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Advanced Trial Advocacy Program, May 26 - 30, 2014

The Advanced Trial Advocacy Program is an intensive hands-on course in trial advocacy offering techniques and tips from jury selection to closing arguments. An outstanding group of Montana trial lawyers and judges will demonstrate skills and critique your performance.

The 26th Annual (2014) Trial Advocacy topics are:

                      • Effective Jury Selection 
                      • Compelling Opening Statements 
                      • Creating Dynamic Trial Visuals
                      • Courtroom Communication Techniques
                      • Depositions: Strategy and Purpose
                      • Formulating a Direct Examination Strategy 
                      • Art of Cross Examination 
                      • Presenting and Attacking Expert Testimony 
                      • Persuasive Closing Arguments 
                      • Ethical Pitfalls for Trial Lawyers 

During the week, you will see demonstrations of trial skills by the faculty and have your performances videotaped and critiqued by them. You will try a case sometimes representing the plaintiff and sometimes representing the defendant. You will prepare and present voir dire, an opening statement, a closing argument, and conduct direct, cross, and redirect examinations of fact and expert witnesses. You will learn about effective jury selection and how to use visual aids to enhance your persuasiveness. 

Course Study Case and Schedule

2014 Advanced Trial Advocacy Course Schedule
2014 Case (Dusty Stockard v Mitch Murphy)

On Line Registration is now open.

Download registration form or 
Registration powered by RegOnline
Approved for 30.75 CLE credits including 1.0 ethics - Montana State Bar Course #21869

2014 Online Attorney Registration

Enrollment is limited to 36 (law students desiring to attend may add their name to a wait list at Student Services (at the Law School) in the event the seats are not filled by practicing attorneys). All registration is on a first-come, first-enrolled basis. When the 36 seats are filled, we will keep a wait list in the event of cancellations. Early registration is encouraged.

The cost for attendance and participation is $1200 plus online registration fees. This cost includes instruction, books and materials, continental breakfast and brown bag lunch on day one. A $400 deposit is due no later than May 1, 2014 to reserve a seat in the program. The $800 balance is due and payable no later than May 20, 2014.

Cancellations received prior to May 20, 2014 willl receive a refund less the $75 processing fee and online registration fees. Failure to remit the balance in full by May 20, 2014 will result in the forfeiture of deposit, processing fee and non-refundable online registration fees and seat for the course. No refunds after May 20, 2014.

Scholarship Information

A limited number of scholarships are available through the generosity of the ACTL and ABOTA.  If you are a public service attorney, we encourage you to apply. (Click on the link above)


One block of sleeping rooms is being held at the Holiday Inn Downtown until May 16, 2014. Call 406.721.8550 and ask for the "Advanced Trial Advocacy Attendees" block or book online.

An additional block of sleeping rooms is also being held at the DoubleTree Hilton in Missoula.  Please use the link below or call 406-542-4600, Group Code SLA for the Advanced Trial Advocacy Program.

Holiday Inn Downtown Missoula

Holiday Inn Downtown Missoula
200 South Pattee
Missoula, MT 59802

DoubleTree Hilton Hotel Missoula
Group Code SLA
100 Madison
Missoula, Montana 59802

2014 Advanced Trial Advocacy Program Faculty

Michael D. Cok, Esq.

Founding partner, Cok Kinzler PLLP, Bozeman, Montana.  The University of Montana School of Law (J.D. with honors 1978).  Sustaining member, Montana Trial Lawyers Association, 1979-present (board member, 1989-2013; president, 1998-1999); sustaining member, Association of Trial Lawyers of America, 1981-present; Trial Lawyers for Public Justice; Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers.  Listed in Best Lawyers in America.  Extensive products and professional liability, environmental pollution, and personal injury litigation experience. (pictured are previous ATA faculty)

Randy J. Cox, Esq.

Shareholder, Boone Karlberg P.C., Missoula, Montana.  Northeastern University (J.D. 1979).  Associate, American Board of Trial Advocates; Chair, Montana Board of Bar Examiners; Advisory Commission on Rules of Civil and Appellate Procedure; Montana Defense Trial Lawyers (past president).  Listed in Best Lawyers in America. Extensive experience in commercial, personal injury, toxic tort, and railroad litigation.

Triel D. Culver, Esq.

Triel D. Culver, was born in Anchorage, AK, raised in Helena, MT, and graduated from Helena Senior High School in 1983.  He received his college degree in political science from Middlebury College in Vermont (B.A. 1988) and received his law degree from the University of Montana (J.D. 1993).  Triel began his law career as a judicial law clerk and then as a Deputy County Attorney where he first developed his trial skills in jury trials.  For the next ten years, he defended interstate Class I and short-line railroads in FELA and crossing accident litigation developing a considerable civil jury trial practice.  In June 2004, Triel joined Cliff Edwards’ law firm and his practice since has been focused on plaintiff’s civil litigation helping Montana workers, consumers, landowners, whistle blowers, and injured families.  Triel also represents Montana businesses in commercial litigation including claims involving breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, patent and copyright infringement, trade secret misappropriation, and unfair competition.  In 2007, Cliff and Triel obtained a jury verdict of $21,454,539 in Ammondson v. NorthWestern Corporation, 220 P.3d 1 (Mont. 2009) on behalf of former Montana Power Company employees representing the 87th largest verdict nationally that year and one of the largest ever in Montana.

Cynthia Ford, Esq.

Professor, The University of Montana School of Law. Cornell Law School (J.D. cum laude 1978). Crowley, Haughey, Hanson, Toole & Dietrich, 1978-1983; Davis, Wright & Jones, Seattle, Washington, 1983-1988; solo practice, Bainbridge Island, Washington, 1988-1990. Chief Judge, Suquamish Tribal Court, 1988-1990; Associate Justice, Confederated Salish & Kootenai Court of Appeals, 1997-2000. Litigation practice 1978-1990; law school faculty since 1990, teaching Civil Procedure I and II, Evidence, Family Law and Remedies.  Professor Ford served as the co-coach of the law school’s Trial Team for 22 years. She is the author of the “Montana Civil Pleading and Practice Formbook” and, during her sabbatical 2012-2013, worked on the “Montana Evidence Handbook.”  She is also the author of “Evidence Corner” in Montana Lawyer magazine.

Sean P. Goicoechea, Esq.

Partner, Moore, Cockrell, Goicoechea & Axelberg, P.C., Kalispell, Montana.  The University of Montana School of Law (J.D. 2000).  Intern, United States District Court for the District of Montana, Judge Donald Molloy 1998-2000.  Montana Defense Trial Lawyers; Association of Ski Defense Attorneys, 2001-2013. Attorney Representative for the U.S. District Court Attorney Admissions Fund Advisory Committee, 2008-2012.  Selected as 2008-2012 Super Lawyers Mountain States Rising Stars; 2013-2014 Super Lawyers Medical Malpractice Defense. AV rated (Martindale).  Recognized in Chambers/Partners and Benchmark Litigation. Experience litigating and trying cases involving personal injury, medical malpractice, civil rights, and ski areas liability.

Professor Jordan Gross

Professor Gross supervises the University of Montana School of Law’s external prosecution clinics and teaches Criminal Procedure, Federal Courts, Professional Responsibility and Environmental Crime.  She is a member of the bar in Montana and Washington and is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for Montana, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.  Professor Gross serves on the Western Montana Bar Association Pro Bono Committee and regularly gives presentations to members of the Montana bar on legal ethics and professional responsibility.  Before joining the law school faculty, she was a partner in a litigation firm in Seattle specializing in federal criminal defense, complex civil litigation, and appeals.  She clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Jacobs Rothstein and Washington State Court of Appeals Judge Susan R. Agid before entering private practice.  Professor Gross earned B.A. degrees in Political Science and English Literature from the University of Washington in 1989 and earned her J.D. degree, cum laude, from Howard University School of Law in 1993, where she was a member of the law review.  

Steven J. Harman, Esq.

Steve Harman is a patient advocate in healthcare negligence cases who was awarded “Trial Lawyer of the Year for 2012-2013” by the Montana Trial Lawyers Association.  Steve obtained the largest verdict in eastern Montana in a medical malpractice case.  He has been selected by his peers to memberships in the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Board of Trial Advocacy.  The Martindale Hubbell Lawyers’ Directory ranks Steve in its highest category for competency and ethics.  For the first 25 years of his practice, Steve defended civil suits, including the representation of healthcare providers throughout Montana.  He served as President of the Montana Defense Trial Lawyers association.  Steve serves on the faculty of the University of Montana Law School Advanced Trial Advocacy Program, which is a week-long program to train trial lawyers held on the Missoula campus each spring.  He helped draft the rule on Appellate Alternative Dispute Resolution for the Montana Supreme Court, and sat on the committee to review new rules for the Montana Medical Legal Panel which were recently adopted.  Steve has written and lectured in the area of trial practice for nearly 40 years.  Steve maintains his office in Billings, Montana.

Thomas D. Henderson, Esq.

Administrative Assistant District Attorney General for the 30th Judicial District in Memphis, Tennessee.  Administrative Assistant for Criminal Courts (2005-present); Chief Prosecutor for the General Sessions and Juvenile Court (2001-2004); Director for the Violent Crimes Prosecuting Unit (1999-2001); Division Leader (1980-1999); Assistant District Attorney General (1976-present); Recipient of the Association of Government Attorneys in Capital Litigation Region IV Vice President’s Trial Award in 1997 and 1992, the National College of District Attorneys Distinguished Faculty Award in 1985, and the NCDA Lecturer of Merit Award in 1984.

Randi M. Hood, Esq.

Major Crimes Attorney, Office of the State Public Defender.  The University of Montana School of Law (JD with honors 1975).  Appellate Defender Commission; State Bar Distinguished Service Award, 1993; Montana Criminal Defense Lawyer, 2004; National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.  Extensive criminal jury trial experience, including three to four times a year involving homicides and serious sex crimes.

Natasha Prinzing Jones, Esq.

Shareholder, Boone Karlberg P.C., Missoula, Montana.  The University of Montana School of Law (J.D. with honors 2000).  Boone, Karlberg & Haddon, P.C., 2000-2001, Clerk for Hon. Sam E. Haddon, United States District Court Judge, 2001-2002, Boone Karlberg P.C. 2002-present.  Named 2012 Top 250 Women in Litigation (Benchmark); Mountain States Super Lawyers (2008-2013); Best Lawyers, 2011-2013; 2012 Bar Registry of Preeminent Women Lawyers (Martindale); AV rated (Martindale); Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, 2007-2013.  Experience in civil litigation, including FELA law and insurance defense.

Hon. Ted O. Lympus

District Court Judge, 11th Judicial District, Kalispell, Montana, 1992-present. The University of Montana, B.A. 1966, J.D. 1972. Deputy Lake County Attorney/private practice, Polson, Montana, 1972-1975; private practice, Kalispell, Montana, 1975-1978; Flathead County Attorney, 1979-1992; Special Prosecutor, Missoula County, 1976 and Big Horn County, 1982; Special Assistant Attorney General (litigation), 1978; Montana Commission on Criminal Procedure, 1988-1992; President, Montana County Attorneys Association, 1989-1990; Chair, Montana Board of Crime Control State Drug Strategy Task Force, 1990-1992; Sentence Review Division of the Montana Supreme Court, 1994-1996 (Chair 1996); Montana Sentencing Commission, 1995-1997; President, Montana Judges Association, 2006; Chair, Judicial Nomination Commission, 2004-2010.

John J. Russell, Esq.

Shareholder, Brown Law Firm, Billings, Montana.  The University of Montana School of Law (1982).  Defense Research Institute and Montana Defense Trial Lawyers Association (board of directors).  Listed in Best Lawyers in America. Practice limited to personal injury defense with a focus on medical malpractice.

ATA Student

John E. Smith, Esq.

B.A. in Philosophy and Economics in 1983 from the University of Montana. Graduated from the University of Montana School of Law, with honors, in 1987. Admitted to the Montana Bar and the U.S. District Court, District of Montana in 1987, the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit in 1993. Member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers since 1989. Founding and lifetime member of the Montana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers since 1996. Served as secretary/treasurer, vice president, and a two-year term as president of the MTACDL, finishing term as president in February 2003. Elected treasurer of the Montana Chapter of the Federal Bar Association in November 2003, and remains in this position. Attended Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyer College at the Thunderhead Ranch, Dubois, Wyoming, June-July 2000. Specializing in criminal defense, trials and appellate work, in State and Federal courts in Montana as part of his small law firm in downtown Missoula, Montana, Smith & Stephens, PC.

Hon. Karen S. Townsend, District Court Judge

Judge Townsend serves the 4th Judicial District for the State of Montana, (2011-present.) Ohio Wesleyan University (B.A. 1964); University of California (M.A. 1965); University of Montana School of Law (J.D. with honors 1976); Deputy County Attorney, Missoula County Attorney’s Office, 1976-1980; Chief Staff Attorney, County Prosecutor’s Services Bureau, Montana Department of Justice, 1980-December 1981; Senior Deputy County Attorney, Missoula County Attorney’s Office, 1982-1988; Director of Training, National College of District Attorneys, 1988-1990; Senior Deputy County Attorney, Missoula County Attorney’s Office, 1990-1998; Chief Deputy County Attorney Missoula County Attorney’s Office, 1998-December 2006; Special Assistant United States Attorney, 1984-1988, 1990-2006; Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers; Named a Super Lawyer for the Northwest Region; Western Montana Bar’s Outstanding Lawyer in 1994; Named winner of the YWCA’s Salute to Excellence Award for Public Service in 1996; Awarded Distinguished Faculty Award from the National College of District Attorneys in June 2006; Member, American Bar Association; State Bar of Montana; Member, Montana Supreme Court Commission on Criminal Jury Instructions; Faculty Member, University of Montana Advanced Trial Advocacy Program, 1992-2001, Director of Program, 2002-present; co-coach of University of Montana’s Trial Advocacy Competition team 1998-2010, primary coach, 2010-2012; extensive local, state and national trial advocacy teaching experience.

Honorable Loren Tucker

District Judge, 5th Judicial District; Water Court Judge, Upper Missouri River Basin; Elected Member American Law Institute.  Past President: Montana Judges’ Association; Montana County Attorneys’ Association; Fifth Judicial District Bar Association.  Past Chairman: Sentence Review Division; Montana Board of Banking.  Past Member: Attorney General’s Law Enforcement Advisory Council; State Bar of Montana Client Security Fund Committee and Bench-Bar Committee.  Past Montana Supreme Court Appointments: By designation to hear appeals; Court Assessment Advisory Council; Workload Assessment Study.  Previous general private practice emphasizing banking and real estate litigation. Part-time county attorney (16 years).  Clerked for U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota.  J.D., University of Minnesota, 1972; Co-Managing Editor Law Review.  Lives on the ranch with wife MaryAnn and the critters.

Gary M. Zadick, Esq.

Graduate of University of Montana 1975, Economics and Political Science, with Honors, University of Montana Law School 1978. Deputy Cascade County Attorney, 1978-1979.  Alexander & Baucus, 1979-1985. Ugrin Alexander Zadick & Higgins, 1985-present. Lecturer: University of Montana Law School, Insurance Bad Faith; University of Great Falls, Criminal Procedure and Evidence. Selected for inclusion in: Best Lawyers, Chambers Leading Lawyers of North America, Super Lawyers-Mountain States, Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Lawyers, National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers Montana, Benchmark Litigation Guide Top Lawyers Montana.


Samuel Boerboom, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Communication and Theatre, Montana State University Billings. Faculty member and coordinator, Gustavus Adolphus College Summer Speech Institute. Regular presenter at the National Communication Association, Western States Communication Association, and Rhetorical Society of America conventions. Areas of expertise include public advocacy, rhetoric and public affairs, political communication, ethics, and mass/social media and coalition-building.

Nikki R. Schaubel, M.S.

Independent Communication and Trial Consultant. Background in public relations, court administration, organizational communication and public speaking. Fellow, National Center for State Courts Institute for Court Management.

Melinda C. Tilton, M.A.

Independent Communication and Trial Consultant. Areas of expertise include public speaking, group dynamics, interpersonal, and intercultural communication. University lecturer, Montana State University Billings, Department of Communication and Theatre (1990-present). Lecturer, University of Montana, Department of Communication and California State University, Long Beach, Department of Communication (1980-1990). Active presenter and panelist in the National Communication Association. Communication and Leadership Trainer for a broad range of organizations, including Montana Bar Association, Billings Fire Department, MT-Wyoming Tribal Leaders Council and Hospice. Recipient of the University of Montana School of Law, Advanced Trial Advocacy Program Distinguished Faculty Award, 1999, 2001 and the MSUB Faculty Excellence Award, 2009. 2012-2013 Outstanding Faculty Award, College of Arts and Sciences, Montana State University, Billings.


Hon. Karen Townsend is the Director of the Advanced Trial Advocacy Program and is recognized in
American College of Trial Lawyers for Teaching Trial Advocacy Skills in Montana
This article appeared in the Fall 2013 issue of The Bulletin, the publication of the American College of Trial Lawyers
and is reproduced here with permission of the College.