Weekend with the Stars Seminar: The Power of Persuasion | The American Association For Justice

Weekend with the Stars Seminar: The Power of Persuasion

December 7, 2018 to December 8, 2018
Program Information:

The Westin New York at Times Square | New York, NY

Presented with the New York State Trial Lawyers Association
Endowed by Herman Herman & Katz, LLC
Sponsored by Martindale-Avvo
and Consumer Attorney Marketing Group (CAMG)
Sponsored by Lisa Blue and Williams Kherker

​About the Seminar:

With a focus on innovative, modern approaches to trial advocacy, this year's program features Mark Lanier on storyboards, Mark Mandell on Case Framing, and it will dig deep into other trial advocacy techniques with Greg Cusimano on Winning Case Preparation and Alejandro Blanco and Ilya Lerma on the Trojan Horse Method. Rounding out the faculty are trial lawyers Elise Sanguinetti, Ann Oldfather, Ben Rubinowitz, and David Wenner. Join us in New York City to harness the power of persuasion and better connect with judges and juries.

This is your opportunity to get away. Take in a Broadway show, dine in midtown, and shop on Fifth Avenue, as you make the most of your time in New York during the best time of the year.  Start the New Year with a fresh perspective.

Registration Fees:

$995 for AAJ/NYSTLA Members | $1195 for Nonmembers​ 

Online registration for the Weekend with the Stars Seminar has closed. Please register onsite at the Westin New York Times Square.

Members of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association can register at AAJ member rate! Call AAJ Education at 800-622-1791 for details. 

Extend Your Stay: Save $100 when you attend both the Class Action Seminar and Weekend with the Stars!​ This discount is not available online. To take advantage of this offer, send your registration form by email (education@justice.org) or fax (202-625-7084), or call AAJ Education at 800-622-1791.

If you are an AAJ member and have been admitted to the bar for five years or less, you can attend this seminar for 50% off. (Does not apply if you have previously attended an AAJ Education seminar or college). Discount not available online, please call AAJ Education to take advantage.
AAJ Paralegal Affiliates may attend this college and receive 50% off the registration fee if they are employed by and attending with an AAJ plaintiff attorney from the same firm with the same firm address. Discount not available online, please call AAJ Education to take advantage.

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

Contact AAJ Education: 800-622-1791 | 202-965-3500, ext. 8612 | education@justice.org


Friday, December 7

Registration and Welcome Networking Breakfast
7:30 - 8:30am

Morning Session
8:30am - 12:30pm
Moderator: David M. Oddo, NYSTLA President

• Maximize Your Impact with Storyboards
W. Mark Lanier, The Lanier Law Firm

• Build the Foundation for Success: The Bottom UpTM Approach and Winning Case Preparation
Greg Cusimano and David Wenner, Authors of Winning Case Preparation

Networking Lunch
12:30 - 1:30pm

Afternoon Session
1:30 - 5:00pm

• From the Big Screen to Your Office: Lessons from Hollywood to Develop Your Firm's Inclusion Policies and Promote Diversity
Kalpana Kotagal, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll

• Trojan Horse Method
Alejandro Blanco, Blanco Law Firm and Trojan Horse, LLC
Ilya Lerma, Law Offices of Ilya E. Lerma

     - Exploring the Theory and Science
     - Trojan Horse in Action: Live Demonstration

Saturday, December 8

Networking Breakfast
8:00 - 8:30am

Morning Session
8:30am - 1:00pm
Moderator: Elise M. Sanguinetti, AAJ President

• Case Framing: The Next Step in Persuasion
Mark Mandell, Author of Case Framing

• Identifying and Developing Case Frames
Anne Oldfather, Oldfather Law Firm

• Echoes Throughout Trial
Ben Rubinowitz, Gair, Hair, Conason, Steigman, Mackauf, Bloom & Rubinowitz


Invited Faculty:

Alejandro Blanco

Alejandro Blanco is the co-founder of the “Trojan Horse Method.” Familiar with cutting-edge trial strategy, he frequently teaches and works with trial teams to reach seemingly impossible goals. Alejandro will explore the science and theory underlying the “Trojan Horse Method” and demonstrate the technique in action.

Gregory S. Cusimano

Greg Cusimano is an accomplished trial lawyer, educator, and coauthor of bestseller, Winning Case Preparation. He codeveloped the Jury Bias Model™ to train trial lawyers to identify the issues jurors care about and who holds dangerous biases. Greg will explore Bottom Up™ Preparation—the latest research and next steps in confronting and overcoming bias.

Kalpana Kotagal

Coauthor of the “Inclusion Rider,” referenced by Frances McDormand at the 2018 Academy Awards, Kalpana Kotagal focuses her practice on employment and civil rights litigation. She will address how the legal profession can learn from other industries to reduce and eliminate gender pay discrepancies and foster inclusive hiring practices.

W. Mark Lanier

As the leader of the trial team on many record-setting verdicts, including Vioxx®, Actos®, Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implant, and talc, Mark Lanier knows how to develop and deliver a story that resonates with jurors. Hear his insights and strategies.

Ilya E. Lerma

Ilya Lerma has the skill and passion to successfully take on governmental entities, hospitals, multinational corporations, and insurance carriers to ensure justice for her clients. She is an instructor for the “Trojan Horse Method” and will demonstrate an opening statement and voir dire using the method.

Mark S. Mandell

Mark Mandell is the author and innovator of Case Framing, the renowned method which focuses jurors on key issues and empowers them to make decisions. A past president of the American Association for Justice and Rhode Island Trial Lawyers Association, Mark will share the fundamental principles of Case Framing.

David M. Oddo

David Oddo is the President of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. Known for the attention he gives to his clients as well as his trial advocacy skills, he is honored to work in a field that makes such an important difference in people’s lives.

Ann B. Oldfather

Ann Oldfather has successfully represented clients in cases ranging from medical negligence and products liability to civil rights and abuse cases and has extensive experience trying cases in rural and conservative jurisdictions. Ann will focus on how to identify and develop your case frame.

Kathleen Flynn Peterson, course advisor

Kathleen Flynn Peterson, course advisor, is a past president of the American Association for Justice and the Minnesota Association for Justice. Kathleen’s practice focuses on helping individuals and families who have experienced injury or death as a result of medical negligence.

Ben R. Rubinowitz

Meticulous attention to detail and innate ability to break down complex concepts have propelled Ben Rubinowitz to the top of the legal profession and helped him secure two of the largest verdicts in the country in 2017. Ben will concentrate on one of the critical elements of case framing, using “Echoes” at trial.

Elise R. Sanguinetti

Elise Sanguinetti is the President of the American Association for Justice and a past president of Consumer Attorneys of California. She is a sought-after speaker on trial skills and is nationally recognized for her knowledge on the legal implications of automated driving. Elise is passionate about being a trial lawyer and the work she does for her clients.

David A. Wenner, course advisor

A nationally recognized authority on decision-making science and co-developer of the Jury Bias Method™, speaker and course advisor, David Wenner, brings decades of courtroom experience and is coauthor of the recent release and bestseller, Winning Case Preparation. Hear from David on how to plan for and confront bias at the onset of a case, including Bottom Up™ Preparation and other new developments in the Jury Bias Method.


The cut-off date for reservations within the housing block has passed. Please contact AAJ Education at (800)-622-1791 to check hotel availability.

The Westin New York at Times Square
270 West 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036
Toll Free: (888) 627-7149
Local: (212)-201-2700


Who should attend:

This is an open program—invite a plaintiff trial lawyer colleague! Nonmembers can register by calling AAJ Education at 800.622.1791 or 202.965.3500, ext. 8612.

Program Location:

The Westin New York at Times Square
270 W. 43rd St.
New York, NY 10036
(212) 201-2700


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, ext. 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 800-622-1791 or 202-965-3500, ext. 8612.​

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. 8612. 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 November 29, 2018, will result in a refund less a 10% administrative charge. Cancellations received in writing November 30-December 4, 2018, will result in a voucher for the entire registration 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 48 hours 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 education@justice.org.

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.

Event Address:
The Westin New York at Times Square
270 West 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036
United States

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