New Perimeter, DLA Piper's nonprofit affiliate that provides long-term pro bono legal assistance in under-served regions around the world, recently conducted a training session on trial advocacy skills for police prosecutors from Grenada and St. Kitts and Nevis.
The training, held February 12-16 in Grenada for approximately 20 police prosecutors, was led by a team of DLA Piper litigators and addressed challenges faced by police prosecutors and best practices for presenting a case in chief and responding to the defense's case. The interactive, simulation-based workshop focused on trial skills, including evidence presentation, cross and direct examination, witness preparation and presentation, case management and courtroom decorum. New Perimeter is also in the process of creating a desk reference manual for police prosecutors that will outline best practices in trial advocacy.
"As police officers who are responsible for acting as advocates in criminal prosecutions but who often have not received formal training on trial skills, police prosecutors face a number of challenges in their efforts to promote justice," said Suzanna Brickman, pro bono counsel for New Perimeter and manager of the project. "We were thrilled to have the opportunity to return to the Caribbean to work with a new group of dedicated police prosecutors and provide them with hands-on training to build their confidence and abilities in the courtroom."
Developed and conducted in partnership with the National Center for State Courts (NCSC), which is working throughout the Caribbean to strengthen legal institutions and promote the rule of law, the training was part of, and funded by, the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative Justice Sector Assistance Program within the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs at the US Department of State. The DLA Piper lawyers' time was provided on a pro bono basis.
The workshop in Grenada follows similar training sessions that DLA Piper conducted for police prosecutors in Trinidad and Tobago in February and May 2017, in Barbados in February 2018 and in the Bahamas in November 2018.
The DLA Piper team that traveled to Grenada to conduct the trainings included partners Alistair Drummond (Edinburgh) and Anna Mills (London), senior counsel Robert Sherman (Boston) and associate Katie Hausfeld (Chicago).