September 16 – 18, 2018 | Denver Hilton City Center | Denver, CO

Day 2 Keynote

Jim Brosnahan
Morrison & Foerster LLP
San Francisco, CA

How did you get your start with NITA?
Sol Schreiber and I did a lecture on federal evidence and he invited me out to Boulder. We had no written materials, the teaching method was just beginning, but we had some of the best
trial lawyers in the United States as faculty and very diverse students. My daughter, Amy, played the role of a witness to a bank robbery I had tried. She is a judge now.

What made you want to speak about skills training at NITA’s first annual summit?
Two things: the debt I personally owe to NITA and the class I’m teaching on Persuasion at Boalt Hall.

Throughout your career, what changes have you observed in the lawyers you’ve mentored and worked with after they’ve had trial skills training?
A number of lawyers have gone to have careers as trial lawyers. I may have done the first in-house training that produced some very fine trial lawyers at Morrison & Foerster.

You’ve tried over 150 cases in your distinguished legal career. What is most common thing you’ve seen lawyers repeatedly do in the courtroom that you know could be fixed if they
attended a NITA trial skills program?

Adapt everything they do in the courtroom to their audience, whether judge or jury. Not doing that can be fatal.

Day 2 Emcee

Kelly-Ann Clarke
AT&T Legal Services
Bellaire, TX

In 2015, she joined the legal departmet at AT&T Sevice, Inc. and currently serves as an Assistant Vice President- Senior Legal Counsel in Litigation.

Ms. Clarke writes and speaks on various professional development issues for young lawyers,diversity and disaster preparedness. She devotes much of her time to local, state and national bar associations. She has served locally in the Galveston County Young Lawyers Association, Houston Young Lawyers Association, the Galveston Bar Association and Houston Bar Association. On the state level, Ms. Clarke was a Director for the Texas Young Lawyers Association and integral in the production of four of TYLA’s films, receiving an Emmy® Award as a producer on the TYLA’s They Had a Dream Too: Young Leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. Ms. Clarke also served on a number of State Bar of Texas Committees, including the Grievance and Professionalism Committees. Nationally, Ms.Clarke has served as Chair of the nation’s young lawyer organization, the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division. She has served the larger ABA in the ABA’s House of Delegates and Board of Governors and in its larger diversity and disaster relief efforts.

Outside of bar activities, Ms. Clarke has volunteered her time for Meals on Wheels, AIDSWalk Houston, as a director of her homeowner’s association, as a member of the Galveston Historic Records Task Force and on the board of the As One Foundation. In her spare time, Ms. Clarke enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She enjoys mystery novels, historical biographies, dancing, movies, dinner parties, party planning, college basketball, sewing and sunshine!

Day 3 Keynote

Jim Sandman
Legal Services Corporation
Washington, DC

What made you want to speak about the importance of volunteerism at NITA’s first annual summit?
Volunteers are essential in the work I do. I’m President of the Legal Services Corporation, the country’s largest funder of civil legal aid programs for low-income people. We fund 133 independent legal aid programs, with more than 800 offices serving every county in every state. Our goal is to provide access to justice for people who can’t afford a lawyer. We don’t have nearly the financial resources we need to meet that goal, so legal aid programs depend on a large corps of dedicated pro bono volunteers to expand their reach.

What is LSC’s connection to NITA?
For the past several years, NITA has generously allowed legal aid lawyers whose programs LSC funds to participate in NITA trainings without charge. This has given legal aid lawyers access to first-class training that would otherwise be out of reach for them.

What outcomes have you observed among staff who’ve gone through trial skills training with NITA?
They are confident, effective, and strategic. They are better courtroom lawyers because of NITA training and achieve excellent results for their clients. They rave about the difference NITA training has made for them.

You’ll be speaking in front of hundreds of people at NITAVision. Got any advice for those terrified of public speaking to such a large audience?
You’ll be speaking in front of hundreds of people at NITAVision. Got any advice for those terrified of public speaking to such a large audience?

Day 1 Keynote

David Stern
Equal Justice Works
Washington, DC

What made you want to speak about the importance of trial skills training at NITA’s first annual summit?
I am a big believer in experiential learning of practical skills and have been a longtime fan of NITA—it is best-in-class in teaching trial advocacy skills to new lawyers. Every time I have attended a NITA training, I wonder why trial skills are not a required element in law school, along with interviewing, counseling, and negotiating.

What is Equal Justice Work’s connection to NITA?
Each year, Equal Justice Works organizes the Leadership Development Training, a series of workshops where our Fellows learn to maximize the impact of their Fellowships, and gain the skills they need for long and successful careers in public interest law. Since 2007, NITA has provided an intensive day-and-a-half-long training to select Fellows as a supplement to their Leadership Development Training. Judge Ann Claire Williams, who serves on both the Equal Justice Works Board of Directors and the NITA Board of Trustees, connected our organizations several years ago.

What outcomes have you observed among staff who’ve gone through trial skills training with NITA?
The NITA training is highly interactive. It gets new lawyers to be on their feet, practicing openings, direct and cross examinations, and closing arguments. Our Fellows gain a competitive edge and leave the training feeling more assured in their ability to gather information, analyze facts, and tell a compelling story. Public interest lawyers often don’t get the same opportunity that Biglaw attorneys do to receive this high-level skills training, so it’s a very important opportunity for our Fellows to be able to access this training.

Why is it crucial that public service lawyers have good trial skills?
Trial advocacy skills are essential for great lawyering, particularly for public interest lawyers who are often facing David versus Goliath battles. Having the poise and precision to effectively and efficiently represent a client before the court helps to level the playing field against larger and better-funded defendants. I have found that the framework taught by NITA helps lawyers present their arguments more clearly and confidently, which empowers them to be stronger advocates for their clients, both in and out of the courtroom.

Day 2 Speakers

Barbara S. Barron
Hofstra Law School
Port Washington, NY


Professor Barron returned to Hofstra in 1995 as a professor. Since that time, she has focused her teaching interests on improving the law school’s skills curriculum. She has created and has taught innovative skills oriented simulations courses that are grounded in criminal law, commercial law, and transactional law. She is currently the director of Hofstra’s trial techniques program and has been the law school’s director of student advocacy programs. In addition, she serves as director of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy’s (NITA) Basic Skills Northeast Regional Program. She has taught in many trial and pre-trial deposition skills courses as part of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy’s “in-house” private programs.

Henry Brown
Morrison & Foerster LLP
San Francisco, CA


As director of advocacy programs at USF, Assistant Professor Brown oversees all advocacy programs, trial and appellate. He has taught at numerous law schools, including Stanford Law School and UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law. His courses include Evidence, Law & Literature, and Constitutional Law.

Daniel Deasy
Ammarell Deasy LLP
Englewood, CO


Mr. Deasy has taught more than 50 NITA courses, including the National Session, the Rocky Mountain Regional and a substantial number of in-house programs, traveling to Illinois, Minnesota, Vermont, Washington, D.C. and California along the way. He recently served as the Program Director for the Department of Homeland Security’s United States Customs and Border Protection Chief Counsel Advanced Advocacy Program conducted in Boulder, Colorado. He brings a wealth of courtroom experience and advocacy knowledge to the teaching arena, having prosecuted and defended well over 250 trials and contested hearings in criminal, civil and family law courtrooms across the State of Colorado.

Christina Habas
Keating Wagner Polidori et al
Denver, CO


Since 1991, she has become senior faculty (serving as Program Director for more than 25 programs), travelled the United States (from Seattle to New York, from St. Petersburg to San Francisco) and had the privilege of teaching solicitors in Ireland, lawyers in Macedonia, and judges in Australia. Her focus is on storytelling techniques to increase persuasion, jury selection and powerful Opening Statements. She won the Robert Keeton Award for Outstanding Service as a NITA Faculty Member in 2014.

Karen Hester
Center for Legal Inclusiveness
Denver, CO


Karen Hester, JD, LL.M. in Taxation, has more than 10 years of experience working in diversity and inclusiveness. In 2015, she was named a Diversity Champion by NALP’s Diversity & Inclusion Section, which recognized 11 individuals nationally. She is an accomplished trainer, presenter, facilitator, and industry leader on the topic of diversity and inclusion in the legal profession.

Kenzo Kawanabe
Davis Graham & Stubbs
Denver, CO


Kenzo Kawanabe is a partner at Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP, and is a trial lawyer who represents clients in a variety of matters relating to commercial disputes, mass torts, and intellectual property.  He has significant litigation and trial experience in high-stakes cases including: (1) obtaining a $43 million verdict for a software applications company in the aviation industry; (2) serving as trial counsel for a supermajor oil company in a dispute with the State of California concerning breach of contract and environmental claims exceeding $100 million; and (3) leading the Colorado defense team regarding hundreds of plaintiffs, as part of a nationwide mass tort litigation against a pharmaceutical company.  He is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Ben Rubinowitz
Gair Gair Conason et al
New York, NY


Throughout his 30-year legal career, Ben Rubinowitz has made his mark as a leading trial lawyer combining hard work and dedication with his remarkable courtroom skills and presence. Mr. Rubinowitz began his career as a prosecutor, where he honed the trial skills that would become his hallmark. From there, he began serving as a trial lawyer representing severely injured plaintiffs in personal injury cases, eventually joining GGCRBHS&M in 1989. For the past 15 years Mr. Rubinowitz was featured in New York Magazines’ article on “Best Lawyers in New York”. For the past 12 years Ben has been recognized in the New York Times as one of the “Top 100” lawyers in the New York Metro area, as evaluated by New York Super Lawyers. Ben was honored by being elected to be a member of the prestigious Inner Circle of Advocates. The Inner Circle of Advocates is limited to 100 members considered among the best plaintiffs attorneys in the United States and also to be “lawyers of excellent character and integrity.”

Perry Russell-Hunter
Georgetown Univ Law School
Arlington, VA


Mr. Russell-Hunter is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. where he has taught trial advocacy and civil litigation practice for well over two decades and was just named the Charles Fahy Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Law for 2016-2017. Mr. Russell-Hunter has served on the faculty of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy trial and deposition programs for the same period and now serves, with C. Coleman Bird, as the Program Director of the NITA DC Deposition Skills Program and Expert Deposition Program. Mr. Russell-Hunter was also a Past President of, a charter member in, and a Master of the Federal American Inn of Court in Washington, D.C., where, from 1990 to 2010, he was involved in teaching litigation and trial advocacy skills to practicing attorneys and law students. In the American Inns of Court, instruction by judges and practicing attorneys emphasizes ethics and civility in trial advocacy

Karen Steinhauser
Law Office of Karen Steinhauser
Denver, CO


Karen Steinhauser is a trial lawyer, Adjunct Law School Professor and NITA Instructor. She has practiced law for 36 years and has tried more than 250 jury trials. She has been recognized as a Super Lawyer from 2012-2017. Karen has taught Evidence and Trial Advocacy as well as other substantive classes at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law for 26 years, and was the travelling mock trial coach for 17 years, leading the team to two National Championships. She has been a faculty member for NITA for 25 years, serving as a program Director for custom programs such as Trial Skills Programs, Deposition Programs, Fact Finding Programs and Mediation Programs, and has also served as co-Program Director for NITA’s flagship National Trial Skills Program.

Ann Williams
Jones Day
Chicago, IL


When President Ronald Reagan appointed Judge Williams to an Article III federal judgeship in 1985, she was the first African-American woman appointed to the district court in Illinois and in the Seventh Circuit. In 1999, she was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit by President Bill Clinton, becoming the first African-American ever appointed to the Seventh Circuit and the third African-American woman to serve on any federal appeals court.

Day 3 Speakers

Hon. Margo Brodie
Brooklyn Law School
Brooklyn, NY


For ten months in 2005 through 2006, Judge Brodie served as a Legal Advisor on behalf of the United States Department of Justice to several Nigerian prosecution agencies to assist them in the areas of public corruption, economic and financial fraud, and human trafficking. From 2008 through June 2015, Judge Brodie has provided training to prosecutors and other law enforcement officials from various countries in Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean, and Eastern Europe, including Tanzania, Lesotho, Swaziland, Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Rwanda, Uganda, Cameroon, Liberia, Benin, Togo, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Jordan, Trinidad, the Bahamas, and Bosnia and Herzegovina on numerous topics including human trafficking and public corruption. Judge Brodie has also participated in human trafficking symposia in several countries including Chile and South Korea. Judge Brodie is a Professor of Legal Writing at Brooklyn Law School, where she has been teaching first year law students since 2009.

Angela Vigil
Baker & McKenzie LLP
Miami, FL


Baker & McKenzie, North American Director of Pro Bono and Community Service. Ms. Vigil is responsible for the direction of pro bono and community service projects in the firm’s 10 offices throughout the U.S. and Canada and leads the Firm’s region-wide pro bono practice. She regularly litigates cases related to juvenile justice, civil rights, children’s law, criminal law and other areas of public interest law. Ms. Vigil is involved with both training and mentoring the firm’s attorneys on pro bono projects and matters. As Director of Pro Bono and Community Service, Ms. Vigil routinely represents the firm in national and global conferences relevant to the firm’s pro bono work.