Continuing Legal Education

Fred Lane's ISBA Trial Technique Institute

Presented by the Illinois State Bar Association

Spring Semester starts February 6!

  • 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/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 and Fred Lane. Please note: As he did last semester, Scott Lane will continue in his role as the primary instructor during the Spring semester.    

The course also features many outstanding judges, former judges, plaintiffs, and defendants 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; Martin J. Healy, Jr. – The Healy Law Firm; Andrew Kopon, Jr. – Kopon Airdo, LLC; Kevin T. Martin – Swanson Martin & Bell, LLP; Hon. Michael R. Panter – Cook County Judge; Joseph A. Power – Power, Rogers & Smith; Rudolf G. Schade, Jr. – Cassiday Schade, LLP; Hon. Warren D. Wolfson – Former Justice, Hon. Russell Hartigan – Former Cook County Judge and current President of the the Illinois State Bar Association, and others. 

[The program] was exactly what I needed to refresh technique, hone key skills and get a boost of confidence. Scott and the other teachers are excellent and their insight into the intricacies of trial practice is not to be missed.
~ Carla Colaianni, Fall 2017

The Lane Trail Technique Institute was one of the most worthwhile CLE experiences I've had in 9 years as an attorney.
~ Peter W. Poulos, Fall 2017

Not only does this course offer a blueprint for trials, but instructor Scott Lane is a welcoming presence and someone I know I can contact for advice down the road. I encourage all attorneys to take this course.
~ John Duggan, Fall 2017

I took this year-long class from Fred Lane over 30 years ago and found it to be invaluable. Some 50 verdicts later, I am thoroughly enthused about taking it again from his son, Scott [...] It is a class for any attorney, novice or seasoned, who wants to improve their trial skills.
~ Michael F. Burns, Fall 2017

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. at the Illinois State Bar Association – Chicago Regional Office, 20 South Clark Street, Suite 900. Breaks for holiday consideration do exist.

Class Dates


Spring Semester

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

  • February 6
  • February 13
  • February 20
  • March 6
  • March 13
  • March 20
  • March 27
  • April 10
  • April 17
  • April 24
  • May 1
  • May 15
  • May 22
  • May 29
  • June 5
  • June 12
  • June 19
  • June 26

    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 is a former Assistant State’s Attorney, 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

    • $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