Mastering the Deposition (IL)

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

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.

You’ll also find out when to call the judge and when it can be avoided.

Our faculty have taken hundreds of depositions – each. They know what works, and what will cause you problems. They have the strategies and experiences that come with years of experience and they will give you advice and guidance to help you succeed where they have.

After hundreds of depos they have, of course, experienced any number of difficulties. They’ll share what they learned from their early mistakes with you, and how to avoid them, or recover from them when you or your witnesses slip up.

Your faculty will first discuss your strategies and how to think about approaching depo choices from the start. They’ll move on to the nitty gritty advice surrounding handling documents and exhibits and making your record. Next they’ll walk you through successful witness preparation techniques.

The expert depo is always a challenge. They’ll discuss that topic in depth as well.

Later in the afternoon they’ll talk to you about how to successfully object, why and when you should or should not object in a depo and what your risks are.

At the end of the afternoon they’ll give you advice regarding how to handle the difficult witness or opposing counsel – and that is something you are guaranteed to encounter during the course of your litigation career. Every bit of advice to help in these situations is invaluable.

Finally, we’ll wrap up the day with a short mock depo/demonstration, that will allow you to see what your expert faculty has discussed all day in action — the good, the bad and the ugly.

If you take or defend depositions, you definitely want to take this course – the insight, advice and strategies you will get this day will help you take and defend your depositions with skill, acumen and success for the rest of your career.

Sign up now by clicking the button on the right.


Can’t attend? This program will be recorded live on March 15, 2019 in Chicago, IL. The audio packages, including seminar materials, will be available within two-three weeks after each live program date.  If you prefer to go to the live program, click here.


Would you like to improve your presentation skills? Then you definitely want to purchase the recently ABA published book by Faith Pincus, Being Heard: Presentation Skills for Attorneys. You can purchase the paperback or Kindle version on Amazon or at the ABA, or the paperback version through us (all of these sources have discounts available).

What You Will Learn

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.
  • Who should attend and why
  • Thoughts on preparing specific questions and outline of themes.
  • Preparing for “unexpected” answers/objections or other difficulties.
  • Other tips and tricks that may give you an edge.
  • Using the depo at your hearing or trial – strategies and techniques

Handling Documents & Exhibits – Making the Record; Get the Authentication You Need

Witness Preparation

  • How to best prepare your witness
    • Tips and strategies
    • Difficulties to avoid
    • What happens when you have a witness who can’t or wont 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
    • Anything else you can think of that you’ve had to deal with not covered above
  • The percipient witness vs. a PMK
  • Ethical considerations

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

Deposition Objections

  • How do I do it?
  • Why do I do it? / Depo objection strategies
  • What to avoid
  • Biggest risks in objecting and not objecting
  • What works
  • What matters
  • Additional tips from the trenches

Handling the Difficult Witness and/or Opposing Counsel

  • Concrete tips and advice such as:
    • 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 Depo/Demonstration and Discussion about Demonstration



Testimonials from prior Mastering the Deposition programs:

“Speakers used real life examples, which was incredibly helpful. Very engaging presentations!” – G. Nae, Esq.

“Everyone was great – very knowledgeable about the subject matter and all speakers imparted great advice and insight.” – N.  McLaughlin, Esq.

“I appreciated the practical advice regarding how to deal with problematic situations which arise during the taking of a deposition.” – J. Scifo, Esq.

“Everything was great. Each speaker was so informative and provided great examples and tactics. I learned a lot of useful information.” – K. Sifuentez, Esq.

“This was very informative. Better than reading books about the topic.” – J. Lin, Esq.

“I thought all topics covered were informative and to the point.” – M. MCallister, Esq.

“Lots of good material and examples.” – M. Faller, Esq.

“I learned a lot about expert witnesses, which would be useful in one of my current cases.” –  J. Kumar, Esq.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the seminar. I feel that I now have the knowledge necessary to better choose witnesses to depose and how to properly and completely prepare for taking and defending such depositions.”

“Excellent written materials. Just reading through these materials was worth my time and money to take the course.”

“Thought all speakers were very interesting and informative.” – J. Young, Esq.

“I liked the anecdotes for examples.” – J. Davenport, Esq.

“Loved the anecdotes! The sample production requests and outline for experts will be very helpful.”

“Good coverage.” – S. William, Esq.

“Presenters were all excellent and really knew their stuff.”

“Very thorough and very informative.”

“Speakers were all excellent and presenting practical tips.”

“Very well done by all speakers involved. Deposition-taking seems much less daunting.”

“Good to have specific state/federal examples.”

“All presenters were well-qualified.”

“Practical and useful in my personal practice.”

“The presentations and materials were helpful.”

“Great content and covered relevant topics.”

“Packet information is very helpful/useful.”

“Easy to follow presentation.”

“Great delivery. Very informative.”

“Great speaker – good material for younger lawyers.”


Michael I. Leonard, Esq.
Attorney at Law
Leonard Meyer LLP

Mike is a nationally recognized trial lawyer who has successfully tried to verdict a wide variety of cases in Federal and State courts across the country. He is a “go-to” trial lawyer who has represented individuals in single plaintiff actions; individuals and companies in class and collective actions; some of the nation’s and region’s largest corporations; and individuals in Federal and State criminal trials. 

Mike has been recognized as a top trial lawyer and commercial and criminal litigator by the following: The National Trial Lawyers; America’s Best Attorneys; Super Lawyers; Leading Lawyers Network; American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys; and Crain’s Chicago Business.

Mike’s extraordinarily diverse practice has seen him successfully take to verdict cases ranging from securities fraud, employment discrimination, sexual harassment, breach of contract, ERISA, personal injury, and Federal and State criminal matters, among others.

Mike has also arbitrated a wide variety of cases, including international arbitration. Many of his cases have been the subject of national and local media attention, stirring recognition in publications ranging from the Wall Street Journal to the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, Los Angeles Times, CBS News, Law 360, and Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.

Mike has a keen interest in the craft and science of trial practice, and he is a frequent lecturer on trial and litigation related subjects. He is an instructor in Northwestern School of Law’s prestigious trial practice program, where he has also coached some of its Mock Trial teams.

Samera Ludwig, Esq.
Nixon Peabody

Samera concentrates her practice in handling complex multi-party litigation matters in the areas of employment law and general commercial litigation. She also advises individuals and corporations in employment-based immigration compliance matters.

Samera has been recognized as a Illinois Super Lawyers "Rising Star" from 2008 through 2012 and has frequently spoken at the American Conference Institute Forums.

An extensive bio with recent case experience can be found on Samera’s firm website, linked above.  Of her extensive experience, she recently represented a large national retailer in multiple nationwide class actions alleging claims under state consumer fraud statutes in connection with the sale of services.  

Samera represents and counsels employers in federal, local and state employment law matters including wrongful discharge and workplace defamation. Published decisions include Achanzar v. Ravenswood Hospital, et al., 326 Ill. App. 3d 944, 762 N.E.2d 538 (1st Dist. 2001) (affirming defense verdict on appeal for alleged workplace defamation).

Lyndsay Markley, Esq.
Owner/Lead Trial Attorney
Lyndsay Markley Law

Lyndsay Markley is the founder of Lyndsay Markley Law and is a prominent trial lawyer in Chicago. She has over a decade of experience representing thousands of plaintiffs in all areas of personal injury.

Lyndsay has tried many personal injury cases to jury verdict and has obtained numerous multi-million-dollar settlements on behalf of her clients. She has dedicated her career to being an advocate of victim’s rights and has successfully practiced in all areas of personal injury. In the past four years alone, Lyndsay obtained tens of millions of dollars in settlements for her clients.

Since forming Lyndsay Markley Law, Lyndsay has served as the lead trial attorney in dozens of claims on behalf of people who were sexually or physically abused as minors as well as persons victimized in adulthood against a number of entities, including, corporations, religious organizations, sports programs, youth-serving programs, and public and private schools. Lyndsay has secured tens of millions of dollars in settlements in these types of cases on behalf of her clients.

In addition to obtaining notable verdicts and settlements on behalf of the plaintiffs she represents, Lyndsay has received numerous awards and honors, including being named by The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin as one of the top “40 Under Forty Illinois Attorneys to Watch” in 2018. She is regularly interviewed about her own cases and current legal events by local and national media, bar associations and professional organizations, including the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, NBC Chicago, CBS Chicago, ABC 7 Chicago, WGN TV, NPR, Chicago Lawyer, and National Trial Lawyers.

Before opening Lyndsay Markley Law in 2014, Lyndsay served as a named equity partner at an established Chicago law firm for several years. Prior to obtaining her law degree, she also worked as a 7/11 licensed law clerk with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, where she tried many felony bench trials.


Andrew Porter, Esq.
Drinker Biddle

Andrew C. Porter is a trial lawyer who takes a high-energy approach to all of his cases and defends his clients aggressively. Andrew is a member of Drinker Biddle’s White Collar Defense and Corporate Investigations team, and also works on complex commercial litigation matters. During his 15 years of public service as an assistant U.S. attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, Andrew led more than 100 investigations and tried more than 30 federal jury trials and two federal bench trials.



Kelly M. Warner, Esq.
Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP

Kelly Warner not only understands how to get the job done, she knows how to do it strategically, efficiently and with a smile. Her razor-sharp logistical instincts are perfectly balanced by her engaging, approachable manner and stellar communications skills.

In dozens of complex internal investigations, Kelly has guided clients to identify and root out wrongdoing at all levels of organizations. In regulatory inquiries, Kelly’s collaborative and creative approach creates opportunities for her clients to efficiently address the government’s interest. In commercial litigation, she has led teams of attorneys prosecuting and defending actions in state and federal courts nationwide.

Kelly’s ability to communicate and bring people together includes a cutting-edge knowledge of technology and the law. She is the exception to the rule that most people who are skilled at understanding technical complexity are not very good at communicating about it. This combination helps her to help her clients manage risk, avoid discovery pitfalls and detours, and uncover the facts. Kelly works closely with her clients to ensure they are fully leveraging technology as an offensive and defensive tool. Even in matters where she has not been retained as trial counsel, clients come to Kelly for assistance developing litigation strategies that conserve resources and meet clients’ needs.

Kelly has investigated and litigated cases involving allegations of breach of contract, fraud, defamation, trade-secret misappropriation, sexual harassment, unfair competition, negligence, and violations of federal criminal law, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). She also has partnered with clients to develop internal compliance policies, including codes of conduct, anti-bribery and litigation readiness policies, and to train employees on these procedures.


Purchase by January 17, 2019 for the Early Bird rate!

Audio Recording & Seminar Materials Package – CD or Download format: $425

Early Bird Pricing $399

For CDs please add $7.50 shipping and, in CA, sales tax.

(Audio packages are available approximately two to three weeks after the seminar is held.)

CLE Credit

IL General:  This program is approved for 7.5 units of general CLE in Illinois until March 14, 2021.

IL Professional Responsibility: This program is approved for 3.0 units of Professional Responsibility CLE in Illinois.

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.

$425.00 $399.00 each

Recording/Recorded on March 15, 2019.