Dan Ambrose

Trial Lawyers University

I grew up in Birmingham, MI. I am the youngest of eight children and attended an all-boys catholic school my whole life until I went to college at the University of Michigan. I went to night school at Detroit College of Law. My dad, my uncle, two of my brothers, and sister were lawyers. My first job was cutting lawns at age 10. I started working for my brother as a house painter at age 12. When I was 16 I started my own painting business and continued throughout high school, college, and law school, and a few years after until I was 32. I practiced criminal defense for eighteen years in Michigan until ten years ago when my roommate from the Trial Lawyers College, Nick Rowley, encouraged me to move to LA to become a PI lawyer. The California Bar took me four tries. I moved to Las Vegas this past March. I have recently taken up pickle ball, skiing and golf. I also think I'm competitive at connect four, backgammon, chess, and ping pong.

Story Telling Skills for Opening & Fundamentals of Cross

Story Telling Skills for Opening & Fundamentals of Cross

Telling a Great story is very different than writing one. Great storytellers are masters of connection. They know how to create illusions, also known as creating space so the listener experiences the story. If there is a verb, there is action and must be movement or you are stuck in the boring narrative. To master connection in the context of opening statement you must master the micro skills of connection; appropriate eye-contact, facial expression control, voice control, hand/body movement, your voice, glance control, and precise use of visuals.

The core skills of cross examination are; one new fact per question, looping, dropping filler words like “and, um, so” etc., dropping tag lines like “right, correct, isn’t it true” using the present tense, delivering dialogue to the jury, effectively using visuals/flip chart, using your hand to control the pace of witness’s answers, and emotional control. I will demonstrate these skills and show you how to acquire them.

Deliberate Practice Applied to Voir DireDeliberate Practice Applied to Voir Dire

Deliberate Practice Applied to Voir Dire

To master voir dire does not take 10,000 hours of practice, but it does require making a commitment to training and deliberate practice.

Nobody becomes a scratch golfer by just watching Tiger Woods, or reading a book by Jack Nicholas, watching golf on tv, or just playing a lot of golf and trying really hard. If you want to become great at golf you would hire a coach, take lessons where you are shown the correct way to hold and swing a club, be recorded swinging, corrected, and try again. Then you would go to the range and practice daily. As you got better you would test your skills on the course, eventually entering tournaments. And of course, continue with your lessons and your DELIBERATE PRACTICE.

The elements of Deliberate Practice are:

1. Having a correct Mental Representation, a mental structure that corresponds to an object, an idea, a collection of information, or a skill.
2. Having a coach who designs you a training program and shows you correct form.
3. Engage in daily solitary practice to perfect the skill
4. Practice the skill in a realistic setting

We all know that the key to a great voir dire is connecting with the jury. Connection is a complex skill that must be divided into its micro-skills which are:

1. Eye contact
2. Voice control
3. Facial expression/state control
4. Hand/body movement
5. Glance control
6. Creating space
7. Word selection
8. Listening

We will demonstrate and explain various patterns of voir dire and how you can start to learn these skills.

TLU Live HB Agenda