Articles Posted in Psychodrama

Barone Defense Firm Partner Michael Boyle recently obtained a great result for a client charged with several gun and assault crimes. But that wasn’t the end of the story. It was only the beginning.

A Judge told my client he’s lucky. Is he right?

Imagine you are charged with a combination of three felony gun and assault crimes. Next imagine that if you’re convicted of these crimes, you’re facing a possible total sentence of 8 years in prison. And on top of that, you could also end up having to pay several thousand dollars in fines and costs. Now, imagine that after facing all that, you end up with two misdemeanors, no jail time and a small fine. Sound good? The Judge presiding over the case thought so. He told our client he was “lucky” to have gotten such a great deal. But was it luck, or was it the result of hard work and good lawyering?

The Barone Defense Firm is pleased to announce that the firm’s founding partner and CEO Patrick Barone was recently appointed to the NCDD mental health task force. The committee was formed in 2021 to provide a confidential resource for any NCDD member feeling overwhelmed with the rigors of running a law practice or the pressure and stress of being criminal defense trial attorney.

Whether it be learning how to better accommodate clients who are going through what may be the most stressful event of their lives, or dealing with difficult and demanding prosecutors or courts, practicing as a criminal defense trial lawyer is an exceptionally difficult and stressful endeavor. It’s easy for the practitioner to become overwhelmed too. This is especially when practicing as a DUI defense lawyer. The defense of intoxicated drivers has its own unique demands and stresses, and the NCDD mental health task force was formed to help members deal with these stresses. Additionally, the task force will be available to offer consultation on how best to help anxious and stressed clients, including those who may be in need of treatment.

Mr. Barone brings a unique skill set to the NCDD mental health task force as he has recently completed the requirements necessary to become a Board-Certified Trainer, Educator and Practitioner (TEP) of psychodrama. Nationally, there are only a small handful of trial lawyers who possess this highest level of psychodrama certification thereby earning this distinction.

Michigan DUI lawyer Patrick T. Barone was recently featured in an article appearing on page 5 of the September 2016 Michigan Edition of Super Lawyers.  This edition of the Super Lawyer’s magazine was sent to all of Michigan’s more than 33,000 lawyers and judges.  For the general public searching for a Super Lawyer, there is also a digital version on line, and even an app that includes the featured list that is searchable by location.

Super Lawyers is a rating service, and each year Super Lawyer’s Magazine uses their “patented selection process” to find and report on Michigan’s outstanding lawyers and rising stars.  The selected lawyers are then compiled, and the results of their research are published in a Super Lawyer’s Magazine.

In addition to the lawyer listings, the Editors of Super Lawyers Magazine also looks to write about lawyers on their Super Lawyer list who have, for example, have handled landmark cases, have innovated their firm or practice in some way or have compelling personal stories about their lives/careers. Specifically, the September Super Lawyer’s article addresses Mr. Barone’s journey toward psychodrama certification as well as his incorporation and trial use of action methods borrowed from psychodrama.

About 40 years ago a group of innovative lawyers began to experiment with new and innovative ways to bring their cases to life in the courtroom.  The leading lawyer in this effort was Gerry Spence.  Back in 1978 Spence joined with attorney John Ackerman, who was the first Dean of the National Criminal Defense College (NCDC), and John Johnson, a sociologist originally from Wyoming.[i] They soon began experimenting with ways to use psychodrama to teach trial lawyers.

According to Cole, “[E]arly experiments in these new training methods were primarily run through the NCDC.  A series of psychodrama programs were scheduled from 1978 until 1983 through the NCDC, using a psychodramatist named Don Clarkson. The psychodrama sessions were run as separate programs; they were not integrated into the NCDC summer training program. When Ackerman’s tenure at the college ended in 1983, the interest in using psychodrama began to wane.”

In 1994, the “cause” was picked up by Gerry Spence, who continued to experiment with the assimilation of psychodrama and trial skills at his newly formed Trial Lawyer’s College (TLC). Since this time, the TLC has grown in size and notoriety, and now has a track record of training some of the nation’s most successful trial lawyers over the past 20+ years.

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