Fred Lane's ISBA Trial Technique Institute

Presented by the Illinois State Bar Association

Spring Semester Begins February 9!


  • 54 MCLE/PMCLE* hours for the entire course! (27 MCLE/PMCLE* hours per semester)

  • Sharpen your trial skills in this "learn-by-doing" program.

  • Practice new trial techniques applicable in all types of practice - whether you're a prosecutor or a plaintiff's or defendant's attorney.

New Format: Not in the Chicago loop?  Now is your chance to participate in the virtual spring semester via Zoom from your home or office at a reduced rate! 

Fred Lane’s Trial Technique Institute typically consists of two semesters and runs approximately four months per semesters; however, due to COVID, we are offering the Spring 2021 semester as a stand-alone option via Zoom to make it available to all attorneys. The Spring 2021 semester qualifies for a total of 27 hours MCLE credit, including 27* hours PMCLE credit.

Registration for the Spring semester is full.

The Structure

Improve your trial skills in this “learn-by-doing” program that covers all phases of trial work from both a plaintiff/prosecutor and defendant’s viewpoint, in both civil and criminal cases. Through this course, you will learn and practice new trial techniques that are most effective and consistent with the Illinois Rules of Evidence and the Federal 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 course has been proven to be of value whether your practice includes trying jury and non-jury cases, administrative hearings, arbitrations, or even mediations. The course is taught and coordinated by Scott Lane.    

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. Fall Semester: September - January; Spring Semester: February - June). 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 to 6:45 p.m. Breaks for holiday consideration do exist.

    Spring Semester topics include:

    • The psychological formulae for proof of facts for both plaintiff and defendant 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 all types of witnesses, including 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

    Fall Semester topics include:

    • An overview of the principles of communication, argument and persuasion on behalf of the plaintiff/prosecutor and defendant.
    • 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)

    The Instructors

    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 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 the Law & Politics and Chicago Magazine, and in 2014 he became a member of The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100.

    Fred Lane of Lane and Lane, the original founder of this course, will serve as an occasional guest instructor. Mr. Lane is a former Assistant State’s Attorney and has had over 40 years of litigation experience. Mr. Lane is a lecturer and author on Trial Technique Subject: author of Lane’s Goldstein Trial Technique (3 vols.): editor of Medical Trial Technique Quarterly: author of Lane Medical Litigation Guide (4 vols.): author of Lane’s Goldstein Litigation Forms (3 vol.). He is the co-author of Lane & Calkins Mediation Practice Guide and co-founder of the International Academy of Dispute Resolution. 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.

    The Cost (for Spring 2021 Semester ONLY)

    • $400 for members of the Illinois State Bar Association
    • $750 for non-members

    You are invited to attend the first session free! 

    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.

    Alumni of Fred Lane’s Trial Techniques are always welcome to attend future programs free of charge as a way to refresh their knowledge on what they’ve learned throughout the program. Please Note: CLE credit will not be given to alumni who attend refresher classes.

    *Professional Responsibility MCLE credit subject to approval


    The Fred Lane’s Trial Technique class has been a huge help in learning what to do at trial - from preparation through closing arguments.
    ~ Matthew Stephens, Spring 2020


    As a lawyer who is just beginning my career as a litigator, I couldn’t recommend this class enough. Many of the techniques I learned in my trial advocacy courses in law school were reinforced, and Scott’s wealth of knowledge on the practicalities involved in preparing for and trying cases that are not taught in law school are invaluable.
    ~ Jack S. Rubin, Spring 2020


    I strongly recommend Fred Lane’s Trial Technique Institute for anyone looking to build or sharpen their trial skills and their understanding of the evidentiary rules. 
    ~ Mike Karnuth, Spring 2020


    Class Dates

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

    Spring Semester

    • February 9
    • February 16
    • February 23
    • March 2
    • March 9
    • March 16
    • March 23
    • April 6
    • April 13
    • April 20
    • April 27
    • May 4
    • May 11
    • May 18
    • May 25
    • June 1
    • June 8
    • June 15

    As a young attorney, I could not recommend this class more. Mr. Lane does an incredible job of explaining both the big and small details. After completing this class, I know that I’ll feel trial ready!
    ~ Bradley S. Lohsl, Spring 2020


    Scott is a great teacher whose ability to illustrate any point through quick impromptu sample questioning of a witness was inspiring. The zoom sessions were really productive!
    ~ Raymond T. Reott, Spring 2020


    I highly recommend Fred Lane‘s Trial Technique Institute. I wish I had taken this class long ago. Scott is an excellent teacher and I am thankful for all that I have learned!
    ~ Joann Harms, Spring 2020

    Registration for the Spring semester is full.