Event inspires change in veteran attorney's courtroom demeanor

Issue May 2010

by Jennifer Rosinski

Despite 20 years of experience in securities litigation, it took two high school Mock Trial competitions for Kevin J. Diamond to realize he needed to reevaluate his approach in the courtroom.

"I found that my style should be tempered. That was probably the greatest lesson," said Diamond, a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association's Executive Management Board. "What I learned is subtleness is probably heard better."

A CPA and attorney, Diamond was serving as a volunteer judge for the MBA's 2010 Mock Trial Program when he had the revelation. Diamond saw himself in the high school student who acted very aggressively as plaintiff's counsel.

"I found it distasteful," said Diamond, of Shea & Diamond LLP in Holliston. "It was incredibly insightful."

This year's civil case could have been pulled from Diamond's own case files, and was one of the reasons he decided to serve as a volunteer judge for the first time. The case involved a parent who lost a daughter's college fund after investing with a brokerage firm's financial advisor.

Diamond said the experience was so rewarding that he plans to continue serving as a volunteer judge for the program, which will begin its twenty-sixth year this fall.

"I got more from this than the kids did. I loved it," said Diamond, who also practices in the area of probate litigation. "I got to see what one of my cases looked like from the bench. I got to see both the defense and plaintiff's side."

The competition places high school teams from 16 regions across the state in simulated courtroom situations where they assume the roles of lawyers, defendants and witnesses in hypothetical cases. More than 100 high schools across the state participate in the program, which culminated in the Winsor School's triumph over Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School on March 26 in Faneuil Hall's Great Hall.