13th Annual Circuit Court Boot Camp: The Nuts and Bolts (IL) (Recorded Package and OnDemand Streaming)

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


Join us for our 13th Annual Circuit Court Boot Camp, an event that has stood the test of time for a reason – it’s simply outstanding.

Led by experienced Circuit Court Judges and a Justice, as well as accomplished attorneys from a variety of backgrounds, including both large and small firms, this program offers an exclusive insider’s perspective on litigating in Illinois Circuit Court, along with invaluable general litigation skills.

Attendees have consistently raved about the program year after year.

We diligently refine the agenda based on input received, ensuring that each year surpasses the last in terms of quality and content.

Our exceptional speakers are frequently invited back due to their consistently high ratings and the immense knowledge participants gain from their presentations.

The comprehensive curriculum covers a wide range of topics, including effective complaint strategies, deposition and discovery techniques, navigating case management conferences, honing motion writing skills, mastering trial preparation, employing successful trial techniques, and preserving trial records for appeal. Additionally, our esteemed faculty will share insights on post-trial motions and judgments.

Furthermore, we emphasize the importance of learning from mistakes to help you avoid common pitfalls.

If you are new to the field of litigation or relatively inexperienced, this seminar is tailor-made for you.

Recently graduated from law school? Don’t miss this unparalleled opportunity. The practical advice, skills, and firsthand wisdom shared by sitting judges are simply not available in the confines of a traditional legal education.

In Illinois, there is no better program to equip you with a solid foundation in Circuit Court proceedings and litigation. Our testimonials provide concrete evidence of the program’s excellence.

This program will be recorded live on December 8, 2023. The recorded package, available in audio or video format and including seminar materials, will be available approximately two to three weeks after the live program ends.*

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


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Alternatively, you have the option to order a signed paperback directly from us at a discounted price, including free shipping.  Click here to order your signed copy directly from us.

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What You Will Learn

What You Will Learn

In-Person or Live Stream: Friday, December 8, 2023
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

(Recording/Recorded on December 8, 2023)


Hon. Sanjay Tailor commenting throughout the morning on all topics.

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
The Early Stuff 
Case Theories, Complaints, Answers, Motions to Dismiss, Motions to Strike and CMCs
Hon. Sanjay Tailor and Megan Thibert-Ind
  • Case Theories
  • Complaints and Answers
    • Rules and timelines
    • How to do it
    • Strategies
    • Common mistakes
  • MTDs/Motions to Strike
  • MTDs v. Answers
  • Case Management Conference / Scheduling Your Case
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Discovery & E-Discovery
Kristen Hudson 
Regular Discovery 
  • Key Rules and Timelines
  • Overlooked Deadlines
  • Procedural Issues that are often missed or common
  • Strategies and choices
    • For Settlements
    • For Trial
  • Circuit Court v. Federal Court
  • RFPs
  • Motions to Compel/for Protective Order
  • Key Rules and Timelines
  • Strategies
  • Cost Saving Measures
  • Mistakes not to make
  • Important state cases
11:00 a.m. – 11:10 a.m.

11:10 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Motions for Summary Judgment under section 2-1005
Hon. Sanjay Tailor and Megan Thibert-Ind

  • Strategy considerations regarding moving for MSJ v. waiting for trial?
  • State Court related timelines
  • Writing process and strategies
  • Brief Writing Advice
  • 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 brief doesn’t address the issues or is impossible to follow?
  • What do you do if the response doesn’t address your motion or is impossible to follow?
  • Strategies, advice and approaches to:
    o   The brief
    o   The response
    o   The reply

12:15 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Other Motions
Kristen Hudson

  • Ex parte applications
  • Continuances

12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. (45 min)
LUNCH (on your own)

Hon. Dorothy French Mallen commenting throughout the afternoon on all topics.

1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Kristen Prinz and Brian Eldridge

  • State v. Federal rule differences
  • Deciding whom to depose
  • Taking good depositions – Mistakes not to make
  • Making effective use of depositions at trial
2:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Heading to Trial
Ian Fisher
  • Final Status Conference
  • Trial Outline
  • Motions to Exclude Witnesses from Courtroom
  • Motions in Limine

2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
Your Pre-Trial Tasks: Juries
Ian Fisher
  • Jury Selection in State Court – Procedure, Strategies and Questionnaires
  • Jury Instructions, Jury Verdict Forms
    • What to do, mistakes not to make
    • State court rules
    • Difference between state and federal
3:45 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Your Trial
Thaddeus Harrell
  • Evidence Issues
    • How to get evidence admitted / submitting exhibits at trial
    • Differences between state and federal rules/procedures
    • Strategic Use
    • Objections: How to object and rules related to objections during trial
  • Direct and Cross-Examinations of Lay Expert Witnesses
    • Strategies and Advice
    • Differences between lay witnesses and expert witnesses

4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Overview of Preserving the Record for Appeal, Post-Trial Motions and Judgments
Kim Walberg

  • 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


“Very well organized and well-run. The speakers were individually impressive & cohesive. Not only was the content extraordinarily helpful, but the speakers also exuded the competence, professionalism, and confidence that makes a great trial attorney & lawyer.” – Katherine Eller, Esq.

“This was great! I was somehow shocked that it took all day, I was shocked that it could be completed in only one day. The speakers were very knowledgeable and could give real world examples.” – James Garfield, Esq.

“This was very thorough walk-through of the nuts and bolts of litigation practice in Illinois state courts, with which I have had little experience thus this was very helpful.” – Andrew Webb, Esq.

“Excellent CLE and tons of practical advice. I really appreciate the handout as I would not have been able to write down all the great information.” – Kaitlyn Harris-Hertel, Esq.

“I learned a lot from these speakers. They were clearly experts and knew how to explain the subject matter clearly.” – Elizabeth Temkin, Esq.

“It was very useful. The handout materials were great!” – Ellen M. Harris, Esq.

“The program was very informative, and I enjoyed all of the speakers.”

“Overall, I found all the topics relevant and logically connected and the presenters knowledgeable and engaging.”

“Excellent in regard to substance and presentation.”

“The program was well-organized and had a good mix of panelists. I appreciated that there were both judges and practitioners.”

“I really enjoyed this year’s program. My favorite speakers were Thaddeus Harrell and Megan Thibert although everyone was great. I also was excited to hear the judges speak and provide insight based on the bench’s perspective.”

“Thank you for ensuring that the virtual experience was on par with the live event in person!”

“Most helpful that state court litigation discussed from intake to appeal.”

“I thought getting the judges’ views were critical. I work in the NDIL and can verify that judge preferences can make or break a case.”

“I enjoyed hearing from the judges and would love to hear more.”

“It was a great refresher on several different topics that I use in my current practice.”


Hon. Sanjay T. Tailor
Appellate Court Justice
Illinois Appellate Court, First District, Sixth Division

Justice Sanjay T. Tailor was appointed to the Appellate Court, First District, in October, 2022.

Prior to joining the appellate bench, Judge Tailor was appointed to the Cook County Circuit Court as a Circuit Judge in January 2021, and was elected to that position in November, 2022. He served as Presiding Judge of the County Division from 2021 to 2022. He was first appointed to the bench as an Associate Judge in 2003.

As an Associate Judge he served in the Chancery Division from 2015 to 2020. From 2009 to 2015 he was assigned to the Law Division, where he heard commercial and tax disputes, and from 2006 to 2009 he was assigned to the Domestic Relations Division of the Court, where he presided over dissolution of marriage and domestic violence trials.

Before joining the bench, Judge Tailor served as an Assistant State’s Attorney in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office from 1996 to 2003 in the Civil Actions Bureau, and was the Deputy Supervisor of the Torts and Civil Rights Litigation Section. From 1995 to 1996, he was a senior attorney at the First National Bank of Chicago. From 1991 to 1995, he was an associate at Chapman and Cutler LLP.

Since 2004, Judge Tailor has been an Adjunct Professor at the Loyola University of Chicago School of Law, teaching Illinois Civil Litigation Practice, an advanced course in Illinois civil procedure. Judge Tailor earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Delaware and received his Juris Doctor with honors from the Loyola University of Chicago School of Law.

His professional associations include the Lawyers Club of Chicago, for which he is a past president, the Illinois Judges Association, the Asian American Judges Association of Illinois, the South Asian American Bar Association of Chicago, and the American Bar Association, where he chaired the India Committee for the International Law Section.


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.

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.

Thaddeus A. Harrell, Esq.

Dinsmore & Shohl LLP

Thaddeus focuses his practice on labor and employment law. His experience includes having litigated and defended multiple single plaintiff and class action lawsuits related to federal and state anti-discrimination laws. His practice also includes defending charges of discrimination brought before city, state and federal agencies. Thaddeus also works with employers to defend against claims related to workers compensation. In addition to his litigation practice, Thaddeus counsels and advises clients on work related issues. From training, to investigations, to document drafting, Thaddeus works closely with each client, learning about their intricate business operations, as well as their short and long-term goals and concerns. Based on each client’s needs, Thaddeus counsels, crafts and develops strategies designed to meet each clients’ individual needs.

Kristen E. Hudson, Esq.
Of Counsel
Dickinson Wright PLLC

Kristen Hudson, Of Counsel in Dickinson Wright’s Austin and Chicago offices, represents businesses and business people in complex commercial litigation in state and federal courts in Texas, Illinois and across the country.  Kristen has won high-stakes challenges in a variety of substantive areas, from breach of contract, business and statutory torts, including fraud and the False Claims Act claims, to intellectual property disputes involving the protection of trade secrets and privacy. Kristen has significant experience with Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code and the U.N. Convention on the International Sale of Goods. Kristen also has concentrated experience in lawyer professional liability and fiduciary liability, including high-net worth trust disputes. 

Kristen has served as General Counsel of mid-size law firm with offices in multiple jurisdictions. In addition, she has been seconded to clients for extended periods including at a large energy company and with a UK-based insurance company. With this experience to guide her, Kristen works to avoid court wherever possible for her clients, and pursues solutions that make the most business and financial success for her clients, including advocating aggressively when litigation is required.

In addition to her commercial litigation practice, Kristen is knowledgeable about all types of third-party commercial liability policies, including directors’ and officers’ liability, professional liability, employment practices liability, commercial general liability, products liability, cyber liability, among others. Kristen has experience on all sides of an insurance coverage dispute and business disputes involving the insurance industry.  As a policyholder lawyer, Kristen recovered millions of dollars in insurance proceeds for her policyholder clients.  Most recently, Kristen served as coverage and monitoring counsel on behalf of insurers.

Prior to attending law school, Kristen was a French teacher in the North Carolina public schools.

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.

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.

Kim R. Walberg, Esq.
Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP

Kim concentrates her practice in commercial litigation, including breach of contract, business torts, shareholder disputes, class action defense, construction litigation, zoning litigation, commercial lease disputes, enforcement of restrictive covenants, trust litigation and Section 1983 civil rights litigation. She is the chair of Taft’s Chicago Litigation group and previously served on the firm’s Executive Committee.

Kim has defended the City of Chicago and the Chicago Police Department in multiple class actions alleging due process violations based on the purported deprivation of money and other personal property. She has achieved successful resolutions of these cases at the district court level, involving issues which have been appealed and affirmed by the United States Supreme Court.

Kim has also represented the Chicago Park District against opponents of the relocation of the Chicago Children’s Museum from Navy Pier to Grant Park. She successfully defended the Park District’s position at both the circuit court and appellate court levels, taking on legal precedent from the 1800’s concerning Chicago’s Lakefront.

Kim is a pioneer in Illinois video gaming litigation, setting the industry precedent in the area of the enforceability of pre-licensure contracts between video terminal operators and establishments. She also represents Chicago’s premier financial institutions in various litigation matters relating to bank practices and owned real estate.

Kim graduated magna cum laude from Loyola University Chicago School of Law, and was a member of Alpha Sigma Nu National Jesuit Honor Society, the Public Interest Law Society and the Women’s Law Society during law school.

Kim received the 2018 International Advisory Experts Award: Commercial Litigation Lawyer of the Year in Illinois. She was named to the Corporate America Legal Elite for 2015 by Corporate America News magazine with the Award for Innovation in Shareholder Dispute Resolution and Best for Business Torts – Illinois. Kim was also named a Rising Star by Illinois Super Lawyers in the category of Business Litigation in 2013 and 2014. She was named the 2011-2012 Professional Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women.



Three Recorded Package options to choose from:

Video (with sound)* Recording & Materials Package – CD or Download:  $429

Audio Only* Recording & Materials Package – CD or Download:  $429

Order both the Video* and Audio Only* Packages for only $50 more – CD or Download:  $479

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

This program will be recorded live on December 8, 2023.


*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. 

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


CLE Credit

IL General: This program is approved for 7.00 general MCLE credits in Illinois through 12/01/25.

IL Professional Responsibility: This program is approved for 7.00 units of credit through 12/01/25.

CA General: This program is approved for 7.00 general CLE credits in California.

NY General: This course is eligible for approval, under New York’s CLE Approved Jurisdiction policy, for up to 7.00 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.

$429.00$479.00 each

Recorded/Recording on December 8, 2023