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Basic Skills for the Illinois Newly Admitted Attorney

(157 reviews)

Produced on March 01, 2015

$ 249 Ethics, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Personal Injury and Negligence, and Law Practice Management In Stock

Course Information

Course Description

The Basic Skills for the Illinois Newly Admitted Attorney program helps bridge the gap between education and real world application.  


Every session is curated to provide engaging content featuring examples and scenarios applicable to daily life for law practitioners including e- discovery, mediation, alternate fee arrangements and legal malpractice. 



Session 1: "Leveling the Playing Field: Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession" - Wendy Patrick (60 Minutes)

This program covers the applicable laws and standards regarding bias and discrimination, including the different types of protected classes and their specific application within the legal profession. It enhances the viewer’s ability to recognize signs of both overt and subtle bias in the legal workplace while providing strategies for eliminating bias and discrimination within the law firm, courtroom, and when dealing with clients.


San Diego County Deputy District Attorney, Wendy Patrick, illuminates how sensitivity to both overt and subtle signs of bias and discrimination is paramount.  Ms. Patrick reveals tools to staying aware of your law firm's practices and educating employees. Additionally, she analyzes options when faced with bias and discrimination dilemmas and the ethical rules and standards that specifically address these situations. 


Session 2: "Alternative Fee Arrangements that Don't Run Afoul of the Ethical Rules" - Rania Sedhom, Melissa Mayhew (61 Minutes)

Time and time again, law firms choose traditional billing models to exchange their knowledge for compensation. But, as the economic climate changes and technology advances, there will be diminishing tolerance for increasing hourly rates or even blended rates that attempt to lower the overall costs of service. In some instances, attorneys may simply not want to change because the traditional, hourly billing model has worked for them and they perceive that it will continue to do so despite changing tides. In other instances, attorneys may hesitate to alter from the traditional model in fear that doing so may cause them to break an ethical rule.


Join attorneys Rania Sedhom and Melissa Mayhew of Sedhom & Mayhew, PLLC (A Bespoke Law FirmTM) as they illustrate the benefits of alternative fee arrangements (AFAs), ethical considerations in creating AFAs, and highlights from some successful alternative client relationships. The presentation explores the ever-increasing popularity of a still under-utilized approach to the practice of law. Learn how to create an AFA without running afoul of the ABA’s ethical rules.  Distinctions or parallels (as applicable) from New York and California are also explored.


Session 3: "Maximizing Your Potential for Success at Mediation" - John DiBlasi (60 Minutes)

Mediation has become one of the most valuable tools an attorney can use to settle a dispute. In this presentation, National Law Journal’s #1 mediator of 2014, Hon. John DiBlasi, discusses the effective tools to maximize profit within meditation. The presentation begins with skills to prepare for mediation.  From there, Justice DiBlasi offers techniques for having a valuable joint session along with settlement agreements. He concludes the presentation with an in-depth conversation on how to maintain negotiations post-mediation.

Justice DiBlasi is a former Justice of the New York State Supreme Court and is exclusively affiliated with National Arbitration and Mediation.


Session 4: "Electronic Discovery: Avoiding Disaster (Part 1)" - Cynthia Augello (60 Minutes)

Cynthia A. Augello introduces participants to the ever-evolving field of e-discovery. This program provides a foundation for attorneys litigating in today’s world by providing an overview of the seminal line of e-discovery cases known as Zubulake v. UBS Warburg LLC, which essentially created today’s current standards for an attorney and his or her clients’ e-discovery obligations, the importance of following the e-discovery rules, and the potential consequences of not following these rules.



Session 5: "Legal Malpractice Claims: A Comprehensive Roadmap" - Andrew Bluestone - (121 Minutes)

This course will discuss the elements of legal malpractice in tort, legal malpractice in contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and violation of Judiciary Law § 487.


Beyond the mere elements of each of these causes of action, and defenses to them, this course will discuss the concepts of standing, the statute of limitations, tolling of the statute through continuous representation, tolling of the statute through equitable estoppel, proofs of the causes of action, how damages are calculated, the questions of collectability, the applicability of res judicata and collateral estoppel.


Additionally, the program will discuss the use of experts (who may be an expert, scope of the expert’s testimony) and legal malpractice trial, including the scope of openings, the necessary witnesses to make out a prima facie case, scope of cross-examination of defendant, of defendant’s expert, and the applicable Pattern Jury Instructions.


Andrew Bluestone

Andrew Lavoott Bluestone, Esq.

Andrew Lavoott Bluestone is an attorney located in Manhattan, New York, concentrating in Legal Malpractice Litigation. He is the author of the New York Attorney Malpractice Blog, and an Outside Counsel Columnist in the New York Law Journal, writing on legal malpractice issues.

He graduated from the Syracuse University College of Law, and served as an Assistant District Attorney, Kings County from 1978-1984. He worked as an associate in general litigation prior to opening his office in 1989. Mr. Bluestone has appeared in trial courts, in the Appellate Divisions and before the Court of Appeals of the State of New York.

Mr. Bluestone is the recipient of the 2006 Hewlett Packard Legal Technology Innovation Award. His award winning New York Attorney Malpractice Blog can be found at

Wendy Patrick

San Diego County District Attorney

Wendy L. Patrick is a San Diego County Deputy District Attorney named by her peers as one of the Top Ten criminal attorneys in San Diego by the San Diego Daily Transcript and one of San Diego’s Super Lawyers. She has completed over 150 trials ranging from serial stalking, to domestic violence, to first-degree murder. 

In her current assignment in the Sex Crimes and Human Trafficking Division, Ms. Patrick prosecutes sexually violent predators, human traffickers, rapists, and child molesters. She is the team leader in charge of the sexually violent predator cases her office handles, and Co-Chair of the statewide California District Attorneys Association Sexually Violent Predator Committee and Human Trafficking Committee. 

Ms. Patrick speaks to community groups, law enforcement organizations, and a wide variety of legal and educational institutions both nationally and internationally about the prevalence and methodology of sexual predators and human traffickers, and how to increase public awareness and take steps to protect the community. Her doctoral thesis for her PhD focused on research into the psychology of attraction as used to seduce victims and their families. 

Ms. Patrick has taught human trafficking throughout the United States as well as in Hong Kong and South Korea. She has been involved locally with the San Diego Domestic Violence Council, the San Diego Child Protection Team, and the Sexual Assault Response Team, from whom she received the SART Response with a Heart Award based on her significant contribution to the professional field of sexual assault prosecution. 

On a personal note, Ms. Patrick holds a purple belt in Shorin-Ryu karate, is a concert violinist with the La Jolla Symphony, and plays the electric violin professionally with a rock band, performing both locally and in Hollywood.

John DiBlasi, a former Justice of the New York State Supreme Court, has repeatedly been rated a top mediator in multiple categories in the New York Law Journal's annual survey. He holds an AV Preeminent peer rating from Martindale-Hubbell in the fields of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and Litigation—a distinction given to those who possess the highest ethical standards and professional ability. He is proud to be associated exclusively with NAM (National Arbitration and Mediation). His ADR practice encompasses a wide and varied range of cases, inclusive of commercial, personal injury and civil rights/discrimination matters.

Judge DiBlasi's many years of experience as a full-time arbitrator and mediator in commercial disputes are supplemented by his past tenure as a Presiding Justice of the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York. His alternative dispute resolution practice, which, in many ways, mirrors his work as a jurist, draws upon his experience as a Justice of the Commercial Division, where he presided over complex commercial litigation involving contract disputes, employment disputes, real property/land use matters and environmental litigation. He created the Alternative Commercial Dispute Resolution Program used successfully by the court in which he presided.

Additionally, Judge DiBlasi's years of practice as a neutral and a jurist have encompassed the resolution of numerous seven- and eight-figure settlements in personal injury cases. Again, Judge DiBlasi's experience on the bench handling thousands of personal injury cases including toxic torts, products liability, medical malpractice and other areas of liability supports his extensive experience in the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Judge DiBlasi has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Pace University and St. John's University Schools of Law. He has lectured for the New York State Bar Association, New York State Trial Lawyers, the New York State Judges' School, the Practicing Law Institute of New York, and other Bar Associations. He has published articles on trial tactics in the New York State Bar Journal and articles on alternative dispute resolution in both the New York Law Journal and New York State Trial Lawyers Journal. 

Judge DiBlasi served in the United States Army Reserve, Judge Advocate General's Corps, retiring with the rank of Captain. He is a Fellow of both the American and New York State Bar Foundations, and the recipient of the New York State Bar Association's Award for Outstanding Achievement in the field of Law Related Education, and the Pace Law School Awards as "Outstanding Adjunct Professor of the Year" and for "Service to the Community and the Bar". He received his BA from Syracuse University, and his Juris Doctor Degree at St. John's University. He possesses a Certificate in Professional Human Resource Management from Villanova University.

He began his career as an Examining Attorney with the New York City Department of Investigation, handling matters involving white collar crime and official corruption. He then entered into private practice and spent many years as a trial attorney before being elected as a Judge of the City Court of Mount Vernon, where he presided over hundreds of criminal proceedings.

Cynthia A. Augello

Cullen and Dykman

Cynthia Augello is an associate in the firm's Commercial Litigation Department. She has represented clients of the firm in matters involving breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, whistleblowers, covenants not to compete, civil rights issues, sexual harassment and discrimination based on disability, religious disability, New York State Human Rights law, Title VI, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title VII. 


Since graduating from Hofstra University School of Law in 2008 and joining the firm as an associate, Ms. Augello has prepared and presented CLE seminars on electronic discovery and sexual harassment in the workplace. Ms. Augello is a founding member of the firm’s e-discovery group and has developed cost-effective strategies for handling a variety of e-discovery issues for clients. As a member of the E-Discovery group, Ms. Augello regularly develops and reviews document retention policies to ensure compliance with the litigation hold process, e-discovery obligations and statutory/regulatory requirements. Ms. Augello worked for the firm in the Banking Department and as a summer associate while attending law school.



“Unwanted and Unwelcomed! Sexual Harassment in the Workplace” (March 2012, Nassau County Bar Association, Dean’s Hour)

“E-Discovery in Federal Litigation” (June 20, 2012, Suffolk County Bar Association)

“Hiring and Firing: Background Checks, Social Media and Other Arresting Developments” (October 25, 2011)

“Electronic Discovery Update: New York State Case Law and Developments” (June 14, 2011- Ali Aba Webcast)

“E-discovery: What the Litigator Needs to Know to Avoid Professional Liability” (June 7, 2010)

“Electronic Discovery – Avoiding Disaster” (September 9, 2009)



“Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Ruling Protects Transgender Individuals” (May 4, 2012)

“Is a “Jesus Is Not a Homophobe” T-Shirt Protected by the First Amendment?” (April 22, 2012)

“Peanut Allergy Causes Death of a First Grader” (April 14, 2012)

“Failure to Act Promptly in Rectifying an Inadvertent Disclosure May Waive Privilege” (April 13, 2012)

“Reverse Sex Discrimination in New York City High School Sports?” (March 29, 2012)

“What’s in Your Employee Handbook?” (February 17, 2012)

“E-Discovery Rules, Regulations, Guidelines, and Other Useful Resources” (January 10, 2012)



Founding member, the Firm’s E-Discovery Group, which develops or reviews document retention policies to ensure compliance with the litigation hold process, e-discovery obligations and statutory/regulatory requirements

Member, Sedona Conference – WG1

Cullen and Dykman, Team Leader, American Breast Cancer Society Walk

Member of the Federal Bar Council Central Islip U.S. Courthouse Committee



Notice to Litigators: Requests for Social Media Must Be Made During Discovery

February 5, 2013


Cynthia Augello Interviewed on "CBS This Morning"

May 15, 2012


Hiring and Firing: Background Checks, Social Media and Other Arresting Developments

October 25, 2011


Prepared and Presented several CLE seminars on Electronic Discovery


Prepared and Presented CLE on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace June 2011

Rania V. Sedhom

Sedhom Law Group, PLLC

Rania V. Sedhom, Managing Partner of the firm, is an attorney who provides practical and efficient solutions to complex problems. Rania has extraordinary interpersonal skills that allow her to forge win-win relationships across diverse organizations and cross-functional stakeholders. She is also a skilled legal and business commentator with appearances on national print and TV media, including L.A. Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Baltimore Sun, Forbes, Inc., Business Week, and CNN Money. 

 Rania is admitted to the Bars of the State of New York and New Jersey, the Eastern District of New York, the Southern District of New York, the District of New Jersey and the Third Circuit. Rania attended Syracuse University College of Law, where she was Editor of The Labor Lawyer and The Digest and served as Vice-Justice of the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity. Prior to law school, Rania attended Columbia University where she majored in political science.

Melissa C. Mayhew

Sedhom & Mayhew, PLLC

Melissa C. Mayhew, Partner in Charge, CA office, is an attorney who works with her clients to resolve their legal issues in a manner that not only serves her client’s legal interests, but their bottom lines. She has a background in consulting and brings a practical approach to problem-solving.


Melissa is admitted to the Bar of the State of California and holds a PHR certification from the HR Certification Institute. Melissa attended the Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University. Prior to law school, Melissa attended the Pennsylvania State University where she majored in international politics.


Melissa currently resides in Alameda with her family.


Jennifer L.

The Malpractice portion was very informative.

Rupa B.

Good program overall

Louis t. A.

All the speakers were very good

Susan R.

awesome speakers

Curtis S.

The Malpractice guy was really really good

Paul H.

These are not just basic skills and are valuable to all attorneys.

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