General, Solo, Small Firms, Litigation, Professional Development, Ethics, Young Lawyers Division, Appellate Practice

Young Lawyers Division Trial College - In Person


Join us for the inaugural YLD Trial College at Belmont University in Nashville. You can find a sneak preview of our event schedule and topics below!

Trial Ready: The Blueprint for Building Your Case (8:30 – 9:30 a.m. CDT) 

The key to presenting your case at trial is in the preparation done in the days, weeks, and even months before it. This session will focus on how to get organized for trial so that you can present your case in an effective and persuasive manner, including how to develop your case theory and theme, efficiently put together a trial notebook, and prepare your witnesses.

  • Laura Baker, Law Offices of John Day, PC
  • Nicole Grida, Bowman and Brooke, LLP

Mastering Voir Dire: The Art of Jury Selection (9:30 - 10:30 a.m.)

No matter how effectively you prepare and present your case to a jury, once closing arguments end it is ultimately in the jury’s hands. This session will focus on the law of jury selection to help you understand the dos and don’ts of jury selection and to avoid common pitfalls before your case even begins. 

  • Laura Baker, Law Offices of John Day, PC

You Had Me at Hello: How to Win Your Case in Opening Argument (10:45 -11:45 a.m.) 

This session focuses on creating powerful opening statements that grab the jury's attention from the start. Attendees will learn how to build a compelling narrative, establish credibility, and present evidence in an engaging way. The workshop offers practical tips on blending storytelling with facts to make a strong first impression and set the foundation for a persuasive case. Through discussions and examples, participants will gain the tools needed to open their trials on a high note, aiming for a favorable outcome.

  • Kat Carrington, Butler Snow
  • Nicole Grida, Bowman and Brooke, LLP

Excellence in Examination: Direct, Cross, and Expert Witnesses (12:00 – 2:00 p.m. Lunch Session)

This two-part lunch and learn session will provide both new and experienced practitioners with practical tricks and tips on how to present and defend your case through the testimony of lay witnesses and expert witnesses, including how to prepare and conduct a persuasive and efficient direct examination, keys to an effective cross examination including different techniques for asking questions (and knowing when not to), and strategies for presenting and cross examining expert witnesses.  

  • Isaac Sanders, Neal & Harwell
  • Jason Pannu, Freeman Mathis & Gary
  • Wade Davies, Ritchie, Davies, Johnson & Stovall
  • Dan Berexa, Cornelius & Collins 

The Most Effective Goodbye: Mastering the Art of Closing Arguments (2:15 – 3:15 p.m.)

Closing argument is the only time during trial that, you as an advocate, are truly able to speak directly to the jury. It is also your last chance to pull together the evidence presented and guide the jury as to why they should rule in your client’s favor. This session will cover topics such as how to organize your argument and evidence presented throughout your case, persuasive techniques for closing arguments so that the jury wants to rule for you, and how to rebut in a persuasive and credible way evidence that favors the other side.

  • Luther Wright, Jr., Ogletree Deakins

From the Bench: Leveraging Judicial Insights for Trial Success (3:15 - 4:45 p.m.)

Gain a competitive edge by adopting a judge-focused approach to your trial strategy. This session reveals key insights into judicial preferences, common pitfalls to avoid, and tips for effectively communicating your case from opening to closing, directly from the perspective of experienced judges.

  • Judge Cynthia Chappell
  • Judge Angelita Dalton
  • Chancellor Anne Martin
  • Judge David Briley
  • Billy Leslie (moderator), Farrar Bates Berexa


Attendees are invited to attend the networking happy hour immediately following the program at Chago's Belmont Cantina. 


SAVE MONEY: Use the prepaid CLE credits that come with your TBA Complete Membership. Not a TBA member? Join now to start saving.



Course Pricing
  • Member: 399.00
  • Non-Member: 599.00 (Includes TBA Complete Membership)
If you are not a TBA Member, you can join now to receive CLE discount prices and three prepaid credits.

TBA members who are judges, lawmakers and law students can take TBA CLE onsite courses at no charge for the programming. There may be a separate charge if meals, special materials or other premium features are involved.
Course Information May 10, 2024
  • Registration: 8:00 AM - 8:30 AM
  • Schedule: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Connect with your colleagues
  • Learn from the experts
  • Judicial Panel
Course Credits Dual Credits: 0.00
General Credits: 7.50
Total Credits: 7.5

This program will be filed for Tennessee CLE credit. Please contact TBA for Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama credit.