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Barone Becomes Only Lawyer in Michigan Certified by the American Board of Examiners

Jan 16th, 2018 OWI Barone Becomes Only Lawyer in Michigan Certified by the American Board of Examiners

On January 15, 2018, Patrick Barone became the only Michigan lawyer who is Board Certified in psychodrama, sociometry and group psychotherapy.  This certification, provided by the American Board of Examiners, is the culmination of training that he began in 2010.

Mr. Barone first experienced psychodrama in 2007 at the Gerry Spence Trial Lawyer’s College (TLC).  Gerry Spence started the TLC in 1994, and since this time the theory and practices of psychodrama have formed the foundation of what is called the “TLC” method.  Mr. Spence is considered by many to be the greatest living trial lawyer.  When Geoffrey Fieger needed representation, he turned to Gerry Spence, who successfully defending him 2008.  For more information about this trial see the ABA post entitled Spence’s No-Loss Record Stands with Fieger Acquittal.  Since 1994 the staff and students at the TLC have experimented with expanding and improving the TLC method.

While Mr. Barone was training in psychodrama and sociometry it became evident that the methods, tools, interventions, theory, and practice of psychodrama were all cross-purposeful.  They have as much application in, for example, the boardroom as they have in the courtroom, and Mr. Barone has used and continues to use them in both.

Psychodrama was developed near the turn of the 20th Century by J.L. Moreno, a psychiatrist trained in Vienna. Dr. Moreno began experimenting with the theories and practices he was developing in the years leading up to the first World War. While psychodrama has a powerful therapeutic application, Moreno never intended it to be used only for this purpose. For example, Moreno used his theories of sociometry, which is a science that provides methods of exploring and measuring social choice, to improve living conditions for displaced refugees during World War I. Sociometry may be the most broadly applicable aspect of Moreno’s theories, especially for the non-therapist, and accordingly, it translates particularly well into the courtroom.  Because of this, everyone at the Barone Defense Firm has had exposure to the methods in some way shape or form, whether or be related to business training for the staff, or for the trial skills training for the lawyers.

Because psychodrama and sociometry have been used so successfully by Gerry Spence and many scores of other TLC trained trial lawyers around the country, Mr. Barone decided to take the long journey toward certification. Along the way, Mr. Barone has experimented with different ways to incorporate this training in his own practice and teaching of law.

Additionally, one cannot become certified in these methods without being changed in the process.  It changes the way you think, not just about yourself, but also about others. For example, Zerka Moreno has said that role reversal is the sine qua non of psychodrama, and so Mr. Barone often finds himself role reversing with the other people involved in his cases; not only the client, but also the prosecutor, the judge, and at trial, the individual jurors.  This leads to a broader perspective with a benefit that inures to the clients. For more information, see the Super Lawyers Article entitled “Walking in Their Shoes.”

Now that he’s completed this level of training, Mr. Barone intends to continue working toward the next achievement, which is to obtain the highest level of psychodrama certification.  This level is called “TEP,” which is an acronym for one who is a “Trainer, Educator and Practitioner” of psychodrama.  In the meanwhile, Mr. Barone will continue to use this training in his teaching and practice of law, and he continues to offer trial skills training through the Michigan Psychodrama Center, which he helped form in 2014.  The next trial skills workshop will take place on February 3, 2018, at Mr. Barone’s office in Birmingham, Michigan.  More information can be found on the Michigan Psychodrama Center’s website.  People interested in future workshops can register at Eventbrite.