New Perimeter, DLA Piper’s nonprofit affiliate that provides long-term pro bono legal assistance in under-served regions around the world, recently conducted two training sessions on trial advocacy skills for police prosecutors from Trinidad and Tobago.
From May 15-19, a team of DLA Piper lawyers led training sessions in Port-of-Spain for more than 20 police prosecutors on best practices for presenting a case in chief and responding to the defense’s case. The interactive and simulation-based workshop focused on such trial skills as evidence presentation, cross and direct examination, witness preparation and presentation, opening statements and closing arguments, and case management. The workshop followed a first round of training for more than 20 police prosecutors in Trinidad and Tobago, conducted by New Perimeter in February.
These trainings were developed and conducted in partnership with the National Center for State Courts (NCSC), which is working throughout the Caribbean to strengthen legal institutions and promote the rule of law. This training was conducted under the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative Justice Sector Assistance Program and funded by the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs at the US Department of State.
“Certain police officers in Trinidad and Tobago are appointed to be police prosecutors, responsible for prosecuting a large number of criminal matters throughout the country. But most are not lawyers, and many have not received training on trial advocacy skills,” said Suzanna Brickman, pro bono counsel for New Perimeter who managed the project. “We were excited to make two trips to Port-of-Spain to help build the skills and capacity of the police prosecutors who play a critical role in the country’s criminal justice system and in the rule of law throughout the region.”
”The participants expressed their heartfelt appreciation for the training as it provided them with essential trial advocacy skills and confidence in their ability to perform well in court,” said JoAnne Richardson, senior program manager and project director for NCSC.
This project builds upon New Perimeter’s work with the government of Guyana’s Justice Sector Modernization Program, wherein DLA Piper lawyers designed and implemented an innovative workshop for magistrate judges and police prosecutors on criminal trial skills, and developed a comprehensive desk reference manuals for judges and prosecutors.
“Having had the opportunity to support judicial reform efforts in Guyana in 2011, I was eager to return to the Caribbean to help lead training sessions for police prosecutors in Trinidad and Tobago,” said Robert Sherman, a partner in DLA Piper’s Boston office who participated in the New Perimeter project. “The interactive nature of the workshop and the open discussions around challenges faced by police prosecutors were energizing for our team and provided the participants with practical guidance for handling criminal prosecutions.”
In addition to Sherman, the DLA Piper teams that traveled to Port-of-Spain to conduct the trainings included partners Alistair Drummond (Edinburgh), Louis Ramos (Washington, DC) and Andrew Valentine (Silicon Valley), of counsel Kiera Gans (New York), and associates Aaron Goodman (Phoenix) and Katie Hausfeld (Chicago). Krantz Fellow Olga Slobodyanyuk (Silicon Valley) assisted with the preparation of training materials.
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About New Perimeter (www.newperimeter.com)
New Perimeter is a nonprofit organization established by global law firm DLA Piper to provide long-term pro bono legal assistance in under-served regions around the world to support access to justice, social and economic development, and sound legal institutions. Founded in 2005, New Perimeter’s vision is to harness the skills and talents of DLA Piper’s lawyers to further a more just world for all.