What is the Keenan Trial Institute?

The Keenan Trial Institute is a teaching and workshop style institution for plaintiff’s attorneys founded by Don Keenan.  The purpose of the institution is to instruct lawyers in all aspects of the plaintiff’s case, from intake through trial.  The systems taught are solidly based upon black letter law, focus group-tested results, and trial-tested experience.  There are no tricks or shortcuts, but instead hard work and support.

What is the mission statement of KTI?

“Giving Trial Lawyers the System they deserve to win, to protect our community safety, and deter wrongdoers by holding them accountable.”

Our motto is:  Amat Victoria Curam, which translates to: “Victory loves preparation!”

What does KTI teach?

Currently, there are 24 different courses offered by the Keenan Trial Institute.  These courses cover all aspects of trial beginning with case selection and ending with closing argument.  In order to graduate, one must complete seven of the undergraduate courses.  For a list of all courses please click here.

How are the colleges organized and taught?

The colleges are taught by very experienced, hand-picked trial lawyers in 2 to 3 day instruction.  The curriculum is developed by Mr. Keenan and the instructors.  All courses are taught the same by the strict curriculum. Before covid, most courses were taught in different areas of the country (primarily Atlanta).  Each course is limited to small groups of students so that students have ample time to get feedback on a case of their choosing and to role play. All courses are currently taught by Zoom in a virtual capacity.

What is the KTI teaching method?

The teaching method used by KTI was developed by founder Don Keenan. It involves a socratic questioning period, an instructional period, and a role-playing period.  Following those periods, each participant then summarizes the important points of the college each day.

Who are the instructors of KTI?

The instructors are all graduates of the Keenan Trial Institute. The instructors are hand-picked and trained by the management of KTI.  Currently, KTI has over 100 highly qualified instructors.  Each instructor is evaluated by each of his/her students following the courses.  These evaluations are closely followed by KTI management.

How are the instructors of KTI trained?

Don Keenan personally outlines and structures each course.  Each course has a specific outline and manual that is consistently taught regardless of instructor.  All instructors are either taught by Mr. Keenan or by an institution co-dean who specializes in that area of trial.

Who is Don Keenan?

Don Keenan is an experienced trial lawyer who has practiced for close to 50 years.  He has specialized in cases involving children including injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death.  He has served as the national president of the American Board of Trial Advocates and as president of the Inner Circle of Advocates.  Keenan has won 389 settlements and verdicts of over $1 million.

Mr. Keenan has been a pioneer of many of cutting-edge trial methods during his entire career.  It was his vision to share these methods beginning with his groundbreaking book “The Reptile” which he co-authored.  Since 2009, Mr. Keenan has worked feverishly developing a more systematic, refined approach known as the “Edge”.  It continues to evolve every day now with the collaboration of over 100 successful trial instructors and contributions of students who have studied and successfully applied the concepts.

How many students utilize KTI methods?

Don Keenan began developing the Edge methods in 2009.  All of the methods are time tested by either trial or focus group methodology.  Currently there are over 5,696 students who have taken courses offered by KTI. There are over 1322 graduates and 275 master graduates.  No other national trial institution has as many students or graduates, which is a testament to the effectiveness of KTI.

Is the KTI method compatible with what other lawyers are teaching me?

The KTI method of teaching is a tested system-based teaching method that is unique.  Although other lawyers have important points that may interest you, substituting their methods are not compatible for a successful result in an Edge case.  The foundation of the trial methods are oftentimes subverted by injecting untested concepts into your case. The methods of KTI are time tested by trial and focus group methodology. The KTI lawyers have generated billions of dollars in settlements and verdicts by following the Edge system.

What are the costs of KTI courses?

For the 2 day undergraduate courses, the tuition is $1200 to $1500. For graduate level courses the tuition costs $1400 to $1900.  There are full scholarships available for each course.  The scholarship applications do not require you to establish financial need or disclose finances.

How can KTI benefit me after I take a college?

The Keenan Trial Institute methods are not a destination but a journey.  Our learning never ceases.  Once you begin taking KTI college courses, then you will have access to a listserve of comparable attorneys in your state to communicate daily about your cases.  Additionally, Don Keenan publishes a weekly blog updating many of the developed concepts.  Seminars and webinars are held weekly.  Written materials and courses are added constantly.

Is there a difference between learning from the Keenan Trial Institute and learning from other trial colleges?

The Keenan Trial Institute method is a complete systematic way of putting all aspects of your trial skills together.  Each system is built on the previous system beginning with case selection and moving through rules selection and culminating in closing argument.  The Institute is a comprehensive method that can be learned by all trial lawyers, regardless of experience level.  The instructors, the co-deans and Mr. Keenan are constantly developing new methods and discovering better methods daily.  All new material and methods are soundly tested by trial and by focus groups.

Most of the courses require each student lawyer to bring a case they are currently working in order to apply the principles of the course and allow the student lawyer an opportunity to role play and develop their case.

Again, there are over 5500 students who have taken courses offered by KTI. There are over 1300 graduates and 275 master graduates.  We encourage you to reach out to ANY graduate or master graduate for a testimony of this institute’s overwhelming effectiveness.

Does KTI offer other resources that I can study?

The Keenan Trial Institute develops resources that are compatible with each of the college courses.  There is a DVD series on witness preparation, books on Direct Exam, Focus Group methodology, Opening Statement, and Closing Arguments.  The current edition of the Anthology is a combination of 5 years of Don Keenan Edge law blogs.  Additionally, most seminars are recorded and available for playback.  These seminars include medical malpractice, products liability, premises liability, trucking cases, and expert witnesses.  Oftentimes, KTI offers free webinars of the many contemporary topics.

There are numerous listserves both statewide and nationwide.  For instance, each state has a listserve in which Edge students and instructors can discuss state specific matters.  There is also a nationwide medical malpractice, voir dire, tractor trailer truck and premises listserve.  These allow continuous discussion and learning of all aspects of the Edge system.