Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association

The Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association Presents….
"Just Must Be Won XXII:  Preserve Your Client's Liberty with Persuasive Trial Techniques and Strategies"


May 16-17, 2014
At The Pensacola Hilton
Pensacola Beach, FL


  • This years keynote speaker is Mark O'Mara who successfully defended George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin Shooting Case. Mr. O'Mara will also present on crafting a media policy in high profile cases

  • David Luker on bail issues and client control
  • Bill Massey and Lorna McClusky on the theme and theory of your case
  • Daniel Ambrose and Shawn Patrick Smith on connecting with the jury through powerful interpersonal communication during jury selection, direct examination and cross examination.*
  • John Beck on the art of demonstrative evidence
  • Joel Sogol and Bennet Wright on the Sentencing Guidelines
  • Amiee Smith and Phil Bryant on getting heard at Pardons and Paroles
  • Mark Moody on ethics in advertising in the 21st Century

  • The ACDLA Death Penalty Assistance Committee will offer case conferencing on-site. Sit with Richard Jaffe, John Mays, and John Lentine and get their input and assistance on your capital case. Pre-registration is essential. You must register by Friday, May 2, 2014 to participate.

  • Daniel Ambrose and Shawn Smith are making themselves available Thursday night through Monday to work one on one and in small groups on specific skills and methods. Meet with them and see how their methods can help you in your case.


ACDLA's 22nd Annual Meeting & Seminar, "Justice Must Be Won XXII: Preserving Your Client’s Liberty with Persuasive Trial Techniques and Strategies" will be held at the Pensacola Hilton in Pensacola Beach, FL, May 16-17, 2014.

Whether you have been practicing criminal defense for a few months, a few years, or a few decades, every lawyer needs to build and sharpen their client management, organizational, marketing, and trial skills. 

Even before the trial takes place you have to get the client in the door, ethically!!!!  We have Mark Moody, from the Alabama State Bar, coming to give you the do’s and don’ts in marketing and advertising. 

After getting the client in the door and hiring you then learn from top criminal defense attorney and law professor, David Luker on how to make the persuasive case for bail and client control.  

Once you got the client in the door, now you have to handle your client being attacked and ridiculed by the media.  You client is most always feared and despised by society.   What the client needs and expects from his attorney is a strong, persuasive advocate that will convincingly explain their story to the prosecutors, judges, jurors, media, and the world on their behalf. 

Learn the cutting edge techniques about how to create your theory and theme and incorporate it into every aspect of your client’s case from organizing your trial notebooks to having all of the members of the defense team working together for the best outcome for your client with top attorneys, Bill Massey and Lorna McClusky, from Memphis, Tennessee.  Bill and Lorna have been published in National Association Criminal Defense Lawyers: The Champion, have been on faculty as senior instructor with the Tennessee Criminal Defense Trial College for over 16 years, and have been guest lecturers for NACDL and other states on these important topics over the past 16 years.  Bill Massey is also a Certified Criminal Trial Specialist and Board Certified Criminal Trial Advocate, he will be lecturing on “Winning Your Case During Opening Statements and Capitalizing on Your Closing.”  Bill and Lorna know and believe that the outcome of every trial depends on your ability to use persuasive techniques to communicate with the judge and jurors and they will help teach these techniques at this seminar.

Daniel Ambrose and Shawn Patrick Smith practices both criminal and civil law. They are 2003 graduates of Gerry Spence's Trial Lawyer's College. They have tried over 165 cases to verdict and consulted on 100's more. Dan methods of voir dire, direct examination, and cross examination are unique in that he has learned how to blend knowledge from many different schools such as NLP, psychodrama, and story telling. "Everything is about connecting with the jury through a process of "reflective listening" and following up with questions that demonstrate to the listener that "I understand, I have had a similar experience, and you and I are alike." Dan and Shawn coach both civil and criminal trial lawyers of all levels. Their methods rely upon memorization, modeling, and immediate real time feed back so that the lawyer can correct the erroneous question, word, tone, or demeanor and "feel" what it is like to do it properly and more importantly to see how the audience perception is affected by the change. Dan's philosophy is that this is a world of abundance, not scarcity, therefore, he freely gives away all that he knows with the hope that those that receive it pay it forward so that more lawyers will believe in their own power and spread justice for all. Although he has experienced a reasonable amount of success, he still practices "trial skills" like an Olympian and works on every criminal case like it was a "death penalty" and civil case like it was worth $25,000,000. Dan and Shawn will be available each evening to work on specific cases or skills and will be staying an extra day for all who want to work on their skills. If you have any questions or need anything before the conference his cell is 248-808-3130. Finally, he is going to write out his best, winning voir dire in an Attorney-Juror dialogue format so that everybody can apply the structure and hopefully have a better understanding of the crucial dialogue called "voir dire."

Mark M. O'Mara is this year’s keynote speaker and is most famous for his defense of client George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin shooting case. He has been practicing Criminal and Family Law in Central Florida for 28 years, and is presently Board Certified as a Criminal Trial Specialist and a Marital and Family Law Specialist.
He has extensive trial experience in both state and federal criminal defense. Mark is also involved in many Bar activities, including serving as President of the Seminole County Bar Association and serving on both Circuit and Federal Grievance Committees. He currently serves as the legal analyst for Central Florida's WKMG Channel 6.
This year we have a stellar panel of Judges from the Middle to Southern areas of our state that will be here to discuss freely what they see as being the ultimate persuasive advocate and the techniques that work and what falls short of this in their courtrooms from bond hearings, motion hearings, trials, sentencing, and post trial hearings.

This seminar will also devote time to mastering the calculation on the sentencing guidelines.  Joel Sogol and Bennett Wright would like questions and case examples emailed to them to focus on the nuts and bolts of the guidelines and how they are calculated and work in real cases.  Please email fact patterns to Joel Sogol at

In conclusion, what do you do when you get the phone call from the family or an inmate about hiring you to get them out of prison.  Learn the procedures, policy, and protocol to getting your client in front of the pardon and parole board from the leading attorney on this area of law, Amiee Smith from Montgomery, Alabama. 

This seminar will train you to be a passionate persuasive advocate for your client at every stage of their case. 

We hope you will join us at this cutting-edge seminar in Pensacola Beach, Florida—one of our nation’s great icons of freedom—Register today!

(c) 2013 Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association  *  P.O. Box 1147, Montgomery, AL 36101 * (334)272-0064

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