Attorneys To Sharpen 'Voir Dire' Skills At Baylor Law School Program

May 14, 2003

by Alan Hunt

The Waco chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) is inviting attorneys from across Texas to improve their jury selection skills during the chapter's Masters on Jury Selection Program, scheduled for May 16 at Baylor Law School. Registration will begin at 7:30, followed by the 8:30 a.m. program in the James Kronzer Appellate Advocacy Courtroom.

Founded in California and headquartered in Dallas, ABOTA is a national association of more than 5,600 trial lawyers and judges, dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the civil jury trial right provided by the 7th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

More than 100 Texas attorneys and Baylor law students are expected to attend the program.

"We have some of the best trial lawyers in America participating in this program to share their vast knowledge and experience," said David Cherry, program director and past president of the Waco ABOTA chapter. "The (program) faculty is unsurpassed in its expertise in picking a jury. As all trial lawyers know, jury selection is vitally important to the outcome of any jury trial. Anyone who tries lawsuits must know how to successfully pick a jury, and this program is designed to provide needed training for lawyers of all skill and experience levels."

Program speakers, their topics and presentation times are:

• Lisa A. Blue of Dallas, 8:45 a.m., "Voir Dire from a Plaintiff's Perspective;"

• James H. "Blackie" Holmes III of Dallas, 9:30 a.m., "Voir Dire from a Defense Perspective;"

• Justice Bill Vance, 10th Court of Appeals, Waco, who will preside over a 10:30 a.m. demonstration of Voir Dire with a real jury panel (plaintiff, Daniel W. Bishop II of Austin; defense, David J. Beck of Houston);

• Dr. Jaine E. Fraser of the Trial Psychology Institute, Dallas, who will moderate a 1 p.m. panel discussion on jury selection strategy and techniques, featuring Vance, Bishop and Beck;

• Judge Alan Mayfield of 74th District Court, McLennan County, 2 p.m., "Voir Dire - A View from the Bench;"

• Fraser, 2:45 p.m., "Tips for Getting the Most out of Jury Selection;"

• Holmes, 3:45 p.m., "The Texas Lawyers' Creed: An Attorney's Vademecum-Indispensable Guide."

The program will conclude at 4:45 p.m. with a question and answer session moderated by Cherry.

The program will provide participants with 6.75 hours of continuing legal education credit, including one hour of professionalism/ethics. Attorneys must complete a minimum of 15 hours of accredited continuing legal education (CLE) each year to meet State Bar of Texas requirements.

For more information, call the ABOTA Foundation, which is sponsoring the event, at (800) 779-5879.

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