Fed Court Boot Camp Conference (8th Annual): How to Practice in Federal Court (CA) (2012)

How to Practice in Federal Court

You may also be interested in:

Mastering the Deposition: A Critical Skills Workshop (CA) (2012)

Click here for more info.

"Best CLE course I have ever attended!"

"Motions presentation was worth the entire price. Humor works! Anecdotes were great!"

"I am a new lawyer. This was a great course to help put many things in focus. Gave me great advice." Jeshawna R. Harrell, Esq.

"Highly satisfied. Hearing from multiple clerks was helpful." Tim O'Connor, Esq.

"Very satisfied - gave me what I wanted. Basic info with strategic uses." Joseph Charles, Esq.

"Great seminar."

"Clerks were extremely helpful and informed."


"Excellent." Megan Irish, Esq.

"Thank you. Another excellent program."

"I enjoyed the individual tips, stories & examples - makes it easier to remember procedures."

"A great primer for both new and experienced attorneys." - Peter Ton, Esq.

"Great program. Law clerks' views are most valuable."

"What a great concept to have the clerks conduct the seminar! So informative!" - Neyleen Beljajev, Esq.

"Specific and relevant."

"This was a great program!"

"[Speaker] added a lot of value to the program. I've always wanted to hear her take on topics."

"The specific examples offered were extremely helpful."

"Entertaining. Kept me awake during the entire program!"

"Excellent balance of substantive information, personal observations & idiosyncracies of bench potentially relevant to practitioners."

"Good alternative view."

"Excellent use of promotional materials to convey scope of curriculum." - Peter Ton, Esq.

"Overall, I was very pleased with this program. It is definitely worth the money and travel!" Christina Milligan

"All excellent speakers - both in content and delivery."

“Very practical information. Very helpful for negotiating the federal arena.” Helene Friedman, Esq.

“Great Job! An excellent course. Informative presentations!”

“Very good program – the law clerk perspective should be heard by all lawyers."

"Very happy. Not many CLE's specialize in federal law. I wish I had taken this course earlier!"

“Great practical advice.”

“I learned more about federal court civil procedure than any other class I have taken.”

"If this faculty is an example of Pincus, I'll always attend. Great work!"


Dates and Times

To Be Announced

Course Summary

This is an invaluable, information packed seminar that will teach you all the things you need to know to practice in Federal Court, but never learned in law school.

This program is a great nuts and bolts seminar for attorneys new to practice or relatively new to federal court. Experienced practitioners can also benefit by learning from experienced court attorneys.

See "what you will learn" below for specific topics.

Instant Download Available for this Recorded CLE Seminar

Don't want to wait for a CD?  Many of our Home Study Recorded Programs are now available for instant downloading!  You now have the option to purchase CDs or instant download, so make sure you pick the one you want!  If you pick instant download be sure to create an account during the process so you can access your files.

Please make sure you  add registration@pincusproed.com to your address book/white list (or have your firm/agency IT staff clear it on their white list), so you get your order confirmation email.  If you do not receive this within 24 hours, check your spam filters or email us with an alternate email address  because it means our emails are not getting through to you.  We automatically send you this information within 24 hours of purchase.

CA/WA/FL:  A CLE Self-Study/AV Certificate and handout materials are included in your downloaded zip file.  Please print your certificate for your records.

IL:  A CLE Affidavit of Self-Study and handout materials are included in your downloaded zip file.  You must complete the affidavit and return it to Pincus Professional Education to receive your CLE Certificate.

top of page

What You Will Learn if You Attend This Seminar

  • Creating your Complaint post Bell Atlantic and Ashcroft
  • The Answer (to the complaint!)
  • E-Filing Tips
  • Case Scheduling and the Case Management Conference - what to expect and what to do
  • Discovery (Rule 26, Forms, dealing with disputes, critical motions, asking for sanctions)
  • Ex Parte Motions and how to handle them
  • Injunctive Relief
  • Rule 12 Motions - why they matter and what to do about them (drafting tips: form and content, issues to expect, what to watch out for, responses)
  • Drafting and Replying to Motions for Summary Judgment (rules, drafting tips: form and content, the Reply, helpful hints)
  • Oral Argument Tips
  • Trial Briefs, Pretrial Statement, Pretrial Conference and Order (FRCP 16)
  • The purpose and function of Motions in Limine
  • Your Jury Questionnaire and Voir Dire Tips
  • Tips for a more persuasive Opening Argument and Closing Statement
  • Jury Instr. & Verdict Forms - pitfalls & best practices
  • Handling and Submitting your Exhibits

top of page


Morning Session (9:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.)

  • Introduction to Fed Court as needed
  • Creating your Complaint post Bell Atlantic and Ashcroft
  • The Answer (to the complaint!)
  • E-Filing Tips
  • Case Scheduling and the Case Management Conference - what to expect and what to do
  • Discovery In-Depth (Rule 26, Forms, dealing with disputes, critical motions, asking for sanctions, e-discovery)
  • Ex Parte Motions and how to handle them
  • Injunctive Relief
  • Tips from the morning panel for more persuasive opening statements and closing arguments


Afternoon Session (1:30 - 4:45 p.m.)

  • Rule 12 Motions - why they matter and what to do about them (drafting tips: form and content, issues to expect, what to watch out for, responses)
  • Drafting and Replying to Motions for Summary Judgment (rules, drafting tips: form and content, the Reply, helpful hints)
  • Oral Argument Tips
  • Trial Briefs, Pretrial Statement, Pretrial Conference and Order (FRCP 16)
  • The purpose and function of Motions in Limine
  • Your Jury Questionnaire and Voir Dire Tips
  • Tips for a more persuasive Opening Argument and Closing Statement
  • Jury Instr. & Verdict Forms - pitfalls & best practices
  • Handling and Submitting your Exhibits

top of page

MCLE Credit

Pincus Professional Education certifies this seminar is approved for 6.0 hours of MCLE credit in California, including 0.5 hour of ethics credit.

Pincus Professional Education certifies this course has been approved by the Supreme Court of Ohio Commission on Continuing Legal Education for 6.00 total CLE hours instruction.

Upon request, we will assist attorneys in asking for CLE credit in other states.

top of page



Hon. George P. Schiavelli (Ret.)
United States District Judge (Ret)
ADR Services
Instructor Portrait

Hon. George P. Schiavelli (Ret.) has had a diverse 30-year legal and judicial career, most recently serving as a judge on the federal bench of the United States District Court, Central District of California. Judge Schiavelli has gained a unique perspective having sat at all positions around the table. After serving on the trial court, he returned to private practice for four years before being appointed to the federal bench. Counsel welcome his pleasant demeanor and appreciate his intelligence and fair-mindedness.
Judge Schiavelli has solid ADR experience.  While sitting on the bench, many of his colleagues sent highly complex cases to him to settle and resolved several thousand cases.  He participated in negotiations in hundreds of cases involving a wide variety of issues, including: Appellate Mediations, Business/Commercial, Construction, Employment, Entertainment, Environmental, Insurance, Intellectual Property, Personal Injury including premises liability and product liability, Product Liability, Professional Liability including legal and accounting malpractice, Real Estate and Securities.

As a federal district judge in the Central District of California, Judge Schiavelli presided over cases in all areas of federal jurisdiction and decided several notable cases.  He actively negotiated and settled complex contract, patent, copyright, trademark, employment, professional liability, securities, civil rights, real estate, complex personal injury, insurance coverage disputes, tort cases, as well as general commercial disputes.

He managed complex commercial disputes in a variety of fields including entertainment, contract, real property, securities, intellectual property, insurance coverage, and patent litigation.  He handled cases involving consumer and civil rights class actions, Federal False Claims Act matters, and a variety of employment discrimination disputes.

Judge Schiavelli boasts numerous honors, memberships, and professional activities.  Among them are: Adjunct Professor, Southwestern School of Law, 2009 to present; Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Litigation Section Executive Committee, 2005-present; State Appellate Judicial Evaluations Committee, 1990-1994; 2001-present Executive Board, LACBA Litigation Section, 2001-present; Board of Directors LACBA Dispute Resolution Services, 2002; Member, Executive Board, ABTL, 2004-2007; Presided over Masters in Trial, ABOTA Los Angeles Chapter, June 2006 Member, California Judges Association, 1994-present; CJA Liaison to Ethics Committee, 1999-2000, Executive Board of the California Judges Association, 1999-2000; Member, Judicial Council Appellate Advisory Committee, 2000-2003; Deputy General Counsel, Rampart Independent Review Panel, 2000; Fee Arbitrator, Los Angeles County Bar Association, 1989-1992; Business Arbitrator, Los Angeles Superior Court Arbitration Program, 1983-1984; and speaker at various bar association, Inns of Court, and community functions.

Judge Schiavelli has authored a few publications, as follows: co-author, Preserving the Record for Appeal, California Civil Appellate Practice, (Continuing Education of the Bar 3d ed.) Chapter 2A; author, "Technology In The Courtroom," California Bar Journal, February 1999; and author, Judicial Perspective for the chapter on privilege in the CEB treatise on civil discovery.
From his associate days at O’Melveny & Myers in 1974-1976, Judge Schiavelli became a partner at Ervin, Cohen & Jessup, 1976-1986, and with Horvitz & Levy, 1986-1994.  He was a judge at the Los Angeles County Superior Court, 1994-2000 (Appellate Division, 1997-2000, Presiding Judge since 1999).  He was in private arbitration/mediation practice as Of Counsel with Reed Smith, 2000-2004.  Judge Schiavelli sat as judge in the United States District Court, Central District of California, 2004-2008. 

Judge Schiavelli had his A.B. at Stanford University (1970).  He graduated first in his class at UCLA School of Law in 1974 where he earned his J.D.

L.B. Chip Edleson, Esq.
Edleson & Rezzo

Chip Edleson is a San Diego civil trial attorney with lead counsel experience in well over 100 trials and arbitrations. He was the winning trial attorney in the landmark Cumis insurance case in 1984. The year before, in federal court, he successfully tried to jury verdict the first Tarasoff failure to warn psychiatric malpractice case in the nation.

His practice has been somewhat unique over his 32 years as a trial attorney because he was a contingency fee lawyer working as a partner at a large conservative firm where he represented both plaintiffs and defendants, individuals and companies, almost equally. He spent 23 years with Gray Cary, now known as DLA Piper, where he served as the national hiring partner for several years and pro bono chair. He left to start his own law firm in 2003 where he and his one partner work all their cases together.

Chip has served as President of the San Diego Inn of Court, an organization of judges and attorneys that provides practical jury trial training to attorneys. For many years he has been recognized annually by Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in the area of employment law, but his practice regularly includes business disputes of all types, insurance coverage and bad faith litigation, personal injury, defamation, and professional negligence claims of all types.

Browning E. Marean III, Esq.
Senior Counsel
DLA Piper

Browning Marean is a senior counsel in DLA Piper's San Diego office. He is a member of the litigation group and is co-chair of the Electronic Discovery Readiness and Response Group. Mr. Marean concentrates his practice in the areas of electronic discovery, professional responsibility and knowledge management. He is admitted to practice in California and Texas.

Mr. Marean joined DLA Piper (then Gray Cary Ames & Frye) in 1969. He serves on DLA Piper's Technology Committee and is an emeritus member of the California State Bar Law Practice Management Committee and the San Diego County Bar Association's Legal Ethics Committee. He is on the ABA Tech Show Planning Board and a member of the Sedona Conference.

Mr. Marean is an internationally known teacher and frequent lecturer on various topics including electronic discovery, international discovery, records retention, knowledge management and computer technology. He is co-author of the 2010 edition of Electronic Discovery and Records Management Guide, Rules, Checklists and Forms, published by Thomson West, and Conducting Discovery in an Electronic World: Electronic Data and Discovery, published by California Civil Discovery Practice. He has been named a San Diego Super Lawyer.

Mr. Marean received his law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law and his undergraduate degree from Stanford University

Virginia F. Milstead, Esq.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Virginia F. Milstead has a broad commercial litigation practice, representing clients in both federal and state courts, with a particular emphasis on securities and takeover litigation, director misconduct and related claims. She has represented clients in matters involving federal securities laws, duties of corporate directors, civil RICO, unfair business practices, and various other contract and tort claims.

Ms. Milstead has been a speaker at various conferences and bar groups. In addition to speaking at events hosted by the Antitrust and Unfair Business Practices and Business and Corporations Law sections of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, she has participated in seminars related to practice in federal court, including serving as a panelist at the Third Annual William French Lecture at Pepperdine University School of Law, featuring retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor; and on three occasions she has been a panelist at the Byrne Judicial Clerkship Institute.  Ms. Milstead also has organized and conducted new lawyer training related to class actions.

Ms. Milstead is a graduate of Pepperdine University School of Law (J.D., 2004, summa cum laude), and was Literary and Citation Editor of the Pepperdine Law Review.

Laurie E. Smith, Esq.
Career Law Clerk
U.S. District Court, Central District of California

Laurie Smith is a career law clerk for the Honorable John F. Walter, U.S. District Court Judge for the Central District of California. Prior to that, Ms. Smith litigated at several law firms in Northern and Southern California. Ms. Smith served as Managing Editor for the Virginia Tax Review Law Journal and is a 1996 graduate of the University of Virginia School Of Law.

Edward Patrick Swan, Jr., Esq.
Jones Day

Prior to joining Jones Day, Mr. Swan was a partner with Luce Forward Hamilton & Scripps LLP, 1990-2012, associated with Adams, Duque & Hazeltine, 1979-1980; associated with Sullivan & Jones, 1980-1982; and was an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Southern District of California, 1982-1990, where he served as the Chief of the Narcotics Unit and was the Deputy Chief of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.  He has also taught at the University of San Diego School of Law.

Mr. Swan’s practice focuses on complex civil litigation and white-collar criminal defense, and he regularly appears in federal and state courts throughout California and the United States.  He is a past President of the San Diego Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, a past Vice President and Director of the San Diego County Bar Association, and has held numerous positions with other professional organizations.

Mr. Swan graduated, summa cum laude, 1976, A.B., Princeton University, and earned his J.D. from Duke University School of Law in 1979, with honors.

Linn Van Meter, Esq.
Career Law Clerk
U.S. District Court, Northern District of California

A very experienced law clerk, Linn Van Meter has spent more than two decades working for various judges in the Federal Court system. In 2009, Ms. Van Meter moved to the Federal District Court in Reno, Nevada to serve as a career Law Clerk. Previously, Ms. Van Meter served as the senior law clerk for a magistrate judge in Yosemite and before that she clerked for six years for the Honorable Anthony W. Ishii, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California.  Before that Ms. Van Meter served Honorable Dennis Beck, Magistrate Judge, Eastern District of California.  Ms. Van Meter was also a staff attorney for the Supreme Court of Nevada staff for five years. Ms. Van Meter is a graduate of Hastings College of Law and worked as an extern with the Central Legal Staff of the California Supreme Court.  She is admitted to practice in California and Nevada.

top of page

What attendees have said about this seminar:

"Good specific tips."

"Very helpful."

"Good insight for new lawyers. Practical information."

"Great to hear the views of various clerks."

"One of the finest speakers I have ever heard at a CLE seminar."

"The conference was a good overview of the federal court system. Everything was covered."

"All of the speakers were well prepared and gave good tips and advice on practicing in federal court."

"Very good to hear the clerk's position."

"Very well done. The practical advice given by practitioners and law clerks was very helpful."

"Excellent speakers. Concise."

"E-Discovery topic was excellent."

"I found all the information from the law clerks to be very helpful."

"Smart, compelling presentation. Very organized and succinct."

"Good examples. Good delivery."

"Organized, helpful materials."

"E-Filing very helpful."

"Gave me some good insight into simplifying briefing for court's convenience."

"Funny, informative, helpful and well-organized."

"Good insight as to distinctions between federal and state court."

"[Speaker] was very helpful in her analysis of Rule 12 Motions." - Neyleen Beljajev, Esq.

"Great speakers! Helpful handout and full of insight!"

"Very informative and well suited for attorneys new to federal practice."

"Great program to demystify the federal court process for a beginner."

"Very useful tips!"

"Excellent nuts & bolts!"

"Excellent model pleadings in handout."

"Good handout!"

"[Speaker] is a very engaging speaker and really informative."

"The moderator was good at moving the pace of the seminar."

"[Speaker] was very knowledgable of current issues in particular."

"[Speaker] speaks frankly but with good humor."

"Great job in combining anecdotal experience with practical and substantive tips on practicing in federal court."

"Practical and helpful."


"All speakers were very knowledgable, friendly, and spoke clearly with poise and humor."

"Very good choices of topics - included a lot of insight for experienced practitioners."

"Discovery and Magistrate issues are often overlooked - [Speaker] did a good job with them."

"Presentations on motions were very well put together."

"Good discussion of 12(b) Motions and courtroom behavior and rules."

"Excellent insight and presentation!"

"Very educational."

"Very helpful tips from "the inside" of the court's chambers. Always good to have reminders of best practices, etc."

"Great manner & style of presentation. Liked short & pointed examples."

"Completely satisfied!"

"Great presentation of expertise & practice examples."

"Very good. Kept the audience engaged and entertained. Explained everything clearly. Easy to follow."

"Excellent program!” James Arendt, Esq."

“Outstanding! Top-notch! Answered my number one burning issue in the first 15 minutes.”

“This was one of the most interesting, helpful and useful MCLE programs I have ever attended! Good coverage of practical topics.” Harvie Schrieber, Esq."

“Overall very helpful!” Ty Kharazi, Esq."

“Very knowledgeable speakers. Overall excellent program!” Jim Miller"

“Invaluable information as I start practicing in federal court.”

“All speakers were very impressive, knowledgeable – a great resource for practicing attorneys.”

"I am no longer afraid to practice in federal court."

“Great course with a lot of practical tips.”

“The outlines and attachments were very helpful.”

“Moderator and speakers were all very good.”

"The entire presentation was helpful to my practice."

top of page

Terms & Policies

Seminar, Webinar, Webcast Registration and Attendance Terms & Policies

Reminder: The room temperature at hotels and other seminar locations are notoriously hard to control. Please bring a sweater or jacket in case it gets cold and/or layer as if you are going to the movies so you are comfortable.

Recording policy: No audio or video recording of any program is permitted.

Seminar Cancellations: Should you be unable to attend for any reason, please inform us in writing no later than 14 days prior to the event and a credit voucher will be issued. If you prefer, a refund, less a $50 non-refundable deposit, will be issued. No refunds or credits will be given for cancellations received within 14 days of an event. However, if you wish to convert your in-person attendance registration to an Audio CD package (with handout) we can do so. A small additional shipping charge will be incurred.

Substitutions may be made at any time.

Webinars, Tele-seminars and Webcast Cancellations: Once log-in codes and passwords are issued for a webinar, tele-seminars or webcasts, a refund is not possible. If for any reason you cannot attend the event after you have received the codes, we will automatically convert your registration to an instant streaming/instant download or CD format and provide you with the information you need to access the recording after the program concludes and the recording is available.

Return/Refund Policy for Tapes/CDs/DVDs:

Tapes, CDs and DVDs are returnable for a full refund or replacement if defective, within 90 days of purchase.

top of page

For news and information about upcoming seminars

View our Seminars page.

top of page

Featured Charity

We have all seen the sad story in the news about a neglectful dog owner who goes into a store "just for a minute" and returns to find his dog dead inside the car, where, on hot days, interior temperatures can reach over 160 degrees in just ten minutes. In happier endings, the police arrive to smash the car window to rescue the dog in time. Please consider buying and using this sun shade to spread the word to keep dogs (and other pets) safe on hot days. For only $20.00 you could save an animal's life. It's a bargain.


Subscribe for CLE Announcements