Continuing Legal Education

Tort Law: Back to Basics

February 12, 2014
8:45 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.
6.50 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)

Don’t miss this nuts-and-bolts examination of the personal injury litigation process!

This back-to-basics seminar covers all aspects of the personal injury litigation case – from pretrial to post-trial – and pays particular attention to updated and emerging issues. Both plaintiff and defendant attorneys with basic to intermediate practice experience who attend this seminar will better understand:

  • How to open and investigate a case;
  • The importance of preserving evidence;
  • What information to include when drafting a complaint;
  • How to file a motion to dismiss;
  • How to conduct both a direct- and cross-examination of the treating physician;
  • How to conduct yourself when appearing on the motion call;
  • The necessary qualifications for an expert witness;
  • When to file for a Motion of Summary Judgment;
  • The contents of a post-trial motion and how to respond;
  • How to amicably settle your case through mediation;
  • The emerging issues and ethical concerns in personal injury litigation; 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/Moderator:
Dennis M. Lynch, The Healy Law Firm, Chicago




8:45 – 9:15 a.m.  Opening and Investigating the Case: The Plaintiff’s Perspective
Learn how to open and investigate a case from the plaintiff’s perspective – from how to conduct a good intake and investigate a claim, to preserving the evidence and drafting complaints.
Bridget C. Duignan, Latherow Law Office, Chicago

9:15 – 9:45 a.m.  Opening and Investigating the Case: The Defendant’s Perspective
Don’t miss the defendant’s perspective on opening and investigating a case, including how to properly answer the complaint, gather information and preserve evidence, and file a motion to dismiss.
Hon. Russell W. Hartigan, Cook Judicial Circuit, Bridgeview

9:45 – 10:15 a.m.  Deposing the Treating Physician and Presenting The Testimony at Trial: The Plaintiff’s Perspective
This segment discusses what a plaintiff should do when presenting a treating physician for the discovery deposition, as well as how to conduct a direct examination of a physician at trial.
Bradley N. Pollock, Walsh Knippen Pollock & Cetina Chtd., Wheaton

10:15 – 10:30 a.m.  Break (beverages provided)

10:30 – 11:00 a.m.  Deposing the Treating Physician and Cross-Examination at Trial: The Defendant’s Perspective
This presentation helps the defendant prepare for and take the discovery deposition of the plaintiff’s treating physician and discusses how to conduct cross-examination at trial.
Kelley A. Gandurski, Nielsen Zehe & Antas P.C., Chicago
Kenya A. Jenkins-Wright, Greene & Letts, Chicago

11:00 – 11:30 a.m.  How to Conduct Yourself on the Motion Call
Motion Judge James O’Hara offers tips and advice on what to do – as well as what not to do – when appearing on the motion call. Topics include: standard orders, simultaneous disclosures, and contested motions.
Hon. James N. O’Hara, Circuit Court of Cook County, Chicago

11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  Hot Topics in Personal Injury Litigation
Update your knowledge on the interesting and emerging topics in personal injury litigation with this informative segment that’s presented by a representative from the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.
Wendy Muchman, Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, Chicago

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.  Lunch (on your own)

1:00 – 1:30 p.m.  Disclosing and Presenting Experts: The Plaintiff’s Perspective
Know when an expert is needed, the expert’s necessary qualifications, how much detail to include in the disclosure, and how to prepare the expert for both the deposition and the trial.
Brian Murphy, Hofeld & Schaffner, Chicago

1:30 – 2:00 p.m.  Disclosing and Presenting Experts: The Defendant’s Perspective
This segment discusses the defendant’s role in disclosing and presenting experts, including knowing when, if and how to take a deposition, whether a defendant should have his own expert, and attacking the qualifications and competence of the plaintiff’s experts.
Robert J. Finley, Hinshaw & Culbertson, Chicago

2:00 – 2:30 p.m.  Motions for Summary Judgment and Post-Trial Motions: The Defendant’s Perspective
Get the information you need on whether or not you should file a Motion for Summary Judgment, when it should be filed, what should be included, and the use of affidavits. Considerations for post-trial motions are also discussed.
Michael R. Hartigan, Hartigan & O’Connor, Chicago

2:30 – 3:00 p.m.  Motions for Summary Judgment and Post-Trial Motions: The Plaintiff’s Perspective
Don’t miss this discussion on Motions for Summary Judgment and post-trial motions from the plaintiff’s perspective. Topics include: affirmatively moving for summary judgment, responding to motions for summary judgment, knowing when more discovery is needed before responding, understanding the contents of a post-trial motion, responding to an opponent’s post-trial motion, and much more.
Dennis M. Lynch, The Healy Law Firm, Chicago

3:00 – 3:15 p.m. Break (refreshments provided)

3:15 – 3:45 p.m.  The Do’s and Don’ts of Mediation and Pre-Trials: How to Settle Your Case
Retired Judge Dennis Burke gives you the tools you need to amicably settle your case by drawing upon his past experiences as a trial judge, as well as his current experiences handling arbitrations!
Hon. Dennis J. Burke (ret.), ADR Systems, Chicago

3:45 – 4:45 p.m.  Panel Discussion: Ethical Issues involving Personal Injury Litigation*
Don’t miss this panel discussion on the emerging issues and recent hot topics in personal injury litigation. Topics include: updated case law, recent developments in personal injury law, and the ethical issues an attorney may face when practicing in this area. Questions from the audience are welcome.
Albert E. Durkin, Miroballi Durkin & Rudin, Chicago
Michael R. Hartigan, Hartigan & O’Connor, Chicago
Dennis M. Lynch, The Healy Law Firm, Chicago


*Professional Responsibility MCLE credit subject to approval