By Jon O’Connell | The Times-Tribune
A national attorneys’ organization has bestowed top honors to a Scranton lawyer for his dedication as a trial advocacy instructor.
The National Institute for Trial Advocacy has awarded Mark J. Powell its highest honor, the Daniel G. Grove Award, for his commitment to instruction at the institute’s Advanced Trial Advocacy Skills program in Washington, D.C., since 2004.
“For years, Mark has generously shared his insights with the hundreds of students who have participated in the Advanced Trial Advocacy program,” said Brian Schwalb, program co-director, in a news release.
Mr. Powell feels honored, and also surprised, that the institute selected him for the award, he said.
“I’m still in shock,” he said during a telephone interview. “I’m delighted to just be invited back every year. There’s a real elite group of lawyers who are involved in this program. The recipients in the past have all been practicing 40-plus years. I just never expected it, to be very honest with you.”
With the rising popularity of alternatives to settle disputes, alternatives like arbitration and mediation, fewer attorneys actually try cases before a jury.
“With jury trials, there are risks, and some lawyers shy away from that type of risk depending on the strength of their case,” Mr. Powell said.
Mr. Powell, a former 10-year co-chairman of the Lackawanna Bar Association’s Bench-Bar Educational Conference, is certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy as a criminal trial specialist and civil trial specialist.
He also is running to be elected Lackawanna County district attorney in 2017.