Efrat Cogan is our latest Featured Speaker!

Efrat Cogan is our latest Featured Speaker!

Efrat Cogan is our latest Featured Speaker!

Effie first spoke for us at our first Appellate Law Specialist Exam Prep Course in 2013 and again in 2015.  Effie is highly experienced in appellate law and provides valuable insight for our attendees.

Recently Effie spoke at our Advanced Appellate Program in Los Angeles.  Coming up, Effie will be speaking at our Appellate Law Specialist Exam Prep program coming up in Los Angeles.

Efrat Cogan
Buchalter Nemer

Ms. Cogan is a California State Bar Certified Appellate Specialist.

Efrat M. Cogan is Senior Counsel in the firm’s Litigation and Appellate Practice Groups in Los Angeles. Ms. Cogan is certified as an Appellate Specialist by the California State Bar of Legal Specialization. Her practice areas encompass appellate, real estate and construction, copyright and unfair competition, class actions, professional liability, governmental and constitutional law.

Ms. Cogan has written “Executive Nonacquiescence: Problems of Statutory Interpretation and Separation of Powers,” 60 Southern California Law Review 1143, 1987. She has contributed to the California Municipal Law Handbook, published by the California League of Cities, and has co-authored “The ‘Empire’ Strikes Back: Effective Use of the False Claims Act” (2005).

Ms. Cogan has been selected as one of Southern California’s Super Lawyers nine times (2004-2006 and 2008-2013) and was also selected as a Southern California Super Lawyer, Corporate Counsel Edition from 2009 to 2010. She currently serves on the California State Bar’s Advisory Commission.

Ms. Cogan earned her J.D. at the University of Southern California, where she was a staff member and articles editor for the Law Review and graduated Order of the Coif. She received her B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles.

What I Wish I Knew When I Started My Practice

What I Wish I Knew When I Opened My Practice

Ever wish someone had told you this when you were starting out?  Speakers Lisa Clay and Patrick Walsh did a segment on this exact topic during our seminar last week in Chicago: Opening and Managing Your Practice: The Do’s, Don’ts and Everything In-Between.

As you know we occasionally post snippets from our seminar handout materials and wanted to share this today.

  • The importance of, and guidelines for, doing client intakes.
    • Just because a client wants me to represent them doesn’t mean I should.
    • What do I need to know in terms of their background?
    • Their history with other lawyers?
    • Are they frequent flyers/filers?
    • How are they going to pay me?
  • Conflicts Checks!
    • How do I do it?
    • What level of conflicts checks do I need conduct as a solo?
  • Overhead is EXPENSIVE!
    • Rent, insurance, lexis, phone Internet, etc.
    • It all adds up, and most of it can’t be passed on to a client
  • How important it would be to have other attorneys as back-up and resources for things like:
    • Covering me if I’m down and out
    • Subject matter consultations
    • Referrals on cases I don’t want
  • That I would have to be my own bill collector. I still suck at this.
  • About all the unpaid time I would lose being my own office, and dealing with computer issues, addressing phone problems, taking calls I don’t want, etc., etc., etc.
  • That I would have to fire clients (and they might have to fire me).
    • This requires that I have a good retainer, a standard disengagement letter and that I address liens.
  • How to keep track of expenses.
    • I use a credit card for everything I can, but I’m still terrible about making sure billable expenses get on bills, and that I don’t lose cabs, meals, etc.
  • I can’t take every case. Boundaries are so important for solos.
  • How much my opponents would try to use my status as a solo against me.
    • What it’s like to be threatened with “teams” of attorneys and be drowned in discovery by firms with 4 and 5 attorneys on a case
  • How important it is to cultivate relationships with other lawyers
  • That half of my job would be in the role of therapist/social worker… and that part of my job would be largely unpaid.

This seminar took place last Friday; however, you can still hear the full discussion on the audio version available here.

Jennifer Post named one of the 50 Most Influential Women Lawyers in Los Angeles

Jennifer Post named one of the 50 Most Influential Women Lawyers in Los Angeles

Congratulations to our friend Jennifer Post of Thompson Coburn, LLP, for her recognition as one of the 50 Most Influential Women Lawyers in Los Angeles!

Jennifer is a long-time friend of Faith Pincus’ and a top-notch attorney.  We’re excited to see her recognized in the Los Angeles Business Journal.  You can learn more about Jennifer here.

As a Partner in the firm’s Corporate and Securities practice, Jennifer Post serves as primary outside counsel to a variety of individuals, institutions and companies, including entrepreneurs, startups and investors, as well as domestic and international public companies.

Jennifer represents companies and investors in a wide range of corporate transactions, among them mergers and acquisitions, capital raising transactions, secured lending, debt and equity restructuring and intellectual property protection.

A prolific speaker and media commentator, Jennifer was recently profiled in the California Lawyer’s M&A Roundtable. Additionally, Jennifer has presented at the Metropole Global Crowdfunding Conference, NextGen’s Entrepreneurship & Global Crowdfunding Forum, Digital Hollywood events, the Beverly Hills Bar Association and the American Bar Association, among others.

Prior to joining Thompson Coburn, Jennifer was a partner with Raines Feldman, a partner at Edwards & Angell (now Locke Lord), an international law firm, and began her career with Testa, Hurwitz & Thibeault, a leading high tech and venture capital firm in Boston. She also previously founded Post Law Group, PC, a boutique corporate and securities law firm.

Goodbye Beranton Whisenant Jr. You were one of a kind.


I am heartbroken to write this post.

Last Wednesday, May 23rd, Federal Prosecutor Beranton Whisenant Jr. passed away in Hollywood Beach in Florida. Beranton had just recently left Foley & Mansfield to become a federal prosecutor.

Beranton was only 37.

He spoke at every one of our litigation programs since 2013, no matter how many we had each year. When someone speaks at your programs that often, you get to know them a little and you get to respect them a lot. Beranton was one of those attorneys that was completely dedicated to creating a great presentation and handouts to go along with it. He probably didn’t have the time to do it, as a partner at a major law firm, but he did it anyway.

And just as important, he was incredibly nice, super smart, and always happy when you saw him, no matter how busy.

The attorneys who attendee our programs loved him – always writing wonderful things about him when they let us know what they thought of our course. The other speakers with whom he would share the dias also spoke very highly of him and in fact it was one of those speakers who let me know last Thursday about Beranton’s death.

I very much enjoyed working with Beranton and having him speak at our seminars.

Any time I would shoot an email around to past speakers inviting them to speak at planned, or potential, seminars, Beranton was one of the first to reply with a “sign me up… for all of them” email. And any time I asked speakers for their recommendations for other speakers I should invite – Beranton would send over a list of four to ten possible attorneys or judges for me to invite – in South Florida, Orlando, even Jacksonville – or he’d just invite them himself and introduce us.  Many of the attorneys and most of the judges who have spoken at our programs over the past few years were recommended by Beranton.

In fact, he sent over so many recommendations, and introduced me to so many people, I finally just created a special folder for the names Beranton shared with me.

Beranton even co-wrote a chapter on Opening Statements in my public speaking for attorneys book.

And he was so involved in various legal committees and groups it seemed like he knew everyone. I was looking forward to him becoming a judge one day and speaking in that capacity as well. He would have made an amazing judge.

We’ve had more than 1500 attorneys and judges speak at our programs over the past 13 years, and some of them make such a positive impression that everyone they meet has great things to say about them – – my audio recording guy, my on-site East Coast representative, the person who puts together my speaker lists and emails, and all of the speakers who interact with them, not to mention those who attended our programs as I mentioned above.

All of my staff, and most of the outside folks I use to make a seminar happen, know of and remember Beranton and all were shocked and saddened to hear about his death. Our hearts go out to his family.

An obituary can be found at this link. He is survived by his wife, Ebony, and three young children.

I don’t even know how to end this post, only to say goodbye Beranton.

You were too young to die and you were well loved by everyone in my office. I will miss you.

Justice Paul Arthur Turner has passed away


I am very saddened to report that Presiding Justice Paul Arthur Turner of the California Court of Appeal District Five has passed away after a battle with liver cancer.  Justice Turner was a brilliant and kind man.  I remember him well as he participated in several of our appellate programs over the years and I had the honor to meet him and work with him and our other appellate speakers for those programs.  Justice Turner will be missed by all.  His obituary can be found at this link.  Services will be held May 31st at 11 am at the Rolling Hills Covenant Church, 2222 Palos Verdes Dr. North, Rolling Hills Estates, CA 90274.  He will be buried in his family’s plot in Kentucky.

– Faith

Mike Leonard is our latest Featured Speaker!


Mike Leonard is our latest Featured Speaker!

Mike first spoke at one of our Wage & Hour Class Action seminar back in 2014 and has been back several times since then.  Mike is incredibly knowledgeable and thorough in his presentations and our attendees love him.

Recently, Mike spoke at our Mastering the Deposition seminar in Chicago in April and is also speaking at our annual Federal Court Boot Camp this week.  If you want to hear from this speaker and get his excellent tips you can get the audio version of this program here.

Mike Leonard
Leonard Meyer, LLP

Mike is a nationally recognized trial lawyer who has successfully tried to verdict a wide variety of cases in Federal and State courts across the country. He is a “go-to” trial lawyer who has represented individuals in single plaintiff actions; individuals and companies in class and collective actions; some of the nation’s and region’s largest corporations; and individuals in Federal and State criminal trials.

Mike has been recognized as a top trial lawyer and commercial and criminal litigator by the following: The National Trial Lawyers; America’s Best Attorneys; Super Lawyers; Leading Lawyers Network; American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys; and Crain’s Chicago Business.

Mike’s extraordinarily diverse practice has seen him successfully take to verdict cases ranging from securities fraud, employment discrimination, sexual harassment, breach of contract, ERISA, personal injury, and Federal and State criminal matters, among others.

Mike has also arbitrated a wide variety of cases, including international arbitration. Many of his cases have been the subject of national and local media attention, stirring recognition in publications ranging from the Wall Street Journal to the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, Los Angeles Times, CBS News, Law 360, and Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.

Mike has a keen interest in the craft and science of trial practice, and he is a frequent lecturer on trial and litigation related subjects. He is an instructor in Northwestern School of Law’s prestigious trial practice program, where he has also coached some of its Mock Trial teams.

Bob Wilson is our Latest Featured Speaker!


Bob Wilson is this week’s Featured Speaker at Pincus Pro Ed.  Bob has been speaking at our litigation programs since 2013.  We love having Bob at our programs because he is fun to work with, and provides stellar handouts and top-notch presentations.  Attendees frequently say great things about Bob, including:

“Bob is excellent.”

“Clear and concise.”

“Great to get tips from someone who is well-versed in this area.”

With reviews like this it is no wonder we keep asking Bob to come and present at our programs again and again.  Bob will be speaking at our 13th Annual Federal Court Boot Camp this Friday, May 12th in San Francisco, his fourth year in a row.  Don’t miss out on the opportunity to hear from this experienced professional.


Bob Wilson
Law Offices of Robert M. Wilson

Robert Wilson recently opened his own practice at the Law Offices of Robert M. Wilson.   His practice focuses on white collar criminal defense, professional negligence and complex business litigation in both state and federal court.  Mr. Wilson graduated from the University of Colorado in 1979, and received his J.D. from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1983.  Mr. Wilson has trial experience in both state and federal court, including complex white collar criminal matters.  He has appellate experience in the Fifth, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits and the Supreme Court of the United States.  The Chief Judge for the Eastern District of California recently appointed Mr. Wilson to serve as a Lawyer Representative to the Ninth Circuit.

From 1986 through 1993, Mr. Wilson practiced with Segal & Kirby, initially as an associate and later as a partner. In 1993, Mr. Wilson formed his own firm and continued to represent individuals and business clients targeted in criminal investigations, and collateral civil, regulatory and administrative actions. Mr. Wilson has a longstanding interest in technology and the internet, and was an Advisory Board member to FindLaw.com, a legal internet research portal which was eventually acquired by Thomson/West.

Prior to starting his own practice Bob was a member of Kimball & Wilson LLP as a partner and served as the Executive Director of Sacramento Child Advocates, Inc., a non-profit law firm which served the 3000-plus children in foster care in Sacramento County.

Wine Tasting to benefit the Rescue Train


Aside from quality CLE, one of our passions at Pincus Pro Ed is the rights and welfare of companion animals.  The Rescue Train has joined forces with Silver Lake Wines to save the lives of pets.

On Saturday, June 10th you can save lives while tasting delicious wines.  From 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. enjoy wine and light appetizers.  Tickets are $40 at the door and all proceeds will benefit the Rescue Train.

You can pay at the door at 2395 Glendale Avenue, Los Angeles 90039.  To RSVP, and to get more information, go here.

The Originalist at the Pasadena Playhouse

The Originalist

Join the Italian American Lawyers Association for a night of thought provoking entertainment. The Originalist, written by John Strand and Directed by Molly Smith, will be performed at the Pasadena Playhouse.

When a bright, liberal law school graduate embarks on a nerve-wracking clerkship with Justice Antonin Scalia, she discovers him to be both an infuriating sparring partner and an unexpected mentor. The Originalist looks into the complexities of one of the most polarizing Supreme Court Justices of all times. This powerful work portrays the passionate people risking heart and soul to defend their interpretation of the truth, and the constitution.

Strand writes lively, fluid dialogue…Scalia, portrayed with terrific verve and snappy humor by Edward Gero.”  – The New York Times

He (Gero) lands the laughs, delivers the gravitas and at every turn makes you believe this tantalizing man knows and feels American law down to his very bones.”  – The Washington Post

Performances will be held through May 7th. Right now you can save 35% on the performance being held this Saturday, April 29th and 20% on all other performances with coupon code IALA. Purchase tickets here. Attend the performance and stay for the post-show conversation with the Italian American Layers Association, moderated by Hon. George Schiavelli with Lydia Liberio, Greg Salvato, Valerie Granata and Ed Lindain.

Attendees are guaranteed to be entertained as well as enlightened!

Great Witness Preparation Tips from our Mastering the Deposition program held last week in Chicago


Last week we held our Mastering the Deposition program in Chicago and the speakers were fantastic! Larry Heftman, of Schiff Hardin and Kelly Warner of Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP taught Witness Preparation and provided the attendees with the following simple and effective list of things you should say to your witnesses to effectively prepare them for their deposition.


Top ten things to remember to tell your witnesses:

1. Tell the truth.
2. You are in control
3. You are in the field*
4. Provide most concise, accurate answer possible*
5. “One of the things I remember”
6. Pause before answering
7. Compose your entire answer in your head before you start talking
8. Read the entirety of any document
9. Words matter
10. Silence is okay

*  Nuances if the witness is a party or corporate representative.


Evaluations from the seminar were fantastic and included comments like:

“I appreciated the practical advice regarding how to deal with problematic situations which arise during the taking of a deposition.” – J. Scifo, Esq.

“Excellent written materials. Just reading through these materials was worth my time and money to take the course.”

Thank you Larry and Kelly for providing great training and input for our attendees!