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.

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”.

Moral Injuries Deteriorate Compassion

In today’s episode with Fritzi Horstman, founder of the Compassion Prison Project, we discuss the moral injuries that those of us involved in the legal system face, including making us lose empathy and compassion. She asks listeners to keep in mind that we are humans who have hurt each other, and we must see through fear and anger to find compassion. She asks us to look at the fact that most prisoners only know violence as a solution in their lives, and that 90% of those incarcerated have incurred some type of childhood violence or trauma.

Taking the oath

Testifying Against The Oath Keepers: The Right Thing To Do

In part 2 of my continued conversation with Jason Van Tatenhove, he describes, in vivid detail, how visiting the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC gave him the strength and courage to testify against the Oath Keepers. He describes his relief for having a law firm who believed in him enough to accept him as part of their pro-bono program since he had no resources to defend himself. He also gives a step-by-step account of what it was like be an average person one day, then surrounded by armed guards and 100s of photographers within 24 hours. He got through it by staying focused on how he could make something better for his daughters in the world they are going to inherit.

Choosing to Leave the Oath Keepers

Welcome to part one of a two-part series, an explosive story about realizing you are in the wrong place at the right time. My guest, Jason Van Tatenhove, talks with me about working for the Oath Keepers and the moment he realized he was “drinking the Kool Aid”. Sharing how he reinvented himself after leaving the organization, he  discussest how he went on to teach his kids that it’s ok to “mess up, but then work on making it right.” In part 2, he then leads us into what it was like to testify in front of the Jan 6th Congressional Committee.

The Intersection of the Law & Mental Illness

Litigator for 30+ years and now retired, John O’Malley speaks on behalf of NAMI – National Alliance on Mental Illness. He talks about trying to lift the stigma of discussing mental illness openly. John is proud of the programs NAMI offers, one of which is working to train law enforcement on identifying the signs of someone with mental illness. Juliet and John also discuss how gaining life experience helps one become better at witness prep and the importance of having empathy for those who need to take the stand.

Choose Love

In part two of my conversation with Scarlett Lewis she talks about locking eyes with Alex Jones while and seeing a vacancy. She quickly realized why he was doing what he was doing because “he had to fill the void that should be filled with love.” She describes how she immediately felt compassion for Alex and the moment in the courtroom that felt like they were the only two in the room. She then goes on to describe how her son’s message of Choosing Love became the theme of the trial that ultimately landed a verdict for $49 million against Jones.

Courage From My Son

Please join me in an extremely powerful and moving conversation with the mother of Sandy Hook murdered victim Jessie Lewis. Scarlett Lewis is the Chief Movement Officer of the Jessie Lewis Choose Love Movement. In part one we discuss her book and how she gained strength over the years delealing with her grief – which then leads us into our conversaton of having the courage to sue Alex Jones, conspiracy thearist.

For The Love of My Daughter

Today’s guest, Maurice DeDeaux, discusses the steps he took on what he labeled “YouTube University” to learn the legal system so he could represent himself in fighting for custody of his daughter. He talks about learning patience and getting past the frustration that is part of the judicial system. But he would not have it any other way as he continues his quest for custody.

Lights Camera Action

Join me for a short commentary on how cameras in the courtroom are a double edge sword for witnesses, especially when they’re faced with reliving trauma in their lives. In those cases, cameras are the difference between the real time testimony and the media’s interpretation of court’s proceedings.

Marketing Victoria

Victoria Rusk: Feelings Before Fact

Today’s guest is Mitigation Specialist Victoria Rusk. In a delicate conversation, she talks about putting her own agenda and judgement aside to help the accused. It requires that she humanizes her clients who are on trial for the death penalty, life in prison or long-term sentences. The author of The Handbook for Mitigation and founder of Mitigation University, Victoria tells an amazing story of a mother whose son was on trial for the death penalty and how testifying was such a blessing because for the first time she felt heard. It helped this woman heal some deep-rooted pain.

Marketing Kyle

Cultivating Connectivity

Join an inspirational conversation with Pastor Kyle Joachim about why putting his own agenda aside, and just being “present” in one’s time of need, is so important. Juliet and Kyle talk about holding on to faith in your darkest hours when one feels overwhelmed by the legal system and why cultivating a relationship with God or one’s higher power makes it easier to ask for help when all seems lost.

Heal the Nervous System, Heal the Trauma

In a fascinating and educational conversation, Dr. Stephanie Maj walks us through the scientific steps of how trauma physically affects the body. Not only does it impact functions like long term memory and emotional muscle memory, it also weakens the frontal lobe of the brain which compromises complex thought, therefore possibly compromising a witness’ memory when taking the stand. Dr. Maj also shares how trauma irritates the nervous system and how healing the nervous system helps heal the trauma.

Court of Public Opinion

In our first podcast of 2023, we speak with Crisis Communications Expert Rosemary Wilson. She talks about her role consulting with corporations and individuals when crisis strikes or reputations are on the line. She also shares how issues can be minimized when addressing a problem quickly instead of hoping it will disappear. Rosemary has great insight on how to minimize the damaging effect of negative press on one’s reputation and stop the ripple effect in its tracks.

Let’s Honor Ourselves

As a wrap for 2022, Juliet takes a different approach from recent podcasts. She interviews Karen Egoff of My Soul Balance on the topic of honoring ourselves. Karen gives us some insight on the power of Reiki and walks us through a chair yoga exercise so we can take a few minutes for self care. Juliet also provides some food for thought for ending 2022.

An Oddly Fun Chessgame

Join the conversation between Juliet and Kristin Shelton on her experience of becoming a forensic accounting expert witness. Kristin talks about how the psychological warfare of the cross examination is an oddly fun chess game. She describes her first time testifying as an expert witness and how the Grateful Dead’s music got her through the experience. That was when she realized how music is a large part of her selfcare during the stressful process.

You Have to Fight to be Well

This week, Juliet talks with Judy AmicAngleo, interior architect, commercial interior designer and colorist. She suffered a freak accident when her neighbor’s unleashed dog charged her and her (leashed) dog. In the resulting fight, her finger was servered. She talks about filing a lawsuit and how she was accused of not telling the truth despite her bandaged hand. She also shares how color not only heals but can also intimidate. Her latest achievement is learning hip-hop dance with the 20-somethings and how it is helping her heal.

Divorce Without Fear

High-conflict divorce attorney Robyn Ginney, Esq., is a strong, experienced attorney who shields her clients from their spouses, recognizes the games being played, and protects what matters most – her client’s wellbeing. She’s a strong advocate for her clients in what she describes as “divorce terrorism”. Her background in psychology, crisis counseling, and special education gives her a unique perspective and insight into her client’s fears and the games that others play to prolong or complicate a divorce. While the divorce process can be traumatic, she shares steps one can take to make the process less painful.

Have Faith You Will Heal

Shaman, Breathwork & Vibrational Healer and author of the book “Beverly Hills Concentration Camp”, Randi Maggid talks with Juliet about overcoming the trauma as the child of Holocaust survivors and how her own healing journey has led to becoming a healer. Using different modalities in her practice as a Shaman led to her philosophy “when you have faith, you can heal and it’s not as hard as you think”.

Having Solutions Equals Control

Please join Juliet and Julia Jayne, ESQ, for a fascinating look from both sides of the aisle. Julia, who went from being a District Attorney in northern California to a criminal defense attorney, speaks on how mental health services provided by the courts can change lives.

“Do what is Best for the Child”

Juliet and Sam discuss the delicate balance of prepping children and their parents who are called to testify. As a partner with Campbell & Williams in Las Vegas, Sam’s practice is entirely focused on litigating the firm’s catastrophic personal injury cases along with complex commercial litigation matters. Sam talks about the need to build relationships with children whose testimony is crucial to a case.

“No Judgment, Just Healing”

Meet Joel – a hollywood executive producer who has a laundry list of hits such as the Biggest Looser to now working with LeBron James as executive producer on the emmy nominated show Rescue for Change. After discovering his own sobriety, Joel created Change Your Algorithm – free mental online services based on therapists volunteering their time through classes and individual sessions. Joels organization’s mantra “no judgement, just healing”. https://changealgorithm.com/

“The Best Defense is a Strong Offense”

Juliet talks with Bill McCracken who was unexpectedly pulled into a corporate lawsuit turning his life upside down. Bill gives us great advice on turning the defense into the offense and learning to heal over time.

“Testifying is a Privilege”

Meet Roy, a highly decorated trial attorney and recently named 2022 Super Lawyer. Join Juliet as she and Roy discuss his witness prep process as well as tips he gives on how to navigate the legal system as a witness.

“Ask for Help”

On this episode Juliet introduces us to Pam whose brother was murdered in Florida in 2014 and remains a cold case today. Discover her profoundly brave journey to testify, reliving her grief, and then finding a way to get some relief by asking for help.