Preparing and Conducting a Civil Trial in Federal Court – D08

Litigation and Advocacy Track
Federal Practice Section

Session D: 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.  

About the Program
This seminar will feature the nuts and bolts for preparing and trying a civil case in federal court. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage in dialogue with the court and trial practitioners regarding best practices for all stages of trial. Topics covered will include the joint trial memorandum and pre-trial conference, getting exhibits into evidence, technology in the courtroom, jury selection, opening and closing statements, conducting witness examinations, and post-verdict considerations. 

About the Program

    • How to ensure you are ready for day one of trial 
    • Practical knowledge for what to expect in the courtroom  
    • Perspective from the court on what works (and what doesn’t) 


Brian J. WheelinRobinson+Cole, Stamford 

Brian Wheelin, a member of the firm’s Business Litigation Group, has significant experience litigating and arbitrating a variety of complex business and real estate disputes. He is a trial lawyer who has handled over a dozen jury and bench trials. His trial successes include obtaining a defense verdict while representing a seller alleged to have breached an asset purchase agreement and defeating an insured’s claims of bad faith. Brian also regularly argues appeals before the United States Second Circuit and state appellate courts in Connecticut and New York. He represents a range of clients, including Fortune 500 companies, lenders, developers, and Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs).


Hon. Vanessa L. Bryant, United States District Court of Connecticut, Hartford 

Vanessa L. Bryant was appointed as a United States District Judge for the District of Connecticut by President George W. Bush on April 2, 2007 and entered on duty on April 3, 2007. She received her B.A. cum laude from Howard University in 1975 and her J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law in 1978. Judge Bryant is a member of the Connecticut Bar and the Connecticut District Court Bar.

Prior to her appointment as a Federal District Judge, Judge Bryant served as a Connecticut Superior Court Judge from 1998 until 2007. During that period, she was a criminal trial judge, a civil trial judge, Presiding Judge of the Civil Division for the New Britain and Hartford Judicial Districts, and Administrative Judge for the Litchfield Judicial District.

Before joining the judiciary, Judge Bryant was a Partner at Hawkins, Delafield & Wood LLP, a member of the Connecticut Board of Pardons, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustee for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Connecticut, Bridgeport Division, Vice President and General Counsel of the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority, Counsel to Shawmut Bank and Aetna Life and Casualty Company, and an associate at the law firm of Day Pitney LLP, formerly Day, Berry & Howard LLP. While in practice, Judge Bryant represented issuers, underwriters and insurers in connection with complex financing transactions and programs.

Judge Bryant has been associated with numerous professional, philanthropic and community organizations, including the Oliver Ellsworth Inn of Court, the George W. Crawford Black Bar Association, the New England Legal Foundation, the United Way of the Capital Area, the Avon United Way, the Rehabilitation Center, the NAACP State Conference and Hartford Branch, the Amistad Center at the Wadsworth Atheneum, The Greater Hartford Arts Council, The Capitol Region Conference of Governments Regional Planning commission, and the Hartford Human Relations Commission.

Gary S. Klein, Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP, Stamford 

Gary S. Klein, a life-long Stamford resident, has extensive trial experience in complex commercial and environmental litigation. Gary has tried many cases to verdict in federal and state court involving all kinds of complex business disputes and environmental claims, including cases involving real estate and business valuation, lender liability, business torts, and covenants not to compete. Gary also has significant experience in complicated ADR proceedings including multi-party and international business arbitrations in the commercial, financial, and securities fields.


CLE Credit: 2.0 Hours (CT: 2.0 General; NY: 2.0 Skills)