The Opening Gambit: Learn Opening Statements through Actual Courtroom Video

Presented by: Reuben Guttman, Judge Gertner, Judge Noble, and Phillip Freidin – Cases can be won or lost at the opening statement. No opening is the same, and strategies differ depending on the case and the jurisdiction. In this first-ever collaborative webcast between NITA and Courtroom View Network (CVN), retired federal judge Nancy Gertner, Missouri circuit court judge Michael Noble, and Miami trial lawyer Philip Freidin will join NITA faculty Reuben Guttman in this 90-minute webcast, for a spirited analysis of what makes a commanding opening statement.

The panel will show CVN video clips of actual opening statements from a variety of civil jury trials, then examine not only the lawyers’ performances but also the demonstratives that can play such a critical role in visually conveying the details in these extremely complex, high-stakes cases to jurors.

Among the clips under analysis are a first-in-the-nation bellwether products liability trial involving metal hip implants that ended in an $8.3 million verdict, a landmark opening statement from trial attorney Mark Lanier that helped secure a $47.5 million Vioxx verdict, and the opening statements from a trial in Texas involving a large explosion at a BP refinery.

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Also: Free NITA Webcast August 18: Building Rapport with a Jury: Lessons in Picking the Jury That’s Right for Your Case (Aug 13, 2020)

Presented by: Richard Schoenberger – It can be easily argued that jury selection is the most important part of the trial. After all, they are the folks who will be making the decision that affects your client’s future. Get the wrong mix, and you may have yourselves a problem. And getting people to be brutally honest and speak openly in front of a room full of strangers on topics they never before considered can be, to put it mildly, a tad difficult. How do you make jurors feel comfortable enough to talk and really open up? How do you bounce from juror to juror? How do you reveal and “de-select” those jurors who are wrong for your case? How do you convert your questions to establish the all-important challenges for cause? Let’s talk about it!

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