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Things You Should Know

Congratulations Judge Schofield.  Last week, former Section Chair Lorna Schofield was confirmed by a unanimous vote of the U.S. Senate to be a U.S. District Judge in the Southern District of New York.  Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said she had all the things he looks for in a judge, particularly “excellence in judicial and legal knowledge.”  She is the first person of Filipino descent ever to be confirmed as an Article III federal judge.  Most importantly, she is someone we all know, admire and respect as a great lawyer, leader and friend.  Please take a moment to congratulate her.

December.  There’s no time like December to catch up on the latest legal developments as well as build your skills.  We provide you many resources this month, and they’re all free, including 12 newsletters, 4 video trial tips, 6 Sound Advice podcasts and a basket of 28 difference resources on expert witnesses.  All of this in addition to our award winning publications Litigation magazine and Litigation News and the Roundtables scheduled over the next few weeks.  Enjoy it as our gift to you.

Resource Pages.  If you are looking for some quick information on a particular litigation subject, we’ve gathered them by topic.  This month’s topic is expert witnesses.  Check out our other resource pages here.

Good Works Fundraising.  The Section is proud of the extraordinary good works performed by our members in the   Judicial Intern Opportunity Program; Children’s Rights/Youth at Risk; Military Pro Bono Project; and Death Penalty Representation Project. Last year, the Section donated more than $300,000 in grants to support these Good Works programs.  We hope you will consider making a contribution to those efforts.  You may give to an individual program of your choice or support the entire Good Works program by accessing the Section’s Good Works donation page. All donations to Good Works programs are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Live Streaming Program:  Gideon v. Wainwright.  A program commemorating the 50th anniversary of the landmark decision, Gideon v. Wainwright will be live streamed on January 18, 2013. This decision recognized a constitutional right to the appointment of counsel for indigent criminal defendants charged with felonies. Mr. Gideon was in prison when he submitted his handwritten petition to the U.S. Supreme Court requesting counsel.  More information on this special event please visit the live streaming webpage.

Focus on Ethics

Our focus this month is Expert Witnesses. The Section has many resources to assist litigators practicing in this area. Here’s a sampling.
Selected Resources:

Committee Newsletters:


Sound Advice:


To review Section focus topics from prior months, please click here.

Upcoming Events



Joint Committees CLE Seminar
January 31-February 2, 2013
Sheraton Steamboat
Steamboat, CO

ABA Midyear Meeting
February 6-12, 2013
The Hilton Anatole Hotel
Dallas, TX

Corporate Counsel CLE Seminar
February 14-17, 2013
Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa
Hollywood, FL



Insurance Coverage CLE Seminar
February 28-March 2, 2013
Loews Resort
Tucson, AZ

National Institute on E-Discovery 2013
Proskauer Rose LLP
Eleven Times Square
New York, NY 10036-8299

Section Annual Conference
April 24-26, 2013
JW Marriott Chicago
Chicago, IL

Trial Advocacy Video Tip

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As a new benefit of membership, each week the Section will post one short video tip from judges and experienced litigators.

Larry Fox - Several Tips on the Selection and Coddling of Expert Witnesses
Keep numerous issues in mind when working with an expert such as determining how you will use your expert, when to involve an expert, understanding the background of your expert, and more.

Ann Yahner - Advice on when to use Experts
It is never too early to bring a non-testifying expert on board.

P. Arley Harrel - Communicating with Experts
Key steps to sharing information and working with your expert.

Elizabeth McGeever - Preparing a Witness for Deposition
Never underestimate the impact that the media can have on a witness.

To view more Trial Advocacy Tips, visit the Section of Litigation YouTube Channel.




(Expert discussion on hot topics)

Section Committees bring you free teleconferences with leading lawyers and judges on important issues within the committee’s area of expertise.

CIVILITY AND OBJECTIONS AT DEPOSITIONS Presented by the Motion Practice & Discovery Subcommittee of the Pretrial Practice & Discovery Committee
Friday, December 14, 2012 - 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm Eastern 
Judge Virginia Kendall of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois will pose and moderate discussion between Magistrate Judges Jeffrey Cole and Jeffrey T. Gilbert of deposition question-and-objection scenarios with the goal of exploring proper and improper objections, responses to improper objections, and when and how it might be appropriate to seek judicial intervention. 
Register Now!

PROFESSIONALISM AND MENTORING: SOME BASICS Presented by the Ethics and Professionalism Committee
Wednesday, December 17, 2012 - 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm Eastern
The Ethics and Professionalism Committee invites you to participate in a series of upcoming telephonic programs exploring the relationship between professionalism and mentoring. 
Register Now!

THINKING OUT LOUD - PROPERTY RIGHTS AFTER NATURAL DISASTERS Presented by theCondemnation Zoning and Land Use Committee
Friday, January 11, 2013 at 1:30 - 3:00 pm Eastern
Over one-half of the people in the United States live within 50 miles of the coastline. Register Now!

TAKING DEPOSITIONS ABROAD IN U.S. LITIGATION Presented by the International Litigation Committee Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 1:30 – 2:30 pm Eastern
Join us for a discussion of best practices, including tips for complying with local law and technical or logistical requirements.
Register Now!

Check in here regularly to view the list of upcoming Roundtable programs and register online.




Recently published Committee Newsletters include:

Appellate Practice (Fall 2012);

Bankruptcy & Insolvency (Fall 2012);

Commercial & Business (Fall 2012);

Consumer Litigation (Fall 2012);

Insurance Coverage Litigation (November/December);

Mass Torts Litigation (Fall 2012);

Minority Trial Lawyer (Summer/Fall 2012);

Pretrial Practice & Discovery (Fall 2012);

Pro Bono & Public Interest (Fall 2012);

Woman Advocate (Fall 2012);

Real Estate Litigation (Fall 2012);

Trial Practice (Fall 2012)



Sound Advice Audio

sound advice

Every month, the Section posts three podcast channels devoted to essential subjects for every litigator. On the first Monday of the month, we will post a podcast on ethics; the second Monday will be evidence; the third Monday will be e-discovery / procedure. These podcasts are supplemented by substantive and procedural topics prepared by the Section’s committees.  Please be sure to visit the Sound Advice Library.

ETHICS: Conflict Waivers
By Mike Downey, Armstrong Teasdale LLP, St. Louis, MO
Ethics professor and litigation partner Mike Downey discusses the three most important elements of a conflict waiver. (7:20 min)

PROCEDURE/E-DISCOVERY: Civil Rules Advisory Committee Proposed Changes in Discovery
By John Barkett, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, Miami, FL
John Barkett discusses the possible changes in the scope of discovery presented to the Rules Committee. (4:55 min)

EVIDENCE: Remember the Basics of Hearsay
By Professor Fredric Lederer, William & Mary Law School, Williamsburg, VA
Listen as Professor Fredric Lederer explains the difference between having—and not having—a hearsay problem. (8:05 min)

COMMITTEE: Building Your Network: A Diverse Perspective
By Ira Gonzalez, Adams and Reese LLP, New Orleans, LA
Products Liability Litigation
According to Ira Gonzalez, the best networking doesn’t usually just happen - it requires a plan. Learn how to develop your business and career with an eye toward the future. (7:48 min)

COMMITTEE: Hidden Victimization of Foster Children
By Ira Lustbader, Children’s Rights, New York, NY
Children Rights Litigation
Learn from Ira Lustbader how you can help to end this national disgrace. (16:01 min)

COMMITTEE: Recent Developments in Litigation Regarding Commercial Mortgages
By Scott Osborne, Foster Pepper PLLC, Seattle, WA
Real Estate
Real estate lawyer Scott Osborne explains the ins and outs of commercial mortgages. (8:13 min)

Check the Sound Advice Library and the Committee pages regularly for new postings.

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