Trial Advocacy College: Essentials of Civil Litigation Invited Faculty

Text Size

Trial Advocacy College: Essentials of Civil Litigation Invited Faculty 

Program Information


Registration Fee: Members – $995
Nonmembers – $1,245

AAJ New Lawyers Discount-Attend at 25% Off
If you are an AAJ member and have been admitted to the bar for five years or less, you can attend your first AAJ college for 25% off the regular price. Please call to register.

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 from the same firm with the same firm address.

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.


Not an AAJ Member?

Join today to have access to all of the Legal Education AAJ has to offer!

Save money on car rentals

As an AAJ member, you’ll receive special savings when you rent a car using your AAJ Extras benefits.


Get your discount code »

N. John Bey is the managing partner of Bey & Associates, LLC.  He concentrates his practice in serious personal injury and complex civil litigation.  Mr. Bey received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Alabama School of Law and held positions in the legal department at Proctor & Gamble and General Electric.  He also served as a legal intern in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals under the Honorable Nathaniel R. Jones.  He is a member of the American Bar Association, the National Bar Association, the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association (GTLA), the Farah Law Society, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated, and is a member of AAJ’s Motor Vehicle Highways and Premises Liability Section and Sole Practitioner & Small Firm Section.  He is active in several philanthropic groups, including Habitat for Humanity and the Ronald McDonald House.  Bey & Associates, LLC is located in Atlanta, Georgia.

John W. deGravelles is a senior partner in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based law firm of deGravelles, Palmintier, Holthaus & Frugé, L.L.P.  He graduated from Louisana State University Law School with honors (Order of the Coif) in 1974.  He is past president of the Louisiana Association for Justice (formerly the Louisiana Trial Lawyers Association).  Mr. DeGravelles currently serves on AAJ’s Board of Governors and is a member of AAJ’s Leaders Forum and Admiralty Law, Products Liability, and Professional Negligence Sections.  He is a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers  and past president of the Louisiana Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA).  He is a member of the adjunct faculty at Louisiana State University Law School and a regularly faculty member of Tulane Law School’s Summer Session in Rhodes, Greece.  He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to teach American Maritime Private International Law at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Law School in Thessaloniki, Greece, in 2001.  He has been named a Louisiana Super Lawyer every year since its inception in 2007.  Mr. deGravelles is the author of the amicus curiae brief filed with the United States Supreme Court by the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (now AAJ) in Stewart v. Dutra Construction Company, Inc.  He has written extensively in the area of maritime law, including “The Deepwater Horizon Rig Disaster: Issues of Personal Injury and Death,” 85 Tulane Law Review 1075 (2011) and “Supreme Court Charts Course on Maritime Punitive Damages,” University of San Francisco Maritime Law Journal (2010).

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 Lawyers.  Mr. Gerchen is the director of the St. Louis, Missouri office of Litigation Insights.

Russ M. Herman is a senior partner of Herman, Herman & Katz, LLC, where he concentrates his practice in personal injury, maritime, motor vehicle collision, wrongful death, catastrophic injury, and products liability litigation.  He served as President of the American Trial Lawyers Association (ATLA, now the American Association for Justice), President of the Civil Justice Foundation, and President of the Roscoe Pound Foundation.  He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys and the National College of Advocacy (NCA), is a Fellow and Director of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), is a Fellow of the International Society of Barristers, and is a Barrister of the American College of Barristers.  In 2001, Mr. Herman was awarded the Leonard M. Ring Champion of Justice Award.  Mr. Herman was also awarded the ATLA Lifetime Achievement Award and the Joe Tonahill Award.  He is “AV” rated by Martindale-Hubbell and was selected for listing in Naifeth and Smith’s Best Lawyers in America in Personal Injury, Maritime, Complex Litigation, and Appellate Trial Practice Areas.  The National Law Journal named Mr. Herman as one of Louisiana’s top ten litigators and he has been featured in the American Law Journal and Fortune magazine.  He was also selected as one of America’s 500 Leading Lawyers and Jurists by Lawdragon.  Mr. Herman has authored over 200 articles, papers, and books on civil trial practice, including Courtroom Persuasion: Art, Drama & Science (West Group) and West Group’s two-volume series on Louisiana personal injury.  He has been published in Am Jur, TRIAL, The Forum, and Personal Injury Annual, among other publications.  He is a member of AAJ’s Leaders Forum and Admiralty Law, Business Torts, Motor Vehicle Highway and Premises Liability, Professional Negligence, and Railroad Law Sections, and the Section on Toxic, Environmental, and Pharmaceutical Torts (STEP).  Herman, Herman & Katz, LLC, is located in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Stephen J. Herman, course advisor, concentrates his practice in products liability, maritime, class action, premises liability, and multi-district litigation.  He is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, serves on the Board of the Louisiana Association for Justice (LAJ), and is a State Delegate to the American Association for Justice.  He also served as the President of the Civil Justice Foundation and is a member of the Louisiana State Bar and American Bar Associations.  Mr. Herman is an adjunct professor at Tulane University School of Law and Loyola University School of Law and is the author of America and the Law: Challenges for the 21st Century (Gravier House Press).  He has published articles in Sidebar, TRIAL, and the Tulane Law Review, and is the author of three novels.  He is a member of AAJ’s Leaders Forum and Admiralty Law, Business Torts, Insurance Law, and Products Liability Sections. Herman, Herman & Katz, LLC is located in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Richard A. Jenson, M.A. has been consulting with attorneys for over 25 years and conducting research for lawyers throughout the United States in case preparation and jury selection.  His cases have been featured on news broadcasts such as the Today Show, Good Morning America, Primetime Live, and Dateline.  Mr. Jenson frequently speaks before bar associations and legal groups, and has given presentations on juror bias and jury selection to the American Bar Association (ABA), AAJ, and various state legal associations.  He is a past chair of the Professional Visibility Committee of the American Society of Trial Consultants (ASTC), and is a member of the American Psychology and Law Association and the ASTC.  Mr. Jenson is the president of Jenson Research & Communications in Austin, Texas.

Thomas S. McGrath concentrates in construction and consumer law, representing the rights of homeowners in new construction home defects, termite & pest control claims, and real estate fraud.  He is a frequent lecturer on these subjects and a Diplomate of AAJ’s NCA.  Mr. McGrath is a member of AAJ and the Alabama Association for Justice.  The McGrath Law Firm is located in Huntsville, Alabama.

Jennifer E. McKibben concentrates her practice in personal injury, wrongful death, motor vehicle collisions and premises liability litigation.  She is a member of the Indiana State Bar Association, the Allen County Bar Association, the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association, the American Bar Association, and the American Association for Justice. Glaser & Ebbs, LLC is located in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Joel E. Smith is a partner in the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm, LLC, which he co-founded with Mark Kosieradzki in 2004. Mr. Smith represents persons who have been seriously injured and families who have lost a loved one due to others’ wrongful conduct. Heis active in the Minnesota Association for Justice (MNAJ), where he currently serves on the Board of Directors, having previously served from 1994 to 2004, and on its Executive Committee. Mr. Smith also served as the chairperson of MNAJ’s Nursing Home Litigation Committee. Mr. Smith is active in the Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA), where he serves on it Governing Council and has served as the cochair of its Vulnerable Adults Committee. He is a member of AAJ’s Leader’s Forum and is actively involved in AAJ’s Nursing Home Litigation Group. Mr. Smith also serves on the Board of Directors of the Elder Care Rights Alliance, a Minnesota non-profit organization that advocates for the rights and safety of the elderly, and has been a Sustaining Member of the Minnesota Senior Federation. He has been recognized as a SuperLawyer by Law & Politics magazine since 2001, is co-author of Thompson-West’s Tort Litigation’s chapter on nursing home litigation, and is a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm, LLC is located in the Minneapolis suburb of Plymouth in Minnesota.

Tad Thomas concentrates his practice in civil litigation, including motor vehicle and trucking collisions, medical negligence, accounting and auditing negligence, products liability, class actions and other serious personal injury matters.  Mr. Thomas was given the honor of being invited to assist Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway and led the Civil and Environmental Division of the Attorney General’s office.  He was then promoted to one of two Assistant Deputy Attorneys General.  Mr. Thomas serves on AAJ’s NCA Board of Trustees, Minority Caucus, and Press Advisory Board, and donates to AAJ’s PAC.  He is a member of the Louisville Bar Association, Kentucky Justice Association, and Southern Trial Lawyers Association.  Thomas Law Offices is located in Louisville, Kentucky.

Robyn L. Wishart handles a wide variety of cases, including complex personal injury, insurance litigation, defamation, environmental claims, landlord-tenant disputes, commercial arbitrations, and employment and labor.  Ms. Wishart has appeared as counsel before the Provincial and Supreme Court of British Columbia, and several administrative tribunals.  She is a member of the Law Society of British Columbia, the Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia, and the Vancouver Bar Association.  Ms. Wishart is with the firm Slater Vecchio LLP in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The American Association for Justice
777 6th Street, NW, Ste 200 • Washington, DC  20001 • 800.424.2725 or 202.965.3500

© 2014 AAJ