MBA Holds First-Ever Trial Academy Training Sessions

Thursday, April 4, 2019

GroupCropped01More than 30 lawyers received training in civil trial procedure and practice from seasoned courtroom veterans during the Massachusetts Bar Association’s inaugural Trial Academy on April 3-4 at the MBA’s Boston office.

MBA President Christopher A. Kenney launched the Trial Academy as a way to help the next generation of litigators learn and practice critical trial skills under the tutelage of experienced trial lawyers. As he said earlier this year, “The main goal of this initiative is to have new litigators learn critical trial skills from veteran trial lawyers — skills many are missing out on because of the dwindling numbers of cases that actually go to trial.”

Kenney and MBA President-elect John J. Morrissey, who served as Trial Academy co-chairs, enlisted an all-star faculty of former judges and courtroom veterans to instruct participants on the key elements of a civil trial, including openings, closings, and direct and cross-examination of lay and expert witnesses. Faculty members provided feedback during role playing exercises and offered tips on trial techniques that each has found successful in their own careers.

Part of Kenney’s mission for the Trial Academy has always included a public-interest component. Now that they’ve completed the two-day training, Trial Academy participants will have the opportunity to apply their academy training to actual cases representing otherwise unrepresented litigants on a pro se limited-assistance-representation (LAR) basis during their day in court at Dedham District Court or Boston Municipal Court.

Thank you to all the faculty and other volunteers for making the inaugural Trial Academy such a successful program.

Faculty: 

  • Christopher A. Kenney, Esq., Kenney & Sams PC 
  • John J. Morrissey, Esq., Morrissey, Wilson & Zafiropoulos LLP
  • Hon. Dennis J. Curran (ret.), Massachusetts Superior Court
  • Sarah S. Burg, Esq., Foley Hoag LLP
  • Robert A. Curley Jr., Esq., Curley & Curley PC
  • Marsha V. Kazarosian, Esq., Kazarosian Costello LLP
  • David R. Kerrigan, Esq., Kenney & Sams PC
  • Marianne C. LeBlanc, Esq., Sugarman and Sugarman PC
  • Thomas R. Murphy, Esq., Law Offices of Thomas R. Murphy LLC 
  • David M. Rogers, Esq., Campbell Conroy & O’Neil
  • Michael P. Sams, Esq., Kenney & Sams PC
  • Paul White, Esq., Arent Fox LLP

Jurors: 

  • Thomas M. Bond, Esq.
  • Julia Bront
  • Alan E. Brown, Esq.
  • Emily Dasey
  • Vincent N. DePalo, Esq.
  • Hon. Wilbur Edwards (ret.)
  • Eric P. Finamore, Esq.
  • Gabriel Haddad
  • Robert J. Hartigan, Esq.
  • Michael H. Hayden, Esq.
  • Christopher A. Kenney, Esq.
  • Jacob J. Lantry, Esq.
  • John J. Morrissey, Esq.
  • Zoe Reid 
  • Maureen L. Reilly, Esq.
  • Frank A. Smith, Esq.
  • Tatiana R. Tway

Witnesses: 

  • Michelle De Oliveira, Esq.
  • Abigail Oelker, Ph.D.
  • Jason Rogers, Esq.
  • Alan Wong, Esq.