Trial Advocacy College: Depositions | The American Association For Justice

Trial Advocacy College: Depositions

February 22, 2018 to February 24, 2018
Program Information:

Ft. Lauderdale Marriott North | Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Sponsored by HMR Funding
Sponsored by Lisa Blue and Williams Kherkher

About the College:

Taking and defending depositions are critical skills for every trial lawyer.  AAJ Education’s Depositions College combines lectures, demonstrations, and small-group, interactive workshops led by experienced faculty to give you practical, proven techniques that you can apply immediately to your practice. 

You’ll receive individual attention and skill critique in a supportive, responsive environment with colleagues at a similar skill and practice level.

You’ll learn:

  • How to create an effective discovery plan
  • Strategies for dealing with a difficult attorney
  • Essential deposition techniques including sequencing, exhaustion, and boxing-in
  • How to establish rules and utilize the Miller Mousetrap method
  • How to successfully depose the defense expert witness

Plus, seminars will cover how to structure your depositions, witness preparation, 30(b)(6) and 30(b)(2) Depositions, and using depositions at settlement and trial.

Registration Fees:

$1,095 for AAJ Members
$1,375 for nonmembers

The Depositions College is currently full and operating on a waitlist. Email or call 800-622-1791 for more information.

  • If you are an AAJ member and have been admitted to the bar for ten years or less, you can attend the Depositions College for 25% off. (Does not apply if you have previously attended an AAJ Education seminar or college.) Discount not available online--please call 800-622-1791 to register.
  • Register two or more lawyers from your firm at the same time, and take $70 off the registration fee for each registrant. Discount not available online--please call 800-622-1791 to register.

Not an AAJ member? Call 202-965-3500, ext. 8612 to register.


“Whether you have been practicing for twenty minutes or twenty years, you will leave the AAJ Depositions College with new tools to immediately employ to leverage additional value in your cases and sharpen your trial skills.” 
– Nicholas Maxwell, Mankato, MN

“This program was incredibly enlightening! I have learned so many concrete tips to improve my deposition practice. The workshops provided a safe, supportive environment to practice the new skills we’ve been working on. The faculty were all fantastic – smart, clear, and engaging – and I would highly recommend this program to others.” 
– Emily Rock, Bridgeport, CT

“This program should be an essential part of any young attorney’s legal education. I now feel like I can handle the demands of a deposition effectively.” 
– Fabian Rincon, Atlanta, GA

“After attending this program I now have a whole new approach and game plan for depositions. I wish I had taken this course even earlier in my career.”
– Melissa Hague, Philadelphia, PA

“This was an outstanding program taught by an excellent group of very educated faculty. You’ll leave with a much firmer foundation and confidence for both taking and defending your depositions.” 
– Dennis Charles Dukes, Charleston, SC

Contact Education 800.622.1791 | 202.965.3500, ext. 8612 |


Thursday, February 22

Registration and Welcome Networking Breakfast
8:00 - 8:30am

Morning Session
8:30 - 11:30am
• Techniques of Sequencing, Exhaustion, Bracketing, Boxing-in, and Summarization
• The Difficult Witness
• Technique Demostration: The DIfficult Witness

Workshop Introductions (Lunch Provided)
11:30 - 11:45am

Afternoon Session
11:45am - 6:30pm
• Workshop on Taking Depositions: Sequencing, Exhaustion, Bracketing, Boxing In, and Summarization
• Developing a Discovery Plan and Setting Goals
• Developing Rules and Standards
• Structuring Miller Mousetrap
• Workshop on Deposition Techniques: Establishing Rules/Miller Mousetrap

Networking Reception
6:30 - 7:30pm

​Friday, February 23

Networking Breakfast
8:30 - 9:00am

Morning Session
9:00 - 11:45am
• Deposing Key Defense Experts
• Deposing the Defense Medical Examiner
• Dealing With the Difficult Situation and Attorney

Lunch break
11:45am - 1:00pm

Afternoon Session
1:00 - 6:00pm
• Workshop on Deposing Defense Experts and Dealing With the Difficult Attorney
• “Death Star” Depositions: The 30(b)(2) Deposition and 30(b)(6) Depositions
• Workshop on “Death Star” Depositions

Saturday, February 24

Networking Breakfast
8:00 - 8:30am

Morning Session
8:30am - 1:00pm
• General Considerations for Witness Deposition Preparation
• Later Use of Depositions at Settlement and Trial
• Workshop on Putting it all Together: Techniques, Establishing Rules and the Miller Mousetrap, Deposing Defense Experts and Difficult Witnesses, “Death Star” Depositions, and Preparing for Cross-Examination at Trial

Invited Faculty:

Joseph V. Camerlengo, Jr.

Joseph V. Camerlengo, Jr. is a founding partner of The Truck Accident Law Firm, who specializes in serious personal injury and wrongful death claims caused by tractor trailer and commercial motor vehicle crashes. Mr. Camerlengo is board certified in civil trial law by the Florida Bar Association, “Preeminent AV” rated by Martindale-Hubbell, and has been voted a Florida Super Lawyer in Civil Trial and Personal Injury Law every year since 2008. He is an active member of the American Association for Justice (AAJ), the Florida Justice Association (FJA), and the Jacksonville Justice Association. He is a regular speaker on issues relating to trucking cases, trial techniques, and practice management for AAJ, FJA, the Florida Bar, and the 360 Advocacy Group.  He is a past president of the Jacksonville Bar Association and served on the executive council of the Florida Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Diversity and Inclusion. Mr. Camerlengo donates to AAJ PAC, is a member of AAJ’s Trucking Litigation Group and Motor Vehicle Collision, Highway and Premises Liability Sections, and formerly served as a member of AAJ’s Convention Planning Committee. The Truck Accident Law Firm is an AAJ Leaders Forum member and is based in Florida, with offices in Jacksonville and Miami.

Edward J. Ciarimboli, course advisor

Edward J. Ciarimboli concentrates his practice in automobile collision, products liability, medical negligence, trucking collision, premises liability, and insurance bad faith claims litigation. While earning his J.D. from Duquesne University School of Law, he was admitted to the Order of the Barristers for excellence in courtroom advocacy and was a national semi-finalist in the American Association for Justice’s (AAJ) Moot Court Competition. Mr. Ciarimboli served as a law clerk to the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas and the US District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Mr. Ciarimboli has continuously been named a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers and as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer. He is a member of the Luzerne County and Pennsylvania Bar Associations, the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, and is a Sustaining Member of the American Association for Justice (AAJ). He is a member of AAJ’s Insurance Law Section, the Professional Negligence Section, the Birth Trauma Litigation Group, and the Trucking Litigation Group. Mr. Ciarimboli donates to AAJ PAC and is a member of AAJ’s National College of Advocacy (NCA) Board of Trustees. He is a partner in the law firm of Fellerman & Ciarimboli, located in Kingston, Pennsylvania.

Render C. Freeman

Render C. Freeman has dedicated his career to helping injured victims hold wrongdoers financially responsible for their carelessness.  As a trial attorney, his litigation experience includes complex claims, involving wrongful death, personal injury, products liability, motor vehicle and trucking collisions, medical negligence, nursing home abuse and negligence, premises liability, negligent hiring, and negligent security.  An active member of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association and the American Association for Justice, he is “AV” rated by Martindale-Hubbell and has been a registered mediator and arbitrator with the State of Georgia since 2010.  He is also a member of the American Association for Justice’s Motor Vehicle, Highway, and Premises Liability Section.  He is a member of the Atlanta Lawyers’ Club, Gwinnett County Bar, and North Fulton Bar Associations, and a founding member and former vice president of the Johns Creek Chamber of Commerce.  Mr. Freeman is a member of Andersen, Tate & Carr, P.C., an AAJ Leaders Forum Member, which is located in Atlanta, Georgia.

J.D. Hays, Jr., course advisor

J.D. Hays, Jr. is the senior attorney at Taylor King Law’s Springdale, Arkansas office.  He is an active member of the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association (ATLA), which awarded him “2013 Young Trial Lawyer of the Year.”  In 2014, he was named chair of the ATLA’s membership committee, and in 2015 he was appointed to serve on its Board of Governors.  Mr. Hays is a member of the American Association for Justice’s (AAJ) Motor Vehicle Collision, Highway and Premises Liability Section, Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, and Trucking Litigation Group.  He serves on AAJ’s Board of Governors, the AAJ PAC Task Force, the Public Education Committee, the Trial Lawyers Care Committee, the Voter Protection Committee, the Membership Oversight Committee, and donates to AAJ PAC.  He is also a member of the Oklahoma Association for Justice, the Public Justice Foundation, and the Pound Civil Justice Institute.  Taylor King Law has offices in Arkadelphia, Fort Smith, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Springdale, and West Memphis, Arkansas.

Jennifer R. Liakos

Jennifer R. Liakos is the managing partner of the Los Angeles office of Napoli Shkolnik PLLC, where she specializes in mass tort pharmaceutical litigation, as well as personal injury and medical device cases.  In 2003, she was appointed Discovery Chair for the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in the Paxil Products Liability Litigation (MDL no. 1574) and has been at the forefront of mental health medication litigation for nearly two decades.  She is currently the chair of the American Association for Justice (AAJ) SSRI Birth Defect Litigation Group and serves on the Litigation Group Leaders’ Council.  Ms. Liakos has also testified before the Food and Drug Administration Advisory Board on amending the regulations concerning generic manufacturer liability.  She currently serves on the Science and Discovery Committees for the Abilify Products Liability Litigation (MDL no. 2734) and the Discovery Committee of the Viagra Products Liability Litigation (MDL no. 2691). Ms. Liakos generously donates to AAJ PAC.  Napoli Shkolnik, an AAJ Leaders Forum Member, has offices in New York, California, Illinois, Delaware, Florida, New Jersey, Texas and Pennsylvania.

Neil T. O'Donnell

Neil T. O’Donnell is a Pennsylvania Board Certified Specialist in Civil Trial Advocacy who has been practicing law for over 25 years. Mr. O’Donnell was accredited by the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification, which is a designation that only 159 attorneys in Pennsylvania hold. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh Law School, J.D., cum laude, Mr. O’Donnell was admitted to the Pennsylvania and United States District Court, Eastern and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania, in 1987. In 1990, he was admitted to the United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, United States Supreme Court. His practice areas include Personal Injury, Product Liability, Workers’ Compensation, Premises Liability, and Truck Collisions. Mr. O’Donnell is a member of the Pennsylvania, American and Federal Bar Associations, National Trial Lawyers Top 100, Trial Lawyers for Public Safety, Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association, Pennsylvania Association for Justice, and American Association for Justice (AAJ). He is a member of AAJ’s Civil Rights Section, Insurance Law Section, and Products Liability Section, as well as a former member of AAJ’s Board of Governors.

Shayla M. Reed

Shayla M. Reed concentrates her practice in personal injury and nursing home litigation. Ms. Reed is a member of the American Association for Justice, the American Bar Association, the Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys, the Nebraska State Bar Association, and the Omaha Bar Association. She has received the American Board of Trial Attorneys (ABOTA) Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Art and Science of Advocacy. Ms. Reed has been ranked as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the American Trial Lawyers Association, has received the International Academy of Trial Lawyers Award for Distinguished Achievement in Art & Science of Trial Advocacy, is a lifetime fellow of the Nebraska State Bar Association, and is a fellow of the National Pound Civil Justice Institute. Reed Law Offices, PC, LLO, is located in Omaha, Nebraska.

Paul J. Scoptur

Paul J. Scoptur has been a trial lawyer representing plaintiffs exclusively since his graduation from Marquette University Law School in 1978. He was a trustee and past cochair of the National College of Advocacy (NCA) Board of Trustees and an Adjunct Professor of Law at Marquette University Law School, where he has taught litigation and trial skills. He has been named one of the “Best Lawyers in America” continuously since 2002 and is one of Wisconsin’s top 50 Super Lawyers. Mr. Scoptur is a Diplomate of the NCA and was one of the first lawyers to complete the Advanced Studies in Trial Advocacy (ASTA) curriculum offered by the NCA. He is a member of the American Society of Trial Consultants. He has a broad practice both as a trial lawyer and as a trial consultant and uses strategic case planning and focus groups extensively, both in his cases and in assisting other lawyers in preparing the discovery and trial of their cases across the country and in Canada. He is coauthor of Focus Groups: Hitting the Bulls-Eye (AAJ Press, 2016), Advanced Depositions Strategy and Practice (AAJ Press/Trial Guides, 2013), and has produced a DVD of the same title. He also produced The Defense Medical Examiner deposition DVD with Phillip Miller. In over 20 years of coaching basketball, he never got a technical foul.  He wishes he could still dunk a basketball. Aiken & Scoptur, S.C. is a member of AAJ’s Leaders Forum and located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Carl L. Solomon

Carl L. Solomon concentrates his practice in products liability, personal injury, civil, and medical negligence litigation. He is a member of the South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association, the South Carolina Bar Association, and the American Bar Association. He serves on the American Association for Justice’s National College of Advocacy Board of Trustees and is past chair of AAJ’s Motor Vehicle Collision, Highway and Premises Liability Section. He is “AV” rated by Martindale-Hubbell and listed in Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America. The Solomon Law Group is located in Columbia, South Carolina.

Robyn L. Wishart

Robyn L. Wishart has appeared as counsel before the Provincial and Supreme Court of British Columbia and several administrative tribunals. While she has experience in a wide range of cases, including complex personal injury and insurance litigation, she concentrates her practice in spinal cord and traumatic brain injury litigation. She is a member of the Law Society of British Columbia, the Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia, and the Vancouver Bar Association. Ms. Wishart is a member of the American Association for Justice’s (AAJ) Jury Bias and Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Groups; the Insurance Law Section; and the Motor Vehicle Collision, Highway, and Premises Liability Section. Ms. Wishart serves on AAJ’s National College of Advocacy (NCA) Board of Trustees and has taught trial advocacy skills at several AAJ NCA continuing legal education programs, including the Advanced Depositions College and ATLA’s Ultimate Trial Advocacy College: Art of Persuasion, held annually at Harvard University, and at AAJ’s Annual Convention. Ms. Wishart’s undergraduate studies were focused in sports psychology and she continues to study and teach neuroscience and its application to law and decision-making. Formerly of the firm Slater Vecchio LLP, Ms. Wishart is the founder of Wishart Brain and Spine Law BC in Vancouver, British Columbia.


AAJ Education’s block at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott North is currently full. For reservations, please book online or contact the Marriott directly. For cancellations or alterations to existing reservations contact the hotel directly. AAJ is not responsible for cancellation or early departure fees.

Fort Lauderdale Marriott North
6650 North Andrews Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
Phone: (954) 771-0440
Toll Free: 1-800-319-5705


Your registration includes:

• 17.25 hours of continuing legal education and NCA credits, including one hour of ethics, which can be applied towards AAJ's professional recognition programs
• Recorded workshops with personalized critiques
• Comprehensive reference materials provided on a USB drive
• Complimentary daily continental breakfast and coffee
• Boxed lunch

Who should attend:

This trial skills college will benefit plaintiff trial lawyers at all levels of experience. By networking and interacting with experienced trial lawyers in the field, every participant will find answers to even the most challenging issues.

This college is open to both AAJ members (Regular, Life, Sustaining, President’s Club, and Leaders Forum) and non-members and is designed for plaintiff trial lawyers at all levels of experience. For more information about eligibility requirements, please contact AAJ Education directly. 

Program Location:

Fort Lauderdale Marriott North
6650 N Andrews Ave
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309


Call us. We'll provide you with names and phone numbers of previous attendees of AAJ Education programs who will be pleased to answer your questions. Or, if you prefer to speak with a course advisor or faculty member, we will arrange that as well. Call 800.622.1791 or 202.965.3500, extension 8612.

MCLE/NCA Requirements:

AAJ has filed for CLE/MCLE credit in the appropriate jurisdictions.  In many jurisdictions, final approval is not available prior to the program and contingent upon approval from state bars and/or MCLE boards.  Total available credit hours may vary by jurisdiction.  AAJ Education programs are routinely accredited by states requiring continuing legal education. CLE questions may be addressed by reading our FAQ calling the CLE Coordinator at 800-424-2725, ext. 8335 or 202-965-3500, ext. 9594.​

Click here to learn more about AAJ's Professional Recognition Programs, Achievement Recognition Program (ARP) and Advanced Studies in Trial Advocacy (ASTA), or call 800.622.1791 or 202.965.3500, ext. 9594. The Achievement Recognition Program (ARP) provides Advocate, Fellow, and Diplomate recognition to AAJ members. To gain ARP credits, submit a certificate of attendance for every seminar, college, and convention you attend.

* Number of credits may vary depending on calculation method used by individual state accreditation agencies. AAJ is a State Bar of California MCLE-approved provider.

Special Assistance:

AAJ Education will make every effort to ensure that its meetings are held in facilities that are fully accessible to persons with mobility disabilities. If you plan to attend our program and need special facilities or assistance relating to a disability, please call 800-622-1791 or 202-965-3500, ext. 8612.

Cancellation Policy:

Cancellations received in writing on or before February 7, 2018 will result in a refund less a 10% administrative charge. Cancellations received in writing February 8 - 14, 2018 will result in a voucher for 50% of the fee, which may be applied toward any AAJ Education college, seminar, or webinar held within one calendar year of the date of issue. Requests for refunds or vouchers received within one week of the program will not be honored. AAJ is not responsible for any room cancellation fees or other travel fees which result from your cancellation. Cancellation requests must be made in writing. Fax or email your cancellation letter to the registrar at 202-625-7084 or

Contribute to the AAJ Education Fund:

Please consider a donation to the AAJ Education Fund 501(c)(3). Contributions support educational programs and activities to preserve and protect the civil justice system. Learn more>>

Terms and Conditions:

The American Association for Justice reserves the right to, in its sole discretion, refuse entrance to the event and/or remove any individual from the event whose behavior is disruptive and/or is not consistent with the character and purpose of the event. All American Association for Justice badges are the property of the American Association for Justice and must be returned upon request.

By registering for this AAJ Education program, you agree to receive electronic, written, and telephonic communication from AAJ staff regarding the program and to have your name, firm, city, and state included on the participant and exhibitor/sponsor roster.  AAJ may also need to contact you to service your membership record or to provide you with information about your membership, products and services, and advocacy and legislative updates.  By providing your contact information, including phone number, fax number, and email address, you consent and give permission for AAJ to contact you by any of those means, which may include calls to your mobile phone, faxes, or emails. You may contact AAJ at any time to change your preferences.

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