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The Trial Lawyers College Podcast

The Trial Lawyers College Podcast talks to leading attorneys, TLC board members, and faculty about the ideas and the issues that are affecting trial lawyers today. The TLC podcast covers courtroom strategy, communicating with jurors, connecting with clients, methods that drive success, balancing healthy relationships with a busy practice and more.
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Now displaying: July, 2020
Jul 27, 2020

Have you ever wanted to talk to the jury after a trial? TLC podcast host Rafe Foreman recommends it, and in fact insists on it himself. Imagine the insights you could gain from talking to an actual juror about the trial.

Today we have what is likely to be an epic podcast, and a first in TLC history. TLC Graduate Benjamin Cloward (TLC Sept 2013) recently won a $38 million unanimous verdict for an inadequate or negligent security case in Las Vegas, Nevada. Today Ben and one of the jurors on the case join Rafe to give you a few key insights into the trial, her role and experience as a juror, and Ben’s own unique interpretation of how TLC methods and collages helped secure this victory.

Ben reveals some critical insights as to how he accomplished this tremendous feat and how it impacted the jury from the point of view of an actual juror. The vulnerability shown by both of our speakers here today reveals their passion, their drive, and their sincerity. You will not want to miss this journey down the justice highway.

Jul 20, 2020

“If there’s one takeaway from this entire thing, it’s if you’re arguing, you’re losing. No matter where you are in life -- whether it’s a courtroom or with your significant other or your best friend or a complete stranger -- if you’re arguing, you’re already down the wrong path, so take a deep breath, count to ten, and start over.”

TLC graduate and faculty member Renee Stackhouse (TLC Sept 2012) visits with host Rafe Foreman about the transformative power of TLC voir dire methods, both in and out of the courtroom. 

Renee is a serious force in San Diego’s legal community, recognized equally for her tenacity, diligence, legal knowledge, and exceptional trial skills. As an advocate, Renee is lauded for her strategic and empathetic approach, and she is known as a leader in the profession and the community.

In this interview, Renee discusses how voir dire helps to identify the implicit biases that may affect a juror's view on a case, and how honing your active listening skills can help you provide a non-judgmental, safe space for jurors to share their biases. "You have to be willing to be vulnerable with the jurors - to "show them yours" - before they will show up authentically with you," Renee says. She describes how in voir dire (and in life), it is important to listen with an open heart and mind, even if you disagree with what someone is saying. "You have to provide a safe space for people to say what they need to say and feel heard, without trying to change their mind. That's not our job. In a way, it goes against our training because we’re trained to pick a side and advocate for that side, but we have to give jurors the space to come to their own conclusions."

Jul 11, 2020

TLC Podcast host Rafe Foreman interviews TLC graduate, trial lawyer, and faculty member Greg Westfall on the transformative power of TLC methods in preparing for and trying a criminal defense case.

In this wide-ranging interview, Greg discusses the importance of meeting your clients where they are, rather than trying to make them fit an expectation. "People will sense if you don’t like them or are afraid of them. You have to love them. If you do, then you’re thinking about them – what they want and they need." Greg does what it takes to get a complete picture of his clients' story - going to their homes and walking their streets. "Going into the setting gives you a different perspective on the story than you get if you're just listening to the client tell it."

Greg is the faculty leader for TLC's intensive course for criminal defense attorneys, In Defense of the Damned (IDD), scheduled for June 2021. IDD students participate in two days of psychodrama, followed by breakout sessions on opening statement, voir dire and cross-examination using their own cases.

Greg says it is the job of the criminal defense attorney to forge an emotional connection between the defendant and the jury; skills they will learn at the Trial Lawyers College. "We are community people," Greg says. "We are people who live in groups. Your jury is looking at your client and asking, 'is this person one of us?' They are looking at the criminal defense attorney and asking, 'is this person one of us?' It's our job to help them see themselves in our clients and in us."

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