Today I leave San Diego after five days participating in and observing how business valuation experts learn the ins and outs of litigation. There were over 700 attendees at what is known as NACVA and the IBA’s Annual Consultants’ Conference. On the first day I presented on hot topics in family law. But it is what I did on the final day, Saturday, that was the most educational for me. I played the role of judge in a mock trial played out before over 200 attendees and then participated in a panel discussion, AFTER we got to observe, via closed circuit tv, the jury deliberations. What a learning experience. The perspective of being the judge and then vicariously participating in jury deliberations was extraordinary. It helped me recognize how crucial each piece of evidence is, particularly the testimony of experts.
When I am not the lawyer in the case, like during this exercise, I am able to get a clearer picture of the entire environment. This type of exercise, very similar to the ones we do at the American Bar Association, Family Law Section’s Trial Advocacy Institute can be invaluable for a practicing trial lawyer. I was lucky enough to be invited to help teach, but I actually learned much, much more than I taught.
Thank you to NACVA (National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts). I hope trial lawyers and expert witnesses can keep learning together. We certainly help make each other better.