Week 5 2022

Week 5: Direct and Cross Examination Workshop, Social Outings & More

Week 5: Direct and Cross Examination Workshop, Social Outings & More

Madison Buckley, University of Florida

Coffee + Hot chocolate keeps Madison fueled through the afternoon

I figured out a decadent hack this week (as a result of my need for extra coffee). May I present to you: coffee sweetened with Swiss Miss hot chocolate. Yes I’m sure this sounds way too extra to some of you, but this week was very, very busy. As a result, I needed a lot of coffee, and I had to get creative with my caffeine. We had our last workshop this week—direct and cross examination. Partner Scott Sarason led the team from the Miami office that gave us the seminar and then gave us feedback on our mock witness examination. I think this one was my favorite so far, because the facts we were given made the “witness” we were questioning seem extremely not credible—which gave us the opportunity to really press hard on cross. Also, each of us summer associates got to play the witness for someone else and it was really fun to be so involved in each other’s examinations.

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Evan Thomas, Florida International University

Miami summer associates Jordan Benatar (left) and Evan Thomas (right)

During week five, I spent the majority of my time working on an appellate reply brief with partner Michael Holt. The reply brief had a quick turnaround time, and therefore, it was all hands on deck. Because this was my first time working on a reply brief, there was a lot of room to grow during the experience. The part of the assignment that I found most educating was when I would discuss legal writing and research techniques with Michael.

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Jordan Benatar, University of Florida

Dade Legal Aid Put Something Back event

This week, the summer associates had the privilege of attending a direct and cross examination seminar hosted by the legendary Scott Sarason, a partner in the Miami office. Scott hosted an hour long seminar explaining the ins and outs of cross and direct and then let us do our own crosses and directs in a simulation type setting a few days later. We were given depositions, videos, and pictures of an incident and we each had to think outside of the box to curate questions that allowed us to showcase our theories of the case to the hypothetical jury. It was a great experience and Scott gave us all plenty of feedback. Lastly, Evan and I attended a Dade Legal Aid Put Something Back event. It was a great event about the importance of pro bono work. It was motivating and informative regarding how one can get involved with pro bono in the Miami area.

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Mary Hudson, University of Florida

Mary takes a selfie with RumbergerKirk’s founding partners: Dick Caldwell (left), Bud Kirk (middle) and Thom Rumberger (right)

We completed our last workshop, Direct and Cross Examination, this week with Miami partner Scott Sarason, which I found challenging. In addition, I wrote an article with Dick Caldwell this week about the Apex doctrine. He is one of the founding partners, and it is wonderful that he takes the time to work with summer associates. He is absolutely pleasant and passionate about the law. The article is posted on the website and I could not be more proud.

Just like the previous weeks, there is always time for fun at RumbergerKirk. We went axe throwing with our mentors this week. My mentor, associate Jason Bullinger, is always an excellent resource and very accommodating with his time during the work day, but it was nice to be able to kick back a little bit and chat outside the office.

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Chris Jablonski, Washington and Lee University

Week five wasn’t as crazy as the past few weeks, but I still managed to stay busy and have some fun.  I spent the majority of my time reviewing documents for discovery and completing a research assignment on a motion for extension of time. We also had a seminar and workshop about direct and cross examinations. Partner Scott Sarason led the workshop and was incredibly nice and helpful. I learned a lot from this workshop and had fun competing with my fellow summer associates when it was my turn to cross examine a “witness.”

On Thursday, some of the attorneys and the summer associates went axe throwing at a local axe throwing bar (who knew these sort of bars existed?). It was a very fun time and getting to know the other attorneys at the office better is always a good time.

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Hannah Klonowski, Stetson University

This week felt like a reminder of just how fast our summer is going by. We had our last seminar and workshop of the summer this week on direct and cross examination, led by partner Scott Sarason. After learning so much at our Deposition Seminar and Workshop, I thought that direct and cross examination would be the easiest skill to master because after all, it’s just asking questions, right? As I’ve consistently been shown throughout my experience this summer, these skills are in fact, much more complex and challenging than just asking a few questions.

Scott explained the ways in which direct and cross examination are different and in fact, that there are completely different strategies between the two.  The workshop was very helpful because Scott walked us through each of our lines of questioning and described what he would have done differently.  I actually think this may have been our most challenging workshop yet, but also likely the workshop where I learned the most.

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Ella Biggins, Florida State University

Another great week has come and gone. This week, I attended an associate attorney social, observed and helped prepare for a hearing, participated in the direct/cross examination workshop, and received the writing competition assignment—and that’s just to name a few highlights!

In addition to hanging out with the associates in the Tampa office for a few rounds of shuffleboard, I also observed a hearing on a Motion for Summary Judgment. I assisted with the research for an issue in the case so I was eager to hear the attorneys argue their position and hear the judge’s questions. I was impressed with how partner Carie Hall navigated a Zoom hearing. Her visual presentation ensured her arguments were effectively communicated to the judge.

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