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Federal Court Boot Camp: A Beginner Level Program on Litigating in Federal Court (FL)

Our Federal Court Boot Camp will walk you through the essential components and tasks involved in litigating your case in Federal Court.  You’ll learn the rules, tasks, skills and techniques you need to be a more effective litigator in Federal Court, with advice from the trenches and the bench.

You’ll also learn about litigation in general, with strategies and tips from experienced practitioners, judicial law clerks and judges.

You will also learn the distinctions between Circuit Court requirements and Federal Court rules.

This program is great for new attorneys, attorneys new to federal court or litigation and those seeking a refresher.

Take a look at our agenda and testimonials to see why our Boot Camps are so highly rated.

Need a Room?

If you would like to stay at the program hotel, Gallery One Ft. Lauderdale – a DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel, they are offering a 10% discount. To take advantage of this special rate, please contact Mariana Steetle at (954) 335-4560 to reserve a room.


The following agenda is tentative. Please check back soon for updates.

8:30 – 9:00
Intro to program and Federal Court

  • Practical Differences between State and Federal Court
  • Differences Among the Three Federal Districts
  • Highlights from the Local Rules and Practice
  • Rule 1

9:00 – 9:20
Complaint and Answer Rules, Differences, Advice and Strategies 

  • Plausibility Standard
  • Forms of Complaints and Answers/Defenses
  • Defenses vs. Affirmative Defenses
  • Practice Pointers and Pitfalls

9:20 – 9:40
Case Scheduling and the Case Management Conference in Federal Court

  • Rule 16.1

9:40 – 10:30
Rule 12 Motions (all, not just 12(b)(6))

10:30 – 10:45

10:45 – 11:45
Discovery & eDiscovery (55 min talk time, 5 min q/a)

  • 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
  • E-discovery
    • Overview and considerations
    • Sources and preservation
    • Authentication
    • Federal Rule of Evidence 502

11:45 – 12:00
Oral Argument Tips and other insight

  • Scheduling, rules
  • Difference between Fed court and State court
  • Cautions and advice, what judges expect/need

— Lunch —
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
(lunch on your own)

1:00 – 1:45
Depo Strategies

  • Federal Rules related to Depos (of course don’t read them off, but they do need to be mentioned, highlighted.
  • Federal v. State differences
  • Strategy
  • Deciding whom to depose
  • Taking good depositions
  • Making effective use of depositions at trial
  • Subpoenas & affidavits?

1:45 – 2:45
Drafting and Replying to Motions for Summary Judgment

2:45 – 2:55

2:55 – 3:10
Heading to Trial

  • Trial Briefs
  • Pretrial Statement
  • Pretrial Conference and Order (FRCP 16)

3:10 – 4:00
Pre-Trial Matters

  • Client & Witness Preparation
  • Your Jury:
    • Questionnaire and Voir Dire Tips
    • Jury Instructions – pitfalls & best practices
    • Jury Verdict Forms – pitfalls & best practices
  • Motions in Limine

4:00 – 4:10

4:10 – 5:00
Trial Presentation

  • Opening Statements  & Closing Arguments
  • Introduction of Exhibits & Objections
  • Direct and Cross-Examinations
    • Purpose, audience and format requirements
    • Basic direct examination skills
    • Basic cross examination skills
    • When and how to make appropriate objections
  • Preserving the Record for Appeal

5:00 – 5:15
Post-Trial Motions & Judgments

5:15 – 5:30
Final q/a

Dates and Times and Locations

September 28, 2017

8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (lunch on your own)
Check in between 8:00 – 8:30 a.m.

Gallery One – a DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel
2670 East Sunrise Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 33304


(Be sure to arrive at least ten minutes before start time if you want to make sure you have a good seat)


“The seminar was a good overall view of federal court practice and included many useful tips.” – Jason Gordon, Esq.

“I personally wanted and expected to get a primer on practicing in Florida federal courts,especially in the Southern District of Florida. You did not disappoint.” – C.A. Hoey, Esq.

“I am getting ready to try my first federal trial! This training really put things into perspective for my next steps!” – Victoria Mesa, Esq.

”This course has taught me so much. My foundation is set. Thank you.”  – Elisabeth Govéti, Esq.

“I gained insight into the federal courts in the Southern District with very concrete examples. Excellent.” – Xiomara L. Cruz, Esq.

“All speakers vocalized very detailed information and advice. Obviously well-prepared.  Appreciate it highly. Thank you!”

“Although I did not have specific objectives, this course was wonderful and thorough.”  – Elizabeth Goveti, Esq.

“Very informative. Chemistry of morning panel was fantastic.” – Joshua Berkowitz, Esq.



Hon. Darrin P. Gayles

U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida

 Please check back soon for full bio!

Brett A. Barfield, Esq.
Holland & Knight LLP

Brett Alan Barfield practices in the area of business litigation with an emphasis on domestic and international commercial disputes, construction litigation, commercial landlord/tenant disputes and litigation under the Hague Convention on international parental child abduction. Mr. Barfield represents clients in diverse industries to resolve their disputes through the most effective and efficient means possible, from informal negotiations, mediation and arbitration, to litigation and trials. With his extensive experience, Mr. Barfield is well-versed in litigation in federal and state courts, and has secured recent multimillion-dollar trial victories for commercial clients in both jury and non-jury trials.

In addition, Mr. Barfield represents clients involved in the manufacture and distribution of a wide variety of products both domestically and internationally, in importation and exportation, and in various service industries and professions. In his construction practice, Mr. Barfield represents owners, contractors, and manufacturers in a range of commercial, infrastructure and municipal projects involving various claims related to design, construction and material defects.

Mr. Barfield has represented more than 70 clients seeking the return of their children under the Hague Convention on international parental child abduction. From time to time, he also represents parents defending against petitions under the same Convention, and in April 2015 succeeded at a federal trial to prevent the return of a child to Venezuela where the court found the situation to be so dangerous for the child that a very narrow exception to return under the Convention applied in the case. In an important February 2016 decision, the federal appellate court affirmed the victory.

Mr. Barfield is a national officer for the Federal Bar Association and is a past president and current board member of the South Florida Chapter of that association. He has been recognized numerous years by Florida Super Lawyers  and Florida Trend magazines as a leading business litigation attorney in Florida.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Barfield served as a law clerk to the Honorable Edward B. Davis, chief judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Before practicing law, Mr. Barfield spent several years in retail management.

Honors & Awards

Top Lawyer, South Florida Legal Guide, 2017

Florida Super Lawyers magazine, 2010-2017

Distinguished Advocate of Pro Bono Commitment, Dade County Bar Association, 2016

Florida Legal Elite, Florida Trend magazine, 2009-2011

Holland & Knight Public and Charitable Service All-Star, 2014

Top Up and Comer, South Florida Legal Guide, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014

Florida Legal Elite "Up & Comer," Florida Trend magazine, 2004-2008

St. Thomas University School of Law Outstanding Young Alumnus Award, 2003

St. Thomas University School of Law, Valedictorian


The Florida Bar, Pro Bono Services Committee

Federal Bar Association, 11th Circuit Vice President, 2013-2017

Federal Bar Association, South Florida Chapter, President, 2010-2012; Board of Directors, 2008-present 

Florida Foster Care Review, Board of Directors, 2013-present

Read to a Child, National Board of Directors, 2015-present

Peter T. Fay Inn of Court, 2000-2015

David M. Buckner, Esq.

Buckner + Miles

David Buckner is an experienced trial and appellate lawyer who regularly tries cases and argues appeals in state and federal courts across Florida and around the country. He represents corporations and individuals in matters involving complex commercial and class action litigation, securities and other frauds, business torts, antitrust law, white collar crime, personal injuries, aircraft accidents, professional negligence, products liability, qui tam and First Amendment issues. David has successfully certified, and defended on appeal, numerous classes of plaintiffs seeking redress for violations of Federal securities laws, common law fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, unfair trade practices, breach of contract and the duty of good faith and fair dealing, and unjust enrichment, and has obtained settlements and verdicts after trial on behalf of the members of those classes in the hundreds of millions of dollars. He has obtained tens of millions of dollars more for his individual clients victimized by the misconduct of others.

David earned his B.A. in Political Science with High Honors from Rutgers College, and was selected a Harry S Truman Scholar. He received his J.D. from Harvard Law School, magna cum laude, and his Master of Public Policy degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. David served as a law clerk for Judge R. Lanier Anderson III of the United States 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Earlier in his career, in his nearly eight years as an Assistant United States Attorney, David investigated and prosecuted cases involving securities fraud, tax fraud, public corruption, money laundering, espionage and other crimes related to national security. He conducted numerous jury trials in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, and argued a number of cases before the United States Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, including the en banc court.

David gained national recognition for his role as a prosecutor in United States v. Gerardo Hernandez, et al., also known as the “Cuban spies” case, in which the defendants were convicted of various offenses including conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to commit espionage. David was also one of the prosecutors in United States v. Miguel Moya, in which a jury foreman was found guilty of taking a bribe to effect the acquittals of two of the most significant cocaine importers in South Florida. In recognition of his outstanding performance as a prosecutor, David received two Director’s Awards for Superior Performance from the United States Department of Justice.

Cynthia Bulan
Law Clerk
United States District Court

Cynthia Bulan has clerked for the Honorable Patricia A. Seitz, United States District Judge for the Southern District of Florida, since 2008.  Cindy also clerked for the Honorable Henry Lee Adams, Jr., in the Middle District of Florida for three years.  In between her clerkships, for six years, Cindy worked as an Assistant Professor of Law at the Shepard Broad Law Center at Nova Southeastern University.  She taught Business Entities, Agency, and first-year legal research and writing.  She has also worked as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Florida Coastal School of Law, where she taught Professional Responsibility and first-year legal research and writing.  Cindy served as the Chairperson of the September 2007 Southeastern Legal Writing Conference for legal research and writing faculty.  She has also helped to coordinate seminars for incoming federal judicial law clerks.  For the first five years of her career as a lawyer, Cindy worked in private practice, litigating in federal and state courts in New York and Florida.  Her practice included, commercial and civil litigation, surety and construction litigation, and bankruptcy.   

In 2007, Cindy was appointed by the Florida Supreme Court to a two-year term on the Florida Supreme Court Committee on Standard Jury Instructions – Contract and Business Cases.  While a faculty member at Nova, she served as the school’s representative on The Florida Bar’s Student Education & Admissions to the Bar Committee.  She is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.     

In 2006, the Creighton Law Review published her article, A Small Question in the Big Statute: Does Section 402 of Sarbanes-Oxley Prohibit Defense Advancements? 

Prior to law school, Cindy worked for an options specialist firm on the floor of the American Stock Exchange.   

Cindy graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Economics and received her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. 

Barbara A. Junge, Esq.
Of Counsel
Damian & Valori LLP

Barbara A. Junge practices complex commercial litigation, in federal and state courts, with the Damian & Valori law firm. She also represents employees in negotiation of employment agreements, and has litigated fraud-related issues in probate court.

As an Assistant United States Attorney, Ms. Junge represented the National Park Service and other federal agencies in real estate transactions and employment litigation. She also has litigated as a legal services attorney and as a partner in a small law firm where she managed national class actions against four hospital corporations. And for sixteen years Ms. Junge served as law clerk for the Honorable William M. Hoeveler, Senior United States District Judge.

Throughout her legal career Ms. Junge has assisted in the training of new lawyers, including coordinating seminars for incoming federal judicial law clerks and serving as a faculty member for The Florida Bar’s legal education seminars on federal practice.

Ms. Junge has served as Chair of the Federal Court Practice Committee and of a Grievance Committee for The Florida Bar, and as a member of the Judicial Nominating Procedures Committee, the Judicial Evaluation Committee, and the Standing Committee on Professionalism. 

Ms. Junge was selected as a member of the Miami Foundation’s Miami Fellows Initiative from 2001-2003. She also has served on the Board of Directors of the Miami Coalition for the Homeless, the Florida Coalition for the Homeless, Touching Miami With Love, and Haitian Women of Miami. In addition, Ms. Junge is Trustee for Bay Shore Lutheran Church.

After graduating from New College in Sarasota, Florida, Ms. Junge served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo, West Africa from 1985-1987, teaching high school math and developing one of the first young women’s small business skills development projects of the Peace Corps worldwide.  She was also a Rotary Foundation International Graduate Scholar at the University of Zimbabwe in 1990, and she worked on judicial education projects in the South Pacific for the Asia Foundation in 1992. She has served as President of the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of South Florida, and was elected as a regional representative to serve on the Board of Directors for the National Peace Corps Association. 

Ms. Junge received her law degree from New York University and her Master’s Degree in Public and International Affairs from Princeton University. 

Patricia A. Leonard
Shutts & Bowen LLP

Patricia A. Leonard is a partner in the West Palm Beach office of Shutts & Bowen LLP, where she is a member of the Business Litigation Practice Group.

A Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ rated attorney, Patti has been named among the Best Lawyers in America® in commercial litigation and has been listed in Florida Super Lawyers Magazine as one of the “Top 50 Women Lawyers in Florida.” In 2012, she received the “Leaders in the Law” award from the Florida Association for Women Lawyers for her legal and volunteer service.

Patti has a diverse business and commercial litigation practice, representing businesses in their contractual disputes, including non-compete and other employment contracts, employment discrimination defense, partnership and corporate disputes, pharmaceutical and nutraceutical litigation matters, food and supplement labeling litigation, and real estate litigation. Patti has also litigated trade secret, unfair competition, defamation and copyright infringement cases.

Patti has held numerous leadership positions in the West Palm Beach community. She served on the executive cabinet of the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” campaign, which raises awareness about heart disease in women. She also served as a commissioner of the Fourth District Court Appeal Judicial Nominating Commission, is on the editorial advisory board of the American Academy of Medical Entrepreneurs, and previously chaired a Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee. She’s also active in the University of Virginia Alumni Club of the Palm Beaches, having previously served as the Club’s president.

Patti also frequently speaks and writes on commercial litigation, arbitration, and professionalism topics. She has co-authored several articles in the Florida Bar Journal and made numerous presentations for the Florida Association of Women Lawyers, the Palm Beach County Bar Association, and the Academy of Medical Entrepreneurs.

While in law school, Patti was a member of the moot court board and served as Senior Articles Editor for the University of Miami Law Review. Prior to joining Shutts, Patti practiced business and commercial litigation for a large, international law firm.

Stefanie C. Moon, Esq.

S.C. Moon Law

Since 1994, Attorney Stefanie C. Moon has handled both civil and criminal matters in federal and state court. What makes Attorney Moon so effective is her in-depth knowledge — and more important, her understanding and mastery — of the procedures as well as the fine points involved in litigating business and criminal cases.

Whether it’s arguing numerous motion hearings in federal bankruptcy court, directing and defending depositions of parties and key witnesses or engaging in settlement negotiations of adversary proceedings, Ms. Moon has handled it.  Not only has she managed multi-jurisdictional white-collar criminal caseloads she has also directed and coordinated the work of law enforcement officers on the state and federal level in the investigation of criminal violations.

In fact, Ms. Moon recently researched, drafted and argued motions for the bankruptcy trustee of a law firm in the Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler .2 billion ponzi scheme case.

As an Assistant United States Attorney, Stefanie C. Moon, Esq. tried numerous jury trials to verdict, as chief counsel, for the United States Attorney’s Office, in the Southern District of Florida. Her federal criminal prosecution experience includes economic crime (including those relating to intellectual property infringement, consumer fraud, insurance fraud, bank fraud and wire fraud) as well as computer and Internet crime, narcotics offenses and immigration violations.

In the civil arena, Ms. Moon has handled employment discrimination, social security disability benefits, immigration and naturalization status, and federal tort claims cases.

With a Bachelor of Business Administration from Loyola University, a Juris Doctorate from Southern University Law Center and nearly two decades practicing law, Attorney Stefanie C. Moon is a fierce advocate for individuals and small businesses. When experience matters, you can trust in Attorney Stefanie C. Moon.

Joanne M. O’Connor, Esq.
Jones Foster Johnston & Stubbs, P.A.

Joanne O’Connor is a shareholder with the firm who has been listed as a Florida Super Lawyer, is listed among Florida’s Leading Lawyers by Chambers USA, and was identified as one of South Florida’s Up and Coming Attorneys by the South Florida Legal Guide for 5 years until she graduated to Top Lawyer status in 2009. She is a 2008 graduate of Leadership Palm Beach County and serves on the Executive Committee of the Duke University Alumni Association and is Vice-Chair of the 15th Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee "A.".  She is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches and former member of the Professional Ethics Committee of The Florida Bar.  Additionally, she has served as Chair of the Judicial Relations and Professionalism Committees of the Palm Beach County Bar Association. She served as co-chair of Palm Beach County’s 2013 Bench Bar Conference.

Ms. O’Connor practices in the areas of complex commercial litigation including busines torts, real estate disputes and lawyer and law firm defense. Since joining Jones Foster in 2001, she has litigated a broad range of matters at all levels from arbitration and trials through appeals and has particular experience successfully defending national and regional law firms against legal malpractice claims.

Ms. O’Connor graduated summa cum laude from the Tulane University School of Law, where she was a Managing Editor of the Tulane Law Review and named to the Order of the Coif.  She holds a master’s degree in political science and Latin American Studies from the University of Florida. She received her undergraduate degree, cum laude, from Duke University. Prior to joining Jones Foster, Ms. O’Connor served as a law clerk to Chief Judge Sarah S. Vance of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.


Served as counsel to The Scripps Research Institute in establishing Scripps Florida, a new state-of-the-art scientific research institute, in Palm Beach County, Florida against a variety of legal challenges from environmental and non-profit organizations.

Represented publicly held financial services corporation and its chairman and chief executive officer in defense of million claim brought by minority shareholders of wholly owned subsidiary alleging breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, fraud and civil theft in two-week hearing before AAA arbitration panel.

Obtained directed verdict, affirmed on appeal, on behalf of national law firm sued for damages in excess of million for alleged legal malpractice in drafting limited partnership documents.


Register by August 10th and save $25 on each registration with the Early Bird rate!

Registration fees are per person.

Individual: $425
Early Bird registration $399

Group: $399 per person for 2 or more from the same company pre-registering at the same time
Early Bird registration $380

Government employee/Non-Profit* Rate: $375
Early Bird registration $350

Law Students/paralegals*: $235 (current JD students only)
Early Bird registration $210

Need a Room?

If you would like to stay at the program hotel, Gallery One Ft. Lauderdale – a DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel, they are offering a 10% discount. To take advantage of this special rate, please contact Mariana Steetle at (954) 335-4560 to reserve a room.


Program materials:

We’ve gone green.  Registration fees include an electronic copy of your handbook emailed one week in advance of the program.  Be sure to check your spam folder if you don’t see it by then.

If you prefer, you may order a hard copy of the handout to be provided the day of the program for $25. To do so, please be sure to check the box when you register. If you want a hard copy, you must order it when you register; there will not be any available for purchase the day of the program.

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


CLE Credits


FL General:  This program is approved for 8.0 hours of general CLE in Florida.

FL Certification Credits: This program is approved for 8.0 hours of Certification Credits in Civil Trial and State and Federal Government and Administrative Practice.

CA General:  This program is approved for 7.5 units of general CLE in California.

NJ General: The LIVE session of this course is approved, under New Jersey’s CLE Approved Jurisdiction policy, for 7.5 CLE units. Pincus Professional Education is a CA Accredited Provider, which is a NJ approved jurisdiction. See the New Jersey State CLE Board Regulations and Guidelines for further information.

NY General: The LIVE session of this course is approved, under New York’s CLE Approved Jurisdiction policy, for 7.5 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.

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.

$235.00$425.00 $210.00$399.00 each

Our Federal Court Boot Camp will walk you through the essential components and tasks involved in litigating your case in Federal Court.  You’ll learn the rules tasks, skills and techniques you need to be a more effective litigator in Federal Court, along with general litigation advice from the trenches and the bench.


Printed Materials

[ All attendees receive a pdf of the materials one week prior to the program. To purchase a printed hard copy, please select this option to order it now. ]

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