Kansas Trial Lawyer
Many people are afraid to go to trial and will take a plea.
These same people do not deserve the charges they receive and most will plead guilty out of fear. This is what the prosecutor wants but is completely unfair to the person who has to carry the burden of this charge for the rest of their lives.
Many plea bargains are terrible and unfair that prey on people who simply do not know any better than what they have gotten themselves into. This is why you need an aggressive trial lawyer on your side.
Experience, Dedication and Leadership are what make a great trial attorney, and what separates Vinnie Rivera from other attorneys.
As a trial attorney, you can’t rely on your experience alone. How many professional fighters just show up to a fight without training? It’s important to be dedicated to quality training from experts in the field, and learning the best techniques.
To strengthen our civil rights it’s, important to share your experience and training with other attorneys. Those attorneys can go on to protect their clients rights, and in the end everyone’s rights are protected.
Vincent Rivera teaches trial skills to law students at Washburn Law’s Intensive Trial Advocacy Program (ITAP). ITAP is a week-long trial skills program, where law students are taught in small groups by leading Kansas trial attorneys. Students are given in-depth training, practice and individual feedback on all aspects of trial litigation.
He has given presentations to the Kansas Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys (KACDL), and serves as a mentor to other attorneys.
What Does A Trial Lawyer Do?
You will meet with Vinnie Rivera to go over the case discussing your options and strategy that is going to be taken once at trial. He will examine all possible evidence, research past judicial decisions and interview witnesses connected to your case.
He will then present his opening argument, present evidence, address the judge and interview and cross examine witnesses. At the end of the case Vinnie will present a compelling closing argument.
Notable Success As A Trial Lawyer
“She’s a Pistol.”
Reduced client’s minimum sentence 10 years by beating an upward departure motion in front of a jury. Felony murder trial, where a group of teens tried to rob the gun store.
“He’s outgrown his clothes.”
- Question: “Why didn’t you bring his clothes from home?”
- [she erupts in tears for about 1 minute]
- Answer: “because [since this happened] he has outgrown them.”
“To sell? Or not to sell.”
Client acquitted in a jury for criminal threat.
Facts: client was incarcerated in solitary confinement, where he allegedly threatened a correctional officer. During jury trial the State was able to come up with little evidence to support their allegations. During the Defense’s case, jurors heard from two witnesses who showed that no threats were made.
Opening statement, involved recreating a solitary confinement cell with limited props, verbal imagery and storytelling.
“Think outside the box.”
At jury trial, client acquitted of possession with intent to distribute.
Facts: after a brief car chase, client was charged with drug distribution, for 9 baggies of drugs found around the corner from the stop/arrest.
Through cross examination I was able to highlight the sloppy evidence preservation by officers, which ended up being a crucial factor in the jury’s decision.
“David versus Goliath.”
Won a jury trial against THE County Attorney.
Felony DUI jury trial, that included cross examining KBI expert witness, and cross examining a surprise rebuttal witness. Case theory: drinking occurred at Defendant’s residence, after he drove.
Client remains felony free.
“One of the best closings I have ever heard.”
Acquitted client of felony aggravated battery, where client faced a 5 year prison sentence.
Client was accused of punching “victim” causing substantial facial injury, and a broken ankle upon collapsing. Case theory: client never hit “victim”, and injuries were caused when she drunkenly fell.
Trial included cross examining emergency room doctor, who was also allowed to testify as a “martial arts expert.” Defense retained a plastic surgeon expert witness. After trial, the Judge told me that I gave one of the best closing arguments she has ever heard.
Trial Advocacy Experience
Kansas Public Service Advocacy Skills Program, Hays, KansasStudent (October 2011)
- Three days of intensive trial advocacy training.
- Worked in small groups, lead by the top notch attorneys from Kansas and Colorado.
- Received extensive feedback, critiques, and mentoring on cross-examination, direct-examination, objections, impeachment, and closing arguments.
National Criminal Defense College, Macon, GeorgiaStudent (June 2010)
- Two weeks of intensive trial advocacy training.
- Worked in small groups, lead by the best defense attorneys in the country.
- Received extensive feedback, critiques, and mentoring on opening statements, cross-examination, direct-examination, objections, impeachment, and closing arguments.
Washburn Law Trial Advocacy Competition Team, Topeka, KansasTeam member (Fall 2008 – Spring 2009)
- Chosen to compete in the Texas Young Lawyers Association (February 2008, 2009) and ABA Employment Law (November 2008) competitions.
KCMBA Robert T. Ross Trial Academy, Kansas City Missouri
Student (2019 - 2020)
- Comprehensive trial advocacy training.
- Lectures from leading local attorneys.
- Worked in small groups, lead seasoned trial attorneys.
- Received individual feedback on context, strategy, delivery and presentation.
Trial Boot Camp, Lawrence KS
Student (October 2018)
- Hosted by Kansas Federal Defender Office.
- 5 days of intensive trial advocacy training.
- Trial advocacy from a Federal perspective.
- Worked in small groups, lead by experienced Federal litigators.
Persuasive Writing Workshop, Philadelphia, PA
Student (October 2017)
- Hosted by Federal Defender Training Division
- 3 day program on effectively persuading through writing and motions
- Lectures followed by small groups lead by top Federal Defenders
- Received individualized feed back on writing and presentation
Andrea Taylor Sentencing Workshop, Toledo, OH
Student (October 2015)
- Hosted by Federal Defender Training Division.
- 3 day program
Focused on sentencing issues, how to persuasively tell your clients story at sentencing.
- Lectures followed by small groups lead by top Federal Defenders.
- Received individualized feed back on writing, arguments, and sentencing factors.