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MAY 2013
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Things You Should Know

SAC WAS OVER THE TOP: Congratulations to Section Annual Conference chairs Tim Bertschy, Eileen Letts, Janice Mitrius, and Steve Siegel and managing director Mary Smith for a fabulous conference filled with great programming and great networking events. The final registration total was 1,116; attendance was well over 1,000.  Congratulations as well to each Section committee for providing the quality programming and networking opportunities that drew the crowd.

If you missed it, save the date for next year’s SAC: April 9–11, 2014 (The Phoenician Resort, Scottsdale, AZ).

CIVILETTI HONORED BY SECTION FELLOWS: Benjamin Civiletti, former US attorney general and former chair of the Section, received the ABA Section of Litigation Fellows Award at a dinner at the conclusion of the Section Annual Conference. Details are here. The Fellows Award is presented to a lawyer in recognition of distinguished service and leadership in the field of litigation through scholarship, teaching, and advocacy or as a member of the judiciary. The Section also donated seed money to establish a fund in Civiletti’s name, to benefit the Section’s public service projects. Fourteen past, present, and future chairs were there to honor Civiletti.

KICK-OFF OF CORE KNOWLEDGE PAGES:  We have launched another member benefit for committees to provide members. Core Knowledge pages are designed to highlight the basics of trying a case in a substantive area. The first three examples of Core Knowledge pages can be viewed here.

Focus on Procedure

Our focus this month is Procedure.  The Section has many resources to assist litigators practicing in this area. Here’s a sampling.  

Selected Resources:


Key Subjects Learning:


Sound Advice:


Commercial & Business Litigation

Pre-Trial Practice and Discovery

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

Upcoming Events


Hot Topics in Florida Insurance Coverage (May 30, 2013, Coral Gables, Florida) 

Aviation Litigation National Institute (June 6, 2013, New York, NY)

3rd Annual Intellectual Property Litigation Regional CLE Workshop (June 7, 2013, New York, NY)

Food & Supplements 3rd Annual Regional CLE Workshop (June 18, 2013, Oak Brook, IL)

Short Cuts to Trial Wisdom (June 26, 2013, Akron, OH)

2013 Critical Trial Skills for Legal Services Attorneys (June 26–28, 2013, Columbus, Ohio)

ABA Annual Meeting (August 8–12, 2013, San Francisco, CA) Official ABA Annual Meeting Site
Trial Advocacy Video Tips

play button

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

cameraJulianne Farnsworth - Deciding Where to File
In this video, Julianne provides advice on making strategic decisions that impact your case. Determining where to file can contribute to the overall success of your case.

cameraD. Jean Veta - Handling Cyber Jurisdiction
When you are litigating a cyber-case, be sure to pay close attention to jurisdiction. Jean provides a number of items that you should be aware of when dealing with court jurisdiction.

cameraLaurie Web Daniel - The Importance of Post-Trial Motions
Laurie provides best practices for your post-trial motions. Learn to get the most out of your post-trial motions whether you win or lose.

cameraSteve Brower - Insurance Coverage and the Client
Determining if the client has coverage for litigation can lead to happier clients and help you protect your reputation. Steve shares a few of the steps involved in this process.

cameraCarolyn B. Lamm - Facing the significant issue of the Enforceability of Remedy Sought
As a plaintiff, you need to know if your remedy is going to be enforced. If you are a defendant, you need to know whether and how to defend. Knowing the enforceability laws of the jurisdiction where you seek to enforce can make all the difference when defining your strategy.

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 allows you to call in from anywhere to hear live audio programs on a host of topics.

Thursday, June 6, 2013, at 3:00–4:00 p.m. Eastern
Register Now!

From disabling auto-delete to recovering legacy data, navigating e-discovery is not an easy task. Let our panel of practitioners help guide you through the process and point out some potential traps and tips to avoid them. The program will be appropriate for all levels of e-discovery experience.

Presented by the Young Advocates Committee and Pretrial Practice and Discovery Committee

Thursday, June 18, 2013, at 12:00–1:00 p.m. Eastern
Register Now!

The Chief Judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware and two experienced practitioners will discuss the rules and procedures for private and judicial mediations in the Delaware bankruptcy court.

Presented by the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Litigation Committee

Friday, June 28, 2013, at 12:00–1:00 p.m. Eastern
Register Now!

Changes are occurring faster and faster in the legal profession. This program will detail some of the more important changes that will affect the profession and ADR providers. We will look specifically at various technology websites that are offering ADR services.

Presented by the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee

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





Recently published Committee Newsletters include: 

Real Estate
Spring 2013

Professional Liability
Spring 2013

LGBT Litigator
Spring 2013

Business Torts
Spring 2013

Technology for the Litigator
Spring 2013

Young Advocates
Spring 2013

Pro Bono
Spring 2013

Children's Rights Litigation
Spring 2013

Alternative Dispute Resolution
Winter 2013

Environmental Litigation
Winter 2013

Class Actions
Winter 2013

Appellate Practice
Winter 2013



Sound Advice Audio

sound advice

Every month, the Section posts three podcast channels devoted to essential subjects for every litigator.  These podcasts are supplemented by substantive and procedural topics prepared by the Section’s members and committees

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: Proposed Rule Changes to the Rules of Civil Procedure
By John Barkett, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, Miami, FL
Hear as John Barkett outlines many of the proposed rule change that are being proposed. (4:55 min)

EVIDENCE: Evidentiary issues arising from People v. Collins
By Professor Stephan Landsman, DePaul University College of Law, Chicago, IL
Although people like to use statistics to their advantage, hear Professor Steve Landsman as he discuss the evidentiary issues arising from People v. Collins – including problems that can come from an uncritical look at statistics. (7:38 min)

COMMITTEE: Pitfalls of the Fair Labor Standards Act for Law Firms
Mike Pierro
Allen Norton & Blue, P.A.
Tampa, FL
Employment & Labor Committee

Labor laws can be complex, even for law firms. Long-time labor and employment attorney Mike Pierro explains the general requirements for law firms as well as some common compliance mistakes. (10:55 min)

COMMITTEE: Who Owns Clients?
Barry Cohen
Crowell & Moring
Washington, DC
Ethics Committee

We all know that saying “my clients” is just an expression and does not imply an actual ownership interest.  Barry Cohen discusses the real-world applications of this concept—including one glaring exception to the rule. (6:34 min)

COMMITTEE: Numerosity as It Pertains to Class Certification
Kathryn Honecker
Bonnett, Fairbourn, Friedman & Balint, P.C.
Phoenix, AZ
CADS Committee

Rule 23(a) has four elements that must be proven prior to class certification. Listen as Kathryn Honecker explains salient points of one of the elements—numerosity. (14:17 min)

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

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