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Litigation Skills Programme 2020

Litigation Skills Programme 2020
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25 March 
Given the ongoing situation regarding COVID-19 we have made the difficult decision to cancel this programme. If you would like to be advised about a possible alternative offering later in the year,
register your interest.

Now in its 35th year, this week long residential programme provides in-depth hands-on training in the skills needed for successful courtroom advocacy.


  • Day 1 – Introduction, theory of the case and communication skills
  • Day 2 – Leading evidence, cross-examination and production of exhibits
  • Day 3 – Cross-examination and impeachment
  • Day 4 – Examination of expert witnesses
  • Day 5 – Mini trials and opening addresses
  • Day 6 – Closing arguments and pre-trial conferences
  • Day 7 – Full trials where you will be counsel in a jury trial in the District Court and be critiqued by a judge (until 5.10pm), followed by a dinner and presentation of certificates.
Learning by doing with critique

You will perform in simulated courtroom exercises a number of times every day. To help you to recognise and learn from your mistakes you will be critiqued by faculty members as soon as you complete your performance. All faculty are trained in the NITA method of teaching and will build a positive and supportive atmosphere within which critiques will be specific, clear, constructive and candid.

Learning by observing

Throughout the course you will have the opportunity to observe others in your group and hear them being critiqued. Your performance will be recorded every day and then critiqued through video review. You will also have the opportunity to observe experienced faculty conducting a variety of demonstrations and discuss differences in styles and methods.

Teaching approach

  • See faculty demonstrate and discuss a major skill
  • Practise that skill in a small group of eight participants
  • Receive individual advice from faculty on improving your performance
  • Review your performance on video with a third faculty member
  • Observe members of your group perform and listen to faculty comment.

Learning objectives

You will develop your skills as an advocate by taking part in a variety of litigation exercises and activities. You will further develop your advocacy skills through reflecting on your own performance, those of your colleagues and observing faculty demonstrations.

Who should attend

Designed for practitioners in their first five years of practice. Some litigation experience is required, and participants should have had at least two years’ such experience. Note: Enrolments are restricted to 96 participants.

The faculty

  • Director: James Rapley QC
  • Deputy Director: Vivienne Crawshaw QC
  • Team Leaders: The Hon Justice Cull, His Hon Judge Harrop, His Hon Judge Harvey, His Hon Judge Patel
  • Faculty: 70 senior practitioners


freephone (within NZ)
0800 333 111


04 472 7837

04 463 2986
Level 4, 17-21 Whitmore Street
Wellington 6011

DX SP 20202
PO Box 5041
Wellington 6140
New Zealand