This is a program for trial attorneys who want to enhance the likelihood of winning difficult cases. It explains how to use to the lawyer’s advantage what may at first appear to be negative factors in the case, just as practitioners of Judo are trained to use the superior power of an opponent to defeat him. This technique applies to all stages of the litigation process. It is not a substitute for solid preparation, knowledge of the basics of trial practice and procedure, maintaining credibility, and developing good communication skills. However, it is a valuable weapon in the arsenal of the trial attorney who must try a challenging case against a formidable opponent. Throughout the program, attorney John Lang draws upon his personal experience to illustrate how “embracing the negative” can lead to positive outcomes.
I. Understand what it means to embrace the negative in a trial setting
II. Examine prototypical examples in People v. Harris & Black and O.J. Simpson trial
III. Recognize pre-trial proceeding opportunities to embrace the negative
IV. Underline the importance of in-depth investigations of opposing party’s negative arguing points
V. Conceptualize your “Case Theory,” and what that means when it comes to admitting the negatives
VI. Plan to accustom your potential jury members to the negatives during the selection process
VII. Identify real-life instances from real-life trials where embracing the negative worked!
VIII. Follow the “embracing the negative” process in a prototypical bribery case
IX. Highlight the importance of recognizing embracing the negative as one of many tools
This course is pre-approved for CLE credit in the following states. If your state is not listed, contact support for more information on how to receive credit
John Lang is an experienced trial attorney whose practice now focuses on New York trust and estate litigation, probate litigation, will contests, and estate administration. Equally at home in a United States District Court as in a New York State Surrogate's Court, Mr. Lang's extensive capabilities also include commercial litigation, tax controversies, investigations, regulatory advocacy, and white collar defense matters. The hallmark of Mr. Lang's legal style is an aggressive, result-oriented approach, executed with a strategic vision and tactical savvy developed through decades as lead counsel in trials and arbitrations. He represents executives, professionals, companies, charitable entities, and high net worth individuals in sensitive matters where discretion and avoidance of publicity is paramount.
John Lang's achievements in his trusts and estates practice have been recognized with the highest ratings from Martindale-Hubbell, Avvo, and Lawyers.com; a Super Lawyers designation from Thomson-Reuters; and selection by The American Society of Litigation Advocates as one of the "Top 100 Trusts and Estates Lawyers in New York State." However, what truly distinguishes John Lang from most trust and estate practitioners are the additional distinctions he has earned as a trial attorney and litigator. These include being selected as a fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America trial lawyer honorary society, selection by the American Academy of Trial Attorneys as a Premiere 100 Trial Attorney, recognition as a National Trial Lawyers Top 100 trial attorney, recognition by Corporate America magazine as Legal Elite --Best for Probate Litigation, and selection by Acquisition International magazine as Best for Trusts and Estates Litigation.
In Public Service
Mr. Lang began his legal career by serving as a New York County Assistant District Attorney. Mr. Lang rose to the position of Senior Trial Counsel in the Major Felony Program, prosecuting major crimes committed by career criminals. He distinguished himself in the case of State v. Carbone, where he proved the innocence of a mistakenly arrested honor student, obtaining a jury trial conviction of the real perpetrator of the crime - a look-alike for the student. Mr. Lang was promoted to Deputy Chief of the Frauds Bureau, where his focus was white collar crime investigations, and where he pioneered Medicaid fraud prosecutions. Following his distinguished career as an assistant district attorney, John Lang was appointed a Special Assistant Attorney General in the Special Prosecutions Bureau of the New York State Attorney General’s Office, where as Chief Assistant to the Special Prosecutor he investigated and successfully tried official corruption cases.
In Private Practice
Mr. Lang transitioned into private practice at Phillips Lytle, one of the oldest and largest law firms based in Upstate New York. There, he handled a broad spectrum of commercial litigations, including banking, tax, real estate, technology, and products liability cases. Among Mr. Lang's favorable trial verdicts while with Phillips Lytle was a U.S. District Court jury trial verdict of ‘no tax liability’ in a case brought by the Internal Revenue Service seeking to hold a bank vicariously liable for the tax liability of a commercial loan customer.
In 1991, Mr. Lang joined the international law firm Loeb & Loeb LLP, where he was a senior litigation partner for 18 years. At Loeb, he handled major cases on behalf of financial institutions, senior executives, and high net worth individuals. He also developed an in-house litigation training program and spearheaded the firm’s pro bono efforts on behalf of at-risk children. His pro bono work has attracted national attention, including a full profile in Inside Children’s Rights, and mentions in articles in the New York Law Journal, Corporate Board Member Magazine, and The Clarion Ledger. In recognition of his many contributions, Mr. Lang was awarded the 2006 Loeb & Loeb Professional and Community Service Award.
Although then focusing mostly on commercial, probate, and tax litigation, Mr. Lang he may best be remembered at Loeb for obtaining the dismissal of the government’s bribery case against a West Coast businessman, in the midst of a jury trial. The defendant had been recorded making a bribe, had made a videotaped confession to the FBI at the time of his arrest, and had previously pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to the same charges Mr. Lang was called upon to defend at trial. John Lang defended the case based on a theory of entrapment, proved perjury on the part of the lead federal agent, and secured the dismissal at trial of the case by the same judge before whom the defendant had previously pleaded guilty.
In 2010, Mr. Lang left Loeb and founded Law Offices of John F. Lang. At this point in his career, John Lang's experience included representing the widow of Ice cream business magnate Tom Carvel in a highly contentious major estate litigation and obtaining a favorable Queens County Surrogate's Court jury trial verdict in a case of a forged codicil to a will. Mr. Lang soon found that, as a result of his probate court experience and client demand, his law practice increasingly focused on trusts and estates controversies.
In 2015, John Lang joined with his colleague, Angelica Kontoroff, to form Lang & Kontoroff LLP, the principal practice areas of which are trust and estate litigation, estate administration, and tax controversies.
Mr. Lang’s legal career reflects his commitment to public service, honest government, civil rights, and his passion to protect at-risk children from neglect and abuse. He continues to be an ardent champion of individual liberties who embraces the opportunity to represent parties and witnesses seeking justice in the areas of probate litigation, business litigation, investigations, and tax controversies. No case is too challenging, and no client is undeserving of Mr. Lang's experience, judgment, and dedication.
Fordham Law School, J.D., (Intern, U.S. Attorney, Southern District of New York; Summer Internship, North Carolina, Law Students Civil Rights Research Council; American Jurisprudence Prize for Excellence in Real Estate Law)
City College of New York, B.A., (Captain of Debate Team; Kelly Prize for Excellence in Debate, Student Government)
John Lang is a combat veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He served overseas with the 26th Marines Regiment.
New York State; United States Supreme Court; United States Tax Court; United States International Court of Trade; United States Courts of Appeals for the Second and Fifth Circuits; United States District Courts for the Eastern, Southern, Western, and Northern Districts of New York, the Connecticut District, the Northern District of California, the Northern District of Texas, and the Eastern District of Kentucky.
American Bar Association (International Law Section, International Litigation Committee; Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section); New York State Bar Association (Trusts and Estates Law Section, Estate Litigation Committee; Dispute Resolution Section); Association of the Bar of the City of New York (Small Law Firm Committee); Litigation Counsel of America; and American Society of Legal Advocates.
Honors and Awards
John Lang has been honored with the highest peer rating of "AV Preeminent" (5.0 of possible 5.0) by Martindale-Hubbell, which also designated him a "Top Rated Lawyer in Trusts and Estates."
Mr. Lang has been recognized as a "New York Metro Super Lawyer" by Thompson Reuters.
He has been honored with a "Superb" rating (10.0 of possible 10.0) by Avvo, the consumer website that rates legal and medical professionals.
The American Society of Legal Advocates selected John Lang as one of the "Top 100 Trusts and Estates Lawyers in New York State" for 2013.
Acquisition International magazine honored John Lang as "Best for Trust and Estates Litigation."
Corporate America magazine honored John Lang as one of the "Corporate America Legal Elite -- Best for Probate Litigation."
John Lang has also been selected as a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, a trial lawyer honorary society.
National Trial Lawyers awarded John Lang "Top 100 -- Criminal Defense" recognition.
The American Academy of Trial Attorneys selected John Lang as a "Premiere 100 Trial Attorney"
Mr. Lang is an honored member of the Worldwide Who's Who Registry for Executives, Professionals and Entrepreneurs.
Kentucky Governor Martha Layne Collins honored John Lang in 1986 by commissioning him as a Kentucky Colonel.
New York Probate and Trust Litigation Blog (begun in 2013)
The Executive's Guide to Depositions: A Practical Reference Explaining the Deposition
Stage Of Pre-Trial Discovery in Commercial Litigation. Aspatore Books, a division of
Thomson-West, 2008. ISBN 978-0-314-98716-7
“White Collar Crime Attorneys Add Value,” lead chapter in The Executive's Guide to
Understanding the Laws Behind White Collar Crime. Aspatore Books, a division of
Thomson-West, 2006. ISBN 1-59622-374-X
Co-Author: “Patenting Business Methods and Systems; the Aftermath of State Street Bank
and Trust Co. v. Signature Financial,” The Banking Law Journal, March/April 2000 [117.2
Co-Author: “Safeguarding Business from the Threat of White Collar Crime.” Directors
Monthly, October 1997 [21.10 1997)]
Pro Bono Recognition
Loeb & Loeb Professional and Community Service Award (2006)
"Donor Profile: John Lang." Inside Children's Rights Fall 2008:7.(A description of Mr. Lang's contributions to child welfare reform)
"Settlement Reached in Mississippi Child Welfare Suit." The Clarion Ledger 8 Nov. 2007. (Reporting on child welfare class action in Mississippi)
"Public Interest Projects," by Thomas Adcock. New York Law Journal 4 Aug. 2006 (Referencing Mr. Lang's pro bono work as lead counsel).
"Lives That Legal Angels Saved," by Susan Littwin. Corporate Board Member Magazine
8.4: Jul/Aug 2005 (Discussing Mr. Lang's child welfare advocacy)
Continuing Legal Education Lectures and Webinars to the Profession
In 2012, at the Harvard Club in New York City, Mr. Lang made a presentation on trial technique to a gathering of trial attorneys at the Litigation Counsel of America’s Renaissance Symposium VI.
In 2013, as a faculty member of LawReviewCLE.com John Lang was a speaker in a program at the N.Y.C. Bar Association entitled “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Litigating in Probate Court.”John's topics included Discovery and Motion Practice, Mediation in Estate Litigation, and Tax Implications of Settlements of Probate Litigation.
Also in 2013, as a faculty member of Lawline.com, John Lang presented a course entitled: “Winning the Tough Case by Embracing the Negative.”
Loved his stories!
Absolutely priceless. Thank you.
Phenomenal speaker, with life experiences worth sharing!
Excellent content & engaging presentation. Much to learn from it.
Very good teller of trial stories
This one was very informative and one of my favorite CLE programs.
Great presentation and interesting anecdotes from Mr. Lang's personal experience.
Very professional. Thank you for sharing wisdom.
This was a great CLE. Not only did it cover trial prep generally, but it offered great incite into a unique way of looking at challenging situations that may arise.
As a student of judo for 56 years, I loved his analogy to the gentle path of life. Great lecture! Embrace the negative.
Very well laid out/
Essential watching for every trial attorney, young or old. Wonderful speaker! Great materials.
I would take a hundred of this speaker’s sessions. Wow!
Unique legal perspective shared by a consummate member of the bar.
was a very helpful hands on presentation
Great presentation; well done.
As an attorney who has more clients in the under dog role than I care to remember, Mr. Lang gave me hope by his presentation that the truly unwinnable case can sometimes be won.
This was one of the better cle's I've listened to on here. Really assisting with practical approaches.
This speaker was very engaging. Nice presentation. Thank you!
I loved this CLE and will start using John Lang's "embrace the negative" strategy asap. Thank you John Lang!
That presenter is a hoot, engaging and entertaining
I really enjoyed the course. The course was very informative.
Loved this speaker, highly recommended.
Best and most useful of the Lawline courses in my package.
Very good. Love appropriate "war" stories
John Lang did an excellent job. Very informative and very useful.
Good use of real-life examples.
Interesting. I have been a trail attorney for over 50 years and was a judoka with judo for years. Nice blend.
easy to listen to
One of your best instructors.
Skills that can translate into many areas of practice and life.
More Mr. Lang!
Truly a great speaker with very interesting examples.
By far the most informative CLE to date!
excellent practical advice
Very informative course with excellent presenter.
A real pleasure to listen to!
This was pretty basic. Good for a young lawyer.
This lecture was made quite interesting through the use of recent cases as well as the personal experience of the lecturer, regarding the cases that he has tried across the country. Thanks for a good presentation.
Excellent! Should be required viewing! Thanks.
You represent Fordham Law well sir!
Mr. Lang is delightful. An interesting topic made better by a charming presentation. Best CLE I've seen in 25 years.
Excellent speaker, informative and enlightening.
Super, that how I was trained in the day.
Very effective speaker.
One of the best. Very refreshing.
His unassuming manner conveyed how he was able to grasp the negatives and to put them to good use--thinking outside the box.
very good and great examples for application, thank you.
Mr. Lang was truly excellent!
I really enjoyed the speakers examples and the stories he used to illustrate his points. This was a great presentation.
Enjoyed this lecture. Interesting anecdotes. Great teacher.
Interesting and practical course. Recommended.
Very informative presentation by Mr. Lang.
important concept conveyed that is applicable to all facets of law practice
Not applicable for me but very entertaining nevertheless.
Excellent speaker, very engaging and easy to listen to.
Definitely one of the best courses
A great explanation of one of the most important means of being an effective trial attorney.
This was the best Lawline CLE I've seen. Great presentation.
awesome examples on subject matter
He makes me proud to be a lawyer and the proffession
Very good insight into trial strategies.
Best CLE I've seen. I love the mix of information with stories from the trenches. I could listen to this guy all day!
Excellent! Best presentation in this bundle.
Outstanding presentation. I'd love to watch Mr. Lang try a case.
Mr. Lang's insights were valuable.
great war stories
This was one of your best and most interesting sessions; very enjoyable and insightful.
This was really great and very watchable. loved it.
Lang is great. Best course on Lawline
This guy was great! Love his stories...some are almost Perry Mason-esque!
Great topic and terrific speaker!
Fascinating and well worth watching
Extremely good, if not the best Lawline CLE I have seen or the best CLE seen elsewhere.
Very informative, and unique teaching.
best one out of all of them
The speaker was clear, interesting and knew how to teach. Excellent!
This was a joy to watch and experience. The stories and experience related were well done, engaging, and this is the first CLE I have taken in a long time that I wished would go on longer.
he was great
Mr. Lang was terrific! (But what else would you expect from a US Marine?)
This is the best CLE I've ever watched.
Congratulations, (Ky) Col. Lange, on your informative presentation. It is obvious that you have a wealth of experience. Thank you for sharing it with us. Well done!
One of the best ones I've seen.
I like the speaker taking a negative (sometimes two negatives) and turn it (them) into a positive. Well, done.
A very good presentation on the subject by a well seasoned, competent trial attorney
Educational and entertaining. Fine job!
This speaker was excellent. I could have listened to more.
Great program and speaker. Content could be applied in many settings beyond trial law.
Great course and attorney!
This is the mentor every young lawyer wishes they had when they started out this was a wonderful presentation I thoroughly enjoyed it
The actual case studies made it very interesting.
Excellent presentation by a very experienced trial attorney
Excellent! This man truly loves what he does and you can tell. It made the lecture so interesting and enjoyable!! Thank you!
Very good examples that illustrated how to use the skill being taught.
Useful and entertaining. Explores the intangibles between good and excellent.
Absolutely entertaining and informative. What a pleasure!
I found this speaker to very engaging, I enjoyed how he used his own past mistakes to help teach us.
Well, it was interesting.
Great lecture! Highly recommended.
This was full of good suggestions for how to deal with the worst parts of your case.
Best presenter I have seen on LawlIne. I would watch any other presentation by him.
Good trial presentation; many useful points and ideas.
The content was nicely interwoven with real life stories and experiences which made the 1.5 hour go by much faster.
I simply loved this presentation - thank you, Mr. Lang!
War stories are fun. But war stories with a purpose are instructive. Best CLE I have heard in some time. Thanks
Great program. I really enjoyed the real-world examples from actual cases.
presenter is excellent
The topics raised here are outstanding.
Great personality and wonderful war stories that make the material sing.
Excellent speaker and highly practical, valuable content.
Excellent, well-presented topic and interesting material.
One of the best CLEs I've taken
Smooth presentation. Enjoyed the speaker very much. Great trial stories
Excellent speaker. Great CLE.
It was very practical information that one can use in their work which was great. His tips were very good.
Very engaging and interesting - good speaker.
Valuable lessons he taught.
Outstanding presentation - LOVED the examples!
Mr. Lang is amazing. I loved the stories, all of which weren't just "war stories," but were helpful tidbits on trial tactics and strategy
Entertaining presenter and useful information.
One of the best CLEs I have taken.
Best I've seen yet on LawLine.
Excellent experience-based tutorial.
Undoubtedly one of the best CLEs I have watched online. Mr. Lang was engaging, kept my interest and was an excellent presenter.
His stories reminded me of Matlock
John's experience, understanding of human nature, and sense of humor combined to make this presentation both enjoyable and educational.
Instructive, through the time-honored mechanism of the war story. Mr. Lang knows and loves his craft.
Fun and interesting!
Best course so far!
Terrific Refresher and full of excellent advise. Very engaging speaker and presenter. Really enjoyed this course.
Best presentation I've seen on Lawline so far. Entertaining speaker with lots of good practical advice.
Excellent speaker and thorough knowledge of the topic.
Thought it was interesting with good real-life examples.
Very interesting ideas!
Tremendous presentation of common sense facts and techniques that can be readily employed.
Great speaker, important topic, meaningful examples...would embrace his presentation on other topics, as well.
This guy is good!
This guy is FANTASTIC!
Enjoyable, memorable course.
Practical and interesting!
The best one ever! great.
This speaker was really great!
This was a terrific CLE presentation. I wish they were all this good. Excellent presenter.
Very enjoyable and useful.
Really good seminar filled with practical information.
Fantastic course. Great speaker. Good stories.
Extraordinary. It seems that the appropriate response now is, semper fidelis.
easy to listen to
Excellent topic, and I really enjoyed listening to this speaker.
That guy is great.
Really engaging speaker.
A very good presentation.
a delight to hear the speaker's perspective of trial practice; war stories from an ex-marine litigator are to be expected, but he actually used them productively pedagogically.
John Lang is a rock star!!!!
John Lang was his typical, informative self. Worked with him before. Very well done.
Litigators should take this course!!
Great presentation. Speaker was very engaging.
Had some interesting experiences and examples - could have been an hour long.
A very enjoyable presentation.
Excellent program. Learning from a speaker who DID it is so much better than learning from one who only teaches it!
Excellent speaker and written materials. His anecdotes were wonderful.
John Lang was great!
This has been one the most outstanding CLE's offered by LawLine. Mr.Lang is truly an outstanding attorney. Moreover, allow me to thank him for his Service as a U.S. Marine.
Good course and good instructor
I really enjoyed Mr. Lang's presentation. It was both extremely informative and entertaining. This was definitely the best Lawline seminar that I have attended.
The presentation was simply litter with nuggets of a truly experienced practitioner's best and most nuanced insights on trial lawyering. A must see presentation!
One of the best presentations I've seen in a long time. Mr. Lang did an outstanding job.
Excellent presentation! Nothing better than getting great advice and hearing old war stories from an experienced and top-notch trial lawyer
He's a great presenter. The best part was when he told his trial stories and how he was able to embrace the negative.
very nice, I like the real world examples and how they tie in to his message. Very important program for litigators
This speaker was inspiring.
Very good speaker and very informative program.
Though I am not a trial attorney, the basic concepts upon which the presenter focused are readily transferable to many areas of practice.
Good Presenter and good trail stories.
The speaker was excellent.
Thoughtful presentation. I enjoyed the speaker very much.
This was informative and entertaining.
Very enjoyable and informative.