Live Seminar

Building Your Civil Litigation Skills



Friday, March 23, 2018


9:00 AM - 4:30 PM

Product ID#:



Hilton Garden Inn Buffalo Downtown

10 Lafayette Square

Buffalo, NY 14203


$339 / Each Additional

Registration Includes Course Book

Credit Information

Continuing Legal Education

  • CT CLE - 6.00
  • NJ CLE - 7.20
  • NY CLE - 7.00
  • PA CLE - 6.00


  • NALA - 6.00
  • NFPA

Program Description

Gain the Skills That Are Critical to Success in Civil Litigation

In the high-stakes world of civil litigation, how do you gain the advantage you need when every case is so different? Whether you're new to civil litigation or have practiced in this area in the past, having a firm foundation in the basics is essential to your success. Since each case needs special tailoring, your ability to handle the day-to-day issues with ease can really help when you get thrown a curve ball. Do you have a strong enough understanding of the fundamentals to handle whatever situation comes your way?

This comprehensive seminar will give you a good base to start with. Our experienced faculty will share with you their best strategies and techniques for achieving the most favorable outcome possible. After attending, you'll have enhanced methods for selecting the jury that will best support your side of the argument. Give a strong, persuasive delivery with our solid case presentation techniques. Know what your post-trial responsibilities are and how to carry them out in case of an appeal. Develop a reputation for integrity by adhering to strict ethical standards. Don't miss your opportunity to prepare yourself for success in the civil trial courtroom!

  • Learn how to practically apply the rules of civil procedure to your case.
  • Gain a better understanding of damages in civil litigation.
  • Find out the latest court rulings regarding discovery and get advice on how to overcome current e-discovery obstacles.
  • Overcome authentication and admissibility challenges.
  • Unearth jury pool prejudices, attitudes, biases and values that may affect your case.
  • Deliver outstanding opening statements and make your closing arguments memorable.
  • Effectively present evidence in order to shore up your case.
  • Gain insider's techniques for effective direct and cross-examination.
  • Get practical strategies for ethically handling questions of jurors during voir dire.

Who Should Attend

This basic-to-intermediate level seminar is designed to assist civil litigators and paralegals in increasing their effectiveness in the civil arena.

Course Content

  1. How to Settle Before Going to Trial
  2. How to Effectively Use Pleadings and Motions
  3. How to Apply the Law of Damages
  4. How to Apply Rules to Discovery and Evidence
  5. Identifying and Overcoming Juror Bias
  6. How to Present Your Civil Case at Trial
  7. How to Avoid Ethical Pitfalls

Continuing Education Credit

Continuing Legal Education

Credit Hrs State
CLE 6.00 -  CT*
CLE 7.20 -  NJ*
CLE 7.00 -  NY*
CLE 6.00 -  PA*

National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc. – NALA: 6.00 *

National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Inc. – NFPA

* denotes specialty credits

Agenda / Content Covered

    9:00 - 9:45, Christopher Pannozzo
    1. Negotiating with Insurance Adjusters
    2. Mediation Tactics
    3. Settlement Conference Strategies
    4. Arbitration Procedure and Tips
    9:45 - 10:30, Earl K. Cantwell
    1. Applying State and Federal Rules and Procedure
    2. Pleading Standards
    3. Sufficiency of the Complaint
    4. Complaint Dismissal for Insufficient Pleadings
    5. When and How to Use Motion to Dismiss
    6. Motions for Summary Judgment
    7. Motion in Limine
    10:45 - 11:30, Michelle M. Parker
    1. Types of Damages in Civil Suits
    2. Quantifying Damages
    3. Documenting the Extent of the Injury/Damage
    4. Liens and Subrogation
    5. Handling Medicare Set-Asides: Calculating Past and Future Medical Expenses/Treatment
    6. Calculating Non-Economic Damages
    7. Pain and Suffering
    11:30 - 12:15, Michelle M. Parker
    1. E-Discovery - Civil Rules and Procedure
    2. Handling Social Media, E-Mail and Text Messages
    3. Preservation of Evidence
    4. Authentication of Evidence
    5. Determining Admissibility of Evidence
    6. Hearsay Objections and Exceptions
    7. Exhibits
    8. Depositions
    9. Recent Case Law
    1:15 - 2:15, Leonard D. Zaccagnino
    1. Building Rapport with the Jury from Day One
    2. How Much Case Information Can You Safely Introduce During Voir Dire?
    3. Bringing to the Surface and Overcoming Juror Biases
    4. Using Open Ended Questions to Get Jurors Talking
    5. Preserving Jury Selection Issues for Appeal
    2:15 - 3:15, Leonard D. Zaccagnino
    1. Application of Civil Rules of Procedure
    2. Effective Opening Statements
    3. Direct and Cross Examination Procedure and Rules
    4. Use/Defense of Daubert Motions
    5. Expert Witness Impeachment
    6. Introducing Exhibits
    7. How and When to Make Objections
    8. Using Rebuttal to Cast Doubt on the Other Side
    9. Powerful Closing Arguments
    3:30 - 4:30, Earl K. Cantwell
    1. Handling Highly Prejudicial Evidence
    2. Handling Questions of Jurors During Voir Dire
    3. Talking to Witnesses Before They Testify
    4. Identifying and Avoiding Conflicts of Interest
    5. Social Media: How to Avoid Sanctions

EARL K. CANTWELL is a member of the Buffalo law firm of Hurwitz & Fine, P.C., where he is an accomplished civil litigation attorney with 30 years of experience in state and federal courts. Mr. Cantwell focuses his practice in commercial litigation, including business contract matters, business disputes, real estate claims, securities litigation, business and partnership dissolution, as well as construction litigation. He is a member of the Erie County and the New York State bar associations. Mr. Cantwell earned his B.A. degree, summa cum laude, from Canisius College; and his J.D. degree, cum laude, from the University of Michigan.

CHRISTOPHER PANNOZZO is a partner with the law firm of Shaw & Shaw, P.C., where he practices in the areas of personal injury litigation, general civil litigation, and criminal defense. The majority of his practice is comprised of representing plaintiffs in personal injury cases. Mr. Pannozzo has also participated as an arbitrator on several occasions involving claims for personal injuries. He earned his B.A. degree, magna cum laude, from the State University of New York College at Oswego; and his J.D. degree, cum laude, from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law. Mr. Pannozzo is a member of the Erie County Bar Association; the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, Western Regional Affiliate; and the American Association for Justice. He is admitted to practice in the New York state courts, the U.S. Federal Court, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

MICHELLE M. PARKER is the first assistant county attorney in the Erie County Department of Law, where her practice focuses on the defense of personal injury, property damage, workplace safety, and various municipal issues. She was previously a partner in the law firm of Anspach Meeks Ellenberger LLP, where her practice focused on the defense of FELA litigation, professional malpractice, personal injury litigation, insurance coverage, municipal liability, and workplace safety. Ms. Parker is the deputy treasurer for the Bar Association of Erie County, a member of the New York State Bar Association, a director and past president of the Defense Trial Lawyers of WNY, a member of the Western New York Trial Lawyers Association, and the Women's Bar Association. She earned her B.A. degree from Canisius College and her J.D. degree from the University at Buffalo School of Law.

LEONARD D. ZACCAGNINO is a senior partner with the law firm of Shaw & Shaw, P.C., in Hamburg, New York, where he practices in the areas of personal injury and general civil litigation; as well as civil, criminal, and trial law. Mr. Zaccagnino has spoken before the Young Lawyers Section of the Erie County Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association. He is a member of the New York Trial Lawyers Association, the Western New York Trial Lawyers Association, the Bar Association of Erie County, and the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. He serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Buffalo Law School, and coaches the trial team at that school. Mr. Zaccagnino earned his B.S. degree from Canisius College and his J.D. degree from Syracuse University.

Please refer to Continuing Education Credit FAQ for general information about seeking credit for your participation in one of our continuing education programs.

Additionally, our team of credit specialists are here to answer your specific credit-related questions weekdays 7am - 5pm Central:

Phone: 866-240-1890


Accreditation Details:

Continuing Legal Education

CT CLE: 6.00 Includes - Ethics: 1.00
Neither the Connecticut Judicial Branch nor the Commission on Minimum Continuing Legal Education approve or accredit CLE providers or activities. It is the opinion of NBI, Inc. that this activity qualifies for up to 6.0 hours toward your annual CLE requirement in Connecticut, including 1.0 hour(s) of ethics/professionalism.

NJ CLE: 7.20 Includes - Ethics: 1.20
This program has been approved by the Board on Continuing Legal Education of the Supreme Court of New Jersey for 7.2 hours of total CLE credit. Of these, 1.2 qualify as hours of credit for ethics/professionalism.

NY CLE: 7.00 Includes - Ethics: 1.00, Skills: 6.00
This course has been approved in accordance with the requirements of the New York State Continuing Legal Education Board for a maximum of 7.0 credit hours. 6.0 hours can be applied to the Skills requirement and 1.0 hour can be applied toward the ethics and professionalism requirement. This live format program is appropriate for newly admitted and experienced attorneys.

PA CLE: 6.00 Includes - Ethics: 1.00
This program has been approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board for a total of 6.0 hours, including 5.0 hours of substantive law, practice and procedure CLE credit and 1.0 hour of ethics, professionalism or substance abuse CLE credit.

National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc.

N LA: 6.00 Includes - Ethics: 1.00
This seminar meets the requirements of the Certifying Board for Legal Assistants of the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc., for 6.0 hours, including 1.0 ethics, of continuing legal assistant education credit required to maintain the CLA (Certified Legal Assistant) credential.

National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Inc.

NBI, Inc. is a NFPA approved CLE provider.

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How To Order

Web: Order Now
Call: 800.930.6182
Fax: 715.835.1405
Mail: NBI
P.O. Box 3067
Eau Claire, WI 54702