National Institute for Trial Advocacy Launches Divorce Advocacy Program

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Modern Divorce Advocacy course marks NITA’s first foray into family law

The National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA), recognized for more than 35 years as the nation’s leading provider of litigation skills training, today announced it is launching a new client advocacy initiative that employs NITA’s established learning-by-doing teaching techniques to train lawyers and other professionals to effectively represent clients throughout a divorce process. This innovative program marks NITA’s inaugural leap into mediation representation specifically for family law disputes.

“Divorce is such a multifaceted issue. There are complex ethical, financial and psychological components that attorneys, mediators, psychologists and financial experts must first understand in order to successfully advocate for affected clients,” program director and instructor Andrew Schepard said. “Whether in the courtroom or the mediation room, NITA’s experiential training methodology will prepare practitioners serving divorce clients for elements such as the presence of children, continuing relationships between spouses after divorce and the intense emotions that are unique to the marital dissolution process.”

The Modern Divorce Advocacy course will focus on direct and cross-examination of a court-appointed mental health expert in a custody dispute, as well as negotiation and client advocacy in mediation sessions. Participants in the course develop a theory of the case in consultation with mental health experts. They conduct direct and cross-examination of expert witnesses, develop a plan for and counsel clients in anticipation of negotiation and mediation and negotiate and represent a client within a mediation session. Participants will also examine the ethical dilemmas lawyers face when representing divorce clients. Program faculty includes experienced divorce lawyers and psychologists who serve as expert witnesses and mediators. The Modern Divorce Advocacy program will take place at St. John’s University - Manhattan Campus on November 17-19. Tuition is $1,495.

About the Instructor

Andrew Schepard is a Professor of Law at Hofstra University School of Law and Director of the Northeast Deposition Program. He has been a consultant to the New York State Law Revision Commission on child custody law, and is a founder of Parent Education and Custody Effectiveness (P.E.A.C.E.), an educational program for divorcing parents. Schepard writes the Law and Children column for the New York Law Journal, is Director of Hofstra University’s Center for Children, Families and the Law and edits the Family Court Review. Schepard was awarded the 1994 Chair's Cup of the Family Law Section of the American Bar Association for meritorious service to the profession. He is an elected member of the American Law Institute and the American Bar Foundation. Schepard is a long-time NITA Program Director.

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.

For more information, visit http://www.nita.org.

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Sheryl Bass
NITA
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