38th Annual Civil Trial Practice Institute: Day 1, Preparing for Trial
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Program Chair Robert Kelner, Kelner & Kelner and Co-chair Emeritus Hon. Robert Lippman (Ret.), have brought together an extraordinary faculty of judges, experienced litigators, academics and medical experts for the 38th Annual Civil Trial Practice Institute. The program will take attendees through the entire state civil trial process. You will learn ways to develop and improve trial preparation and litigation techniques within the context of personal injury and commercial cases. This program will serve as an excellent refresher for more experienced practitioners.
- Civil Pre-Trial Practice: Commercial Litigation & Personal Injury Litigation
- Preparation of Plaintiffs and Defendants
- Conference and Settlement – Personal Injury Litigation
- Courtroom Techniques: Dealing with Expert Testimony and Hearsay
- Ethical Issues for Litigators
- Dealing With Evidentiary Problems During Trial
- How to Conduct a Voir Dire, With Demonstration
- Preparation of Opening Statements
- Direct and Cross Examination of Lay and Expert Witnesses, With Demonstration
- Preparation of Summations
Tracee E. Davis is a senior associate in the commercial litigation group at Zeichner
Ellman & Krause LLP. At ZEK, Ms. Davis handles both federal and state court cases
involving matters ranging in complexity: from commercial business disputes to consumer
and lender’s liability class actions to disputes involving complex structured refinancing
She is a graduate of Montclair State College and of American University, Washington
College of Law, where she earned her law degree.
Prior to joining Zeichner Ellman & Krause LLP, Ms. Davis served as the Principal Court
Attorney to Justice Charles E. Ramos of the New York State Supreme Court,
Commercial Division in Manhattan. During her five years with Justice Ramos, Ms. Davis
assisted in managing the resolution of more than 400 complex commercial cases. She
researched and wrote court opinions, many of which were published, and negotiated
case settlements on panoply of business and commercial issues. Some of the cases
she handled included consumer fraud class actions, unfair competition and employment
contract disputes, and conflicts arising from private investment/financial arrangements.
She also served an Adjunct Professor of Law at New York Law School. Ms. Davis
lectured at Education Unlimited for several years to real estate salespersons on the laws
regulating commercial and residential real estate transactions.
Ms. Davis is currently a Delegate to the New York State Bar Association’s House of
Delegates, the immediate past Secretary of the New York State Bar Association’s
Commercial and Federal Litigation Section and since 2001 has been a member of the
Section’s Executive Committee. She also served as Co-Chair of the Section’s State
Court Counsel Committee.
Ms. Davis is also a member of the Association of the City Bar of the City of New York
and member of the Association’s State Court of Superior Jurisdiction Committee.
In 2004, she was also appointed Director of the Independent Judicial Screening Panel,
New York County Democratic Party (Civil Court 2004) to oversee the merit-based
screening and selection process for reviewing applications and identifying qualified
Ms. Davis has chaired or served as a faculty member of a number of programs for the
NYSBA, the Association of the City Bar, the New York County Lawyers’ Association, and
the Anti-Bias Committee of the New York State Supreme Court, New York County.
Richard L. Spinogatti, Esq.
Richard Spinogatti is a senior counsel in the Litigation Department. Rich has more than 40 years of experience in federal and state courts in New York and other jurisdictions across the nation. In addition to litigating, trying cases, and arguing appeals at all levels, he has advised national and international clients in connection with internal investigations and represented them in civil and criminal investigations, in administrative proceedings before federal, state and local government agencies, and before industry regulatory organizations.
Through his extensive representation of international, national, regional and local accounting firms, Rich has developed a broad knowledge of accounting, auditing and related professional services, and the complex regulatory structure governing the accounting profession. Rich is frequently called upon to consult with accountants and other professionals in pre-litigation contexts to avoid or minimize exposure risks. He has lectured and taught seminars for partners and employees of accounting firms on subjects ranging from accountants' liability to litigation support.
Rich also has represented issuers, purchasers and sellers in litigation relating to securities transactions, major law firms in malpractice litigation, a major defense contractor, several large manufacturing companies, investment banking organizations and other financial institutions, as well as numerous corporate officers and directors.
Rich has tried numerous civil and criminal cases involving complex commercial transactions, including a broad spectrum of alleged violations of federal and state securities laws, consumer protection statutes, and the accountancy laws in various jurisdictions, as well as common law claims.
Rich is a frequent author of published articles relating to the securities laws, corporate governance and the accounting profession. He is the author of The Liability of Accountants to Non-Clients For Professional Malpractice, published by the Bureau of National Affairs.
Richard T. Farrell
Professor Farrell, a member of the faculty since 1964, is a leading authority on the New
York Civil Practice Law and Rules. He is the author of the latest edition of the
preeminent New York evidence treatise Prince, Richardson on Evidence (11th ed. 1995;
2005 Supplement). He is also a frequent lecturer across the state for bar association and
trial lawyers programs speaking on developments in the law of evidence and civil
procedure. Professor Farrell has argued numerous appeals before the United States
Supreme Court and New York's highest court, and was formerly the Reporter for the
New York Pattern Jury Instructions Committee. He also served as a Law Clerk to Judge
John Scileppi of the New York State Court of Appeals.
Jay G. Safer, Esq.
Jay G. Safer is a partner in Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell's New York office and has experience
handling complex litigation and arbitration in the United States and abroad. He represents
clients in matters concerning contracts, antitrust, securities, RICO, banking, qui tam, international
litigation and arbitration, including application of the New York Convention and enforcement of
foreign judgments and arbitration awards, insurance, construction, real estate, employment,
media, product liability, health care, professional ethics, financial, constitutional and regulatory
issues. He also counsels clients on commercial matters, including protection and preventive
measures, creation of risk litigation plans, pre-litigation analysis, e-discovery, e-readiness, esignature/
e-sign, document retention policies, and electronic records. Jay was appointed to serve
on the Planning Committee for the Judicial Conference of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
Second Circuit, which he attended with the Judges of the Second Circuit. Jay was appointed by
Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye to serve on a Special Commission on the Future of the New
York State Courts. The Commission is composed of lawyers, civic leaders, government and
private sector representatives, academicians, and sitting and former trial and appellate court
judges. The Commission's charge is to redesign the state's trial court structure.
Jay is the Past Chair of the 2,000 member Federal & Commercial Litigation Section of the New
York State Bar Association and is the Co-Chair of its Federal Judiciary Committee.
Jay has served as a lecturer on panels and a member of committees with judges and attorneys
discussing a wide range of civil litigation issues, international arbitration and litigation skills,
including cross examination for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, professional ethics, ediscovery,
e-signature and e-records.
Jay is a member of The Sedona Conference Working Group on Electronic Document Retention
and Production (WG1) and The Sedona Conference Working Group on International Electronic
Information Management, Discovery and Disclosure (WG6). Jay is a member of the Advisory
Board of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration (ITA).
Columbia University,J.D., 1971
Vanderbilt University, B.A., 1968
New York, 1972
u.s. Supreme Court
New York State Court
U.S. Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
U.S. Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
U.S. Court of Appeals (11 th Circuit)
U.S. District Court, S.D. New York
U.S. District Court, E.D. New York
U.S. District Court, N.D. New York
U.S. District Court, N.D. Illinois
U.S. District Court, Connecticut
Harold Lee Schwab
Mr. Schwab has tried more than one hundred product liability and major damage cases
of all types to a verdict throughout the State of New York and in other jurisdictions. He
has tried to a successful defense verdict cases involving claims of defective
automobiles, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, childseats, industrial machinery and
equipment, cranes, electrical equipment, home products, nuclear plant design and
vessel design. He has acted as national coordinating counsel on various product lines
for leading manufacturers. Mr. Schwab is listed in numerous peer-reviewed publications,
has given more than one hundred lectures on trial techniques and products liability, and
has authored numerous articles on evidence, product liability and product liability
Robert Kelner, Esq.
Mr. Kelner graduated from Columbia University School of Law, and is a member of the
Bar of the State of New York. He is admitted to the United States District Court,
Southern and Eastern Districts. Currently, Mr. Kelner is a member of the law firm Kelner
& Kelner, Esqs., specializing in the practice of personal injury, medical malpractice and
products liability law. He has obtained many verdicts in excess of $10,000,000, including
one verdict of approximately $23,000,000 (Martin v. Dellwood) and one verdict in excess
of $36,000,000 (Driscoll v. New York City Transit Authority). Mr. Kelner has lectured
before virtually all major bar associations in Continuing Legal Education Programs,
including, but not limited to, the New York State Bar Association, New York State Trial
Lawyers Association, Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and the New York
County Lawyers’ Association, where he is Co-chair of the annual Civil Trial Practice
Institute. In addition, he lectured at Princeton University and Columbia University School
of Law. Mr. Kelner is the author of numerous publications and serves as co-columnist of
the New York Law Journal’s monthly column on Trial Practice.
Robert J. Conway
Mr. Conway received a B.A. degree from Fordham University and a J.D. degree from
Albany Law School Union University. He is currently a partner in Marshall Conway &
Wright, PC, one of the leading insurance defense firms in New York and New Jersey. He
is admitted to the Bar in New York State, as well as admitted to practice in the U.S.
District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. Mr. Conway is a member of
the American Bar Association, Tort and Insurance Practice Section; Defense Research
Institute; New York State Bar Association, Insurance Negligence and Compensation
Section; New York County Lawyers’ Association; Nassau County Bar Association;
American Arbitration Association; and Defense Association of New York (DANY).
Lewis Tesser, Esq.
Lewis Tesser is a senior partner in the New York law firm of Tesser, Ryan & Rochman, LLP, concentrating his practice in litigation and mediation, representing licensed professionals and professional practices, administrative law and commercial law. Lew Tesser is Vice-President of the New York County Lawyers’ Association and Director of its Ethics Institute.
Prior to private practice, Mr. Tesser was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of New York. In that capacity, he represented various agencies of the United States government in litigation in the United States District Court and United States Court of Appeals. Mr. Tesser also served as a Judge Advocate in the United States Army where he prosecuted and defended criminal cases and was the chief legal advisor to the Commanding General of the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He also has served as an Arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association, New York City Civil Court, a Judge for the Environmental Control Board of the City of New York and a lecturer for various Bar Associations and New York area law schools.
Mr. Tesser, who was admitted to practice in 1971, is a 1970 Honors graduate from the National Law Center, George Washington University, a Masters graduate from the Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania (l974) and a graduate of the Harvard Law School Program of Instruction for Lawyers. He is a past President of Congregation Sons of Israel, Nyack, NY.
David Jaroslawicz, the principal partner of Jaroslawicz & Jaros, is a member of the New
York, Florida and California bar. He has been in practice for over 34 years and has
secured tens of millions of dollars on behalf of his clients during this time. Mr.
Jaroslawicz has handled both trials and appeals and has argued before the United
States Supreme Court, the New York State Court of Appeals, the United States Court of
Appeals for the Second, Ninth, and Tenth Circuit, as well as the Florida Supreme Court.
Mr. Jaroslawicz has represented countless clients involved in commercial litigation;
contract disputes; real estate litigation; sexual discrimination and harassment, sexual
abuse by priests, medical malpractice; product liability cases such as defective medical
products, pharmaceuticals, bicycle or motorcycle helmets, industrial machinery, tires,
hospital equipment, and defective automobiles, among others. His contributions to the
practice of law have helped shape New York and New Jersey common law. In fact, Mr.
Jaroslawicz was among the legal pioneers who developed the “concerted action” theory
that was utilized against drug manufacturer Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals, who had
manufactured and sold DES, a drug that caused cancer in children decades after their
mothers had ingested the drugs while pregnant. (link to Eli Lilly case and other notable
cases). In addition to his work in the personal injury field, Mr. Jaroslawicz has also
handled several class-action consumer fraud lawsuits as well as lawsuits on behalf of
stock holders who have suffered severe financial losses as a result of securities fraud
during the dot-com downfall. Due to his expertise, Mr. Jaroslawicz had been invited to
lecture on numerous occasions on behalf of lawyer groups such as the New York Trial
Clifford Aaron has been a litigator in New York State for over 25 years. He began his
career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Bronx County District Attorney’s office,
where he tried over 30 felony cases to verdict. He is currently a partner in the downtown
personal injury firm of London Fischer LLP, where he specializes in insurance defense
litigation, general liability, vicarious liability, and automotive products liability,
catastrophic injury, and complex commercial litigation. His clients include some of the
largest automotive manufacturers in the world, and he has tried numerous personal
injury lawsuits to verdict both in state and federal court throughout New York State. He
has been an adjunct professor of law at New York Law School, and is the former
treasurer of the Products Liability Subcommittee of the Tort Division of the New York
County Lawyers’ Association. He is a member, NYS and American Bar Associations,
Defense Research Institute and NYCLA. Mr. Aaron is admitted to the bar in New York,
U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of New York and
Tennessee. He received his B.A. degree from Franklin & marshall College and J.D.
degree from Villanova University.
Hon. Richard F. Braun
Richard Braun is a justice for the New York County Supreme Court, Civil Term in the 1st Judicial District of New York. He was elected to this position in 2004, after serving as an acting justice from 1997. His current term expires in 2017.
Hon. Michael D. Stallman
Acting Justice, Supreme Court, New York County, Appointed by Chief Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman, 1999 to Present Judge, Civil Court of the City of New York, New York County, Elected, 1987 to 1996; Re-elected, 1997 to 2006, 2007 to 2016 Judge, Civil Court of the City of New York, Appointed by Mayor Edward I. Koch, 1986 to 1986
Hon. George Silver
Justice, Supreme Court, New York County, Civil Term, Elected, 2013 to 2027. Acting Justice, Supreme Court, New York County, Civil Term, Appointed, 2010 to 2012. Judge, Civil Court of the City of New York, Kings County, Elected, 2005 to 2012
Hon. Ariel E. Belen
Hon. Ariel E. Belen (Ret.) was an Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department since 2008 and has served as a Justice of the New York Supreme Court trial and appellate terms since 1995. Justice Belen helped create the Commercial Division in Kings County and then presided as a Justice handling complex commercial cases from 2002 to 2005. Over the course of nearly 18 years of distinguished judicial service, he developed a reputation as a calm, intelligent, fair, and hardworking jurist. He presided over countless matters covering the gamut of civil litigation from administrative to zoning law. A prolific writer, Justice Belen co-authored New York Trial Notebook, a comprehensive trial practice treatise. He was an instructor for many years at the New York State Judicial Institute where he taught all newly appointed or elected New York judges in the art of judging.
Hon. Saliann Scarpulla
Justice, Supreme Court, New York County, Elected, 2013 to 2026
Acting Justice, Supreme Court, New York County, Appointed by Chief Administrative Judge Ann Pfau, 2009 to 2012
Judge, Civil Court of the City of New York, New York County, Elected, 2002 to 2011; Re-elected, 2012 to 2012