ATLA's Ultimate Trial Advocacy College Faculty

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ATLA's Ultimate Trial Advocacy College Faculty 

Program Information



Registration Fees:

Regular Registration Fee: $2,195

You can attend your first AAJ Education College at 25% off, if you are an AAJ member & have been admitted to the bar for five years or less. (Does not apply if you have previously attended an AAJ Education seminar or college).    

Register two or more lawyers from your firm at the same time, and take $70 off the registration fee for each registrant.

AAJ Paralegal Affiliates may attend this college and receive 50% off the registration fee if they are employed by, and attending with, an AAJ plaintiff attorney (Regular, Life, Sustaining, President’s Club, or Leaders Forum) with the same firm address.

CLE Credits: 34.5

Cancellation Policy:
All cancellations must be submitted in writing. For more information or assistance, please call 800.622.1791 or 202.965.3500, ext. 8612.

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Gregory S. Cusimano, course advisor, concentrates his practice on serious personal injury and wrongful death cases.  He is coeditor of AAJ’s Litigating Tort Cases (AAJ Press/West 2004).  Mr. Cusimano is a member of AAJ’s Board of Governors, a past member of the NCA Board of Trustees, a chair of the AAJ Press Advisory Board, a Diplomate of AAJ’s NCA, and past president of the Alabama Trial Lawyers Association.  Mr. Cusimano was cochair of AAJ’s Blue Ribbon Committee to study juror bias, and continues to conduct research on tort reform rhetoric and juror attitudes.  Mr. Cusimano is with the law firm of Cusimano, Keener, Roberts, Knowles & Raley, LLC in Gadsden, Alabama and the trial consulting firm of Winning Works, LLC.

R. Eddie Davidson is a Nashville, Tennessee based lawyer who concentrates his practice in catastrophic injury. He has litigated and/or consulted in cases throughout the United States, from California to the Carolinas. His representation involves families who have been seriously injured as a result of another’s inattention, carelessness, or irresponsibility. He is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell, has been named as Nashville’s Best of the Bar and is listed among Super Lawyers of the Mid-South in the category of Plaintiff Litigation.

Gregory A. Eiesland concentrates his practice in nursing home abuse and neglect, truck and auto wrecks, medical negligence, defective products, and unsafe premises cases.  He is the current treasurer of AAJ’s Nursing Home Litigation Group, a fellow of AAJ’s NCA, a past president of the South Dakota Trial Lawyers Association and of the South Dakota Bar Association, and was a recipient of the South Dakota Trial Lawyer of the Year award. Mr. Eiesland has served on AAJ’s Board of Governors from 1989 to present. He is the recipient of the 2003 Steven J. Sharp award presented by AAJ.  Mr. Eiesland is a partner in the Johnson Eiesland Law Offices, PC in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Robert M. Gerchen concentrates in jury research, case specific consulting services, and consulting one-on-one with attorneys, assisting them with courtroom presentation skills and storytelling techniques.  Mr. Gerchen also presents a series of courtroom communication workshops around the country.  He brings over 20 years’ experience on stage, screen, and behind the microphone to the courtroom arena.  He is the author of 101 Quick Courtroom Tips for Busy Trial Laywers.  Mr. Gerchen is the director of the St. Louis, Missouri office of Litigation Insights.

Katherine James and Alan Blumenfeld are cofounders of ACT of Communication in Culver City, California whose workshops have trained more than 30,000 lawyers and whose work as part of trial teams has taken more than 1,000 cases to trial.  Their expertise is in helping to make attorneys more effective in live communication as well as to prepare witnesses for deposition, mediation, arbitration, and trial.  They have been a part of the faculty at various trial colleges, universities, and law schools including AAJ’s Ultimate Trial Advocacy Course:  Art of Persuasion.  ACT of Communication’s newest project, What Can Lawyers Learn From Actors?, takes their nationally acclaimed workshops and translates them into a packaged video series with workbooks to maximize the interactive learning experience.

Richard A. Jenson, M.S. has been consulting with attorneys for over 20 years.  He concentrates exclusively on trial consulting and conducting research for lawyers throughout the United States in case preparation and jury selection.  Mr. Jenson is a past chair of the Professional Visibility Committee of the American Society of Trial Consultants (ASTC) and the president of Jenson Research & Communications in Austin, Texas.

Rodney Jew is the president and founder of CDS Strategy Consulting, a litigation strategy firm located in Napa, California.  Mr. Jew has developed a comprehensive, proven problem-solving process specifically for trials. This system, called Reverse Planning, requires lawyers to focus first on what it takes to lose their case and on land mines and rebuttals before beginning to develop the case.  Mr. Jew has appeared on the programs of over 65 professional legal conferences at many of the nation’s top law schools and is frequently invited to speak at professional meetings and present at continuing legal education programs.

Patricia F. Kuehn, J.D., M.A., concentrates her practice in jury behavior research and related consulting services.  Ms. Kuehn holds a Master’s degree in Social Psychology with an emphasis on jury behavior and is licensed to practice law.  Ms. Kuehn designs, conducts, and analyzes research including focus groups, damages evaluations, and mock trial simulations.  She uses her knowledge of juror decision-making and more than 12 years of trial consulting experience to advise clients on strategic jury selection, case strategy, case theme development, and courtroom persuasion.  Ms. Kuehn is a solo practitioner in the Chicago metropolitan area.

Edward H. Lazarus is a former senior vice president for State Affairs at the American Association for Justice (formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA)).  He has conducted extensive public opinion research on the civil justice system and provided strategic, political and consulting services to AAJ, state trial lawyer associations, state bar associations, state courts, and individual law firms, as well as to political candidates at the federal, state, and local levels through his consulting firm, Lazarus Strategic Services, in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

Thomas D. Penfield concentrates his practice in personal injury, class actions, and civil law.  In July 2009, he was peer-selected as San Diego County “Top Attorney 2009” (Personal Injury) by the San Diego Daily Transcript and was aced in the top 5% in his area by Super Lawyer Magazine in the Personal Injury-General category.  Mr. Penfield serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego Law School and was awarded the Environmental Lawyer of the Year Award for the Sierra Club’s San Diego Chapter.  Mr. Penfield is a partner with the firm of Casey Gerry Schenk Francavilla Blatt & Penfield, LLC in San Diego, California.

Paul J. Scoptur is a founding partner in the plaintiff’s personal injury litigation firm of Aiken & Scoptur, S.C. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  He is a past cochair of AAJ’s NCA Board of Trustees as well as a past member of the AAJ Board of Governors.  Mr. Scoptur lectures on the state and national level in the area of trial skills.  He is a member of the American Society of Trial Consultants, has extensive experience working as a trial consultant, and is a founding member of Miller, Scoptur, Vesper & Shar, a case consulting and litigation support firm.  He has been named one of the Best Lawyers in America continuously since 2002 and is one of Wisconsin’s top 50 Super Lawyers in the area of personal injury.  Mr. Scoptur is a Diplomate of the NCA and has completed the Advanced Studies in Trial Advocacy curriculum offered by the NCA.

Miriam Weizenbaum concentrates her practice in the areas of medical negligence, products liability, and catastrophic injury litigation.  Her professional memberships include the Rhode Island Bar Association, the Rhode Island Superior Court Bench/Bar Committee, the Rhode Island Civil Liberties Union, AAJ, and the Rhode Island Trial Lawyers.  Ms. Weizenbaum also serves as an officer and on the Governing Board of the Rhode Island Trial Lawyers Association and has lectured in the areas of medical negligence and trial practice.  Ms. Weizenbaum is a founding partner in the law firm of DeLuca & Weizenbaum, Ltd. located in Providence, Rhode Island. 

David A. Wenner, course advisor, concentrates in the areas of personal injury and medical negligence.  Mr. Wenner was cochair of the AAJ’s Blue Ribbon Committee to study juror bias, and continues to conduct research on tort reform rhetoric and juror attitudes.  Mr. Wenner is a past member of AAJ’s NCA Board of Trustees and a Diplomate of AAJ’s NCA.  He is also a contributing author to AAJ’s Litigating Tort Cases (AAJ Press/West 2004), with a chapter on Juror Bias.  He is a partner in the firm of Snyder and Wenner, PC, in Phoenix, Arizona, and a consultant with Winning Works, LLC.

Diane F. Wyzga is an R.N., J.D., and professionally-trained storyteller who works as a trial and ADR consultant. She helps attorneys develop their persuasive communication skills using the techniques and principles of storytelling to translate images into verdict action. With over 20 years of experience, Ms. Wyzga founded Lightning Rod Communications to train attorneys to identify, shape, and effectively deliver their stories using language with power, passion, and precision. She concentrates her practice in compelling oral and written communications, case story, structure and theme, focus groups, and trial strategy.

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