Wednesday April 20, 2016 at 12:05 PM MDT
Friday April 22, 2016 at 5:00 PM MDT

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SpringHill Suites Denver Downtown at MSU Denver 
1190 Auraria Parkway
Denver, CO 80204

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David Mayhan, Esq. 
Wells Anderson & Race, LLC 

Nominate your New Lawyers to Participate
in the Spring Trial Academy

Colorado Defense Lawyers Association
Annual Trial Academy
April 20-22, 2016
Practicum organized by
David Mayhan, Esq.
Wells Anderson Race, LLC

22 General Credits, including at least 1 Ethics credit  

Space has been limited to 18 participants,
nominate your associate today, these spots
will fill up quickly.

A two and one-half day workshop aimed at developing trial practice skills through a combination of lecture, practicum exercises, and mock trial.

With fewer opportunities for trial experience, can you afford not to send your firm’s lawyers to the premiere trial skills program?  

A Three Day Investment for Immediate and Lifelong Benefits

The Colorado Defense Lawyers Association Trial Academy is the preeminent defense trial advocacy training program and is a career-changing opportunity for lawyers both looking to practice fundamental trial skills and seeing to take their techniques and tactics to the next level.

It is a 2 day, intensive program that blends small group facility (3:1) instruction and demonstration with individual student participation.  Its proven formula of hands-on learning accelerates the development of trial skills in a relatively short period of time.  

The third day consists of a day-long personal injury trial that will unfold under the watchful eyes of retired judges from JAMs Hon. William Downes; Hon. Norman Haglund; Hon. Frank Dubofsky,   and before a panel of mock jurors.  Students will be divided into trial teams of three for plaintiff and three for defendant. Each team will divide up tasks among the following: jury voir dire; opening statement; plaintiff direct/cross; plaintiff expert direct/cross; defendant direct/cross; defendant expert direct/cross; and closing argument. Jurors will be given a concise set of instructions and retire for deliberations. Upon rendering their verdict, a moderated debriefing will occur between students and jurors.


Choosing the CDLA Trial Academy for you and your firm provides: A track record of success in creating confidence in the courtroom 

 Students that have attended have come away with greater confidence and more sophisticated litigation skills that will benefit them and their firms for the balance of their professional careers.  

Instantaneous Return on Investment

In today’s environment, it is more important than ever to have experienced and skilled lawyers working for your firm.  The complexity and value of cases have escalated. Your lawyers need to get up to speed quickly.  The CDLA Trial Academy provides 20 hours of faculty demonstrations by lawyers recognized as the best civil defense litigators followed by practice, practice and more practice by students all culminating on day 3 with a live trial.  

Documented Progress  

Students are critiqued while conducting mock opening statements, direct and cross examinations of lay and expert witnesses, and closing arguments.  This provides the invaluable opportunity for students to identify their strengths and weaknesses.

Why we are different

 Unlike many other trial skills programs, the CDLA Trial Academy offers training provided by a faculty of the best civil defense lawyers in Colorado.  They focus on defense techniques and tactics and teach participants how to think like defense lawyers.   Lectures will be presented in teaching blocks as follows: (i) lay witness examinations; (ii) courtroom technology; (iii) expert witness examinations; (iv) oral advocacy: opening statements and closing arguments; and (v) jury voir dire.


List of Judges committed:

Honorable Richard Caschette, Douglas County District Court, Colorado

Honorable Laura Tighe, Jefferson County District Court, Colorado

Honorable Magistrate Judge Craig Shaffer, United States District Court, Colorado

Honorable Marsha Piccone, former Colorado Court of Appeals Judge and Chairperson of the Colorado Supreme Court Civil Jury Instructions Committee

List of faculty committed:

Kevin Kuhn, Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell

Mark Fogg, COPIC Insurance Company

Dean McConnell, COPIC Insurance Company

Larry McClung, Wells Anderson & Race

John Palmieri, Gordon Rees

Steve Paul, Harris Karstaedt

Brad Ramming,  Sweebaum Sands

Brad Shefrin, Pryor Carney

John Streelman, Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell

Jon Sands, Sweetbaum Sands


Authentic Experiences

The practicum exercises and trial will be based on a motor vehicle accident fact pattern arising out of an intersection collision between two vehicles, one substantially speeding over the applicable limit and the other without the right of way after allegedly running a stop sign. The driver of the first vehicle sustained injuries due to the accident and has brought suit against the second driver. Each of the drivers serves as an eyewitness to the collision and each side has retained an accident reconstruction expert to present their respective side of the accident facts as applied to scientific principles. 

General Information

Course materials: Course materials will consist of lecture outlines from each of the speakers and a case file for the motor vehicle accident that is the subject matter for the trial. Case file will include: complaint and answer; traffic accident investigator’s report with diagrams showing scene measurements; photographs of accident scene and damaged vehicles; transcripts of recorded statements given by both plaintiff and defendant; documents showing that plaintiff may have been late for work; cell phone records showing that plaintiff may have sent a text message near the time of the accident; ticket from a previous incident wherein defendant was cited for disregarding the stop sign at the same intersection; affidavits from two witnesses who attest that defendant told them that defendant admitted to running the stop sign just prior to the collision; accident reconstruction reports from plaintiff and defense experts; accident animations from plaintiff and defense experts; and jury instructions and form of verdict. Course materials will be distributed to students at least two weeks before the program commences.

CLE Credits: Approximately 22 hours of CLE credits will be awarded – (Including at least 1 Ethics credit)

Cost: $700 per student, limited to 18 students, space will be held once payment is received.  Deadline for registration is March 31st.  Registration can be found below 

Meals:  As part of the registration, breakfast and lunch will be provided.