Dan Ambrose

Trial Lawyers University

I grew up in Birmingham, MI. I am the youngest of eight children and attended an all-boys catholic school my whole life until I went to college at the University of Michigan. I went to night school at Detroit College of Law. My dad, my uncle, two of my brothers, and sister were lawyers. My first job was cutting lawns at age 10. I started working for my brother as a house painter at age 12. When I was 16 I started my own painting business and continued throughout high school, college, and law school, and a few years after until I was 32. I practiced criminal defense for eighteen years in Michigan until ten years ago when my roommate from the Trial Lawyers College, Nick Rowley, encouraged me to move to LA to become a PI lawyer. The California Bar took me four tries. I moved to Las Vegas this past March. I have recently taken up pickle ball, skiing and golf. I also think I'm competitive at connect four, backgammon, chess, and ping pong.

Jack DenoveDan Ambrose
Jack Denove · Dan Ambrose

Effective Non-Verbal Communication

The jury is always listening and watching us. Our non-verbal communication can enhance or destroy the story we tell the jury. Non-verbal communication includes the sound of our voice and our body language. Learn when and how to change the volume, tone and speed and to incorporate pauses when we speak. Learn how to use gestures, facial expressions and movement. The voice and the body can put the power and the truth in what we are saying much more than the words you speak. The voice and the body can also expose us when we are emotionally non congruent. Shouldn’t we learn how to non-verbally communicate what we want the jury to hear and see?

Nate BjerkeDan Ambrose
Nate Bjerke · Dan Ambrose

Witness Prep

The most important witness in every trial is the plaintiff. The best plaintiff witnesses are calm, vulnerable and testify in a way that transports to the jury into the client’s story. This presentation focuses on getting your clients to that place. As we’ve all seen, juries don’t want to help an angry client. Dan and Nate will show you how to help your clients let go of their anger and find the courage to be vulnerable and share the underlying hurt and loss. Then, after we have our client in the right frame of mind, teach them to re-live their stories on the witness stand to draw the jury in and not just hear but experience your client's story. This method inoculates even the most-skilled cross examination. These techniques will not only make your client the best witness they can be, they help your client heal.

Phillip MillerDan Ambrose
Phillip Miller · Dan Ambrose

Wordless Persuasion: The Neuroscience-Based Skills that Provide the Key to Connection with Jurors.

Gestures are "an elaborate and secret code that is written nowhere, known to none, and understood by all." - Edward Sapire.

For most lawyers the practice of law and litigation is all about the use of written and spoken words to persuade jurors and judges to deliberate and return a favorable verdict. Connecting with jurors requires more than words.

Just as word choice and delivery are important, people are also affected by gestures, physical position, eye contact and facial expressions. These forms of persuasion are generally an unplanned part of a trial presentation. A studied reflection on the literature and neuroscience suggests that the use of the techniques of gesture, eye contact, and facial expression should not be left to chance. “Wordless Persuasion” has been used by many attorneys successfully (often unconsciously) for decades. Until recently, no one could do more than speculate about the connections that we now know exist between gesture, speech, facial expression and its effect on jurors. As we will discuss, some of the accepted folklore about persuasion is wrong and counterproductive.

The skills and insights that allow some successful practitioners to consistently get large verdicts goes beyond their ability to talk, use exhibits or conduct jury research. “Wordless Persuasion” is what makes some “ordinary” lawyers extraordinarily effective. The “why and how” of creating connections with jurors is the subject of this study.

The classic quote from Houston Attorney Howard Nations “Who played me?” illustrates the important principle that connection with a jury is not measured in opposition focus groups or surveys and is consistently underestimated by opposing counsel and their corporate employers.

Dan AmbroseGiorgio PanagosRaj Guha
Dan Ambrose · Giorgio Panagos

TLU Skills Bootcamp

Participants will focus on mastering sets of voir dire, designed to:

  • Build that initial connection with your jury
  • Form a group around you
  • Pacing
  • Pausing
  • Word choice
  • Empower the jury
  • Define and identify potential bias
Dan AmbroseGiorgio PanagosRaj Guha
Dan Ambrose · Giorgio Panagos

TLU Skills Bootcamp

Participants will focus exclusively on presenting with the use of visuals:

  • Foam core boards
  • Powerpoints
  • Flip chart
  • Ipevo (document camera)
  • Physical models

Participants will also practice using dialogue and creating space.

TLU Live HB Agenda