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

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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 Agenda 

Program Information




Registration Fee—
AAJ Members: $1,495

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).  

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.

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

Cancellation Policy:
All cancellations for our programs must be submitted in writing.

For more information or assistance, please call 800.622.1791 or 202.965.3500, ext. 8612.

On-Demand CLE

You can purchase this seminar to watch through online streaming and downloading or on hard copy discs. Share with your office and build your firm's resource library. Recordings may be accepted for MCLE credit in your state. Visit AAJ's online audio and video provider Playback Now »


For additional assistance
Please call 800.241.7785

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Registration (Continental Breakfast Available)
8:30 – 9:00 am 

Morning Session
9:00 am – 12:00 pm 

Reenactment in an Opening Statement (Demonstration)

Improv:  An Introduction to Voice and Body

Improv exercises to warm up voice and body:  As lawyers, our courtroom tools are our voices and our bodies. Of the five ways of communicating (spacework (i.e., engaging in a particular physical activity); movement; emotion; character; and words), lawyers tend to ignore all but words. These exercises will help the participants understand the power of non-verbal communication and to better understand the use of movement in the sacred space that is a courtroom.

Hero-centric Story Structures

Hero-centric story structure:  The key to trial is story, but in order to understand how to tell a client’s story, the lawyer must first understand the component parts to classic herocentric story structure, as well as the character archetypes in such stories. This part of the course will focus on teaching the participants the nature of three act story structure (ordinary world, new world, climax and return), how the various parts of trial fit within that structure, how to paint the various characters in the case so that the jury will understand them to be Villain, Victim, Mentor or Hero, which, ultimately, is the role of the jurors. We will then transition to discovering the story in action, then to action-techniques for structuring the story.

Lunch (on your own)
12:00 – 1:00 pm 

Afternoon Session
1:00 – 5:30 pm 

Discovering the Story of a Case:  Psychodramatic Storytelling

This part of the course is designed to show the participants how to discover the stories in their cases through dramatic reenactment techniques that bring the stories alive, thereby not only discovering the stories, but providing the participants with material that can be shown to the jury, as opposed to just told.

Faculty Demonstrations:  Trial Pieces Based on Story Discovered

Story Spine Exercises Based on Story Discovered

 Breakout Sessions:  Story Spine


Networking Reception
5:30 – 6:30 pm 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Continental Breakfast Available
8:30 – 9:00 am 

Morning Session
9:00 am – 12:00 pm 

Introduction to Basic Psychodrama and Reenactment Techniques

Two-chair Work:  Climbing Inside Your Client's World

Afternoon Session
12:00 – 5:15 pm  

Buffet Lunch and Story Clips
12:00 – 1:15 pm 

 Breakout Sessions:  Discovering Personal  Stories in Action Using Psychodramatic Techniques Reenactment

Clips to Illustrate Story


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Continental Breakfast Available
8:30 – 9:00 am 

Morning Session
9:00 am – 1:00 pm

 Breakout Session:  Discovering Stories in Participant Cases

Shaping/Molding Pieces of a Case Story into Action in Opening, Closing, Direct Examination or Cross-Examination (Demonstration and Coaching)
Examples in big group of how to put pieces of a case story into action in Opening/Closing, or Direct/Cross.

 Breakout Sessions:  Putting Cases into Action in the Courtroom
Break out sessions for individual training in small group settings on putting cases into action in courtroom.

Lunch (on your own)
1:00 – 2:00 pm 

Afternoon Session
2:00 – 4:00 pm 

Breakout Sessions:  Putting Cases into Action in the Courtroom (continued)

Processing and Final Thoughts


CLE Information
Earn approximately 20* CLE and NCA credits to be applied to your participation in the NCA's Achievement Recognition Program. For more general CLE information consult the FAQs or CLE coordinator at 800.622.1791, ext. 8612.

Professional Recognition Programs
Click here to learn more about AAJ's Professional Recognition Programs, Achievement Recognition Program (ARP)  and Advanced Studies in Trial Advocacy (ASTA), or call 800.622.1791 or 202.965.3500, ext. 8612.

The Achievement Recognition Program (ARP) provides Advocate, Fellow, and Diplomate recognition to AAJ members. To gain ARP credits, submit a certificate of attendance for every seminar, college, and convention you attend.

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