CLE & Trial Skills Training

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Bespoke Training Offerings

In person or via video feeds, at no cost, we present hour-long CLEs to your firm or with your organization on a wide range of topics related to trials, persuasion, decision-making, and understanding today’s jurors and jury pools. We customize them to address the case types, issues and venues relevant to your practice areas.

We have a core sequence of CLEs that address a wide range of trial skills needed for jury and bench trials as well as ADR:

  • Talking Your Way Out of Trouble: Secrets of Oral Persuasion
  • Theme Craft: Building a Strong Trial Story
  • Thinking Through the Eye: Crafting Winning Visuals
  • Fundamentals of Effective Fact Witness Preparation for Deposition & Trial
  • Fundamentals of Expert Witness Selection & Preparation
  • Recognizing and Overcoming Cross-Cultural Communication Challenges
  • Using Litigation Research To Get Ready To Win
  • Dynamics of Jury Decision-Making: What Mock Trials Reveal About the “Black Box” of Jury Decision-Making & How To Craft a Persuasive Case
  • Generating Persuasive Performance From the Inside Out: Tips for Winning the Head Game of Trial

We also offer two specialized jury selection CLEs for criminal cases:

  • Picking a Jury When Defending Sexual Misconduct and Sex Crimes Cases
  • Picking a Jury that Will Convict in Transgender Murder Cases

For a fee, we also design and present more extensive in-house training and coaching on a variety of litigation and trial skills, including case analysis and theme development, fact witness preparation, expert witness selection and preparation, and developing your trial story. Our in-house training is designed to bridge the “NITA gap” by training and coaching in connection with attorneys’ current cases so that theory and practice go hand-in-hand.

We know that many firms these days have associates to work on pro bono cases to develop their trials skills as well as to give back to our communities. We love to work with your associates pro bono, coaching them in trial skills and ensuring that they derive maximum benefit from their experience while delivering superior service to their clients.

For more information, inquire here or check out a more detailed description of our core CLE programs here.

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Voir Dire Savoir Faire

Effective jury selection comes down to three things:

  1. Knowing the right questions to ask
  2. Knowing how to ask them in real-time trial conditions
  3. Knowing how to follow up effectively to obtain cause challenges and critical information for making informed strike decisions

Once you have these three skills under your belt, making strike decisions become easy and inevitable.

More important, being better at obtaining cause challenges than your opponent is the only reliable way to gain tactical advantage in jury selection. And it happens to be a skill that you can learn and quickly put into practice — if you have the right coaching!

You can hire Trialcraft to write great juror questionnaires and voir dire scripts for you (which covers knowing the right questions to ask) — and you can have us in court with you (which helps make the final decisions), but the key to effective voir dire is to understand how to ask those questions and follow up on jurors’ answers.

Because of the decline in jury trials, most attorneys we work with have minimal experience at jury selection. Even those who have experience are often nervous and feel uncertain of themselves and uncomfortable in voir dire. Why do you feel as if you’re stumbling in the dark? The interactional skills called upon in voir dire are 180 degrees apart from your everyday cross-examination and argument skills that have become habit. We also find that many attorneys have never been well trained to understand what you should be looking for in voir dire and why.

We developed our Voir Dire Savoir Faire coaching program and training materials to light your way.

We can include 1-on-1 coaching in a voir dire and jury-selection package, or a case consultation package; this usually takes a half-day plus some reading and study time on your own.

We also custom design and teach half- and full-day voir dire and jury-selection workshops for your group or firm that includes practice with a mock jury.

Without exception, every attorney we have coached who has followed our method has achieved more cause challenges in their next jury selection than ever before in their career — and our clients range from attorneys conducting voir dire for the first time to attorneys with 20+ years of experience trying cases to a jury.

In our 1-on-1 and half-day programs, we teach you:

  • What your primary goals should be in voir dire — and why
  • What are the best predictors of juror predisposition
  • What causes bias
  • How to figure out your key questions
  • Specific techniques for phrasing your questions to help jurors feel connected to you and to open up, even in open court
  • What to listen and look for in jurors’ responses
  • Practical methods of note-taking
  • A detailed method for asking follow-up questions to help develop cause challenges, and to obtain the information you need to decide if a juror is too dangerous to keep on your jury

In our day-long workshop, we also discuss juror questionnaires, and when and how to use them — including tips for getting judges to accept them even when these judges have never before used a questionnaire.

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Online Jury Selection & Voir Dire Training

Currently, we only do this work live, but we are developing online programs for civil plaintiff, civil defense, and criminal defense jury selection.

Interested in being notified when our online programs are available? Please sign up here.

… using your script, for the first time in my career I was able to successfully challenge for cause a juror sitting on the panel. In addition, the next day after the jury was empaneled, it was discovered that one of the jurors was under a broker/client relationship for the purchase of a home and sale of an existing home where the broker was the wife of one of the defense counsel. Both the defendant and the judge minimized the possibility of bias. Again, using your script, I was able to get her to say the magic words such that I didn’t even need to move to strike her — the judge determined it on his own. Thank you for your help. It was invaluable!”  

— Daniel Glynn, Partner, Greener Burke Shoemaker Oberrecht, P.A

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Female Figure of Justice

Consciously or unconsciously, every lawyer answers this question: How Do I Embody Justice? Though men have historically been public advocates for justice, the figure that rules over courthouses is a woman. The FFJ program explores why western culture has embodied justice as female while trials were traditionally the domain of men — and provides coaching and training to carry female attorneys to the next level of success.

Need online research during this time of social distancing? 

We can do that! Call 510-898-1292