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Federal Practice Institute 2019

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University of Pittsburgh School of Law
3900 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh PA, 15260
STARTFri., Oct. 25, 2019
9:00 AM
ENDFri., Oct. 25, 2019
5:00 PM
CLE 5 sub/1 eth* PRICE Regular: $299.00
New Attorney: $150.00

* = Ethics information has been integrated throughout this program. To receive ethics credit, you must attend the entire course.


Join us for the premier educational event for attorneys who litigate in federal court in Pennsylvania. 

What are the differences between trying a case in state court versus federal court?

What are the best strategies for bringing your case in federal court?

Do you know how to be the best advocate for your client in federal court?

The Institute provides all the tools you need to succeed in federal court. Using a hypothetical case, federal judges and seasoned practitioners will explore the latest developments affecting your federal practice. Advance your knowledge of federal practice and become a better advocate for your client while connecting with the federal judges and other practitioners who practice in the federal courts.

Hear from 9 Federal Judges in the Western and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania

Here is you chance to hear directly from the judges and take away tips and strategies for trying your case in federal court. Learn how the judges think about key issues. Understand the procedures involved in moving your case through the court.

Get the inside scoop on federal court practice

  • Selection of forum
  • Removal
  • Attempts at remand
  • Jurisdiction
  • Initial case assignment
  • TRO and PI practice
  • Early Neutral Evaluation
  • Case management
  • Electronic discovery
  • Pretrial orders
  • Motions in Limine
  • Jury Selection
  • Bankruptcy filing
  • Collateral appeals from preliminary orders
  • Preservation of record for appeal

Program schedule

9:00 - 10:00 am

First Things: Case Assessment, Forum Selection and Interim Relief

Chief Judge Hornak, Judge Horan, Professor Hellman, Mr. O'Donnell, Mr. Mercer (moderator)

This panel will set up the hypothetical case to be used throughout the day. Come to hear a lively discussion on forum selection, removal, remand, jurisdiction, initial case assessment and TRO and PI practice.


10:00 - 11:00 am

Pretrial Procedures

Judge Bissoon, Judge Brann, Nancy Conrad (moderator)

Here is your opportunity to hear the judges discuss scheduling, electronic discovery, pretrial orders, Motions in Limine and jury selection.


11:00 - 11:15 am



11:15 am - 12:15 pm

Stay Where You Are: A Bankruptcy Has Been Filed!

Judge Fitzgerald (Ret.), Judge Taddonio, Mr. Campbell, Ms. John (moderator)

The filing of a bankruptcy petition under Title 11 triggers an automatic stay of the commencement or continuation of proceedings in state and federal court. This panel will discuss the impact of a bankruptcy filing on pending litigation from the perspective of the bench as well as both creditor's and debtor's counsel.


12:15 - 1:15 pm



1:15 - 2:15 pm

Better Preparing Law Students for the Future

Dean Wildermuth

Law schools are at a critical moment of change in how we provide legal education. For the past 15 years, we have increasingly offered more practical, hands-on learning opportunities. This has been an important change in legal education and these opportunities are vitally important to preparing our students. But we have yet to fully explore how we might rethink the rest of our curriculum to fit the evolving needs of legal practice today. We know, for example, our students need excellent interpersonal communication skills, agility with technology, effective teamwork and collaboration strategies, an understanding of the deep value provided by diverse teams and our need to be inclusive at every level, and a commitment to engage and lead in our communities. How do we ensure that our students acquire these important skills and knowledge? These is no one class or even series of classes that can cover all of these areas. Instead, they must be embedded in all we do, which has shifted our thinking to focus on  how and when our students acquire these core competencies as much as we think about particular subject matter coverage. We believe this new approach will fundamentally change how we think about legal education and, in turn, how we educate our students, better preparing them for the challenges of a rapidly changing legal profession.


2:15 - 3:15 pm

Danger Beneath the Surface: When Civil Litigation Digs Up Criminal Conduct

Judge Lenihan, Professor Harris, Mr. Novara, Mr. Kaufman, Mr. Sweitzer (moderator)

This panel will address issues arising from parallel proceedings, such as the line between civil and criminal fraud and the ethical handling of criminal allegations.


3:15 - 3:30 pm



3:30 - 4:30 pm

Knocking on the Door of the Court of Appeals

Judge Fisher, Judge Hardiman, Mr. Byer, Ms. Hersperger (moderator)

Join us for a discussion of collateral appeals from preliminary orders (PI, denial of remand, grand jury) and preservation of the record for appeal.


4:30 - 6:00 pm

Reception sponsored by the Federal Practice Committee


6:00 pm

Reception sponsored by Pitt Law School



All attendees will receive the course materials as a digital book. A printed copy of the course book is available, at a discount to attendees for $40. Additional copies are available at full price. If you wish to purchase the printed version of the course book, please call PBI Customer Service at 800-932-4637. Printed versions of the course book will not be distributed at the course; please allow up to two weeks after the program for the printed version of the course book to be shipped.


Oakland Parking Garages - The two locations most convenient to Pitt Law School are Sennott Square Garage (SN) and Soldiers and Sailors Garage (SO).


If you are interested in attending the Pitt Homecoming Football game, purchase tickets here .


Nearby hotels


Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh University Place

Wyndham Pittsburgh University Center

Residence Inn Pittsburgh Oakland/University Place

The Oaklander Hotel, Autograph Collection


Pittsburgh Marriott City Center

Doubletree by Hilton Hotel & Suites Pittsburgh Downtown

Embassy Suites by Hilton Pittsburgh Downtown

The Westin Pittsburgh

North Shore

Hyatt Place Pittsburgh North Shore

Springhill Suites by Marriott Pittsburgh North Shore

Residence Inn Pittsburgh North Shore

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Pittsburgh North Shore





Practice Areas


Hon. Cathy Bissoon US District Court for the Western District of PA
Hon. Matthew W. Brann U.S Federal Court
Robert L. Byer Esq. Duane Morris LLP (Pgh)
Douglas A. Campbell Esq. Campbell & Levine LLC
Nancy Conrad Esq. White and Williams LLP (Center Vly)
Hon. D. Michael Fisher United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Hon. Judith K. Fitzgerald (Ret.) Tucker Arensberg (Pgh)
Hon. Thomas M. Hardiman United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Prof. David A. Harris University of Pittsburgh
Professor Arthur David Hellman University of Pittsburgh School of Law
Stephanie L. Hersperger Esq. Pion Nerone Girman Winslow & Smith PC (Hbg)
Hon. Marilyn J. Horan U.S. District Court for the Western District of PA
Hon. Mark R. Hornak United States District Court
Anne N. John Esq. John & John, Attorneys at Law
Stephen R. Kaufman Esq. US Attorneys Office
Hon. Lisa Pupo Lenihan US District Court
Jeremy A. Mercer Esq.
Michael J. Novara Esq. Federal Public Defender for the Western District of Pennsylvania
Brendan A. O'Donnell Esq. Houston Harbaugh PC
Brett G. Sweitzer Esq. Federal Community Defender Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Hon. Gregory L. Taddonio United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
Amy J. Wildermuth University of Pittsburgh School of Law
Faculty may vary by location.
PBI reserves the right to substitute speakers at all programs.