Stephen Susman will deliver the
Peter Chase Neumann Lecture on Civil Justice on October 4.

This week, we offer a look at the Advocacy Program at Arizona Law, an award-winning program built and nurtured to national status by Professor Tom Mauet and now flourishing under the leadership of his successor, Professor Barbara Bergman.

For almost 40 years, the program has offered generations of law students training in fundamental advocacy skills.

This academic year the Advocacy Program will host a range of events -- including the upcoming Peter Chase Neumann Lecture on Civil Justice. Program faculty coach multiple teams in skills competitions. The program also features an expanded curriculum and active engagement with College of Law alumni and other law professionals. 

There are many opportunities for you to be involved. Read on! 

Until the footnotes,


Engage with Arizona Law's Advocacy Program

There are upcoming opportunities to participate in our Advocacy Program, whether you want to improve your own skills or help students hone theirs.
Peter Chase Neumann Lecture on Civil Justice

Nationally known lawyer Stephen Susman will deliver the Peter Chase Neumann Lecture on Civil Justice on Thursday, October 4, at 5:30 p.m. in Room 160. The talk is entitled, "Why We Need to Preserve Jury Trials and How to Do It."

Widely recognized as one of the country's top litigators, Susman has been honored by, among others, The National Law Journal, the Best Lawyers in America, and American's Top Trial Lawyers. He received the Litigator of the Year Award and Top U.S. Litigator Award (twice) in the International Commercial Litigation's worldwide annual poll of lawyers. He is the founder of the national firm of Susman Godfrey.

Throughout his career he has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in high-profile cases: for Northrop in the McDonnel Douglas F-18 jet fighter case; former House Speaker Jim Wright in his ethics battle; the Hunt brothers in lender liability litigation; and the state of Arkansas in a milk price-fixing case.

Please plan to join me as Stephen Susman delivers the Neumann Lecture, again made possible through the generosity of our alumnus, Peter C. Neumann, class of '64.

OPPORTUNITY: All Arizona alumni, students, staff, faculty, and community members are invited. A brief reception follows the lecture. Please register here.

Last year's Neumann Lecture by Susan Saladoff.

Jury Improvement Project Luncheon
Apart from his practice and teaching lawyers and law students across the country, Susman has a keen interest in examining the phenomenon of disappearing jury trials. 

The Civil Jury Project, his national project with New York University, has organized more than twenty successful "jury improvement lunches" where state and federal court jurors share their thoughts on how the justice system and jury duty can be improved.

The Jury Improvement Project will be hosting a luncheon in the Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie lobby, also on Thursday, October 4, from noon - 1:30. (There is plenty of space to work in our library for those who have downtime between the luncheon and the lecture and want to stay on campus.)

OPPORTUNITY: Practicing lawyers, or anyone interested in the jury process, may register here. Cost of the lunch is $20.


American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL) 2019 Regional Competition

Arizona Law will host this highly competitive regional competition January 25-27, 2019. 

Alumni Ted Schmidt ('77) and Peter Akmajian ('84) are helping to plan and organize the competition, and need broad support from the larger community. Special thanks to Chief Judge Kyle Bryson and Judge Deborah Bernini ('81) for securing Pima County Superior Court facilities for the tournament.

OPPORTUNITY: We need at least 64 volunteer witnesses for each of the three preliminary rounds on Friday, January 25, and Saturday, January 26, as well as roughly 24 additional witnesses on Sunday, January 27. If you know of anyone who would like to be a witness, please have them contact Marissa White at mwhite@email.arizona.edu or 520-626-1114.

OPPORTUNITY: We are also in need of judges for the competition. If you are interested in judging, please contact Peter Akmajian at pakmajian@azinjurylaw.com or 520-545-7662.


Barry Davis National Trial Team

Through the continuing generosity of donor Brooke Davis, the Barry Davis National Trial Team will not only attend the regional ACTL Competition, but has been invited for the first time to attend the 2018 Tournament of Champions in Philadelphia in late October. Our team was selected based upon their performances over the previous three years at the ACTL National Trial Competition. Members this year include: Jesus Alonso, Brianna Braun, Amy Brown, Sasha Charls, Karen Donderewicz, Mika Galilee-Belfer, Brian Heddell, and Will Vitkus. The coaches are Brian Chase ('11) and Travis McGivern.

Last year's Barry Davis National Trial Team.

Current year team members practice trial skills.

Jenckes Closing Argument Competition

A hallmark of the fall semester is the friendly rivalry inspired by the annual Jenckes Closing Argument Competition on Friday, November 9th. Two-person teams vie for the coveted Jenckes Cup, which has been traded between the Arizona Law and ASU for 48 years.

Named for the late Joseph A. Jenckes, a 1961 UA law alumnus and prominent Phoenix trial attorney, the competition is sponsored by the American College of Trial Lawyers to encourage camaraderie and friendly competition and to showcase the importance of trial advocacy skills training. ACTL members also judge the competition.

OPPORTUNITY: The Jenckes Competition is open to all, and will be held at the college on Friday, November 9 at 5:30 p.m. Come support our students in their quest to reclaim the cup!


Training and Teaching Opportunities

Each spring Arizona Law will be offering a two-weekend course, Taking and Defending Depositions. 

Scheduled for April 12-14 and April 19-21, 2019, the course operates on a highly interactive model, in a simulated deposition setting with constructive faculty technique. 

Ten slots in the class are reserved for attorneys who wish to hone their deposition skills. The remaining twenty-two slots are for law students who have an interest in litigation. Last year, many attorneys and judges took time to provide feedback to the students in the class. We are so grateful for their help in educating our students.


In addition to these special activities, the core of the Advocacy Program still consists of the Evidence, Basic Trial Advocacy, Advanced Trial Advocacy, and Pretrial Litigation classes, which focus on the practical skills needed by all litigators. 

Many of the Basic and Advanced Trial Advocacy exercise classes are now held in two College of Law courtrooms at the Consolidated Justice Courts downtown. A new course on Interviewing, Counseling, and Negotiating is now offered each fall, and Professor Bergman is exploring other offerings in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and the use of experts.

Around the College
Plan to Attend Signature Lectures at the College of Law

October 4
Peter Chase Neumann Lecture on Civil Justice
with Stephen Susman
Why We Need to Preserve Jury Trials and How to Do It
October 18 
McCormick Society Lecture
with Erwin Chemerinsky
How Your Constitutional Rights Became Unenforceable
November 14 
Darrow K. Soll Memorial Lecture
with Stephen Bright
Human rights and capital punishment expert

In the News

Arizona Public Media/Arizona 360, interview with professor Shefali Milczarek-Desai

AZ Big Media, highlighting Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship Clinic and Arizona Public Patent Program, quoting professor Allan J. Sternstein

Through the leadership of Tom Mauet and now Barbara Bergman, and through the rich and evolving offerings in our Advocacy Program, our alumni have consistently supported and demonstrated their commitment to future lawyers and legal professionals. 

I encourage you to become connected with our Advocacy Program and continue to shape our curriculum and outreach efforts. If you have questions about the Advocacy Program I hope you will contact me or Professor Bergman





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