Let’s Get Practical: Litigation and Trial Practice Considerations and Techniques for Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Actions

Co-sponsored by the State Bar of Arizona Trial Practice Section

This program track may qualify for up to 12.0 hours MCLE, all (or some) of which may be Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Litigation Specialization (up to 4.0 hours MCLE daily including 4.0 Specilization Credits). Attendees are invited to enjoy a complimentary hot breakfast buffet Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, from 7:30 am to 8:15 am.

The practice of litigation is simultaneously a skill and an art – it requires both diligent preparation and creative thinking. From a case’s inception when an attorney evaluates potential case value to the considerations made when structuring settlements and judgments, practitioners must deploy analytical and creative methods. With collaborative, imaginatively challenging activities taking place alongside presentations from seasoned judges and plaintiff and defense attorneys, this three-day program offers a multifaceted approach to continued learning befitting the subject. Providing insight into the practical aspects of Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Actions trial practice, as well as discussing important recent developments in the law of evidence, practitioners will obtain a well-rounded perspective on the practice of litigation.


TRACK CHAIRS: Cristina Perez Hesano, Bellah Perez, PLLC and Hon. Dave Cole (Ret.), Arizona Attorney General's Office


8:15 am -
12:30 pm

Case Valuation: Tips and Tricks to Evaluate and Enhance

Day one kicks off with an interactive and practical approach to case valuation. With so many potential elements at play with case valuation, analysis paralysis can set in. Listen, learn, and get your bearings again as Plaintiff and Defense attorneys debate and analyze proper case valuation, identifying variables and factors that impact a case. And don’t underestimate the power of a good, old-fashioned visual aid – participants learn to enhance case value through compelling uses of visuals and demonstrative evidence. The day ends with a defense attorney’s perspective on how to effectively attack civil damage claims in personal injury and wrongful death actions.

FACULTY: Lincoln Combs, Gallagher & Kennedy, PC; Nathan T. Metzger, Metzger Law Firm, PLLC


8:15 am -
12:30 pm

PI & Wrongful Death: Deposition Dos and Don'ts & Your Tax and Probate Questions Answered

The workshop’s second day continues to explore pragmatic techniques when litigating personal injury and wrongful death actions. Often crossover into other areas of the law must be taken into account when strategizing and maneuvering your case. Form a handy deposition dos and don’ts list after a thorough discussion of properly deposing lay and expert witnesses to set up for cross-examination at trial. Then learn to avoid potential mishaps in your practice as we delve into tax aspects of settlements and judgments, learning about relevant tax code provisions, revenue rulings, tax court decisions, and other pertinent authorities impacting the taxation of settlement awards and judgments. Day two concludes with a spirited discussion about probate issues in wrongful death, minor and incapacitated adult actions.

FACULTY: Lonnie Williams, Stinson Leonard Street, LLP; Giselle C. Alexander, Dickinson Wright, PLLC; Kelly J. McDonald, The Law Offices of Kelly J. McDonald, PLLC


8:15 am -
12:30 pm

Changes in Evidence Law: Stay in the Loop and Get in the Game

Day three is entirely dedicated to evidence law. To keep you up-to-date on the latest developments, the session discusses important recent modifications in the law of evidence, changes to the AZ Rules of Evidence, and current significant cases addressing evidence issues. Jurists and lawyers begin the day with a discussion of noteworthy cases relating to evidentiary issues and recent rule changes. The second part of day three keeps you on your toes with a lively interactive presentation providing courtroom scenarios, allowing the audience to “sustain” or “overrule” when an objection is lodged.

FACULTY: Hon. Dave Cole (Ret.), Arizona Attorney General’s Office; Hon. Pamela Gates, Maricopa County Superior Court; Hon. Sara Agne, Maricopa County Superior Court

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