NYSBA Trial Academy

May 18 – 22, 2022

Syracuse University College of Law

34.5 MCLE Credits: 31.5 Skills, 2.0 Ethics, 1.0 Areas of Professional Practice

The New York State Bar Association Trial Academy is a five-day trial techniques program. Geared toward new and young attorneys, participants will take part in sessions which will advance and improve their courtroom skills. With an emphasis on direct participation, the Trial Academy is a great learning experience for all involved.


 
Premiere Sponsor
 
USI Infinity Insurance

NYSBA Member Price: $900.00

Non-Member Price: $1,000.00

The Trial Academy is limited to 60 participants. The registration fee includes all materials, continental breakfast each morning, lunches each day, and a Welcome reception.

Registrants will need to view the Pre-Recorded “Jury Selection” webinar created for Trial Academy as part of your preparations for Day One.  Click here to view: https://nysba.zoom.us/rec/share/uAEtry8iXnGrv_7sr_DLh7bcqLeZX-KwOB49RztkSH5xQAq7ykPCnsnzo_5NnnoY.4VHoKPaN-X_Jl7-L?startTime=1608231589000

This program regularly sells out. Register early! For information on group discounts, please contact Holly Hirsch at [email protected] or 518-487-5586.

Discounts

Scholarships are available through several of NYSBA Sections. Check the website listing for application deadlines. Please note that scholarships only cover the registration fee, and do not cover travel, accommodations, or other expenses.

Attorneys may receive financial assistance to attend this program. Under New York State Bar Association policy, attorneys who require financial assistance may apply in writing, no later than 10 working days prior to the program, explaining the basis of his/her hardship, and, if approved, may receive a discount or scholarship, depending on the circumstances. For more details, please contact: Amy Jasiewicz, New York State Bar Association, One Elk Street, Albany, New York 12207, [email protected].

Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities

NYSBA welcomes participation by individuals with disabilities. NYSBA is committed to complying with all applicable laws that prohibit discrimination against individuals on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of its goods, services, programs, activities, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations. To request auxiliary aids or services or if you have any questions regarding accessibility, please contact Amy Jasiewicz at least 2 weeks in advance of the event at [email protected] or 518-487-5682.

Cancellation and Refunds

Review our Cancellation Policy

Trial Academy 2022

Wednesday, May 18, 2022 – Sunday, May 22, 2022
Syracuse University College of Law
Dineen Hall, 950 Irving Avenue, Syracuse, NY

34.5 MCLE Credits: 12.0 Skills, 2.0 Ethics, 20.5 Areas of Professional Practice

This program is transitional and suitable for newly admitted attorneys.

Registrants: Please view the Pre-Recorded “Jury Selection” webinar created for Trial Academy as part of your preparations for Day One.

https://nysba.ce21.com/ViewerUnAutheticatedLink?x=2WOt5Ic0ciTwH3h2KtRHNw==

Note: Agenda subject to change.

Click here for a more detailed program agenda to include speakers and further logistics.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

7:30 a.m.

Sign in and Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m. – 8:50 a.m.

Welcome and Introductions

8:50 a.m. – 9:40 a.m.

Storytelling & Developing Your Case Theory
1.0 Credit in Areas of Professional Practice

9:40 a.m. – 10:55 a.m.

Opening Statements
1.5 Credits in Areas of Professional Practice

10:55 a.m. – 11:05 a.m.

Break

11:05 a.m. – 11:35 p.m.

Faculty Demonstration of Jury Selection

11:35 p.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Lunch

12:15 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Breakout Group Sessions – Jury Selection Presentations
2.0 Credits in Skills; 2.5 Credits in Areas of Professional Practice

5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Welcome Cocktail Reception

Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel & Conference Center

Thursday, May 19, 2022

8:00 a.m.

Sign in and Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.

Trial Ethics
2.0 Credits in Ethics

10:10 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.

Break

10:20 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Direct Examinations
2.0 Credits in Areas of Professional Practice

12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Faculty Demonstration of Opening Statements

12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Lunch

Dineen Hall

1:15 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

Breakout Group Sessions – Opening Statements Demonstrations
2.0 Credits in Skills; 2.0 Credit in Areas of Professional Practice

5:30 p.m.

Faculty Only Dinner – Location TBD

Friday, May 20, 2022

7:15 a.m. - 8:15 a.m.

Grab and Go Breakfast in the Sheraton Hotel Lobby

8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

Tour of the Historic Onondaga County Courthouse

This tour is optional

9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Welcome by Judge Murphy, addressing Presentation on “Civility and Decorum”

9:30 a.m. – 11:10 a.m.

Cross Examinations Part I – Live Lecture and Faculty Demonstrations of Cross Examinations
2.0 Credits in Areas of Professional Practice

11:10 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Break

11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Cross Examinations Part II – Live Lecture and Faculty Demonstrations of Cross Examinations
1.0 Credit in Areas of Professional Practice

12:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Faculty Demonstration of Direct Examinations

1:00 p.m. - 1:50 p.m.

Lunch

1:50 p.m. – 5:20 p.m.

Breakout Group Sessions – Direct Examinations

Adjourn to your designated Team Room after lunch. Team rooms will remain that same each day. During each Breakout Group Sessions, each team member will present a demonstration to the Team of a Direct Examination based on the provided fact pattern. The critique faculty will provide constructive feedback and guidance following each presentation. In addition, the recording of each presentation will be used during a one-on-one critique session with a rotating faculty of experienced trial attorneys and judges.

2.0 Credits in Skills; 2.0 Credits in Areas of Professional Practice

Saturday, May 21, 2022

8:00 a.m.

Sign in and Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m. – 9:20 a.m.

How to Introduce Evidence
1.0 Credit in Skills

9:20 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.

Trial Motions and Motions In Limine
1.0 Credit in Areas of Professional Practice

10:10 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.

Break

10:20 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Closing Arguments – Live Lecture
2.0 Credits in Areas of Professional Practice

12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Lunch

12:45 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Faculty Demonstration Cross Examination

1:15 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Breakout Group Sessions – Cross Examination Demonstrations
2.5 Credits in Skills; 2.0 Credits in Areas of Professional Practice

Sunday, May 22, 2022

8:30 a.m.

Sign in and Continental Breakfast

9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Faculty Demonstration Closing Arguments

9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Breakout Group Sessions – Closing Arguments

Each team member will present a demonstration to the Team of a Closing Arguments Examination based on the provided fact pattern. The critique faculty will provide constructive feedback and guidance following each presentation. In addition, the recording of each presentation will be used during a one-on-one critique session with a rotating faculty of experienced trial attorneys and judges.

2.5 Credits in Skills; 1.5 Credits in Areas of Professional Practice
Trial Academy Adjourns

Trial Academy Faculty

Craig M. Boise, Dean and Professor of Law
Syracuse University College of Law, Syracuse, New York

Catherine A. Christian, Esq. New York County District Attorney’s Office, Special Victims Bureau

Richard D. Collins, Esq., Collins Gann McCloskey & Barry PLLC, Mineola, New York

Julie D’Agostino, Esq., Of Counsel to Mangi and Graham, LLP, Westbury, New York 

Xavier R. Donaldson, Esq., Donaldson & Chilliest LLP, New York, New York

Vincent E. Doyle, III, Esq., Connors LLP, Buffalo, New York

Steven B. Epstein, Esq.
Barket Epstein Kearon Aldea & Loturco LLP
Garden City, New York

Timothy J. Fennell, Esq., Amdursky, Pelky, Fennell and Wallen, PC, Syracuse, New York

Hon. Erin P. Gall, Supreme Court Justice, Oneida County Supreme Court

Marc Gann, Esq., Collins Gann McCloskey & Barry, PLLC, Mineola, New York

Peter Gerstenzang, Esq., Gerstenzang, Sills,
Cohn & Gerstenzang, Albany, New York

Hon. Deborah H. Karalunas, Supreme Court Justice,
Onondaga County Commercial Division, Syracuse, New York

Cynthia Lobo, Esq., Lobo Law Firm, New Rochelle, New York

Hon. Robert McDonald, New York State Supreme Court Justice, Mineola, New York

Joseph D. Morath, Jr., Esq., Connors LLP, Buffalo, New York

Peter J. Moschetti, Jr., Esq., Anderson Moschetti & Taffany, Albany, New York

Michael P. O’Brien, Esq., O’Brien Law Firm PLLC, New York, New York

Hon. Kimberly A. O’Connor, Supreme Court Justice, Albany County Supreme Court, Albany, New York

Eric H. Sills, Esq., Gerstenzang, Sills, Cohn & Gerstenzang, Albany, New York

Hon. George Silver (Ret.)
Deputy Chief Administrative Judge of New York City, NYC

Tucker C. Stanclift, Esq.
Trial Academy Co-Founder
Stanclift Law PLLC, Glens Falls, New York

Laurie A. Vahey, Esq., Vahey Law Offices PLLC, Rochester, New York

Sherry Levin Wallach, Esq., NYSBA President-Elect & Trial Academy Co-Founder, Deputy Executive Director
The Legal Aid Society of Westchester County
White Plains, New York

Robert G. Wells, Esq., NYSACDL, Syracuse, New York

Jean Marie Westlake, Esq., DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, LLP, Syracuse, New York

Kaylin L. Whittingham, Esq., Whittingham Law & The Legal Ethics Lab, New York, New York

Due to the need to prep in advance of the Academy using the two provided fact patterns, registrants are strongly encouraged to register a month in advance. Registrants will present a Jury Selection/Voir Dire on the first day of the Trial Academy, and other presentations each day.

Registrants will need to view the Pre-Recorded “Jury Selection” webinar created for Trial Academy as part of your preparations for Day One.  Click here to view: https://nysba.ce21.com/ViewerUnAutheticatedLink?x=2WOt5Ic0ciTwH3h2KtRHNw==

Check-in and breakfast begin on Wednesday at 7:30 am, with the program beginning at 8:30 am. We finish at 4:45 pm Wednesday through Saturday. On our last day we end at 12 noon. Plan to spend time each night preparing for the next day.

The materials for the program will include both a criminal and civil fact pattern which will be provided to attendees before the program’s start date. If you do not receive a fact pattern via email two weeks prior to the Academy, please contact Amy Jasiewicz [email protected] immediately.

Attendees are strongly encouraged to prepare as much as possible using the fact pattern and materials.

Each morning of the Trial Academy will feature a lecture on the following aspects of the trial process: Jury Selection, Opening Statements, Evidence, Foundations and Objections, Direct Examinations, Cross-Examinations, Trial Motions and Motions in Limine, and Closing Arguments.

Each afternoon the lecture group will separate into small break-out groups. Prior to the start of the program each attendee will receive materials that will include which “problem” or “witness” they are to prepare for each day’s break-out group. You will work with this group and your Team Leader throughout the entire Trial Academy.

The breakout groups will allow you and your peers to put the theory of the lecture into practice with the feedback of your Team Leader and the rotating critique faculty. Your presentations will be recorded to allow for personal playback and review.

The materials for the program will include both a criminal and civil fact pattern which will be provided to attendees before the program’s start date. Each morning of the Trial Academy will feature a lecture on the following aspects of the trial process: Jury Selection, Opening Statements, Evidence, Ethics, Objections, Direct Examinations, Cross- Examinations, Trial Motions and Motions in Limine, and Closing Arguments. Each afternoon the lecture group will separate into small break-out groups, or teams. Prior to the start of the program each attendee will receive materials that will include which “problem” or “witness” they are to prepare for each day’s break-out group. You will work with this group and your Team Leader throughout the entire Trial Academy. The break- out groups will allow you and your peers to put the theory of the lecture into practice with the feedback of your Team Leader and the rotating critique faculty. Your presentations will be recorded to allow for personal playback and review.

Corporate Sponsorship Opportunities are available! Click here for Corporate Sponsorship information.

Thank you to our Premiere Sponsor:

USI Infinity Insurance

Thank you to our sponsoring Sections!

  • Trial Lawyers Section
  • Torts, Insurance, & Compensation Law Section
  • Criminal Justice Section
  • Young Lawyers Section
  • Family Law Section

Interested in Sponsoring the Trial Academy? Click here for Section Sponsorship opportunities (PDF).

Several Sections of the NYSBA offer scholarships to attend the Young Lawyers Section Trial Academy. To apply for a Trial Academy scholarship, complete and submit the application form along with your resume. This application will be reviewed for consideration by multiple NYSBA Sections; no need to apply to each Section individually. Note that the scholarship covers the meeting registration, scholarship recipients need to cover their travel, accommodation and any other expenses.

Deadline to apply is: April 1, 2022

Please note that hotel accommodations are not included in the registration fee.A limited block of hotel rooms are available at the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel and Conference Center. Reserve by April 25, 2022 to get the discounted rate of $139 per night (plus taxes and fees).

Parking at the hotel is complimentary for guests staying at the hotel and for visitors. Please note that the Welcome Reception that is taking place on Wednesday, May 18th will be at the hotel.

Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel & Conference Center
801 University Avenue
Syracuse, New York 13210

In the event that the Sheraton sells out, please visit https://www.visitsyracuse.com/hotels/ for additional lodging options.

Sheraton Syracuse

The Trial Academy will be held at Syracuse University Law School of Law, Dineen Hall, 950 Irving Avenue, Syracuse, New York, 13244 Wednesday, May 18 – Sunday May 22, 2022

Check-in and breakfast begin on Wednesday at 7:30 am, with the program beginning at 8:30 am. We finish at 4:45 pm Wednesday through Saturday. On our last day we end at 12 noon. Plan to spend time each night preparing for the next day.

Dineen Hall is a 10 minute walk from the Sheraton Hotel, however free parking is available across the street from Dineen Hall on the corner of East Raynor Ave and Stadium Place. It is recommended that participants of the program park in this lot and use the entrance of Dineen Hall that is directly across the street, as this is closest to the event check in on each day.

Additional parking is available in the Irving Street garage, which is located next to Dineen Hall.

Please click here for a map of this area (https://parking.syr.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Pad-Map-North-Master-20190910.pdf)

Additional information about transportation services and parking can be found here:  https://parking.syr.edu/

Q: When and Where is the Trial Academy?

A: The Trial Academy will be held at Syracuse University Law School of Law, Dineen Hall, 950 Irving Avenue, Syracuse, New York, 13244 Wednesday, May 18 – Sunday May 22, 2022Check-in and breakfast begin on Wednesday at 7:30 am, with the program beginning at 8:30 am. We finish at 4:45 pm Wednesday through Saturday. On our last day we end at 12 noon. Plan to spend time each night preparing for the next day.

Q: How Does Trial Academy Work?

The materials for the program will include both a criminal and civil fact pattern which will be provided to attendees before the program’s start date. If you do not receive a fact pattern via email two weeks prior to the Academy, please contact Amy Jasiewicz [email protected] immediately.

Attendees are strongly encouraged to prepare as much as possible using the fact pattern and materials.

Each morning of the Trial Academy will feature a lecture on the following aspects of the trial process: Jury Selection, Opening Statements, Evidence, Foundations and Objections, Direct Examinations, Cross-Examinations, Trial Motions and Motions in Limine, and Closing Arguments.

Each afternoon the lecture group will separate into small break-out groups. Prior to the start of the program each attendee will receive materials that will include which “problem” or “witness” they are to prepare for each day’s break-out group. You will work with this group and your Team Leader throughout the entire Trial Academy.

The breakout groups will allow you and your peers to put the theory of the lecture into practice with the feedback of your Team Leader and the rotating critique faculty. Your presentations will be recorded to allow for personal playback and review.

Q: My practice focuses on mostly civil litigation. Can I request that I only present from the civil fact pattern?

A: The Academy focuses on the major aspects of both a civil and criminal trial. Students must make their presentations from both the criminal and civil fact pattern.  The critique faculty is a diverse mix of those with civil and criminal experience.

Q: How late can I register and what about refunds?
A:
We strongly recommend that you register at least two weeks prior to the Academy to allow sufficient time to prepare. Two weeks prior to the Academy you will be provided with the fact pattern and other materials. You should begin preparing immediately and not wait until the night before.

Q: What CLE Credits are Available?

A: Under New York’s MCLE rule, this program has been approved for a total of up to 34.5 MCLE credit hours, consisting of 2.0 credit hours in ETHICS and 12.0 credit hours in PRACTICAL SKILL and 20.5 credit hours in Areas of Professional Practice. This program is transitional and therefore suitable for newly-admitted attorneys.

Q: Are Discounts and Scholarships Available?
A: Scholarships are available through several of NYSBA Sections. Check the website listing for application deadlines. Please note that scholarships only cover the registration fee, and do not cover travel, accommodations, or other expenses.

Attorneys may receive financial assistance to attend this program. Under New York State Bar Association policy, attorneys who require financial assistance may apply in writing, no later than 10 working days prior to the program, explaining the basis of his/her hardship, and, if approved, may receive a discount or scholarship, depending on the circumstances. For more details, please contact: Amy Jasiewicz, New York State Bar Association, One Elk Street, Albany, New York 12207, [email protected].Q: Are there Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities?

A: Yes. NYSBA welcomes participation by individuals with disabilities. NYSBA is committed to complying with all applicable laws that prohibit discrimination against individuals on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of its goods, services, programs, activities, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations. To request auxiliary aids or services or if you have any questions regarding accessibility, please contact Amy Jasiewicz at least 2 weeks in advance of the event at [email protected] or 518-487-5682.

Q: Where do I park?

Parking at the Law School

More information coming soon.

Parking Off Site

More information coming soon

Q: What meals are provided?
A:
Continental breakfast, hot and cold buffet lunch and snack breaks are provided Wednesday through Sunday. You will be on your own for dinner, although there are cocktail receptions on the first and last evenings. Breakfast and lunch will have vegetarian options available, no need to make a special request. If you have other dietary restrictions or requests, please let us know in advance. Kosher meals are available to those who order in advance. If you have requested Kosher meals in advance, please identify yourself to the wait staff to receive your meal as they are labeled individually. Kosher breakfast and lunch are ordered online when you register for the Academy. All conference attendees are on their own for dinner.

Q: Will I be the only one with no trial experience? OR, will there be other attorneys participating who do have trial experience?

A: No, you won’t be the only new or experienced attorney. Every year the Trial Academy has great diversity among its participants. There is always a mix of those no trial experience, limited trial experience, and experienced attorneys.

Q: I’ve registered for Trial Academy! What happens next?

A: Approximately 2 weeks prior to the program, you will be sent an email. It will contain a fact pattern to use to study and prepare. Thorough review of these materials is critical to being ready for the program, and presentations. You will be expected to present on your first day of the Academy on Jury Selection.

Approximately one week prior to the program, you will be emailed your team assignment. All participants in the Academy will gather together in the morning for a lecture, and the split into teams for the afternoons. Each afternoon of the Academy will be spent with your team of approximately 10-15 other students, practicing techniques and studying various trial aspects. Each team will have a rotating critique faculty to observe and provide feedback on student presentations.

Along with the team information, you will be sent your problem assignment, which indicates whether you will be handling the civil or criminal case, and when you will be representing the plaintiff or defense.

Q: Are there course materials?

A: Yes. All course materials are available online. There will be a printed NotePad©  handed out at the program, however the Notepad does not contain all course materials. We are striving to conserve paper and present the materials in a convenient electronic format. Printing all of the materials would result in two very large books for you to carry throughout the week. When CLE course materials are provided electronically, the Office of Court Administration requires us to provide the NotePad so that participants have something to refer to during a program.

Wi-Fi is available at the meeting site for you to access the materials online during the program. A high volume of users can slow access so you may want to save the course materials in advance on the laptop or tablet that you are bringing. You do not need to print the course materials.

You must have Adobe Acrobat in order to view, save, and/or print the materials.  If you do not already have Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can download a free copy at this link:  http://get.adobe.com/reader/

Q: What should I bring?

A: Bring a laptop or tablet, if you have one. A link to program materials will be provided in advance, and you may want to access these materials onsite during the lectures. We will provide notepads for note-taking. You will be provided with an outline/course book that contains some materials, but please bring your laptops, tablets, etc. as the full set of program materials will be online.  WIFI access will be available at the school.

Bring business cards, if you have them. You will have lots of opportunities to network and exchange contact information with fellow attendees, leading litigators, judges and NYSBA leadership.

Wear walking shoes – If you are staying at Sheraton Hotel, you may need to walk from the Hotel to the law school. There is also walking and stairs between meeting rooms.

Dress to impress. Please wear business attire each day. This will help you feel more confident, and will make your presentations feel more like an actual court appearance.

Q: Can I tweet about the Academy?

A: Yes! You can follow or post about the program on Twitter, at: #trial22

Q: How do I prepare?

A: Advance preparation is essential!

Approximately three weeks before the program, you will be emailed a set of materials to study in advance of the Academy. This information will prepare you and help you feel more confident about your participation. We strongly encourage you NOT to wait until the evening before Trial Academy to read the materials. Any time you put into preparation using the provided materials will pay off. Please note, on the afternoon of the first day, students will be asked to make presentations on the topic of the day.

Please note that all participants will be required to present to their small group each day of the Academy, including the first day. Day one you will be conducting a voir dire. Day 2: an opening statement. Day 3: a direct examination. Day 4: a cross examination. Day 5: your closing argument.  Please prepare as best you can for these in advance of the Academy, once you review the fact patterns and course materials. Some of the course materials relate to the fact patterns.

Q: What Else Can I Do to Prepare for Trial Academy?
A: R
ELAX. It is natural to be a bit nervous—keep in mind that you are not alone—everyone is feeling the same way you are. Remember that perfection is not expected, only improvement. This is a learning experience. Please come ready to work hard, have fun, begin new friendships, and learn a great deal.

We look forward to seeing you at the Academy!

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