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Four Fall Thursday Evenings — Session 3

Actor’s Directions for Award Winning Trial Performance
A Four Evening CLE Series

Rocco Dal Vera
Professor of Drama at UC’s College Conservatory of Music
Acclaimed Actor, Voice and Speech Coach, and Author
At the University of Cincinnati College of Law
Third Evening: September 29, 2014
6:00–9:30 p.m. (including sandwich supper)
5:00-–6:00 p.m. Ethics Hour
On Cross Examination: Control, Command, and Convey
The Lawyer-As-Actor’s Ethical Limits


5:00 – 6:00 The Lawyer-As-Actor’s Ethical Limits

  • Examination of potential witness and jury manipulation and deception through deliberate choices in movement, anchoring, vocal, emotional and narrative strategies.
  • Faculty presentation and class discussion of relevant ABA Model Rules and consequent limits on the lawyer- as-actor.

6:00 – 6:15 Introduction: Soliloquies and Sandwiches

6:15 – 7:45 Controlling, Extracting & Illuminating Cross Examination Gold

  • Controlling mining through frame and focus to convey your story
  • Pinning down a difficult witness
  • Extracting gold without alienating the audience
  • Illuminating the golden thread of logic and narrative
  • Faculty presentations & demos, participant exercises & feedback

7:45 – 8:00 Break

8:00 – 9:30 Keeping Character and Command

  • Preparing your witness for eluding control & keeping character
  • Winning points under scrutiny—building credibility and trust
  • Commanding presence; Controlling timing and pace
  • Faculty presentations & demos, participant exercises & feedback

Professor Rocco Dal Vera will present and demonstrate acting, movement and vocal techniques and provide feedback, Professor Marjorie Corman Aaron will facilitate discussion of attorneys’ perspectives.

Note: for the 90 minutes, Professor Dal Vera will present and work interactively on actors’ techniques relevant at this stage of trial. After break, participants will be invited to deliver very brief performances. Professor Dal Vera will provide private feedback (via audio feed on recording). These will be accessible only to class members, not to the public. Participants are welcome to observe only (also beneficial) and NOT perform or receive feedback. Observers will still receive full CLE credit.

Click here for the agendas (pdf)