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.

Voir Dire: Connecting, Preloading and ReframingVoir Dire: Connecting, Preloading and Reframing

Voir Dire: Connecting, Preloading and Reframing

Telling a Great story is very different than writing one. Great storytellers are masters of connection. They know how to create illusions, also known as creating space so the listener experiences the story. If there is a verb, there is action and must be movement or you are stuck in the boring narrative. To master connection in the context of opening statement you must master the micro skills of connection; appropriate eye-contact, facial expression control, voice control, hand/body movement, your voice, glance control, and precise use of visuals.

The core skills of cross examination are; one new fact per question, looping, dropping filler words like “and, um, so” etc., dropping tag lines like “right, correct, isn’t it true” using the present tense, delivering dialogue to the jury, effectively using visuals/flip chart, using your hand to control the pace of witness’s answers, and emotional control. I will demonstrate these skills and show you how to acquire them.

The Mental Game for Trial - Performing Under Pressure

The Mental Game for Trial - Performing Under Pressure

Trial work requires (1) performance (2) on demand, and (3) under pressure, yet most of us know little about the performance cycle and how to hack it to our advantage to improve our game and win consistently. We examine what separates the top performers across high-pressure disciplines and how to apply those lessons to your trial practice to develop a framework for your top performance at trial.

  • The 3 spheres of performance;
  • What to focus on and when;
  • Why working hard is not enough;
  • Strategies for real improvement;
  • How to use pressure to elevate rather than hinder your trial performance;
  • How to increase confidence in your trial skills.

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