Program: 36-75 Credits
Deposition Program: 16-25 Credits
Specialty Program: 8-22 Credits

States Based on a 60 Minute Credit Hour:
Trial Program: 30-63 Credits
Deposition Program: 13-21 Credits
Specialty Program: 7-20 Credits

If you need to know the exact number of credits for a specific program please contact your Program Coordinator.


Before you arrive at the program you must watch several online presentations. These presentations are available for your review before, during and after the program. These presentations will be the only lectures and demonstrations offered during the in-person workshops.

In addition to watching the online presentations you must take part in an online analysis session. Using Zoom Video Conferencing technology, we will work together on case analysis and case story development.  During an agreed upon time you and other participants representing the same party will work together to consider the legal theory and the factual basis that supports or refutes each element. You will consider who can offer the facts and any potential evidentiary issues in proving those facts. The session requires your active participation as we consider and discuss these matters.

Before you arrive for the experiential workshop portion of the program you must also do the necessary preparation to be ready for your active participation in these workshops. Because the experiential workshops are offered in a single day it is critical that you arrive prepared and ready to perform. There will be no time to play catch-up. Expectations are when called upon you will be ready to perform and deliver as if this is an actual trial. During each workshop you will work with program instructors and colleagues to fine tune and adjust your performances. The program’s design helps you refine and enhance skills - not to master the basics.

Advocate Designation

Are you serious about developing a well-rounded foundation in advocacy skills?
Prove it by completing the NITA Advocate Designation program.

Be recognized for your NITA training! Achieving a NITA Designation allows you to demonstrate your expertise to clients and colleagues. Upon completion of your required coursework, NITA will send you a letter, certificate and an e-mail with a special graphic logo attached. Use these documents to demonstrate your advocacy knowledge through your website, advertising, etc. The NITA Designation logo will also be added to your Martindale-Hubble profile.

The required courses for the NITA Advocate Designation include one building trial skills course, one deposition skills course and one specialty course. The courses can be purchased individually but we also offer discounted package pricing.


(Total price if programs are purchased individually: $7135)

In addition to this trial skills course, here are the other upcoming required courses in your area: