HOW THE CONCEPT BEGAN
We have often been approached by lawyers to help them with their cases over the last 4 decades. It always seemed that the choices of involvement were limited. Either we co-counseled the case fully, or gave general, cursory, but positive encouragement.
That led to Roger J. Dodd teaching and writing. Teaching large groups of lawyers and judges all over the world. He also wrote dozens of articles, commentaries, and finally books on Trial Skills. See the bio/CV page.
For more than 3 decades, he has taught small clinics, normally ranging up to 15 participants on various faculties around the country. While this was much more individualized training, there was seldom opportunity for intense training focused on one lawyer and focused to his or her specific case. As often happens, the administrators for these faculties began to frustrate the teaching with rules and more rules. Rules for the sake of rules. Trial work is individual to the lawyer and to case. Administrators, who don’t try cases, don’t understand that. How could they?
Less than a decade ago, Roger J. Dodd was once again, talked into teaching a small group. Given his previous experience with administrators who just got in the way, he was reluctant. He set up parameters. More than 8 participants is too much, and his clinics are limited to that number. See doddlawclinic.com. That concept is developed around multiple facts settings in problems or exercises. More importantly professional improv actors play realistic witness roles. The learning curve in the two day clinics are astonishing.
More and more, participants from the various teaching modalities asked for either co-counseling of cases or specific coaching. That evolved into the individualized coaching concept. Individualized to the specific lawyer and to the specific case.
Whether the coaching assignment is for one troublesome fact, tactic, deposition or hearing, or the assignment is through the entire trial preparation and trial, coaching fills that niche.