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Commanding the Courtroom (CD)

Gregory S. Cusimano & James B. Lees, Jr.

Media: 5 CDs, MP3s; 1st edition (2003)


Audio Excerpt (2:24 min.)

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Commanding the Courtroom is a five-part (five-hour) AAJ Education video series featuring AAJ trial masters Greg Cusimano and Jim Lees. In this lecture, Cusimano and Lees share the secrets of running focus groups, developing litigation strategies, and successfully implementing those strategies to achieve winning verdicts. This comprehensive presentation is designed for all levels of trial experience and shares hundreds of tips, insights, and hands-on demonstrations of successful litigation techniques with you. Cusimano and Lees rely on more than fifty years of combined trial experience, and they present this video in an enlightening format interspersed with anecdotes and real courtroom examples.

About the Authors

Greg Cusimano is the co-creator of the Jury Bias Model™ (with David Wenner), a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, Best Lawyers of America, Superlawyers, and has been heavily involved with AAJ for much of his career. He is co-editor of ATLA’s six volume text Litigating Tort Cases. He is one of few to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award bestowed by the American Association for Justice (formally ATLA®). Cusimano is also a member of the American Society of Trial Consultants in his role as a founding principal in Winning Works, LLC.

Jim Lees is a trial lawyer who has tried over 250 cases to verdict. He is also a jury consultant specializing in the use of psychology and focus groups to formulate persuasion strategies for trial. Mr. Lees’ recent verdicts include a jury verdict of $23.6 million dollars in a failure to diagnose medical negligence case. He is a former cochair of AAJ’s NCA Board of Trustees, a Diplomate of AAJ’s NCA, and is a frequent lecturer and teacher of trial tactics throughout the United States.

This title is part of the iWin® series of educational media by Trial Guides™.

Track Listing

CD 1 [60:40]

1. Focus Groups and Discovery (5:00)
2. Focus Groups and Discovery (5:00)
3. Focus Groups and Discovery (5:00)
4. Focus Groups and Discovery (5:00)
5. Focus Groups and Discovery (5:00)
6. Focus Groups and Discovery (5:00)
7. Focus Groups and Discovery (5:00)
8. Focus Groups and Discovery (5:00)
9. Focus Groups and Discovery (5:00)
10. Focus Groups and Discovery (5:00)
11. Focus Groups and Discovery (5:00)
12. Focus Groups and Discovery (5:00)
13. Focus Groups and Discovery (0:40)

CD 2 [68:00]

Jury Decision-Making and Voir Dire (5:00)
Jury Decision-Making and Voir Dire (5:00)
Jury Decision-Making and Voir Dire (5:00)
Jury Decision-Making and Voir Dire (5:00)
5. Jury Decision-Making and Voir Dire (5:00)
Jury Decision-Making and Voir Dire (5:00)
Jury Decision-Making and Voir Dire (5:00)
Jury Decision-Making and Voir Dire (5:00)
Jury Decision-Making and Voir Dire (5:00)
Jury Decision-Making and Voir Dire (5:00)
Jury Decision-Making and Voir Dire (5:00)
Jury Decision-Making and Voir Dire (5:00)
Jury Decision-Making and Voir Dire (5:00)
Jury Decision-Making and Voir Dire (3:00)

CD 3 [66:25]

The Opening Statement (5:00)
2. The Opening Statement (5:00)
3. The Opening Statement (5:00)
4. The Opening Statement (5:00)
5. The Opening Statement (5:00)
6. The Opening Statement (5:00)
7. The Opening Statement (5:00)
The Opening Statement (5:00)
9. The Opening Statement (5:00)
10. The Opening Statement (5:00)
The Opening Statement (5:00)
12. The Opening Statement (5:00)
13. The Opening Statement (5:00)
14. The Opening Statement (1:25)

CD 4 [65:25]

Direct and Cross-Examination (5:00)
2. Direct and Cross-Examination (5:00)
3. Direct and Cross-Examination (5:00)
4. Direct and Cross-Examination (5:00)
5. Direct and Cross-Examination (5:00)
6. Direct and Cross-Examination (5:00)
7. Direct and Cross-Examination (5:00)
Direct and Cross-Examination (5:00)
9. Direct and Cross-Examination (5:00)
10. Direct and Cross-Examination (5:00)
Direct and Cross-Examination (5:00)
12. Direct and Cross-Examination (5:00)
13. Direct and Cross-Examination (5:00)
14. Direct and Cross-Examination (0:25)

CD 5 [55:27]

The Closing Argument (5:00)
2. The Closing Argument (5:00)
3. The Closing Argument (5:00)
4. The Closing Argument (5:00)
5. The Closing Argument (5:00)
6. The Closing Argument (5:00)
7. The Closing Argument (5:00)
The Closing Argument (5:00)
9. The Closing Argument (5:00)
10. The Closing Argument (5:00)
The Closing Argument (5:00)
12. The Closing Argument (0:27)

Total running time: 5 hour, 16 minutes


  1. Enthralling. It was as if Greg and Jim were in my living room discussing trial techniques and strategy. Despite 30 years in practice, I still found myself taking notes. This is truly a ‘must have’ for everyone who is interested in improving their trial presentation.
    —Gary B. Pillersdorf, Past President New York State Trial Lawyers Association, ATLA State Delegates Chair (2005), ATLA Section Leaders’ Council Chair (2005)

  2. I have never read or seen a better explanation of the complex process that jurors use to decide cases. I wish this video was available when I began practice 25 years ago.
    —William P. Lightfoot, Koonz McKenney Johnson Depaolis & Lightfoot (Washington, DC), Former ATLA Public Affairs Committee Member, Former ATLA Press Advisory Board Member

  3. Cusimano and Lees give you a framework for success. They explain not only what to think about, and what questions to ask, but also how to feel in the courtroom.
    —Jeffrey M. Padwa, ATLA Board of Governors, New Lawyers Board Representative (2005), Past Chair ATLA New Lawyers Division

  4. Tremendously informative. Greg and Jim’s clear instructions will help even the most experienced trial lawyers. I highly recommend this video.
    —Julie Braman Kane, ATLA Board of Governors, Board Member (2005), Past Chair ATLA Women Trial Lawyers Caucus

  5. Cusimano and Lees have created a valuable tool that not only teaches the essentials to the newer trial lawyers, but also provides powerful trial tactics and strategies to even the most experienced advocates.
    —David R. Bassart, ATLA Board of Governors, Board Member (2005), Former National College of Advocacy Member

  6. This series was excellent!!! I will use it with my class each semester. As a Trial Advocacy Team Coach, I found it particularly useful as a secondary demonstrative aid. My students indicated that they benefited tremendously from the use of these tapes.
    —Professor Olu Orange, University of Southern California

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