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Cap'n Jack Sparrow Reveals Trial Treasures

Total Credits: 8.25 CLE, 2 Ethics, 8.25 Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Litigation Specialization

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Ethics |  Litigation |  Trial Practice
Ted A Schmidt |  Timothy Thomason |  Danielle J Viola |  Laura E Udall |  Peter Akmajian |  Dan Cavett |  Katherine Corcoran |  Richard Davis |  Dimitra Hotis Sampson |  Patrick J McGroder III |  Ronald Mercaldo |  John A Micheaels |   2 more....
9 Hours
Audio and Video
Co-Sponsored by:
Co-sponsored by AZ Chapter of the American College of Trial Lawyers



**This program will not be available OnDemand

Co-sponsored by AZ Chapter of the American College of Trial Lawyers

The faculty will present on the subjects of Case Preparation, Jury Selection, Opening Statement, Direct Examination, Cross Examination, Expert Witness Examination, Closing Argument and Ethics.  They will demonstrate the “do’s and don’t’s” of trial practice using video clips of the Amber Heard vs. Johnny Depp case.
Summary of case:

Ted Schmidt, Schmidt, Sethi & Akmajian

Honorable Timothy J Thomason, Maricopa County Superior Court
Honorable Danielle Viola, Maricopa County Superior Court
Peter Akmajian, Schmidt, Sethi & Akmajian
Dan Cavett, Cavett & Fulton PC
Katherine Corcoran, Broening Oberg Woods & Wilson PC
Richard Davis, Mesch Clark & Rothschild PC
Dimitra Hotis Sampson, United States Attorneys Office
Patrick McGroder, Beus Gilbert McGroder PLLC
Ronald Mercaldo, Mercaldo Law Firm LTD
John Micheaels, Beale, Micheaels, Slack & Shughart, P.C.
Randall Papetti, Papetti Samuels Weiss McKirgan LLP
Georgia Staton, Jones Skelton & Hochuli PLC
Laura Udall, Laura E. Udall PLLC



Ted A Schmidt Related seminars and products

Ted Schmidt is Vice President of the Arizona State Bar, a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and the International Society of Barristers as well as an Associate of the American Board of Trial Lawyers.

Danielle J Viola Related seminars and products

joined the Maricopa County Superior Court in 2011. She currently serves as the Civil Presiding Judge. Danielle previously served as the Arizona Tax Court Judge, the Associate Criminal Presiding Judge, and the Administrative Judge for the Post-Conviction Relief Unit. She is the immediate past chair of the Jury Advisory Committee for the Maricopa County Superior Court, and she currently serves on the Advisory Committee on the Rules of Evidence, the Court Interpreter Program Advisory Committee, and the State Bar Civil Practice and Procedure Committee. Danielle also served as a member of the COVID-19 Continuity of Court Operations During a Public Health Emergency ("Plan B") Workgroup. Before taking the bench, Danielle practiced in the area of commercial litigation at Snell & Wilmer LLP.

Laura E Udall Related seminars and products

Laura Udall is a criminal defense attorney in private practice in her hometown of Tucson, Arizona. She attended the University of California at Berkeley for her undergraduate degree and received her law degree from the University of Utah. Following law school she clerked for the Honorable Alfredo Marquez for District Court in Arizona. She then went to work at the Pima County Public Defender for 4 years. In 1992 she and Dan Cooper opened their firm, Cooper and Udall PC, and practiced together until 2021 when she opened her solo firm Laura E. Udall PLLC. Laura has tried over 110 cases to jury verdict. She is qualified as learned counsel for capital work in both Federal and State jurisdictions. She has been an Adjunct Professor at the University of Arizona teaching trial advocacy since 2010. Laura was inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers in 2017.

Peter Akmajian Related seminars and products


Peter Akmajian is a trial lawyer with 30+ years of experience and 40 jury trials in Tucson, Phoenix, Yuma, Bisbee and Nogales under his belt. These trials have mainly involved serious personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death. He was a civil defense lawyer for many years before making the switch to the plaintiff's side recently. Since 1998, Peter has been certified by the State Bar of Arizona as a Specialist in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death, and he is a long-time member of the State Bar's Commission that vets potential specialists. Peter is honored to have been inducted into three organizations recognizing outstanding trial work: the American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and the International Society of Barristers. He is also a long-time member of another prestigious trial lawyer organization, the American Board of Trial Advocates. Peter is honored to have served as a judicial law clerk for Vice-Chief Justice Frank X. Gordon of the Arizona Supreme Court, from 1984 – 1985. Peter graduated from the University of Arizona for both undergraduate and law school (B.A., with distinction 1980) (J.D., with distinction 1984).

Dan Cavett Related seminars and products

Dan Cavett is a medical malpractice defense lawyer at Cavett & Fulton, P.C., in Tucson, Arizona, where he has tried cases to juries for over 45 years. He graduated from Emory University and the University of Arizona College of Law where he was a member of the Law Review and the Order of the Coif. He served as an Air Force JAG Officer during Vietnam trying court martials in Southeast Asia. Since returning to Tucson in 1975, his practice is focused on the defense of physicians, hospitals, and healthcare providers. He has been an AV rated lawyer by Martindale-Hubbell for over 35 years, been listed in Best Lawyers in America since 1995, and in Super Lawyers. He has been a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) since 1982, and is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Katherine Corcoran Related seminars and products

Broening Oberg Woods & Wilson PC

Kate’s practice is solely focused on defending health care providers. She was recently selected as the 2023 “Lawyer of the Year” in Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants in Phoenix with Best Lawyers. She is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers (, which is extended only by invitation, after careful investigation, to those experienced trial lawyers who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility and collegiality. Membership can never be more than 1% of the total lawyer population of any state or province. Kate is the current Chair of the Arizona State Committee of the ACTL after serving as Vice Chair from 2019-2021. She was lead trial counsel in a 2019 multi-million dollar medical malpractice/wrongful death case that was recognized as a Significant Defense Verdict in Arizona Attorney Magazine, a publication of the State Bar of Arizona. She has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America in the practice area of Medical Malpractice Law- Defendants since 2020. To date, Kate has first-chaired dozens of trials, including trials in Yavapai, Pinal and Pima Counties, and continues to sustain a heavy trial calendar. Her jury trials have involved the defense of a hospital, an assisted living facility, dentists and physicians. A substantial portion of her practice is dedicated to defending dentists, including appearing before the Arizona Board of Dental Examiners. Kate grew up in the suburban D.C. area, moving to Arizona to attend the University of Arizona in Tucson. She graduated with a B.A. in English and Political Science in 1996 and then went on to earn her J.D. from the University of Arizona in May 1999. Immediately after law school, Kate clerked for the Hon. Michael Cruikshank in Pima County. She then moved to Phoenix to join the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office as a Deputy County Attorney. Kate prosecuted hundreds of felonies, including numerous jury trials, in the three years she spent working for the County Attorney’s Office. Kate left the County to begin her civil litigation practice and found her niche defending health care providers when she joined the firm in 2005. She became a partner in 2011 and was then elected to shareholder in 2015.

Richard Davis Related seminars and products

Mesch Clark & Rothschild PC

Richard Davis is a shareholder in the Litigation Section at Mesch Clark Rothschild. His practice areas include healthcare and cases that involve products liability, condemnation matters and medical malpractice. He is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, an elite trial organization in the United States. Richard joined the Air Force after high school and was stationed in Okinawa and at Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson. He went on to receive his undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona and his J.D. from the University of Arizona College of Law. He earned a fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation to attend law school. As a college student, Richard developed the New Start Program, a scholarship program for minorities. He founded the University of Arizona Zeta Theta Chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha, the oldest African American fraternal organization, and he was the first President of the Black Student Union. He works with Alpha Phi Alpha programs and projects, including the Home Away from Home program, which provides services to students who are new to Arizona; the Go to High School, Go to College program; and the Awards program which honors African American male seniors who have excelled throughout their high school careers. After practicing law for only a year and a half, Richard became the lead counsel defending the City of Tucson in a class action lawsuit. It was the first class action of its kind, pitting aggressive water against defective copper piping. Since then, Richard has tried over 400 cases, representing both public and private entities, including hospitals and municipalities.

Dimitra Hotis Sampson Related seminars and products


United States Attorneys Office

Dimitra Sampson is an Assistant United States Attorney in Phoenix, handling mostly violent crimes prosecutions for the last 15 years. In addition to her trial work there, she has held various management positions in the office throughout the years, including Chief of the Criminal Division and serving as the Executive Assistant United States Attorney. Prior to joining the United States Attorney’s Office, she was an associate with Renaud Cook Drury Mesaros, PA from 2004 through 2008. She started her legal career as a Deputy County Attorney in Maricopa County in 1998. Dimitra was inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers in September 2018.

Patrick J McGroder III Related seminars and products


Patrick McGroder has been a trial lawyer in Phoenix, Arizona for over 45 years, specializing in catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Arizona College of Law. He is the former President of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers (IATL), a fellow American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Society of Barristers. He has been selected as one of the 10 Best Lawyers in Arizona by the AZ Business Journal. Since 2008 he has been selected by Lawdragon as one of the 500 best lawyers in America, and in 2019 he was inducted into Lawdragon’s Hall of Fame. He was named by Best Lawyers in America as Phoenix Personal Injury Litigator of the year 2009, 2015, and 2019. He was a co-finalist for the National Trial Lawyers for Public Justice “Trial Lawyer of the Year” for his work in representing victims of fuel-fed fires in Ford police vehicles. He was awarded the Ken Clancy Memorial Award by ABOTA for his “Unfailing Commitment to the Principles of Professionalism, Decency, and Civility in the Legal Profession. He was a recipient of the Walter E. Craig Distinguished Service Award from the Arizona Bar Foundation for his adherence to the highest traditions of the legal community and service to his community.

John A Micheaels Related seminars and products

John Micheaels began practicing law in 1979. His practice focuses on medical malpractice and catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases. John has taken over 75 trials to a jury in the state and federal courts in Arizona. He has a Martindale-Hubbell “AV” attorney rating and is a State Bar Certified Specialist in Injury, and Wrongful Death Litigation. He has been listed in Best Lawyers in America and has been for over 15 years, as well as a Fellow in two of the most prestigious societies of trial lawyers in the country, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers (with membership limited to the top 500 trial lawyers in the U.S.) and the American College of Trial Lawyers (with membership limited to only 1% of trial lawyers in the U.S.). He has been named by Phoenix Magazine as one of the top lawyers in the Valley specializing in personal injury, medical malpractice, and civil litigation. He has been chosen as Lawyer of the Year for the Phoenix area by Best Lawyers in the Areas of Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law for 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2021. John was named the 2017 and 2021 Arizona Plaintiffs Medical Malpractice Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers. He was named Lawyer of the Year for 2017-2018 by the Phoenix Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. John was named 2019 Lawyer of the Year by the Arizona Association for Justice.

Georgia A Staton Related seminars and products


Jones Skelton & Hochuli PLC

Georgia Staton has more than 47 years of experience representing governmental entities, including state, counties, and cities, as well as school districts and privately-held corporations. She is committed to defending clients on issues involving governmental liability, employment law, personal injury, and civil rights. Georgia has tried more than 75 cases to verdict in state and federal court in matters involving wrongful death and claims brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, Title VII discrimination, and sexual harassment claims and retaliation, as well as false arrest and excessive force allegations against law enforcement including pursuit cases and SWAT actions. Georgia is a Certified Specialist in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death, an Advocate member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), and a Fellow and Past-Chair of the Arizona Chapter of the American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL). Away from the office, Georgia enjoys traveling the world, reading novels, and learning Russian.

Randall S Papetti Related seminars and products


Papetti Samuels Weiss LLP

Randy is an experienced litigator and an elite trial lawyer. He has litigated and tried major commercial, intellectual property, and even criminal cases. He is a former Practice Group Leader of Lewis Roca’s Litigation section, one of the premiere litigation groups in the western United States. He is recognized by nearly every ranking publication and service as one of Arizona’s top litigators. He takes pride in his clients knowing he will go above and beyond to help them. Randy’s representations have included: Frequent representation of Arizona lawyers when they need counsel, whether to defend them against malpractice claims or otherwise. Numerous matters involving disputes between partners, limited liability company members, or corporate shareholders in nearly every type of major industry. Several high-stakes trials, including successful defense of a man accused of first-degree murder; a complicated lease and regulatory dispute that resulted in an $11 million jury verdict for Randy’s client; and matters involving complex intellectual property and commercial damages. Part of the trial team that in 2016 obtained a nationally publicized jury verdict that the writer, director, and producer of the Broadway play, Jersey Boys, copied from an unpublished manuscript of a deceased lawyer. Being brought in as co-counsel in order to help negotiate settlement in cases that had proven difficult to resolve. Randy’s background in finance and his diverse experience allow him to handle an unusually wide variety of business, commercial, healthcare, regulatory, and intellectual property disputes. In 2011, Randy was invited into and inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the preeminent trial lawyer organization in America. In 2014 and then again in 2020, Randy was selected by Best Lawyers and his local peers as Lawyer of the Year for “Bet the Company Litigation.” In 2022, Southwest Super Lawyers again selected Randy as one of its Top 50 Lawyers in Arizona. Randy’s pro bono work in an area of wrongful convictions is internationally recognized. Early in Randy’s career, he was asked to help on a case where the defendant had been convicted based on a medical diagnosis known as “Shaken Baby Syndrome.” Randy dug into the case and studied the science behind the diagnosis, concluding it was unreliable and eventually led a team that secured that individual’s release. Since then, on a pro bono basis, Randy has handled several high-profile murder and other cases in which the defendants had been falsely accused. In one, after a six-week trial, the jury hung 8-4 in favor of acquittal. In another, Randy helped overturn the conviction of a man who had unjustly served 10 years for allegedly murdering his baby son; the State eventually dismissed all charges. In a third case in Qatar involving murder allegations against an American couple whose child died while the father was in Qatar on a work assignment, Randy’s clients were exonerated by the Qatari courts, a nearly unheard-of result in that region. Recently, Randy’s concern about the unreliability of the science in this area led him to write a leading text, THE FORENSIC UNRELIABILITY OF THE SHAKEN BABY SYNDROME (Academic Forensic Pathology Int’l 2018), which addresses the legal, medical, and scientific complexities surrounding the diagnosis. Randy has received several awards for his pro bono and other community service work. Randy has been married to the beautiful Gina since 1994. They have three great children, two pugs, two cats, and are proud Arizona Wildcats.