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MARCH 2013
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Things You Should Know

Knowledge, Networking, and Noshing. Where else but the Section Annual Conference (April 24–26) can you hear more than 200 speakers on more than 70 panels (including political insiders like Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and former presidential advisor David Axelrod), listen to two great panels of general counsel and lawyers who have made a difference, attend two and half days of networking events with the finest litigators in the hemisphere, and have a 90-minute adventure of delights from great Chicago confectioners and bakers?
Register now!

Take 5 – our newest practice pointers tool.  The Insurance Coverage Committee presents Take 5, a multipart series in which a group of insurers and policyholder attorneys provide five almost-Twitter friendly practical pointers on insurance. Check it out here.

Visitors Welcome! Since we started adding committees’ content to the website last July, visits to the Section’s website have DOUBLED!!! In January we had 49,244 unique visitors to the website, and last month we had 46,719 (and that was a short month). In March we are shooting for 50,000. Haven’t visited the website in a while? Come and see what we've done. Archives of key subjectsvideo trial tipscommittee newsletters, and podcasts are just a few clicks away. (Visitors must like what they see—we have averaged over 100,000 page views the last two months.) Make it a goal this month to introduce someone in your firm to the treasure trove of content on the Section's website.

Look here! The Section’s YouTube channel starring Section leaders and others was featured in a blog article, 10 Outstanding YouTube Channels for Litigators and Litigation Support. The post recognizes our “wide variety of videos on trial practice and technology topics.” If your law firm has internal listings of practice development resources, be sure to link to the Section's YouTube Channel and website!

Celebrating the Promise of Gideon. In 1963 the United States Supreme Court held in Gideon v. Wainwright that everyone charged with a felony offense had the Constitutional right to a lawyer—a landmark decision that began with a simple handwritten petition from a prisoner named Clarence Gideon. The Section of Litigation has gathered information and resources on this groundbreaking case. A video documentary, the original petition for the case, case facts, oral arguments and decision, articles, and other resources can now be viewed on the Celebrating The Promise of Gideon webpage.

Focus on Witness and Depositions

Our focus this month is Witnesses and Depositions. The Section has many resources to assist litigators practicing with these skills. Comprehensive materials on this topic have been collected in one of the Section’s Key Subjects pages located here. Here’s a sampling.

Selected Resources:


Views from the Bench:

Defending Depositions:

Witness Preparation:



Effective Depositions, Second Edition
A comprehensive, practical guide through every stage of the deposition process. The book covers timely subjects such as real-time transcription, video depositions, the Fifth Amendment on civil depositions, issues for women at depositions, and handling deposition discovery disputes.

How to Prepare Your Expert Witness for Deposition (Audio CD-ROM)
This January 2013 CD-ROM's expert panelists discuss the proven protocol to effectively prepare your expert witness for deposition. From mock depositions to identifying areas of vulnerability to deposition tactics, this program will ensure you’re prepared to successfully manage your next expert witness. 

The Litigation Manual: Depositions 
Edited by Priscilla Anne Schwab and Lawrence J. Vilardo.  An ABA best-seller, The Litigation Manual has been valued as much for its refreshing style as for its practical, how-to approach.

Sound Advice:

Keys to Conducting A Winning Deposition
Listen to Ronald Jay Cohen, former Chair of the ABA Section of Litigation and founding partner of the Phoenix law firm of Cohen Kennedy Dowd & Quigley, as he highlights the 10 keys that lay the foundation for a successful deposition.

How to Take a Deposition—Execution
A deposition is not the place to wow everyone with your brilliance; depositions are about slowly accumulating information." This Section of Litigation podcast by Kenneth P. Nolan offers practical and insightful tips on the best way to take a deposition.

Online Resources for Researching Expert Witnesses
Expert witnesses are vital to all litigators. Listen as David Dilenschneider explains how to use the Internet to learn about potential experts—both yours and your opponent’s.

The Secret Life of the 30(b)6 Deposition
Listen as Sutherland partner Allegra Lawrence-Hardy guides you through the pertinent case law governing your ability to make your next 30(b)6 deposition a powerful weapon for case settlement or trial success.


Pre-Trial Practice & Discovery

Trial Evidence

Trial Practice

To review the Section Focus from prior months, please visit the Section Monthly Newsletter.

Upcoming Events


April 5: National Institute on E-Discovery 2013 (New York, NY) | Register Now!
April 5-7: Trial Skills for Legal Services Training | Thompson Coburn, LLP (St. Louis, MO)
April 24-26: Section Annual Conference (Chicago, IL) | Register Now!

May 8: Expert Lawyers on Expert Witnesses (New York, NY) | Register Now!
May 13: The Seventh Annual Chemical Products and Toxic Torts Regional Seminar (New York, NY) | Register Now!

June 6: ABA Aviation Litigation National Institute (New York, NY) | Register Now!

Trial Advocacy Video Tip

play button

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

videoH. Thomas Wells, Jr. - Preparing for a deposition
Tommy's advice on counseling the witness to listen to the question, understand the question and to think about your answer gives you the time necessary to think about the privilege and assert it when necessary.

videoBarbara Dawson - Defending Depositions
Barb's advice to you to "know the subject matter very well" and make sure the witness "has a sense of how the process will work" is especially important when you have to assert a privilege during a deposition.

videoDinita L. James - The Complete Deposition
You cannot take or defend a "Complete Deposition" until you know how to assert or challenge a privilege issue.

videoJon W. Green - Who to Depose
Jon's advice on who to depose should start your process of whether that person is covered by the privilege.

videoRonald Jay Cohen - Conducting a Winning Deposition
Best practices on creating a winning deposition. Preparation can sometimes make all the difference.

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




(Expert discussion on hot topics)

Section Committees are bringing you a new member benefit this year—free teleconferences with leading lawyers and judges on important issues within the committee’s area of expertise. Visit the Roundtables webpage to learn more about Roundtables and to register for upcoming sessions.

Moving from Thoughtless Data Hoarding to Thoughtful Data Strategies: What’s the Answer?

Presented by the Business Torts Committee and Co-Sponsored by the Corporate Counsel Committee

Thursday, March 21, 2013, at 1:30–2:30 p.m. Eastern  

Register Now!

The Use of Technology During Openings and Summations

Presented by The Trial Practice Committee

Wednesday, March 27, 2013, at 12:00–1:00 p.m. Eastern 

Register Now!

Data Security and Privacy: Regulation, Litigation, and Insurance Developments and Trends

Presented by the Consumer Litigation Committee and cosponsored by Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee and the Class Action & Derivative Suits Committee

Thursday, April 4, 2013, at 1:30–2:30 p.m. Eastern

Register Now!

DOMA: The Status of Same-Sex Marriage Litigation Nationwide

Presented by the Family Law Committee

Monday, April 8, 2013, at 1:30–2:30 p.m. Eastern 

Register Now!

View the full list of upcoming Roundtable programs and register online.





Recently published Committee Newsletters include  Appellate Practice (Winter 2013); Criminal Litigation (Winter 2013); Woman Advocate (Winter 2013); Commercial & Business (Winter 2013); Mass Torts (Winter 2013); Expert Witnesses (Winter 2013); Products Liability (Winter 2013); Business Torts (Winter 2013); Pretrial Practice & Discovery (Winter 2013); Corporate Counsel (Winter 2013); Technology for the Litigator (Winter 2013); and Civil Rights (Winter 2013)






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 post a podcast on ethics; the second Monday on evidence; and the third Monday on e-discovery/procedure. These podcasts are supplemented by substantive and procedural topics prepared by the Section’s committees. Please be sure to visit the library of Sound Advice podcasts.

ETHICS: How Your Professional Liability Policy Works
By Mike Downey, Armstrong Teasdale LLP, St. Louis, MO
If you don’t fully understand the difference between a circumstance and a claim in an LPL policy, listen as Mike Downey advises on the ins and outs of this unique form of insurance. (9:07 min)

PROCEDURE/E-DISCOVERY: Rule 502(b): Attorney–Client Privilege and Work-Product Protection
By John Barkett, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, Miami, FL
John Barkett outlines what should be included in your 502(b) waiver. (7:57 min)

EVIDENCE: The Admissibility of “Day in the Life” Films
By Professor Stephan Landsman, DePaul University College of Law, Chicago, IL
“Day in the life” films can be a powerful tool in personal injury cases. Evidence professor Stephen Landsman outlines the best ways to get them admitted into evidence. (7:52 min)

COMMITTEE: Lawyering with Planned Early Negotiations
John Lande
University of Missouri School of Law
Columbia, MO
Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee

Hear law professor and author John Lande outline the advantages of working closely with opposing counsel––before and during a trial.  Despite attorney fears of appearing weak this type of strategy often serves both the attorneys and their clients. (11:28 min) Save 20% when you purchase the book!

COMMITTEE: Work-Life Management
Teresa Beck
Lincoln Gustason Cercos L.L.P.
San Diego, CA
Woman Advocate Committee

Multitasking is a concept we are all familiar with, but it is often too difficult to actually work in our lives.  Listen as Teresa Beck offers tips and practices to help you develop or maintain a healthy balance for your life. (12:11 min) Download the Work-Life Management Dashboard

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

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