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Board Certification in Social Security Disability takes the spotlight this week as we feature NBTA member Chris Cornaghie. Chris represents hard working individuals in Social Security Appeals, long term disability and related matters throughout the Mid South: including: Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Kentucky, Alabama, and Louisiana.

Chris is admitted to practice in numerous United States Federal courts as well as the Supreme Court of the United States. He has served as president of the Memphis Mid South chapter of the Federal Bar Association and president of the University of Memphis Law School Alumni Association. Chris has also served on the board of NOSSCR (National Organization of Social Security Claims Representatives).

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This week we welcome Arkadelphia, Arkansas, attorney Travis Berry to the NBTA member spotlight. Travis is a partner at Wright, Berry & White, PLLC, has 30 years of trial experience and has tried nearly 100 jury trials to verdict. He has represented plaintiffs in cases ranging from medical negligence to product liability, fire claims, motor vehicle accidents, defective firearms and several other areas. He has also represented defendants in hundreds of motor vehicle defense cases over the years.

Travis was lead counsel for the plaintiff in a product liability multi-district litigation in Federal Court with cases in seven states and has represented plaintiffs and defendants in class action litigation, and he is the founder of the Gar Gig Continuing Legal Education event held each year at Cedar Lodge in Arkadelphia on the Ouachita River. Travis is also certified by the Arkansas Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission as a mediator for Arkansas’ Circuit Courts.

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In the NBTA Member Spotlight this week is Pennsylvania attorney Marc Steinberg, Managing Partner of Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg and Gifford since 1980. Mr. Steinberg is NBTA certified in Criminal Trial Law and is a co-founder of the Criminal Defense Law Committee of the Montgomery Bar Association, where he served as chairman or co-chairman from 1988 until 1996. Mr. Steinberg is a frequent lecturer for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute and the Montgomery Bar Association in criminal and civil areas. He also teaches Advanced Trial Advocacy at Temple University School of Law, where he has been teaching law students the art of trial advocacy for the past 25 years.

Where did you go to law school?
Temple University School of Law

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This week's member spotlight shines on Austin, TX, attorney Jack B. Zimmermann. Jack is a former prosecutor and criminal trial judge in the United States Marine Corps. He served 14 years on active duty in the Marine Corps, including duty as the commanding officer of two artillery batteries in combat, where he earned two Bronze Star medals for heroism and the Purple Heart for wounds in action. Jack is NBTA certified in Criminal Trial Law.

Where did you go to law school?
University of Texas School of Law

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This week's member spotlight shines on Anderson, SC, attorney J. David Standeffer. Dave was admitted to the South Carolina Bar in 1975 and served as a Captain in U.S. Army J.A.G. Corps for three years. He practiced with a law firm in Europe for one year and for the Anderson and Epps Law Firm for one year, before going to the Tenth Judicial Circuit Solicitor’s Office for over seven years. He served as Anderson County Attorney for two years and opened his private practice of law in 1988. Dave is Civil Pretrial and Civil Trial certified by NBTA.

Where did you go to law school?
University of South Carolina 

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This week we put the NBTA "spotlight" on attorney John Blackburn in Yankton, SD. John is a partner at Blackburn & Stevens and is Civil Pretrial and Civil Trial Law.

Where did you go to law school?
University of South Dakota School of Law

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At the National Board of Trial Advocacy, our members are our most valuable assets. Board certification by the NBTA takes out the question of whether an attorney is competent in a given area of law, by providing information to the consumer of legal services that is, unlike many lawyer organizations, verifiable and objective based. Board certification allows the client to know they are choosing someone ethical, knowledgeable, well respected with both their colleagues & the courts, and have a clear, proven level of proficiency.

We are excited to spotlight our members in our e-newsletters, on social media and here on our blog, but we need your help. Therefore, we have created a quick "spotlight survey" to gather information about members and use it to feature them in the future. If you are an NBTA member and would like to be considered for a future Spotlight, please fill out the form below.

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Join NBTA Family Law Advocate, Alisha Ankers from Fargo, North Dakota and host Chuck Finney for a special Valentine's Day week Your Legal Rights program. Your Legal Rights will be broadcast live from San Francisco on Wednesday, February 10, 2016 at 7:00 pm - Pacific Standard Time/8:00 pm - Mountain Standard Time./9:00 pm - Central Standard Time/10:00 pm - Eastern Standard Time. The theme of this show will be the Prevention of Domestic Violence and can be heard on KALW Radio (91.7 FM) in the Bay Area or around the world by streaming on KALW.org. Additional guests include: B.J. Fadem, specialist in Family Law, certified by the California Board of Legal Specialization; Rosanna Figueroa, Liaison for the Domestic Violence Response Team of La Casa de Madres in San Francisco; and: retired Judge Eugene Hyman, Superior Court of California.

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The National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA) is proud to be serving as a Platinum Sponsor & CLE host for this year’s American Association for Justice Winter Convention.

*Please stop by to say hello.*

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The National Board of Trial Advocacy is proud to serve as a Platinum Level Sponsor for this year’s American Association for Justice Winter Convention.

Founded in 1977, NBTA offers national board certification in civil trial law, civil pretrial law, criminal trial law, family trial law and Social Security disability law. With fewer than 4% of all practicing lawyers certified by an American Bar Association-accredited certification board, certification is not only highly important to the legal profession, but also differentiates attorneys for having objectively established their specialized proficiency in the practice of law.

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Florida attorney and NBTA member Matt Powell will proudly be sponsoring the Bright House Networks Pet Festival with the Humane Society of Pinellas on Saturday, January 30, 2016. The interactive event, which takes place in St. Petersburg, FL, consists of a dog walk, dog lovers and families. Adoptable pets will be available from HSP and many other area rescues. HSP’s Mobile Medical Center will also be on hand, offering affordable vaccines and microchips for pets.

“Our firm is full of pet lovers, and anything we can do to help support animals and the HSP, we try to be a part of,” said Powell. “I have volunteered with the HSP in the past and am honored to co-sponsor the pet festival.”

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In his forty-plus year legal career, NBTA member Mark Mandell has helped countless plaintiffs. He has tried many multi-million dollar cases to successful verdict and has received the highest negligence verdict in Rhode Island history - $25,590,000.

Attorney Mandell is a former president of the Rhode Island Trial Lawyers Association and holds many other distinguished memberships and awards. He has recently put his experience on paper to help other attorneys in the book Case Framing, where he shares proven methods developed over the course of his esteemed career. Available from Trial Guides, the book “uses transcripts and other examples to show how readers can use the Case Framing method to succeed in depositions, settlement and mediation negotiations, cases with multiple defendants, and cases where the opposing party has admitted liability in an attempt to reduce your ability to obtain a just verdict.” Below is an excerpt:

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NBTA member Steve Laird of Fort Worth's Law Offices of Steven C. Laird was honored by fellow members of the Tarrant County Trial Lawyers Association with the 2015 H.G. Wells Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award.

The annual honor is presented to a practicing lawyer who primarily represents injured plaintiffs in personal injury litigation. Honorees must have exhibited a career commitment to high ethical standards, exceptional professional conduct, trial advocacy skills and legal accomplishments. The award is named for the late Fort Worth trial lawyer H.G. Wells, who served as a confidant, mentor and inspiration for many local attorneys before his death in 2008.

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Loyola Law School, Los Angeles triumphed over Georgetown University Law Center as the winner of the 26th Annual National Board of Trial Advocacy’s Tournament of Champions, held late last month in St. Louis. The California-based institution topped 15 other elite trial teams to win the annual competition.

Hosted this year by Washington University Law School, the tournament is one of the premier law school trial competitions in the nation. Each year, 16 schools are invited, based on a three-year performance record at the National Trial Competition and the AAJ National Student Trial Advocacy Competition, and performances at prior Tournament of Champions’ competitions.

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The Tournament of Champions is this week! Below is our original post with information about the event. Updates have been added at the end.

It's October, which means the NBTA Tournament of Champions Trial Competition is less than a month away. The "Thriller at the River" will be hosted by Washington University School of Law in St. Louis and held at the Thomas Eagleton Federal Courthouse downtown.

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Many of our NBTA members are frequently on the go, and even when they're not, they often choose to work from their handy smartphones or tablets rather than the desktops attached to their offices. Mobile apps can make life easier for the busy attorney, but with so many apps in the marketplace today, how does one separate the wheat from the chaff, and where does one even begin to look?

Luckily, over at the ABA's Law Technology Today Blog, Barrie Hadfield made a June post with his list of the top ten apps that can simplify attorneys' lives. Ranging in price from free to $54.99--with most free or $9.99--in the iTunes and Google Play stores, several recommended apps are designed specifically for attorneys, while others are targeted to anyone but help lawyers stay organized with file sharing, travel, time keeping, etc.

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Imagine teams of runners carrying the American flag across the length of the country, from San Francisco to Washington DC. It's called the Old Glory Relay 2015, and it's currently underway. NBTA Member and Kentucky attorney Karl Truman is proud to participate in the Louisville-to-Frankfurt 50 mile stretch on October 29, as part of Team Red, White & Blue.

Team Red, White & Blue is proud to be running on behalf of Veterans across the US. The team is raising money to help "enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity."

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NBTA's Houston Chapter held a CLE event on for 33 attorneys on September 24th. Open to both members and non-members, this 60-minute, SBOT Continuing Legal Education program and social hour was led by NBTA member Jim Perdue, Sr., once described as the "king" of Texas medical malpractice lawyers by Forbes magazine.

The event was held at Gordon, Arata, McCollam, Duplantis & Egan LLC. McGehee, Chang, Barnes and Landgraf, LP who hosted the social hour that followed. Below are some pictures from the event.

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*Updated 9/24/15* - Listen to the Edward Page podcast here.

NBTA member Edward Page of Tampa-based firm Carlton, Fields, Jorden & Burt will join Chuck Finney for our next “Your Legal Rights” podcast on Wednesday, Sept. 23. Page will discuss the topic of drones and the issue of public safety, privacy and public trust. We recently interviewed Page to learn more about the upcoming podcast. Here is what he had to say:

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Our members are encouraged to add NBTA badges to their websites as a sign to visitors of their membership and certification. We have recently updated our badges with a fresh new look. Be sure to add a badge to your site today or replace your old NBTA membership badge with a new one!

"The certification means a lot to other lawyers who do not have the expertise or the background necessary to qualify for an NBTA certification. Therefore, by merely explaining to the lawyer the steps and background necessary to be certified, I can make an immediate positive impact on that attorney, not only for referrals but general advice." - Curtis Krull Des Moines, IA