Fred Lane's ISBA Trial Technique Institute

Presented by the Illinois State Bar Association

  • 54 MCLE/PMCLE* hours for the entire course! (27 MCLE/PMCLE* 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.


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. Please Note: Scott Lane will  assume a more active role in teaching during the Spring semester along with several celebrity guest lecturers.

"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 will feature many outstanding judges, former judges, plaintiff and defense lawyers as guest faculty members, such as:

  • 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
  • Andrew Kopon, Jr. – Kopon Airdo, LLC
  • Hon. Michael R. Panter – Cook County Circuit Court
  • Joseph A. Power – Power, Rogers & Smith
  • Rudolf G. Schade, Jr. – Cassiday Schade LLP
  • John Smith - Pretzel & Stouffer
  • Hon. Warren D. Wolfson – Former Justice

"I'm grateful to Fred Lane and his course 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 12
  • September 19
  • September 26
  • October 3
  • October 10
  • October 17
  • October 24
  • October 31
  • November 7
  • November 14
  • November 21
  • November 28
  • December 5
  • December 12
  • December 19
  • January 9
  • January 16
  • January 23

    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 Instructors

    Fred Lane is a former Assistant State's Attorney in the trial division of the Cook County State's Attorney Office 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.). For over 50 years, Fred has trained thousands of practicing attorneys across the country in the time honored skills of litigation. Fred 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.

    Scott Lane is a partner of the firm of Lane & Lane, LLC., a plaintiff's personal injury firm in Chicago.  Prior to his present practice, Scott was a Cook County Assistant State's Attorney for several years. He is an Adjunct Professor at the Loyola University of Chicago School of Law where he is a founding member of Loyola's Circle of Advocates and has coached their Trial Team. Scott frequently lectures at bar association seminars and has authored numerous articles, chapters, and texts pertaining to various aspects of civil litigation and trial technique. He is a contributing author and editor to “Lane’s Goldstein Trial Technique” and “Lane Medical Litigation Guide” and co-authored the book, “Illinois Motions in Limine”. Scott has been consistently selected as an "Illinois Super Lawyer" as published by Law & Politics and Chicago Magazine and in 2014, he became a member of the The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100.

    The Cost

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

    Covers both Spring and Fall semesters.

    You are invited to attend the first session free!


    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