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APRIL 2013
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Things You Should Know

Great news on the Section Annual Conference:

Gideon Anniversary and the Civil Right to Counsel. The 50th anniversary of the Gideon decision is a chance to reflect on the lack of a similar right to counsel in civil cases affecting basic human needs. For years, the Section of Litigation has provided core funding to the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel to coordinate efforts around litigation, legislation, and advocacy. And last year, the Section's Access to Justice Task Force produced a video featuring U.S. District Judge (and former Section chair) Barbara Lynn as well as Coalition coordinator (and former Section fellow) John Pollock, explaining the history of the civil right to counsel movement and current efforts. To learn more about efforts made and events occurring throughout this anniversary year that will connect Gideon to the right to counsel in civil cases, visit www.gideonanniversary.org.

Congratulations to two former Section chairs—Lorna Schofield on her investiture as a U.S. District Judge in the Southern District of New York and Larry Fox on his selection by the Philadelphia Legal Intelligencer to receive one of the publication’s first Lifetime Achievement Awards; and a special congratulations to Mary Smith, one of this year’s Section Managing Directors, on her election as president of the National Native American Bar Association.

Section’s Implicit Bias Task Force work continues. The Board of Governors funded an ABA Enterprise Grant for a project on Achieving an Impartial Jury (AIJ) by lessening the effect of bias on jury selection and deliberation. The advisory group will be working to develop a toolkit of practical debiasing materials. If you want more information or have any questions, please click email the Project Director, Sarina Cox,
sarina.cox@americanbar.org, or the Project’s Lead Consultant, Professor Sarah Redfield,

Focus on E-Discovery

Our focus this month is on E-Discovery. The Section has many resources to assist litigators practicing in this area. 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:



Seminar Materials:

Sound Advice:


Pre-Trial Practice & Discovery

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

Upcoming Events


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!
June 7: 3rd Annual Intellectual Property Litigation Regional CLE Workshop
             Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP (New York, NY)
June 18: Food & Supplements 3rd Annual Regional CLE Workshop
              McDonald’s Hamburger University (Oak Brook, IL)
June 26: Short Cuts to Trial Wisdom
              Brennan Manna & Diamond, The Carnegie Building (Akron, OH)

August 8–12:  ABA Annual Meeting InterContinental San Francisco (San Francisco, CA)

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)

Committee Roundtables are a free member benefit that allow you to call in from anywhere to hear live audio programs on a host of topics, such as the ramifications of a recent court case or legislation, developing a new practice area, trial tips, Q&A with a judge, creating personal marketing plans, coping with difficult opposing counsel, and balancing professional and personal life. Check here for the most up-to-date listing.

Representing Clients with Mental Health Issues—A Primer—EOIR's New Mental Health Rules

Presented by the Immigration Litigation Committee
Thursday, April 18, 2013, at 12:00–1:00 p.m. Eastern
Register now!

Career Development 101: Practical Advice for Establishing a Network and Finding an Advocate for Your Advancement

Presented by the Products Liability Committee and Cosponsored by the Young Advocates Committee
Tuesday, May 7, 2013, at 3:00–4:00 p.m. Eastern
Register now!

Yes—Lawyers Can Do Tech!

Presented by the Presented by the Woman Advocate Committee
Tuesday, May 14, 2013, at 12:00–1:00 p.m. Eastern 
Register now!

Minding the Pole—New Attorney Professionalism and Ethics Guidance from the Field!

Presented by the Ethics & Professionalism Committees
Wednesday, May 15, 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: Representing a Grandparent Petitioning for Visitation Rights
Carla-Michelle Adams
Newman Law Firm, P.A.
Jacksonville, FL
Family Law Committee

Carla-Michelle Adams outlines the criteria that are examined by the courts when determining whether to grant grandparents visitation rights for their underage grandchildren. (7:59 min)

COMMITTEE: Cloud Computing for the Solo and Small Firm Practitioner
Damian Thomas
Wasserman & Thomas, P.A.
Miami, FL
Solo and Small Firm Committee

Listen as small-firm partner Damian Thomas shares the pros and cons—and other lessons—from his firm’s recent transition to cloud computing. (14:57 min)

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

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