The Zen Lawyer, August 23-26, 2018, Toledo, OH
Registration $1,695.00

The Zen Lawyer & Advocacy (CLE Live Event)

Bringing the Jury to the Core Truths of a Case

August 23-26, 2018, Toledo, OH

  • Seminar Description
  • Accreditation
  • Registration Information & Event Schedule
  • Hotel & Location Information
  • Faculty Biography Summaries
  • Event Policies
  • Event Sponsors

Building from their book, The Zen Lawyer, attorney Michael Leizerman and Zen master Jay Rinsen Weik, in conjunction with Joshua Karton, have developed a four-day, intensive continuing education program that weaves Zen practice, theater principles, and mindfulness exercises together to improve your advocacy skills. Using practical case examples to demonstrate how being a Zen lawyer means being a better lawyer, the trio‘s comprehensive approach will bring greater clarity and persuasion to your cases. Throughout the program, you will practice persuasive techniques, including finding the path of least resistance by embracing as many of the opponent’s arguments as possible to neutralize defenses in the case and focus on a Core Truth. You will leave this seminar understanding the importance of mental focus and how to practice it, along with awareness of body, voice, and presence during trial.

The key to learning that mental focus is understanding and implementing the five cores: the Physical Core, Emotional Core, Logical Core, Motivational Core, and the Zen Core. Learning and exploring these cores allows you to become a Zen, or awakened, lawyer and helps you approach cases in new, refreshing, and more effective ways. This program is designed to help you develop the core aspects in yourself, which, in turn, will allow you to help your juries realize the truths in each of these core areas. As juries experience the reality of each core, versus simply adopting your—or another lawyer’s—words, they realize core truths.

  • Physical Core: The physical core is located throughout the body. When mindful of what you are sensing, you can develop your center so that, in the courtroom, you can embody case moments, such as what parties and witnesses perceived, so that jurors experience the physical truth of the case. This allows the jury to see, hear, touch, taste, and smell the physical aspects of the case.
  • Emotional Core: The emotional core is located in the heart. When mindful of your feelings, you can develop openness so that, at trial, you can explore case connections, including feelings shared by your clients, their family, and the jurors. This allows jurors to experience the emotional truth of the case by feeling the emotions in the case.
  • Logical Core: The logical core is located in the brain. When mindful of what and how you are thinking, you can develop clarity so that, at trial, you can explain case knowledge, such as facts and standards. This allows the jury to clearly think about the logic of the case themselves and experience the logical truth of the case.
  • Motivational Core: The motivational core is located in the breath. When mindful of the meaning of your practice—ideally to reduce suffering in the world and do good—you can develop compassion so that, at trial, you can encourage jurors to act in the case in a way which has the potential to do good. In doing so, you and the jurors are united in the motivational truth of the case, which is that the jury’s verdict gives meaning to the case.
  • Zen Core: The Zen core is located in the mind. When mindful of your being, you can develop wisdom, which is the interconnectedness of all things—including case events, your life, life experiences of the jury, and what’s happening at trial—so you and the jurors experience the Zen truth of the case here and now in the present moment. This allows the jury to be the case by directly experiencing it as something not separate from themselves.

The trio’s comprehensive approach shows how mindfulness brings greater clarity and persuasion to your cases. The examples and exercises will walk you through ways to elicit game-changing witness testimony during depositions and trial, more effectively deal with difficult judges or opposing counsel, improve damages, and use proven tools to show the jury why a just verdict for your client is the right thing to do.

Admission to this program includes a copy of Theater for Trial by David Ball and Joshua Karton and The Zen Lawyer by Michael Leizerman with Jay Rinsen Weik.


   for The Zen Lawyer CLE Live Event.

PLEASE NOTE: This event is open only to civil plaintiff’s OR criminal defense counsel. Lawyers who perform any work on behalf of insurance companies or any form of civil defense work are not allowed to attend. All attendees will be required to sign and submit an affidavit to that effect before being allowed entry. No audio or video recording is allowed.

Accreditation is in the application process. The program is planned for 1,440 minutes (60 minute states = 24.25 general credits; 50 minute states = 29.1 general credits). Actual credits vary by jurisdiction in accordance with their respective rules and procedures.

Trial Guides applies for accreditation from the jurisdictions in which our attendees are licensed. More jurisdictions are added often. If you register now for this event and your state is not already listed, we will seek accreditation in your state.


  • Florida: 29 general credits
  • Georgia: 24 general credits
  • Illinois: 24.25 general credits
  • Indiana: 24.3 general credits
  • Minnesota: 24.25 general credits
  • Missouri: 27.9 general credits
  • Ohio: 17.5 general credits
  • Pennsylvania: 24 general credits
  • Tennessee: 24.25 general credits
  • Washington: 21.75 general credits (including 8 law & legal and 13.75 other – professional development, personal development, mental health, office management, and improving the legal system)

Eligible for Credit under Reciprocity or Out of State Rules:

Alaska, Alberta, Arizona, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York

Applications in Process:


Non-MCLE Jurisdictions:

Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, South Dakota and Washington, D.C.



Additional jurisdictions are being added as attorneys register for the event. Accreditation is sought based on the barred jurisdiction(s) of the attendees.

The daily event schedule is as follows:

  • 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on August 23
  • 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on August 24
  • 8 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. on August 25
  • 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on August 26

The cost of registration is as follows:

Trial Guides is pleased to provide a financial hardship policy for registration costs. For more information, click here to download the program rules and application.

A portion of the program will be held at the Great Heartland Buddhist Temple, for which Mr. Weik serves as Abbot. As a result, Trial Guides has selected the Hilton Garden Inn in Perrysburg, Ohio, due to its proximity to the Temple.

The hotel is also located near the Levi Commons Shopping Mall. The room includes complimentary wifi as well as access to the fitness center, business center and indoor pool. The discounted group rate of $139 will expire on July 30, 2018.

Trial Guides CLE attendees get substantial discounts for rooms. To book online reservations, please use this link to access the attendee discount. You may also call 419-873-0700 and ask for the “Trial Guides” room block for the discounted room rate.

Hotel Address:

The Hilton Garden Inn

6165 Levis Commons Blvd.

Perrysburg, Ohio 43551

*Toledo Express airport is the closest airport to the event. However, flying into Detroit is typically much less expensive. Detroit is 45 – 60 minutes away from Toledo.

Michael Leizerman

Michael Jay Leizerman concentrates his practice in select catastrophic injury, truck collision cases across the country. He has received record-breaking truck accident settlements and verdicts across the country: a $34 million Ohio settlement in 2014, a record $16 million Ohio wrongful death consortium-only verdict in 2013, and a $13.2 million Arizona wrongful death consortium-only verdict in 2012. He practices law with his wife, Rena, and in 2012 they received the first punitive damages verdict in the country in a negligent hiring truck broker case.

Jay Rinsen Weik

Jay Rinsen Weik Sensei is an ordained Zen Buddhist abbot, priest, and teacher. He is a transmitted lineage holder through James Myoun Ford Roshi of the Soto Zen Buddhist tradition and the Harada-Yasutani koan curriculum. Rinsen is a fifth-degree black belt in the martial art Aikido. He is the Aikido student of Gleason Sensei, who was the student of Yamaguchi Sensei, who was the student of O Sensei (Morihei Ueshiba) – the founder of modern Aikido. Rinsen Sensei is the founder of Shobu Aikido of Ohio.

Joshua Karton

Joshua Karton, president of Communication Arts, specializes in the application of communication techniques of theatre/film/television to the art of trial advocacy. He has served on the faculties and developed curriculum for many national and local trial colleges, state TLAs, and criminal defense associations, as well as maintaining a professional practice of individual case consultation and witness preparation. He is the recipient of the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Advocacy from Stetson University College of Law’s Center for Excellence in Advocacy.