Trial Tactics

Committee Chair Colette Magnetta Acker & Whipple Los Angeles, CA

Committee Overview

The Trial Tactics Committee is one of DRI’s largest committees. This Committee is dedicated to helping the defense lawyer perfect the skills required to excel as a trial lawyer, advocate, negotiator, speaker and writer. We focus on the critical tools you need to sharpen those skills in all settings, whether at deposition, trial, mediation or oral argument.

Trial Tactics is one of DRI’s broad-reach committees and actively reaches out to all substantive areas of DRI’s membership, to transfer those skills and knowledge that work well in the courtroom to the myriad other areas of defense law where the arts of effective communication and persuasion can lead to the successful resolution of disputes. We accomplish this through a variety of activities. The Committee’s newsletter, Trials and Tribulations, is published several times each year. The Committee publishes several articles authored by its members in the issues of For The Defense dedicated to the Trial Tactics Committee, as well as in The Voice and in In-House Defense Quarterly. Our members have numerous opportunities to be published in these highly regarded national publications. The Committee also has a vibrant online community where committee members connect, network and learn from like-minded lawyers on a diverse range of topics in a casual, conversational environment.  

The Committee also works periodically on Defense Library Series publications concerning all aspects of trial work, from discovery to pre-trial motions through trial. There are also occasional special projects, such as The Collateral Source Rule: A Compendium of State Law, The Deposition Manual, and The Trial Compendium. 

In March of each year, the Committee produces its annual seminar, carrying on the highly successful tradition begun by Al Parnell over a decade ago. A great number of nationally renowned experts educate private practice lawyers, claims examiners and in-house counsel on the latest research and techniques to effectively advise and defend our clients against a claim. Check the DRI seminar page for details.

The Committee has partners with other committees to present interesting and varied webinars, as well as seminars such as the Complex Medicine seminar which we co-chaired with the Medical Liability Committee.

Trial Tactics presents a variety of webcasts, with great success, on a variety of cutting edge litigation topics. Some are designed to target more experienced trial lawyers while others are designed and co-presented with the Young Lawyers Committee to target newer lawyers. The webcasts schedule is on posted on the DRI website. We are also preparing similar programming to be available on an on-demand basis.

There are many opportunities for members to speak and write through these programs and publications, or to support our activities in other ways. We welcome anyone who would like to become actively involved in our Committee. We encourage members of diverse backgrounds to participate. We look forward to hearing from you soon and seeing you at our seminars, as well as at the Annual Meeting each October.