Listen to the “Class Action” Trailer HERE
New York – May 31, 2022 – iHeartRadio, the no. 1 podcast publisher according to Podtrac, and Sound Argument LLC announced today the launch of a new documentary podcast titled “Class Action.” Hosted by Katie Phang, a trial lawyer, Anchor, and Host for MSNBC and Peacock, the 12-part podcast series will track a diverse cast of outstanding law students who are battling it out in mock trial competitions across the country. The first two episodes will debut on June 7 and can be heard on iHeartRadio and all other major platforms. Listen to the trailer HERE.
The budding young lawyers on “Class Action” are extraordinary, bright, ambitious and sometimes ruthless. They are poised to enter a justice system that is under intense public scrutiny. And jury trials—a bedrock of a fair justice system—are becoming rare. Prosecutors aggressively push plea deals on defendants, while defense attorneys, often untrained in courtroom procedure, urge them to accept. But in the wake of high-profile verdicts like the George Floyd case, and with the growth in trial “mooting”/mock trialing at major law firms, trial advocacy training is gaining popularity. Mock trial tournaments are quickly becoming a necessary and exciting kind of collegiate sport. One tournament director, who works full time as a homicide investigator, sees it this way:
“All of a sudden we take lawyers, they graduate law school, and we expect them to walk into a courtroom and talk about life and death and millions of dollars without any practice. Think about music, playing the violin in your basement. And then, all of a sudden, walking into Carnegie Hall one day and playing for the first time. It would never happen in music. It would never happen in sports. Why should it happen in law?,” said Jared Rosenblatt, Hofstra University.
Host Katie Phang will guide us through these young lawyers’ stories, disentangling the complexities of American law along the way. Listeners will meet Andy Vizcarra, a first-generation American whose parents emigrated from Mexico to Texas and have worked tirelessly at their restaurant to put their daughter through law school; Tyler Volesky, a young Native American politician, now a law student in South Dakota; Ellie Sands and Anjani Shah—part of a team of activists from Brooklyn Law—who battle for justice not only in mock trial but in real-life legal clinics; DeAndre Bell, a self-styled “church boy” from Houston, who plans to run for President in 2040; and Lajeanne Shelton, the powerful lion of the Dillard team who bristles at comments that she’s too aggressive in court.
“Working on this podcast and meeting these trial students and coaches has re-affirmed my faith in the crucial roles that jury trials play in our lives,” said Phang. “Over the course of a year, I’ve met a group of inspired coaches who recognize the value of investing in the next generation of trial attorneys. And I am thrilled to witness students who have overcome significant obstacles to learn and honor the craft of courtroom procedure. ‘Class Action’ is a breath of fresh air in these troubled times. It’s a reminder of why I became a trial lawyer in the first place--- to defend our democratic judicial system.”
Producers Lisa Gray and Kevin Huffman spent a year recording the grueling bootcamps, scrimmages and competitions with law teams from Brooklyn Law, St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, and the University of South Dakota. Listeners will hear the young lawyers reach near-exhaustion arguing cases at high-stakes tournaments. The producers also followed an undergraduate team from Dillard University in New Orleans trying to bounce back from the twin disasters of Covid-19 and Hurricane Ida to make a Cinderella run at the national championship. Lawyers, law students and any listener who loves a good story will be caught up in the drama that unfolds, armchair-quarterbacking the cases. Judging judges. Predicting decisions.
We’ll hear from St. Mary’s trial coach AJ Bellido de Luna, a former US Marine, turned cop, turned advocate. He loves his job and protects his students like the warrior he’s always been. “I put them through a boot camp in the summer,” he said. “I want them to be good workers, willing and if they have a chip on their shoulder, fine, I can deal with that. I have a chip, too.” At South Dakota University’s Knudson School of Law, its coach, Professor Laura Rose, herself the daughter of a legendary advocacy coach, who relentlessly prepares her team for the big leagues—to knock the “South Dakota Nice” out of them. And in New Orleans, beloved coach Adria Kimbrough reveals, mid-season, that she is leaving her team at the end of the year. But first she wants that national championship for her HBCU students.
“Class Action” plunges listeners into a rich verité-driven soundscape, replete with mic’d-up behind-the-scenes drama, in-depth character scenes and immersive courtroom battles. It’s a “cinematic” podcast: listeners are immersed in the action, it’s direct and emotional. The music swells, stories play out. Coaches urge players on the sidelines, as Katie and a team of noted trial attorneys—including Preet Bharara, Elie Honig, Lara Bazelon and Tony Serra— help break the code of American law.
“Class Action” is a co-production of Sound Argument LLC and iHeartMedia and is distributed by the iHeartPodcast Network. Follow us on Twitter at @ClassActionPod.
For more information contact Lisa Gray at (718) 208-3754/ email@example.com or Kevin Huffman at (203) firstname.lastname@example.org. Listeners can also learn more about the podcast at https://www.classactionpod.com/.
About Sound Argument LLC
Sound Argument LLC is a new production company founded by Lisa Gray and Kevin Huffman. Our objective is to produce compelling, creative, informational and entertaining programming. "Class Action" has inherent drama, tackles deep social issues and tracks committed law students who will soon take on a deeply flawed justice system – exactly the kind of story we love to tell.