Katherine James is a trial consultant who specializes in live communication skills based in the discipline of theatre, Katherine James has been working to make attorneys and witnesses better courtroom communicators since 1977. Over 40,000 attorneys have taken ACT of Communication™ workshops that she developed with co-founder Alan Blumenfeld. She has helped take over 2,500 matters to trial and helped prepare literally thousands of witnesses, including experts of every stripe. She coaches witnesses and their lawyers to reach, persuade and activate jurors. She has taught for AAJ (formerly ATLA) ABTL, ABA, NITA, DRI, CICA as well as many private law firms and bar associations.
Over 40,000 lawyers have taken her workshops. Over the past 15 years more have purchased her Online/DVD series “What Can Lawyers Learn From Actors?™”. She has just released another Online CLE – “How To Make Your Witness A STAR” encapsulating her unique witness preparation system. She has also developed “GoodLawyer/BadLawyer™ Hats” for attorneys to use in witness preparation. She has been widely published and her articles can be read in the Knowledge Tank on the ACT of Communication™ website.
She and her co-founder and husband, Alan Blumenfeld, are proud members of The American Society of Trial Consultants. She is an active theatre artist who performs and directs regularly and is writing a new musical based on a plaintiff’s case she worked on: “Headcase”. She holds a BFA from Illinois Wesleyan University and an MFA from The American Conservatory Theater.
Her older son, Jordan Blumenfeld-James, is a plaintiff’s lawyer with Simon Greenstone, Panatier. Her younger son, Nathan Blumenfeld-James is the Founder and Executive Director of BLKMKTMUSIC, composing original music and supplying music to the film and television industry.
For a list of clients, testimonials and organizations with whom Katherine has worked please click here.
AAJ Press has published their first book on Witness Preparation. They chose ACT of Communicationtm’s Katherine James to write this book.
After over 40 years of working with lawyers and their witnesses, Katherine has codified her approach in a ground-breaking system in her book, HARVESTING WINTESSES’ STORIES: How to get your client the Second Best Life in the World by Maximizing Human Damages. Divided into two sections, TALES and TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES, Katherine offers stories of actual clients and their cases. Each story presents the unique challenges of particular people and how Katherine, working with the attorney, finds ways to help, adjust and fix “the problem”. Tools and techniques based in the craft of the actor, writer and director—as well as rooted in the study of how people learn and process information—are employed to maximum effect.
The second section, identifies and goes into more depth about the tools and techniques Katherine has adapted for the particular needs of the lawyers and their witnesses. One of the lessons for lawyers is that while a particular case might not be in your “area” of practice, the application of the tools and techniques can be used in all kinds of cases for all kinds of witnesses.
Katherine James and Alan Blumenfeld will be performing The Gin Game in the fall of 2018 at the Sierra Madre Playhouse, which Katherine is excited to return to after completing her run as the iconic Amanda Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie, directed by Christian Labano, and her performance as Dorothea in Eleemosynary, written by Lee Blessing in 2016.
Katherine and Alan, with Christian Lebano directing, mounting a new production of The Gin Game in 2019 at the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum. It was selected as a LA Times Critic’s Pick and their work was highly praised.
In 2014 and 2015, Katherine played Capulet and “Sister” Laurence in Mine is Yours Theatre Company’s R&J, a gender-reversed production of Shakespeare’s classic, Romeo and Juliet.
In 2013, Katherine shared the stage with Alan Blumenfeld in renowned author Joyce Carol Oates’ play, Tone Clusters, as Emily Gulick.
During the summer of 2012, at the Theatricum Botanicum, Katherine played Nurse Guinness in Heartbreak House to much critical acclaim.
Katherine has also acted in several play readings as part of her longtime collaboration with the Seedlings Group at the Theatricum Botanicum, including Tiffany Antone’s Twigs and Bone in 2009 and Hoyt Hilsman’s Family Values in 2007. Katherine’s involvement in the Seedlings Group has sharpened her awareness of her surroundings and talents as an actor.
Katherine is currently working on two scripts that are ready to be workshopped: Willing Suspension of Disbelief and Teatro Boscobel – a political romance that echoes the comedies of Shakespeare as it explores the fine line of commerce and art. She is also working on first drafts of Head Case – A Dark Musical About Justice and Just Visiting.
Amongst Katherine’s many full-length and 10-minute plays that are ready for production is Olympus, an exploration of the mythology of motherhood using Greek myth and music. Olympus has enjoyed its first workshop production and is ready for its first production, along with Love Through The Cracks Of Time, Common Ground, Little Pink Lies, and Play for Jimmy; a semi-autobiographical comedy about coming-of-age in the theater as a 17-year-old during the summer of 1969.
Katherine’s plays have been selected and featured in many festivals across the US in recent years, including Zero-Six-Two-Eight, which was a semi-finalist in the 2017 Little Black Dress Ink Female Playwrights Onstage Festival, The Plan which was presented at the Hall Pass Festival and was a semi-finalist in the 2016 Little Black Dress Ink Female Playwrights Onstage Festival and in May of 2018, will be a part of The NYU Youth Theatre Ensemble production of Hall Pass. Other festivals have included her plays Love Through The Cracks of Time, which kicked-off the seventh annual Summer Playwrights Festival in 2016 at The Road Theatre Company, The Old Salt, which was a finalist in the 2014 and 2015 Little Black Dress Ink Female Playwrights Onstage Festival, and She Says, She Says, which was produced at the 2012 Little Black Dress Ink Female Playwrights Onstage Festival.
In the fall of 2017, Katherine directed Ashes to Ashes, written by Debbie Bolsky. Presented by The Athena Cats, a collective of Southern California female playwrights and directors, the madcap romantic comedy opened as a visiting production at the Odyssey Theatre and enjoyed a highly celebrated holiday run.
Katherine directed a series of 10 minute plays for The Athena Cats New Works Festival in the spring of 2017 as well as several entries for Little Black Dress Ink in the past several years.
Katherine has also directed several play readings at Theatricum Botanicum, Jonathan Goldberg’s How to Shoot a Bullmoose in 2009, Henry Murray’s Monkey Adored in 2008, and Tira Palmquist’s Lost Nation in 2007.
And directed plays for Free Association Theatre including, Sholem Aleichem: Laughter and Tears and Ellen Terry.
Katherine James is the artistic director of Free Association Theatre. Founded in 1977, Free Association Theatre unites powerful, compelling stories with the richness of live performance to uncover dramatic insights and truths, and the intrinsic comedy of it all for both audiences and actors to enjoy.
Katherine is a proud member of Los Angeles Female Playwrights Initiative. The movement is dedicated to the concept “50/50 by 2020” – 50% of new plays produced, written by women by 2020. As a national organization, there are FPI’s springing up all over America.
Katherine’s website will give you a fuller understanding of her work as a theatre artist. Click here to visit her website.