Johnson & Hunter, Inc.
Johnson & Hunter, Inc., is a legal communication consulting firm providing professional development for lawyers. We teach persuasion and advocacy for litigators and public speaking skills for transactional attorneys. Founded by Brian K. Johnson in 1980, our company trains lawyers—and only lawyers—through lectures, small group workshops, and individual coachings, and by serving on the faculties of trial advocacy skills and appeals programs. Our books, on-demand videos, and articles support our techniques for public speaking, advocacy, and mock trial training. Brian K. Johnson and Marsha Hunter are the principal consultants. Our company is based in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Marsha Hunter and Brian K. Johnson are co-authors of The Articulate Advocate: New Techniques of Persuasion for Trial Lawyers (Crown King Books, 2009), a 2010 Silver Medal winner in the Benjamin Franklin Awards from the Independent Book Publishers Association, and The Articulate Attorney: Public Speaking for Lawyers (Crown King Books, 2010; second edition 2013). Their third book, The Articulate Witness, was released in January 2015. Their Mock Trial Coach’s Bundle, an affordable resource for mock trial coaches—and personalized for each school’s teams—is available on this website.
Brian K. Johnson
Founder Brian K. Johnson has worked as a communication consultant to the legal profession since 1979, teaching persuasion to trial lawyers and public speaking to transactional attorneys. Every year he works one-on-one with hundreds of attorneys to help them analyze and improve their skills. His international consulting practice takes him to AMLaw 100 firms and lawyer training programs throughout the United States and Canada, as well as to the United Kingdom and Europe. He has taught Solicitor Advocates in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and Dublin, Ireland, and has twice trained federal prosecutors for the Republic of Estonia.
For the past decade Johnson has trained all new Assistant U.S. Attorneys at the Department of Justice National Advocacy Center. He has been a communication specialist for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy since 1981. In 2000, NITA recognized his unique contribution to the teaching of advocacy skills by presenting him with the Honorable Prentice Marshall Faculty Award. He was the first nonlawyer in NITA history to receive this honor. For 26 years his courtroom communication skills lecture/demonstration with Marsha Hunter has kicked off the NITA National Trial Skills Session in Boulder, Colorado. As a trial consultant, Mr. Johnson helps lawyers prepare witnesses to testify. He has consulted on cases involving computer patent infringement, Internet browsers, breast implants, medical devices, financial services, pharmaceuticals, the airline industry, and deer scents for hunting. In 2003 and 2004, his work on patent infringement cases helped two clients win jury verdicts that exceeded $500 million each. The Republic of Ireland hired him to work with computer forensic experts who testify for the prosecution in organized crime cases. Their testimony is so valuable and confidential that he wasn’t told the experts’ names.
Marsha Hunter, a specialist in legal communication, trains attorneys to speak confidently and persuasively in all settings. Under her guidance, trial lawyers sharpen their advocacy skills and transactional attorneys refine their presentations, becoming more articulate, fluent, and eloquent. Hunter teaches lawyers, and only lawyers, in the arts of oral advocacy and public and professional speaking.
Hunter’s training helps lawyers use their bodies, brains, and voices for effective professional speech, employing pragmatic and immediately useful techniques for gesturing naturally, thinking clearly, and speaking persuasively. She cites recent developments in gesture research when answering the frequently asked question “What do I do with my hands?” as well as the latest research in cognitive science to help lawyers think clearly in voir dire, openings, direct and cross examinations, and closing arguments. Hunter also helps trial lawyers grapple with the syntactical challenges of each phase of trial, eliminate thinking noises such as um, and control the pace of their speech.
For corporate attorneys, Hunter teaches advanced fundamentals of persuasive public speaking. With expertise in cognition and communication, Hunter focuses on how people think, speak, feel, and act in dynamic situations. Her specialty is human factors—the science of human performance in high-stakes environments. Her teaching is both technical and practical. She offers techniques that ensure polished, articulate speech, whether presenting to a board of trustees, a community group, or a small office gathering.
As a principal in Johnson and Hunter, Inc., Hunter has legal clients in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Europe. She teaches communication skills for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, the U.S. Department of Justice, elite law firms, and bar associations and law societies from Belfast to Tasmania.
Hunter has published articles in numerous legal publications, including the American Bar Association Section of Litigation’s The Woman Advocate, the Texas Bar Journal, PD Quarterly, NALP Bulletin, and others. She posts on The Articulate Attorney on topics ranging from how celebrities gesture to the art of speaking within your own natural vocal pitch and inflection.