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Workshop: The Importance of Opening Statements & the Power of Closing Arguments (co-sponsored by NAPIPA)

DATE: Thursday, July 20, 2017      TIME: 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
LOCATION: USPTO, 2nd floor, Alaska Room

Is it true that “80% of jurors make up their minds during opening and never change their opinions?”How do I give a dramatic and dynamic closing argument like Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird or Paul Newman in The Verdict?  Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Daniel Nishigaya, Santa Clara County Deputy Public Defender Judy Yang and Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney Thien Vu Ho will discuss the importance, structure/style and whether or not to make an opening statement.  The panelists will also discuss the strategy and ethical issues/questions of closing arguments.

CLE accreditation pending. Click here to download CLE materials.


Johnny Gogo

Deputy District Attorney, Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office


Johnny Gogo is a Deputy District Attorney with the Santa Clara County D.A.'s Office.  He graduated cum laude from Thomas Jefferson School of Law (San Diego) and began his career as a prosecutor in 1997 with the Guam Attorney General's Office.  In 2001, Johnny worked as an associate with the business/corporate law firm of Calvo & Clark (Guam).  Currently assigned to the DA’s Community Prosecution Unit, Johnny is involved with the local high school mock trial program and with many of the local bar organizations.  Johnny also serves as the President for the Northern California chapter of the National Asian Pacific Islander Prosecutors Association (NAPIPA).


Thien Ho

Deputy District Attorney, Sacramento County District Attorney's Office

Thien Ho is a Deputy District Attorney for Sacramento County and is Vice President of the Northern California Chapter of NAPIPA. He has been an attorney for 18 years. In that time, he has successfully tried rape, child molestation, torture, gang and homicide cases. He is currently assigned to the Major Crimes Unit. DDA Ho has previously taught for CDAA on multiple occasions and is currently an adjunct professor for trial advocacy at McGeorge School of Law. 

Hon. Daniel T. Nishigaya

Judge, Santa Clara County Superior Court

Daniel T. Nishigaya was appointed to the Santa Clara County Superior Court by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in December 2009.  Before taking the bench, Judge Nishigaya was a Supervising Deputy District Attorney in the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, where he specialized in the prosecution of family violence crimes, including domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse, and parental child abduction.  He became a prosecutor in 1996 after a one-year judicial clerkship with the Honorable James R. Browning of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. 

Since joining the court, Judge Nishigaya has handled a criminal misdemeanor direct calendar, a sexually violent predator and criminal mental health calendar, and a criminal felony trial and preliminary examination calendar.  In July 2011, Judge Nishigaya began presiding over a juvenile dependency calendar.  Currently, Judge Nishigaya is presiding over criminal trials.

Judge Nishigaya is an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University School of Law, for the criminal justice internship seminar.  He also teaches criminal law at Lincoln Law School of San Jose.

Judge Nishigaya is a graduate of Amherst College and Santa Clara University School of Law. 

Judy Yang

Deputy Public Defender, Santa Clara County

Judy Yang is a deputy public defender in Santa Clara County and currently works in the juvenile court. Prior to working at the Santa Clara County Public Defender’s Office, Judy worked at the Riverside County Public Defender’s Office in Murrieta, California. Judy completed her post-bar clerkship at the San Francisco County Public Defender’s Office and subsequently worked as a Volunteer Attorney there. Over the course of her five-year career, Judy has tried over 30 trials.

Judy is a native of Santa Clara County. She attended Johns Hopkins University and majored in Political Science with a minor in Africana Studies. She interned for Congressman Mike Honda while in college and worked as a staffer for Senator Dianne Feinstein prior to attending law school. While at U.C. Hastings College of the Law, Judy pursued her passions in public interest and civil rights by working at Bay Area Legal Aid, Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach, and a boutique employment discrimination firm litigating race and age discrimination within the San Francisco Fire Department. In law school, Judy was a teaching assistant for Legal Writing & Research, Moot Court, and Appellate Advocacy. Judy was a member of the Moot Court team at U.C. Hastings; she received the Best Regional Brief and Best Regional Speaker awards at the 2010 Thomas Tang International Moot Court Competition.  Prior to graduating law school, Judy was the recipient of the 46th Annual David E. Snodgrass Award in Appellate Advocacy. In her spare time, Judy enjoys hiking, swimming, and international travel, and hopes to expand her involvement in the APABA community.