If there's an advocacy topic you want to see discussed, or about which you wish to contribute, contact one of the blog administrators - see the list on the right side of this page. Lonely thinking changes nothing, sharing your thoughts may start a trend.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Stetson Advocacy Training at Oxford, Summer 2015

The following post is a guest blog post by Lou Fasulo, the Director of Advocacy Programs at Pace Law

Oxford is a game changer in a big way. 

This past week I was honored with the opportunity to participate in an incredible Advocacy Program run by Stetson Law School and Charlie Rose and hosted at St. Hughes College Oxford University. The School and Principal could not have been more hospitable to us. The program of over 40 law students from various law schools from around the world set a new plateau for me. The rich curriculum on Advocacy, a quick study of comparative system and the backdrop of this wonderful city provided students with an awesome learning experience. I have never seen such an eager group of students so engaged. The students embraced the challenge of the intensive advocacy training with eagerness and a tremendous amount of energy. I can't wait for their final trials!

The highlight was the quality of the select group of faculty I shared the experience with. Each bringing experience ,energy and sense of team work to the Program. There is a reason Stetsons reputation as a leader in Advocacy Is what it is. The team led by Charlie Rose moved the students through their journey with incredible proficiency and enthusiasm. Setting the bar high for the students while providing one on one mentoring to guide them through the week  Charlie along with Gillian,  Michelle, Carlos,  Lee,  Kandace,  and me.(AJ followed up after I left, sorry we did not get to collaborate this time) worked tirelessly to prepare the students. I was surrounded by a great mix of Advocacy teachers doing what each of us does every day but in a welcoming collaborative way.

If I sound excited I am. I am looking forward to returning to New York and have a group of my students at Pace take advantage of the program in 2016. You should encourage your students as well. The experience and the friendships made at Stetson in Oxford are truly as Charlie says transformative. Can't wait til next year!! 

Very truly yours,    

Louis V. Fasulo Esq.
Fasulo, Braverman and DiMaggio/ Director of Advocacy Programs Pace Law

Friday, July 17, 2015

Training Irish Advocates - A Purpose, a Pint, and a Promise

Greetings from the Emerald Isle!
For the last two days an intrepid group of trainers from Stetson University, in collaboration with our good friends at University College Dublin, have been engaging in a two day advocacy workshop teaching persuasive storytelling, direct examination, cross examination, and closing arguments.
Our crew of trainers has included Prof. Michele Joiner, Prof. Kandice Horsey, Associate Dean Stephanie Vaughan,   Ms. Erika McArdle (formerly Wilson), Ms. Gillian More, and Mr. Patrick McArdle - I think I may have been there as well!
We have been blessed to return to University College, Dublin for a second year to share some thoughts and techniques about trial advocacy and the art of persuasion. Our colleagues at UCD have welcomed us with open arms and made our trip a true joy. Over 84 lawyers signed up for our training and it has been a jam packed experience. I've included links to the program we presented and the case file we used if you are interested in perusing them.
TTV v. 4GGE Case File (UK)
Ireland 2015 - Advocacy Training Program
We also supported our training with supplemental materials to assist our students in developing their advocacy skills. If you are interested in seeing how we went about doing so take a look at the following links:
Not only have our hosts been most gracious, but the students are engaged, attentive and inquisitive. Their thirst for an advocacy experience and commitment to increasing their own individual skills is an energizing thing to see. Our discussions have been far ranging, our demonstrations most adept, and the small group sessions (some of which are still going on as I write this) are fine examples of collaborative adult learning at its best.
Stetson programs are designed to share our thoughts about what makes for a superior advocacy learning experience in a collaborative fashion where we learn as much as we teach. That has definitely been the case here in Ireland. When we leave tomorrow to begin our summer comparative advocacy course in Oxford I will take with me the energy and graciousness of our students here, as well as a commitment to continue teaching advocacy whenever and wherever we have a chance to do so. It is in those moments when a student gets it that we find ourselves growing as teachers of advocacy. There have been many such moments here over the last two days.
Programs such as this are not possible with the support of the administration of the law school, and I wish to thank Dean Pietruszkiewicz for supporting our efforts in bringing Advocacy teaching overseas. I would also like to personally thank J.R. Swanegan, the director of our International Programs at Stetson. J.R. is a rockstar who works collaboratively with anyone who comes into his office with a good idea. If you run an advocacy program at your university and are thinking about these types of endeavors find the international program director and take them to lunch - if you have J.R. magic will ensue.
At Stetson we believe that collaborative sharing across disciplines, platforms, and even cultures, is the hallmark of superior approach to teaching and development. This allows us to find a source of energy and excitement in hard work, letting us rest "good tired" as Harry Chapin would say, at the end of the day - because we have fought our battles, for the things in which we believe, in the way that we believe - that is a day when you wind up "good tired."
I will be blogging from Oxford next week, filling you in on our comparative advocacy course and the impact that such premiere instructors as Joshua Karton, Gillian More, Kandice Horsey, Michele Joiner, Lee Coppock, Lou Fasulo, Carlos Concepcion, A.J. Belido de Luna and yours truly have on the impressionable young minds waiting for the Stetson advocacy experience.

All the best,


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Back at the Coal Face: Selby on Returning to Practice from Academia

When Behan, Rose and Selby set up this blog we were all practitioners turned academics.  Taking practice into the Academy seemed like a good idea.  It is that, though funding problems for schools and their students, on line teaching and learning, and the ever present cry to 'do more with less', thwart the ambitions to adequately prepare today's students for tomorrow's practice.

Some 18 months ago Selby quit his tenured position and headed back to practice, about a quarter century after he'd left it.  Much has changed but the fundamentals of being persuasive, though brightened by the micro chip and touch screens, are as important and as overlooked as always.

The order of what follows reflects the significance of the issue to Selby's practice rebirthing.  Readers should impose their own order upon the material, reflecting upon their experiences.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Turning the Tables: Advocacy Students Reflect on Serving as Witnesses and Jurors

The last assignment of every semester in my basic trial advocacy course is a self-analysis memorandum in which the students analyze their performances in the final jury trial of the semester and reflect on their growth throughout the semester. I always enjoy reading these assignments. For my purposes, they are superior to the course evaluation survey instrument the law school uses. When I read what the students have to say about their own personal experiences during the semester, I learn how well they understood the pedagogical objectives of the course, what lessons they learned as advocates, and how they plan to continue improving throughout their careers.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Registration Open for 2015-2016 National Health Law Moot Court Competition

I'm posting this on behalf of my colleague Cheryl Anderson, who directs our moot court programs at SIU School of Law. This is a great competition. If your school hasn't sent a team to this, you should apply. The problems are always excellent, and the level of competition is superb. Plus, Carbondale is a nice place in the fall.

The American College of Legal Medicine, the Southern Illinois University School of Law, and the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Department of Medical Humanities will once again jointly sponsor the 2015-2016 National Health Law Moot Court Competition.  The Competition, our twenty-fourth, will be held on November 6 and 7, 2015 at the Southern Illinois University School of Law in Carbondale, Illinois.  With the support of the American College of Legal Medicine, as in past years, several scholarship grants will be awarded.  We have been extremely pleased with the Competition over the last several years and look forward to an even better competition in 2015-2016.

On-line registration for the competition is now open at this link: http://law.siu.edu/academics/center-programs/health-law-policy/health-competition.html.  Local hotel and location information will be posted at a later date.  We would appreciate it if you would forward this email to the appropriate person at your school for their information.  You can also watch for the brochure which will be mailed soon.

If you have any questions, please send them to mootct@siu.edu or you may call our Moot Court Board Assistant, Kristy White, at 618/453.8299 or email her at kristyw@siu.edu.

We hope to see a team from your school at the Competition in November.

Cheryl Anderson
Director of Moot Court Programs
Southern Illinois University
School of Law, M/C 6804                                      
1150 Douglas Drive                                      
Carbondale, IL  62901

Monday, May 25, 2015


1.       We are fortunate to have a place where coaches from all over the country can come together and break bread. The closer we are, the better likelihood that we can work things out on the road when we are in the heat of battle. It provides perspective and a reminder that we are all in this business to help train others. That is a mighty responsibility. We are fortunate that Charlie Rose and Stetson provides the space for us to engage with each other. A special thanks to Peggy Gordon and the folks behind the scenes that make things happens.

2.       I mentioned that Joe Lester shared with me the web site created by Jeff Brooks down at LSU for all Mock Trial Tourneys around the country. Here is the website again. I am sure Jeff would be happy to get any updates to help keep the list fresh.  Thanks Jeff for putting this together.

See you all on the road. I miss you already.

--A.J. Bellido de Luna

Thursday, May 21, 2015

2015 EATS Retrospective

This morning, I said goodbye to a group of old and new advocacy teaching friends on the patio of the Rum Runner bar on St. Pete beach at 3:30 am, slept a few fitful hours, woke up, packed, and left Gulfport and Stetson behind me for another year. I'm tired--as a middle-aged man, late nights exact a harsher toll than they did when I was younger--but I can sleep on the plane or when I get back to Illinois. The conversations, companionship, and camaraderie were well worth the price of temporary sleep deprivation.

In his concluding remarks to the 2015 Educating Advocates/Teaching Skills Conference, Charlie Rose talked about how the conference had recharged his depleted set of mental and emotional batteries. I am reasonably confident his sentiments were shared by most attendees, but I am 100% certain that he spoke for me. The phenomenon occurs every year at the conference as we listen to gifted teachers and advocates share the science and art of teaching others what it means to be an advocate.