2018 Trial Practice Institute
Travel Arrangements: Registration begins at noon on the first day of the program at the Marriott Macon City Center Hotel at 240 Coliseum Drive, Macon, Georgia 31217. The first day of the program for the June Session is Sunday, June 17, 2018 and Sunday, July 15, 2018 for the July Session. You should plan to arrive by noon, but no later than 4:00pm, on the first day of the program. There are several important activities on that first evening including a welcome dinner, a lecture on case theory, and opportunities to meet and bond with your small group members. Since the Marriott Macon City Center is 78 miles from the Atlanta Airport, you will need to build in travel time from Atlanta to Macon to arrive on time for the program if you are flying into Atlanta Hartsfield/Jackson International Airport. Please let Bellamy Johnston know if you are having travel difficulties so that we can try to help. We will worry if you do not show up by 4:00pm at the hotel. Bellamy can be reached at 478-746-4151. Please also note that we do not offer refunds for No Shows. (Refer to the refund policy below for more information.)
Departure: Participants check out of the hotel and depart on Saturday, June 30, 2018 for the June Session and July 28, 2018 for the July Session.
Groome Shuttle: If you are flying to Atlanta Hartsfield/Jackson International Airport, you can take the Groome Shuttle to Macon. Groome accepts reservations through the Groome Shuttle Website or you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or call them at 478-471-1616. Some participants choose to rent a car. Of course, rental car arrangements can be made for pickup at the Atlanta Airport. There are also rental car companies in Macon.
Hotel Reservations: You do not need to make hotel reservations. NCDC (Bellamy Johnston) will do this for you. Bellamy will forward your name to the hotel (the Marriott Macon City Center) to be included as a part of our room block which NCDC has already guaranteed with the hotel. Therefore, you do not need to make separate reservations with the hotel and if you have done this, you should call the hotel immediately to cancel your individual reservation and explain that you are part of our program. The phone number for the Marriott Macon City Center is 478-621-5300. Bellamy will send the participant list to the hotel along with roommate assignments shortly before the program begins. Please check the hotel website if you want to know more about their amenities.
Roommate Assistance: If you have requested assistance finding a roommate, Bellamy Johnston is the person who will take care of this based on the information that you provided in the Online Confirmation Form. If you need to update Bellamy on the information that you provided on the online form or if you found a roommate after you submitted the form, please call her at 478-746-4151.
Hotel Payment Arrangements: You will establish payment arrangements with the Marriott Macon City Center when you check in and you will be expected to pay when you check out unless you have received a hotel inclusive scholarship.
Hotel Inclusive Scholarship Recipients: If you were notified that you received a hotel inclusive scholarship, NCDC will handle payment for your hotel room. However, you will still need to establish payment arrangements with the hotel for any incidental charges.
Program Location: Program sessions will be at the Mercer Law School which is located at 1021 Georgia Avenue, Macon, Georgia 31207 (1.7 miles from the hotel). The schedule for most days will be from 8:30am to around 5:30pm with an hour break for lunch and a fifteen minute coffee break. Many people carpool from the hotel to the law school.
Every year, people ask us if they need a rental car to get to the law school and to get around in Macon. A simple answer to this question is that you will not be completely stranded if you do not have a car (other participants will have cars), and you won't starve. Both the hotel and the law school are in the downtown/historic district, which has many restaurants and other things to do. It really depends upon your own personal preferences and financial situation as to whether a rental car is a necessity or just a nice convenience. Most people will likely carpool from the hotel to the law school. Parking is free at the hotel for guests and also at the law school. When you register, you can request a parking permit for parking at the law school.
Attendance Policy: You will be expected to give your full attention to program lectures, demonstrations and small group exercises. We ask that you turn off electronic devices during program sessions except for during the breaks and except when using them to record small group performances. You are required and expected to be on time for and to attend every session. This is an all-in, intensive program. Your participation is key to your experience and it is also key to the experiences of the other participants in your small group. You will be learning together by doing and helping each other to get better. You will need to devote your full attention to the program.
Recording: Another valuable component of the program is video recording your performance of opening and closing statements and witness examinations. Reviewing video of what you have done can be extremely valuable to learning about your courtroom presentation strengths and weaknesses. In the past, NCDC setup video recording equipment in each small group for this purpose. However, nowadays most everyone has recording capability on their phones and/or tablets. We encourage participants to video record each other in small groups using cell phone and tablets for this purpose.
The Weekend: There is a weekend at the midpoint of both sessions. We do not have any sessions during the weekend. This is a time for much needed rest, laundry, sleep, and preparation for the second week of the session. Some participants take the opportunity to travel to Atlanta or Savannah during the weekend. The Equal Justice Initiative has just opened its National Museum and Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama. This is a three-hour drive from Macon, but the museum and memorial are incredibly powerful and well worth a visit. You can find out more information about the Museum and Memorial at https://museumandmemorial.eji.org/visit. Tickets are in high demand. Please read up on the details at the website if you think you might want to visit.
Attire: Participants wear casual clothing during the program (i.e. jeans, shorts, etc.) Macon is hot in the summer, so plan accordingly, but also remember that sometimes it is chilly inside the law school during the program. Some participants like to wear court attire for their closing arguments. Also, there will be a final banquet and people sometimes dress up a bit for this, but dressing up is not required.
Meals: NCDC provides lunch Mondays through Fridays during the program. Continental breakfast is provided at the hotel on those days. You will generally be on your own for dinner, except that NCDC will provide dinner on the first day (Sunday) and at the banquet on the final Friday of the program. Hotel rooms have microwaves and small refrigerators for your use.
Diet and Smoking: Information regarding special diets and smoking was required on the Online Confirmation Form that you submitted. Roommate assignments are based in part on these answers. The hotel is non-smoking, with smoking areas outside. The law school, where sessions will be held, has a smoking ban for all areas of their campus (smoking permitted in designated areas outside). Those who did not answer these questions will be treated as non-smokers with unrestricted diets. If you need to amend your precious responses, contact Bellamy at Bellamy@ncdc.net right away.
Case Materials: Approximately two weeks prior to the beginning of the session, you will receive, via email, the four cases that will be used for all of the small group exercises during the program. You should carefully read all of these cases and bring them with you to Macon. Your familiarity with these cases will greatly enhance your experience at NCDC. The cases will be emailed but it will help you to have a printed version for classes. PRINT OUT AND BRING YOUR CASE MATERIALS WITH YOU TO MACON as we will not be providing the printed version of the materials to the participants. These cases remain the property of NCDC. They are copyrighted and may not be used by you for any purpose other than your participation in the NCDC Trial Practice Institute.
Cancellations and Refunds: Refunds (less the registration fee) are only guaranteed for cancellations received up to May 17th. After that date, we will offer a refund only if we can fill the spot from our waiting list.