National Institute for Trial Advocacy Launches Mediation Advocacy Training Program

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Celebrated law text drives innovative curriculum initiatives.

The National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA), long recognized as the leading continuing legal education institution, today announced it is launching a mediation advocacy initiative that will bring NITA’s established learn-by-doing methods to professionals who advocate in front of a mediator.

While there are hundreds of training programs for those who wish to sit in the mediator’s seat, NITA’s “Advocacy in Mediation” program is one of the first to train lawyers and other professionals how best to represent their client’s interests during mediation.

“As mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution enter the litigation arena, training lawyers for the distinctive rigors of mediation is crucial to effective representation,” said NITA President and CEO Laurence Rose. “Just as in jury trials, justice is served by improving the skills of advocates for those who need it most.”

The curriculum combines insights from Touro Law Center professor Harold Abramson’s award-winning book, “Mediation Representation,” with NITA’s 35-year history of active, on-your-feet skills training. Abramson is joined by Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Nancy Vaidik and Professor Peter Hoffman, John B. Neibel Chair of Law at the University of Houston Law Center, in designing and delivering the breakthrough training.

“The need for this intensive training is long overdue” Abramson said. “I am both excited and privileged to have the opportunity to work with NITA, the leader in teaching trial lawyers, to fill this gap by developing such a cutting-edge curriculum.”

The “Advocacy in Mediation” course focuses on practical skills to help the advocate choose a mediator, identify the interests of the parties, generate options, elicit the support of the mediator, know when to disclose information, and deal with an adversarial opponent or aberrant mediator, all within the context of developing and implementing a mediation representation plan. Attendees gain hands-on experience by participating in three mediations. This groundbreaking program will provide an overall framework for mediation advocacy that will guide the lawyer and other professionals throughout a dynamic, fast-paced, and unpredictable mediation process.

The inaugural programs will be held in San Diego, CA on December 15-17 and in New York City on February 2-4, 2007. Tuition is $1,295.

About NITA

The National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) is the nation’s leading provider of litigation skills training. A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization based in Louisville, Colorado, NITA pioneered its unique learn-by-doing methodology over 35 years ago and has remained the gold standard in continuing legal education ever since. With an average student/faculty ratio of 4:1 and an all-volunteer faculty drawn from a cadre of judges, law professors and practicing attorneys, attendees at NITA’s week-long basic trial skills “boot camps” experience significant improvement in their ability to advocate for their clients. NITA places a special emphasis on training lawyers who work in child advocacy, tribal law, death penalty defense and violence against women. NITA is also the nation’s third largest publisher of legal texts, many of which are used by renowned law schools.

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Sheryl Bass
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