The Trial Law Institute of the Litigation Counsel of America is pleased to announce the Spring 2017 recipients of its Trial Advocacy Master designation. The designation is given based upon completion of the Institute’s four part advanced trial presentation and strategy series or participation as a faculty member of the series. Those designated at the Litigation Counsel of America's 2017 Spring Conference and Celebration of Fellows in Santa Fe, New Mexico, included Christopher S. Ayres, Ayres Law Office P.C., Addison, Texas; Andrew Berger, Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP, New York, New York; Michael B. Brennan, Gass Weber Mullins LLC, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; John P. Buckley, Nixon Peabody LLP, Chicago, Illinois; Brian G. Cahill, Gass Weber Mullins LLC, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Michael D. Ehrenstein, Ehrenstein Charbonneau Calderin, Miami, Florida; Joseph M. Fasi, II, Gass Weber Mullins LLC, Miami, Florida; William Faulkner, McManis Faulkner, San Jose, California; Amy T. Forbis, Bennett Bigelow & Leedom, P.S., Seattle, Washington; J. Ric Gass, Gass Weber Mullins LLC, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Thomas V. Girardi, Girardi | Keese, Los Angeles, California; Allen W. Hinderaker, Merchant & Gould, P.C., Minneapolis, Minnesota; Richard I. Levin, Levin Riback Law Group, PC, Chicago, Illinois; James R. Miller, Polsinelli PC, Denver, Colorado; Lea Carol Owen, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, Nashville, Tennessee; Scott R. Shepherd, Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP, Media, Pennsylvania; Benjamin J. Trichilo, McCandlish Lillard, Fairfax, Virginia; David J. Turek, Gass Weber Mullins LLC, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Victor D. Vital, Barnes & Thornburg LLP, Dallas, Texas; and Barbara A. Zurek, Meagher & Geer, P.L.L.P., Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The Trial Law Institute (TLI) is an association of trial lawyers established under the auspices of the Litigation Counsel of America (LCA). The TLI’s primary purpose is to perpetuate, elevate and preserve the art of trial presentation and techniques, and to advance and educate on new technologies designed to enhance the admission of evidence in courtroom settings. Membership includes all LCA Fellows and is open to others invited upon nomination or recommendation by members, but is limited to one percent of the bar, excepting judges, law professors and governmental lawyers.
The Trial Law Institute (originally the Institute of Trial Presentation) was established in 2009 based on the concepts and design of J. Ric Gass. Lead counsel in over three hundred jury trials, Mr. Gass maintains the goal of educating lawyers on advanced trial techniques learned and created over his long and illustrious career. In 2012, Mr. Gass served as President of the Litigation Counsel of America and is now Chair of the TLI’s Advisory Board. In 2013, he was appointed Dean of the TLI. James A. Varner, Sr. (Jim), of McNeer, Highland, McMunn & Varner, L.C., of Clarksburg, West Virginia, and the late Stephen G. Morrison (1949-2013) of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP, of Columbia, South Carolina, acted as co-founders of the TLI and taught at previous TLI Forums.
Though by invitation only, the TLI includes trial lawyers of every practice and orientation. Its members are called upon to promote professionalism, ethics and civility throughout their practice of law and held to high ethical standards in order to maintain membership. In the event of ethical concerns or complaints by the association or its members, membership may be withdrawn. The composition of the TLI’s membership is highly diverse and designed to be inclusive, particularly among the newest generation of outstanding trial lawyers.
At the periodic Trial Law Institute Forum, selected trial masters from across North America instruct on advanced courtroom presentation. The content of the Forum is geared toward a combination of past-generation tried-and-true techniques combined with the newest technologies available. The TLI faculty also presents on the opening day of the LCA’s major conferences and hosts the LCA’s annual Renaissance Symposium.
Members of the Trial Law Institute who are not already LCA Fellows are reviewed periodically for consideration of LCA Fellowship.