Trials of the Century

MCLE Credits: 3.0
Ethics Credits Included: 1.0

Friday, October 23, 11:00 a.m. - 2:15 p.m. ET
  • Live Webcast
  • Live Telephone
Learn more about Virginia CLE webcast format
Learn more about Virginia CLE telephone format
MCLE Credit: 3.0 (Ethics: 1.0)
Live-Interactive Credit: 3.0 (all dates, all formats) Live Interactive MCLE Credit Symbol
VIDC Re-Certification Credit: 3.0 (VIDC Information)
Registration Fee: $199


Why Attend?

Todd Winegar continues his Trials of the Century series, some of the highest rated CLE in North America, with new trials: U.S. v. Shipp (the only criminal trial ever held by the U.S. Supreme Court), Darrow’s “Massie Honor Killing” trial, and Texas v. Michael Morton. Come have a “rip-roaring good time” (Fulton County Daily Report, Atlanta) while learning critical persuasion skills from the masters.

Learn the Science of Persuasion from the century’s most famous trials:

U.S. v. Shipp (0.5 hour Ethics)

The only criminal trial ever held in the Supreme Court. Ed Johnson, a black man, was convicted of raping a beautiful young white woman in Chattanooga, although he was almost certainly playing pool at the time. The victim admitted she was attacked from behind, passed out, and really couldn’t identify who raped her—or even be sure of his race. Still, Johnson was sentenced to be hanged.

The U.S. Supreme Court took the then-unusual step of ordering the Tennessee sheriff to stay the execution. Sheriff Shipp ignored advice to increase the guard and took no action as a mob sledged and sawed through the jail for 2½ hours, then lynched Johnson. The Supreme Court tried Shipp for criminal contempt, beginning a century of Federalism.

  • The reason: Daniel Khaneman’s Nobel Prize for understanding how the human mind reasons
  • Humans are “predictably irrational”—what you need to know to persuade
  • Persuasion and the new science of “Buy-ology”—brain scans to find the “buy button”
  • Learning from increasingly sophisticated scientific advertising persuasion techniques
  • The Three Faces of Honesty—a duty of independent investigation rather than turning a blind eye
    • Rule 8.4 Misconduct—a lawyer cannot “(c) engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation”
    • Misleading arguments and implications


The Massie AffairDarrow’s last trial

A white woman, a Navy Officer’s wife, was allegedly gang raped. But her medical exam concluded she was “clean as a pin” and the defendants had been pulled over by the police earlier—making the timeline all but impossible. So the jury was hung, a mistrial declared.  Rumors flew that there was no rape at all. The Navy Officer got a confession and demanded a retrial. The prosecutor concluded the confession was obviously forced. So the Navy Officer worked on another confession, this time without all the bruising. The ending is the most unusual in American jurisprudence.

  • Delivery is more important than the facts
    • Demosthenes:  The three most important factors in persuasion are “delivery, delivery and delivery”
    • Jimmy Carter:  “I was probably president because of Robert Redford” (who taught him how to deliver a line)
  • Learning from The Presidential Debates—conquest and debacle
    • Posture, gesture, tone, voice, expression
    • WordSmithing—one word can, and has, changed the world
    • Set the rules and lower expectations
  • Keys to communication:
    • The Listener’s WoW—Window on the World
    • First impressions last
    • Why mistakes are exaggerated—capitalizing and recovering

Texas v. Michael Morton (0.5 hour ethics)

The prosecutor constructed a persuasive, but false, case that Morton murdered his wife on his birthday because he didn’t “get sex.” The jury agreed and Morton was sentenced to life in prison.  Meantime, the real killer continued stalking and murdering.  Twenty-five years later DNA proved Morton innocent and the prosecutor, now a judge, was sentenced to jail for withholding eyewitness evidence—Morton’s three-year-old son had said “daddy wasn’t there, a monster hit mommy.”

  • The Seven Sins of Sincerity—honesty is more than sincerity
    • Rule 8.4 Misconduct—a lawyer cannot “(c) engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation”
  • The new Science of Persuasion
  • Heuristics and elaboration—superficial and deep thinking—how we work
  • The mental map of how people are persuaded
  • The five paths to persuasion
  • The accelerators of persuasion

Discounts available for Virginia CLE webcast-telephone-live seminars Follow link to learn about the Virginia CLE Online Bundle with savings up to 45% Follow link to learn about coupons for lawyers in First Year in Virginia practice Follow link to learn about discount for New Virginia Lawyers (first 3 years) Follow link to learn about Government Employee discount Follow link to learn about Legal Aid discount

Follow link to learn about coupons for lawyers in First Year in Virginia practice Follow link to learn about coupons for lawyers in First Year in Virginia practice Follow link to learn about Government Employee discount Follow link to learn about Legal Aid discount

Registration Deadlines:
Webcast: 10 minutes prior to seminar. If you register for a webcast the day of the seminar, your e-mail receipt will include a link to launch the seminar and download the materials.
Telephone: Online registration ends at 11:59 p.m. the day preceding the seminar
Call (800) 979-8253 to register up to one hour prior to the seminar

Cancellation Policy: Cancellation/transfer requests will be honored until 5:00 p.m. the day preceding the seminar. You will, however, be charged $60 if you cancel or transfer your registration to a different seminar after the link to the materials has been e-mailed by Virginia CLE.

Full refunds or transfers are available up to two days after a webcast in the unlikely event that you experience technical difficulties.

MCLE Credit Caveat: The MCLE Board measures credits by the time you spend in attendance. If you enter a seminar late or leave it early, or both, you must reflect those adjustments accurately in the credits you report on your credit reporting form. A code will be given at the end of the seminar, which must be written on your MCLE form.

Can't Attend?
E-mail to be notified when/if this program is made available as an online or USB seminar.
E-mail to be notified when/if this program's seminar materials are made available for sale.


COURSE SCHEDULE (October 23) (Eastern Time)

11:00 Trials of the Century
2:15 Adjourn
  • Q&A will be handled via chat room for Webcast attendees.
  • Q&A will be handled via e-mail for telephone seminar attendees.



Todd Winegar
/ Salt Lake City, UT

Todd Winegar is one of the highest rated national CLE speakers.  He has presented courses to tens of thousands of attorneys in most major cities in the U.S. and Canada including universities such as Wharton and the University of Michigan.  He has tried over fifty trials to verdict and won 95% of them. 

Mr. Winegar has been involved in some of the largest cases in his state, including a record-setting plaintiff’s verdict.  His experience is wide ranging, including a Minuteman Missile accident, medical, legal and accounting malpractice suits, and product liability actions involving para- and quadriplegia.  He is the author of works on persuasion, communication, and trial skills.

Locations, Dates and Fees

  • Add to Cart
unlimitedpasssidebar  Bundlediscounts  designationssidebar  Buy a 16-Credit Online Bundle and get two free books of your choice.  Calendar probonodiscount National Interest  Essentials Seminars