Trial Skills: Using Direct, Cross, and Redirect Skills to Win Cases

Trial Skills: Using Direct, Cross, and Redirect Skills to Win Cases

Trial Skills: Using Direct, Cross, and Redirect Skills to Win Cases (Seminar Recording)
Live Event Date: 10/31/2023
Format Length CLE Eligible
Web Seminar 90 min. Yes

All clients have a story to tell. Learn how to define and shape clients’ stories and strengthen your trial advocacy skills. The panelists will provide guidance and practical tips on direct examination for respondents, lay witnesses, and expert witnesses in order to present a winning case before the courts. They also will utilize real-life examples and hypotheticals to demonstrate how to do these things effectively.

Featured Topics:

  • Using storytelling to create a winning narrative for your client
  • Creating and advancing a cohesive theme to move hearts and minds
  • Rehabilitating your client or witness after a misstep
  • Using objections and defending against them
  • Persuasive ordering of information, looping, and leading without leading

AILA Membership Benefit – Access to Free Seminar Recordings (CLE Credit Available for $35)
Enjoy access to free seminar recordings (from October 2020–present) as an AILA Member. AILA encourages live attendance for those wishing to ask the speaker questions. CLE credit is included with purchase for live participants.

Recordings will be available approximately two weeks after the live event date. AILA members can access these seminars, with no CLE credit, for free. Recordings are CLE eligible in most jurisdictions and an administration fee is required to obtain CLE credit.

Contact us at or visit AILA’s Web Seminar Recordings page for more information about receiving CLE credit for a web seminar recording.

Eligible participants can receive up to 1.8 CLE credit hours. AILA will administer CLE credit only to individuals who register and log into the web seminar. AILA cannot verify your attendance and participation in this program unless you register directly for the web seminar and use your name to log in to participate in the program. Therefore, persons who log in or listen in on the web seminar as part of a group will not be able to obtain CLE credit.

Please note that your jurisdiction may limit the amount of distance learning credit you can earn. To view details on your jurisdiction's credit restrictions and CLE requirements, visit the CLE Center.

AILA has filed for CLE and specialized credit in all jurisdictions with mandatory CLE requirements. For details about specific approvals, contact us at

  • AILA applies for accreditation upon attorneys’ request after participation for the following states: AR, DE, IA, ID, KS, KY, LA, ME, MN, MS, OR, TN and WY. Programs are typically approved.
  • Florida and Rhode Island - Attorneys must apply on their own for approval of seminars in FL and RI. Programs are typically approved.
  • The OnDemand Recording format does not qualify for CLE credit in the following jurisdictions: MO and PR. Please note that your jurisdiction may limit OnDemand credit based on the date of the original presentation. View the OnDemand Downloadable Expiration Chart for more details.

To receive CLE credit for the live event, attorneys must record web seminar attendance and the CLE code provided within one week of the web seminar date via webCLE.

Contact us at or visit AILA’s Web Seminar Recordings page for more information about receiving CLE credit for a seminar recording.

Rex Chen (DL), AILA Federal Court Litigation Section Steering Committee, New York, NY

Rex Chen (he/him) is the Immigration Director for Legal Services NYC. His Taiwanese-American parents felt only lukewarm about his decision to go to law school but he was determined and is now very grateful that he has a career in nonprofit immigration law. He likes sharing insights and was the Chair of the 2023 AILA Litigation Institute. He hopes you enjoyed his attempt to use storytelling techniques in a 75-word bio.

Lauren D. Cusitello, AILA Removal Defense Section Steering Committee, San Diego, CA

Lauren D. Cusitello is the Director of the ABA Immigration Justice Project, where she started as the organization’s first-ever Legal Director in 2019. Lauren began her legal career as an Assistant Public Defender in the Miami-Dade County Public Defender’s Office. She then served as an Assistant Federal Defender in the Eastern District of California. Lauren also co-founded the McGeorge School of Law’s Federal Defender Clinic. Lauren is a frequent panelist and educator on topics related to the intersection of criminal and immigration law. Lauren graduated with honors from Princeton University with an AB in Politics, and she graduated from the New York University School of Law with honors.

Michelle Saenz-Rodriguez, AILA Board of Governors/Removal Defense Section Steering Committee, Dallas, TX

Michelle Saenz-Rodriguez is the co-founder of Saenz-Rodriguez & Associates in Dallas, Texas. Now in her 32nd year of practice, Michelle is Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law. She practices immigration law with an emphasis on removal litigation. Michelle and her husband George opened their practice in 1995 representing immigrants from all over the world. Michelle has been names as a “Texas Super Lawyer” and has been named one the “Best Lawyers in America” for over 20 years. She is a member of AILA, where she serves on the BOG. She is a member of IMMLAW, a nationally recognized group of top tier immigration lawyers. Michelle is an Adjunct Professor at SMU Law School.

Erich C. Straub, Milwaukee, WI

Erich C. Straub is an attorney concentrating in family-based and humanitarian immigration, deportation defense, and citizenship. He has been listed in Best Lawyers in America for immigration law since 2006. He has been a faculty member at the annual, three-day Trial Advocacy College with The Clinic at Sharma-Crawford Law since its founding in 2018. He is also chair of the yearly AILA Chicago Courtroom Skills Workshop.

The speaker's/author's views do not necessarily represent the views of AILA, nor do they constitute legal advice or representation. Practice tips provided are based on the speaker's/author's experiences and the current state of the law. Please be sure to conduct legal research and analysis for your unique situation as the law changes quickly and experiences may differ from your own.