19 episodes

If you’re a litigator or trial lawyer, your life is full—in and out of the courtroom. May the Record Reflect is the podcast of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, and we know that if something related to lawyering is interesting to us, chances are it’s interesting to you, too. Trial skills, office life, personal development, and more—it’s all fair game on May the Record Reflect.

May the Record Reflect National Institute for Trial Advocacy

    • Education
    • 3.8 • 6 Ratings

If you’re a litigator or trial lawyer, your life is full—in and out of the courtroom. May the Record Reflect is the podcast of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, and we know that if something related to lawyering is interesting to us, chances are it’s interesting to you, too. Trial skills, office life, personal development, and more—it’s all fair game on May the Record Reflect.

    19: Upleveling Your Oral Advocacy Skills, with Hon. Nancy Vaidik and Rebecca Diaz-Bonilla

    19: Upleveling Your Oral Advocacy Skills, with Hon. Nancy Vaidik and Rebecca Diaz-Bonilla

    In Episode 19 of May the Record Reflect, Judge Nancy Vaidik of the Indiana Court of Appeals and international communications consultant Rebecca Diaz-Bonilla, are in the hot seat 
    to share insights from their new book, Point Well Made, Persuasive Oral Advocacy. They reveal why oral advocacy still matters in a time when most cases settle before going to trial, how to better know your judge to give yourself a leg up, and what are the highs and lows of ruling from the Zoom bench.  
     
    Topics
    3:56    A learning-by-doing book for oral advocacy
    6:45    Writing process as co-authors writing remotely
    9:05    Why trial lawyers should care about oral advocacy
    11:16  Oral versus written advocacy
    13:17  Oral advocacy in persuasion
    16:02  What judges are looking forward to in a proceeding
    21:24  What to know about your judge
    23:45  Relationships you need to know about
    27:45  Appearing before a multi-judge panel
    30:03  Why rebuttal matters
    31:31  Judge Vaidik’s experience with remote advocacy
    35:32  “Soft” things lost in remote hearings
    40:06  Communication needs that have changed during the pandemic
    42:25  Signature signoff question
     
    Quotes
    “Oral advocacy is a lot different from written advocacy and our law schools are focusing on written advocacy and not on oral advocacy, and there are differences. In oral advocacy, as an advocate, you can actually listen to the judge’s concerns—or whoever you’re talking to, the listener’s concerns – and adapt your argument. You can’t do that in a written setting. In an oral setting, however, you need to keep attention, the attention of the listener. And in a written advocacy situation, that’s not so much the case because when the reader loses focus, they can go back and re-read the material. You can’t do that in oral advocacy situation.” (Judge Nancy Vaidik)


    “Judges are people too, and so they’re not immune to the digital age and the lower attention span and the need for people to get to the point and say it clearly, concisely, thematically. All those things are super important, and so old-style argument is not going to be as effective. You have to take into account the digital age and the judges who are going to be listening, especially as younger and younger judges get appointed to the courts. It’s so important to adapt the way we approach oral argument in front of one or multiple judges.” (Rebecca Diaz-Bonilla)
     
    Recommended Resources
    Point Well Made: Persuasive Oral Advocacy, Second Edition (book)
    Hon. Nancy Vaidik (bio)
    Rebecca Diaz-Bonilla (bio)
    Foolproof: The Art of Communication for Lawyers and Professionals, Second Edition (book) 
    Rebecca Diaz-Bonilla’s “Foolproof” Tips for Professional Communication (podcast)
    Delivering a (Last-Minute) Point Well Made (webcast)
     
    Read NITA’s statement on the important of in-person advocacy in courts, here.

    • 47 min
    18: Now Presenting: Why You Need a Trial Tech to Run the Show, with Shannon Bales and Alicia Aquino

    18: Now Presenting: Why You Need a Trial Tech to Run the Show, with Shannon Bales and Alicia Aquino

    In Episode 18 of “May the Record Reflect,” we’re talking about something that’s all too often an afterthought when a case goes to trial: the electronic courtroom presentation. When expertly executed by a trial technologist, a trial presentation will provide you and your fact-finders one shortcut after another that ease courtroom procedures and benefit your client. Trial technologists Shannon Bales and Alicia Aquino share their insights, recommendations, and best practices that will have you convinced that a trial tech is an integral part of a winning team. 
    Topics
    4:37     Electronic trial presentation today
    6:55     Why a trial tech is crucial to your outcomes
    8:45     EDRM, the litigation lifecycle
    11:43  Bring them in early in the litigation
    13:14  Why trial presentations matter
    16:23  How “cat lawyer” memes happen
    18:17  What trial techs know that you don’t
    20:10  E-discovery and trial
    23:57  Fact analysis tools
    26:20  Best practices for virtual proceedings
    30:37  Timeline for your tech rehearsal
    33:15  Exhibit “tutorials” for fact-finders
    34:25  Becoming a trial tech
    38:11  Trial Presentation Companion tips
    39:41  UN War Crimes Tribunal experience
    41:12  Types of software
    48:03  A mistake firms make
    49:39  Outfitting your war room
    57:17  A note for small firms and solo practitioners
    59:34  Renting versus owning equipment
    1:01:17  Helping the opposing team
    1:07:08   Signature signoff question
    Quotes
    “Trial presentation is an efficiency aid for the court. That’s the number-one thing we’re there to do. We’re hired there, of course, to help our team, but the way that we get through the door is that we’re there to make things efficient for the court so that the proceedings will move along at a quick pace and not waste the court’s time.” (Shannon Bales)
     
    “Bring [trial techs] in early on. Let us take a look at the evidence, at the exhibits. I can’t tell you how many times that the attorney is presenting their case and then at the end the judge says, ‘You know, this could have easily been done in a timeline. Do you think you can just put together a timeline? That would’ve saved us four days of testimony,’ and I, probably in the background, was saying, ‘Hey, you know, let’s put together a chart, a timeline. Let’s put graphics. Let’s tell the story a little bit better.’ And when you have somebody on your team that’s able to incorporate the graphics and storytelling, it just makes you look that much more organized.” (Alicia Aquino)
     
    Recommended Resources
    Shannon Bales (LinkedIn)
    Alicia Aquino (Aquino Trial Services)
    The Trial Presentation Companion (book)
    What Juries Really Think: Practical Guidance for Trial Lawyers (article)
    Online Courtroom Project(website)
    COVID, the Court, and the Future of the Jury Trial (webcast)

    • 1 hr 10 min
    17: Can You Hack It? Protecting Electronic Client Data, with Helen Geib and BJ Moore

    17: Can You Hack It? Protecting Electronic Client Data, with Helen Geib and BJ Moore

    In Episode 17 of “May the Record Reflect,” we’re talking about cybersecurity for law firms: why it’s important, how to prevent hackers from accessing your clients’ electronic data, what to do if it happens, and what ethics canons have to say about it....

    • 48 min
    16. 50 Tips for 50 Years, Part 2

    16. 50 Tips for 50 Years, Part 2

    In this episode of May the Record Reflect, we continue our 50th anniversary celebration by picking up where we left off in Episode 15. Part II of this “50 Tips for 50 Years” mini-series gives you best practices for dealing with nerves at trial, how to improve your public speaking skills, and delivering a sound winning argument, as shared by NITA program directors, faculty members, authors, and members of the Board of Trustees.


    1:25    Dealing with nerves at trial—or anywhere
    15:11  Getting good at public speaking
    23:45  Delivering a sound closing argument
    29:53  Signature sign-off question


    Recommended Resources
    Lagos, the Rule of Law, and Gratitude (Hon. Ann Claire Williams, Hon. Marian Gaston)
    Namibia Teacher Training and Trial Advocacy – NITA Public Service Course (Hon. Claire Ann Williams)
    Ghana Advocacy Training Programs – NITA Public Service (Hon. Ann Claire Williams)
    Building Rapport with a Jury: Lessons in Picking the Jury that’s Right for your Case (Richard Schoenberger)
    Persuade, Respond, and Prevail: Essentials of Motions Argument (Terre Rushton)
    Ethically Speaking: Meeting the Challenges of Professionalism in Remote Proceedings (Whitney Untiedt)
    Serenity Now: Carol Sowers on Being Poised in the Courtroom 
    One on One on One, with Judge Mark Drummond and Carol Sowers
    15 Tips for Presenting Yourself Online (Carol Sowers)
    Rebecca Diaz-Bonilla’s “Foolproof” Tips for Professional Communication 
    Foolproof: The Art of Communication for Lawyers and Professionals (Rebecca Diaz-Bonilla)
    Maximize the Magic of Online Mediations (Sidney Kanazawa)
    Tips for Online Mediation in the Age of Social Distancing (Sidney Kanazawa)
    The Articulate Attorney: Public Speaking for Lawyers (Brian Johnson, Marsha Hunter)
    NITA webcasts (free)
    NITA podcasts (free)
    NITA whitepapers (free)
    Remote Advocacy Resources

    • 35 min
    15: 50 Tips for 50 Years, Part 1

    15: 50 Tips for 50 Years, Part 1

    2021 marks fifty years of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy as the nation’s go-to gold standard in All Things Advocacy. Here on the podcast, we wanted to celebrate this year-long occasion with our gift to you: 50 trial tips for each of NITA’s 50...

    • 43 min
    14. Paper Chase, with Marc Miller and Allison Regan

    14. Paper Chase, with Marc Miller and Allison Regan

    In Episode 14 of “May the Record Reflect,” we gather insight on how to start your legal career against a daunting backdrop of covid, layoffs, and societal change. Listen as Dean Marc Miller of the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law and...

    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5
6 Ratings

6 Ratings

BaileyJoRoss ,

Great listen!

NITA produces so many excellent training tools for young lawyers. This podcast is no exception!

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