Continuing Legal Education

Anatomy of a Medical Negligence Trial

November 1, 2017
8:45 a.m. – 5:15 p.m.
7.00 MCLE hours, including 7.00 approved Professional Responsibility MCLE credit hours

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


Don’t miss this opportunity to discover what’s involved in
 prosecuting or defending a medical negligence lawsuit!

Join us for this full-day seminar that gives you the information you need to handle your next medical negligence trial from start to finish. Each segment is presented from the perspective of both a plaintiff and defense attorney (giving you a well-rounded look at each topic) and offers you plenty of interactive opportunities to have your questions answered. Health care attorneys, personal injury lawyers, wrongful death practitioners, workers’ compensation attorneys, and those involved in the medical negligence practice who attend this seminar will better understand:

  • How to limit or prevent evidence from being presented by opposing counsel;
  • The importance of choosing the right jurors for your case;
  • How to use the opening statement to make an impression;
  • How direct and cross examinations can both help and hurt your case;
  • The important roles of experts and treating physicians in this type of trial; and
  • The necessity of creating a compelling closing argument.

The program closes with an in-depth look at the trial process through the lens of the judiciary.


Program Coordinators:
Hon. Clare E. McWilliams
, Circuit Court of Cook County, Chicago
Brian Murphy, Hofeld and Schaffner, Chicago

Program Moderator:
Brian Murphy
, Hofeld and Schaffner, Chicago


NOTE: Your registration includes access to electronic course materials that will be sent to you via email prior to the seminar. Printed course materials may be purchased for a nominal fee via the registration page.



8:45 – 9:45 a.m.  Motions in Limine*
Don’t miss this comprehensive look at how a motions in limine can help your next case by limiting or preventing certain evidence from being presented from the opposing side.
Amanda L. Brasfield, Kralovec, Jambois & Schwarz, Chicago
Sommer R. Luzynczyk, Pretzel & Stouffer, Chtd., South Barrington

9:45 – 10:45 a.m.  Voir Dire*
Learn how to pick the right jurors through a well-prepared voir dire – from knowing which type of jurors your case needs to asking insightful open-ended questions that helps you get to know potential jurors.
Patrick A. Salvi II, Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard, P.C., Chicago
Vito M. Masciopinto, Lowis & Gellen LLP, Chicago

10:45 – 11:00 a.m.  Break (beverages provided)

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  Opening Statements*
Opening statements are one of the most important aspects of a trial because it sets the tone for what’s to come and gives the jurors their first impression of you, your client, and your case. Join us for an in-depth look at how to make the most of your next opening statement.
Keith A. Hebeisen, Clifford Law Offices, P.C., Chicago
Timothy G. Nickels, Swanson, Martin & Bell LLP, Chicago

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

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.  Exam and Cross of the Parties*
This segment discusses the direct and cross examination aspect of a trial and how it can help (or hinder) your case.
Joseph W. Balesteri, Power, Rogers & Smith LLP, Chicago
Christopher Daddino, Cassiday Schade, LLP, Chicago

2:00 – 3:00 p.m.  Experts and Treating Physicians*
Expert witnesses and treating physicians are used by both sides in a medical negligence trial, but knowing how to use them effectively is key to strengthening your case. This segment offers tips and advice for making the most out of these type of testimonies, as well as how to effectively cross-examine opposing counsel’s witnesses.
Richard B. Foster, Donohue Brown Mathewson & Smyth LLC, Chicago
John M. Saletta, Law Offices of John M. Saletta, P.C., Chicago

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

3:15 – 4:15 p.m.  Closing Arguments*
The closing argument is your final chance to address the jury, so it’s important that you make the most of this opportunity! This presentation gives you the tools you need to create a compelling and memorable closing argument that can help you win your case.
Catherine Coyne Reiter, Hughes, Socol, Piers, Resnick & Dym, Ltd., Chicago
Howard S. Schaffner, Hofeld & Schaffner, Chicago

4:15 – 5:15 p.m.  View from the Bench*
Gain a broader view and judicial perspective of the trial process with this informative segment.
Hon. Russell W. Hartigan (ret.), Law Offices of Russel W. Hartigan, Chicago
Hon. Thomas V. Lyons, Circuit Court of Cook County, Chicago
Hon. Clare E. McWilliams, Circuit Court of Cook County, Chicago