Wednesday April 26, 2017 at 9:00 AM MDT
Friday April 28, 2017 at 1:00 PM MDT

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SpringHill Suites 
1190 Auraria Parkway
Denver, CO 80204

Driving Directions 


January Allen, CDLA At-Large Director & 2017 Trial Academy Chair 
Colorado Defense Lawyers Association 

APRIL 26-28, 2017
in this invaluable trial skills clinic

Approximately 20 hours, to include at least 1 Ethics credit.  

$700 Per Participant for 2.5 day practicum including breakfast, lunch, and a closing happy hour.

A Three-Day Investment Providing Invaluable
Benefits to Your Associates

Opportunities for young attorneys to gain trial experience are becoming exceedingly rare.  Yet, our clients and carriers expect an experienced team when their cases proceed to trial.  The Colorado Defense Lawyers Association Trial Academy offers a trial advocacy program of exceptional quality, at a very reasonable cost, in a convenient 2.5 day format held locally in Denver. 

This intensive program blends small group faculty (3:1 student to mentor) instruction and demonstration with individual student implementation drills. The first day and a half is devoted to subject matter lectures by some of Colorado’s most experienced trial attorneys and jurists on core trial skills, with these teachings reinforced and supported through mentored practicum exercises. This practicum format has proven successful in development of trial presentation skills in a relatively short period of time. 

The third and final day of Trial Academy consists of the attendees’ trial of a premises liability case. Trial Academy attendees will be divided into three trial teams for each Plaintiff and the Defendant. Advocacy skills will be honed through use of facts and exhibits that are helpful and harmful to each party.  This year’s problem involves a case in which injuries were sustained by participants in a recreational dog sledding operation. The sled tipped when rounding a corner ejecting them into the trees surrounding the trail. The participants had signed a liability waiver; however, the dog sledding operation had experienced previous accidents on this part of the trail and the musher was relatively inexperienced. The problem will also afford participants practice in examining standard of care and accident reconstructionist experts. The trials will be presided over by retired judges from JAMS, and decided by a panel of mock jurors. A moderated debriefing will occur between participants and the mock jurors following the verdict. 

This year’s academy will also include an instructional block on the effective use of trial technology.  Representatives from Summit Litigation Services will present, provide hands-on assistance during practicum exercises, and serve as the trial technology vendor for the mock trials. 

List of Committed Faculty: 

  • Jason Young, Pearl Schneider, LLC
  • Stuart Jorgensen, Stuart S. Jorgensen & Associates
  • Scott McGath, Overturf McGath & Hull, P.C.
  • Heather Salg, Patterson & Salg
  • Habib Nasrullah, Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell
  • Tom Henson, Stuart S. Jorgensen & Associates
  • Gregg Rich, Markusson Green & Jarvis
  • Teresa Seymour, The Law Office of Teresa W. Seymour, LLC
  • Katherine Otto, McElroy Deutsch Mulvaney & Carpenter, LLP  
  • Tom Rice, Senter Goldfarb & Rice
  • (Additional Tentative Faculty:  The Honorable Robert McGahey, Denver District Court; David Hersh, Burg Simpson; Matt Holmes, Tucker Holmes; Karen Wheeler, Levy Wheeler Waters)

CLE Credit: Approximately 20 hours, to include at least 1 Ethics credit.  

Cost: $700 per participant.  Space will be reserved once payment is received by CDLA.  Tuition includes breakfast, lunch, and a closing happy hour. 


Here is what last year’s Trial Academy attendees had to say: 

“I felt fortunate to be mentored by such accomplished lawyers in
such a friendly atmosphere.”

“It gave me the belief I could do this in real life. The timing was perfect.
I just had my first solo trial yesterday and there is no doubt this academy
had me prepared and ready to do the job.” 


“I thought the mock trial was an extremely effective learning experience, and really appreciated having both lay people and professionals critique our performance.” 


Space is limited to 18 participants.
Register now as these spaces will fill up quickly!