Criminal Defense Trial Skills & Trial Law Program

A Program For The Defense

- in Plano, Texas, USA

The Center for American and International Law
5201 Democracy Drive
Plano, Texas 75024

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Registration Open

Credits:MCLE Credit will be available


Join co-chairs Bob Jarvis (Jarvis & Hamilton Law Firm), Heather Barbieri (Barbieri Law Firm, P.C.), and an outstanding faculty of trial attorneys for this annual, non-capital program.

Described by participants as “the best seminar I have attended," this highly rated course features lectures (on voir dire, direct and cross examination, opening and closing arguments), followed by small group workshops & demonstrations. 

Participants will learn the techniques and law for each trial skill, and then perform the skill in small groups mentored by outstanding trial attorneys. Following each group session, participants will observe an experienced trial attorney demonstrate the trial skill performed in small groups. Learning, performing, then observing how a trial is prepared and executed will give participants of all experience levels something concrete to take to their next trial.

Registrants will receive a mock case at least two weeks before program to prepare and use during the program. Courtroom attire is required each day. This program is designed for attorneys with five or more years of experience.

Conference Co-Chairs

Bob Jarvis
Jarvis & Hamilton Law Firm
Sherman, Texas

Heather Barbieri
Barbieri Law Firm, P.C
Plano, Texas

A Note from Our Chairs: 

"The purpose of this seminar is to give Criminal Defense trial lawyers the tools they need to be more effective in the courtroom.

The faculty is committed to making sure that every attendee leaves a much better lawyer after they complete this program. This happens when attendees come prepared to make the same commitment to excellence – giving their best efforts and attention to the lectures, demonstrations and most importantly, the breakout sessions.

This is a seminar where we will all work together as a team to learn how to do our jobs better."

This course is funded by a grant from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

Download the Brochure (pdf)

For more details, download the online brochure.

Who Should Attend?

With the exception of invited faculty, attendance is limited to 60 Texas criminal defense attorneys. Courtroom attire is required. This program is suggested for lawyers with five or more years of experience.


“I find this to be a state-of-the-art program with a faculty that is second to none.”

“Program was amazing, will recommend to new and more experienced attorneys.”

“Speakers & faculty were top notch! Couldn’t ask for a better group of individuals to teach on the subject.”

“Without A Doubt, The Best CLE I’ve Attended In The Last Few Years”

-- from last year’s Participants at this program

Schedule and Faculty

Tentative Agenda as of June 20

More information coming soon! Anticipated times for the program’s start/recess:

Monday, August 6

8:15 am

Check-in & Registration (Refreshments Provided)

9:00 am

Welcoming Remarks & Expectations

  • Bob Jarvis, Jarvis & Hamilton, Sherman, Texas
  • Heather Barbieri, Barbieri Law Firm, P.C., Plano, Texas

9:15 am

Synopsis of The T.L. Allen Facts & Developing a Theory of the Case

9:45 am

Mandatory Pre-Trial Preparation

10:30 am


10:45 am

Storytelling Throughout The Trial

11:45 am

Lecture: Voir Dire

12:15 pm

Lunch (Provided) & Optional Lecture: Practice Tips From Our Faculty

(Lecture: 12:50 p.m.-1:10 p.m. No MCLE requested for this session)

1:15 pm

Small Group Workshop – Voir Dire

(Time includes Small Group Prep: 10 Minute “Work In Your Seat”)

3:05 pm


3:15 pm

Demonstration: Voir Dire in 3 Cases

4:00 pm


4:15 pm

Lecture: Fundamentals Of A Powerful Opening Statement

5:00 pm

Small Group Prep (Opening): “Work In Your Seat”

5:15 pm


6:15 pm


Tuesday, August 7

9:00 am

Small Group Workshop – Opening Statement

10:45 am


11:00 am

Demonstration: Opening Statements

11:30 am

Evidence: The Rules Of Engagement

12:00 pm

Lunch (Provided) & Optional Lecture: Practice Tips From Our Faculty

(Lecture: 12:35 p.m.-12:55 p.m. No MCLE requested for this session.)

12:55 pm

Lecture & Demonstration: Direct Examination

1:40 pm


1:45 pm

Small Group Workshop – Direct Examination

(Time includes Small Group Prep: 10 Minute “Work In Your Seat”)

3:25 pm


3:30 pm

Offering Persuasive Exhibits & Demonstrative Evidence

4:15 pm


4:30 pm

Ethical Issues Every Lawyer Faces

5:30 pm

Cross Examination Lecture: The Tools Of The Trade

6:15 pm


Wednesday, August 8

9:00 am

Small Group Workshop – Cross Examination

10:30 am


10:35 am

Demonstration: Cross Examination

11:05 am


11:15 am

Dealing With The Government’s Expert Witnesses

11:45 am

Protecting The Record: Trial Objections

12:30 pm

Lunch (Provided)

1:30 pm

The Court’s Charge: Give The Jury Their Marching Orders

2:00 pm

Lecture: Closing Argument

2:45 pm


2:50 pm

Small Group Workshop – Closing Argument

(Time includes Small Group Prep: 10 Minute “Work In Your Seat”)

5:30 pm


Thursday, August 9

9:00 am

Demonstration: Closing Argument

9:45 am

Ethical Issues In The Practice Of Law

10:45 am


11:00 am

Mitigation & Punishment: Hope For The Best, Prepare For The Worst

11:45 am

Intangibles: The Will Of A Criminal Defense Lawyer

12:30 pm


Overnight Accommodations

Hyatt Place Plano welcomes our guests attending Criminal Defense Trial Skills, at The Center for American and International Law. We have set aside a block of rooms with a group rate of $100/night, plus applicable fees/taxes for 8/5/2018-8/9/2018.

Please make your reservations by 7/22/2018. As long as the reservation is made by this date, and the group block has availability, you will receive the group rate. Any reservations not received on or before this cut-off date are subject to hotel availability at the best available prevailing rate.

Booking Instructions

Book online

Type in Arrival/Departure Dates
Enter Group/Corporate #: G-CW13
Call 888-HYATT-HP (888.492.8847) or 972.378.3997

Dates available: 8/5/2018-8/9/2018
Mention the group name: CAILAW / Criminal Defense

  • A valid credit card is required to make reservations
  • Tax Exemption Certificates and Credit Card Authorization Forms may be faxed to the hotel directly at 972.608.4427 prior to your arrival.

Other Information

Cancellation Policy

Written cancellation must be received 5 business days prior to a program to receive a refund (Email: After this date, no refunds, but substitution of attendees for this program will be permitted with prior approval. Registrants not entitled to a refund will receive the course materials. Waiver recipients must attend the program to receive the materials.

Nondiscriminatory Policy

The Center for American and International Law does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, veteran status or any other protected status in educational activities, scholarship programs or admissions.

Privacy Policy

We do not sell or rent information to any outside parties. By providing your information, you will receive postal and electronic communications from The Center for American and International Law (CAIL) in accordance with CAIL's Privacy Policy. At any point, you can opt-out or unsubscribe by selecting either link at the bottom of each email or call us at 972.244.3400.

Registrar: +1.972.244.3404
Fax: +1.972.244.3401