The American College of Trial Lawyers Holds One-Day Seminar in British Virgina Islands



NEWPORT BEACH, CA, November, 8, 2018 – Five College Fellows traveled to the British Virgin Islands (BVI) to lead the full-day program “Being A More Effective Advocate: In And Out Of Court” on Friday, November 2, 2018.  The program had around 100 participants, including legal practitioners – civil, criminal, regulatory, commercial or arbitration – as well as judges and magistrates discussing the practical aspects of effective advocacy, ethics, and civility. 

“Civility in trial practice is at the core of the way Fellows of the College conduct themselves in trial practice.  We look for opportunities to promote, teach, and encourage civility among trial lawyers and, in particular, among younger trial lawyers,” said College President Jeffrey S. Leon, LSM.  “We appreciate this opportunity to be part of such an outstanding program with the bench and bar of the BVI. The enthusiasm and insight of the participants was truly impressive. We congratulate the conference planners and all of those involved.” 

“Like the Guam seminar in January 2018, this seminar in BVI is a vivid reminder that lawyers and judges in other countries passionately dedicate themselves to the rule of law and face many of the same challenges we face in the United States and Canada,” said Cynthia Day Grimes of Clark Hill | Strasburger, who participated in the BVI program. “Our work on the International Committee truly expands our horizons and perspectives.”

The BVI courts did not hear cases on the day of the program so that all advocates, judges, and magistrates could attend. The principal organizer of the conference was the Honourable Barry Leon, former Commercial Court Judge of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court based in BVI.

Pairing with local attorneys and judges, the Fellows gave demonstrations of civil and uncivil conduct and led group discussions.  Also in attendance were BVI Governor Augustus Jaspert; former President of the Caribbean Court of Justice the Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Michael Dennis Byron; former Deputy Governor and former Attorney General Dancia Penn, OBE QC; and President of the BVI Bar Jaqueline Daley-Aspinall.

The BVI Bar Association, the International Arbitration Centre BVI, and the Virgin Islands General Legal Council co-sponsored the event.  

This is the third time in recent years that a group of Fellows has traveled overseas to participate in such a program.  In January 2018, eleven Fellows traveled to Guam to lead the 2018 American College of Trial Lawyers Workshop for Judges and Lawyers.  In 2015, fourteen Fellows traveled to the island republic of Palau to hold the College’s Advanced Trial Advocacy Symposium 

President Leon was asked if the College would return next year for a follow-up conference, to which he agreed.

Fellows who went to BVI were: Cynthia Day Grimes of Clark Hill | Strasburger (San Antonio, TX); Richard Galperin of Morris James LLP (Wilmington, DE); J. Richard Kiefer of Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP (Indianapolis, Indiana); Jeffrey S. Leon, LSM, of Bennett Jones LLP (Toronto, Ontario); and Frank E. Walwyn of WeirFoulds LLP (Toronto, Ontario).

About the American College of Trial Lawyers
The American College of Trial Lawyers is composed of preeminent members of the trial bar from the United States and Canada and is recognized as the leading trial lawyers organization in both countries.  The College is dedicated to maintaining and improving the standards of trial practice, the administration of justice and the ethics of the profession. The College has long supported the independence of the judiciary and respect for the courts in the United States and Canada; that independence is fundamental to democratic societies.

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Eliza Gano
American College of Trial Lawyers
Communications Manager