Trojan Horse workshops have up to seven students and one instructor per class. This allows adequate time for each student to present six to eight times per day.
The students are given a personal story at the beginning of each session by a witness/participant. During the storytelling process the witness and the students discover how to become a better storyteller and how to find and experience the emotionally congruent story. After the story, a staff member will present a two minute re-telling of the witness’ story, demonstrating how to “transport” the jury by creating spaces, delivering dialogues, and eliminating useless narrative. Students are then required to do the same.
During fight club the student’s performance is critiqued by other students and the instructor with a level of honesty that the less seasoned, more sensitive participants find uncomfortable, hurtful and even painful. Those of us who know what it feels like to be rejected by a jury appreciate the hard truth, because we know it’s the road to improvement, winning and maybe- greatness.
One student assumes the role as the cross-examiner and another, the witness for 90 seconds each. Students are interrupted as necessary and proper technique is modeled as needed. They tell us that in cross examination, the attorney should be the focus and if we do it right, the witnesses’ answers won’t matter. We actually show you how to make this theory your new reality during cross.
We model and remodel every skill in trial until the student has it hardwired into them because it works. Imagine trying to learn how to tie your shoes as a child and your mom only explained it, but never showed you. It sounds ridiculous, but there is a school of thought that believes that we shouldn’t teach by modeling.
Every student is required to watch their own presentation on video and critique themselves. Most lawyers have never seen themselves and how they truly look to a jury. We have found that video review, although difficult for many, is a great catalyst to breaking old, bad habits and forming new ones.
Direct is the part of trial that must lawyers fear the most, right after voir dire. Most lawyers do a very poor job preparing their client to testify. They spend a great deal of time on experts, discovery, motions in liminae, but forget that their case rises and falls with their plaintiff/criminal defendant.
THM not only shows you how to make directs riveting, but your witnesses will be so prepared that they will appear “unprepared.” Fear and anxiety will leave them, replaced by calmness and confidence.