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Federal Court Boot Camp (9th Annual): Learn the Do’s and Don’ts (IL)
Audio program! (check our CLE Programs page for live versions)
Pincus Professional Education has put on its annual Federal Court Boot Camp for nine years for a reason – it’s that good.
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, all over the country. The program is both a litigation primer and a primer for litigating 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, as well as the skills and techniques that you need to be a more effective litigator in Federal Court and to be a more effective litigator in general.
Our faculty also includes a Federal District Court Judge, who will provide you a unique perspective and an inside look at what the court wants and does not want when you practice there.
Take a look at our detailed agenda and see why our Federal Court & Litigation Boot Camp program is the best in the state.
The program is great for any type of attorney: Large firm, Small firm, solo, government and legal aid.
The recording date for this program is April 6, 2018.
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What You Will Learn
Intro to program and Federal Court
- We’re not in Kansas Anymore: Overview of Practical Differences Between State Court and Federal Court Practice
- Material Differences Among Illinois’ Federal Districts
- Highlights from the Local Rules and Local Practice (key practical rules, CM/ECF, forms, 28 USC § 636 Magistrate Judges, and more!)
- Rule 1
Complaint 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
Case Scheduling and the Case Management Conference in Federal Court
- Rule 16.1
- Case Management Reports
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.
- How to address procedural issues that frequently arise when briefing motions to dismiss.
- Additional Rule 12 motions
- Ex Parte Motions
- TRO or preliminary injunctions
Discovery & eDiscovery
- CM/ECF brief overview/advice
- Pilot program on mandatory initial disclosures
- 26(a)(1) initial disclosures
- Interrogatories, request to produce – differences between state and federal
- 2015 Amendments to the Rules of Civil Procedure
- Scope of discovery / proportionality
- Requests for production and responses
- Failure to preserve / sanctions
- How courts have interpreted them
- Overview and considerations
- Sources and preservation
- Federal Rule of Evidence 502
- Federal Rules related to Depos
- Federal v. State differences
- Subpoenas & affidavits
- Deadlines and rules
- Strategy and Deciding whom to depose
- Taking good depositions
- Making effective use of depositions at trial or for settlement
Drafting and Replying to Motions for Summary Judgment
Oral Argument Tips
Heading to Trial
- Trial Briefs
- Pretrial Statement
- Pretrial Conference and Order (FRCP 16)
- Your Jury:
- What is unique about Jury Selection in Federal Court?
- Questionnaire and Voir Dire Tips
- Jury Instructions – pitfalls & best practices
- Jury Verdict Forms – pitfalls & best practices
- Motions in Limine – How do they differ from state court?
- Introduction of Exhibits
- Evidentiary Objections
- Direct and Cross-Examinations
- Purpose, audience and format requirements
- Basic direct examination skills
- Basic cross examination skills
- Preserving the Record for Appeal
Post-Trial Motions & Judgments
“Excellent presentations. The discovery pilot program discussion was very good.” – Colin O’Brien, Esq.
“They addressed great topics.” – Zartosht Khodavandi, 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.
“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.
“Laura McNally was great! Loved the PowerPoints and MSJ advice she gave.” – Maria Magginas, 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.
“Good information on depositions, especially pertaining to entities and Mr. Bolton gave excellent advice and presentation.” – Nathan A. Frisch, Esq.
“Excellent overview of complaint and answer strategies.” – Jenna Milaeger, Esq.
“Excellent.” – Julia Funke, Esq.
“Good program with useful info.” – Jeff Hamera, 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.
“Our firm is beginning to take on more federal cases. This covered everything I wanted. The program was fantastic.” – Peter Beake, Esq.
“I’m very happy with the topics that were covered. Excellent seminar! I will recommend this to other attorneys!” – Sarah Hertz, Esq.
“Very satisfied. It was an efficient use of time. The seminar had well-prepared presenters, good written materials and the staff/facilitators were well-organized.” – Michael P. Coghlan, 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
“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.
“Best CLE program I’ve been to, because it was comprehensive.” – Ronald Boggs, 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.
”Good straight forward presentation. Clear and concise.” – Randy Wolf, Esq.
“Insightful discussion as to what clerks and judges are looking for.” – Richard Lehman, Esq.
“Very informative and insightful commentary.” – Tim Lessman, Esq.
“insightful and educational on a wide variety of federal court subjects.” – Jonathan Wassell, Esq.
”I learned a lot about depositions regardless of fed vs. state.” – Lucas Sun, Esq.
“Very relevant.” – Jeffrey A. Goodloe, Esq.
“Excellent – very thorough!” – Steve McMullen, Esq.
“Good overview from start to finish.” – Kevin Halverson, Esq.
“This was an excellent seminar!” – Charles P. Romaker, Esq.
“I liked comparisons between state and federal court.” – Lisa Clay, Esq.
“Great pointers and good checklist materials.” – Amy Wilson
“Good overview of federal practice.“
“Great format and presentation.”
“Great to have federal judges present!”
“Good nuts and bolts of federal practice.”
“All relevant topics for my practice areas. Great refreshers and update on recent federal rule changes.”
“Provided a great overview of Federal Court Rules and Procedures.”
“This was a great refresher course.”
“Good overview before delving into specifics of each topic, easy to keep up with all the 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.”
“I liked that it packed a lot into a one-day session.”
“Really enjoyed it! I learned so much!”
“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.”
“General tips about oral argument was most helpful.”
“Laura McNally was very helpful. Excellent speaker. Very knowledgeable. Mike Leonard was really great. Stellar afternoon speakers!”
“There were a lot of good tips and the materials were good.”
There was a lot of good information provided in the program.”
“Laura McNally was personable and conveyed her experience well. Her spotlight analogy regarding direct- and cross-examination was terrific.”
“I definitely learned a lot.”
“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.”
Hon. Sidney I. Schenkier
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
Judge Sidney Schenkier has served since October 30, 1998 as a United States Magistrate Judge sitting in federal court in Chicago, Illinois. From January 2008 to January 2012, he served as the presiding magistrate judge in the Northern District of Illinois. During that time period, Judge Schenkier served on the Court’s Executive Committee as an ex officio member. He also has served for 16 years on the Court’s Rules Committee. Since April 2010, Judge Schenkier has been a team member of the James B. Moran Second Chance Program, which is a reentry court designed to assist persons on supervised release in avoiding recidivism and reintegrating into society. Prior to beginning service as a magistrate judge, Judge Schenkier worked for more than 17 years at the law firm of Jenner & Block in Chicago, where he engaged in civil and criminal litigation at the trial and appellate levels. He obtained an undergraduate degree in journalism, with distinction, from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and his law degree, magna cum laude, from Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago, Illinois, where he also was awarded the Order of the Coif. Judge Schenkier has served for the last 30 years as an Adjunct Professor in Clinical Trial Advocacy at Northwestern University School of Law. He also has established a seminar at the law school on civil discovery which he has taught for the past eleven years. Judge Schenkier also has served as an instructor in trial and deposition programs for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, and Judge Schenkier has spoken and written on a variety of discovery and trial practice issues, including electronic discovery.
Judge Schenkier long has been active in the Federal Magistrate Judges Association (“FMJA”), which has more than 700 members who are active and retired magistrate judges from across the United States. Judge Schenkier began his service with the FMJA in July 2003, when he became the Circuit Representative for the Seventh Circuit. Judge Schenkier served in that capacity for six years, after which he was elected to serve on the Executive Committee of the FMJA in July 2009. Between July 2009 and July 2015, Judge Schenkier has served as Secretary, Treasurer, Vice President, President Elect, President, and Immediate Past President. Beginning in October 2015, Judge Schenkier began service as a member of the Magistrate Judge Committee of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.
Reid M. Bolton, Esq.
Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP
Reid M. Bolton is a partner with Bartlit Beck LLP, a boutique trial firm located in Chicago.
Reid has extensive experience with all phases of high stakes litigation, including trials and arbitrations related to intellectual property, business disputes, contracts, taxation, and false claims. Reid has been recognized as an Illinois Rising Star four years running.
Reid is also active in the community, serving as a supervisor for the Grace Place Kitchen and as a member of the One Million Degrees Associate Board.
Noelle Brennan, Esq.
Noelle Brennan & Associates, Ltd.
Noelle Brennan has been in private practice engaged in plaintiff’s employment discrimination and civil rights litigation since 2004 and is a founder and owner of Noelle Brennan & Associates, Ltd. Since 2004, Ms. Brennan has worked on both individual and class discrimination cases, including several large race discrimination and harassment class actions which resulted in significant injunctive relief and significant monetary damages. Previously, she spent seven years as a Supervisory and Trial Attorney in the Chicago District Office of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission where she worked extensively on class action sexual harassment cases, including EEOC v. Mitsubishi, and EEOC v. Dial Corporation. Prior to joining the EEOC, Ms. Brennan was an associate at Katten, Muchin & Zavis. In August of 2005, she was appointed by U.S. District Court Judge Wayne Andersen to monitor the hiring practices at the City of Chicago and its compliance with the long standing Shakman Decree which prohibits political discrimination in all job actions. In November of 2014, she was appointed by U.S. Magistrate Judge Sidney Schenkier as a Special Master to review the State of Illinois’ Department of Transportation’s compliance with the Shakman Decree. She received her J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1995 and was the recipient of various academic awards. She taught Employment Discrimination and Individual Employment Rights as an Adjunct Professor at DePaul Law School and also regularly presents at legal seminars for both practitioners and business operators.
Brian Eldridge, Esq.
Hart McLaughlin & Eldridge
Brian Eldridge is a trial lawyer who devotes 100% of his practice to civil litigation. Brian has a wide range of experience successfully litigating multi-million dollar, high-stakes cases on behalf of his clients. He concentrates his practice in products liability, construction/construction defect, transportation, premises liability, commercial litigation, mass torts, and class action matters. He has handled numerous cases involving death and catastrophic injuries, including paralysis, traumatic brain injuries, amputations and other significant permanent disabilities.
Within the commercial litigation context, Brian has successfully litigated cases involving breach of contract and allegations of fraud and bad faith. He has also handled numerous consumer class action lawsuits under federal statutes including the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). In addition, Brian has litigated cases involving alleged environmental exposure to mold, vinyl chloride, and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB).
Brian was selected for inclusion in the Illinois Rising Stars list for eight straight years, from 2008 to 2015. No more than 2.5% of lawyers under the age of 40 in the state of Illinois are selected for this honor. In 2013, Brian was honored to be named to Chicago Daily Law Bulletin’s “40 Illinois Attorneys Under Forty to Watch” list. In 2015 and 2016, Brian was named an Emerging Lawyer by Leading Lawyers. The distinction of being named an Emerging Lawyer is reserved for the top 2% of Illinois lawyers who are 40 years old or younger and have been identified by their peers as proving themselves to be professional, ethical, and experienced at an early point in their legal career. In 2017, Brian was selected as an Illinois Super Lawyer, which is limited to 5% of attorneys in the state.
Brian’s practice philosophy focuses on being accessible and responsive to clients at all times. He is on the rapid response team for several clients and is frequently called upon to orchestrate immediate investigations. Through his years of practice, Brian has developed an extensive expert network, having worked with consultants in various specialized areas including medicine, engineering, construction, epidemiology, pharmacology, economics, federal regulations, safety standards, risk assessment and psychology.
Brian lives in Highland Park with his wife, Jodi, and their three daughters.
Ian Fisher, Esq.
Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP
Ian H. Fisher represents commercial clients ranging from small entrepreneurs to Fortune 100 companies. Ian has successfully litigated cases involving real estate, antitrust, trade secret misappropriation, consumer and business tort disputes.
Ian has sustantial experience with class-action and multidistrict litigation proceedings and has successfully defended on appeal several trial court victories. He 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.
Illinois Super Lawyers has repeatedly ranked Ian as one of its “Top 100 Attorneys.” For more than 15 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 Trade Secrets/Unfair Competition Law. He is also rated AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell, its top rating for ethical standards and legal ability.
Ian graduated from Northwestern University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, in 1994.
John Killacky, Esq.
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.
Bradley C. Nahrstadt, Esq.
Lipe Lyons Murphy Nahrstadt & Pontikis Ltd.
Mr. Nahrstadt recently started his own firm, Lipe Lyons Murphy Nahrstadt & Pontikis Ltd. Previously, he was a partner with Williams Montgomery & John, Ltd. where he focused his practice on the defense of high stakes products liability, premises liability, insurance coverage and bad faith and commercial claims. Mr. Nahrstadt has litigated cases involving a wide variety of products, including fine grinding machines, silicone breast implants, dietary supplements, automobile axles, hydraulic automotive lifts, hydraulic jacks, brakes, clutches, child safety seats, chemical floor wax strippers, signal components, genetically engineered corn, rewinders, pharmaceuticals, thermal oxidizers, gravimetric feeders, welding rods and contact lens solution. Mr. Nahrstadt has served as regional counsel for a national testing laboratory and currently serves as regional counsel for a large consumer of welding rods, a leading optical manufacturer and a major brake and clutch manufacturer.
Mr. Nahrstadt’s recognitions and listings include AV Peer Review Rating by LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell; selected as one of the “40 Illinois Attorneys under Forty to Watch” by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, 2006; listed in Illinois Super Lawyers, 2007, 2010 (Products Liability Defense); selected by peers as Illinois Leading Lawyer for Products Liability Defense and Medical Malpractice Defense.
Mr. Nahrstadt’s faculty positions include the following: Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy, DePaul University College of Law (Winter 1998, Spring 1999, Summer 1999); Instructor, Institute for Paralegal Education (June 2002, July 2002, November 2003, August 2008); Instructor, National Business Institute (November 2004, June 2008); Instructor, Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (January 2005, November 2006); Adjunct Professor, College of Lake County, Paralegal Training Program (January 2007 – 2009).
Mr. Nahrstadt is a graduate of Monmouth College, Monmouth, Illinois, B.A., summa cum laude, 1989. He received his J.D., cum laude, in 1992 from the University of Illinois College of Law.
Jeffrey Schieber, Esq.
Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
Jeff focuses his practice on commercial litigation and class actions. He represents clients in business litigation matters including breach of contract, fraud, trade secret misappropriation, and employment disputes. Jeff also represents municipalities in civil rights class actions and has substantial experience defending consumer fraud class actions and mass torts. In addition to his litigation practice, he counsels companies and entrepreneurs on entity formation and corporate governance issues. Jeff has represented:
Pharmaceutical companies in MDL litigation and appeals stemming from personal injury allegations.
Consumer product companies in class action litigation arising from allegations of false and deceptive advertising.
A medical device company suing for breach of contract based on defendant’s failure to fulfill an indemnification agreement associated with sales of portion of client’s business.
An industrial product manufacturing company in asbestos litigation in federal and state courts.
An artist suing for breach of contract based on defendant’s failure to pay for artwork.
Prior to joining Taft, Jeff was a litigation associate at a large Chicago firm for four years. He graduated with honors from the University of Chicago Law School after receiving bachelor’s degrees in politics and history from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where he graduated magna cum laude.
Cardelle Spangler, Esq.
Winston & Strawn LLP
Cardelle Spangler has represented clients in complex class action, collective action, multi-plaintiff, and single plaintiff employment litigation. She has substantial trial experience before state and federal courts, as well as arbitrators. She has successfully defended collective action lawsuits brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act; class action lawsuits brought under ERISA alleging breaches of fiduciary duties against corporate and individual defendants; claims brought under ERISA for denial of benefits and discrimination; claims brought under various state and federal statutes for age, race, sex, color, religion, and disability discrimination and/or harassment; and common law and/or statutory claims for unfair competition, misappropriation of trade secrets, and various torts. Cardelle has also conducted harassment and other investigations, drafted employment and independent contractor agreements, and conducted labor and employment training.
Audio Recording & Materials Package – CD or Download: $425
Early Bird Pricing $399
For CDs please add $7.50 shipping and, in CA, sales tax.
Early Bird Pricing Ends February 2, 2018.
(Audio packages are available approximately two to three weeks after the seminar is held.)
IL General: This program is approved for 7.5 general CLE in Illinois through April 3, 2020.
Professional Responsibility: 7.5 units through April 3, 2020.
CA General: This program is approved for 7.5 units of general CLE in California.
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.
Terms and 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.
Webinars, Tele-seminars and Webcast Cancellations: Once log-in codes and passwords are issued for a webinar, tele-seminars or webcasts, a refund is not possible. If for any reason you cannot attend the event after you have received the codes, we will automatically convert your registration to an instant streaming/instant download or CD format and provide you with the information you need to access the recording after the program concludes and the recording is available. Conversions to CD require a $7.50 shipping fee, and in CA, 9% sales tax.
Downloads/CDs/DVDs – Refund policy:
Downloads are non-returnable/non-refundable once purchased and received. Tapes, CDs and DVDs are returnable for a full refund or replacement if defective, within 90 days of purchase.
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.