14th Annual Litigation Skills Symposium

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14th Annual Litigation Skills Symposium

May 19-22, 2015 Chicago

American Bankruptcy Institute and Turnaround Management Association are pleased to present the 14th Annual Litigation Skills Symposium! This four-day Symposium offers insolvency practitioners and financial advisors a rare opportunity to gain critical skills in a unique learn-by-doing environment. The Symposium combines quality instruction with individualized critique, with the expert faculty demonstrating the specific advocacy skills necessary to be an effective practitioner. Participants will work in small groups, and their performances will be videotaped and evaluated by the faculty, who will provide invaluable feedback on technique, style and strategy. The workshops include live performances by lay and expert witnesses. The final-day mock trials will be held at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois in downtown Chicago.

The entire program is extremely work-intensive and interactive for both the attendees and faculty. Enrollment is limited to 24 lawyers in order to maximize the learning experience. There are also 12 openings for financial professionals, who will receive invaluable training on how to be an effective witness and will put their learned skills to work as witnesses during the final day trial. Approximately 18.25 hours of CLE/CPE credit are available.

What they said last year:

"This program was fantastic, and I am happy I completed it.... I would enthusiastically recommend the program to any associate looking for trial experience."

Lecture and demonstration topics will include:

  • Introduction to Bankruptcy Litigation and Trial Preparation
  • Direct Examination and Introducing Evidence
  • Cross-Examination of Expert and Lay Witnesses
  • Art of Persuasion/Trial Techniques to Win Your Case
  • Tactics and Strategies
  • Litigation Ethics and Professional Responsibility
  • How to Be an Effective Expert Witness


Event Information 226978

Tuesday, May 19

5:00-7:00 p.m.

Program Registration

6:00-7:00 p.m.

Faculty/Registrant Catered Dinner

7:00-9:00 p.m.

Program Introduction

Lecture: Trial Preparation for Lawyers

Lecture: The Financial Professional as Expert Witness

7:15-8:15 p.m.

Faculty Training Session

Wednesday, May 20

7:30-8:30 a.m.

Registration and Breakfast

8:30-9:30 a.m.

Lecture/Demo: Introduction of Evidence/Direct Examination

8:30-9:30 a.m.

Faculty Training Session

9:30-10:00 a.m.


10:00 a.m.-12:00 noon

Workshop 1: Direct Examination of Non-Experts and Introduction of Evidence

12:00-1:00 p.m.

Catered Lunch

1:00-2:30 p.m

Lecture/Demo: Effective Cross-Examination

2:30-3:00 p.m.


3:00-5:00 p.m.

Workshop 2: Cross-Examination of Non-Experts

5:00-5:15 p.m.

Refreshment Break

5:15-6:00 p.m.

Lecture: Art of Persuasion/Trial Techniques to Win Your Case

Lecture: Valuation Training for Financial Professionals

5:15-6:00 p.m.

Faculty Meeting/Wrap-Up

Thursday, May 21

8:00-9:00 a.m.

Breakfast/Faculty Meeting

9:00-10:30 a.m.

Lecture/Demo: Working with Expert Witnesses

10:30-10:45 a.m.

Refreshment Break

10:45 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Workshop 3: Direct Examination of Expert Witnesses

1:00-2:00 p.m.

Catered Lunch

2:00-4:15 p.m.

Workshop 4: Cross-Examination of Expert Witnesses

4:15-4:30 p.m.

Refreshment Break

4:30 p.m.

Team Meetings and Strategy Sessions to Prepare Case for Trial

Friday, May 22

7:30-8:30 a.m.

Registration and Breakfast

8:30 a.m.

Depart for Courthouse

9:00 a.m.-12:00 noon

Mock Trials at Courthouse

12:30-2:30 p.m.

Catered Lunch


Conference Information


ABI has arranged for a special conference rate of $275 per night at the W Chicago - City Center. Reservations must be made by April 19, 2015, to secure the special conference rate. Reservations may be by contacting the W directly at (800) 627-9034 and mentioning the American Bankruptcy Institute room block. You can also book your room online here. Rooms are held on a first-come, first-served basis. ABI cannot guarantee anyone a room after the specially rated ABI block is filled.

Chicago-Kent College of Law
565 West Adams Street
Chicago, IL 60661-3691

Symposium Attire

Business attire is required for the entire program.

Cancellation Policy

All fees, except a $75 handling fee, will be refunded if written notice of cancellation is received by April 28, 2015. No refunds will be granted after April 28, but substitutions will be allowed. After April 28, upon written request, a coupon for 20% off the registration fee (not including optional events) will be issued, which can be used (by the canceling registrant only) for any ABI educational program up to one year after this conference, or for this same conference next year.

Continuing Education Credit

18.25 hours of general CLE credit are pending in states calculating CLE on a 60-minute hour, and 21.5 hours of general CLE credit are pending in 50-minute-hour states. Credit hours granted are subject to approval from each state. California MCLE: ABI certifies that this activity has been approved for MCLE credit in the amount of 18.25 hours. NY MCLE: This transitional and non-transitional program has been approved in accordance with the requirements of the CLE Board for a maximum of 21.5 credit hours. 21.5 hours of CPE credit are also available.


*ABI offers intermediate-level courses, which assume that attendees will have at least some detailed knowledge of insolvency matters (pursuant to the "Statement on Standards for CPE Programs" established by AICPA and NASBA). ABI is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE sponsors. State boards of accountancy have the final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be addressed to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors, 150 Fourth Ave. North, Suite 700, Nashville, TN 37219-2417, or www.nasba.org. For more information regarding administrative policies such as complaint and refund, please contact the American Bankruptcy Institute at (703) 739-0800.


Mark M. Maloney

King & Spalding; Atlanta

Gregory R. Westfall

Grant Thornton LLP; New York

R. Scott Williams

Rumberger Kirk & Caldwell; Birmingham, Ala.


Joseph M. Coleman

Kane Russell Coleman & Logan PC; Dallas

Hon. Mary Grace Diehl

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (N.D. Ga); Atlanta

Michael Fahlman

Grant Thornton LLP; Chandler, AZ

Edward T. Gavin

Gavin/Solmonese LLC; Wilmington, Del.

Jay S. Geller

Law Office of Jay S. Geller; Portland, Maine

Dillon E. Jackson

Foster Pepper PLLC; Seattle

Melissa K. Knoll

Mesirow Financial Consulting, LLC; Chicago

Jordan A. Kroop

Perkins Coie LLP; Phoenix

Francis A. Monaco

Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP; Wilmington, Del.

Christian C. Onsager

Onsager | Guyerson | Fletcher | Johnson; Denver

Kenneth Pasquale

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP; New York

Patricia A. Redmond

Stearns, Weaver, Miller, Weissler, Alhadeff & Sitterson, P.A.; Miami

Michael P. Richman

Hunton & Williams LLP; New York

Thomas J. Salerno

Gordon Silver; Phoenix

Brian L. Shaw

Shaw Fishman Glantz & Towbin LLC; Chicago

Catherine L. Steege

Jenner & Block LLP

Lynnette R. Warman

Culhane Meadows PLLC; Dallas

Hon. Gregg W. Zive

U.S. Bankruptcy Court (D. Nev.); Reno

Financial Professionals Registration


In addition to litigation training for attorneys, the Symposium is open to financial experts who want to enhance their skills in the area of litigation support and testimony. Financial experts will receive training from professionals who have developed expertise in this area. As a financial expert, you will get hands-on training on how to prepare for and give persuasive expert testimony in bankruptcy litigation matters, and on how to survive grueling cross-examination. Among other things, each financial expert will give testimony in multiple practice workshops throughout the week and will also work directly with the attorney teams in preparing testimony to be offered at a mock confirmation hearing before a federal bankruptcy judge in Chicago. This unique opportunity is limited to 12 financial experts on a first-come, first-served basis. These spaces will not last, so register early!


ABI Member
New ABI Member*

* Includes a one-year ABI membership — a $295 value! You must be an ABI member to attend. Membership is individual and nonrefundable.