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California Trial Advocacy

Wednesday August 07

  • By: Practising Law Institute
  • Time: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Time Zone: Pacific Time (US & Canada)
  • CLE Credit
  • Location:
    PLI San Francisco Conference Center & Via Live Webcast
    685 Market Street, Suite 100
    San Francisco, CA
  • Contact:
    Practising Law Institute
  • Website:
  • Source: California

California Trial Advocacy

August 7, 2013
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
PLI San Francisco Conference Center & Via Live Webcast

Scholarships are available for employees of nonprofit organizations, public interest firms, low-income or unemployed attorneys, judges, clerks, students, law librarians, elderly attorneys and others. Scholarships can be used to attend our programs in person, or to watch them live on the computer via webcast. Please visit our web site at for application details.

To Register Visit the PLI Website.

Why You Should Attend
If you think you will ever try a case, or if you want to do better the next time you are in trial, then this is the program you have been waiting for. In this full-day program, some of the most experienced trial lawyers in California will talk about the best way to prepare and present a case to a jury. We will cover what you need to do before the trial begins, in limine motions, jury selection, opening statements, witness preparation, direct and cross examination, experts, and closing arguments. The training is designed for advocates with limited trial experience, but lawyers at all experience levels should benefit from this training. The panelists are noted experts in trial advocacy who have each tried multiple cases to verdict.

What You Will Learn:
• Tips for properly preparing your case for trial
• Use of deposition testimony at trial
• Tactical considerations in preparing in limine motions
• Tips on how to best use your limited peremptory challenges
• Pointers on how to prepare witnesses for trial
• Effective ways to deliver opening statements and closing arguments
• Tips for navigating the dangerous seas of expert witnesses

Who Should Attend
Lawyers who want to be well-prepared for their first trial, or lawyers who want to be better prepared for the next one.

Program Schedule

Program Overview and Introductions
Arturo J. González

Preparing Your Case for Trial, Including Motions in Limine/Deposition Designations
If your case is not properly prepared, even the best trial lawyer will have problems. This session provides an overview of things that you need to do and consider before you arrive to try your case, including strategic considerations and practical tips regarding motions in limine and deposition designations. What evidence should you seek to exclude? When and how do you designate deposition testimony?
Alison M. Tucher (Moderator); Brendan P. Glackin, Robert J. Romero

Direct Examination; Trial Objections
This session will offer tips on witness preparation, how best to organize and outline your direct examinations, pointers on how to get documents into evidence during direct, and a discussion of key trial objections to make during a direct-examination.
Donald W. Carlson (Moderator); Robert S. Arns, Wilma J. Gray

Networking Break

Jury Selection
What can you say to jurors during jury selection? What do trial lawyers look for when representing plaintiff or defendant? Should you use jury questionnaires? What written questions should you submit to the court?
David H. Weinberg (Moderator); James J. Brosnahan, Jennifer L. Keller


Opening Statements and Closing Arguments
This session covers the rules and tactics pertaining to the opening statement and closing argument. What is allowed? When should you object? What can you show the jury? What types of visuals are most effective?
Cynthia McGuinn (Moderator); Nanci L. Clarence, Allen J. Ruby

Expert Witnesses and Getting Documents Into Evidence
How do I find the right expert? Can you exceed scope of expert report or expert deposition? How can you effectively cross-examine experts? How do you move documents into evidence and track their admission?
I. Neel Chatterjee (Moderator); Rachel Krevans, Michael J. Pérez

Networking Break

Cross-Examination; Trial Objections
This session will offer tips on witness preparation, how best to organize and outline your cross-examinations, and a discussion of key trial objections to make during cross-examination.
James Donato (Moderator); Thomas J. Brandi, Stuart Gasner, Honorable Jon S. Tigar



Thanks to PBN Sponsors:

  • Practising Law Institute
Pro Bono and legal aid attorney resources - Pro Bono Net

Volunteer Profile

Kate Powers is an associate in the litigation department at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. She holds a J.D. from Cornell Law School where she served as a Notes Editor of the Cornell International Law Journal. She currently volunteers with Her Justice in New York. Read More

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