Trial Skills for Tennessee Practitioners
Coming to Nashville School of Law on Friday, December 14, 2018
The Trial Skills for Tennessee Practitioners seminar is the leading legal event for Tennessee attorneys wanting to improve their skills to help achieve desired outcomes at trial or in mediation. This one-day event is packed with sessions by leading authorities delivering critical law practice guidance on the hottest topics and some of the most complex issues you’ll face.
Attendees of this event will learn:
- What is working in mediation and mistakes you should avoid
- Enforcement and relief of judgments or orders
- Tips for opening statements and direct examination
- Cross-examination techniques
- What is ESI and how can you effectively incorporate it into evidence
- Mediation ethics — common issues and confidentiality
- Precautions you should take to be prepared for trial
Expert-led sessions for this event include topics on:
- Mediation. Even with your eye on trial, it is important that you still prepare for successful mediation so that you can best serve your client
- Judgment and Final Remedies. Steven Fuller will cover the best practices, rules for assessing court costs, and several other pertinent topics
- Opening Statements. Your opening statement will introduce your case theme and will set the groundwork for your success. Mr. Russell Reviere will walk you through what you can do to maximize the impact of your opening statement
- Cross-Examination. Mr. Russell Reviere will discuss the secrets of effective cross-examination, including the examination of experts
- ESI. Russell Taber will update you on the methods of identifying and collecting ESI for effective use at trial
- Mediation Ethics. Need CME credit? Ms. Beverly Nelms will cover common ethical issues that Rule 31 neutrals routinely face
- Trial Prep. Scott Hurley will discuss techniques for making sure that you maximize each step so that you are prepared for trial
Your Distinguished Faculty
Steven G. Fuller is a Tennessee trial attorney who practices in areas of insurance defense, large loss claims, personal injury, civil commercial litigation, civil appellate work, criminal defense, business advisement, and complex civil litigation. Mr. Fuller is a member of the Tennessee Bar Association and is admitted to practice law in the State trial courts for Tennessee, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, and the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. He has tried more than twenty-five bench and jury trials in over 10 counties in the State of Tennessee and argued appeals before the Tennessee Court of Appeals and the federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, Ohio. Mr. Fuller received his law degree from the University of Tulsa, in Tulsa, Oklahoma and his Bachelor of Science degree from Austin Peay State University. Mr. Fuller has been active in local and national politics, working on several political campaigns as a political coordinator and, most notably, serving as a congressional intern to former Representative Ed Bryant of the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, DC. Mr. Fuller is a graduate of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy and the Insurance Institute of America. He is a local and national seminar speaker for National Business Institute.
Barry Howard is a founding partner of Howard Tate Sowell Wilson Leathers & Johnson, PLLC, in Nashville and has more than 36 years' experience representing corporate and insurance clients in a wide range of civil litigation. Mr. Howard is a member of the Tennessee Association of Professional Mediators, the Tennessee Defense Lawyers Association (TDLA), and the Defense Research Institute (DRI).
D. Scott Hurley is the principal shareholder in The Hurley Law Firm, P.C., in Knoxville. His practice focuses on civil litigation, including catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice, commercial and probate litigation. Mr. Hurley has been a frequent speaker at legal and continuing education seminars on evidence, expert testimony, direct and cross examination techniques, witness preparation, jury selection and damages in personal injury and wrongful death cases.
Beverly Nelms, like many members of Frantz, McConnell & Seymour, LLP, is a lifelong East Tennessean and a proud Volunteer. The best word to describe her practice is diverse. After receiving her J.D. from the University of Tennessee in 1993, she joined the firm, first as a law clerk and then as an attorney in 1997, before becoming a partner in 2002. Ms. Nelms also has served as managing partner for the firm. Throughout an extremely successful career, her communication skills have helped put her clients at ease while earning their trust and respect. An apt listener, her goal always is to provide a comfortable atmosphere for each and every one of them. Ms. Nelms' practice concentrates on general civil litigation including insurance defense, construction law, personal injury, conservatorships, and family law in addition to mediation. Currently, she is expanding the scope of her practice to include alternative dispute resolution of conflicts in the areas of construction and health care. A Rule 31 listed general civil mediator, she has appeared at each level of state court in Tennessee, as well as the U.S. Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee and the Tennessee Bureau of Workers Compensation. She is a member of several legal organizations, including the Knoxville and Tennessee Bar Associations, the Defense Research Institute and the Tennessee Association of Construction Counsel and has served as a hearing officer for the Civil Service Merit Board, as well as an Ombudsman for the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. In 2016, she was appointed to serve as a member of the Trial Court Vacancy Commission. Ms. Nelms enjoys spending her free time with her husband, a retired member of the military, and the couple’s two children. She also volunteers at her church, plays piano and is an ardent reader.
Russell Reviere is a member of the firm Rainey, Kizer, Reviere & Bell, PLC with offices in Jackson, Memphis, Nashville and Chattanooga. He attended the University of Mississippi and the University of Memphis as an undergraduate and received his JD from the University of Memphis School of Law. He practices civil trial work and is admitted in Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas in all state and federal courts including the Court of Appeals for both the Fifth and Sixth Circuits. Mr. Reviere has been has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® in the specialty of Insurance Law. He is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers and has tried well over 100 jury trials in all three grand divisions of Tennessee both in state and federal courts and has handled appeals in each of the three divisions as well. He has also been selected for inclusion in Mid-South Super Lawyers for Civil Litigation Defense and also Super Lawyers Corporate Edition for Insurance Coverage. More recently, he was selected 2015 Lawyer of the Year in the Memphis area in Insurance Law by Best Lawyers and has been included in the Top 100 Attorneys in Tennessee by Super Lawyers for several years including 2018. In addition, he is also certified as a Civil Trial Specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and is the leader of the Tort and Insurance Practice Group in his law firm. He has frequently been a presenter for CLE programs for attorneys in Tennessee most often concentrating on various aspects of trial practice.
W. Russell Taber, III, with Riley Warnock & Jacobson PLC, in Nashville, practices primarily in the area of business litigation. He has represented individual and corporate clients in federal and state courts and arbitration proceedings. He has experience in various substantive areas of the law and industries, including breach of contract, information privacy, business torts, intellectual property and healthcare. Recognizing the significance of electronic discovery in commercial litigation, Mr. Taber is involved in developing cost-effective e-discovery solutions that are legally defensible and advance his clients’ litigation objectives. He is the author of the book Electronic Discovery in Tennessee: Rules, Case Law and Distinctions. Prior to joining Riley Warnock & Jacobson, PLC, he served as a law clerk for the Honorable Gilbert S. Merritt Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Mr. Taber graduated from Vanderbilt University Law School, where he served as Special Project Editor of the Vanderbilt Law Review and was a member of the Order of the Coif and the Moot Court Board.
DAY 1 — Friday, December 14
8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
What Works in Mediation
Howard Tate Sowell Wilson Leathers & Johnson, PLLC
When a case is headed to mediation, you have to arm yourself with the most effective negotiating tactics. Learn proven methods for achieving the best outcome for your client through mediation.
- Preparing client for a successful negotiation
- Determining your strategy
- Submissions and pre-mediation negotiations
- Negotiation tactics
- Communicating during mediations
- Mistakes to avoid at mediation
9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Judgment and Final Remedies
Steven G. Fuller
Law Office of Steven G. Fuller
In this session, Mr. Fuller will discuss:
- Best practices for bench trial, jury trial and magistrate or special master trial
- Rules for assessing court costs
- Preserving the record for appeal and getting (or preventing) a new trial
- Enforcement and relief of judgments or orders
- How to handle offers of judgment
10:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.
10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.
Opening Statements and Direct Examination
Russell E. Reviere
Rainey Kizer Reviere & Bell, PLC
In this session, Mr. Reviere will discuss:
- Maximizing the impact of opening statements
- Introducing case theme and key case parties
- Laying out the sequence of events
- Introducing supporting and damaging evidence
- Preparing judge and jury to focus on specific elements of trial presentation
- Opening techniques that simply don't work
- Cutting out unnecessary clutter
- Preparation tips for direct examination
- Establishing the main theme
- Organizing the order of testimony
- Preparing witnesses
- Formulating effective questions
- Areas of direct examination
- Specific approaches to impeachment
- Fact testimony
- Expert testimony
- Foundation, etc.
- Persuasive witness testimony - how to:
- Develop the story and make it interesting
- Integrate a theme
- Adjust to the specific audience
- Limit the scope
- Handle and introduce exhibits
- Authenticate documents
- Humanize your witness
- Anticipate and neutralize cross-examination
- Is interim commentary allowed? How to use it well
11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Cross-Examination Including Crossing Experts
Russell E. Reviere
Rainey Kizer Reviere & Bell, PLC
In this session, Mr. Reviere will discuss:
- Advanced uses of basic cross-exam tools: bias, opportunity to observe, inconsistency, etc.
- Tips for cross-examining difficult lay witnesses
- Opposing experts in the courtroom - setting up the motion to strike
- Detailed facts
- Psychological components
- Advanced techniques for getting an expert disqualified
- Making and responding to objections
- Relevancy issues
- Addressing hearsay
- Redirect examination - taking advantage of the often-overlooked resource
12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.
LUNCH (included with registration)
1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.
Riley Warnock & Jacobson, PLC
In this session, Mr. Taber will discuss:
- Methods for identifying and collecting ESI
- Top mistakes that can jeopardize admissibility of ESI
- Overcoming authentication hurdles
- The hearsay rule applied to ESI
- Emails and attachments
- Social media, text messages, and blogs
- Voicemail, video and audio recordings, Fitbit, and GPS
- Best practices
2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.
Beverly Dean Nelm
Frantz, McConnell & Seymour, LLP
In this session, various ethical issues which arise for Rule 31 mediators, including conflicts of interest, impartiality, and confidentiality, will be discussed by examining Rule 31, case law, and advisory opinions.
3:15 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Preparing for Trial
The Hurley Law Firm, P.C.
This session will focus on making sure you are prepared to face the jury when your client decides to go the distance. It is important that you strategically prepare for trial litigation. Here are three things you should keep in mind at the beginning of the case so that you are prepared if the case ultimately goes to trial.
- What is your theme? The story is what will most resonate with your jury, so you should identify witnesses, documents, and facts that will best tell your story at trial.
- Take depositions to use at trial. An adverse witness’ testimony in deposition is critical to establish facts needed for summary judgment and to prepare for cross-examination at trial. Depositions serve another critical function. As a matter of procedure, adverse party deposition testimony can be easily presented to the jury to support your theme of the case.
- Develop jury instructions early. At trial you will need to introduce evidence to support all your jury instructions, and your ability to do so does not start at trial. Preparing jury instructions should begin when you draft your complaint or your answer. By focusing on what your jury instructions will look like at the beginning you will be able to properly frame your pleadings and tailor your discovery to prepare your case for trial.
Sessions and speakers are subject to change
Nashville School of Law
4013 Armory Oaks Dr.
Nashville, TN 37204
*Convenient access to 1-65 and 1-440
* FREE PARKING
* FREE WIRELESS INTERNET ACCESS
Need directions? CLICK HERE
- $377 for entire program
- $80 off for additional attendees from same firm
- $197 for materials
- EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT: $50 off until November 2
7.5 hours of CLE (6.5 hours of GENERAL and 1 hour of DUAL)
Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. The conference begins at 8:00 a.m. and concludes at 5:00 p.m.
Lunch will be provided with registration!
To sponsor this event, please contact Olivia Al-Sadi at OAl-Sadi@blr.com.