Criminal Justice

Criminal Defense Trial Skills & Trial Law Program

A Program For The Defense


Plano, Texas, USA (NEW DATES)

Registration Open! Pre-registration is required.

MCLE Credit will be available

Email CAIL Staff directly with questions.

REGISTER EARLY! Attendance is limited to 60 Texas Criminal Defense attorneys.

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

View Map

Staff Assistant: +1.972.244.3415
Registrar: +1.972.244.3404

Fax: +1.972.244.3401


NEW DATES: Shorter Course. Same High-Quality Training!

REGISTER EARLY! Pre-registration is required. Attendance is limited to 60 Texas Criminal Defense attorneys.  

No walk-in or same day registration is available at this time. Courtroom attire is requested each day. CAIL will require program participants to follow certain procedures that comply with the latest CDC guidance, as it relates to COVID. See current our procedures: CAIL’s Criminal Justice Programs COVID Protocols. Check back here for any updates.

This highly-rated, non-capital course returns, in-person, to provide participants the opportunity to learn, perform and then observe how criminal defense is prepared and executed in a trial. Defense attorneys who already have some trial experience or are looking to develop and hone their trial skills will find something concrete to take from this program to their next trial.

Participants will have the opportunity, after learning the techniques and law for each trial skill, to practice voir dire, conduct direct & cross, and give opening and closing statements in small groups. A faculty of experienced Texas trial attorneys will mentor participants in the small group practice and conduct skilled demonstrations.

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

Conference Co-Chairs

Bob Jarvis
Jarvis & Hamilton Law Firm
Sherman, Texas

Russell Wilson
The Law Office of Russell Wilson, II
Dallas, 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."

Who Should Attend?

With the exception of invited faculty, attendance is limited to 60 Texas criminal defense attorneys. Courtroom attire is requested.

Need funds to attend this program? Limited Travel Scholarships are available to reimburse travel expenses. Email CAIL Staff for an application (requests are reviewed first come, first served). Applicants must be a licensed Texas criminal defense attorney who regularly represents indigent defendants in criminal matters in Texas State courts.

Schedule and Faculty

Details, including the agenda, presenters and approved credit, will be posted here once confirmed. Lunch will be provided each day. Tentative times for the program’s start/recess:

Tuesday, August 10, 2021
8:00 a.m.– 5:00 p.m. Registrant Sign-in, followed by Lectures
5:00 p.m. Recess

Wednesday, August 11, 2021
9:00 a.m.– 5:00 p.m. Lectures
5:00 p.m. Recess

Thursday, August 12, 2021
9:00 a.m.– 4:00 p.m. Lectures
4:00 p.m. Adjourn

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, sexual orientation, gender identity, 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. If we co-sponsor a program with another organization, information may be shared between the parties. All such co-sponsors will be identified on the event details and registration page. 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.