Building Your Civil Litigation Skills


CLE credits earned: 2 GENERAL (or 2 LAW & LEGAL for WA state)

Preparation is the key to success for any trial or hearing. While the judge, jury, arbitrators, your adversary and your client get to see you in action during the trial or hearing, it is the time spent before the trial or hearing, developing your theory, dissecting the evidence, preparing your witnesses and shaping your opening and closing statements that will determine your success. Trial or hearing preparation begins from the day the case is retained: the new client intake. Honing in early on the theory of your case will enable you to move the case efficiently through the discovery process, depositions, and motion practice. If the building blocks of your case are properly placed, the actual trial or hearing preparation comes naturally. This program will explore and highlight the core aspects of a new client intake and trial preparation. While styles and approaches to trial work depend on individual personalities and strengths, preparation is universally necessary to success.

Upon course completion, you will be able to:

•   Conduct an effective client intake and initial evaluation of options including forum alternatives
•   Develop and articulate the theory of your case as early as possible
•   Consider trial or hearing preparation throughout each phase of the case
•   Grasp and understand how each phase of the case should be directed toward the trial or hearing
•   Learn how to prepare evidence, witnesses, and clients for the trial or hearing experience
•   Consider some ethical pitfalls

Key topics to be discussed:

•   Client Intakes
•   Forum alternatives
•   Jury or Arbitrator Selection
•   Opening Statements
•   Direct/Cross Examination
•   Daubert Motions
•   Expert Witnesses
•   Objections
•   Closing Statements
•   Ethical Considerations

Date / Time: January 21, 2019

•   2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Eastern
•   1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Central
•   12:00 pm – 2:00 pm Mountain
•   11:00 am – 1:00 pm Pacific

Choose a format:

•   Live Video Broadcast/Re-Broadcast: Watch Program “live” in real-time, must sign-in and watch program on date and time set above. May ask questions during presentation via chat box. Qualifies for “live” CLE credit.
•   On-Demand Video: Access CLE 24/7 via on-demand library and watch program anytime. Qualifies for self-study CLE credit. On-demand versions are made available 7 business days after the original recording date and are view-able for up to one year.

All Access Pass: Before you buy, access this class and all other myLawCLE programs, over 120 new live classes every year, for only $69 dollars per month. Purchase the All Access Pass first. Click here for more information.

Select your state to see if this class is approved for CLE credit.

Choose the format you want.


Original Broadcast Date: January 21, 2019

Jeffrey Kimmel, Esq. is highly regarded for his fierce litigation style and persistent drive to achieve optimal results for his clients. Jeff focuses on medical malpractice and complex personal injury cases, where his powerful intellect, sharp analytical skills and sincere compassion for his clients contributes to the growing number of successful verdicts and settlements for Salenger, Sack, Kimmel & Bavaro, LLP, which exceeds $500 million to date. Jeff’s ultimate objective is to deliver unsurpassed service and results while ensuring that clients’ needs remain a top priority for the firm.

“For clients, considering a lawsuit can be very intimidating and overwhelming. As an attorney, my goal is to create a trusted relationship with clients so they are comfortable knowing that our firm’s sole priority is to work diligently on their behalf to ensure the best possible outcome. I want all our clients to know that we are not only their attorneys but people who understand the sensitivity of their matter on a human level and seek justice for them at any cost.”

Ambitious in nature and a true born leader, Jeff’s successes started early when he was recruited by top universities after leading his high school soccer team to a state championship. Jeff chose the University of Pennsylvania and graduated from the prestigious Wharton School of Business. He continued his studies at Brooklyn Law School, where he received the coveted American Jurisprudence Award in both Legal Writing and Appellate Advocacy, recognizing and rewarding his talents for compelling writing and oral presentations. After four years as an Assistant District Attorney in the Bronx, Jeff joined an insurance defense firm that focused on medical malpractice defense He brought that experience to SSKB where he soon became a partner.

“I’m extremely fortunate to be a part of the continuous growth and success of SSKB. The lawyers and staff all work hard to achieve meaningful results for our clients, and restore for them some security and normalcy in their lives after a traumatic event. There’s a lot of satisfaction in that.”

Mitch Cohen, Esq. is a co-Managing Partner of Wechsler & Cohen, LLP, a Manhattan law firm with an employment and insurance/reinsurance practice focus. With over thirty years’ experience, he litigates, arbitrates, and mediates insurance, reinsurance, employment, and general commercial disputes. His practice includes substantial and complex matters arising from employment relationships, compensation disputes, insurance/reinsurance programs, and issues involving first and third-party claims, a variety of disputes involving agents, intermediaries, and brokers, allocation issues among insurers, numerous coverage issues arising from industrial, environmental, and contamination losses, and significant premises liability and products liability claims. His experience includes emergency injunction hearings, jury trials, arbitrations, appeals, and a variety of matters before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and various state and municipal human rights agencies. Mr. Cohen has litigated in federal and state courts throughout the United States. In addition, he counsels numerous significant commercial clients regarding employment law, anti-discrimination and anti-harassment programs and practices, licensing agreements, and a range of business issues. Mr. Cohen also serves as counsel to municipal zoning and planning boards and as municipal litigation counsel.

New York, 1985
U.S. Supreme Court, 2006
U.S Court of Appeals, Second Circuit 1990
U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit 1997
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 1987
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, 1987

Mr. Cohen has achieved Martindale-Hubbell’s™ AV Preeminent® peer review rating. He served for three years on the Executive Committee for Torts, Insurance and Compensation Section of the New York State Bar Association and has co-chaired programs presented by the Section on various topics involving insurance, emerging liability trends, and liability arising from employment relationships.

Boston University School of Law, 1984 J.D.
State University of New York at Albany, 1981 B.A. cum laude

Accreditation Policy
myLawCLE seeks accreditation for all programs in all states. (Accreditation for paralegals sought thru NALA and NFPA paralegal associations.) Each attending attorney/paralegal will receive a certificate of completion following the close of the CLE program as proof of attendance. In required states, myLawCLE records attorney/paralegals attendance, in all other states attorney/paralegal is provided with the approved CLE certificate to submit to their state bar or governing association.

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Applied MCLE Approvals
myLawCLE seeks approval via application in all other states that are not automatically approved through myLawCLE’s state accreditation. (Some states may take up to 4 weeks to send in final accreditation, however attendees will receive accreditation according to the date the class was taken—the state of VA may take up to 12 weeks.)

Accreditation on Formats: Live Video Broadcasts, “Live” Re-Broadcasts and On-Demand CLEs

Live Video Broadcasts
Live video broadcasts are new live CLE programs being streamed and recorded for the first time. All of these programs qualify for “Live” CLE credit in all states except NV, OH, MS, IN, UT, PA, GA, and LA —these states require in-person attendance to qualify for “Live” CLE credit.

“Live” Re-Broadcasts
“Live” Re-broadcasts are replays of previous recorded CLE programs, set on a specific date and time and where the original presenting speakers calls in live at the end of the event to answer questions. This “live” element allows for “live” Re-broadcast CLEs to qualify for “Live” CLE credits in most states. [The following states DO NOT allow for “live” CLE credits on re-broadcast CLEs: NV, OH, MS, IN, UT, PA, GA, and LA]

On-Demand CLEs
On-demand CLE classes are available 24/7 via the myLawCLE portal. Attendance to these classes is monitored and recorded via our login process and a certificate of completion is issued upon the close of viewing the program. These CLEs can be viewed at anytime and only qualify for self-study CLE credits.

Many states allow for credit to be granted on a 1:1 reciprocal basis for courses approved in another mandatory CLE jurisdiction state. This is known as a reciprocity provision and includes the following states: AK, AR, HI, CT, FL, ME, MO, MT, ND, NH, NM, VT, NJ, NY, and WV. myLawCLE does not seek direct accreditation of live webinars or teleconferences in these states.

myLawCLE Credit Guarantee
Additionally, on all online CLE programs application for approval will be made in all states where attending attorneys are primarily licensed in. If a registered attorney does not receive credit from their state for any reason, a full refund will be granted.

Section I. Client Intake
a) Initial contact
b) Obtaining the documents
c) Legal strategy
d) Managing expectations
e) Money
f) Settlement vs. Trial/Hearing
g) Forms explained

Section II. Forum Selection
a) Analyzing Federal and State and other forum rules
b) Uncovering Biases
c) Making a Connection
d) What Jurors or Arbitrators are Thinking
e) What to Ask
f) Peremptory and Cause Challenges

Section III. The Trial
a) Application of Rules of Civil Procedure
b) Effective Openings
c) Direct/Cross Examination
d) Use of Daubert Motions
e) Expert Witnesses
f) Demonstrative Evidence
g) Objections
h) Closing Statements

Section IV. Ethical Considerations
a) Highly Prejudicial Evidence
b) Talking to Witnesses
c) Conflicts of Interest
d) Social Media