International Society of Primerus Law Firms

Primerus Personal Injury Institute Winter Conference

Join us in Miramar Beach, Florida! This is a great opportunity to reconnect with your colleagues and enjoy our program which will be headlined by Joshua Karton.

On Zoom vs. In Person: Re-Discovering Courtroom Connection

Experienced trial attorneys are facing a post-Covid return to the in-person courtroom after two years of exile in Zoom-land. But now, the first moment of facing jurors may well be a jury selection with only half-faces behind masks, voices muffled behind them. The trial lawyer now faces once “good jurors” who can be “triggered” by words or ism’s which were not landmines the last time you tried a case. And there are newer trial lawyers who have never yet known an in-person courtroom, having only faced computer screens in Zoom-land.

What remains unchanged is that the in-person courtroom trial is a live, human event: the trial lawyer must bring a full human being, connecting deeply to him or herself and to other humans, not a talking legal pad pretending to pass as a person. Also unchanged is that “No one ever made a decision because of a number. They need a story.” (Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize Winner for pioneering insights into decision-making and judgment.) How do we present the story which becomes the juror’s own?

What To Expect:

We will work through the landscape in three morning sessions. There will be opportunities to go beyond those time frames if desired.

Our success will depend upon your readiness to participate. Please submit no later than February 10, a one page introduction of a case of yours you would like to investigate, and what aspect you will be ready in a live, no more than three minute “clip” to “put on its feet” to discover how best to solve a concern.

To be clear, no one will be performing; no one will be critiqued!

What this format provides is the real-life, case-specific raw material to focus our collective exploration of:

  1. achieving personal, one-to-one, human connection with jurors;
  2. harnessing the power of story structure and delivery;
  3. maximizing juror disclosure and participation in voir dire;
  4. transforming stage fright into stage presence;
  5. integrating the mass trauma of Covid-19.

Joshua Karton

JOSHUA KARTON pioneered the application of the communication techniques of theatre/film/television to the art of trial advocacy. He has served on the faculties of the American Association for Justice’s Ultimate Course, Justice Advocacy Africa, the Trial Lawyer’s College, the United States Judge Advocate Generals’ Corps, American Bar Association, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, National Criminal Defense College, Loyola and California Western Schools of Law, numerous state trial lawyers associations and criminal defense associations, developed curriculum for live and virtual CLE training, as well as maintaining a professional practice of individual case consultation and witness preparation. Over thirty years of work in this field culminated in his preparation of the winning oral argument to the United States Supreme Court in Hamdan v Rumsfeld. He is the 2016 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from Stetson University College of Law’s Center for Excellence in Advocacy, and co-author of Trial for Theater (published by Trial Guides, 2017.)

Member Testimonials

“Simply put, Joshua can help you in a short amount of time to be a better public speaker, and to communicate more effectively in court with your clients, witnesses, judge and jury.”

-Matthew Menzer, Menzer Law Firm, PLLC (Seattle, Washington)

“You won’t walk away from this seminar with a binder full of handouts. This is a hands-on experience from start to finish.”

-Andrew Gowdown, Rosen Hagood (Charleston, South Carolina)

“Better than therapy! You will not only gain an insight into how to be a better jury lawyer, you may gain an insight into yourself.”

-Walt Lesnevich, Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, O’Cathain & O’Cathain, LLC (Hackensack, New Jersey)

“The way Joshua works a room is truly remarkable. Whether you are a young attorney, or seasoned vet, Joshua will help you take the next step to make you a more effective trial lawyer.”

-Chris Dawe, Primerus (Grand Rapids, Michigan)

In addition to the incredible program to be put on by Joshua Karton, Hotel Effie has several other amenities that we hope you are able to take advantage of during your stay.

Fun In The Sun

Activities Scheduled by Primerus

Poolside with Joshua Karton:
Friday, February 25, all attendees are invited to join us at the ARA Rooftop Pool and Lounge to enjoy a time of networking, cocktails, snacks and sun!

Group Dinners have been arranged at three different nearby restaurants; Kiki on the Gulf, Ovide, and The Drunken Goat Saloon.

Activities Available at Hotel Effie

With a celebrity chef bringing his award-winning culinary skills to the table, you will want to pull up a chair and savor every bite, from an intimate meal for two to a get-together for 10 or more. Upscale dining, small bites in the vibrant lobby bar, artisanal cocktails—and breathtaking panoramic views—at the rooftop pool and lounge, and a charming coffee market, so you’re properly fueled for wherever the day takes you.

Spa Lilliana
Some days call for some get-up-and-go energy. Other days are made to pause, breathe deeply, and shut the rest of the world out. Spa Lilliana will inspire you, take you away, and ground you all at the same time. Let the others go golfing while you indulge in special treatments designed to rejuvenate, restore, and relax. Find facials, scrubs, and massages, as well as a full-service salon.

Ara Pool & Lounge
You’ll want to lounge by our signature rooftop pool and lounge and sip a hand-crafted cocktail. Or maybe cool off with a dip and stare off into the staggering panoramic views. Luxurious cabanas give you a little privacy if that’s what you’re looking for. But if you’re feeling playful, join us for a little friendly competition and some fun and games by the pool.

Beach & Water
Kayaking, parasailing, fishing, boating, or lounging on the beach, at Hotel Effie if you are not on the water, you’re in it. That’s life along the Emerald Coast.

Entertainment and Night Life
With award-winning restaurants, lively venues, and nightclubs with a full calendar of concerts, outdoor festivals, and special activities, get ready to paint the town red at the Village of Baytowne Wharf.

Robert Trent Jones, Jr., Rees Jones, Tom Jackson. When you want to play four championship golf courses designed by icons and to be surrounded by incredible natural beauty, Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort is the place to tee off.

At the Village of Baytowne Wharf, you’ll find more than a dozen boutiques and stores, including the Sandestin Family Retail Shops, so you can get ready for a night on the town or pick up a special something, just because.

Twelve world-class HydroGrid clay courts, three hard tennis courts, private lessons with USPTA and USPTR pros, our popular round robin tournaments, and more at the best tennis experience in northwest Florida.

Stay Active
If relaxation isn’t your thing, it’s easy to get outside and get going. With so much beautiful coastal landscape and endless paths all around, venture out for a bike ride, an energizing hike, or connect to all there is to explore at Hotel Effie.

Contact Chris Dawe at or by phone at 800.968.2211 or 616.454.9939.

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