Trial Advocacy College: Guiding Jurors to Courageous Verdicts Using Hero-centric Story Structure, Characters, and Psychodrama with Carl Bettinger and Katlin Larimer Faculty

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Trial Advocacy College: Guiding Jurors to Courageous Verdicts Using Hero-centric Story Structure, Characters, and Psychodrama with Carl Bettinger and Katlin Larimer Faculty 

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Carl Bettinger, M.D., J.D. litigates personal injury, medical negligence, and nursing home neglect claims.  Author of Twelve Heroes, One Voice: Guiding Jurors to Courageous Verdicts (Trial Guides 2011), he practices with the firm of Shapiro Bettinger Chase, LLP in Albuquerque, New Mexico and focuses on bringing trials alive, utilizing a variety of nonconventional approaches, including those from  improvisational acting, storytelling, and psychodrama.  In a recent trial, he sang part of his closing.  Before attending University of New Mexico Law School, Dr. Bettinger went to medical school at Boston University School of Medicine and then completed an internal medicine residency at the University of New Mexico.  In addition to his practice, he serves as an adjunct faculty member at the University of New Mexico School of Law, where he teaches trial practice.  In his spare time he goes fishing.

Katlin P. Larimer, ACSW, has been active in the mental health field since 1974 and has been a Certified Practitioner in Psychodrama and Sociometry since 1984.  She has a Masters in Social Work from the University of Nebraska and was trained in psychodrama by John Nolte, Ph.D. and Ann Hale.  Ms. Larimer is a licensed mental health worker psychodramatist, who has been consulting with lawyers across the U.S., working with their clients, helping them discover the deeper stories in their cases and assisting with focus group research and jury selection.  Ms. Larimer is a cofounder of the National Psychodrama Training Center in Omaha, Nebraska which offers training to lawyers and other professionals in the use of psychodrama. 

J. Conard Metcalf concentrates his practice in auto collisions, products liability, asbestos, and toxic tort litigation.  Mr. Metcalf is a member of Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, American Public Health Association, and New York Academy of Sciences and a founding member of Public Justice.  He serves on the faculty of the Trial Lawyer’s College and Seminar, and is listed in the Best Lawyers in America.  Mr. Metcalf is of counsel with Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd, LLC in Saint Louis, Missouri.

Fredilyn Sison is a graduate of Cornell University and New York University School of Law.  Prior to joining the Federal Defenders of Western North Carolina in the Asheville branch office, she served as an Assistant Federal Defender in the Districts of Nebraska, Nevada and Idaho.  In 2005, she was visiting counsel at the Defender Training Branch and at the U.S. Sentencing Commission in Washington, D.C.  She has served on the faculty for the Federal Trial Skills Academy, the Sentencing Advocacy Workshop, 3Sisters Programs, National Advanced Defenders Program, Non-Capital Mitigation Sentencing Seminar, and Orientation Seminar for Federal Defenders.  Ms. Sison co-authored Trial in Action: The Persuasive Power of Psychodrama, written a chapter on child pornography in Practical Guide for Defending a Federal Case and on Voir Dire in the 3rd edition of Cultural Issues in Criminal Defense, cowrote and edited chapters on Jury Selection and Foreign Law in Defending a Federal Criminal Case, and has published articles on jury selection, cross examination, and the effects of incarceration on families in The Champion and The Warrior.  She has been certified as a practitioner in psychodrama, which employs guided dramatic action to examine problems and issues raised by individuals and groups.  Her interests include reading, hiking, piano, improv, dancing, and acting.

David A. Wenner, course advisor, a partner in the firm of Snyder & Wenner, P.C., in Phoenix, Arizona, 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 member of AAJ’s NCA Board of Trustees, a Diplomate of AAJ’s NCA, and a member of AAJ’s Leaders Forum.  He is also a contributing author to AAJ’s Litigating Tort Cases, published by AAJ Press/Thomson West, with a chapter on Juror Bias.

"Carl Bettinger was very knowledgeable and had great insight.  Mastery of the material.  Possibly the most valuable thing I learned the entire three days was from his opening demonstration based on learning it from directing a recreation of the event.  Brilliant.  Katlin P. Larimer was exceptional, pleasant, and positive.  She has terrific insights and a good understanding of the material.  Very helpful in bringing it into a real world setting to apply it.  J. Conard Metcalf—real world experience that I can apply to my practice.  Engaging, funny, and knowledgeable about the subject matter and made me interested to learn more.  Obviously a real trial lawyer talent." 
—Scott M. Hendler, Austin, TX, 23 years in practice


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