Continuing Legal Education

Fred Lane's ISBA Trial Technique Institute

Presented by the Illinois State Bar Association

  • 54 MCLE hours for the entire course! (27 MCLE hours per semester)
  • Sessions are audio-video taped so that you can see and hear improvements in your voice, manner and trial technique.
  • Learn and practice new trial techniques for both plaintiff's and defendant's attorneys.
  • Counts towards admission to the Federal Trial Bar – U.S. Court, Northern District of IL

Registration is now open for the Fall semester. Please contact Joyce Williams if you have questions.

Register online

or download a registration form

The Structure

Improve your trial skills in this "learn-by-doing" program that covers all phases of trial work from both a plaintiff and defendant's viewpoint. Through this course, you will learn and practice new trial techniques that are most effective and consistent with the Federal Rules of Evidence and the new Illinois Rules of Evidence. Each session is audio-video taped so you can see and hear the improvements in your voice, manner and trial technique. The program has been proven to be of value whether your practice includes trying jury and non-jury cases, administrative hearings, arbitrations, or mediations.The course is taught and coordinated by Fred Lane and Scott Lane.

"After the first class, I was hooked. I should have taken this course many years ago."
~ James E. Keps, graduate of Fred Lane's Trial Technique Institute

The course also features many outstanding judges, former judges, plaintiffs and defendants lawyers as guest faculty members, such as:

  • Hon. Edward R. Burr – Former Judge
  • Robert A. Clifford – Clifford Law Offices
  • Thomas A. Demetrio – Corboy & Demetrio
  • Hon. Gino L. DiVito – Former Justice
  • Richard H. Donohue – Donohue Brown Mathewson & Smyth, LLC
  • Hon. Robert E. Gordon – Illinois Appellate Court 1st District
  • Martin J. Healy, Jr. – The Healy Law Firm
  • Hon. Michael J. Howlett, Jr. – Cook County Judge
  • Andrew Kopon, Jr. – Kopon Airdo, LLC
  • Kevin T. Martin – Swanson Martin & Bell, LLP
  • Hon. Michael R. Panter – Cook County Circuit Court
  • Joseph A. Power – Power, Rogers & Smith
  • Rudolf G. Schade, Jr. – Cassiday Schade LLP
  • Hon. Warren D. Wolfson – Former Justice

"I'm grateful to Fred Lane for teaching me the fundamentals of trial technique."
~ Thomas Mauet, nationally recognized author and lecturer

The Course

Fred Lane's Trial Technique Institute consists of two semesters and runs approximately four months per semester. (You may start with the semester of your choice.) The program qualifies for a total of 54 hours MCLE credit, including 54* hours PMCLE credit (27 hours MCLE/27 hours PMCLE credit per semester). Class takes place each Tuesday evening from 5:15 – 6:45 p.m. at the Illinois State Bar Association – Chicago Regional Office, 20 South Clark Street, Suite 900 (map and directions). Breaks for holiday consideration do exist.

  • Fall Semester: September - January
  • Spring Semester: February – June

Class Dates

Fall Semester

Unless noted, all are on Tuesdays; all from 5:15 to 6:45

  • September 8
  • September 17 – This is a Thursday
  • October 6
  • October 13
  • October 20
  • October 27
  • November 3
  • November 10
  • November 17
  • November 24
  • December 1
  • December 8
  • December 15
  • December 22
  • December 29
  • January 5
  • January 12
  • January 19

Fall Semester topics include:

  • An overview of the principles of communication, argument and persuasion on behalf of plaintiffs and defendants
  • Jury Selection
  • Making winning Opening Statements/Closing Arguments to the jury in various type of cases, such as:
    • Personal Injury Case (Motor vehicle malpractice, product liability, attractive nuisance, federal employers' liability, wrongful death, suits against municipalities, dram shops, airline cases, etc)
    • Contract Cases (Goods, wares and merchandise, breach of contract, real estate broker's commission, and life insurance)
    • Special Actions (Will contests, assault and battery, slander, malicious prosecution, false arrest and imprisonment)

Spring Semester topics include:

  • The psychological formulae for proof of facts for both plaintiffs and defendants attorneys
  • Introducing exhibits of all types, x-rays, books of account, customs, lost instruments, depositions, telephone conversations, and experiments
  • Demonstrative evidence, refreshing memory, objections, offers of proof, hypothetical questions, medical proof, direct and cross-examination of experts, the rules and cardinal principals of cross-examination, and impeachment of witness
  • All other subjects you confront between the opening statement and closing argument

The Instructor

Fred Lane of Lane and Lane is a former Assistant State's Attorney with over 40 years of litigation experience. He is the author of Lane's Goldstein Trial Technique (4 vols.); editor of Medical Trial Technique Quarterly; author of Lane Medical Litigation Guide (6 vols.); and author of Lane's Goldstein Litigation Forms (3 vol.). Mr. Lane is also past president of the following organizations and associations: Illinois Trial Lawyers Association; Diplomat and Past President of the American Board of Trial Advocates IL; Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers; Past President of the Illinois State Bar Association; and Past President of the Decalogue Society of Lawyers. He is the co-author of Lane & Calkins Mediation Practice Guide and co-founder of the International Academy of Dispute Resolution.

The Cost

  • $875 for members of the Illinois State Bar Association
  • $1,500 for non-members

Covers both Fall and Spring semesters.

You are invited to attend the first session free!


Registration is now open for the Fall semester.

Register online

or download a registration form

Contact Joyce Williams at (312) 726-8775 or the ISBA CLE Department in Springfield at (800) 678-4009 for more information.

REFUND POLICY: 100% refund available through the second week of class: afterwards, no refunds will be made.


*Professional Responsibility MCLE credit subject to approval