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Depos: How to Master the Deposition (CA) (Recorded Package)
Audio program! (check our CLE Programs page for live versions)
Back by Popular Demand: Our Deposition Skills Program – this year held as a two-part webinar due to Covid-19
Don’t miss this recording if you want to improve your deposition skills – taking or defending them! And we’ve added a special session covering how to effectively and successfully take depositions online.
If you are looking for a program on Federal Court litigation and procedures, please check out our 18th Annual Federal Court Boot Camp in California (May 2022).
Depositions are not a “one size fits all” process. Good depositions are like art. They take thought, skill and patience—and creativity—from start to finish. Our expert litigators will guide you through the nuanced art of the depo, from understanding the differences between trial and discovery depos to dealing with hostile witnesses and difficult opposing counsel.
And that’s not all. You’ll also find out when to call the judge and when it can be avoided. Do not go into your next deposition unprepared. Let us teach you the methods that have helped our experts succeed.
This litigation CLE program will provide you with strategies to take and defend better depositions both before and during trial.
Check out the WHAT YOU WILL LEARN Tab for a list of topics.
This program was recorded live on July 13 & 15, 2021. The recorded packages are now available in audio or video format and includes seminar materials.*
* The Video recording is a video of the webinar (including sound). The Audio recording is audio only, for those who wish to listen to it without visuals (such as in the car). You can also purchase both formats together. Note: All downloads must be downloaded to a computer first, before transferring them to another device.
Have you ever thought about improving your public speaking skills? Now is the time! Get Faith Pincus’ book Being Heard: Presentation Skills for Attorneys, from the ABA now (ABA members receive 10%-20% off). Or – you can order a signed paperback from us at a discount here (free shipping). It is also available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback versions.
What You Will Learn
Part 1 Topics
Overview and Strategy
- Depositions not a “one size fits all” process – trial deposition vs discovery deposition
- Understanding your goals and keeping your deposition goal-driven
- Is this depo really necessary? Determining whether the depo is worth the time and money and what you plan to get from it for your case/trial
- Who should attend and why
- Thoughts on preparing specific questions and outline of themes
- Other tips and tricks that may give you an edge.
- Using the depo at your hearing or trial – strategies and techniques
- Handling work product/privileged requests during depos
- Process and procedure – basics – nuts and bolts – some want to know basic procedures
The Online Depo
- Camera use
- Camera location/position/image for attorney
- Internet issues
- Who is in the room?
- The use of Share Screen on Zoom
- Preparing your witness for the online depo
- Camera location/position/effect on your image
- 3rd Party Videography v. “record” on zoom
- How to use the online depo to your advantage
- Stipulations and swearing in
- Conducting the online depo itself
- Conversation over breaks
- Are objections any different online?
- How to best prepare your witness
- Tips and strategies
- Difficulties to avoid
- What happens when you have a witness who can’t or won’t take the time to be prepared – what are your options (can you do it remotely, do you drop the witness, do you roll the dice, etc.)
- What happens when you have a witness that won’t listen to you when you are preparing them
- What do you do if you realize during witness prep that the witness is going to be a disaster (too angry, bad presence, lies, too weak, rambles too much, a danger to your case, anything along these lines) – including when you are working under a more senior partner or when you are the decision maker
- What to tell your witness regarding how they should respond to objections during the depo
- The percipient witness vs. a PMK
- Ethical considerations
- The Corporate Witness
Expert Witness Depositions
- Effective opposition research options on expert witnesses
- Strategies to qualify and/or attack expert witnesses
- Attacking the expert with his/her own words from prior deposition, treatises, expert reports, etc.
- Using Motions in Limine to exclude expert or testimony
- Preparing Your Expert for Deposition
Part 2 Topics
Handling Documents & Exhibits
- When do you use documents in a depo?
- Determining which documents to use
- Compiling/organizing documents
- Protective orders
- Documents requested in Discovery
- Authentication/laying the foundation (and why)
Impeaching the Witness – Practical Advice and Strategies
- Prior inconsistent statements
- Examples of impeachment questions
- Impeachment by showing Bias and Motivation
- Impeachment by showing lack of competency
- Attacking character for lack of truthfulness
- Impeaching at the depo v. at trial
- Other tips
Objections and Handling the Difficult Witness and/or Opposing Counsel
- Practical advice:
- How do I do it?
- Why do I do it?
- Objection strategies
- What to avoid
- Biggest risks in objecting and not objecting
- Specific objections and real-world examples
Handling the Difficult Witness and/or Opposing Counsel:
- The angry opposing counsel – what do you do?
- When opposing counsel yells – how to handle
- Opposing counsel that objects to everything, how do you handle?
- The witness keeps obfuscating or saying “I don’t remember” to everything, now what?
- You know the witness is lying – is there anything you can do?
- How to keep the depo from getting out of control
- How to avoid needing to call the judge
- The times when it is worth bothering the judge in the middle of your depo
Mock Demonstration and Discussion about the mock
“Amazing speakers. Wonderful format. Easy to follow in both video and audio-only… Great refresher course even for attorneys who do depositions once a week.” – Timothy Lam, Esq.
“Enjoyed today’s program and thought all the speakers provided very useful information.” – Melissa Murphy, Esq.
“Good tips from persons who have experience in depositions.” – Reginaldo Villarreal, Esq.
“I really enjoyed the mock deposition.” – Reginaldo Villarreal, Esq.
“Speakers were very informative, and qualified to discuss topics based off their experience!”
“It was very informative and I enjoyed receiving little nuggets of advice.”
“The speakers were great and entertaining. I like how different the topics were, including the remote deposition presentation, which was very helpful.”
“I enjoyed the program, including all of the speakers. Everyone was very knowledgeable and had interesting insights. I particularly enjoyed the virtual deposition tips.”
“I thought the program was great!”
“The program overview was a great table setter. The follow up discussions were targeted and provided practical advice. I’m pleased with the content and presentation.”
“It was great overall and comprehensive webinar of things to consider for before and during a deposition.”
“The speakers gave good examples and explained aspects of the deposition in an easy way to understand.”
“Great panel of speakers, loved the use of video depositions to show examples. It was great overall and comprehensive webinar of things to consider for before and during a deposition.”
“It was great. A good cross-section of topics. Each discussion was useful.”
“I really liked the mock trial and the overall comprehensive nature of the program. The speakers gave good examples and explained aspects of the deposition in an easy way to understand.”
“Excellent speakers with a lot of useful information”
“It was really informative and the materials are great.”
“Well organized, appreciate the overview followed by diving into specific topics.”
“The speakers, topics, and content were all great and super informative.”
“I enjoyed it! Very helpful tips.”
“Very helpful, well organized.”
“Thorough, helpful and enjoyable.”
“Very informative and useful.”
“Informative and engaging.”
The following testimonials are from our previous deposition programs held in California.
“I was extremely satisfied! I felt like all my misconceptions and unanswered deposition questions were sufficiently covered. Before today I felt ‘half-baked’ regarding depositions, but after the seminar, I feel confident and a lot more knowledgeable. Overall, a great learning experience.” – Aisha Oyarekhua, Esq.
“Overall, outstanding panel for depositions – all speakers have great war stories and depo strategies for new attorneys and seasoned attorneys alike.” – Darlene Hernandez, Esq.
“It helped give me more insight on how to prepare for future depos. I liked the deposition acting at the end!” – Cleve Collado, Esq.
“Very informative, especially for a new attorney with minimal depo experience.” – Nick Colla, Esq.
“Wonderful speakers.” – Jennifer Misetch, Esq.
“All speakers were awesome. I was particularly impressed with Ryan McNamara. Thank you very much!” – ChaHee Lee Olson, Esq.
“Insightful and practical preparation tips.” – Brennan Mitch, Esq.
“Very informative session. The tips and strategies presented today made me rethink what I need to do in discovery.” – Lorelei English, Esq.
“Very clear, succinct.” – Beth Hodess, Esq.
“Great! Best CLE ever!”
“Fully satisfied.” – Jay Wither, Esq.
“The LiveNote and mock depo demonstration was very helpful/practical.” – Wendy Wang, Esq.
“Great time – Ryan McNamara and Paul Traina were fantastic.” – Zac Cohen, Esq.
“Great practical tips supported by real world examples bolstered by video and transcript excerpts!”
“Fantastic panelists! Extremely engaging and helpful! Excellent program! 5-star presenters!! Practical advice and helpful tips.”
“Excellent and thoughtful.”
“Good summary of existing law as to objections – very useful for practice.”
“Helpful, practical insight regarding plaintiff depos. Good tips on current ethical considerations. The presentation on objections was most applicable to my situation and will definitely help in my practice. Good variety of presenters who work well together.”
“Everyone was excellent, knowledgeable, approachable, great. Best speakers I have had.”
“Last Thursday I took and defended my first deposition. Although I have not yet seen the transcript, I believe the deposition was a great success. The reporter was shocked to hear it was my first deposition. I write this not to toot my own horn, so to speak, but rather to tell you how valuable it was to hear your presentation and insights during the all-day deposition training last fall. Long story short, thank you for helping make my first deposition smooth and successful.”
“My objective of learning practical advice and tips about defending and taking deposition was fully satisfied. Good variety of presenters who work well together; after attending, I am slightly less terrified to take the next deposition.”
“A good framework for taking and defending depositions.”
“Provided practical tips to utilize in deposition and concrete examples.”
“Good balance between plaintiff and defense comments, liked the examples.”
“I received a lot of good information and case law regarding depositions.”
“Great and useful topic.”
“It was very helpful.”
Evangeline A.Z. Burbidge, Esq.
Lewis & Llewellyn LLP
Evangeline (Evan) is a leader in the legal community, a trusted counselor, and a skilled advocate. Whether litigating a case or advising a client, Evan understands the importance of the big picture. She also knows that being an effective litigator means not only fighting hard, but also being a proactive problem solver. She is a straight shooter, respected by both colleagues and opposing counsel.
Evan litigates and advises on a broad array of matters, including complex commercial cases, trade secret theft, fraud, breach of contract, and other business disputes. Since joining Lewis & Llewellyn, she has worked for Fortune 100 companies, individuals, and Silicon Valley start-ups, both litigating and conducting internal investigations. Evan has worked on both the defense and plaintiff’s side, successfully representing a billion-dollar company against allegations of wrongdoing and, more recently, securing her client a victory in connection with allegations of trade secret theft. Outside of the business context, Evan has also represented survivors of childhood sexual abuse, helping them achieve justice through the legal system.
Evan is also active in the legal community. She serves as the co-chair of the BASF Barristers’ Litigation Section, a position she has held since 2016. She also spearheaded efforts to increase the profile of female leaders in the field and is an active mentor. Evan has been selected as a Northern California Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine for the past three years, an honor reserved for 2.5% of U.S. lawyers, and has been profiled by the Bar Association of San Francisco and the Justice & Diversity Center.
A Utah native, Evan loves skiing and trying to teach her children to do the same. She also enjoys learning about clean tech, supporting local theater, and demonstrating her uncanny ability to recognize C-list celebrities.
Jessica Rankin Corpuz, Esq.
Weintraub | Tobin
Jessica Corpuz represents clients in all aspects of litigation, including in particular the handling of complex business and commercial disputes. She has successfully represented clients in trial, mediation, arbitration, and appeal, including millions of dollars in jury verdicts as well as published reversals of adverse trial court rulings on appeal.
Over the course of her career, Jessica has litigated cases in the fields of entertainment, international law, private equity and corporate transactions, real estate, and environmental law, among others. She handles cases on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants and has represented clients in cases before both federal and state courts, in California and across the country.
She has been selected to the Super Lawyers Rising Stars list from 2014-2020. She is also an active member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the Los Angeles Conservancy.
Jessica earned her B.A. in History from the University of California, Santa Barbara and received her J.D. from Loyola Law School, where she was the President of the International Law Society and participated in the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.
Pamela K. Graham, Esq.
Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley, PC
Pamela Graham is Senior Counsel and a member of Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley’s litigation practice group. Pamela’s practice covers a wide range of litigation matters, including land use, employment law, municipal finance and public revenues, medical marijuana, and water issues. Her current engagements include defending Goleta Water District and the City of Santa Barbara against challenges under Proposition 218 to their water rates; litigating civil code enforcement actions for the City of Pasadena against illegal medical marijuana dispensaries; defending the City of South Pasadena in a writ of mandate action challenging aspects of the City Council’s approval of a conditional use permit for a hydrogen fueling station; and defending the City of Sierra Madre in a dispute arising from a code enforcement action against an unpermitted home improvement project.
Pamela has broad litigation experience in both state and federal courts, handling all phases of litigation from the pleading stage through appeal. She has successfully defended a number of jury and bench trials.
Prior to joining Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley, Pamela was an attorney in the commercial litigation workgroups at Irell & Manella LLP for seven years and at Drinker, Biddle & Reath LLP for five years. There, Pamela represented a diverse range of clients in the entertainment, retail, and other prominent Southern California industries in a variety of commercial litigation matters, including cases involving business torts, employment disputes, securities fraud, and trademark and copyright litigation.
Pamela earned her law degree magna cum laude from Loyola Law School in 2001. While at Loyola, Pamela served as the Chief Production Editor of the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review. She was also the recipient of the Dean’s Academic Scholarship from 1999 through 2001, as well as the First Honors Award in legal research and writing, torts, and federal courts. Pamela earned her Bachelor of Arts in journalism and mass communication and political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1996.
Immediately following law school, Pamela served as a law clerk to the Honorable Ronald S.W. Lew of the United States District Court, Central District of California.
During her legal career, Pamela has advocated pro bono for the rights of children in the foster care system. Partnering with the Alliance for Children’s Rights, Pamela has assisted over 25 families with the finalization of adoptions and advocated for lawful individualized education plans and services. Pamela has also worked with the March of Dimes for the past 10 years, bringing awareness to and fundraising for the fight against premature birth.
Pamela has served as adjunct faculty at Southwestern Law School, where she taught legal analysis, writing and skills, and at California State University, Northridge, where she taught advanced business law.
Patrick Hammon, Esq.
Mr. Hammon has served on seven trial teams and has participated in several mediations. He has extensive experience serving as the client interface in managing discovery and preparing witnesses for deposition and trial.
He was recognized in 2018 as one of Silicon Valley Business Journal’s “40 Under 40,” an annual list of “up and coming leaders in Silicon Valley who have distinguished themselves in their fields.”
Mr. Hammon was appointed by the Board of Trustees of the State Bar of California to serve as a member of the 2018 Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation. The commission assists California’s governor in the judicial selection process by providing independent evaluations of candidates for judicial appointment and nomination.
He is active in several Bay Area nonprofits, including Christmas in the Park and the Silicon Valley Urban Debate League. He also serves on the Palo Alto Hiring and Summer Associate Committees and mentors junior associates as part of the Firm’s Mentor Program.
Kate E. Lazarus, Esq.
Kwun Bhansali Lazarus LLP
Kate specializes in complex litigation, and has a wide range of experience in both state and federal court. She has handled cases in the areas of intellectual property, contract, fraud, securities, and criminal law.
Kate has tried both civil and criminal cases, in court and in arbitration. Her trial experience includes a copyright case with a damages claim of over a billion dollars, an eight-week federal criminal trial involving corporate accounting, and a week-long confidential arbitration in which the opposing party took nothing and was responsible for her client’s attorney’s fees. Kate has experience in all phases of litigation, from the pleadings stage to depositions to examining witnesses at trial. Kate focuses on digging into the challenges a client faces, and developing efficient and effective solutions with an eye towards her client’s business goals.
Kate has maintained an active pro bono practice, in particular in the area of immigration law. Kate grew up in San Francisco and is active in her community. She serves as the President of the Planning Association for the Richmond, and is on the board of the Lowell High School Alumni Association.
Michelle G. Lee, Esq.
Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe LLP
Ms. Lee represents employees in individual and class action litigation in a range of employment matters. She is experienced in wage and hour, wrongful termination, discrimination, retaliation, harassment, breach of contract, and trade secrets matters.
Before joining Rudy, Exelrod, Zieff & Lowe, Ms. Lee was an associate at a prominent national litigation firm, where she handled a wide variety of complex cases ranging from intellectual property disputes to securities lawsuits. Ms. Lee also served as a law clerk for the Honorable William Alsup of the Northern District of California.
Ms. Lee is a graduate, cum laude, of the University of Michigan Law School where she was an editor for the Michigan Journal of Law Reform. Ms. Lee interned at the Office of Legal Advisor of the U.S. Department of State in Geneva, Switzerland and worked as a law clerk for the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, Georgia. Ms. Lee received her undergraduate degree in biology from Yale University.
Theodora R. Lee, Esq.
Littler Mendelson P.C
Theodora R. Lee has extensive courtroom experience and practices before all state and federal courts in California and all employment-related regulatory agencies.
Theodora’s recent litigation successes include class actions involving disparate impact; unpaid commissions and expense reimbursement; employee status, overtime, meal and rest periods; and overtime and exempt status under the California Labor Code and Fair Labor Standards Act. She also has served as lead trial counsel or co-counsel in multiple jury trials and obtained defense verdicts in cases alleging race discrimination, racial harassment, sexual harassment and retaliation, as well as a case alleging violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Additionally, she defends various corporations in cases in state or federal courts alleging Fair Employment and Housing Act violations, wage and hour class actions, and whistleblower and wrongful termination claims, and has obtained dismissals via summary judgment in countless cases.
A settlement commissioner, AAA certified arbitrator and mediator, Theodora has concluded more than 1,000 matters through use of private arbitration or mediation, including large, complex, multi-party litigation actions, and individuals suing their employers.
Theodora also counsels employers on topics such as: The Americans with Disabilities Act, The Uniform Trade Secrets Act, The California Business and Professions Code, The Family and Medical Leave Act, corporate compliance and more.
Theodora has been a contributing writer to numerous employment law publications and presents seminars on a wide variety of employment issues and regularly conducts in-house employment law training programs. She is an elected member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA).
Prior to entering the practice of law, Theodora worked as a Senate intern in Washington, D.C., for Senator Sam Nunn.
Micha Star Liberty, Esq.
Micha Star Liberty is the owner of the Liberty Law Office — a diverse legal practice primarily representing individuals who have suffered a serious injury or abuse, including child sexual abuse. The firm also represents employees who have been discriminated against or harassed in the workplace, and Micha has assisted businesses with finding a common ground when releasing an employee on best terms.
Ms. Liberty is a graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. She has held the title of President and Vice President of multiple legal and political organizations, expanding her network of associates and resources, which often helps to expedite the legal process for the greater benefit of her clients.
Ms. Liberty is a frequent lecturer and published author, focusing much of her public speaking on trial practice, discovery techniques, the importance of mentoring, and best practices for opening a law office and law office management.
In 2015, the Consumer Attorneys of California — an organization made up of more than 3000 lawyers in California alone — presented her with the Street Fighter of the Year award at their 54th annual convention held at The Palace in San Francisco. Ms. Liberty was granted the award after holding the Contra Costa County School District accountable for a child sexual molestation case in which school officials were aware of the abuse and took no action. In years past, she was also presented the Defender of Justice Award, the Outstanding Service Award, and the Presidential Award of Merit in 2005 and 2006.
Ms. Liberty was a contributing author and editor for the following practice guides: California Client Communications Manual, and California Basic Practice Handbook, both published by Continuing Education of the Bar.
Aside from her thriving law practice, she is a certified mediator with over 40 hours of training, and she has performed private mediations as well as mediations for the Contra Costa Superior Court.
Ms. Liberty has worked at the White House and for two Members of Congress: for U.S. Representative Mel Watt, from North Carolina, and for U.S. Representative Anna Eshoo.
She has also served as a judicial extern to Senior United States District Court Judge Thelton E. Henderson. While in law school, she served as a Moot Court Board member, teaching assistant, and an editor for the Women’s Law Journal.
Michael B. Sachs, Esq.
Clark Hill PLC
Michael Sachs represents clients in labor and employment, general litigation, and Proposition 65 cases.
In his labor and employment practice, Michael assists clients with wage and hour claims, Fair Employment and Housing/Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claims (discrimination, harassment, and retaliation), breach of contract claims, severance agreements, and termination decisions. He provides pre-litigation counseling so clients can avoid potential issues that may lead to litigation and evaluates the possibility for early resolution of claims. Where litigation has commenced, Michael manages the case from intake to verdict. Michael has tried multiple employment matters to verdict in the California state and federal courts and argued multiple cases before the California Court of Appeal.
In his general litigation practice, Michael represents manufacturers and insurance companies in personal injury actions, consumer warranty claims, toxic tort litigation, and product liability actions. Michael has defended midsized to Fortune 500 companies faced with multimillion-dollar damage claims. He has successfully represented his clients by prevailing on dispositive motions, receiving dismissals, and taking cases to verdict.
Michael also assists manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, and retailers in Proposition 65 (California’s “Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986”) compliance. This includes reviewing product lines for items that may be subject to Proposition 65, drafting and updating warning labels, counseling on best practices for compliance and implementation of Proposition 65 compliance programs, responding to 60-day notices, and managing litigation of Proposition 65 cases.
Michael is devoted to his clients and his goal is to find cost-effective ways to manage their cases, while still vigorously defending their interests inside and outside of the courtroom. He has achieved numerous successful results for his clients through settlement negotiations, mediations, dispositive motions, and trial.
Paul Traina, Esq.
Panish | Shea | Boyle | Ravipudi LLP
Paul Traina has practiced law for the past 25 years spending his first five years representing automobile manufacturers and insurance companies and the last twenty years representing consumers on a pure contingency basis. Paul is an experienced, fiercely competitive litigator and trial lawyer and has obtained verdicts and recoveries for his clients totaling over 3 billion dollars. Paul has and continues to represent clients in matters involving catastrophic injuries, defective products, whistleblower litigation, class actions, professional liability cases, and business/commercial litigation and is a frequent guest lecturer at Loyola Law Schools Trial Advocacy Class. Paul has lectured around the country on topics ranging from class actions, conflicts of interest, opening and closing arguments, and direct and cross examinations of both lay and expert witnesses.
Paul was born and raised in Charlotte, Michigan. He attended the University of Minnesota where he earned degrees in History, Political Science and Philosophy. After college, he moved to California for law school where he attended Pepperdine University. During law school, he clerked at various firms and the Ventura Public Defenders Office. After graduation, Paul started his legal career at the defense firm of Harrington, Foxx, Dubrow and Canter where he worked for 4 years doing heavy litigation and trying cases.
In 1996, Paul joined the prestigious law firm of Engstrom Lipscomb & Lack, a firm made famous by the PG&E chromium-6 matter portrayed in the blockbuster movie Erin Brockovich. As young partner, Paul litigated and tried large complex injury cases on behalf of businesses and consumers with both Walter Lack and Thomas Girardi and continued litigating and trying cases during his tenure at Engstrom before joining the Stalwart Law Group in July of 2017.
Paul is a member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles and Consumer Attorneys of California. He was recognized as one of Southern California’s Super lawyers from 2004-2009.
Paul routinely speaks on legal matters with sitting federal and state judges and other experienced litigators.
Three Recorded Package options to choose from:
Video (with sound)* Recording & Materials Package – CD or Download: $425
Audio Only* Recording & Materials Package – CD or Download: $425
Order both the Video* and Audio Only* Packages for only $50 more – CD or Download: $475
*The Video recording is a video of the webinar (with sound). The Audio recording is audio only, for those who wish to listen to it without visuals (such as in the car).
Note: All downloads must be downloaded to a computer first, before transferring them to another device.
For CDs, please add $8.50 shipping and, in CA, sales tax.
This program will be recorded live on July 13 & 15, 2021.
CA General: This program is approved for 6.5 units of general CLE in California.
NY General: This course is eligible for approval, under New York’s CLE Approved Jurisdiction policy, for 6.5 CLE units. Pincus Professional Education is a CA Accredited Provider, which is a NY approved jurisdiction. See Section 6 of the New York State CLE Board Regulations and Guidelines for further information.
This program is approved for CLE in the states listed above. Upon request, Pincus Pro Ed will provide any information an attorney needs to support their application for CLE approval in other states other than what is listed above.