39th Annual Civil Trial Practice Institute: Day 1, Preparing for the Trial
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Program Chair Robert Kelner, Kelner & Kelner has brought together an extraordinary faculty of judges, experienced litigators, academics and medical experts for the 39th Annual Civil Trial Practice Institute.
This CLE 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 will also as an excellent refresher for more experienced practitioners.
AGENDA: Preparing for the Trial
· Civil Pre-Trial Practice: Commercial Litigation & Personal Injury Litigation
· Preparation of Plaintiffs and Defendants
· Conference and Settlement and Mediation in Commercial and Personal Injury Cases
· Courtroom Techniques: Dealing with Expert Testimony and Hearsay
· Ethical Issues for Litigators
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.
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.
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. 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
Joshua D. Kelner, Esq.
Joshua D. Kelner graduated cum laude from Williams College in 2001 and cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2004. While in law school, he was Articles Editor for the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, and a finalist in the Ames Moot Court Competition. In college, he was President of the Williams College debate team.
He has been associated with Kelner & Kelner since 2005, during which time he has concentrated his practice on the trial preparation of complex personal injury cases and on appellate advocacy. He has conducted depositions, second seated trials, and argued numerous motions before the courts. He has also successfully briefed and argued numerous appeals. He was previously associated with the law firm of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, LLP, during which time he focused on federal litigation and white collar criminal defense.
He is the author of The Anatomy of an Image: Unpacking the Case for Tort Reform, which was published in the University of Dayton Law Review in 2006. He is a member of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association and the New York State Bar Association.