DRI Faculty List

Medical Liability and Health Care Law Seminar

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas | Las Vegas, NV, United States | March 2 - 3, 2017

Andrew W. Asimos, M.D.
Medical Director, Neurological Emergencies
Neurosciences Institute Carolinas HealthCare System

Andrew W. Asimos, M.D. is the Director of Emergency Stroke Care at Carolinas Medical Center. Dr. Asimos' academic focus is neurological emergencies, particularly stroke.

Dennis J. Boyle, M.D.
COPIC Medical Liability Company

Dennis J. Boyle, M.D.,has been involved in the communications field for twenty years. For 6 years he was the Director of the Communication program for the medical students at the University of Colorado. Over the last 10 years he has been a risk manager at the COPIC Medical Liability Company and speaks across the country on the topic of disclosing errors, communication and malpractice issues. He is an academic Rheumatologist at Denver Health and Hospitals and an associate professor of medicine at the University of Colorado. Doctor Boyle is also an Assistant Dean at the University of Colorado in charge of the Office of Community Based Medical Education. He is the member of the Academy of medical educators and was director of iTeach, a consulting program to help improve faculty teaching Finally, he has authored multiple papers on communication and is a PI on an AHRQ grant with the University of Washington to evaluate the effect of disclosure training on physicians.

Elizabeth Cornacchio
Heidell Pittoni Murphy & Bach LLP

Elizabeth Cornacchio is a senior principle at Heidell Pittoni Murphy & Bach LLP. Her practice focuses on defending health care providers and institutions in medical liability litigation and licensing issues in both New York and Connecticut. Ms. Cornacchio has been one of New York's "Best Lawyers" and a "Super Lawyer" for 15 years. She is a member of DRI and FDCC and has previously served as Chair for this seminar. She also has lectured extensively in the local and national legal community.

Mary E. D'Alton, M.D.
Columbia University Medical Center

Mary E. D'Alton, M.D. is the Willard C. Rappleye Professor and Chair, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons. Dr. D'Alton graduated from National University of Ireland and completed her residency in Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University of Ottawa. She completed a Maternal-Fetal Medicine fellowship at Tufts University and was a Post-doctoral Fellow in Yale University's Perinatal Unit. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine. She has held key positions in several professional organizations, including a long association with the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She has written and contributed to more than 200 publications.

Laura D. Eschleman
Nall & Miller LLP

Laura D. Eschleman is a partner at Nall & Miller LLP in Atlanta, Georgia. She is licensed in Georgia, Alabama and Missouri and has defended health care professionals and entities in medical malpractice cases, direct corporate liability claims, product liability cases and board licensing matters in 25 different states. Laura has tried several medical malpractice cases to successful jury verdict in multiple states. In addition, Laura represents healthcare providers in Medicare, Medicaid and private health insurance company audits. Laura is AV® Rated by Martindale-Hubbell® and has been recognized as a Georgia Super Lawyers Rising Star from 2012 through 2016 in the area of medical malpractice defense. Laura is the Program Chair for the 2017 DRI Medical Liability & Health Care Law Committee's seminar and served as the Publications Chair from 2012 through 2015. Laura additionally serves as the Women in the Law Substantive Law Committee Liaison for this Committee. Laura is also a member of the DRI Women in the Law Committee's Marketing Subcommittee and the DRI for Life Steering Committee.

J. Ric Gass
Gass Weber Mullins LLC

J. Ric Gass has been described as "a trial bar legend." He is a Fellow of ACTL & ISOB and Diplomat in ABOTA. Ric is the past president of FDCC, LCJ and LCA. Ric is the Lifetime Dean of the LCA Trial Practice Institute. Ric handles a docket from New Jersey to Florida, California and Maui having handled cases in more than 40 states. He has tried general liability, products liability, medical and hospital negligence cases including a case featured in a 60 Minutes segment; plus, in representing two corporate clients, Ric won the largest verdict in the history of the State of Wisconsin. Gass Weber Mullins LLC has offices in Milwaukee and Miami.

Ervin A. Gonzalez
Colson Hicks Eidson

Ervin A. Gonzalez is board certified as a specialist in civil trial law (personal injury and wrongful death cases) and business litigation law by The Florida Bar and The National Board of Trial Advocacy. He is a partner at the firm of Colson Hicks Eidson in Coral Gables, Florida. Ervin is also an adjunct professor at the University Of Miami School Of Law for the trial skills litigation program. Ervin is a graduate of the University Of Miami School Of Law.

Alex J. Hagan
Ellis & Winters LLP

Alex J. Hagan, a partner with Ellis & Winters LLP in Raleigh, North Carolina, concentrates his practice on medical, hospital and commercial laboratory defense, as well as business and product liability litigation. He represents software manufacturers, automobile manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, and medical device manufacturers. Mr. Hagan has been selected by Best Lawyers in America for medical malpractice and personal injury defense. He is the chair of DRI's Medical Liability and Health Care Law Committee.

Thomas J. Hurney, Jr.
Leader, Health Care & Finance Groups
Jackson Kelly PLLC

Thomas J. Hurney, Jr. is a trial lawyer with Jackson Kelly PLLC in Charleston, West Virginia, with thirty three years' experience in health care, serious injury and wrongful death litigation. He leads the firm's Health Care & Finance Practice Group. A longtime DRI member, Tom is President Elect of the Association of Defense Trial Attorneys and a past President of the Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. Tom graduated with honors from the University of Dayton School of Law in 1983.

Morris L. Jensby
Vice President, Risk Management
CHG Healthcare Services Inc.

Morris L. Jensby is Vice President of Risk Management at CHG Healthcare Services Inc. located in Salt Lake City, Utah. CHG is a nationwide healthcare staffing company, which provides physicians, nurses and allied health professionals for temporary and permanent positions through the United States and US territories. Prior to his current position, Mr. Jensby was the General Manager for Hamlin & Burton Liability Management, Inc., and spent 24 years in various positions with The St. Paul Companies.

Lisanne N. Leasure
Faraci Leasure LLC

Lisanne N. Leasure has been a medical malpractice defense attorney since 1999. In addition to medical malpractice cases, she handles cases involving premises liability, employment and intellectual property matters and personal injury claims for a national restaurant entity. She has extensive trial experience. Lisanne graduated from CU Boulder, attended University of Maine where she served on the Maine Law Review and graduated with honors. She attended the IADC Trial Academy (2003), CU Mini Med School (2006), and CU Mini Med School II (2015). She was selected a Rising Star in Super Lawyers in 2009 and 2010 and a Super Lawyer yearly from 2011 through 2016.

Randolph (Randy) L. Lee, M.D.
Batten Lee PLLC

Randolph (Randy) L. Lee, M.D. is a former licensed physician and practiced as a board certified anesthesiologist before attending law school. Randy is involved in a national trial practice specializing in defense of claims against hospital networks, professional liability carriers, physicians, nurses and other healthcare providers relating to the acts of their subsidiaries and other affiliates. Randy represents hospitals, physicians, nursing homes and other health care providers in tort actions, as well as in professional licensing matters before government agencies. For the past seventeen years he has practiced extensively throughout the Southeast, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Because of his dual credentials and experience, he has ventured into some of the plaintiff-friendly venues in the Southeast in tough to defend cases with double-digit million dollar exposure. He is included in Best Lawyers in America Best Lawyers in North Carolina and North Carolina Super lawyers in the field of Medical Malpractice. He has litigation and jury trial experience successfully defending catastrophic injury cases some of which had eight figure life care plans.

J. Richard Moore
Bleeke Dillon Crandall

J. Richard Moore is a shareholder with Bleeke Dillon Crandall in Indianapolis, IN. His practice focuses on the defense of professional liability claims against physicians, nurses, long-term care providers, architects, engineers and attorneys; advising businesses and insurers regarding large property losses, catastrophic casualty claims, complex insurance coverage questions, fraud and bad faith; and assistance in the resolution of a variety of business and commercial disputes before litigation where possible, and through trial where necessary. Richard is licensed in Indiana, Alabama and Tennessee, and has also assisted in the assessment and handling of matters in Arkansas, Illinois, Ohio, West Virginia, Missouri, Mississippi and Georgia. Richard is an active member of DRI, having served as Program Chair for the 2011 and 2012 DRI Nursing Home/ALF Litigation seminars, and as Program Chair for the DRI Sexual Torts seminar. He currently serves as Vice Chair of the DRI Medical Liability and Health Care Law Committee.

Michael R. Panger, M.D.
General Anesthesia Services Inc.

Michael R. Panger, M.D., was born and educated in West Virginia, attending West Virginia University for undergraduate studies, medical school and residency. He has been in practice for 23 years in Charleston, WV with General Anesthesia Services Inc., specializing currently in pediatric and obstetric anesthesia. Having a background in anesthesia for adult cardiovascular and general surgical anesthesia as well as adult and pediatric trauma services, he has an extensive background in intubation techniques for the elective and emergent surgical patient.

Stephen O. Plunkett
Bassford Remele PA

Stephen O. Plunkett, a shareholder with Bassford Remele PA in Minneapolis, represents nursing home and assisted living facilities in the Midwest. He has chaired national seminars dealing with long term care litigation issues. Mr. Plunkett is a member of DRI's Law Institute and the past chair of DRI's Medical Liability and Health Care Law Committee. He is admitted to practice in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Mr. Plunkett has been recognized by his peers as a "Top 100 Lawyer" and "Super Lawyer" in Minnesota Law & Politics.

Michelle S. Putvin
CogentEdge Strategic Witness Preparation

Michelle S. Putvin is a Consulting Attorney with CogentEdge Strategic Witness Preparation. Ms. Putvin spent almost twenty years as a Paramedic providing prehospital emergency medical services in the city of Detroit, Michigan, and its surrounding suburbs. After moving to Florida she collaborated in the development of a Critical Care transport program before accepting a position in a Level II Trauma Center and Emergency Department. Subsequently, Ms. Putvin obtained her Juris Doctor, cum laude, with a Certificate of Concentration in Elder Law from Stetson University College of Law. After obtaining her law degree she joined a respected Tampa medical malpractice firm. She focused her legal practice on the defense of healthcare providers and hospitals in both administrative actions as well as malpractice actions. As a result of this diverse background, Ms. Putvin brings the unique ability to see the litigation process from the medical professional's point of view. Ms. Putvin appreciates that most medical professionals who get sued are experiencing a crisis that they can't resolve on their own and this prevents them from communicating their truth. Her current witness preparation practice is devoted to managing this crisis and helping the witness develop the confidence needed to effectively communicate their truth.

Debbie Riley
General Counsel and Managing Attorney
Quintairos Prieto Wood & Boyer PA

Debbie Riley is General Counsel and managing partner of the Chicago office at Quintairos Prieto Wood & Boyer PA. She is an accomplished insurance claims and litigation management expert with over 20 years of senior executive experience with industry-leading insurance companies. Ms. Riley is a trained mediator and settlement negotiator. She concentrates in managing complex insurance issues, insurance standards and practices. She is experienced with mergers, acquisitions and reorganizations and provides advice involving business entity governance functioning as a liaison partner in the development and implementation of corporate vision programs.

David Schwartz, MD
Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University

David Schwartz, MD, MS Hyg, FCAP is a Medical Epidemiologist and Pathologist with subspecialties in Obstetrical, Fetal, Placental & Perinatal Pathology, and Infectious Disease Pathology. He is Clinical Professor of Pathology at the Medical College of Georgia, and is on the Editorial Boards of three pathology journals. His most recent book is from 2015, entitled "Maternal Mortality: Risk Factors, Anthropological Perspectives, Prevalence in Developing Countries and Preventive Strategies for Pregnancy-Related Deaths." He is currently editing two new obstetrical books, including one on pregnancy issues during the West African Ebola virus epidemic. Dr. Schwartz is currently involved with obstetrical and placental issues in the ongoing Zika virus epidemic.

Dean F. Sittig, Ph. D.
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Dean F. Sittig, Ph. D. is a professor at UTHealth School of Biomedical Informatics (SBMI). He currently serves on the American Medical Informatics Association board of directors and is a member of the UT-Memorial Hermann Center for Healthcare Quality & Safety. Additionally, Mr. Sittig is the Executive Director of the Clinical Informatics Research Collaborative, a group of academic applied clinical informatics researchers committed to improving our understanding of issues involved in the design, development, implementation, use and evaluation of all aspects of health information technology with a particular emphasis on EHRs. He has co-developed nine SAFER guides for the safe and effective implementation and use of health information technology that were designed to help healthcare organizations conduct pro-active risk assessments of their electronic health record (EHR) systems.

Jody J. Smith

Jody J. Smith is a Claim Director in the Madison, WI office of ProAssurance. She obtained her BA in business administration from Central University of Iowa and has 23 years of experience in the management and direction of medical professional liability claims in multiple states and jurisdictions. Ms. Smith joined the ProAssurance Group of companies in 2013.

Amir R. Tahmassebi
Konicek & Dillon PC

Amir R. Tahmassebi is currently a partner at Konicek & Dillon PC and concentrates his practice in the areas of professional negligence, legal ethics, commercial litigation and sports law. He has successfully defended numerous lawyers, accountants and architects throughout the nation and has tried numerous cases to verdict. Mr. Tahmassebi regularly defends law firms practicing in a variety of areas in matters relating to legal malpractice and ethical issues and has taken dozens of legal malpractice cases to successful verdict. He has represented attorneys in administrative hearings before the Attorney Disciplinary Commission and Department of Professional Regulation. Mr. Tahmassebi also represents a number of professional athletes, including NFL and PGA professionals, in various matters including litigation and contract negotiations.

Jodi V. Terranova
Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP

Jodi V. Terranova is a partner at Wilson Elser Moskovitz Edelman & Dicker LLP in Washington, D.C. Jodi has extensive experience in defending complex medical malpractice cases in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. She also defends clients at disciplinary hearings before professional boards. To help avoid lawsuits, she routinely gives seminars on topics such as proper documentation and effective communication between health care practitioners and patients. Jodi was selected in Washington, DC's Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2013 – 2015. Jodi is active in DRI and IADC. She served as the Publications Chair for the Medical Liability and Healthcare Law Committee in 2016. She currently serves as the Program Vice-Chair for the 2017 Medical Liability and Healthcare Law Seminar.