145 Georgian Attorneys Take Part in Trial Advocacy Skills Trainings

August 2011

The ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) has broadened training opportunities for practicing Georgian attorneys to help improve the quality oflegal representation and the administration of justice. From May to June, ABAROLI representatives traveled nearly 3,000 miles to cities and towns throughout Georgia and conducted six trial advocacy skills trainings for criminal defense attorneys.

One of ABA ROLI’s most popular trainings in Georgia, the three-day trial advocacy training covers various practical skills, including jury selection,opening statements, direct and cross examinations, re-direct, witness impeachment and closing arguments. The training culminates in a mock trial,which allows participants to hone their newly acquired skills by applying themto a hypothetical case.

Over a period of six weeks, ABA ROLI trained 145 defense attorneys from 21 Georgian cities and towns who would otherwise not have access to ABA ROLI’s trainings in Tbilisi. The trainings were well received by the participants—they were so popular that ABA ROLI trainers had to go back to some cities and towns to accommodate additional attorneys.

The trainees—some of whom are legal aid attorneys from some of the mostremote regions of the country—said that they are now better equipped to defend their clients under the new adversarial system. In addition to the attorneytrainees, 60 university students and 13 other Georgian citizens also learnedabout the jury trial system by serving as jurors in the mock trials.

To learn more about our work in Georgia, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at rol@americanbar.org.

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