Continuing Legal Education

Trial Practice Series: How To Prove (or Defend) Your Case

November 30, 2012
9:00 a.m. – 4:15 p.m.
6.00 MCLE hours, including 1.00 Professional Responsibility MCLE credit hours (PMCLE credit subject to approval)

ISBA Chicago Regional Office
20 S. Clark St, Suite 900
(map and directions)

Enhance your trial practice skills with this full-day seminar that covers a myriad of labor and employment issues!

Learn how to prove or defend your employment law case with this informative program. Topics include preparing your case for trial, representing a defamation case, sexual harassment and hostile work environment claims, violations of the Stored Communications Act, Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) violations, representing Fair Labor Standards Act cases, preparing your motion for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction, defending a retaliation claim, non-competition agreements, defending unfair labor practice claims, and ethical considerations in proving your case. Labor and employment attorneys, human resource administrators, in-house council, and civil practice attorneys who attend this seminar will gain a better understanding of:

  • The affirmative defenses typically raised during trial;
  • How to decide what evidence needs to be developed;
  • Which documents should be requested at discovery;
  • Interrogatories that can lead to summary judgments or summary decisions;
  • How to refute affirmative defenses and move cases toward mediation and/or settlement;
  • Direct and cross-examination planning;
  • Planning for witness testimony;
  • And much more!
Please Note: Prior to the program, you will receive a weblink via email allowing you to access the course materials prior to the program. You will also receive a copy of the course materials (for no additional charge) when you arrive at the program, but will need to check the appropriate box on the registration page letting us know if you prefer a flash drive or printed course book.


Program Coordinator:
Cathy A. Pilkington, Pilkington Law Offices, Chicago

Program Moderators:

  • Morning Session
    Michael Lied, Esq. Howard & Howard,  Peoria
  • Afternoon Session
    Robert Hanaford, Esq. Hanaford Law Offices, Chicago



9:00 – 9:30 a.m.  Overview:  Prepare Your Case for Trial
Preparing your case for trial begins the day you acquire the case. This comprehensive overview explores the process of preparing for trial, including the use of chronological timelines, deposition abstracts, proof plans, development of written trial plan, evaluating witnesses for use in proving necessary propositions, and organizing/planning for exhibits in direct and cross-examination.
Cathy A. Pilkington, Pilkington Law Offices, Chicago

9:30 – 10:00 a.m.  How to Prove Your Case for Defamation
Learn how to prove your case for defamation with this discussion on the various types of defamation that can be pled. Topics include: affirmative defenses that are typically raised; commonly encountered types of proof issues; interrogatories and document requests that should be posited; deciding what evidence needs to be developed through factual and legal analysis of the claim; requesting documents during discovery; planning for witness testimony; cross-examination lines; and jury instructions.
Lori D. Ecker, Law Office of Lori D. Ecker, Chicago

10:00 – 10:30 a.m.  How to Prove Your Case for Sexual Harassment/Hostile Work Environment
This segment examines sexual harassment and hostile work environment claims in various jurisdictions, including refuting affirmative defenses and/or moving the case toward mediation or settlement. Using interrogatories to establish each element of damages and planning for direct and cross-examination are also included.
Peter M. LaSorsa, The Law Offices of Peter M. LaSorsa, P.C, Mapleton

10:30 – 10:45 a.m.  Break (beverages provided)

10:45 – 11:15 a.m.  How to Defend Your Case for Stored Communications Act Violations
Whether defending or prosecuting a violation of the Stored Communications Act, it is important that attorneys can effectively represent their client throughout the case. Join us for this informative presentation that addresses key trial issues, including deciding what evidence needs to be developed, which documents should be requested in discovery, refuting damages claims, and preparing for direct/cross examination.
Yvette Heintzelman, Clark, Baird, Smith, LLP, Rosemont

11:15 – 11:45 a.m.  How to Prove Your Case for Family Medical Leave Act and Americans with Disabilities Act Violations
Complaints of denied ADA rights and violations of the Family Medical Leave Act are serious issues that oftentimes result in a lawsuit. Take advantage of this opportunity to update your knowledge on the best ways to effectively represent your client. Topics include: interrogatories directed toward requested relief (including money damages); planning for witness testimony; lines of cross-examination; types of damages available; and developing the damages case.
Alejandro Caffarelli, Caffarelli & Siegel, Ltd., Chicago

11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.  How to Prove Your Case for Fair Labor Standards Act Violation
This segment discusses Fair Labor Standards Act and wage/hour claims, as well as typical affirmative defenses, developing evidence, discovery, calculating damages, and more.
Aaron B. Maduff, Maduff & Maduff, LLC, Chicago

12:15 – 1:00 p.m.  Lunch (Provided)

1:00 – 1:30 p.m.  Preparing Your Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and for Preliminary Injunction
Gain a better understanding of the Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction with this in-depth review of Section 5/11-101 of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure. Learn what does/does not constitute irreparable harm and adequate remedy of law, requirements for affidavits, and service of notice. Gain insights into what a judge expects you to discuss with your client before going to court – and what you can expect when you get there.
Hon. Kathleen Kennedy, Circuit Court of Cook County, Chicago

1:30 – 2:00 p.m.  Defending a Retaliation Claim
The number of employees asserting claims of retaliation is on the rise, making it imperative that attorneys are prepared for defending these types of cases. This presentation examines retaliation claims contained in various statutes, typical affirmative defenses, discovery, and the types of evidence necessary to refute damages.
Paul E. Starkman, Peterson & Houpt, Chicago

2:00 – 2:30 p.m.  How to Prove Your Case for Violation of Non-Competition Agreement
This session explores the necessary steps in successfully defending or prosecuting a non-competition agreement breach, including discovery issues, evidence, interrogatories, witness testimony, and more.
Donald S. Rothschild, Goldstine, Skrodski, Russian, Nemec & Hoff, Ltd., Burr Ridge

2:30 – 2:45 p.m.  Break (refreshments provided)

2:45 – 3:15 p.m.  How to Defend Against a Claim for Unfair Labor Practice
As an attorney working in the labor and employment arena, it is important that you are able to successfully defend against a claim for unfair labor practices. This session examines the various types of violations and offers insights on how to best defend your case.
Alan M. Kaplan, Masuda, Funai, Eifert, & Mitchell, Ltd., Schaumburg

3:15 – 4:15 p.m.  Ethical Considerations in Proving Your Case*
This segment explores a variety of ethical issues that must be considered from the outset of taking a case, including conflicts in multiple representation, discovery issues, ethical concerns with witnesses, and potential issues with settlement negotiations.
Michael T. Reagan, Law Offices of Michael T. Reagan, Ottawa


*Professional Responsibility MCLE credit subject to approval