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MSU College of Law



September 23, 2011


MSU Law Trial Practice Institute Presents Talk by Award-Winning Attorney

East Lansing, MI — Michigan State University College of Law’s Geoffrey Fieger Trial Practice Institute presents a talk by award-winning speaker, author, educator, and trial attorney James Wagstaffe on Thursday, October 6.

Wagstaffe is a nationally recognized expert on effective communication techniques and the author of Romancing the Room (Random House, 2002), a witty step-by-step guide to public speaking. He also has authored a number of widely used legal publications, including the nation’s leading federal civil procedure practice guide.

An adjunct professor in constitutional law and civil procedure at the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law and lecturer in media law at San Francisco State University, Wagstaffe also has taught Practical Speech Communication at Stanford University for more than 30 years. In 2011, he was selected to be the commencement speaker and was voted Teacher of the Year by the students at Hastings College of the Law. In 2009, he won the Federal Judicial Center’s Judge John R. Brown Award for Judicial Scholarship and Education, which recognizes the nation’s top teacher of federal judges. He has taught federal procedure at the center’s annual “New Judges Workshop” for more than two decades.

Wagstaffe is partner and co-founder of the San Francisco firm of Kerr & Wagstaffe. He handles a diverse range of complex litigation matters and leads the firm’s successful state and federal appellate practice group. Wagstaffe is considered one of the most sought after First Amendment Law attorneys in the country. He successfully defended The New Yorker Magazine in the high-profile Masson v. New Yorker libel trial, which was decided in 1993. His numerous accolades for his legal work include a Peabody Award for his legal counsel on the documentary The DNA Project and a prestigious James Madison Freedom of Information Award from The Society of Professional Journalists.

Wagstaffe’s talk, “Romancing the Courtroom: Talking to Judges and Juries,” will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. in MSU College of Law’s Castle Board Room. A short reception will follow.

One of the most rigorous and comprehensive trial practice programs in the nation, The Geoffrey Fieger Trial Practice Institute at MSU College of Law blends legal theory with hands-on legal training and emphasizes important ethical considerations involved in trial litigation. The Institute was established in 2001 in partnership with Geoffrey Fieger, a nationally renowned trial attorney and 1979 Law College graduate.

Michigan State University College of Law, a leading institution of legal education with a long history of educating practice-ready attorneys, prepares future lawyers to use ethics, ambition, and intellect to solve the world’s problems. As one of only a few private law schools affiliated with a major research university, MSU Law offers comprehensive interdisciplinary opportunities combined with a personalized legal education. After 100 years as a private and independent institution, the affiliation with MSU has put the Law College on an upward trajectory of national and international reputation and reach. MSU Law professors are gifted teachers and distinguished scholars, its curriculum is rigorous and challenging, and its facility is equipped with the latest resources—all affirming MSU Law’s commitment to educating 21st-century lawyers.


320 Law College Building
East Lansing, MI 48824

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