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Professional Development

Trial Tips from Practice Masters

Presented by Jan Nielsen Little, Andrew J. Smiley, and Kathy Morris

Note: This is not for CLE. Part of the free Career Development Series, a monthly webinar series featuring practical tips from legal career experts. Live webinars are free and open to the public. The recorded program and materials are exclusively for ABA members.


Whether you’re a lawyer who spends your career in the courtroom or a litigator who occasionally has a case that just won’t settle, having good trial skills is only one fundamental part of what makes a good trial lawyer.  Hear from these exceptional trial masters about:

  • what trial lawyers welcome that other lawyers fear
  • how to recognize your inner trial lawyer
  • tips to help you anticipate and navigate trials and settlements

You’ll get tips on trying cases, making the right impression in the courtroom, and overcoming obstacles in the courtroom.

Getting ready for trial.

Getting ready for trial.


Jan Nielsen Little is a partner at Keker & Van Nest, LLP in San Francisco.  For more than 25 years she has handled high-stakes criminal investigations and trials and complex civil litigation for publicly-traded corporations, private companies, and senior executives.  Her criminal cases have included many substantive areas of white collar defense, including securities fraud, tax fraud, health care fraud, foreign corrupt practice/commercial bribery, money laundering, and public corruption.  Jan won a 2014 White Collar Criminal Defense award from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and in 2013 was named a Top Woman Lawyer in California.  She received her BA from the University of California, Berkeley, and her JD from Yale Law School in 1981.

Andrew J. Smiley is the managing partner and lead trial attorney of NYC firm Smiley & Smiley, LLP, where he has won millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements on behalf of his clients. He regularly appears on television networks, including CNN, Headline News, Fox News, MSNBC and Court TV, providing legal analysis on high profile personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death cases. He also provides legal commentary in written, audio and video formats on his blog at  Andrew is currently the Vice President of the New York City Trial Lawyers Association as well as an officer of the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers. After graduating with honors in Psychology from Tulane University, Andrew attended Brooklyn Law School, from which he received his J.D. in 1996.


Kathy Morris, Founder, Under Advisement, Ltd., Chicago, IL and New York, NY

Video and Materials

Download the Materials

Materials include:

  1. Presentation Slides
  2. Ten Reasons Women Make Great Trial Lawyers – Jan Nielsen Little
  3. Powerful Opening Statements – Andrew J. Smiley