Rules of the Road™, June 1-2, 2018, San Francisco, CA
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$1,495.00 $1,395.00

Rules of the Road™ (CLE Live Event)

June 1-2, 2018, San Francisco, CA

  • Seminar Description
  • Accreditation
  • Registration Information & Event Schedule
  • Hotel & Location Information
  • Faculty Biography Summaries
  • Event Policies
  • Event Sponsors

To register by phone, call 800-309-6845

I am unable to attend this CLE — Tell us why

Rules of the Road is America’s leading text for proving liability in difficult cases. The method does not simply cover motor vehicle cases, as the name may suggest. Instead, Rules of the Road™ is a systematic method used in many areas of litigation, including product liability, medical malpractice, insurance bad faith, employment, commercial, wrongful death, trucking, premises liability, nursing home, environmental, and securities.

Since releasing Rules of the Road over ten years ago, Trial Guides has never held a Rules of the Road™ CLE. Many national, state, and county organizations have held Rules of the Road™ seminars without either of the authors, and often taught the method incorrectly. Rules of the Road is Trial Guides’ all-time bestselling book and is used by tens of thousands of lawyers to obtain six-, seven- and eight-figure verdicts. We want to provide an official CLE with the best lawyers and trial consultants in order to teach the Rules of the Road™ method correctly.

Since this will be our first, and perhaps only, Rules of the Road™ CLE, we want to provide attendees with the best possible experience both in terms of content and location. After a great deal of research into hotels across the country, we decided to hold the event at The Palace Hotel in San Francisco to ensure this is a special event.

Why is this program different? One of the problems with the unofficial Rules of the Road™ courses is that some or all of the speakers don’t actually know how to use the method correctly in trial. Some speakers don’t even try cases. Like every Trial Guides CLE, we have created an exceptional CLE experience with a lineup of speakers that are actively involved in trying and winning significant cases. The speakers at this event are the very best in the country at using the Rules of the Road™ method:

  • Patrick Malone is the co-author of Rules of the Road and is a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates—an invitation only group of the nation’s Top 100 trial lawyers. He has achieved record verdicts and numerous multi-million dollar verdicts during his distinguished legal career. Pat will lay the foundation for how Rules of the Road™ is properly used in discovery and trial and focus on using Rules of the Road™ in cross-examination.
  • Mike Kelly is considered one of the greatest trial lawyers in the country and is a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates. Mike has achieved record-setting verdicts multiple times in a career that includes over 200 verdicts, arbitration awards, and settlements of $1 million or more. He has regularly used the Rules of the Road™ in the years since the book’s release. Mike will be discussing how to use Rules of the Road™ in opening and closing.
  • Zoe Littlepage is one of the greatest trial lawyers in the nation, is a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, and is recognized by Fortune magazine as one of America’s Top 12 Lawyers. Zoe has obtained over $500 million in verdicts, including three that were named on the annual Top 10 Largest Verdicts in America—she is one of a very few lawyers to ever achieve that distinction. Zoe will be discussing how to create and use demonstrable aids within the Rules of the Road™ method
  • Cliff Atkinson is arguably the world’s leading visual presentation consultant. For many years he has worked with attorney Mark Lanier and other leading lawyers on their visual presentations to achieve huge verdicts in trial. He designed the presentations that helped persuade a jury to award a $253 million verdict to the plaintiff in the nation’s first Vioxx trial in 2005, which Fortune magazine called "frighteningly powerful." Cliff will discuss the importance of visual presentations on cases using the Rules of the Road™ method.
  • Jim Lees is one of the nation’s leading lawyers and trial consultants. He has tried over 250 cases to verdict, including multiple million dollar verdicts. Jim will be teaching on how to effectively use the Rules of the Road™ method to obtain more convincing evidence from your expert above the defense experts.
  • Louise Lipman is a psychotherapist and one of the nation's leading trial consultants specialing in witness preparation. She is a long-time teacher at Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyer's College. She will present on how to use psychodrama and the Rules of the Road™ method to prepare witnesses to provide compelling testimony at trial.
  • Unlike any of the unofficial Rules of the Road™ seminars, attendees can submit cases for review by this cutting-edge group of lawyers and consultants. The panels will be led by Dennis Donnelly, a member and past-president of the Inner Circle of Advocates. Dennis has obtained multiple million dollar verdicts and settlements in challenging medical malpractice and product liability cases during his distinguished career. The panels will cover how to create your list of Rules and how to use them in discovery and through each phase of trial.
  • Another reason this event is different is that, rather than cram speakers into 30–60 minute time slots, we have given these top quality speakers 90 minutes each to fully teach their methods. This means that you learn as much as possible from those using the Rules of the Road™ method successfully, so that you can win your trials and obtain higher settlements outcomes for your clients.

This will be a once in a lifetime CLE.


   for the Rules of the Road CLE Live Event.

PLEASE NOTE: This event is open only to civil plaintiff’s OR criminal defense counsel. Lawyers who perform any work on behalf of insurance companies or any form of civil defense work are not allowed to attend. All attendees will be required to sign and submit an affidavit to that effect before being allowed entry. No audio or video recording is allowed.

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Accreditation is in the application process. The program is planned for 840 minutes (14 hours).

Trial Guides applies for accreditation from the jurisdictions in which our attendees are licensed. More jurisdictions are added often. If you register now for this event and your state is not already listed, we will seek accreditation in your state.


  • British Columbia: 13 general credits
  • California: 13 general credits
  • Colorado: 16 general credits
  • Florida: 15.5 general credits (including 15.5 civil trial certification credits)
  • Georgia: 13 general credits (including 10 trial credits)
  • Illinois: 13 general credits
  • Kentucky: 13 general credits
  • Louisiana: 13 general credits
  • Minnesota: 13 general credits
  • Missouri: 15.6 general credits
  • Nebraska: 13 general credits
  • North Carolina: 12.5 general credits
  • Ohio: 13 general credits
  • Oregon: 13 general credits
  • Pennsylvania: 13 general credits
  • Tennessee: 13 general credits
  • Texas: 13 general credits
  • Utah: 13 general credits
  • Virginia: 11.5 general credits
  • Washington: 13 general credits
  • Wyoming: 13 general credits

Eligible for Credit under Reciprocity or Out of State Rules:

Alaska, Alberta, Arizona, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York

Applications in Process:


Non-MCLE Jurisdictions:

Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, South Dakota and Washington, D.C.



Additional jurisdictions are being added as attorneys register for the event. Accreditation is sought based on the barred jurisdiction(s) of the attendees.

This event will run from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day. The cost of registration is as follows:

  • Price:
    • $1495  $1395 – for a limited time ONLY!
  • With Trial Guides New Lawyer Program discount. (Please note that no other discounts will apply.):
    • $1295

Trial Guides is pleased to provide a financial hardship policy for registration costs. For more information, click here to download the program rules and application.

Trial Guides has selected The Palace Hotel to host this event. First built in 1875, The Palace Hotel attracted dignitaries, business moguls, and celebrities alike. Presidents Harrison, McKinley, Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Taft, Harding, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Clinton all spent time here. John D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan and Oscar Wilde were guests. Leaving its mark on the 20th century, the hotel hosted President Woodrow Wilson in support of the Versailles Treaty and, in 1945, catered the banquet honoring the opening session of the United Nations.

Throughout her lifetime as a landmark of the city, the Palace Hotel has witnessed history and evolved with the times. With the introduction of the new Palace in 1909, the award-winning 1989 restoration, and the reveal of our 2015 renovation, the Palace remains a first in time and place.

Trial Guides CLE attendees get substantial discounts for rooms. Limited suite upgrades are available. To book online reservations, please use this link to access the attendee discount. You may also call 888-627-7196 and ask for the “Trial Guides” room block for the discounted room rate.

Please note: these discounted rates expire on May 2, 2018. Please be sure to book your room before then!

For more benefits, including free in-room internet, consider joining the Starwood Preferred Guest program.

Patrick Malone

Patrick Malone learned how to ask questions and get answers as an award-winning investigative journalist. Now he is a leading attorney working on behalf of seriously injured people in lawsuits against hospitals, doctors, drug companies, government agencies, and other defendants. Over the last three decades, he has won a long string of exceptional results for his clients. Patrick is a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, a fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and the author of several best-selling trial advocacy books including Rules of the Road, The Fearless Cross-Examiner, and Winning Medical Malpractice Cases. He also wrote a book for consumers, The Life You Save: Nine Steps to Finding the Best Medical Care—and Avoiding the Worst.

Cliff Atkinson

Cliff Atkinson is an acclaimed writer, popular keynote speaker, and independent consultant to leading attorneys and Fortune 500 companies. He designed the presentations that helped persuade a jury to award a $253 million verdict to the plaintiff in the nation’s first Vioxx trial in 2005, which Fortune magazine called “frighteningly powerful.” Cliff’s bestselling book Beyond Bullet Points (published by Microsoft Press) was named a Best Book of 2007 by the editors of and has been published in three editions and translated into a dozen languages. The book expands on a communications approach Cliff has taught internationally at top law firms, government agencies, business schools, and corporations.

Dennis Donnelly

Dennis Donnelly is an internationally acclaimed attorney specializing in medical malpractice and products liability. In the last six years, he has successfully tried 6 cases to jury verdicts over $1 million and settled more than 20 additional cases for more than a million dollars during the same time. With a $14 million verdict in New Jersey and a $3.6 million verdict in New York in his medical malpractice subspecialty, pre-natal screening, Dennis has become an in-demand speaker for continuing education for both attorneys and practicing obstetricians. He has also been an appointed member of the New Jersey Supreme Court’s Committee on Model Civil Jury charges for the last 10 years and is a distinguished member and past president of the Inner Circle of Advocates.

Mike Kelly

Mike Kelly, an Inner Circle of Advocates member, has spent more than 35 years honing his skill as one of the nation’s top personal injury attorneys. Throughout that time he has focused on protecting consumers from medical mistakes, dangerous automobiles, flawed household products, unsafe drugs and devices, roadway accidents and a host of other injury producing causes. He has tried, arbitrated or settled more than 200 cases where the recovery by his client exceeded $1 million. At various times he has held or shared the record for the highest verdict amount in particular case types in San Francisco, Sacramento, Santa Clara and Sonoma Counties. His jury verdict in a medical negligence case in Minnesota in 2010 ranks among the nation’s largest verdicts for obstetrical injury.

James B. Lees, Jr.

James B. “Jim” Lees is a trial lawyer who has tried over 250 cases to verdict. He is also a jury consultant specializing in the use of psychology and focus groups to formulate persuasion strategies for trial. One of Jim’s many wins is a jury verdict of $23.6 million in a “failure to diagnose” medical negligence case. He is a former co-chair of AAJ’s NCA Board of Trustees and a Diplomate of AAJ’s NCA. Jim is a frequent lecturer and teacher of trial tactics throughout the United States.

Louise Lipman

Louise Lipman, LCSW-R, TEP, CGP is a licensed psychotherapist and a certified trainer, educator, and practitioner of psychodrama, sociometry, and group psychotherapy in private practice in NYC. She works with individuals, couples, families, and groups. Louise teaches at Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College in Wyoming and is a trial consultant specializing in witness preparation and group dynamics in the courtroom. Louise has also worked with law firms to facilitate increased creativity and productivity in the work place. She is the director of training at the Psychodrama & Creative Arts Therapy Institute in NYC, which offers a full training program in psychodrama, sociometry and group dynamics.

Zoe Littlepage

Zoe is one of America’s most respected litigators—a standout talent even amongst the most talented trial lawyers. In the past decade, she has achieved more than $500 million in jury verdicts and settlements for her clients. She is a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, and has been recognized by Fortune magazine as one of America’s top twelve lawyers. She has obtained verdicts of $78.7 million in a Prempro case for a breast cancer survivor in Illinois, a $134 million verdict for three women injured by Premarin / Prempro in Nevada, and other notable outcomes. Her jury verdicts have made the list of the Top 10 Largest Verdicts in the country in 2007, 2009, and 2010.