Civil Litigation: From discovery to closing arguments

James M. Susag
James M. Susag | Larkin Hoffman

James M. Susag is a seasoned trial attorney with a focus on franchise and dealer disputes, real estate, and complex commercial matters.

On-Demand: May 12, 2023

Civil Litigation: From discovery to closing arguments

$195.00 2 hour CLE

MCLE Credit Information:

Select Your State Below to View CLE Credit Information

Can't Decide Which CLE Program?

Access All
Federal Bar Association Programs
Co-Sponsored by myLawCLE
Only $395yr

Annual Subscription includes access to:
  • 500+ Live CLE Webinars
  • National Hot Legal Topics
  • New Laws and Regulations
  • State Specific Programs
  • All Formats: Live, Replay, & On-Demand
Subscribe Today
Training 5 or more people?

Sign-up for a law firm subscription plan and each attorney in the firm receives free access to all CLE Programs

Program Summary

In this CLE, experienced litigator and Larkin Hoffman Shareholder, Jim Susag, will walk through all of the most important aspects of civil litigation. Jim will providing practical tips for every phase of the civil litigation process - all the way from discovery to the end of trial. Jim will address common discovery mistakes, the crucial components of oral advocacy, the challenges of jury selection, approaches for dealing with difficult expert witnesses, and provide tips on how to best structure your opening and closing arguments.

This course is co-sponsored with myLawCLE.

Key topics to be discussed:

  • Discovery
  • Motion Practice
  • Pre-Trial
  • Jury Selection and Voir Dire
  • Effective Opening Statements
  • Direct and Cross Examination Techniques
  • How to Cross-Examine a Tough Expert
  • Creating and Delivering Closing Arguments

Date: May 12, 2023

Closed-captioning available


James M. Susag_Larkin Hoffman_FedBarJames M. Susag | Larkin Hoffman

James M. Susag is a seasoned trial attorney with a focus on franchise and dealer disputes, real estate, and complex commercial matters. He has been the lead attorney in over 100 trials and arbitrations in state and federal courts across the country and in domestic and international arbitration forums. Jim has the unique perspective of a trial lawyer who has also managed complex litigation and developed strategic legal plans as in-house counsel. Clients appreciate his boardroom-to-courtroom experience in crafting resolutions for their business disputes.

Representative Experience

Franchise Litigation and Arbitration

Jim represents franchise and dealer clients across various industries including food and beverage, retail, leisure and fitness, health care, hospitality and commercial and consumer services. His experience spans disputes relating to claims of violation of state franchise or dealership laws, trademark infringement, breach of contract, system-standards enforcement, consumer class actions, post-termination rights, disclosure and registration issues, fraud claims, vicarious liability, independent contractor misclassification and joint employment issues.

Real Estate Litigation

Land owners, developers, buyers, sellers, lenders, contractors and brokers rely on Jim to defend their property in all types of real estate disputes, including purchase and sale agreements, commercial and residential leases, construction contracts, mechanic’s liens, commercial and residential construction and design defects, title claims, premises liability, boundaries and easements, valuation, zoning, land use and governmental approvals.

Business Litigation

Jim handles complex commercial disputes involving contract interpretation and enforcement, unlawful business practices, civil fraud and unfair competition. He also represents clients in disputes among owners of closely-held businesses.


I. Discovery | 12:00pm – 12:15pm

  1. Common Tactics and Mistakes to Avoid

II. Motion Practice | 12:15pm – 12:30pm

  1. What Information the Judge Needs to Make a Ruling
  2. Tips for Successful Motion Practice
  3. Enhancing Oral Arguments
  4. Practical Tips for Remote Hearings

III. Pre-Trial | 12:30pm – 12:45pm

  1. Utilizing the Pre-Trial Order

IV. Jury Selection and Voir Dire | 12:45pm – 1:00pm

  1. Introducing Your Case During Jury Selection
  2. Peremptory and For Cause Challenge Tactics
  3. “Challenges for Cause” in the Jury Selection Process

Break | 1:00pm – 1:10pm

V. Effective Opening Statements | 1:10pm – 1:25pm

  1. Maximizing the Impact of Opening Statements

VI. Direct and Cross Examination Techniques | 1:25pm – 1:40pm

  1. Preparation Tips for Direct Examination
  2. Persuasive Witness Testimony
  3. Finding the Right Tone and Demeanor

VII. How to Cross-Examine a Tough Expert | 1:40pm – 1:55pm

VIII. Creating and Delivering Closing Arguments | 1:55pm – 2:10pm

  1. What to Include
  2. Length and Style Tactics
  3. Use of Pace and Voice Inflection to Emphasize Key Elements
  4. Addressing Weak Points in Your Case
  5. Cleary Asking for What You Want