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Live Event Bridge the Gap

September 2018 Bridge the Gap: Communication is Key

Event Date: September 23, 2018

$ 199 In Stock

Course Information

Time 09/23/2018 09:00AM EDT
Difficulty Beginner

Course Description

Communication skills are important in all areas of life. This program provides tips and technique to communicate effectively with clients, juries, fellow attorneys, and more.


This program counts towards NY Bridge the Gap Credit. This one-day program will count as 6 Skills Credits and 3 Ethics Credits for New York Bridge the Gap. 

  • NY Newly Admitted Attorneys: This program will fulfill all 6 live Skills Credits required, as well as 3 Ethics.
  • Seasoned Attorneys: Earn 6 General CLE credits and 3 Ethics. Also, although all of our weekends are entitled Bridge the Gap, lectures cover topics of law designed to increase the scope of efficacy of attorneys with all levels of experience.

Technical Assistance: If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at

Group Rates: Groups of 4 or more from the same organization, all registering at the same time, for in-person attendance at a Live CLE Program scheduled for presentation at the same site, are entitled to receive a group discount. For further discount information, please contact Lawline Customer Service at (877) 518-0660.


09:00AM - 10:15AM
Both Sides of the Coin: Strategies for Selecting the Best Jury For Your Case
with David J. Dean and Glenn W. Dopf

This helpful program will provide strategies to identify jurors that will be most favorable to your case, from both a plaintiff and defense counsel’s perspective. Plaintiff's attorney David Dean will discuss the goals and methods of jury selection to best identify jurors most favorable to the plaintiff. He will offer examples of questions designed to select jurors who will more easily accept the plaintiff’s claims and to properly maximize damages. Defense counsel Glenn Dopf will speak about the many “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of jury selection, in personal injury litigation. Counsel will explain the importance of finding jurors who make decisions based upon intellect and not emotion.

10:20AM - 11:35AM
Best Practices for Communicating Effectively In A Landlord-Tenant Case
with Kenneth Biedzynski

In representing landlords or tenants, communication is a key component in representing the client. Although the necessity of good communication is obvious, failing to pay attention to it can cost you as a practitioner. Furthermore, practitioners should not wait until trial to implement good communication techniques and instead should start at the client intake. Additionally, best practices of communication dictate that practitioners should extend effective communication techniques to adversaries and the court (and court personnel) as well.

This course will provide a general overview of communication between attorneys, attorney-client and, attorney-court in a landlord-tenant setting starting with the negotiation of the lease agreement, to eviction proceedings and even to post-judgment matters. Your presenter, Kenneth W. Biedzynski, Esq., will concentrate on these issues and briefly discuss legal and non-legal considerations that practitioners in this field should keep in mind. He will also discuss some of the challenges that commonly face practitioners and offer suggestions as to how to respond to them.

11:40AM - 12:55PM
Becoming the Deposition Whisperer: How To Be The Alpha and Control The Room
with Charles Bonfante

The goal of this program, presented by seasoned practitioner Charles Bonfante, is to assist attorneys in honing their deposition skills so as to better control witnesses and their adversaries, while making their own client more comfortable.  

By sharing proven strategies, Mr. Bonfante will give attendees insight into how seasoned litigators and successful trial lawyers conduct depositions. The program further aims to help attorneys to maximize the opportunities often wasted at depositions and in the process, maximize their chances of success in overall scheme of the lawsuit. The program will integrate controlling law (case law, statute and Court Rules), practical concerns, and ethical considerations, as well as specific methods to enable even the least experienced attorneys to depose a witness like a seasoned veteran.

12:55PM - 01:30PM

01:30PM - 02:45PM
The Power of Dignity: Communicating with Clients Utilizing the Dignity Model
with Joy Rosenthal, Teresa Calabrese, and Andrea Hirshman

Dignity is an internal state of peace that comes with the recognition and acceptance of the value and vulnerability of all living things. In our world and relationships, the experience of indignity can quickly lead to conflict. Based on the research work of Donna Hicks (Harvard University), this course presents a new model of dignity: concrete ways to honor dignity in ourselves and in  our relationships in the legal system. Participants will learn the 3 parts of the Dignity Model which are: 1) the essential elements of dignity: ways to honor dignity in ourselves and others; 2) Ten Temptations, or traps that put us at risk of violating dignity; and 3) How to use the power of dignity to rebuild a relationship, promote reconciliation and resolve conflict. We will examine how to communicate effectively and persuasively with our clients, other attorneys, judges and legal clerks through examination of the Dignity Model.

02:50PM - 04:05PM
The Ethical Pitfalls in Practice: Legal Malpractice Theories of Liability, Defenses, and Proactive Risk Avoidance
with Kristopher M. Dennis and Robert J. Pariser

Attorneys, regardless of their experience, should recognize and evaluate their legal risk to avoid damaging ethical violations and costly malpractice lawsuits. This course will examine the rules of professional conduct and most common sources of legal malpractice, the main elements of legal malpractice claims and related causes of action, the common defenses to these claims and the steps one should proactively take in your practice to minimize ethical violations and risks of claims.

The course will provide the prospective of Kristopher M. Dennis and Robert J. Pariser, who combined have over 35 years of experience in both defending and prosecuting attorneys in legal malpractice claims. The course will also consider basic practice management steps that could assist in avoiding ethical violations and subsequent legal malpractice claims.  

04:10PM - 05:25PM
The Ethics of Litigating in a Difficult Age
with Carol Morokoff

By definition, litigation is an intense, adversarial exercise. Plaintiff and defendant aren’t really supposed to agree on much regarding the lawsuit in which each is involved – otherwise, there would a settlement, not a trial. This clash of ideas (and, frequently, personalities) may have gotten worse in the present age of firmly held opinions regarding the judiciary, behavior of fellow attorneys, and – yes – politics.

Carol G. Morokoff, a 31-year litigator, uses her experience inside and outside the courtroom to describe ethical pitfalls the unwary will encounter in such a circumstance, how to identify same in advance, and how to negotiate one’s way around them.


Carol Morokoff

Babchik Young

Carol G. Morokoff is a 27 year litigator, specializing in commercial litigation – specifically, collections. She has appeared in courts ranging from Supreme Court, Dutchess County to all district courts in Suffolk County to United States District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. While Ms. Morokoff has practiced other areas of the law, she has discovered that since discontinuing matrimonial practice and concentrating on commercial debt, no client has asked for her home or cell phone numbers. 

She is a graduate of Indiana University and New York Law School, where she was President of the Student Bar Association and a member of the Moot Court Executive Board.

Joy Rosenthal

Rosenthal Law & Mediation

Joy S. Rosenthal, Esq. founded Rosenthal Law & Mediation in 2006 to help NYC families coping with transitions through divorce and elder mediation; and legal services including prenuptial agreements, collaborative divorce, adoption, and representation in custody and visitation disputes. She also serves as a Trustee, Guardian ad Litem and 17A Guardian in the New York City Surrogates’ Courts.

Before opening her own practice, Joy spent 10 years representing children, youth and parents in New York City’s Family Courts involved in custody, visitation, foster care and adoption cases, as well as in delinquency and PINS cases through her work with the Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Practice and as a fellow at NYU School of Law’s Family Defense Clinic.

Joy has extensive mediation, negotiation, trial and appellate experience. She has trained colleagues in cultural competence, bias awareness, domestic violence, elder mediation, and alternative dispute resolutions. She has given workshops and presentations for families, mediators, and attorneys.

Joy S. Rosenthal, Esq. graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, receiving a BA in Women’s Studies. She obtained her law degree from the City University of New York School of Law in 1996 and was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1997. She is the former president of the Family & Divorce Mediation Council of Greater New York, and served on its board from 2007-2014.

Kenneth Biedzynski

Law Offices of Goldzweig, Green, Eiger & Biedzynski, L.L.C.

Ken Biedzynski is a law partner with the law offices of Goldzweig, Green, Eiger & Biedzynski, LLC, in the firm’s Freehold, New Jersey, office. Mr. Biedzynski is licensed to practice law in New Jersey and he has been so since 1993. His practice specializes in landlord-tenant law and he has represented various local and national property management companies, residential landlords, residential tenants, commercial landlords, as well as commercial tenants in his 24 years of practicing law. Mr. Biedzynski also serves as special counsel to Marlboro Township (Monmouth County, New Jersey) in affordable housing matters and he has been in that capacity since 2008.

In representing both residential and commercial landlords and tenants, Mr. Biedzynski has drafted numerous residential and commercial leases and he has also litigated various landlord-tenant cases in many counties throughout the State of New Jersey. He has represented clients relating to regulatory matters for subsidized housing, represented clients in rent controlled communities, represented mobile home communities, prosecuted various types of eviction actions under New Jersey’s Anti-Eviction Act, and, handled and defended various post-eviction proceedings against both residential and commercial tenants.

In addition to performing transactional work and litigating various landlord-tenant matters, Mr. Biedzynski also has an extensive legal writing background. He has authored numerous articles for West’s American Jurisprudence 2d and Illinois Practice and he also has written numerous law review articles for Seton Hall School of Law, the University of Miami, as well as written articles for the New Jersey Apartment Association.

Teresa Calabrese

Mediation & Law Office of Teresa D. Calabrese

Teresa Calabrese, Esq. is a mediator and collaborative lawyer concentrating her practice on serving the NYC Queer community. Teresa assists individuals, couples and families in creating agreements relating to relationship formation, family building, and separation and divorce. Teresa also handles second parent adoption matters and provides basic estate planning services including the preparation of wills, health care proxies and advance directives.

Teresa has presented LGBTQ CLE programs for the New York Association of Collaborative Professionals, the Family and Divorce Mediation Council of Greater New York, the New York State Council on Divorce Mediation, CUNY School of Law Community Legal Resource Network, the Practicing Law Institute, and Brooklyn Law School.

Teresa is a founding member of the Community Legal Resource Network & the LGBTQI Family Professionals of NYC. She is also a member of the Family and Divorce Mediation Council of Greater New York, the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, The LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York Committee on Family & Matrimonial Law and the New York State Council on Divorce Mediation.

Teresa was a member of the second graduating class of the City University of New York School of Law and obtained a BA in Political Science from Queens College of the City University of New York.

Andrea Hirshman

Andrea Hirshman - Mediation & Collaborative Law

Andrea Hirshman, Esq. is a family mediator and collaborative law attorney serving the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan. After learning the limitations of litigation, Andrea saw mediation and collaborative law as healthier forums for couples and families to resolve with dignity the challenges they face when ending marriage. These options support constructive dialogue and lead to durable divorce settlements that align with each spouse’s values and goals. Andrea is immersed in the community of mediators and collaborative attorneys: she has served on the board of the Family and Divorce Mediation Counsel of Greater New York (FDMC), as well as on the board of the NY Association of Collaborative Professionals. Andrea chaired the FDMC Continuing Education Committee bringing monthly educational forums together for the mediation community for four years. She is a member of the NYS Council on Divorce Mediation where she sits on its Ethics Committee. She is a founding member of the Academy of Professional Mediators and is also on the FamilyKind Team. Andrea is a consultant mediator for the NYC Family Courts. She is a member of the International Association of Collaborative Professionals, NYS Women’s Bar Association and Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association. She received her BA in American Studies from SUNY at Buffalo, and her JD from CUNY Law School in 1993. She was admitted to the NYS bar in 1994. Andrea’s practice includes all matters having to do with marriage and divorce. 

Charles Bonfante

Bonfante Law Firm

Charles Bonfante has been representing accident victims for almost two decades.

Before starting his own firm, he was a valued member of the legal department for GEICO insurance. Working for a major insurance company has given Charles a valuable perspective that sets him apart from the many personal injury firms on Long Island.

Mr. Bonfante’s professional life is now focused solely on fighting for the rights of accident victims.

While most lawyers have a job, and some aspire to a career, Charles Bonfante has a true calling. Fighting for the rights of the injured is what drives Charles Bonfante each day.

Charles Bonfante has also repeatedly obtained unusually high jury verdicts for his clients.

Unlike volume firms, Mr. Bonfante has built his practice on attention to each client’s particular needs. Mr. Bonfante values each client as an individual and truly cares about the outcome of every case he takes on.

Charles Bonfante is a member of the Suffolk County Bar Association, The Nassau Suffolk Trial Lawyers Association, New York State Trial Lawyers Association (NYSTLA) and the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers.

Charles Bonfante has also earned:

  • The prestigious AV Rating of Pre Eminent by Martindale Hubble
  • Avvo Client’s Choice Award for 2016, 2017 and 2018
  • 2017 N.Y. Metro Area Super Lawyers
  • 2018 N.Y. Metro Area Super Lawyers
  • Better Business Bureau A+ Rating

David J. Dean

Sullivan Papain Block McGrath & Cannavo P.C.

David J. Dean, who joined the Firm over 20 years ago as a nationally recognized trial attorney, is responsible for trying some of our largest and often most challenging and complex cases.

David J. Dean is a senior trial attorney on all matters in the Firm’s practice. Mr. Dean was the Chief Trial Counsel for the plaintiffs in the Agent Orange Class Action, representing more than two million Vietnam Veterans in their claims against seven chemical companies. His work was described in published Federal Court decisions as “extraordinary” and of “exceptional quality.” David’s exceptional trial skills were evident in the civil trial of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, where, as the lead trial attorney, he obtained an unprecedented verdict against the Port Authority for its failure to take steps to prevent the terrorist attack.

David won a $92 Million verdict against the city of New York on behalf of a victim of excessive police force. He won a $25 million verdict for a laborer injured at a worksite and a $24.5 million verdict for a man who tripped on the stairs of an apartment building causing him to become a paraplegic. He obtained a verdict against the Transit Authority for $28.5 million for a woman whose leg was severely injured when she was struck by a train. He also won a $19.1 million verdict for a man whose hand was caught in a closing train door. He has obtained many multiple million-dollar verdicts in a number of different types of medical malpractice cases. Such results are only a small sample of his work, which has earned him a respected and feared trial reputation.

David has been named in Super Lawyers magazine as one of New York’s top lawyers, and has also been listed in The Best Lawyers in America. A national legal publication recently named David as “one of America’s great trial lawyers.” David has also received the highest rating (AV®) from Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings.* A 1961 graduate of Georgetown Law Center, David joined the firm in 1997 and has been a Member since 1999. He has often lectured at various law schools and bar associations on all aspects of trial practice.

Glenn W. Dopf

Dopf, P.C.


LL.M., International Law, New York University School of Law, 1983

J.D., Fordham University School of Law, 1979

B.S., Fordham University, cum laude, 1975


Member, Bar of the State of New Jersey, 1979 

Member, Bar of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, 1979

Member, Bar of the State of New York, 1980 

Member, Bar of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 1980 

Member, Bar of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, 1980 

Member, Bar of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, 1980 

Member, Bar of the United States Court of International Trade, 1981 

Member, Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States, 1983 

Biographee, Who's Who in American Law, Sixth through Fourteenth, Eighteenth Editions, Nineteenth Editions 

Biographee, Who's Who in America, Fifty-Fourth through Sixty-Eighth Editions, Seventieth Edition 

Biographee, Who's Who in the World, Twentieth through Thirty-Second Editions

Legal Employment History


Member, June 2012 - Present

>Kopff, Nardelli & Dopf

Member, February 1982 - May 2012

>Martin Clearwater & Bell

Associate, January 1980 - September 1981

Legal Associations

Member, American Bar Association, Litigation Section 

Member, Association of the Bar of the City of New York

Litigation Background

While employed by the New York County District Attorney's Office and Martin Clearwater & Bell, Mr. Dopf obtained extensive experience in civil and criminal litigation. He has litigated major actions to conclusion in both State and Federal Court as a partner at Kopff, Nardelli & Dopf LLP.


"Selected Topics in Damages in Personal Injury Actions," Proving and Defending against Damages in Personal Injury Litigation, Practising Law Institute, 1993. 

"Trial Practice: Evidence and Witnesses" (Chapter 14) and "The Collateral Source Rule" (Chapter 18), Medical Malpractice in New York, New York State Bar Association, 1993. 

"Medical Malpractice Case Management in Discovery: A Defense Perspective," Fundamentals of Medical Malpractice Litigation, Practising Law Institute, 1992. 

"Modern Trends in Obstetrical Malpractice," Journal of the Bellevue Obstetrical & Gynecological Society, Vol. VIII, Spring, 1992. 

"Handling Your First Medical Malpractice Case," Practicing Law Institute, 1991. 

"Trial Practice in a Medical Malpractice Case: A Defense Perspective," The Management and Trial of a Medical Malpractice Case, Practising Law Institute, 1990.

"People v. Plummer, et al.: Psychomotor Epilepsy - The Defense Fails," The New York Journal of Epilepsy, Volume 1, Number 3, 1980. 

Kristopher M. Dennis

The Law Office of Kristopher M. Dennis

Founded in January 2014, The Law Office of Kristopher M. Dennis is located in the heart of the Financial District, and handles matters throughout the Five Boroughs, Long Island and Westchester.

Kristopher, born and raised in Staten Island, New York, is an experienced attorney that has successfully litigated and handled appeals, in State and Federal Courts, involving diverse practice areas, including, but not limited, to legal malpractice, miscellaneous professional liability, insurance coverage, personal injury, employment law, accountants professional liability, commercial litigation, business disputes and construction law. Prior to opening his own practice Kristopher was a partner in a national insurance defense firm where he successfully defended professionals, was involved in drafting insurance policies and representing insurers in insurance coverage matters. Kristopher has represented the London Insurance Market in connection with several high profile and high exposure matters, including the New England Teamsters’ Pension Fund litigation, IPO Laddering litigation and the Lernout & Hauspie-related litigation.

Kristopher has been a contributing author to the course-book for the Bi-Annual New York State Bar Association’s Legal Malpractice Litigation and Risk Management Seminar (2003, 2005 and 2007), has been a featured speaker at the New York City Bar “Bridge-the-Gap” Program on the topics, “Identifying and Responding to Professional Liability Claims” and “Loss Prevention for Lawyers and Law Firms” and has presented for Strafford Webinars. Kristopher has been involved in several reported professional liability cases and has provided presentations to insurance industry clients on various professional liability topics including the “Sub-prime Mortgage Crisis,” “General Counsel Liability-LPL Claims Against Employed Lawyers,” and “Bankruptcy and Lawyer Liability.”  

Robert J. Pariser

Lydecker | Diaz

Robert J. Pariser is a member of the national firm of Lydecker | Diaz. He was formerly an equity partner at an AMLaw100 law firm where he practiced in the areas of employment, real estate law, and professional liability defense. Robert has extensive civil litigation experience and handles cases from inception through trial. He also handles disputes against various design professionals (A&E).

Earlier in Robert’s career, he was selected to serve a six month domestic secondment at a large professional liability insurer where he served as claims counsel. During this period of time, Robert oversaw outside defense and coverage counsel, made coverage decisions, authorized settlements and attended mediations.

Robert has defended nursing homes on claims related to negligent care to its residents, including decubitus claims.

Robert has been named to SuperLawyers Rising Star for Professional Liability Defense NY Metro from 2011-2017, SuperLawyers for Professional Liability Defense NY Metro 2018 and has 27 Reported Decisions largely all legal malpractice.