Earlier this month, 15 MoFo associates took part in a partner-led immersive Trial Skills Training program in San Francisco. The program gave associates an opportunity to practice their trial skills so that they are ready to hit the ground running when they go to trial.
The program was led by MoFo partner Daralyn Durie, one of the United States’ preeminent trial lawyers and a recent inductee into the California Lawyers Association Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame, and Matthaeus Martino-Weinhardt, an associate in MoFo’s Intellectual Property Litigation Group. Other MoFo trial lawyers involved in the program included Christine Wong, co-chair of the Global Litigation Department; David Cross, co-chair of the Global Antitrust practice group; Whitney O’Byrne, a partner in the Class Actions + Mass Torts Group; James Koukios, co-chair of the Securities Litigation, Enforcement, and White Collar Defense Group and co-head of the FCPA + Global Anti-Corruption practice; Kyle Mooney, an Intellectual Property partner; and William Frentzen, a partner in the Securities Litigation, Enforcement, and White Collar Defense Group.
“I was so excited to be part of this inaugural trial training. I don’t think there’s any substitute for learning by doing, and it was wonderful to see the participants gain skills and grow in confidence over the course of the two days,” said Daralyn. “It was also a great opportunity to meet other lawyers who are enthusiastic about trial practice and maybe even to make a few converts! I’m very much looking forward to a repeat next year.”
Associates appreciated the opportunity to learn and grow as litigators. After preparing and presenting mock trial arguments—including opening statements, direct examinations, cross examinations, and closing arguments—participants received personalized feedback from partners across the firm who all have differing approaches to trial. “The trial skills training was a terrific opportunity to hone on-your-feet skills with immediate feedback from experienced trial lawyers. Everyone who attended was very generous with their time and shared a wealth of concrete tips for improvement,” said associate Michael Komorowski.
“The skills I gained from this training are not exclusive to trial and will most immediately serve me in future on-my-feet opportunities as I have now gained more confidence in my oral advocacy skills. Another immediate benefit is I now see discovery from a different light, especially with respect to how I can strategically and artfully draft deposition outlines that will be more useful for impeachment at trial,” said associate Allyson Bach. “Above all, what I really enjoyed from this training was the opportunity to meet and collaborate with colleagues from across offices.”