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Chapter Event: Chicago (Midwest)

Venue: Chicago-Kent College of Law Illinois Institute of Technology 

Dave Zehner

Founding Partner at Zehner Trial Consulting, Chicago, IL

As the partner in charge of the Trial Consulting Group at Clarity Partners, I develop juror research exercises that help litigators develop winning strategies for their cases. We use the most recent findings in how individuals process information and make decisions to design research exercises that test what elements of a case most impact juror’s ultimate outcomes. By determining what evidence is most important to jurors, we are able to properly assess case risks and develop themes that will lead to the best possible outcomes.

Specialties: Professional malpractice, employment disputes and discrimination cases, patent and intellectual property, white collar criminal and capital punishment cases, complex business disputes and financial fraud.

Caryn Jacobs, Esq.

Partner, Chair, Professional Liability Practice, Winston & Strawn LLP, Chicago, IL

Caryn has more than 30 years of litigation experience that has included numerous headline cases throughout the country. Prior to joining private practice, she served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Illinois where she prosecuted dozens of criminal matters, focusing on criminal financial institution fraud.

As head of the firm’s Professional Liability Practice, Caryn focuses her practice on accounting and auditing litigation and regulatory defense; federal securities litigation; litigation involving ERISA, fiduciary, and trust law; financial institution and corporate fraud; class certification issues; and myriad complex commercial disputes. Notably, she has handled dozens of federal securities litigation, regulatory, and shareholder derivative matters since the 1980s for issuers, boards, and outside auditors—spanning the S&L Crisis to the Credit Crisis.

Trials and Hearings

  • Tried more than 20 jury, bench, and arbitration trials (both civil and criminal)
  • Conducted dozens of evidentiary court hearings (TROs and preliminary injunctions, class action approval hearings, preliminary examinations, suppression and detention hearings, sentencings, and grand jury presentations)
  • Conducted and defended hundreds of days of civil depositions nationally
  • Appeared in scores of court hearings nationwide

Toby Edwards

Senior Recruiting Consultant, IMS ExpertServices, Pensacola, FL

Toby Edwards is a Senior Recruiting Consultant at IMS Expert Services. In this role, he locates and interviews top experts for cases involving spanning multiple industries and technologies. He is passionate about developing long-term relationships with experts and consultants. Toby has been recruiting and placing experts since 2003 when he

began his career at Round Table Group (RTG). His first case was to find the world’s foremost authority on Jewish gravestone carving for a dispute on a stylized menorah engraving, and he never looked back.

Toby has held a variety of positions relating to recruiting and expert services during his career, including Manager of Expert Services, providing professional development resources for 40,000 members, managing the customer service team, as well as a variety of expert communications including a quarterly newsletter, training videos, expert satisfaction surveys, and a yearly national survey of expert witnesses. Prior to 2003, he served as an instructor at the University of California's Washington DC Center, teaching advanced research design and methodologies, political science, and public policy.

When not diligently working on our client's behalf at IMS ExpertServices, he fills his hours with exploring his new home city of Pensacola, fishing, (endless) home maintenance, biking, cooking healthy meals, and planning his next great adventure.

Honorable Diane J. Larsen

Circuit Judge, State of Illinois, Circuit Court of Cook County, Chancery Division, Chicago, IL

Diane Joan Larsen is a Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, assigned to the General Chancery Section of the Chancery Division.  She previously served on various Law Division motion calls for over 14 years. 

Before being elected, she was Chief of Policy Litigation at the City of Chicago’s Law Department.  During her 15 year career with the City, she specialized in the defense of civil rights policy challenges and class actions in both federal and state court.  She has participated in the review and implementation of many law enforcement and criminal law procedures, including development of probable cause hearings for the local courts.

Judge Larsen graduated summa cum laude from De Paul University with a B.A. in psychology and holds a law degree from Loyola University Chicago.  She has lectured on various constitutional, civil, and criminal law procedure issues at the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, the Police Foundation in Washington, D.C., the Chicago Police Academy, the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Hispanic Institute of Law Enforcement.

Judge Larsen is an adjunct professor at Loyola University Chicago Law School, where she has taught appellate advocacy for 27 years.  She has also taught classes for the Police Training Institute of the University of Illinois.  Judge Larsen has been appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to serve as a Judicial Education Faculty Member for numerous judicial seminars.  She is the current author and editor of the Illinois Judges’ Civil Motion Practice Manual and has taught the motion practice section of the New Judge Seminar for many years.

As part of her dedication to teaching, Judge Larsen regularly participates in the American Judicature Society’s Judges in the Classroom Project in which she talks to primary and secondary school students about civics and legal issues.  Judge Larsen sits on the Board of Directors for both the Women Everywhere Partners in Service Project, where she has been a volunteer for the past 12 years, and the Illinois Judges Foundation.

Judge Larsen was the 2008 recipient of the Hooten award given by the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois.  

Beth Ryan, MBA 

Managing Broker and President, Licensed Illinois Realtor, Ryan Realty & Associates, Inc., Chicago, IL 

Beth Ryan manages a full service real estate company in the City of Chicago. Beth has close to 30 years experience in the sales and marketing of condominiums, homes and multifamily buildings as well as rental and investment properties. Full portfolio evaluation of investments options and opportunities. 


Mitchell Cohen, CPA, CFE, FCPA, CFLC

Shareholder, ECS Financial Services, Inc., Northbrook, IL

I work with small and medium business owners and individuals to assist with their tax and accounting and consulting needs. Additionally, I provide forensic accounting, fraud and expert witness services.

Who Should Attend? 

  • Expert Witnesses
  • Professionals interested in becoming expert witnesses
  • Staff supporting Expert Witnesses
  • Paralegals
  • Attorneys

The schedule of presentations is as follows:

8:15am - 8:30am: On-site Registration and Breakfast Available

8:30am - 9:20am: "What Expert Witnesses Need to Know About Jury Decision Making" by David Zehner of Zehner Trial Consulting

9:20am - 9:30am: Break

9:30am - 10:20am: "Taking and Defending Depositions of Experts, the Trial Lawyer's Perspective" by Caryn Jacobs, Esq. of Winston & Strawn LLP

10:20am - 10:30am: Break

10:30am - 11:20am: "Getting More Business: Ropes to Skip and Ropes to Know in Working With Expert Placement Firms" by Toby Edwards of IMS Expert Services

11:20am - 11:30am: Break

11:30am - 12:00pm: "Some Things Expert Witnesses Should Know, from the Judge's Perspective" by Hon. Diane J. Larsen, Circuit Judge, State of Illinois, Circuit Court of Cook County, Chancery Division

12:00pm - 12:30pm: Lunch Available plus Lunchtime Activity: "Organized Networking Activity for All Attendees" by Beth Ryan of Ryan Realty & Associates, Inc. 

12:30pm - 1:20pm:  "Hands-on Experiences in Selling Professional Expert Services" by Mitchell Cohen of ECS Financial Services and a panel of other experts

1:20pm: Program Concludes

Program Co-Chairs: 

John Levitske - Huron Consulting 

Mitchell Cohen -  ECS Financial Services 

Steven Rotunno, Esq. - Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, P.L.C.

Sponsorship opportunities are available. 

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