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CLE - Litigation Blunders, Bloopers and Boons /6.0 hours, including 2.0 hours ethics/$220
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When: 02/16/2018
9:00 am
Where: Wichita Bar Association
225 N. Market
Wichita, Kansas  67202
United States
Contact: Megan Bleier
316-263-2251 ext. 101

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Litigation Blunders, Bloopers and Boons

Joel Oster, Comedian of Law

Friday, February 16, 2018 
9:00 a.m. - 3:50 p.m.
6.0 hours of CLE credit, including 2.0 hours ethics


9:00am 9:10am Intro


9:10 10:00 - Lying and the Law Part 1 (50 minutes, ethics)

      The Call to Honesty in the legal practice Abraham Lincoln

      Model Rule 3.3 Candor towards the tribunal

      Gun Hill Dairy v. Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Fourth District Court, State of Utah, Juab County, case no. 120600029 (May 5, 2014)

      In re Harrod, Illinois Disciplinary Commission, No. 96 SH 579, slip op. (1997). An attorney was disbarred after submitting will where witness signatures were forged and attorney then testifying about the will.

      United States v. Sterba, 22 F.Supp.2d 1333 (M.D. Fla. 1998) (prosecutor disciplined for lying about witness name on the stand)

      In re Hon. John C. Murphy, Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission, Case No. 14-255. The commission found probable cause existed for formal proceedings to be commenced against a judge based on his actions toward a public defender

      Model Rule 8.4 Acting professionally both in and out of the job



10:00am 10:10am Break


10:10am 11:00am Lying and the Law Part 2 (50 minutes ethics)

      Rule 3.3 Candor towards the tribunal

      Rule 8.4 Duty to act as a professional

      In re Sutton, 265 Kan. 251; 959 P.2d 904 (1998). Attorney was disciplined for double expensing and roadrage.

      The Florida Bar v. Adams and Filthaut, Case No. SC14-1054; In re: Petition for Disciplinary Revocation of Stephen Diaco, Case No. SC15-874. Three attorneys disbarred for engaging in plot to get opposing counsel arrested for a DUI to gain a tactical advantage in a high profile jury trial.

      Rule 4.1 Honesty in dealing with third parties


      Insurance companies

      Model Rule 7.1 Truthfulness in attorney advertising with illustrations

      Rule 7.1 comment 1

      Rule 7.1 comment 2

      Rule 7.1 comment 3

      Truthfulness in billing

      Truthfulness on websites/social media

      Guaranteeing results

      Truthful representations about services

      Closing thoughts on honesty in the legal profession – perceptions and consequences

      Obstacles to an honest legal practice

      The minefield of lie bombs”



11:00am 11:10am - Break


11:10am 12:00noon Legal Writing Story Telling” (50 minutes)

Current state of legal writing People think they get paid to sound lawyerly

      Bradshaw v. Unity Marine Corp., 147 F. Supp.2d 668

      Video John Roberts thinks we learn bad writing in school


Why Should you care about story telling?

      Makes your client sympathetic

      Makes your case interesting to the court

      Makes the court care about your clients plight


Ten steps to converting your legal writing into a story

      Step 1 Make story telling a priority (23:50)

      Step 2 Research (24:58)

      Step 3 Develop a theme (31:29)

      Step 4 Develop your characters (35:00)

      Step 5 Include motives (39:43)

      Step 6 Build drama (41:23)

      Step 7 Channel your inner John Grisham: turn the legal conflict into a legal plot (42:10)

      Step 8 Maintain pace (44:19)

      Step 9 Let the court be the hero (56:17)

      Step 10 Be credible (58:27)


12:00noon 1:00pm Lunch (catering at the WBA)


1:00 pm 1:50 - Grammar can kill! (50 minutes)

      Why writing reflects the attorney

      Why writing reflects the merits

      Top Grammar mistakes in legal briefing

      Best Practices in Writing

      Outline before drafting.

      Edit after drafting. Buy into the concept that thorough editing means better, more persuasive legal writing. The difference is profound.

      Peer review

      Sole practitioner or someone operating in an environment less open to collaboration:

      Leave the document and return no earlier than the following day.

      Perfect Bluebooking


      Anticipate issues and questions

      Address weaknesses

      If possible, do a moot with peers before you submit a brief. If not, practice your prepared remarks repeatedly.


1:50 2:00 - Break


2:00pm 2:50pm Depositions Dos and Donts” (50 minutes)

The modern problem with unethical/unprepared depositions

      Rule 1 - Do be prepared; don’t wing it

      Rule 2 - Do own the deposition; don’t be bullied

      Rule 3 - Do use your documents; dont go sheet-less

      Rule 4 - Do use an outline; don’t use a script

      Rule 5 - Do ask open ended questions; don’t ask double negatives

      Rule 6 - Do exhaust and drill down; don’t fail to get an answer

      Rule 7 - Do get impeachment nuggets; don’t disbelieve great admissions

      Rule 8 - Do object as to form; don’t make coaching objections

      Rule 9 - Do take breaks when need; don’t engage in a witness conference

      Rule 10 - Do read and sign; don’t agree to the usual stipulations


2:50pm 3:00pm Break


3:00pm 3:50pm “The Art of Cross Examination” (50 minutes)

The Problem with modern cross examinations

      Examples of poor questions

      A poor cross examination can hurt your case the expectations create the impact

      Your purpose should be to collect points for your summation

Ten Rules for killer cross examination

      Rule 1 Keep it short

      Rule 2 Keep it simple stupid

      Rule 3 Lead the horse to water

      Rule 4 Be prepared

      Rule 5 Listen

      Rule 6 Don’t get in a mud fight with a pig

      Rule 7 Resist going back to the well

      Rule 8 Get off the other sides payroll

      Rule 9 Cross examination is about summation building

      Rule 10 Always be credible


Contact Us

T 316.263.2251
F 316.263.0629

Find Us

Wichita Bar Association
225 N. Market, Suite 200
Wichita, KS 67202