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Trial School Symposium

Orlando, FL | November 14 – 18

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Mark Lanier

The Lanier Law Firm

Carl Douglas

Douglas / Hicks Law

Louise Lipman


Jim Perdue Sr.

Perdue & Kidd

Joshua Karton

Communication Arts for the Professional

Mel Orchard

The Spence Law Firm

Doris Cheng

Walkup, Melodia, Kelly + Schoenberger

Joe Fried

Fried Goldberg, LLC

Kathleen Nastri

Koskoff Koskoff & Bieder PC

Mike Kelly

Walkup, Melodia, Kelly + Schoenberger

Mike Papantonio

Levin Papantonio Rafferty

Ben Crump

Ben Crump | Trial Lawyer for Justice

Rich Newsome

Newsome | Melton

Andrew Finkelstein

Finkelstein & Partners

Jim Perdue Jr.

Perdue & Kidd

Troy Rafferty

Levin Papantonio Rafferty

Jesse Wilson

Tell the Winning Story

Zander Clem

Morgan & Morgan

Keith Mitnik

Morgan & Morgan

Julie Kane

Colson Hicks Eidson

Robert Bilott

Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP

Eric Oliver

Trial Consultant

Chris Stombaugh

DiCello Levitt Gutzler

Event Agenda

Sunday, November 14, 2021

4:00 PM
Registration Opens

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Welcome Cocktail Reception and Opening Night Activity

Day 1

Monday, November 15, 2021

7:30 AM to 8:30 AM
Registration and Breakfast

8:30 AM to 10:00 AM
Mark Lanier – Using Metaphor, Turning the Bad Into Good

10:00 AM to 10:15 AM

10:15 AM to 11:00 AM
Keith Mitnik – How to Deal with the Defense

11:00 AM to 12:30 PM
Mike Kelly – Opening 101
Rick Friedman – Rules of the Road Approach to Opening

12:00 PM to 1:45 PM
Lunch with Ben Crump
Trial Lawyers as Social Engineers and How You Can Make a Difference

1:30 PM to 2:00 PM

2:00 PM to 2:45 PM
Carl Douglas – Overcoming Fear

2:45 PM to 3:30 PM
Christopher Stombaugh – Presence, Personal States and Persuasion

3:30 PM to 3:45 PM

3:45 PM to 4:30 PM
Doris Cheng and Rich Newsome – Opening Statement Template for 2021

4:30 PM to 6:30 PM

6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Annual Pizza and Beer Panel – The Anatomy of Different Styles of Opening
Andrew Finkelstein (host), Zander Clem, Rich Newsome, Chris Stombaugh, Julie Kane, John Uustal and other Faculty members.

Day 2

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

7:30 AM to 8:30 AM
Breakfast Platinum Partner Panel Discussion: What You Need to Grow in 2022
Moderated by Rich Newsome

8:45 AM to 11:15 AM
Joshua Karton – Tools and Methods to Connect with a Jury
Louise Lipman – Introduction to Psychodrama

11:15 AM to 12:15 PM
Joe Fried – Speed Trial Opening and Template

12:15 PM to 1:00 PM
Lunch with Rob Bilott and Mike Papantonio
Dark Waters: The True Story of the War Against Dupont

1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Award Ceremony
Award 1: Fred G. Levin (Legacy Warrior Award) – Stanley and Susan Rosenblatt
Award 2: Jim Perdue Sr. (Trial Advocacy) – Rick Friedman

2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Mel Orchard – Theater Tools to Tell It Like a Movie
Stanley Rosenblatt – The Greatest Trial of All Time

3:00 PM to 3:45 PM
Ann Oldfather – Owning Negatives in Opening

3:45 PM to 4:00 PM

4:00 PM to 4:45 PM
Andrew Finkelstein and Troy Rafferty – Powerful Communication with Demonstrative Exhibits:
A Survey of Available and Inexpensive Options for Visual Pursuasion

Sponsored by Total Trial Solutions

4:45 PM to 5:45 PM
Jim Perdue Sr. and Jim Perdue Jr. – Using Story to Speak for the Victim in Opening

6:00 PM
Individually Hosted Platinum Partner Events

Days 3 & 4

Wednesday, November 17 and Thursday, November 18, 2021

9:00 to 5:00 Wednesday and Thursday – During the third and fourth day of the Symposium, students will participate in two workshops requiring them to get on their feet, learn new skills and tools, and practice an opening statement from one of their actual cases.

Track 1: Psychodrama Workshops – Psychodrama is one of the most powerful tools available to trial lawyers who represent people. It allows the lawyer to discover the deeper story of a client’s case, tell the story visually to a jury, and speak for the client with a powerfully authentic voice of empathy and authenticity. These small group workshops will be led by professional psychodramatists Louise Lippman and Michael Traynor.

Track 2: Tools from the Theater Workshops – This workshop, led by Mel Orchard and Jesse Wilson, has been developed to help trial lawyers learn how to overcome performance anxiety, be more compelling using voice, eye contact, and physical presence, and to use deliver words powerfully and persuasively. Mel and Jesse are both trained actors and will share lessons from the theater that actors and producers use to tell powerful stories to an audience.

Track 3: Neurolinguistic Programming, or “NLP”Half-day standalone workshop – Nationally recognized trial consultant Eric Oliver assisted with the very first trial consult to employ “NLP” techniques in the late 1980s’ while working with “NLP” co-founder John Grinder. Since then, Eric has developed advanced methods of persuasion incorporating multiple “NLP” techniques into the full range of consulting services he provides his attorney clients. In his workshop, Eric will demonstrate and discuss with participants how to implement a number of these techniques, including Mirroring for Rapport, Anchoring with Images, Tonal and Spatial Marking, Embodied Communication, Operating Metaphors and Indirect Suggestions using Presuppositions. Each of these techniques has application for delivering your case as a story during opening statements and beyond.

Presence, Personal States and PersuasionHalf-day standalone workshop – Chris Stombaugh has developed a unique and powerful method that will enable trial lawyers to overcome performance anxiety and become powerfully more persuasive quickly and easily. During this workshop, students will not only learn how to use this method but will also get on their feet to experience this tool for themselves.

Track 4: Opening Statements Workshops – During these workshops, students will work on an opening statement from one of their actual cases using the methods and tools taught during the seminar. Trial School Faculty will participate in all these sessions and provide suggestions and coaching. These sessions will also be videotaped and reviewed by faculty members with each student.

Wednesday, November 17

Group A

Morning Afternoon
Psychodrama Workshops
Tools from the Theater Workshops

Presence, Personal States and Persuasion Workshop


Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) Workshop

Opening Statements Workshops
Thursday, November 18

Group B

Morning Afternoon
Psychodrama Workshops
Tools from the Theater Workshops

Presence, Personal States and Persuasion Workshop


Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) Workshop

Opening Statements Workshops

Trial School Members

During this 5-day member-only event, Trial School will present cutting-edge and out-of-the-box methods for communicating and connecting with the jury.

This symposium will present today’s curated best methods for delivering a powerful and persuasive opening statement using a host of different approaches taught by the very best trial lawyers and nationally recognized consultants.

The Trial School Symposium will include on-your-feet exercises, motivational and inspirational activities, demonstrations, and practical templates you can take home and use in your trial practice.

Program Description


The 2021 Trial School Symposium will be a combination of lectures and break-out workshops. Like with the first two Trial School in-person events, this program is designed to curate and explore the various methods, both traditional and cutting edge, for trying cases. As always, our goal is to learn how to improve our collective trial advocacy skills through faculty collaboration and share these skills with other lawyers who represent people.

Trial School Lab Symposium Workshops


This year’s Symposium will focus on two topics: 1) openings statements, and 2) communication skills. The seminar will present the various methods used to achieve success at trial. The workshops build on the seminar topics by offering an opportunity to use these methods in practice. Workshops available this year include Psychodrama with Louise Lipman or Michael Traynor, Personal States with Chris Stombaugh, Tell it Like a Movie with Mel Orchard and Jesse Wilson, and Opening Statements with Trial School faculty.


Staying at Loews Portofino Bay is a lot like traveling to Italy without having to deal with that pesky jet lag—or worry about foreign exchange rates. The Italian-inspired architecture, sun-baked color palette, towering Italian Cypress trees, and romantic Harbor Piazza will have you thinking you’re in Europe. The Portofino Resort features three stunning pools and the luxurious Mandara Spa®.

Right next door to Portofino are two amazing theme parks plus the Universal CityWalk™ entertainment complex. And as a Portofino guest you get exclusive benefits and access to the theme parks.

A block of rooms has been reserved for Trial School Symposium attendees at a rate of $179. The cut-off date for that rate is October 22, but we recommend you reserve your room as early as possible, as the room block is a limited number at the discounted rate, and could sell out well before October 22.

Book your room

If you have any questions regarding your hotel reservation, call the Loews Reservation Center at 833-243-4727 and tell them you are booking a room in the Trial School Symposium room block.

COVID Safety Notice

For the safety of all our attendees, the Trial School Symposium will be a fully vaccinated event.
All attendees must be fully vaccinated (have received two doses before October 31st, 2021) and will be required to submit their vaccine cards prior to the event.

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