HEALING CAN HAPPEN WHEN WE SHARE OUR STORIES

Trauma, Trial, and Transformation. Discover true stories from those who were called to sit in the witness chair and their journey through the process and beyond. This podcast brings to light the trauma and stress caused by testifying under oath and offers a different approach one can take to prepare to take the stand and how to heal after the encounter. Your host, Juliet Huck dovetails her 30-year career in the courtroom with her personal healing experience as a breathwork practitioner to create a unique perspective talking with witnesses, key litigators, and mental wellness professionals. As a persuasion strategist working on high profile, high stakes, and billion-dollar litigation, Juliet has assisted in preparing 100s of witnesses to bravely tell their truth and has observed the distress sitting in the witness chair can cause in one’s life and its lasting effects. Trauma, Trial, and Transformation offers a view, through a holistic lens, of ways witnesses are prepared prior to taking the stand as well as being cared for after leaving the courtroom.
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Emotions vs. Facts

Join me in our first of many interviews in 2024. Kim Williams and I have both experienced bullying and discrimination in the workplace and learned how to stand up for ourselves despite the fear of retaliation. She was advised to “just move on”, but instead chose to show her daughter how to bravely stand up for herself against a large corporation. She discusses how to take a breath, control your emotions and focus on facts.

Lawyers Are People Too

Join me in an educational conversation with Professor Shailini George of Suffolk Law School as she discusses a 2016 study identifying mental wellness issues and addiction in lawyers which led to the American Bar Association National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being. Shailini discusses the fact that in some states a lawyer could not admit they got treatment and be admitted to the bar which kept them suffering in silence. Shailini’s approach with her students it is “put on your oxygen mask first”. She explains that if lawyers are taught mindfulness and wellbeing, they will spread that mindset and be better equipped for helping emotionally prepare witnesses to take the stand.

Human Trafficking Could Be Wiped Out

In this week’s episode I talk with Tyler Schwab who explains the hard truth that there are more slaves today than during the transatlantic slave trade BUT never more stoppable with technology. He explains that social media plays a huge part but once someone is arrested, it is hard for them not to plead guilty because it can be traced. He teaches victims techniques on how to protect themselves emotionally when needing to appear in court and walking them through the legal process. Tylers also tells a remarkable story on why authenticity in the courtroom is so important.

First Responder's Emotional Wellness

Join Juliet and former police detective and recovery coach, Mike Koch, in a discussion about invoking positive change and breaking the stigma of mental health issues among first responders. With a “no matter what” mantra, Mike changed his life after being arrested on 47 felony counts of drug possession and turned his life around. He became an advocate to help connect first responders who are suffering in silence, enabling them to ask for help in a confidential environment.

A Horse's Connection to a Human's Authenticity

This episode brings a fresh perspective on healing trauma through nature and horses. Megan Repass, an Equine Therapist, discusses how horses facilitate the healing process. A trained therapist knows how to build trust with the client so they can be matched with the right horse. She also talks about how she facilitates a space of safety and healing.

Trauma Informed DAs are More Effective

Join me for a very educational conversation with Colorado Springs Deputy DA Kelson Castain. He shares how the DA’s office, police department and sheriff’s office got a federal grant to focus on adult sexual assault cases. This has allowed victims to receive trauma-informed education to help minimize additional trauma when going through the court process. The funding also helps his SVU unit when working with children. They are one of the first offices in the country to provide a courtroom model for children to familiarize themselves with this intimidating setting and ease their anxiety.

We Need to Make the System More Humane

This week, my guest is ex-prosecutor and now victims’ rights attorney, Rachel Robinson. She talks about where she starts when representing a victim — she asks them what outcome they are looking for. She explains how this gives the victim the power to testify and how the rest of their life was going to look. She also lays out elements of the Victims’ Rights Act which includes the Crime Victims Fund and services that offer help. Rachel’s practice is now focused solely on victims’ rights and a holistic approach to getting emotional support through the process.

Ownership is True Freedom

In a brutally honest interview, Portia Louder describes the FBI showing up at her door. Her first thought was “they can’t take my life away from me”, underestimating their power. Terrified and feeling worthless, she describes how the court proceedings were traumatizing. She had lost all control of her life and realized how alone she felt. She knew she needed to confront what she had done, take a moral inventory, and drastically change her life. Portia tells her remarkable story with passion and insight in her book Living Louder: A Compassionate Journey Through Federal Prison, available on Amazon.

When Wrongfully Convicted - Make Change

In this episode, you’ll meet Jeff Deskovic, a quiet kid who didn’t quite fit in. At the age of 16, this put him on law enforcement’s radar after a classmate was murdered. Coerced by the police who brought him in and told him they needed his help to solve the crime, this boy who dreamed of being a cop when he grew up, was eager to help. And vulerable. In a meeting that turned into an intense interrogation, he was forced into a false confession. Only then did he realize he was being arrested with no legal representation. His story of serving 16 years for a murder he did not commit, then re-entering society and achieving amazing accomplishments, is one you don’t want to miss.

Parenting Parents

Family law attorney Garry Gekht discusses the emotional side of his obligation to his client and the number one unspoken law — the best decision is the one that’s in the best interest of the children. He calls children “vessels of information” and believes, while it’s unfortunate, it cannot be avoided that they are part of the process. However, it’s important that the child is not traumatized by the procedures. He believes it takes very strong parents to put their children’s emotional well-being first. This is a big hurdle in such an emotional environment.

No Room Left for Denial

Join me in my conversation with Shelly Edwards Jorgensen who shares her courageous journey through her mothers death at the hands of her father. Left in the dark at the age of 15 on so many issues, she describes walking into the courtroom and being blindsided. She was expected to testify against her father who was sitting in front of her, then having no protection or support from the legal system while staying in the same home with him after her day in court. Her bravery as a teenager is moving. Her path of success moving forward is a story you will want to hear.

You Are Powerless in the Court System

In part two of my conversation with Jan Canty, she talks about the hard truths she learned while trying to heal from the murder of her husband. She describes discovering a modality called the Biopsychosocial Model which lead her to focus on the biological, psychological, and socio-environmental factors in her life. Her story of transformation — from being a murder victim to becoming a triathlete and a psychologist — is truly moving.

We're Not Wanted in the Courtroom

In the mid-1980’s, Jan Canty’s husband was the victim of a brutal murder. During the first part of her interview with host Juliet Huck, she describes the moment the police unceremoniously informed her of the brutality of her husband’s death and the traumatic events to follow. These included her required testimony at the hearing for the alleged murderer — with no support or guidance — the constant media presence at her home, discovering that her husband left their finances in ruin and friends that abandoned her.

Kristin

Shame is Not Always Yours

Testifying in court can be a traumatic experience. A 12 year old girl testifying in a case involving a father who had also abused her resulted in  long term mental and emotional effects along with some positive results.  That’s the story Kristin Walker tells to Juliet Huck in this episode of Trauma, Trial and Transformation.  She also talks about how the experience led her to begin what is now the Mental Health News Radio Network a collection of more than 80 podcasts dealing with the topic of mental health from multiple perspectives.  Trauma, Trial and Transformation is a network member.    

Jurors Tell the People in Power the Truth

Jury Consultant Ron Beaton and Juliet talk about the qualities he looks for when helping clients pick a jury –leaders vs. followers, those who speak their mind, and whether or not they have the courage or confidence to speak up. He also shares advice on techniques witnesses can use when prepping for the witness stand.

Kristin

TTT joins the Mental Health News Radio Network

The tables are was turned in this episode. where Kristin Walker, who is the owner founder and host of the Mental Health Radio News Network, interviews me about that my road to creating my the Trauma, Trial and Transformation podcast. Join us as we talk about how to get the an important message out — that witnesses the mental wellness of witnesses is an area that has been complete completely overlooked. and how we can bring end discussing how On a positive note, we share ways to bring awareness to this issue.

Redemption is Possible

Disclaimer: Sensitive Subject Matter. In this sensitive conversation, Michael Todd talks with me about how violence was the only way he knew to be loved and accepted. With a 25-year prison sentence, he discusses that after being beaten and almost killed in prison, he surrendered, deciding he wanted a new life. Only after he joined a rehabilitation group in prison did things begin to change. Participants began to humanize each other and Michael’s life took a positive turn. He was released and began his transformation.

Humanizing Mentally Ill Defendants

Join me as I talk to criminal defense lawyer Elizabeth Kelley, whose practice focuses on people with mental disabilities. She discusses how she firmly believes that individuals with mental disabilities should have rehabilitation instead of punishment. Parameters for people with mental illness are so restrictive that they set a very low standard for helping them get a fair trial. We also discuss the benefit of bringing in expert witnesses to explain the science behind different mental and physical challenges, thereby humanizing the defendant.

Birds Became More Important Than Drugs

You don’t want to miss this episode with Master Falconer Rodney Stotts who shares how his love of animals and nature have helped him heal from a life of drugs, guns and crime. After spending time in jail, he describes the peace and tranquility he feels working with raptors, and how sitting silent in nature brings one to a place of healing. One of his many inspiring quotes,”You can only heal if you find what makes you feel better, and don’t let anyone steal away your joy.”

episode 27

We Should Not Be So Quick To Judge

In a heartfelt conversation with Immigration Attorney Heather Poole, we discuss the need for a balance of more positive immigration stories like the founder of Yahoo, Noble Peace Prize winners, scientists, and scholars that bring over 10 billion dollars to the U.S. economy. Heather also shares amazing stories of resilience and how getting a U.S.green card transforms lives.

Trump Indictment vs. Street Criminal

Join me with “white collar” trial attorney Gail Shifman as she explains the differences and similarities of street criminals vs. white collar criminals and how the process unfolds in the legal system, especially when it is a former President of the United States. In this unprecidented indictment, Gail discusses how the system can work in the favor of someone of such high profile yet how once arrested, the status of the convict is now exactly the same and he is referred to as a “criminal”.