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

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

Would you like to attend live?  Click here to register to attend this program live.

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.


Are you interested in enhancing your public speaking abilities? There’s no better moment than now to take action! Acquire a copy of Faith Pincus’ book, “Being Heard: Presentation Skills for Attorneys,” published by the ABA. ABA members can enjoy a special discount of 10%-20%.

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.

The book is also conveniently available on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback formats. Don’t miss this opportunity to improve your presentation skills and make your voice heard!

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)



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 and Brian Eldridge
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)

1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Kristen Prinz

  • 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
Bhavani Raveendran and 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


“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 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.

“Great job from everyone. I really benefit from the “real-life” examples!” – Delaney Hunt, Esq.

“Great program! Thanks!” – Allyson Cox, Esq.

“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.

“I really appreciated the insight/expertise offered by current practitioners, here in Cook County.” – Javier Rodriguez, Jr., 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.”

“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.”

“Very helpful for young attorneys.”

“Good surface-level program with qualified speakers.”

“I really enjoyed the thorough PowerPoints & speaker visuals. I found their explanations engaging and informative.”

“The program was awesome and gave really great practical tips for litigating a case, start to finish.”

“This was great and very helpful!”

“Good program. The content was great.”

“I thought this was a great program. Each speaker had valuable real-life experiences and pointers. I especially thought the judge’s feedback was invaluable. The content provided also had helpful samples.”

“It was an excellent program.”

“The program was a great overview of litigation basics in circuit court.”

“Great session. I especially enjoyed the talk about the different motions, when to use them, and the discussion of depositions. All very great speakers, they were all knowledgeable and personable. They provided practical advice.”

“Very useful to learn best practices in addition to the rules/law. I did not consider the speakers when I was signing up, but they were all great.”

“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.”

“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!”

“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.”


Additional faculty to be announced, including Circuit Court judges.

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.


Hon. Dorothy French Mallen (Ret.) (Tentative)
Retired Circuit Judge
Webster Egan Mallen Mediations

Upon her retirement from the Bench in July 2020,  Circuit Judge Dorothy French Mallen (ret.) joined Judge Hollis Webster (ret.) and Judge Lynn Egan (ret.) as a senior mediator with Webster Egan Mallen Mediations.  Prior to her retirement, Judge French Mallen (ret.) presided over a civil Courtroom in the 18th Judicial Circuit, DuPage County from 2001-2020. She served in the Law Division over 13 years handling an individual call from the filing of the case through resolution. She handled cases that sought money damages for tort, contract or statutory civil causes of action.

Judge French Mallen supervised her individual docket from filing the Complaint, through motion practice, discovery, pre-trial/settlement conferences and, if not resolved, conducted either a bench or jury trial. She was committed to assisting the parties and attorneys with a voluntary resolution of the dispute at the earliest possible time. She has facilitated settlements in more than 2000 cases over the last 20 years. As a judge, she has tried to verdict over 225 jury cases. 

 Upon retirement, the 18th Judicial Circuit honored Judge French Mallen with an award for judicial excellence. In 2017, the Jury Verdict Reporter recognized her career with the Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2013 she was honored by the DuPage Association of Women with the Inspirational Woman Award.  In 2009 the Illinois State Crime Commission honored  Judge French Mallen with its award for Judicial Excellence and in 2008, she received the Bishop Shield Award.  

 Judge French Mallen has served as a mentor for new judges and has been a frequent speaker at various bar association seminars and has authored numerous legal articles. She has also acted as the judge for many trial advocacy competitions. 



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 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.

Bhavani Raveendran, Esq.
Romanucci & Blandin, LLC

Bhavani K. Raveendran is a Partner at Romanucci & Blandin and 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. Bhavani uses her position to work on issues of civil rights both in the courtroom and outside of it, including supporting pro-civil rights legislation.

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 a .3 million verdict for a family devastated by a police chase.

She had the honor of representing the family of George Floyd in the civil lawsuit against the City of Minneapolis and four of its police officers, which resulted in a million settlement in March of 2021.

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. She currently serves on the team representing family members of Javier Ambler against Williamson County and its officers for Mr. Ambler’s death, as well as on several other high-profile police misconduct cases throughout the country.

In 2021, Bhavani successfully argued before the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit on behalf of the family of a police misconduct victim who died in custody after being held face-down in a positional restraint regarding whether qualified immunity would apply.  

Before joining Romanucci & Blandin, Bhavani practiced as a general civil attorney with a McHenry, Illinois firm, Diamond & LeSueur, P.C. After obtaining her law degree, Bhavani completed a fellowship in human rights litigation at DC-based International Rights Advocates working to hold American corporations answerable for funding and causing overseas abuse of human rights. During law school, she also served as a student attorney for the International Human Rights Clinic, as a legal intern at Torture Abolition and Survivor Coalition International, and as a civil rights law clerk at the Council on American-Islamic Relations Chicago. These experiences solidified Bhavani’s passion for helping those who have suffered injustices and violations of their basic rights and freedoms.

In her free time, Bhavani enjoys a good sandwich, contemplates the general state of the world, volunteers at her temple and quality time with her family and friends.

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.



Register now and save $25 on each registration with the Early Bird rate! 

Early Bird Ends September 28th.

Your discount is automatically applied at checkout – no coupon needed.

Three Recorded Package options to choose from:

Video (with sound)* Recording & Materials Package – CD or Download:  $429
Early Bird Rate: $404

Audio Only* Recording & Materials Package – CD or Download:  $429
Early Bird Rate: $404

Order both the Video* and Audio Only* Packages for only $50 more – CD or Download:  $479
Early Bird Rate: $454

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.

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.

$404.00$454.00 each

Recorded/Recording on December 8, 2023