So You Want to Be a Trial Lawyer? Part 1


So You Want to Be a Trial Lawyer!?

A series of three seminars for plaintiff lawyers or lawyers who want to become plaintiff lawyers.

Featuring the best plaintiff lawyers in Washington State!

Join us for one or all seminars!

  • This series of three seminars will take you through trial from beginning to end.
  • Discover the tools to use in the courtroom
  • Observe and learn winning techniques that will work for you and help your client.
  • Practice with your peers
  • Get on the path to Success as a Trial Lawyer

Over 19 Combined CLE Credit Hours

Registration Form

Part 1: October 31, 2012
Winning in the Beginning

7.0 CLE Credits

• Thinking like a Trial Lawyer

• Trial Preparation, Organization and Technology

• Preliminary Motions, Voir dire and Openings

Part 2: February 15, 2013
Winning with Evidence

Approximately 6.0-7.0 CLE Credits

Part 3: May, 2013
Bringing Home a Winning Verdict

6.0+ CLE Credits

Part 1: October 31, 2012
Winning in the Beginning

Chairpersons:  Shelly Speir & Bob Dawson

7.0 CLE Credits

8:30-8:45   Being a Trial Lawyer  
Robert K. Dawson, Dawson Brown, Seattle
Shelly K. Speir, Christnacht, Ladenburg, McKasy & Durkin, Tacoma

8:45-10:15   The Mindset of the Trial  
The importance of the story     
Mark C. Wagner, Law Offices of Mark C. Wagner, Tacoma

Discovering the story    
Robert K. Dawson, Dawson Brown, Seattle

Developing the theme   
C. Steven Fury, Fury Bailey, Seattle

10:15-10:30 BREAK 

10:30-10:45 The Trial Notebook and Organizing the File for Trial 
Electronic vs.Paper vs.Software; What you take with you to the courtroom.
Timothy A. Bearb, Olive|Bearb, Seattle
Jamila A. Taylor, The Law Office of Jamila Taylor, Seattle

10:45-11:05 ER 904's: Tactical considerations; summaries; organization and how to cull; objections. 
Angela M. Macey Cushman, Morrow Kidman Tinker, Bainbridge Island

11:05-11:35 Motions in Limine: Recognizing potential motions; pre-existing conditions; collateral matters; relevant but prejudicial.
Ben F. Barcus, The Law Offices of Ben F. Barcus & Associates, Tacoma

11:35-12:00 Lunch - box lunches provided 

12:00-1:30   Voir Dire – Demonstrations and Discussion: Neutral statement; list of witnesses; proposed VD for court; tracking the venire; strategies; technique; challenges for cause; exercising peremptory
Demonstration & Discussion of a Traditional Voir Dire
Todd Gardner, Swanson & Gardner, Renton
Demonstration & Discussion of a Spence Style Voir Dire
Mary Ruth Mann, Mann & Kytle, Seattle
Moderator:  Robert K. Dawson

1:30-1:45   Break

1:45-2:15   Trial Technology: The techie's check list of things to bring to trial; using computers, projectors and tablets; Skyping and videoing; logistics and preparation; what to do in the event of technological failures.
Timothy A. Bearb, Olive|Bearb, Seattle
Jamila A. Taylor, The Law Office of Jamila Taylor, Seattle

2:15-3:45   Opening Statement – Demonstrations and Discussion: Using visuals; using a trial theme; sequencing; persuasion without advocacy; strategy
Lembhard G. Howell, Law Office Of Lembhard G. Howell, Seattle
Jo-Hanna Read, Law Office of Jo-Hanna Read, Seattle
Karl E. Malling, Karl E. Malling PS, Shoreline
Moderator:  Vonda M. Sargent, The Law Offices of Vonda M. Sargent, Seattle

3:45-4:00   Break

4:00-4:30   Practice round – Do your own Voir Dire

Part 2: February 15, 2013
Winning with Evidence

Chairpersons:  Katy Garvin & Bill Robison

Approximately 6.0-7.0 CLE Credits

Direct Examination of Witnesses – Demonstrations and Discussion
Plaintiff; Lay witnesses; Experts; Calling defense as adverse; Offer of proof; Preserved testimony; Telephonic/Skype; Order and presentation

Cross exam of Witnesses – Demonstrations and Discussion
Defense; experts; voir dire; Using depositions; Techniques/strategies

Jury questions - Procedure; Objections; Cross/Redirect

Use of Depositions at Trial - The Rules; Practical application/techniques; Substantive Evidence; Cross/ Impeachment; Objections/editing

Use of Interrogatories and RFA’s at Trial 

Using Exhibits - Rules you must follow; Establishing foundation; Demonstrative exhibits; Substantive exhibits; Animations and experiments; Use in opening; Use in testimony; Use in impeachment; Handling/Preparing

Objections - Types of objections; Deciding to object or not – when and how; Dealing with objections; Preservation of error

Bonus Round – Taking on Tencer
For those that want to try their hand at cross exam.


Part 3: May, 2013
Bringing Home a Winning Verdict

6.0+ CLE Credits

Jury Instructions - Drafting within WPI; Drafting outside of the WPI; Arguing instructions; Taking exception; Verdict form

Strategic use of jury instructions throughout trial

Taking the Verdict - Post-verdict interview of jurors

Motions  - Mistrial; New trial; Judgment as a matter of  law (CR 50);

Post-Trial matters - Reducing verdict to judgment; Cost bill; De Novo fee application; Offers of Judgment

Closing argument - Organization; method; theme; persuasion; visuals; Strategies/Techniques

Defense Closing – Demonstrations and Discussion

Rebuttal – Demonstrations and Discussion

Practice Round – Try your own closing


Print the Registration Form and mail or fax in your payment. Check should be mailed to:
1809 7th Ave #1500
Seattle, WA 98101



7.00 Total CLE credits Approved



WA State Convention Center

Cancellation Policy

Full refunds for cancellation, less $25 handling fee, if cancellation is made 5 working days before the seminar. After that, full credit,  valid for one year, will be issued if the WSAJ office is notified by 10:00 am the day before the seminar. No refund or credit after that, substitutes accepted.