AG George Welcomes NAGTRI Faculty to V.I. for Advocacy Training

(photo, from left to right) Anthony Picione, Office of the AG of NJ; Tania Maestas, Office of the AG of NM; David P. Chaisson, Office of the AG of Md; Stephanie A. Caldwell, Office of the AG of NE; AG Denise George, VIDOJ, Office of the Attorney General; Vernon L. Harris, Office of the AG of Az.; Christine Hoffman, Office of the AG of NJ; Cynthia Mahon, Office of the AG of Conn.; Ari Telisman, NAGTRI

During her opening remarks, Attorney General Denise George welcomed representatives from the National Attorneys General Training & Research Institute (NAGTRI or Institute) to the territory at the Windward Passage Hotel recently.

The Institute’s faculty of trainers are in the territory holding a four-day trial advocacy training for V.I. Assistant Attorneys General. The program that began Monday, will consist of presentations on different aspects of trial practice, workshops and a final mock trial.

The NAGTRI team, based in Washington D.C., is known as the Training and Research Arm of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG). Their mission is to provide high-quality, non-partisan and innovative training, research and other developmental resources to support state and territorial attorneys general offices (AGOs).

During the brief opening remarks, AG George emphasized the importance of the work of the Department of Justice and the significance of continuous legal training.

“It’s so important for us to have constant training for our attorneys not only to maintain professional licensure but also for professional development. Even for the greatest and experienced attorneys, training assists us in sharpening our skills, and that, in turn, helps us do our jobs better,” said George.

She thanked the Institute’s instructors for providing the in-house program and thanked the staff for embracing the “top notch” training that will provide value to the department.

Department of Justice training session for attorneys

The presenters, including Cynthia Mahon from the Office of the Attorney General of Connecticut and Anthony Picione from the Office of the Attorney General of New Jersey, focused on case theories. Participants were also engaged in group discussions and learned more about cross examinations, ethics and civility, and persuasive closing arguments.

Participants described the training as timely and informative in honing their skills and professional development.

“One of my priorities is to have continuous training and professional development as we go forward; I am optimistic about our partnership with NAAG,” said George.

Ari Telisman of NAGTRI said, “When there is a head of an office like Attorney General George who wants to prioritize training, that’s fantastic. Our goal at NAGTRI, is to serve every state and territorial attorneys general office around the country by bringing out the best in everyone, so that is what we will do over the next four-days.”