Fred Lane’s ISBA Trial Technique Institute

Presented by the Illinois State Bar Association

Taught and coordinated by Scott Lane.    

Fall Semester Begins September 19!

  • 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.

Register online

Not in the Chicago loop?  Now is your chance to participate in the virtual Fall 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, we are offering the semester as a stand-alone option via Zoom to make it available to all attorneys. The Fall 2023 semester qualifies for a total of 27 hours MCLE credit, including 27* hours PMCLE credit. (Please Note: CLE credit is available only for attending live class events. Class recordings will be available for attendees as a learning tool (and in the event an attendee misses a class), however, credit is not available for viewing a recording.)

Registrants are Invited! Join us for an optional in-person pizza party at the ISBA Chicago office just before the start time of the last class as a way to celebrate the completion of this four month program (January 30, 2024 at 4:30). Class that night will be available two ways - onsite and via Zoom (for those unable to attend in-person).  An email invitation requesting RSVPs will be sent to all registrants the week prior to that class.

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 Brown, 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, 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 (Fall 2023 Semester)

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

    You are invited to attend the first session free! 

    Contact Kyla in the CLE Department by email or by phone at 800-252-8908 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. To register, please send your request to attend to Please Note: CLE credit will not be given to alumni who attend refresher classes.

    *Professional Responsibility MCLE credit subject to approval


    This course was extremely enjoyable and informative. I look forward to participating in the next part of the series.
    ~ Brian V., Spring 2023

    This course should be mandatory for any trial attorney in Illinois, no exception.

    ~ Andrew Jovanovic, Spring 2023

    The program is excellent for new and seasoned attorneys alike. Scott Lane is a talented trial attorney and teacher. I recommend this course to every attorney I know!
    ~ Claire Connolly, Fall 2022

    The Trial Technique Institute is definitely one of the most thorough and intense CLE programs I have taken since starting over a decade ago. The instructor, Scott Lane, does an amazing job continuing and building on the long history of the Fred Lane Trial Technique course. 
    ~ John Zapala, Fall 2022


    Class Dates

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

    Fall Semester

    • 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
    • January 30

    I've attended many trial techniques training programs and know that it takes a gifted trial lawyer to make things clear and to teach others, whether it be students or juries. Scott Lane is gifted! I'm very grateful to benefit from his instruction.
    ~ Helen Lerner, Spring 2022

    The course in incredibly practical. It walks you right through how best to question a witness or introduce a piece of evidence from start to finish. It is invaluable for anyone who is in - or wants to be in - the courtroom on a regular basis.
    ~ Maria N. Berger, Spring 2022

    Register online