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Find Out What Can Go Wrong and How to Avoid or Fix It

The litigation process is filled with pitfalls that can weaken a good case or sink it entirely. In this program, faculty will teach you how to avoid procedural, substantive and strategic missteps - and mitigate the damage to your case if you do slip up. From initial pleadings to trial, gain best practices that will help you avoid headaches and get better case results. Register today!

  • Avoid easy-to-make mistakes with initial pleadings, filing and deadlines.
  • Learn what many lawyers do wrong when requesting or answering discovery.
  • Dig into the most commonly misunderstood and misapplied rules of evidence.
  • Improve your chances of a successful motion with useful pointers and cautionary advice.
  • Dodge negotiating tricks and settlement and release language traps.
  • Explore the many ways trial can go bad, from voir dire disasters to weak closing arguments.
  • Sidestep post-trial and appellate disasters with best practices and tips.

All times are shown in Eastern time

  1. Intake, Initial Pleadings and Service Oversights
    10:00 - 10:30, Tracy N. Tool
    1. Client Intake Process Mistakes
    2. Complaint Errors
    3. Service Problems and Oversights
    4. Response Mistakes and Missed Opportunities
    5. Filing and E-Filing Missteps
    6. Improper Calendaring and Application of Local Rules
  2. Discovery, E-Discovery and Investigation Landmines
    10:30 - 11:30, James M. Susag
    1. Investigation Pitfalls
    2. Mistakes in Propounding and Answering Discovery
    3. Real-World Deposition Missteps
    4. Subpoena Sins
    5. Top E-Discovery Errors: Requesting vs. Producing Parties
    6. Failure to Leverage Proportionality to Limit Costs
    7. Ineffective Use of Discovery Motions
  3. Applying the Rules of Evidence: Top Attorney Mistakes
    11:45 - 12:45, James W. Balmer
    1. Admissibility of Evidence Oversights
    2. Misunderstood and Misused Rules of Evidence
    3. Hearsay Rule and Exceptions: Top Attorney Mistakes
    4. Failing to Authenticate Social Media, Texts and Email
    5. Witness Testimony Pitfalls
    6. Misuse of Expert Testimony and Mistakes in Qualifying Experts
  4. Motions (Summary Judgment, in Limine, etc.): Common Errors
    1:15 - 1:45, Tracy N. Tool
    1. Errors in Making and Responding to Motions
    2. Summary Judgment Motion Oversights
    3. Motion in Limine Pitfalls
    4. Other Motion Traps
    5. Motions Brief Writing Gone Wrong
    6. Hearing Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make
  5. Settlement Traps to Avoid
    1:45 - 2:15, James W. Balmer
    1. Falling Prey to Common Negotiation Tricks
    2. Arbitration and Mediation Pitfalls
    3. Agreement Errors That Give Rise to Future Disputes
    4. Release Landmines
  6. Trial Pitfalls: From Jury Selection to Closing Arguments
    2:15 - 3:15, James W. Balmer
    1. Trial Preparation Oversights
    2. Jury Selection/Voir Dire Mistakes to Avoid
    3. Opening Statements Gone Wrong
    4. Ineffective Presentation of Evidence
    5. Pitfalls in Witness Examination: Direct and Cross
    6. Objections: Commonly-Missed Opportunities
    7. Closing Arguments: The Bad and the Ugly
  7. Post-Trial Motion and Appellate Disasters
    3:30 - 4:00, Tracy N. Tool
  8. Legal Ethics Hazards
    4:00 - 5:00, James M. Susag
    1. Conflicts of Interest
    2. Administrative Mistakes
    3. Key Substantive and Procedural Errors
    4. Unclear Client Communications
    5. Other Legal Ethics Dangers

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