Michigan Trial Lawyer, Keeley Heath (now Keeley Blanchard) (TLC-1 2011), recently obtained a two-word verdict in an tough assault trial, with a difficult set of facts: “Not Guilty”. Great work by a great TLC Warrior! Read on to learn about her win, and how you can learn these same skills at our upcoming Regional Seminar at Mo Ranch, in Hunt Texas on April 14-17.
How did the TLC methods help you with this win?
I was trying the case two days after I got back from a TLC seminar at the ranch last summer. I had worked on it while I was there because I did not love my facts. There were three witnesses who did not know the defendant and they did not know the complaining witness. Every one of them said that my client was the one who started the fight. I was feeling kind of crummy about having to go back and try the case with these witnesses and feeling like I really had not hit my stride in the case. We were working on story structure and that brought me a lot of ideas about how to take what we have learned through TLC with discovering the story and working on our openings and other trial skills and taking it to the next level with the TLC techniques, which I found to be pretty powerful. I worked on my opening, but I felt lost when I came back home. As the trial approached, I felt it was still not quite right. So, at my office, I did another re-enactment of the event with my client and out-of-the-blue I heard something that I hadn’t heard before and it changed the whole case for me. I learned that the child being handed off during the parenting time exchange – the accuser’s child — had called my client “mommy” when he saw her, in the presence of the accuser, who was the child’s biological mother. I had reenacted it with her seven or eight times already. I would have normally never done that again, but when I worked on it again we figured out that something was missing. That completely transformed my opening and that was probably the thing that won the case for us — discovering the story and getting a good opening.
After you initially went to the College in 2011, how did it change things for you?
I would definitely say that for me, I needed TLC in lots of ways. At that time, I was going through a divorce and my son was just two years old. It was kind of hard to leave him for almost a month, but it was definitely something that I needed for myself to get my professional, and as it turned out, personal life, back on the track where I wanted it to be. It was helpful for me in trying to achieve my goals both personally and professionally. I can’t say enough good things about it. Attending courses each year, after attending the three week college has been the thing that has advanced things for me in the biggest way as far as my trial skills.
How do you keep your skills current when you’re between seminars?
I do a local working group with other alumni in Michigan where we keep working on our skills and continue to do psychodrama with a licensed psychodramatist which has helped me a lot. We have a pretty good group of TLCers here in Michigan which is a great help. It has done a lot of good things for me. I have been able to focus my practice more on the cases that I want to work on. Thankfully, we have two TLC lawyers in the office and we are able to utilize that alot. I had been doing the discovering the story tools that I learned at TLC, but attending the courses after attending the college has brought about this huge personal transformation. It opened a lot more in depth about the trial skills and it has just gotten better and better over time.
Thank you Keeley. Keep up the good work!
To learn the skills necessary to discover the true story of your cases, and how to present them in your Opening Statement, join us at Mo Ranch from April 14-17:
About Keeley Heath (now Keeley Blanchard):
Keeley D. Heath (now Keeley Blanchard) is a highly rated Michigan criminal defense attorney, who has successfully represented clients in criminal matters throughout the state of Michigan.
She is an active member of the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Michigan, including being a member of the Board of Directors and a featured speaker at their annual training event. She is also a three-time graduate of the CDAM Trial College.
Keeley prides herself on providing the best representation to each and every one of her clients. She focuses primarily on defending serious felonies, including criminal sexual conduct, child pornography, child abuse, drug crimes, and assault crimes.
Keeley has also been recognized for her excellent work in the area of criminal defense, being named by Super Lawyers Magazine as a “Rising Star” in the area of criminal defense in both September of 2011 and September of 2012.
– See more at: http://www.triallawyerscollege.org/BlogPost.aspx?g=ce1bab42-941d-4405-b169-2cf544df92ab#sthash.KVugJs7r.dpuf