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

Online registration for the conference is now closed. If you would like to still register for this conference, please register onsite at the registration desk.

View Map

Past Event

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

Meet the Faculty (pdf)

For more details, download the online brochure.

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

As of July 16

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

  • Reed Prospere, Prospere & Russell, Dallas, Texas

9:45 am

Mandatory Pre-Trial Preparation

  • John Hunter Smith, Wynne & Smith, Sherman, Texas

10:30 am


10:45 am

Storytelling Throughout The Trial

  • Tyrone Moncriffe, Tyrone C. Moncriffe & Associates, Houston, Texas

11:45 am

Lecture: Voir Dire

  • Reagan Wynn, Kearney | Wynn, Fort Worth, Texas

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

  • Heather Barbieri, Barbieri Law Firm, P.C., Plano, Texas
  • Frank Sellers, Westfall Sellers, Fort Worth, Texas
  • Emily Detoto, Law Office of Emily Detoto, Houston, Texas

4:00 pm


4:15 pm

Lecture: Fundamentals Of A Powerful Opening Statement

  • Jeff Kearney, Kearney | Wynn, Fort Worth, Texas

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

  • Bob Hinton, Robert Hinton & Associates, PC, Dallas, Texas
  • Kim Minick, Minick Law, P.C., Fort Worth, Texas

11:30 am

Evidence: The Rules Of Engagement

  • Stephanie Luce Ola, Sorrels Hagood, Dallas, Texas

12:10 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.)

1:10 pm

Lecture & Demonstration: Direct Examination

  • Rick Hagen, Jackson & Hagen, Denton, Texas

1:55 pm


2:00 pm

Small Group Workshop – Direct Examination

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

3:40 pm


3:45 pm

Offering Persuasive Exhibits & Demonstrative Evidence

  • Greg Westfall, Westfall Sellers, Fort Worth, Texas

4:30 pm


4:45 pm

Cross Examination Lecture: The Tools Of The Trade

  • Barry Sorrels, Sorrels Hagood, Dallas, Texas

5:30 pm

Small Group Workshop Prep - Cross Examination

6:15 pm


Wednesday, August 8

9:00 am

Small Group Workshop – Cross Examination

10:30 am


10:35 am

Demonstration: Cross Examination

  • Bob Jarvis, Jarvis & Hamilton, Sherman, Texas

11:05 am


11:15 am

Dealing With The Government’s Expert Witnesses

  • Sarah Roland, Attorney At Law, Denton, Texas

11:45 am

Protecting The Record: Trial Objections

  • David Guinn, Hurley Guinn, Lubbock, Texas

12:30 pm

Lunch (Provided)

1:30 pm

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

  • Jorge G. Aristotelidis, Del Prado Law, San Antonio, Texas

2:00 pm

Lecture: Closing Argument

  • Tom Mills, Mills & Williams, L.L.P., Dallas, Texas

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

  • Bob Jarvis, Jarvis & Hamilton, Sherman, Texas
  • Russell Wilson, Law Office of Russell Wilson, Dallas, Texas

9:45 am

Ethical Issues In The Practice Of Law

  • Erin Hendricks, Erin Hendricks Law, Dallas, Texas
  • Jeff Kearney, Kearney | Wynn, Fort Worth, Texas

10:45 am


11:00 am

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

  • Philip Wischkaemper, Lubbock Private Defender Office, Lubbock Texas

11:45 am

Intangibles: The Will Of A Criminal Defense Lawyer

  • Barry Sorrels, Sorrels Hagood, Dallas Texas

12:30 pm


CLE Credit

The State Bar of Texas has approved this program for a total of 24.25, including 1 hour of ethics. Course ID Number: 174023239.

In addition to Texas, after the program (if requested) CAIL will directly apply for course accreditation in the following states, as long as course materials and evaluations are not required: California, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. Attorneys may be eligible to receive CLE credit through attorney self-submission in other states, as long as course materials and evaluations are not required to be submitted.

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