Develop and Deliver a Winning Direct Examination

winning direct examination

TLC’s Direct Examination Regional Seminar in Monterey Bay, California is January 18-20, 2019. Located on the outer edge of San Francisco and San Jose, the Seascape Resort Monterey Bay is the ideal location for a TLC regional seminar. This regional is co-led by two of TLC’s long-standing faculty members, Brooks Cutter & Anne Valentine. Gerry Spence, co-founder of the Trial Lawyers College says, “The key to direct examination, as in every element of the trial, is ‘it all begins with you.’ Your job in direct exam is to help the witness effectively tell that part of the story the witness knows.”

Faculty Co-Leaders

Brooks Cutter graduated from TLC’s then once-per-year flagship college in 1998 and joined the faculty shortly after. With a long-established, respected reputation as a skilled trial attorney and a record of proven success, including one of Sacramento County’s highest jury verdicts on record for medical malpractice, Brooks has received numerous honors for his advocacy. “My mission is to win for the people I represent. I have the privilege of representing individuals who are often badly hurt and need a lawyer that will not back down from a fight.” A long-time resident of northern California, Brooks is passionate about community outreach and is on the board of directors for Sacramento’s Wind Youth Services, which helps homeless teens and young adults complete their education while obtaining computer training and other necessary job and life skills to thrive independently. He is also an avid triathlon competitor and devoted father of three.“Direct exam is where we put ‘our’ story in, where we put ‘our’ case before the jury and a good direct exam really helps bring that story to life.” -Brooks Cutter

Anne Valentine graduated from the Trial Lawyers College in 1998 and has served on its board since 2010. She has devoted her professional career to the representation of injured people and has successfully litigated many cases involving complex tort issues. She practices in the areas of personal injury, insurance, and medical malpractice. Anne is a past President of the Ohio Association for Justice and she was the first woman to hold this office. Her goal as the OAJ President was to assure citizens of Ohio that their families would continue to be protected both in the workplace and in their personal lives. She was appointed to the board of the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation and serves her community as a volunteer with the Homeless Project and the Columbus Aids Task Force. “It’s important for us as faculty leaders to help our lawyers learn to ‘show’ their jury the story, rather than telling them a list of facts. That is what brings the story to life and what TLC is all about. It can be one of the most powerful things we can bring to the courtroom.” -Anne Valentine

Learn to ‘show’ your jury

In every element of trial, we are telling the client’s story. At our direct exam seminar, lawyers will learn how to tell that story in new, powerful and dramatic ways with their witnesses. TLC’s direct exam methods help attorneys find their voice to bring their story to life so the jury actually experiences and becomes a part of the case. TLC-trained lawyers have proven time and again that if the jurors can better experience what the client has experienced, the chances of winning simply explode. This seminar is being led by the Trial Lawyers College accomplished faculty team of Anne Valentine and Brooks Cutter, with help of experienced trial attorneys from around the nation, as well as TLC’s Psychodramatists and communications expert, Joshua Karton. With at least a 6:1 student-faculty ratio, this course is a ‘hands-on’ experience. Attorneys will learn by doing and to discover how our own unique power can forge an honest relationship with the jury and help develop and deliver a winning direct exam in the most difficult cases.

“The core difference of a TLC Direct Exam compared to what you might have learned in law school is that we learn to bring the story to life. We bring a scene in front of the jury by demonstrating or showing the jury instead of just telling them.” – Brooks Cutter

Rafe Foreman is also a TLC faculty member and graduated from the 3-Week College in the class of 2002. Rafe shared some insight into how lawyers might perceive a direct examination in an article of the Spring 2010 Issue of the WARRIOR Magazine, TLC’s quarterly publication. “Much has been written yet little has been learned about the topic of direct examination. Why do lawyers spend so little time and effort developing the very essence of their case? Why does the topic of direct examination garner precious little respect? Let me be clear, the purpose of this article is not to give you an outline on how to do a direct examination. Rather my purpose is to be an advocate and attempt to persuade you to invest yourself in knowing your client and your case so that you may facilitate the telling of the most persuasive story in the courtroom through your next direct examination. My hope is that after this experience you will join me in the realization that direct examination is where we deliver the goods. In voir dire we set up the case to be won, in our direct examination we deliver the victory.” Rafe Foreman, Direct Examination: Telling the Story of Our Client and Their Case, Spring 2010 Issue of The WARRIOR Magazine.

Brooks and Anne hope attendees can take away a new perspective on direct exam or have a refresher and learn new skills to bring a compelling direct examination to trial. “Of course we are going to have the other great elements of a terrific TLC experience at the regional including Josh Karton and our Psychodramatists. A direct exam is powerful and the most important part of our case when it’s done well and this regional gives you the tools to do that.”

“Learn to avoid the pitfalls of a failed direct exam that can undermine your case; and instead, how to prepare and deliver a powerful direct exam to win justice for your client.” – Gerry Spence, Co-Founder of the Trial Lawyers College. 

Join us at Seascape Resort in Monterey Bay, California, January 18-20, 2019. Currently, there is a 25% HOLIDAY DISCOUNT to this seminar in addition to a 1-year subscription to the WARRIOR Magazine if you register before December 31, 2018. 

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