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)

  • 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.

Spring Semester starts February 11!

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.    

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.

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.  Mrt. 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

  • $975 for members of the Illinois State Bar Association
  • $1,600 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


I've thoroughly enjoyed these classes taught by Scott Lane. I think he does a great job of dissecting a case from start to finish. Whether you represent plaintiffs or defendants, these are a series of classes that are well worth your time.
~ Christian Sales, Fall 2019


I highly recommend the Fred Lane Trial Prep course to all trial attorneys, new and experienced - it provides the big picture and it also drills down into all the details and strategies that have proven to be successful.
~ Tracey L. Schroeder, Fall 2019


This class has been incredibly helpful to my practice, and Mr. Lane is an excellent instructor. I highly recommend it!
~ Ashley L. Orler, Fall 2019


Class Dates

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

Spring Semester

  • February 11
  • February 18
  • February 25
  • March 3
  • March 17
  • March 24
  • March 31
  • April 7
  • April 14
  • April 21
  • April 28
  • May 5
  • May 12
  • May 19
  • May 26
  • June 2
  • June 9
  • June 16

Scott's pragmatic approach is great for attorneys that have never tried a case, and for experienced trial attorneys that want to improve their skills. I wish I took the course before I ever tried a case, it's well worth the investment!
~ Patrick Quinn, Fall 2019


The Fred Lane Trial Techniques course offers immensely valuable instruction for any attorney looking to build their skills in the courtroom. Scott Lane is a talented advocate who fosters a collaborative environment where students receive detailed guidance and feedback while workshopping their own cases.
~ Jane E. Sternecky, Fall 2019


Fred Lane's Trial Technique class has taught me an enormous amount as to how to present cases to a jury. The most useful part is the emphasis on practice presentations by the participants in the class along with active input from the instructor and other students in the class.
~ Christine Boardman, Fall 2019