11th Annual Circuit Court Boot Camp: The Nuts and Bolts 2021 (IL) (Recorded Package)

Audio program! (check our CLE Programs page for live versions)

Pincus Professional Education has put on its annual Circuit Court Boot Camp for eleven years for a reason – it’s that good. This program delves into general litigation skills and strategies as well as providing an inside look at, and advice about, litigating in Illinois Circuit Court.

And you’ll hear from four sitting judges!

Year after year attendees rave about the program.

Year after year we tweak the agenda based on input to make it even better.

Year after year we invite the many of the same speakers back because their ratings are so good and attendees learn so much from them.

We cover everything from complaint strategies to depos and discovery, case management conferences, motion writing, trial prep, and trial techniques. Your faculty will also discuss how to preserve your trial record for an appeal, post trial motions and judgments.

And we make sure to teach you the mistakes not to make as well.

If you are new, or somewhat new, to litigation – this seminar is for you.

Recently graduated law school? – can’t miss it. You don’t get these skills, this practical advice, and this insight from sitting judges in law school.

There is no better Circuit Court and litigation primer program in Illinois. Our testimonials can speak to that claim.


This program was recorded live on December 2 & 3, 2021. The recorded packages are now available in audio or video format and includes seminar materials.*

* The Video recording is a video of the webinar (including sound). The Audio recording is audio only, for those who wish to listen to it without visuals (such as in the car). You can also purchase both formats together. Note: All downloads must be downloaded to a computer first, before transferring them to another device.


Have you ever thought about improving your public speaking skills? Now is the time! Get Faith Pincus’ newly published book Being Heard: Presentation Skills for Attorneys, from the ABA now (ABA members receive 10%-20% off). You can order a signed paperback from us at a discount here (free shipping). It is also available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback versions.

What You Will Learn

Part 1

Case Theories, Complaints, Answers, Motions to Dismiss, Motions to Strike and CMCs

  • Case Strategies/Themes
  • Complaints and Answers
    • Rules and timelines
    • How to do it
    • Advice and Strategies
    • Common mistakes
  • Demurrers/Motions to Strike
  • MTDs v. Answers
  • Case Management Conference / Scheduling Your Case

Discovery & E-Discovery in State Court

  • Discovery
    • Regular Discovery
    • Types
    • Motions that occur during Discovery, including motions for sanctions
    • Overlooked Deadlines
    • Procedural Issues that are often missed/common mistakes
    • Subpoenas
    • Strategies and choices related to what types and when/timing
      • For Settlements
      • For Trial
      • Other Considerations
  • E-Discovery
    • Latest State Rules, changes in rules- State v. Fed
    • Strategies
    • Cost Saving Measures
    • Mistakes not to make
    • Important state cases
  • Motions to Compel
  • Rules Strategies & Timelines
  • State v. Federal rule differences and strategy differences
  • Deciding whom to depose
  • Taking good depositions – Mistakes not to make
  • Making effective use of depositions at trial in state court


  • Rules Strategies & Timelines
  • State v. Federal
  • Deciding whom to depose
  • Taking good depositions – Mistakes not to make
  • Making effective use of depositions at trial in state court

Drafting and Replying to Motions for Summary Judgment

  • Strategy considerations regarding moving for MSJ v. waiting for trial?
  • State court related timelines
  • Writing process and strategies
  • How to write the briefs
  • Effective and ineffective techniques and approaches to your briefs
  • How do you convince the judge?
  • Common mistakes not to make
  • What troubles judges
  • What do you do if the response doesn’t address your motion or is impossible to follow?
  • What do you do if the brief doesn’t address the issues or is impossible to follow?
  • Strategies, advice and approaches to:
    • The brief
    • The response
    • The reply



Part 2

Oral/Motion Argument

  • Advice for in-person and online arguments

Pre-Trial Settlement Procedures and Advice

Heading to Trial and Additional Motions

  • Heading to Trial
    • Final Status Conference
    • Trial Outline
    • Motions to Exclude Witnesses from Courtroom
    • Motions in Limine
  • Additional Motions
    • Ex parte applications
    • Continuances
    • Reconsideration
    • Motions for Sanctions
    • Motions to Exclude Witnesses from Courtroom

Your Pre-Trial Tasks, Selecting and Dealing with Your Jury

  • Jury Selection – Procedure, Strategies and Questionnaires
  • Jury Instructions, Jury Verdict Forms
    • What to do, mistakes not to make
    • Difference between state and federal court

Your Trial 

  • Evidence Issues
    • How to get evidence admitted / submitting exhibits at trial
    • Differences between state and federal rules/procedures
    • Strategic Use
    • How to / Rules related to objections during trial
  • Direct and Cross-Examinations of Lay and Expert Witnesses
    • Strategies and Advice
    • Differences between lay witnesses and expert witnesses

Preserving the Record for Appeal, Post-Trial Motions and Judgments

  • Preserving the Record for Appeal
    • The most important do’s and don’ts
  • Judgments
    • Financial awards
    • Injunctive relief
    • Requirements for entry in jury trials per CCP664
    • How to enforce
  • Post-Trial Motions
    • Motion for a JNOV
    • Motion for a New Trial
    • Attorneys’ Fees
    • Determining “Prevailing Party” under CCP Sec. 998, 1032 & 1033
    • Filing Notice of Appeal

Final advice from the bench/ final questions for the judges


“It was substantive and well-organized. I appreciated how detailed it was.” – Nicholas Lurie-Moroni, Esq.
“Very useful, I gained important info.” – Tuleen Zain, Esq.
“Well-organized and the materials were abundant and useful.” – Barry Boykin, Esq.
“It was an excellent program! I’ve tried a few cases, and I definitely felt like I learned something! This was a useful and interesting course, even if you’ve been practicing for a while.” – Elizabeth Homsy, Esq.
“Very satisfied.” – Dale Lichtenstein, Esq.
“I thought that the speakers were knowledgeable, engaging and they engaged in good, substantive conversation. I like that the boot camp substantively addressed multiple areas of civil practice” – Nicholas Lurie-Moroni, Esq.
“It was engaging!” – Rebecca Strauss, Esq.
“Excellent! I found the second day to be particularly helpful in getting to know how judges think about these sorts of things.” – Elizabeth Homsy, Esq.
“The program was very well done.” – Barry Boykin, Esq.
“It was helpful.” – Richard D. Boonstra, Esq.
“Excellent program! Great tips from each speaker!”
“This program was incredibly informative!”
“All the speakers were knowledgeable and did an excellent good providing a balance of basic information and real-life experiences that provided context to create a deeper understanding of the topics.”
“Great speakers and presentations.”
“Very thorough and good overview of the topics.”
“I really appreciate the extensive knowledge of the speakers and the way their presentations built off of one another.”
“Great program! Very useful.”
“Very satisfied due to content, breadth of coverage, etc.”
“Great! Very inclusive.”
“Excellent program and extremely beneficial!” – Peter Benke Esq.
“This was one of the best CLE’s I have attended this year.” – John A. Doerrer, Esq.
“Great overview. Great practical, real-life experience, especially for new attorneys.” – Aaron Curry, Esq.
“Incredible program that provides valuable insight from judges and practitioners in a way that is accessible to younger attorneys.” – Marc Pawlus, Esq.
“Excellent. Good job with speakers.” – Thushan Sabaratnam, Esq.
“Extremely helpful to have the judge’s perspective. Ms. Haidostian was also very insightful and organized.” – Kaitlin Cutshaw, Esq.
“This program should be mandatory for all new attorneys.” – Anthony McMahon, Esq.
“This was extremely helpful for my practice.” – Lhea Keller, Esq.
“It was very helpful to my practice, especially helpful having judges on the panel. Speakers were very informed and made specific reference to the rules.” – Nathan Nash, Esq.
“This is a great program for new attorneys or well-practiced attorneys looking to brush up on some practice skills. Great content and well presented.” – Matthew Dudek, Esq.
“I thought it was great. The presenters and slides were very informative. I found the pleadings session more relevant to my practice as a legal aid attorney. Everything was clear and the responses to the questions were helpful. Presentations were very clear and full of practice pointers.” – Nathan Nash, Esq.
“I found the program incredibly informational and helpful. I was also very impressed by the smooth transition from in-person to virtual format. It is always great to hear expert insight from practitioners on both sides of litigation as well as from an experienced Judge.” – Kaitlin Cutshaw, Esq.
“It was really great having a judge’s perspective. The other presenters were very knowledgeable.” – Seth McCormick, Esq.
“Very happy with the practical tips and experience that came out of the seminar.” – Jessica Rimkus, Esq.
“Good, well-rounded introduction to basic civil litigation practice.” – Nemura Pencyla, Esq.
“Extremely well organized, informative, interesting and helpful.” – Nancy Pacher, Esq.
“All the speakers were great!” – Amit Patel, Esq.
“Good substantive content, legal updates, and case law.” – David Swiss, Esq.
“The speakers were informative and animated, keeping me engaged. Many wonderful tips I will carry over into my own practice.” – Shanna N. Crafts, Esq.
“Very experienced speakers with practical real-world examples.” – Lisa Clay, Esq.
“Good explanation of limited attorney-client privilege for client corporations in Illinois. Judge Taylor is a quintessential jurist…[Jack Snyder was] Excellent.” – Thorn McClellan Smith, Esq.
“I recently made the transition from criminal to civil litigation. This was a great refresher course in smoothing that transition.” – Stephanie Pauly, Esq.
“I liked having both plaintiff and defense counsel on the same panel. I like the diversity of the forms represented and appreciated the practical tips.” – Natasha Adler, Esq.
“I have been a practicing lawyer in Indiana for 21 years but am new to Illinois. Very helpful to have the authority, citations, etc.” – Cheryl M. Polarek, Esq.
“I have nothing but positive comments. Good context, well presented, speakers were all prepared. I thought the program was effectively run- especially considering the circumstances. Well-coordinated amongst the speakers.” – Matthew David Duek, Esq.
“I very much liked the opportunity for spontaneous questions and resulting discussion.” – Mel Newman, Esq.
“Very good trial advocacy overview.” – Amanda Wendorff, Esq.
“It covered a lot of beneficial [information]. Speakers’ experiences were very helpful.” – Gabriel Borges, Esq.
“Very detailed [and] covered a wide variety of topics.” – Brad Eben, Esq.
“Great investment to my future in trial practice.” – Kevin Borozan, Esq.
“Panel/Speakers were very pleasant. Significant amount of information packed in sessions. The seminar was enjoyable and informative.” – Greg Sandifer Esq.
“Good info in each section. Thank you.” – Eric Chisholm, Esq.
“Really informative and great to hear a judge’s perspective, especially one from the law division.” – Julie Sieracki, Esq.
“I found it very informative. I’m new to civil law practice and I found it helpful. I found it helpful to me in preparing a civil case.” – Chandra Smith, Esq.
“Motion for summary judgement presentation was excellent.” – Cheryl M. Polarek, Esq.
“Excellent and hugely helpful. Animated but extremely relevant info…” – Mario P. Carlasare, Esq.
“Great aids. Excellent panel – very informative.” – Anthony O’Neill, Esq.
“Gave valuable needed information. Presenters explained topics well and had interesting and helpful feedback.” – Chandra Smith, Esq.
“Good explanation of discovery requirements.” – Amy Rapoport, Esq.
“Very good. Would recommend to others.” – Bruce Theobald, Esq.
“Very practical, helpful, and informative.” – Chandra Smith, Esq.
“Helpful to have the judges’ insight.” – Seth McCormick, Esq.
“It was very thorough.” – Jacqueline Olivares-Heidenreich, Esq.
“Helpful info presented.” – David Mellem, Esq.
“I loved how speaker Dennericka Brooks gave out checklists and concrete logistical advice.” – Caitlin Cervenka, Esq.
“I really enjoyed the training, while a lot is outside my practice area, the procedural information was a great refresher and helped with my confidence.”
“I thought all of the speakers were great, and I particularly liked Judge Taylor’s commentary.”
“It was engaging and comprehensive!”
“Very helpful.”
“Great presentations and discussions.”
“Program was very beneficial and helpful.”
“Enjoyed hearing the experiential based thoughts.”
“It was very helpful, thank you!”
“Judge Dorothy French Mallen is a great judge with tremendous insight. Her tips to approaching the trial (not pre-trial aka “settlement conference”) were very useful.” – Marc Pawlus, Esq.
“Very satisfied. It was helpful to reinforce things I have forgotten since law school. Judge Tailor’s contributions were very good and helpful. Judge Spratt was lovely! I enjoyed her input. Good outline. I enjoyed and appreciated this program because it reviews the basics that you might forget by not dealing with them every day. Further, it helps you build up the basics without wasting the time of your superiors asking these low-level questions. Looking forward to more programs.”
“Judge Tailor was my favorite. He’s practical, kind and set a good tone for what we should aspire to (to comport ourselves as officers of the court). Michael Leonard was terrific. Judson Graham’s session was very informative with some useful, practical tips. Judge Spratt was fantastic. She’s funny, informative, and smart.”
“Good opportunity for new lawyers. Very knowledgeable speakers. Lots of great material on trial. Very informative post-trial session.”
“Presenters were very knowledgeable and offered practical pointers on specific litigation practice.”
“Enjoyed the deposition presentation. Found value in specific, real-world examples.”
“Really quality content and well-informed speakers.”
“As an attorney who has only been practicing for a year, I found this helpful. Topics were very extensive. You did a great job.”
“Very informative. I’ve never conducted a trial myself and I feel much more prepared for having viewed this program.”
“Excellent and knowledgeable panel.”
“I think the program was excellent and the speakers were top-notch.”
“This as a really great program. I got a lot out of it.”
“Excellent and thorough presentations.”
“Great summary of the practice of law. Clear and practical information.”
“The combination of practitioners and a judge was useful. I appreciated the notes on strategy and the culture of the practice, which are hard to access through reading the rules.”
“I really enjoyed the program. It was great to hear from a judge’s perspective.”
“Visual aids/demonstrations were helpful.”
“A well-organized, comprehensive, and practical presentation on the mechanics of IL trial practice. Judge Conlon’s advice was concrete and on point, and she added new information rather than simply endorsing what the presenters were saying–e.g., noting the importance of prepping witnesses on the parameters imposed by in limine rulings. I found her interjections the most helpful of all the judges we heard from over the course of this boot camp.”
“I appreciated the clarity with which the information was presented, and the combination of big picture advice re: framing and strategy with more detailed advice about specific rules and pitfalls. I’m planning to refer back to the presentation materials as a way of orienting myself next time I write a deposition outline or summary judgment brief.”
“I enjoyed the program and appreciate the practical tips. I thought it was very helpful for the presenters to use examples from their own experience.”
“Judge Larson was fantastic and Judge Sheahan was amazing! I enjoyed Brian Eldridge’s anecdotes. They made nebulous concepts more concrete. John Killacky was very knowledgeable.”
“It was very useful. Judge Tailor had a very valuable perspective on how judges view things. The references to the discovery rules, infrequently used rules, and pitfalls were very helpful. Very practical guidance on e-discovery.”
“I enjoyed the speakers. I appreciated the judge’s practice tips.”
“Good program, knowledgeable presenters. Good basics, including pleading requirements and motion practice.”
“The practical advice and concrete examples from each attorney’s practice made today’s session very useful.”
“It was informative and easy to follow. Lots of good information.”
“The example deposition with objections was one of the most helpful and practical examples I have ever seen; Most presenters tell you what to do or not to do without showing you; this was great!”
“Best part of the seminar was the mock deposition conducted by Leonard and White.”
“I really liked the example of the deposition being acted out.”
“Judge Larson’s commentary was informative and insightful.”
“Good, practical tips. Clear and practical information.”
“I appreciate the concrete, practical advice and helpful templates. Clear, digestible breakdowns of trial prep and in limine practice. I appreciated the helpful pretrial checklist breaking down tasks and providing timeframes. Clear presentation on juries. The case law discussions were helpful, as was the orientation to the IPI. Really insightful commentary from Judge Mallen. Helpful to have Judge Hartigan’s perspective.”
“Really great answers on so many practical points from this panel. Both Judge Larson and Judge O’Brien Sheehan gave really excellent advice on briefs (e.g. importance of headers and avoiding overstatement), what not to do on oral argument, and SJ. Eldridge and Killacky were excellent – thorough and practical – and pre-answered a number of questions.”
“Very satisfied.”
“Michael Leonard was very clear and informative and gave excellent supplemental materials. Great judicial perspective. Judge Larson gave good practical guidance. Very nice to hear from a downstate judge. Good perspective and helpful tips from Judge O’Brien Sheahan.”
“I enjoyed Part 2 and feel that I learned a lot. Thank you! Great presentation by Michael Leonard. As a new attorney, the slow pace was great. The examples and mock deposition were a good learning tool.”
“I thought it was a very helpful and practical overview of trial and post-trial proceedings. Megan gave very practical advice on how to structure questions and arguments. I loved Judge Conlon–she was very down to earth and had great comments.”
“These speakers were good, especially the judge! Great intro material.”
“Michael Leonard’s advice was great, and I will use his tip sheet as a resource in the future. I thought the mock deposition was especially helpful. MSJ presentation offered useful information presented clearly and logically. I wasn’t familiar with the mechanics of state court summary judgment practice so this was a great roadmap. It’s helpful to have the model materials in the appendix to refer to.”
“Nice to have a judge’s perspective. Judge Tailor was a good speaker. Megan Thibert-Ind was my favorite speaker…very engaging and great advice.”
“J.T. Wilson was very well-spoken and offered practical tips.”
“Voir dire session is always good. I appreciate hearing tips on this topic.”
“Ian was very thorough and detailed. I liked how broad Clint’s presentation was, going to executing judgments and taking appeals as well as the nuts and bolts of post-trial proceedings.”
“I thought the presenters were very knowledgeable and conveyed general practice tips. Dennericka had a very solid road map and concrete advice on how to prepare for trial. Judge Mallen’s comments were insightful and relevant. I thought JT and Lenny were great.”
“I thought it was good, well laid out and flowed well.”
“Megan gave a great trial practice refresher, presented in a clear and dynamic way.”
“Judge Conlon was the most helpful to me because she was able to speak to the cases that I am most familiar with. Also, it is always to hear from a judge about their perspective.”
“I really enjoyed how the speakers talked about mistakes they’d seen or done. It made it less dry and easier to follow. I really liked the list of objections.”
“J.T. Wilson had great ideas! Good insight as to questioning of jurors. Vivian Tarver-Varnado gave very good practical advice on getting organized.”
“Very informative, especially practical pointers.”
”Speakers were very knowledgeable and informative.”
“Everything was covered – jury instructions were very helpful.”
“Very good course especially when they gave specific stories and/or examples.”
”The mechanical aspect of litigation improved my knowledge as a new attorney. Understanding the process from beginning to end.”
“The enumerated lessons (i.e. 10 things to do on direct examination for expert witness) were very valuable!” – Valerie Magnuson, Esq.
“Great discussion of direct and cross.”
“Gave a lot of insight on the inner mechanics of the Circuit Court system at trial. A++!”
“Morning speakers were great and worked well together.”
“The course was very comprehensive…the speakers were all knowledgeable and engaging.”
“Morning panel on pre-trial issues was…strong, particularly on discovery and depositions.”
“[Mike Leonard] was my favorite…I enjoyed the afternoon panel.”
“Very satisfied. Wanted an overview and this was what I was looking for.”
“Engaging, thought-provoking relevant information.”
“Great overview of a lot of topics!”
“Great tips on drafting discovery requests.”
“Excellent examples and analogies.”
“Great suggestions! Good to have a judge’s perspective.”
“Very satisfied.”
“It was very informative!”
“Knowledgeable speakers – information solid.”
“Great insights and info.”


Hon. Alison Conlon
Circuit Judge
Circuit Court of Cook County, IL

Judge Alison Conlon was appointed to the Circuit Court of Cook County in February 2015 and elected in 2016. She sits in the General Chancery Division. Previously, she was a partner at the Chicago law firms of Barnes & Thornburg and Wildman Harrold and clerked for federal District Judge Charles P. Kocoras. Judge Conlon has served on the boards of the Public Interest Law Initiative (“PILI”); Catholic Charities; and Debate It Forward. She is the Co-Chairperson of the Chicago Bar Association’s Pro Se Advisory Committee and the Vice Chairperson of the Committee on Judicial Education of the Illinois College of Judicial Education. Judge Conlon graduated from Yale University and Duke University School of Law.  

Hon. Patricia O’Brien Sheahan
Circuit Judge
Circuit Court of Cook County, IL

Judge Sheahan is a Cook County Circuit Court judge, currently assigned to Law Division, Motions Section, Calendar D, in Courtroom 2207 of the Daley Center. She oversees a call of approximately 1,300 Law Division cases, which include medical malpractice, motor vehicle accidents, products liability, defamation/libel, premises liability and other general torts.  She previously covered civil non-jury and jury trial courtrooms and a civil jury motion call, as well as the post-judgment and miscellaneous remedies call in the First Municipal District. Judge Sheahan serves on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Judges Association and serves as a Topic Editor of the Illinois Judicial Benchbook on Civil Law and Procedure.

Prior to her election in 2014, Judge Sheahan served as Associate General Counsel of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), now known as the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab.  In this capacity, she oversaw all litigation and claims, including case investigations, pre-trial discovery and settlement negotiations. Additionally, she handled and defended all employment/labor matters and claims before the EEOC, the NLRB and the IDHR, including fact conferences, mediations and evidentiary hearings. She also represented RIC in a wide variety of other complex disputes ranging from contractual, insurance coverage and probate matters.

Before joining RIC, Judge Sheahan worked as an attorney at Baker McKenzie in its litigation practice group.  She gained extensive federal and state court experience in a wide range of complex civil litigation matters, including medical malpractice, employment, products liability, and class action suits. She also represented clients at the appellate level, including the Illinois Supreme Court and multiple appellate districts throughout the State of Illinois.

Hon. Sanjay Tailor
Circuit Court Judge
Circuit Court of Cook County, IL

Judge Sanjay Tailor presides over a commercial calendar in the Law Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.  Appointed in 2003, his prior assignments include the Domestic Relations and Municipal Divisions of the court.  Sanjay practiced law at Chapman and Cutler; the First National Bank of Chicago; and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, where he supervised attorneys in the torts and civil rights litigation section.  Sanjay has taught Illinois civil procedure at Loyola Law School for the last ten years, and regularly teaches at the Illinois Judicial Education Conference.  He is a member of the Illinois Supreme Court’s Judicial Performance Committee, and chairs the India Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section of International Law.  He is a cum laude graduate of Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

Hon. Robert K. Villa
Circuit Judge
16th Judicial Circuit, Kane County, Illinois

Robert K. Villa is an associate judge of the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit Court in Illinois. He was appointed to the court in March 2013 and recently re-elected in 2020.

Villa received his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois and his J.D. from DePaul University. Prior to joining the court, Villa worked in private practice with Griffin Villa Williams in Geneva, Illinois.


Jennifer M. Cascio, Esq.
Attorney at Law
Salvi Schostock & Pritchard P.C.

Jennifer M. Cascio joined Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. in March of 2020. She concentrates her legal practice in cases concerning personal injury, medical negligence, product liability, and mass torts.

Ms. Cascio brings an unparalleled knowledge of the chemical industry to the firm. Prior to joining Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., Ms. Casio worked at an international law firm where she was a member of the firm’s Energy, Environment and Infrastructure practice group. She has served as national litigation and trial counsel for a multi-billion-dollar corporation. Ms. Cascio has litigated hundreds of cases as lead counsel in both state and federal courts across the country and prides herself on obtaining favorable results for clients. She has experience litigating individual, multi-party, and mass tort actions involving personal injury, wrongful death, property damage, and commercial disputes.

Prior to her work at an international law firm, Ms. Cascio worked at a plaintiff’s personal injury law firm where she gained a passion for helping clients after a catastrophic injury or medical error. She loves that Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. offers her the opportunity to get back to her roots of being a victims’ rights advocate. In advocating for her clients, Ms. Cascio prides herself on getting to know every facet of her client’s lives to not only formulate the best strategies in the courtroom but to help her clients overcome the wide-ranging ramifications of their personal tragedies. Ms. Cascio prides herself on approaching every client’s case with the delicacy and care she would extend to her nearest and dearest friends and family. Her experience advocating for clients extends beyond the courtroom through drafting legislation, lobbying, and public relations efforts.

Brian Eldridge, Esq.
Hart McLaughlin & Eldridge

Brian Eldridge is a trial lawyer who devotes 100% of his practice to civil litigation. Brian has a wide range of experience successfully litigating multi-million dollar, high-stakes cases on behalf of his clients. He concentrates his practice in products liability, construction/construction defect, transportation, premises liability, commercial litigation, mass torts, and class action matters. He has handled numerous cases involving death and catastrophic injuries, including paralysis, traumatic brain injuries, amputations and other significant permanent disabilities.

Within the commercial litigation context, Brian has successfully litigated cases involving breach of contract and allegations of fraud and bad faith. He has also handled numerous consumer class action lawsuits under federal statutes including the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). In addition, Brian has litigated cases involving alleged environmental exposure to mold, vinyl chloride, and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB).

Brian was selected for inclusion in the Illinois Rising Stars list for eight straight years, from 2008 to 2015. No more than 2.5% of lawyers under the age of 40 in the state of Illinois are selected for this honor. In 2013, Brian was honored to be named to Chicago Daily Law Bulletin’s “40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch” list. In 2015 and 2016, Brian was named an Emerging Lawyer by Leading Lawyers. The distinction of being named an Emerging Lawyer is reserved for the top 2% of Illinois lawyers who are 40 years old or younger and have been identified by their peers as proving themselves to be professional, ethical, and experienced at an early point in their legal career. In 2017, Brian was selected as an Illinois Super Lawyer, which is limited to 5% of attorneys in the state.

Brian’s practice philosophy focuses on being accessible and responsive to clients at all times. He is on the rapid response team for several clients and is frequently called upon to orchestrate immediate investigations. Through his years of practice, Brian has developed an extensive expert network, having worked with consultants in various specialized areas including medicine, engineering, construction, epidemiology, pharmacology, economics, federal regulations, safety standards, risk assessment and psychology.

Brian lives in Highland Park with his wife, Jodi, and their three daughters.

Ian H. Fisher, Esq.
Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP

Ian represents clients ranging from small entrepreneurs to Fortune 100 companies in commercial litigation matters involving real estate, antitrust, trade secret misappropriation, restrictive covenant, consumer, contract, and business tort disputes.

Ian has substantial experience defending against class actions and navigating multidistrict litigation proceedings. He has successfully defended on appeal many of his trial court victories and is skilled at identifying strategies that align with his clients’ business goals. Having served as a general counsel for both a law firm and a small company, Ian has a unique understanding of in-house counsel’s perspective.

Ian counsels clients on a wide range of issues central to their business needs, including Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) compliance, the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), insurance policies and claims, risk mitigation, and restrictive covenants.

Among his many accolades, Illinois Super Lawyers ranks Ian as one of its “Top 100 Attorneys” in Illinois and has included him on its Super Lawyers list for a dozen years. For more than 17 years, the Leading Lawyers Network has named Ian as a “Leading Lawyer” in both Commercial Litigation and Class Action/Mass Tort Defense, and he has been ranked more recently in the area of Trade Secrets/Unfair Competition Law. Best Lawyers recognizes Ian for Commercial Litigation. He is also rated AV Preeminent 5/5 by Martindale-Hubbell, its top rating for ethical standards and legal ability.

Conrad C. Nowak, Esq.
Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

 Conrad C. Nowak is an attorney with a diverse national practice. He frequently represents clients in high profile, sensitive litigation, but at the same time, is committed to counseling clients in their day-to-day affairs and transactional matters.

An experienced litigator, Conrad has successfully represented clients in a variety of practice areas and industries, including health care, construction, commercial litigation, labor and employment, products liability, commercial transactions, alarm and security services, catastrophic occurrences, and general litigation. He serves as lead litigation counsel for several large construction companies in their project related claims.

Conrad also has experience in white collar criminal and related civil matters, such as representing individuals in Department of Justice and other federal investigations, the Foreign Agents Registration Act, and other congressional inquiries, and was part of a legal team involved in the 2016 Presidential Election Interference Investigation.

Kristen E. Prinz, Esq.
Founder and Managing Partner
The Prinz Law Firm, P.C.

Kristen Prinz is an employment lawyer, business counselor, and founder of The Prinz Law Firm.

Ms. Prinz represents physicians, lawyers, senior executives, and small business owners in matters ranging from employment agreements and non-competes to complex employment disputes. She is passionate about advocating for her clients’ interests and helping them achieve outcomes consistent with their professional goals.

Ms. Prinz has litigated employment disputes before state and federal courts at the trial and appellate level, and before administrative agencies, including the EEOC, the Illinois Department of Human Rights, and the Cook County Human Rights Commission. She also has experience representing clients in arbitration proceedings.

As a business counselor, Ms. Prinz provides business owners, entrepreneurs, and professionals with innovative and cost-effective solutions to their legal and operational problems, enabling them to fully realize their potential. She has leveraged her litigation and culture management experience to guide clients in implementing employment best practices, effectively training staff, and creating a productive workplace culture.

Ms. Prinz is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and the National Employment Lawyers Association, and is Chair of the Nominating Committee for The International Women’s Forum.

Ms. Prinz was selected for inclusion in Crain’s Chicago Business’ List of 50 Most Influential Female Attorneys, and has been named an Emerging Lawyer by Leading Lawyers, as well as a Super Lawyer for 2019. Kristen received her J.D. with honors from IIT Chicago Kent College of Law and a B.A. in English from the University of Iowa.

Bhavani Raveendran, Esq.
Romanucci & Blandin, LLC

Bhavani Raveendran has always wanted to help those who have endured injustices and decided to fight back. Bhavani has worked in civil litigation and civil rights for most of her career and is passionate about standing up against violations of her clients’ constitutional rights to hold private and government actors accountable.

Since joining Romanucci & Blandin LLC as an associate attorney in 2015, Bhavani has focused her practice on police misconduct, prison abuse, hazing, bullying, sexual abuse and wrongful death. Bhavani has first-chaired federal and state trials and received numerous settlements for her clients, notably including Doe v. Maine West High School involving one of the largest high school hazing settlements in Illinois and one of the biggest police misconduct settlements in the Western District of Oklahoma. 

In 2018, Bhavani had the honor to argue before the 1st Appellate District of Illinois in a sexual abuse case where she advocated for a child victim and in which the Court determined that the sexual abuse of a child cannot be considered a “de minimus” injury. Bhavani has also been honored to represent the Estate of Desiree Robinson and her family in their wrongful death action against Backpage.com and their continuing advocacy against the sex-trafficking of children.  

Megan E. Thibert-Ind, Esq.
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

Megan Thibert-Ind is a health care and civil litigation partner in the firm’s Chicago office. She has extensive experience representing businesses across Manatt’s industry sectors, including a focus on health care stakeholders—such as hospital systems and academic medical centers, ambulatory surgery and urgent care centers, pharmacy services providers, and life sciences companies—as they navigate a variety of complex business controversies, contractual and regulatory disputes, and post-acquisition challenges.

In particular, Megan works with clients across the gamut of health care matters, from counseling companies investing in or acquiring entities in the health care space to advocating on behalf of hospitals and other providers in litigation related to practice management and shareholder disputes. She also advises pharmaceutical companies on 340B Drug Pricing Program reimbursement and indemnification claims and provides guidance to life sciences companies facing product liability exposure.

Megan also represents clients in litigation pending in state and federal courts nationwide and has handled numerous matters before the American Arbitration Association and other alternative dispute resolution tribunals. Additionally, she regularly navigates complex expert witness issues, including financial analysis, lost profits and damages, and causation and other liability issues.

Alongside her litigation work, Megan is noted for her service as an active member of the Chicago community and is dedicated to providing pro bono services across a range of subject matters. She has represented undocumented immigrants; victims of gender-based hate crimes, domestic violence and employment discrimination; not-for-profit arts organizations; and parents wrongfully indicated for abuse. She also serves on the board of directors of Legal Aid Chicago, the largest nonprofit civil legal services provider in Cook County.

Megan received her J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School and her B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of North Dakota. She also studied comparative law at the University of Queensland School of Law in Brisbane, Australia.

Jenni L. Young, Esq.
Hawkins Parnell & Young, LLP

Jenni Young focuses on defending businesses and premises owners in personal injury cases and specializes in complex product liability and toxic tort litigation. She serves on national coordinating counsel and trial teams for multiple corporations defending asbestos claims throughout the country. She has also managed the Illinois asbestos dockets for several Fortune 500 corporations and has extensive experience in all phases of litigation involving disputes in state, federal and multi-district proceedings.

Over her career, Jenni has advised and represented her clients in a variety of matters, including corporate formation and commercial litigation; medical and legal malpractice defense litigation; and insurance defense and coverage litigation.



Three Recorded Package options to choose from:

Video (with sound)* Recording & Materials Package – CD or Download:  $425

Audio Only* Recording & Materials Package – CD or Download:  $425

Order both the Video* and Audio Only* Packages for only $50 more – CD or Download:  $475


*The Video recording is a video of the webinar (with sound). The Audio recording is audio only, for those who wish to listen to it without visuals (such as in the car).

Note: All downloads must be downloaded to a computer first, before transferring them to another device.


For CDs, please add $8.50 shipping and, in CA, sales tax.


This program will be recorded live on December 2 & 3, 2021.

(Recorded packages are available approximately two to three weeks after the seminar is held.)


CLE Credit

IL General: This program is approved for 7.5 general CLE in Illinois through 12/1/2023.
IL Professional Responsibility: This program is approved for 7.5 Professional Responsibility credits in Illinois through 12/1/23.

CA General: This program is approved for 7.5 units of general CLE in California.

NY General: This course is eligible for approval, under New York’s CLE Approved Jurisdiction policy, for 7.5 CLE units.

Pincus Professional Education is a CA Accredited Provider, which is a NY approved jurisdiction. See Section 6 of the New York State CLE Board Regulations and Guidelines for further information.

This program is approved for CLE in the states listed above. Upon request, Pincus Pro Ed will provide any information an attorney needs to support their application for CLE approval in other states other than what is listed above. Many attorneys ask for this and are approved in other states.

$425.00$475.00 each

Recording/Recorded on December 2 & 3, 2021