Professor of Law
Professor Seckinger, one of the nation’s outstanding trial-advocacy teachers, joined the faculty of the Notre Dame Law School in 1974 as an assistant professor of law becoming an associate professor in 1976 and a full professor in 1979. In 1973, he became a member of the faculty of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) and served as its director from 1979 to 1994. He earned his B.S. from St. John’s University (Minnesota) in 1964, his M.S. from Vanderbilt University in 1968, and his J.D. from Notre Dame in 1968, where he served as articles editor of the Notre Dame Law Review. A member of the Colorado Bar since 1968 and the Indiana Bar since 1976, Professor Seckinger clerked for the Honorable William E. Doyle on the U.S. District Court in Denver, Colorado (1968-69), served as director of litigation at Denver Legal Aid (1969-72) as a Reginald Heber Smith Fellow, served as chief deputy district attorney at the Denver District Attorney’s office (1972-74), and held a visiting professorship at Cornell (1978-79).
Professor Seckinger teaches and writes in the areas of deposition techniques, evidence, professional responsibility and trial advocacy. He co-authored Problems and Cases in Trial Advocacy, one of the leading books used to teach trial-advocacy techniques both in law schools and in continuing-legal-education programs for practitioners throughout the U.S. and Canada. He also has authored trial advocacy books used in New Zealand, Australia, Scotland, Ireland, England, France, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, El Salvador, Panama, and Brazil.
Professor Seckinger frequently gives lectures and workshops on trial advocacy and deposition skills at many of the most prestigious law firms and legal organizations around the world. He organized and taught advocacy skills to the War Crimes Prosecutors for Rwanda in 1996, and for the War Crimes under the jurisdiction of the Special Court for Sierra Leone in 2004. Professor Seckinger has trained lawyers, civil and criminal, and judges in El Salvador and Panama as those countries move to an open court adversarial system of justice.
Professor Seckinger has conducted advocacy skills programs throughout the U.S., and Canada, and in New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Scotland, England, France, El Salvador, and Panama.
In 1996, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the field of post-admission legal education, the ALI-ABA Committee on Continuing Professional Education bestowed on Professor Seckinger its prestigious Francis Rawle Award. The award cited his “extraordinary contributions to the continuing education of the bar as director from 1979 to 1994 of [NITA]” and recognized him “as an exceptional teacher, a great innovator and a proven administrator, as is reflected in his 15-year leadership of NITA in its development years — years not only of expansion but of consistently high standards of quality that have made it the quintessential world-wide model of [continuing legal education] in trial advocacy.” Under Professor Seckinger’s leadership, NITA grew from an institute that conducted six or seven programs annually for a few hundred students to an institute that now conducts over 100 programs annually for approximately 4,000 students.
Professor Seckinger is also an academic fellow of the International Society of Barristers (since 1989) and a member of the New Zealand Law Society.
Courses TaughtLAW75715, Deposition Skills
LAW75710, Intensive Trial Advocacy
Problems in Trial Advocacy, Notre Dame Law School Edition (National Institute for Trial Advocacy, 2d ed. 1996).
Problems and Cases in Trial Advocacy, Law School Edition, 2 vols., with K.S. Broun (NITA 1977; 2d ed. 1981; 3d ed. 1987; 4th ed. 1990; 4th ed. revised 1993; 5th ed. 1995).
Problems and Cases in Trial Advocacy, CLE Edition, vol. 1 (problems), vol. 2 (cases), with A.J. Bocchino and D.H. Beskind (NITA, 5th ed. revised 1992, 6th ed. 1995).
Problems and Cases in Trial Advocacy, New Zealand Edition, et al. (New Zealand Law Society 1986).
Materials for Trial Advocacy: Problems and Case Files Adapted for Canadian Use, English/French Bilingual Edition, with K.S. Broun and G.D. Watson (Osgoode Hall Law School of York University and Ecole de Droit de LâUniversite de Moncton 1983, 1989, 1993, 1997).
Teachers' Manual for Problems and Cases in Trial Advocacy, Law School Edition, with K.S. Broun (NITA 1977; 2d ed. 1981; 3d ed. 1987; 4th ed. 1990; 4th ed. revised 1993).
Teachers Manual for Problems and Cases in Trial Advocacy, New Zealand Edition, with others (New Zealand Law Society 1986).
Professor Seckinger has published numerous articles on the subject of trial advocacy and trial techniques, including:
Closing Argument, 19 American Journal of Trial Advocacy 51 (1995).
Presenting Expert Testimony - An American Perspective (Australian Legal Convention 1991).
The NITA Method and Effective Teaching Techniques (two videotapes) (NITA 1991).
Areas of Expertise
- Civil Litigation
- Depositions & Discovery
- Examination & Witnesses
- Expert Testimony
- International Dispute Resolution
- Pre-trial Litigation
- Trial Practice
- War Crimes Tribunals
In the NewsLaw professor a founding director of international arbitration organization – ND Newswire – October 22, 2007
Teaching order’ in the court – ND Newswire – May 01, 2005