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Litigation Institute

A one-of-a-kind litigation and courtroom skills program for our junior trial attorneys


Mentoring and training the next generation of trial lawyers is a core value of our firm. Through our annual Tucker Ellis Litigation Institute, our junior trial attorneys sharpen their litigation and courtroom skills, in-house, by working together as co-counsel on a problem based on an actual case.

How it works

Each year, Litigation Institute focuses on one particular skillset, such as:

  • fact and expert witness depositions
  • motion practice and argument
  • voir dire
  • opening statements
  • direct and cross examination
  • closing arguments
Connor Doughty and Kelly Baldini present their case during our October 2023 Litigation Institute in St. Louis.

Participants attend two substantive presentations highlighting the skillset of focus, then divide into teams of four or five, representing either plaintiff or defendant. Teams work together as co-counsel under the tutelage of a seasoned Tucker Ellis trial partner to prepare for their deposition or courtroom exercises.

After several weeks of collaborative preparation, each participant demonstrates the designated skillset through “on-their-feet” practice. Senior Tucker Ellis attorneys and local judges observe to provide specific and direct feedback at the conclusion of the exercises. The presentations are video recorded so the participants can observe themselves and receive additional feedback from other Tucker Ellis attorneys.

In 2023, associates worked with a fact pattern involving a breach of contract and negligent hiring, training, and retention case. They did direct and cross examinations of the plaintiff and defendant company witness and participated in a workshop on organizing questions and exhibits in an outline for an effective expert examination at trial. 

Our September 2023 Litigation Institute in Cleveland included (clockwise from top left) Riley Shaw, DeAngelo LaVette, Ashley Saferight, Spencer Krebs, Ethan Weber, Robert Porter, Smita Gautam, 2023 program coordinator Rita Maimbourg, and Abigail Williams.

Our goal

Litigation Institute gives our up-and-coming trial lawyers a unique opportunity to refine their skills and develop the courtroom confidence that our clients expect when hiring Tucker Ellis as counsel. Receiving targeted instruction from veteran trial attorneys, participants hone key trial skills that they develop collaboratively during Litigation Institute’s preparation phase before independently applying those skills in court. The learn-by-doing format of the program not only supports each participant’s individual growth as a trial lawyer, but also helps build camaraderie among the firm’s junior attorneys.