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The ABC’s of Civil and Criminal Trial Preparation in New Jersey

(239 reviews)

Produced on February 26, 2019

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Course Information

Time 1h 16m
Difficulty Beginner
Topics covered in this course: Litigation

Course Description

A trial is the culmination of the preparation of the case - preparation that has been designed from the start of discovery to develop the facts and evidence to win at trial. The trial attorney must start at the end (what needs to be proven at trial) to identify the elements of each claim and defense and then design a Blueprint of how s/he will develop and establish the facts and evidence to support the claims and defenses of the case. Like any building process, there are multiple stages to design, execute, assess and redesign the Blueprint and strategies. The final Blueprint is a trial notebook that defines trial themes and organizes the presentation of the facts and evidence by witness to prove the facts needed to win. An effective trial book keeps the trial attorney focused and instills confidence that s/he is prepared and ready.

In this program, partners at Dughi, Hewit & Domalewski, P.C., a premier New Jersey boutique law firm, will help the practitioner learn to develop a Blueprint as it pertains to written discovery, fact deposition and expert discovery, dispositive and pre-trial motions, rules of evidence, trial issues and more when litigating New Jersey cases.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Outline the Blueprint of the case, which becomes the blueprint for the trial
  2. Determine the theme for the trial
  3. Prepare the witness examinations and exhibits required to explain and prove the case
  4. Create a Trial Book to organize witness examinations, documents and exhibits
  5. Present and repeat the trial themes from opening statement to closing argument

Credit Information

After completing this course, Lawline will report your attendance information to {{ accredMasterState.state.name }}. Please ensure your license number is filled out in your profile to ensure timely reporting. For more information, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements page . After completing this course, {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} attorneys self-report their attendance and CLE compliance. For more information on how to report your CLE courses, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements FAQ .


Louis John Dughi, Jr.

Dughi, Hewit & Domalewski, P.C.

A founding partner of Dughi, Hewit & Domalewski, P.C., Louis John Dughi, Jr. is one of the leading defense trial attorneys in New Jersey. Mr. Dughi’s practice includes medical and hospital malpractice and pharmaceutical litigation. He has tried over 250 cases on behalf of physicians and product manufacturers in state and federal courts. Mr. Dughi is retained to counsel insurance, pharmaceutical and manufacturing companies and other law firms in negotiating difficult settlements and preparing trial strategies. He has counseled hospitals, physicians and other healthcare professional involved in licensing and hospital privilege disputes and fraud investigations, and appeared before the Board of Medical Examiners, and hospital hearing committees representing hospitals or physicians. Mr. Dughi frequently lectures lawyers and client groups on current legal trends respecting civil litigation, settlement strategies and ADR.

Craig A. Domalewski

Dughi, Hewit & Domalewski, P.C.

Craig A. Domalewski is a senior partner with Dughi, Hewit & Domalewski, P.C.  Mr. Domalewski focuses on complex dispute resolution. He has represented privately-held and publicly-traded companies, trade associations, non-profits, individuals, and government entities in some of the largest and most complex litigation and transactions in the State of New Jersey. He has regularly represented companies in complex, multi-million dollar civil litigation, including product liability, commercial disputes, securities fraud, environmental and insurance coverage matters where the amount in controversy exceeded $100 million. He has also negotiated numerous, multi-million dollar commercial transactions. He has provided strategic advice and guidance to hospitals, physicians and other individuals and entities in connection with various commercial disputes and regulatory and compliance issues.

Brandon D. Minde

Dughi, Hewit & Domalewski, P.C.

Brandon D. Minde is a partner with Dughi, Hewit & Domalewski, P.C., and head of the firm’s Criminal Defense and Government Investigations practice group.  Mr. Minde has legal experience in both the government and private sectors. His practice focuses on complex litigation, business disputes, medical malpractice defense, and criminal investigations. Mr. Minde is, first and foremost, a litigator and a strategist. He represents a vast array of businesses and individuals in high stakes civil matters, as well as those investigated and charged with crimes by the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, the Office of the Attorney General of New Jersey, and numerous County Prosecutor’s Offices.  Mr. Minde recently defended a client against racketeering conspiracy charges in a six-month trial in federal court involving over 100 witnesses, which resulted in a hung jury and mistrial. Mr. Minde previously served as an Assistant Essex County Prosecutor and Special Deputy NJ Attorney General, where he handled numerous criminal prosecutions and conducted dozens of jury trials.

Mary Elizabeth Gazi

Dughi, Hewit & Domalewski

Mary Elizabeth Gazi returned to Dughi, Hewit & Domalewski in 2013 as of counsel to the firm and was elevated to Partner in 2016. Ms. Gazi’s practice focuses on the representation of healthcare professionals in medical malpractice litigation and on products liability and general liability defense. She has tried to a conclusion over 20 jury trials.

Prior to rejoining the firm, Ms. Gazi was a Senior Trial Attorney with the staff counsel office for the MIIX Group of Insurance Companies concentrating in the defense of medical malpractice claims in both State and Federal Courts. Ms. Gazi also was involved in all aspects of the staff counsel’s appellate practice, and argued several appeals before the Appellate Division.

Ms. Gazi began her legal career as an associate at Dughi and Hewit, involved in the firm’s medical malpractice department and pharmaceutical practice. She co-authored with Russell L. Hewit and Christopher J. Christie the Appellate and Supreme Court briefs in Strumph v. Schering, 133 N.J. 33 (1993), upholding the learned intermediary doctrine in New Jersey and dismissing a pharmaceutical failure to warn case on lack of proximate cause because the prescribing physician testified he was aware of the risks of the drug and would still have prescribed the medication to plaintiff even with a different warning.

Ms. Gazi has served on the Zoning Board of Adjustment for the Borough of Middlesex and the Board of Holy Family Academy.

Ms. Gazi served a judicial clerkship with the Honorable Herman L. Breitkopf, Assignment Judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Middlesex County in 1989 before joining the firm.

Ms. Gazi is admitted to the practice of law in New Jersey and The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Ms. Gazi received her juris doctor from Seton Hall School of Law 1989 where she was a member and Associate Editor of the Seton Hall Law Review. Ms. Gazi received her bachelor of arts in English and Economics from Villanova University.


Meghan G.

Excellent CLE. Highly recommend.

Herbert S.

Excellent presentation by all presenters!

Jack A.

Excellent presenters and superb teamwork by the presenters.

Sarah D.

This was excellent

Meghan F.

Very helpful

Nathan H.

Excellent material!

Yevgeny R.

This is one of the first really interesting And well-demonstrared lectures. Very informative

Laurie H.

Very informative, answered my questions!

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