14th Annual Federal Court Boot Camp: The Nuts and Bolts (in Illinois)

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

Attend In-Person in Chicago, or via Live Webcast!

Pincus Professional Education has put on its annual Federal Court Boot Camp for fourteen years for a reason – it’s that good.

Large law firms send multiple associates to the program year after year. Why? Because – it’s that good.

Small and mid-sized firms send their new associates each year as well. Why?  Because– it’s that good.

Solo attorneys who have heard from others about the program come. Why? Because– it’s that good.

Our annual Federal Court Boot Camp is a terrific program that provides a broad overview of most aspects of litigation.

Don’t take our word for it – click on the Testimonials Tab above and see hundreds of comments from attorneys who have attended this program – new attorneys and experienced litigators returning to federal court.  There you will see how valuable attendees feel it is to hear from judges, career District Court law clerks and experienced litigators on both sides of the aisle.

Our Federal Court Boot Camp has taught thousands of attorneys about the ins-and-outs of Federal Court, as well as general litigation strategies and skills.

This seminar is both a litigation primer and a primer for litigating in Federal Court.

It is taught by Federal Court Magistrate and Federal District Court judges and experienced trial attorneys.

If you attend this program, you’ll get the perspective from the bench and an inside look at what the court wants and does not want from attorneys practicing in Federal Court.

Attendees have rated our faculty so highly that many of the faculty return to teach year after year.

This litigation course will walk you through the essential components and tasks involved in your case, from start to finish. You’ll learn the rules and tasks, strategies and tactics, and the skills and techniques you must have to become a more effective and successful litigator in Federal Court and to be a more effective and successful litigator in general.

And take a look at our detailed agenda (click the Agenda Tab or Topics Tab above) to see why our Federal Court Boot Camp program is the best in the state.

This program is geared for the newer attorney, those new to Federal Court, or those seeking a refresher. It is great for all types of attorney: Large firm, small firm, solo, government and legal aid.

If you sign up and miss the program, we can convert your registration to a Recorded Package.

Can’t attend? This program will be recorded live. 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.


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Don’t want to attend in-person? Prefer the convenience of online live programming?

You can attend In-person in Chicago or watch it via Live Webcast!

Friday, April 14, 2023
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  

(be sure to pick the correct option when you register)

9:00 a.m – 9:30 a.m.
Intro to Federal Court

Overview of Practical Differences Between State and Federal Court Practice

  • Material Differences Among Illinois’ Federal Districts
  • Highlights from the Local Rules and Local Practice
  • Rule 1

9:30 a.m. – 10:25 a.m. 
Complaints and Answer Rules, Differences, Advice and Strategies

  • Plausibility Standard: Rule 8’s Short and Plain Statement
  • Forms of Complaints and Answers/Defenses
  • Defenses vs. Affirmative Defenses
  • Practice Pointers and Pitfalls
  • CMC
  • Rule 16.1
  • Case Management Reports

10:25 a.m. – 10:35 a.m.

10:35 a.m. – 11:25 a.m.
Rule 12 and Other Motions

  • Top ten tips for drafting Rule 12(b)(6) motions, responses, and replies.
  • How to enhance the effectiveness of memoranda addressing motions to dismiss
  • Addressing procedural issues that frequently arise when briefing motions to dismiss
  • Additional Rule 12 motions
  • Ex Parte Motions
  • TRO or preliminary injunctions

11:25 a.m. – 12:20 p.m. 
Discovery & eDiscovery

  • Discovery:
  • CM/ECF brief overview/advice
  • 26(a)(1) initial disclosures;
  • Interrogatories, requests to produce
  • 2015 Amendments to the Rules of Civil Procedure
  • E-discovery:
  • Overview and considerations
  • Sources and preservation
  • Authentication
  • Federal Rule of Evidence 502

12:20 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. 
Motion/Oral Argument Tips, including online arguments

  • Purpose
  • How to prepare
  • What are judges expecting from you?
  • In-person presentation tips
  • Online Argument tips

12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Lunch (on your own) 

1:15 p.m. – 2:10 p.m. 
Depo Strategies

  • Online Depo advice
  • Federal Rules
  • Federal v. State differences
  • Subpoenas and affidavits
  • Deadlines
  • Strategies and deciding whom to depose
  • Taking good depositions
  • Making effective use of depositions at trial or for settlement

2:10 p.m. – 3:05 p.m. 
Drafting and Replying to Motions for Summary Judgment

3:05 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

3:15 p.m. – 4:10 p.m. 
Pre-Trial Matters

  • Trial Briefs
  • Pre-trial Statement
  • FRCP 16
  • Your Jury:
    • What is unique about Jury Selection in Federal Court?
    • Questionnaires and Voir Dire
    • Jury Instructions and Verdict Forms
  • Motions in Limine

4:10 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. 
Trial Presentation

  • Introduction of Exhibits
  • Evidentiary Objections
  • Direct and Cross-Examinations
  • Preserving the Record for Appeal


Attend In-Person or watch the Live Webcast*

April 14, 2023

The Chicago Bar Association’s Seminar Room, 5th Floor**
321 South Plymouth Court
Chicago, IL

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Central Time)
Lunch on your own 12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Check in between 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

*If you sign up to attend the live online program and miss it, we will automatically convert your registration to a recorded package, which you will receive 2-3 weeks after the program – so you won’t miss it!

** We are not associated with the Chicago Bar Association – they are wonderfully gracious enough to let us rent their space.


“Best CLE program I’ve been to because it was comprehensive.” – Ronald Boggs, Esq.

“The seminar was excellent – very helpful in my development for practicing in federal court. It provided a lot of practical advice in one day. The judges were very helpful in providing the perspective from the bench.” – Rob Harrer, Esq.

“I’m very happy with the topics that were covered. Excellent seminar! I will recommend this to other attorneys!” – Sarah Hertz, Esq.

“The program is fantastic! I was so impressed by the depth and content of each speaker’s oral presentations and course materials. The program was great. I am so glad I came.” – Laura Lee Robinson, Esq.

“It was valuable to receive not only general guidance but first-hand advice from seasoned federal litigators and from a member of the bench.”

“Excellent – very thorough!” – Steve McMullen, Esq.

“I learned a lot considering most of my cases have been in state court. The program will be useful in the future.”

“Very helpful. I recently was removed to federal court and this brought me up to date.” – Thomas Duda, Esq.

“Excellent speakers and content – gave me a better background for Federal Court practice.” – Leonard J. Solfa, Jr., Esq.

“This was an excellent seminar!” – Charles P. Romaker, Esq.

“This program allows attorneys to ask ‘dumb questions’ they can’t ask the firm, and gives the background for a lot of topics they haven’t been exposed to yet. This eliminates the need to do preliminary research on only background guidance.” – Kerri Feczko, Esq.

“I am new to civil litigation, so I found this entire program incredibly helpful. Thank you!”

“Our firm is beginning to take on more federal cases. This covered everything I wanted. The program was fantastic.” – Peter Beake, Esq.

“Great summary on topics and a “refresher” for those that have practiced for years.  It is always nice to have a panel that includes a practicing Judge as well.”

“Excellent.” – Julia Funke, Esq.

“Good program, good content, and good tips.”– Daniel Lindsey, Esq.

“The presenters were informative and engaging. There was a great range of perspectives.”

“A lot of information to process but good guidance for how to navigate this new journey. It was nice to hear from a judge about how the judiciary views actions that litigants and practitioners take.” – Rob Alexander, Esq.

“Very satisfied. The seminar had well-prepared presenters, good written materials and the staff/facilitators were well-organized.” – Michael P. Coghlan, Esq.

“Excellent overview of complaint and answer strategies.” – Jenna Milaeger, Esq.

“I thought the deposition, MSJ, and trial tips were very helpful and informative. Ms. McNally was a great instructor. She had a lot of very useful tips, strategies, and practice pointers. I learned a lot from her presentations.” – Mikayla Hamilton, Esq.

“Insightful discussion as to what clerks and judges are looking for.” – Richard Lehman, Esq.

“This gave me a good overview of federal court practice, and pointed me towards other helpful resources. Thanks for giving a few spots to legal aid. We really appreciate it!” – Kathryn Socha, Esq.

“Great program. Had several people in my office attend (including younger attorneys).”

“Excellent presentations. The discovery pilot program discussion was very good.” – Colin O’Brien, Esq.

“Very informative and responsive.”– Kevin R. Anderson, Esq.

“Insightful and educational on a wide variety of federal court subjects.” – Jonathan Wassell, Esq.

“Very good program. All speakers were dynamic.”

“Loved the specific pointed feedback from experienced people.”

“All the speakers were very informative.” – Juliet Carol Gilbert, Esq.

“Excellent presentations.”– Leonard J. Solfa, Jr., Esq.

“The Federal Rules Course in Chicago was outstanding.  Rick Levin, Brad Nahrstadt and their group of outstanding attorneys worked hard and delivered a most thoughtful scholarly presentation.” – B.F. Natarus, Esq.

“Great pointers and good checklist materials.” – Amy Wilson

“I learned a lot about depositions.” – Lucas Sun, Esq.

“Very satisfied.” – Kenderick Jordan, Esq.

“The speakers were engaging, the content helpful, and the practice pointers useful.”

“Very relevant.” – Jeffrey A. Goodloe, Esq.

“Good information on depositions, especially pertaining to entities and Mr. Bolton gave excellent advice and presentation.” – Nathan A. Frisch, Esq.

“Good overview from start to finish.” – Kevin Halverson, Esq.

“Great job!” – Delaney Hunt, Esq.

“It is useful to have speakers who bring various perspectives (plaintiffs’ counsel, defendants’ counsel, magistrate judge) to the presentations.”

“They addressed great topics.” – Zartosht Khodavandi, Esq.

“I am agency counsel, so I don’t practice in Federal Court, but rather assist the AUSAs with the case against staff. This training was very helpful to me to get a better understanding of why the AUSAs request or need certain information. It was also helpful for me to know how I can assist them better.” – Amy Standefer Mallott, Esq.

“Very informative and insightful commentary.” – Tim Lessman, Esq.

“Amazing! Loved Bhavani Raveendran’s presentation. She was very knowledgeable and she knew when to draw on the knowledge of the group.”

“Laura McNally was great! Loved the PowerPoints and MSJ advice she gave.” – Maria Magginas, Esq.

”Good straight forward presentation. Clear and concise.” – Randy Wolf, Esq.

“An extraordinary amount of information, especially useful for novice federal litigators, and provided by well-prepared and seasoned practitioners.”

“I learned a lot about depositions.” – Lucas Sun, Esq.

“I liked comparisons between state and federal court.” – Lisa Clay, Esq.

“Federal law is so strict, that boot camps/seminars like this are very helpful for someone only in Federal court on an infrequent basis. I liked how the speakers showed the Illinois v. federal rules. I liked hearing a Judge’s perspective.”

“Very satisfied.” – Delaney Hunt, Esq.

“Excellent seminar with lots of practical advice.”

“Excellent program. Judge’s perspective is always great insight. Nieves Bolanos gave great strategy pointers.”

“Good program with useful info.” – Jeff Hamera, Esq.

“It was great.” – Dolores Ayala, Esq.

“I though the program was excellent and so were the speakers.”

“Very satisfied.” Thomas Duda, Esq.

“It’s great to have the Judge’s perspective along with the litigator’s perspective.”

“I thought the presentations were really informative and helpful.”

“Speakers were all very good and I enjoyed the back and forth and way they all contributed.”

“Very informative, and I appreciated the many perspectives shared.”

“Five stars.” – Scheagbe Mayumi Grigsby, Esq.

“Great program to introduce new lawyers to federal court.”

“Useful content was presented with incisive practice tips.”

“Great program!”

“Nice to have a refresher on federal procedures. Great advice for newer associates. Got a lot of great advice in regards to procedures and motion practice at the federal level.”

“Speakers were well-prepared and provided relevant practice tips that I will be able to use. Lots of good insights. It was very valuable hearing from a judge’s point of view.”

“Really enjoyed it! I learned so much!”

“Great practical information today, especially post-covid pointers. Really helpful.”

“It was informative!”

“It was a good basic level course. I have a lot of trial experience, so the “boot camp” on trial best practices covered familiar matters for me, but excellent advice for lawyers with little trial experience.”

“It’s been a while since I have been in Federal Court, I needed a refresher.”

“The program was excellent.”

“Great advice for newer associates. Got a lot of great advice in regards to procedures and motion practice at the federal level.”

“As a new attorney, it has been really helpful. I am learning the ins and outs of litigating in federal court.”

“Very helpful. I recently was removed to federal court and this brought me up to date.”

“Very effective program. It was helpful to see the comparison between Federal Court and State Court. Hon. Jeffrey T. Gilbert gave real-life examples for each rule discussed which proved helpful for me as a new attorney. Nieves Bolanos provided excellent practice tips and was well prepared in answering questions.”

“Very satisfied. The format of the presentation, soliciting practice tips from multiples speakers on the panel, was engaging and effective.”

“Provided a great overview of Federal Court Rules and Procedures.”

“Great content, great commentary, great perspectives.”

“Motions for Summary Judgment section was thoughtful and entertaining!”

“Very helpful overview especially for those of us who took civ pro/ bar exam what seems like an eternity ago. Good nuts and bolts overview along with real-world examples.”

“Good.”– Daniel Lindsey, Esq.

“The practice tips were the best part.”

“The program was well organized and informative.”

“Good program. Andrew Porter was excellent. Bhavani Raveendran is a bright new star with a great firm.”

“They were all very informative and held my attention well. It was great having a judge on the panel. That was a very rewarding experience.”

“I enjoyed the tips on preparing for a deposition and trial strategy.”

“Really enjoyed it. Great overview of all aspects of a fed court case.”

“Hon. M. David Weisman provided great insight on what judges expect and how to be well prepared when appearing in Federal Court. His comments were very valuable!”

“I thought the program provided a nice general overview.”

“Pre-trial matters are typically rushed and glazed over. Mr. Porter made it a point to emphasize their importance and gave a good overview for new attorneys. Great conversation about what to do when preparing for depositions and how to act during them. Great perspective on Motions for Summary Judgment from the Plaintiff’s point of view. Good advice on strategies for responding as well. Ms. Church presented a lot of information in a really short time! Great discussion about what to expect and how to prepare for trial.”

“Laura McNally was personable and conveyed her experience well. Her spotlight analogy regarding direct- and cross-examination was terrific.”

“Well run and informative.”

“Panelists interacted well together.”

“All speakers were knowledgeable and well-spoken.”

“Got practical tips on answers and MSJ.”

“All relevant topics for my practice areas. Great refreshers and update on recent federal rule changes.”

“This was a great refresher course.”

“Good overview before delving into specifics of each topic, easy to keep up with all the information.”

“Overall good overview of the subject.”

“Valuable content and information.”

“A great teacher! Appreciated his giving context for the topic he covered. Intro on e-discovery was very helpful.”

“I think that the program was informative and touched on the key areas that attorneys should be aware of in federal practice. I think overall that the program was very good and detailed.”

“Great presentation with thorough content!”

“The speakers were very informative.”

“The information, especially about the 2015 FRCP amendments, was very helpful. My practice has increased in Federal Court so this information is increasingly relevant to me. Great presentation by Matt Bills. I learned a lot of new things that are extremely pertinent to my practice.”

“Brad Nahrstadt’s presentation was extremely informative – lots of good ideas and tips. I also liked having the judge’s input on attorney practice, rule changes, and goals met by said changes, etc.”

“I thought the afternoon presentations were extremely helpful.”

“Enjoyed the panel. Good, practical information.”

“Fantastic content on trial presentation. Enjoyed content and presentation on pre-trial matters.”

“Very interesting and useful information.”

“General tips about oral argument were most helpful.”

“It was great. I got a lot of information.”

“Laura McNally was very helpful. Excellent speaker. Very knowledgeable. Mike Leonard was really great. Stellar afternoon speakers!”

“Well done and thorough.”

“I really enjoyed Thursday’s webinar. It was very informative.”

“Loved the variant and specific practice feedback.”

“Very satisfied. Lots of techniques that can be incorporated into my career.”

“Learned some good litigation tips.”

“Brad Nahrstadt was very engaging and I learned so much.”

“Deposition strategies was a good presentation. Good practical advice. Reid Bolton also did a great job presenting – very practical advice.”

“Great program.”

“Very useful information.”


“Liked everything.”

“It was excellent!”

“Fantastically done.”

“Great content.”

“Great program.”

“There were a lot of good tips and the materials were good.”

“There was a lot of good information provided in the program.”

“Good overview of federal practice.“

“Great format and presentation.”

“Great to have federal judges present!”

“Well done.”

“It was enlightening.”

“Good nuts and bolts of federal practice.”

“I liked that it packed a lot into a one-day session.”

“I definitely learned a lot.”

“I thought all of the speakers were great.”

“Very informative.”

“Very good content.”

“Very informative information.”


Tentative (might be in trial): Hon. Thomas M. Durkin
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois

Thomas M. Durkin became a United States District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois on January 14, 2013, having been nominated by President Barack Obama on May 21, 2012. Judge Durkin received a JD degree with honors from DePaul University College of Law in 1978 and a BS degree in accounting with honors from the University of Illinois in 1975. Following graduation from DePaul University, Judge Durkin served as a law clerk to the Honorable Stanley J. Roszkowski of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois from 1978 to 1980.

After his clerkship, Judge Durkin served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Chicago from 1980 to 1993, where he held positions as First Assistant US Attorney, Chief of the Special Prosecutions Division, Chief of the Criminal Receiving and Appellate Division, and Deputy Chief of the Special Prosecutions Division. While an Assistant United States Attorney he tried over 50 jury trials.

Before taking the bench, Judge Durkin was a partner in the law firm of Mayer Brown LLP from 1993 to 2013, specializing in complex commercial litigation, white collar criminal defense, and internal investigations.

He served on the Board of the Legal Assistance Foundation from 1999 to 2008. He has been a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers since 2000. He was appointed by Chief Justice Roberts in 2015 to the Committee on Federal-State Jurisdiction of the Judicial Conference of the United States.


Maria de las Nieves (Nieves) Bolanos, Esq.
Founding Partner
Fish Potter Bolaños, P.C.

Nieves Bolaños is a founding partner at Fish Potter Bolaños, P.C. She represents workers in wage and hour, False Claims Act, and employment discrimination and retaliation litigation. She has significant litigation experience at the state and federal level, as well as with local administrative agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Illinois Department of Human Rights and the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board. Nieves’ experience includes representation of single plaintiffs, class and collective actions at all stages of litigation, and she has litigated False Claims Act cases and large class action cases with exceptional results.

Nieves is a 2009 graduate of DePaul University College of Law. She serves on the Executive Board of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) and is VP of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion on its Executive Committee. She also chairs NELA’s Low Wage Worker Practice Group and serves on its Legislative Action Committee and is a member of NELA’s Illinois affiliate, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the National Lawyers Guild’s Chicago Labor and Employment Committee. Nieves serves on the ARISE Chicago Legal Advisory Board and on the Board for In These Times Magazine. 


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.

Hon. Beth Jantz,
Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of Illinois

Judge Beth W. Jantz is a Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of Illinois. Judge Jantz handles both civil and criminal matters, and since being appointed, has conducted close to 100 formal settlement conferences.

Judge Jantz was previously an attorney with the Federal Defender Program for the Northern District of Illinois. Before that, she practiced at Sidley Austin LLP in Chicago, focusing on class actions and products liability. Judge Jantz was the President of the Chicago Inn of Court for 2019-20.

Judge Jantz serves on many court committees including: the Sentencing Options that Achieve Results Program (“SOAR”), which is a pretrial diversion program for criminal defendants; the 7th Circuit Criminal Jury Instructions Committee; and the Administrative Office’s “Roadways to the Bench” program.

Judge Jantz is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Northwestern University School of Law. After graduation, she clerked for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals’ Staff Attorneys’ Office. 

John P. Killacky, Esq.
Momkus LLC

John has served in senior positions as both in-house and outside counsel. This potent combination has instilled in John a broad appreciation for how to best partner with clients to achieve their objectives.

Before joining Momkus LLC, John spent over eight years as General Counsel and Deputy General Counsel of a publicly-traded property and casualty insurance holding company. While in-house, John oversaw a number of high-stakes litigation matters and guided the company through several large M&A and financing transactions. John also served as the company’s Privacy and Chief Compliance Officer, charged with ensuring compliance with SEC and NASDAQ regulations, state insurance laws, Gramm-Leach-Bliley and other requirements. John has substantial experience providing practical legal and business advice to clients on a variety of substantive issues. Prior to working in-house, John was a litigation partner with a large international law firm where he gained first and second chair trial experience in commercial, securities, employment, products liability and other complex litigation matters. John has considerable experience conducting internal investigations and has also represented clients responding to subpoenas and investigations by government agencies. John was also a partner with an entrepreneurial litigation boutique in Chicago. In addition to his litigation practice, John provides insurance regulatory and corporate transactional services. Before pursuing a career in law, John attended the United States Naval Academy and served for five years as a surface warfare officer.

Andrew Porter, Esq.
Salvatore Prescott Porter & Porter

Andrew C. Porter is a Chambers-recognized trial lawyer and former federal prosecutor who focuses his practice on white collar criminal defense, internal investigations, and complex commercial litigation matters involving high-stakes disputes about trade secrets, fraud, breach of contract, and director and officer liability. Andrew’s clients range from indigent criminal defendants to senior executives, public institutions, and businesses.  Andrew has tried almost 35 federal and state jury trials, and he brings an aggressive, high-energy approach to his preparation—from the beginning of the investigation to the closing argument.

Hon. Franklin U. Valderrama,
United States District Court Judge

The Honorable Franklin U. Valderrama is a judge on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Judge Valderrama was born in Panama City, Panama and is the first Panamanian-American to serve as an Article III judge in the Northern District of Illinois.

Prior to joining the District Court, Judge Valderrama served as a judge in the General Chancery Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County. Judge Valderrama also served on the Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee and the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Evidence. Judge Valderrama has served as an Adjunct Professor at UIC John Marshall Law School. Before joining the Circuit Court in 2007, Judge Valderrama was a partner at Sanchez, Daniels & Hoffman, where he focused his practice on civil litigation.

Judge Valderrama is a commissioner on the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Latino Judges Association and is a member of the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois and the Illinois Judicial Council. Judge Valderrama was awarded the 2020 Outstanding Service to the Profession Award by the DePaul University College of Law.

Judge Valderrama received his law degree from the DePaul University College of Law. 

More faculty to be announced soon!


Registration fees are per person.


Individual: $455

Group: $430 per person for 2 or more from the same company pre-registering at the same time

Government employee/Legal Aid* Rate: $405

Law Students/paralegals*: $265 (current JD students only)


Individual: $430

Group: $405 per person for 2 or more from the same company pre-registering at the same time

Government employee/Legal Aid* Rate: $380

Law Students/paralegals*: $240 (current JD students only)

Program materials:

Registration includes an electronic copy (.pdf) of your seminar handbook.  This will be emailed to you one week in advance of the program.  Be sure to check your spam folder if you don’t see it by then.  Please put info@pincusproed.com in your address book to make sure you receive your pdf of the program handbook.

Like almost all legal CLE events, we provide your handbook in electronic form, as just described, to reduce the significant waste of paper that otherwise occurs.

However, If you would also like to order a printed copy of the seminar handbook, you may purchase it in advance. This will be provided to you the day of the program when you check in.  A printed copy of the handbook $25.  To do so, please be sure to check the box when you register.  If you want a hard copy, please order it when you register; there may not be any available for purchase the day of the program.

* Law Student Rate is for current law students only.  Please bring your law school ID to show when you check in for the program.

** Legal Aid attorneys are those attorneys employed by Legal Aid/non-profit firms.  It does not include attorneys who have their own practice, or are employed by law firms, that volunteer their time for non-profit causes or take on pro-bono cases. It also does not include attorneys who serve on non-profit boards.

Full and partial scholarships may be available to a limited number of Legal Aid attorneys, based upon registration. Please call (877) 858-3848 to discuss or email your request to info@pincusproed.com.

CLE Credits

IL General: This program is approved for 6.75 general CLE units in Illinois through 4/13/2025.
IL Professional Responsibility: This program is approved for 6.75 hours of Professionalism in Illinois through 4/13/2025.

CA General: This program is approved for 6.75 general CLE units.

NY General: This course is eligible for approval, under New York’s CLE Approved Jurisdiction policy, for 6.75 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.

Terms & Refund Policies

Recording policy: No audio or video recording of any program is permitted.

Seminar Cancellations: Should you be unable to attend for any reason, please inform us in writing no later than 14 days prior to the event and a credit voucher will be issued. If you prefer, a refund, less a $50 non-refundable deposit, will be issued. No refunds or credits will be given for cancellations received within 14 days of an event. However, if you notify us within 14 days of an event, and wish to convert your in-person attendance registration to an Audio CD package (with handout), we can do so. A small additional shipping charge, and sales tax in CA, will be incurred. No shipping charge is incurred for downloads. We will also issue a voucher for the amount paid if you notify us within 14 days and prefer not to have the audio recording.

Substitutions may be made at any time.

Reminder: The room temperature at hotels and other seminar locations are notoriously hard to control. Please bring a sweater or jacket in case it gets cold and/or layer as if you are going to the movies so you are comfortable.

For policies related to audio products, please select “I want a download or CD” on the right.

$240.00$455.00 each

April 14, 2023  |  Chicago In-Person or Live Webcast


Click the dropdown to add the Recording for $89 (download) or $95 + shipping (DVD/CD).

Printed Materials

[ All attendees receive a pdf of the materials one week prior to the program. FOR IN-PERSON ATTENDEES ONLY: To purchase a printed hard copy which will be handed out at the seminar location, please select this option to order it now. NOTE: printed materials are not available for live webcast attendees. ]

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