Networking Events

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*Schedule and Speakers subject to change

Wednesday, October 26

Time (Eastern) Session
4:30–5:30 p.m. First & Second Time Attendee Program

Through a collection of offerings, this Program will highlight the best approaches to enjoying the incredible variety and breadth of events and activities that are unique to the Annual Meeting. And, because we want you to be supported in making important one-on-one connections, we will offer the opportunity for you to partner with seasoned DRI leaders both before and during the event.

Our goal with this Program is to make sure that everyone has easy access to the resources and contacts to get the absolute most out of the Annual Meeting’s enhanced networking and business development events and opportunities.
5:00–7:30 p.m.
Exhibit Showcase and Showcase Theater

Don’t miss this opportunity to visit with exhibitors, colleagues, and friends during the Exhibit Showcase. You will have the opportunity to discover new technologies, products, and services, and participate in DRI Cares activities throughout the week.

Click on "Showcase Theater (Expo Hall)" button on top for schedule.
5:30–6:00 p.m.
First & Second Timers Reception

Being a first and second time attendee at the DRI Annual Meeting can present some challenges in learning to navigate DRI and the meeting itself. Join DRI leadership at a networking reception in the Exhibit Showcase as we welcome you into the DRI community! All DRI members are also encouraged to attend, mingle and share your DRI experiences with our first and second timers.
6:00–7:30 p.m. Welcome Reception (open to all)

There is no better meeting place to reconnect with old friends and colleagues and make new acquaintances. Stop by the Exhibit Showcase and experience the best that Philadelphia has to offer including regional food, beverages, and great conversation.

Thursday, October 27

Time (Eastern) Session
11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
Exhibit Showcase and Showcase Theater

Visit the Exhibit Showcase and participate in than many networking opportunities available.

Click on "Showcase Theater (Expo Hall)" button on top for schedule.
5:00–6:00 p.m.
Veterans' Network Huddle

Join fellow servicemembers of the DRI Veterans’ Network Committee huddle. If stories, connections, and friendships are not enough, the recent passage of the PACT Act legislation will provide much to catch up on.
7:00–10:00 p.m. An Evening at the National Constitution Center (Sponsored by LawyerGuard) (open to all)

Join colleagues and friends for an evening at DRI’s exclusive networking reception at the National Constitution Center. Experience American history and the Constitution through hands-on interactive exhibits that will be informative and fun. Catch up and reconnect here while enjoying great food and beverages.

Click on "Networking Reception at National Constitution Center" button on top for more details.

Friday, October 28

Time (Eastern) Session
11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
Exhibit Showcase and Showcase Theater

Visit the Exhibit Showcase and participate in than many networking opportunities available.

Click on "Showcase Theater (Expo Hall)" button on top for schedule.
12:00–1:30 p.m. Diversity and Inclusion and Women in the Law Networking Luncheon Featuring Professor José F. Anderson, Adjunct Professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics at The Wharton School (Ticketed event)

How Diversity in Your Law Office Serves the Needs of Your Clients?
Professor Anderson will offer his unique perspectives on how Diversity, Equity and Inclusion can have a powerful impact on fulfilling the needs of the entity you represent. Drawing on his rich experience in both the public and private sector, he will use history, data, and current social trends to support his views as he presents a passionate argument for why all concerned should consider aggressive pursuit of expanded opportunity for minorities and women. He will also offer helpful strategies that will assist in achieving the goal of identifying talented diversity candidates and retaining them on your team.

Tickets to the Diversity and Inclusion and Women in the Law Networking Luncheon are $65. Please purchase tickets by notation on the registration form or online at
6:30–10:30 p.m. Closing Celebration and All-Star Band Bash (Sponsored by Lightfoot, Franklin & White) (ticketed event)

Closing Celebration and All-Star Band Bash
You are cordially invited to join us Friday night as we celebrate DRI and the end of a successful week, recognize our new leaders, and award DRI’s highest honors. The evening will include a cocktail reception honoring incoming president, Lana Olson, and dinner featuring the best of Philadelphia cuisine. Back by popular demand will be The Defense Never Rests, DRI’s "own" favorite band, featuring all those familiar musicians and vocalists we met last year. The band will again be led by DRI member, Michael D. Carter, Philips Murrah, Oklahoma City, OK. Bring your dancing shoes, the evening will not disappoint. Come and help us celebrate DRI, incoming and outgoing board members, and award winners on their well-deserved achievements. Cocktail attire is appropriate for this event.

Tickets to the President’s Closing Party are $100/individual ticket. Please purchase tickets by notation on the registration form or online at If you would like to secure a table for your group of 10, please contact the DRI Meeting Services Department at

Exhibit Showcase Theater

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Don’t miss this opportunity to visit with exhibitors, colleagues, and friends during the Exhibit Showcase. You will have the opportunity to discover new technologies, products, and services, and participate in DRI Cares activities throughout the week.

NEW THIS YEAR are two Thursday and Friday networking features— complimentary lunch and the chance to engage with other attendees over at the Showcase Theater where you will be able to hear from experts during short educational programs designed to give you takeaways you can use every day. This is part of the expanded networking opportunities being offered throughout the Annual Meeting to enhance your attendee experience.

*Schedule and Speakers subject to change

Wednesday, October 26

Time (Eastern) Session
6:00–6:20 p.m. DRI 2022 Annual Meeting Preview

Join this session led by DRI's 2022 Annual Meeting Chair Diane Fleming Averell for a preview of the many offerings at this year's Annual Meeting, including cutting-edge education, networking, opportunities to give back to the community, and more.

Diane Fleming Averell | Principal | Porzio, Bromberg & Newman, P.C.
6:25–6:45 p.m.
Pot Quiz: How Well Do You Know Cannabis Law?

Join us for this fun and interactive presentation using a series of trivia questions that will span the various states where medical or recreation marijuana has been legalized. There will be information, background and/or case law provided when the answers are revealed. You won't want to miss this session. Did we mention there will be prizes?

Melissa Roeder | Sinars Slowikowski Tomaska
6:50–7:10 p.m.
DRI 2023 Seminars Preview

Get a head-start on your professional development and business development efforts for 2023 – join this session led by DRI's Law Institute Chair Todd Presnell for a preview of DRI's 2023 Seminar programming, including the timely topics, recent court rulings, and national trends that DRI committee's will be featuring in the new year.

Todd Presnell | Partner | Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP

Thursday, October 27

Time (Eastern) Session
11:05–11:25 a.m. Schoolhouse Rock! and the Medicare Secondary Payer Act

Not fully up to speed on the MSP? No worries! This program is for you. Just like we all learned how a bill made its way to Capitol Hill, in this fun presentation we will learn (Schoolhouse Rock! style) all the basics of the Medicare Secondary Payer Act, including how this act, and recent changes, impacts clients, cases and defense strategies.

John Morgenstern | O'Hagan Meyer, PLLC
11:35–11:55 a.m.
Addressing the Cybersecurity Threat Landscape in the Legal Services Industry

Cybersecurity needs to be at the forefront of any business, but particularly for those who work in the legal sector. Cybersecurity threats are not only growing more prevalent, but more expensive; in 2021, the average ransomware payment was over $200,000. Cybersecurity protections are not only imperative for client confidentiality, but also business sustainability. In this session, the presenter will offer their insights on the current cybersecurity landscape, as well as their tips on ways both law firms and enterprise legal teams can safeguard their data against cybersecurity threats.

Lee Wielenga | Senior Vice President & Chief Information Officer | U.S. Legal Support
12:05–12:25 p.m.
LawyerGuard is Listening: Top Results from the 2022 Attorney Risk Management Survey

Join us as we unveil the results of the 2022 risk survey of DRI members. We’ll discuss the top five worries for DRI firms in the next year and provide brief guidance and sources to help you resolve those issues for your own firm.

Noah Fiedler | Shareholder | Barron & Newburger
Kevin Sullivan |Senior Vice President – Program Manager | LawyerGuard
12:30–1:00 p.m.
DRI Town Hall

Join DRI’s President Douglas K. Burrell and President-Elect Lana A. Olson, along with DRI CEO Dean Martinez, for an open discussion about what’s going on at DRI and what the future holds for the organization.

Douglas K. Burrell | Partner | Chartwell Law
Dean Martinez | Chief Executive Officer | DRI, Inc.
Lana A. Olson | Partner | Lightfoot, Franklin & White
1:10–1:30 p.m.
When There’s Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen: Obtaining Meaningful Experimental Data at Multi-Party Inspections

This session will explore the importance of and tips for how to create good protocols ahead of inspections, using standardized methods or using these to guide custom tests, conducting equipment and test verifications, and considerations for timing.

Lisa Lallo | Managing Engineer | Exponent

Friday, October 28

Time (Eastern) Session
11:15–11:35 a.m.
Camera Matching Photogrammetry: Discover Overlooked Evidence in Photographs and Video

With the steady increase of cell phone cameras, doorbell cameras, surveillance cameras, and body-worn cameras, the number of incidents recorded on video has also increased. Photographs and video contain information that is easily overlooked and often misinterpreted. Proper three-dimensional analysis of these photographs and videos can produce various data including the position, orientation, and speed of temporal objects with evidentiary value. Camera matching photogrammetry and video analysis have been used successfully in litigation matters in a variety of subject matters, including wildfires, tree failures, officer-involved shootings, sports-related injuries, construction defects, and vehicle accident reconstruction. Three-dimensional analysis of these incidents can lead directly into visualization with the opportunity to view the events from any perspective or angle within the three-dimensional environment, making the event and results of the analysis clear and easy to understand.

Toby Terpstra | Senior Visualization Analyst III | J.S. Held
11:45 a.m.–12:05 p.m.
Healthcare Heroes Wield Their Shields: Will COVID-19 Immunity Defenses Hold Up in Court to Protect Healthcare Providers on the Front Lines of COVID-19?

State legislatures and governors acted quickly in 2020 to grant broad immunities from civil liability for injuries and death caused by acts and omissions of healthcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the onset of the crisis, the Secretary of HHS invoked the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) to protect healthcare providers and others mitigating the national public health emergency. This presentation identifies state and federal immunity provisions available to healthcare providers, takes the pulse of how defendants are faring in federal and state courts as they raise these immunity defenses in litigation, and explores litigation strategies defendants can use to fortify their immunity shields.

Christy Dunn | Young Moore & Henderson, P.A.
12:15–12:35 p.m.
Canary in the Coal Mine: A Financial Perspective

For decades, miners used canaries to help them detect dangerous levels of methane gases while working underground. Over the years, measurement technologies improved such that canaries were no longer needed, yet the danger of an unseeable threat remained. When it comes to the financial aspects of your case, what are you doing to measure the risk?

Simon Oddy | Partner | Baker Tilly
Derek Royster | Partner | Baker Tilly
Patrick Smith | Partner | Baker Tilly
12:45–1:05 p.m.
VR For Litigation – An Interactive Experience

Virtual Reality has long been associated with video games and entertainment, making it easy to overlook its more practical uses. Meanwhile, in addition to visualization, forensic investigators have been using VR as an analysis tool for years. As the technology progresses, it’s becoming even easier to utilize VR both as part of an investigation, and as an immersive visualization tool in mediation and trial as demonstrated in this interactive, audience participation presentation.

John E. Swanson | Practice Lead, Imaging Sciences | S-E-A
1:15–1:35 p.m.
Two Steps Forward, Three Steps Back? An Explosion of State-Level Laws Targeting Gays and Lesbians, and a Looming Threat at the Supreme Court

The last several years have seen a dramatic expansion of rights for the LGBTQ+ community. From the end of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, to the Supreme Court establishing marriage equality and Title VII protection, these gains are real, and significant. But more recently, state legislatures have been proposing and passing hundreds of bills to undermine or undo this progress. These efforts include "Don't Say Gay" laws, the banning of books with LGBTQ+ themes, laws targeting transgender children, and even one proposal that would prohibit parents from allowing their children to attend family-friendly drag shows. The newly-constituted Supreme Court has made clear that it is willing to give great deference to "religious liberty" arguments, even when they may conflict with the civil rights of others. And both the majority opinion and one of the concurrences in the Dodds case signal an appetite for rolling back other protections for the LGBTQ+ community – including marriage equality. This (non-political) presentation will inform attendees of the various laws that are being passed, and analyze whether current fears about where the Court may go next are an overreaction, or real cause for concern.

Brian Brookey | Tucker Ellis

DRI Annual Meeting Programming for State, Local and National Defense Organization Leaders

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The DRI Annual Meeting features programs specifically dedicated to the leaders of today’s state and local defense organizations (SLDOs) and National Defense Organizations (NDOs). All state/national representatives, SLDO/NDO officers, and executive directors are strongly encouraged to attend.

*Schedule and Speakers subject to change

Thursday, October 27

Time (Eastern) Session
12:00–1:30 p.m. SLDO/NDO Leadership Luncheon (by invitation)

This program will feature Kristi Nelson, Chief Administrative Officer, and General Counsel for Pomeroy Technologies. Ms. Nelson will share personal insights through her presentation, Mindshift: Finding Your Power Within, into how the most vulnerable moments in life can shake you to the core. She will describe how a Mindshift can empower you to overcome fear, uncertainty, and self-doubt while rediscovering your resilience. New this year, we will recognize our outgoing state representatives and their achievements.

Friday, October 28

Time (Eastern) Session
10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. Executive Directors Program and Networking Luncheon (by invitation)

SLDO/NDO Executive Directors are never at a loss for things to discuss, and this year’s session includes a wide variety of topics. We’ll discuss current trends in what’s hot and what’s not in beverage service to the impact of COVID on contract negotiations, meeting attendance, marketing material ideas, and virtual options. We’ll share technology hacks and productivity tools and talk about membership trends we’re seeing in our states. And we’ll discuss the bottom line from reserve funds to funding special projects to dealing with the taxman. Any burning topic not covered in the session’s time allotment will continue during a roundtable wrap-up discussion so that everyone gets a chance to ask their fellow ED’s anything.
1:00–3:00 p.m. SLDO & NDO Conclave: Defining Your Organization’s Value Proposition (by invitation)

The SLDO & NDO Conclave: Defining Your Organizations Value Proposition (Invitation Only) will focus on recruitment, retention, and engagement. State and National Defense Bar Leaders will convene to learn the impact of clearly articulating your value proposition to grow and engage members. Through presentations and leadership workshops, participants will collaborate to identify ways membership in defense bar organizations has a powerful impact on lawyers, both professionally and personally, and how this translates to a stronger, more engaged organization.

Please join us for an Evening at the National Constitution Center
Thursday, October 27, 7:00–10:00 p.m.

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National Constitution Center Front

JOIN COLLEAGUES AND FRIENDS on Thursday, October 27, from 7:00–10:00 p.m. for an evening of fun at DRI’s exclusive networking reception at the National Constitution Center (NCC). The NCC serves as America’s leading platform for constitutional education and debate, fulfilling its congressional charter to "disseminate information about the United States constitution on a nonpartisan basis in order to increase awareness and understanding of the Constitution among the American people."

The National Constitution Center is a short 10-to-12-minute walk from the Philadelphia Marriott, so don’t forget to pack your walking shoes. Experience American history at its best, learn a thing or two along the way, and catch up and reconnect with friends while enjoying great food and beverages.

Note: Dress comfortably and casually

Throughout the evening you will have unlimited access to many wonderful interactive exhibits including:

  • American Treasures: Documenting the Nation’s Founding
  • Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality
  • Constitution Liberty: From the Declaration to The Bill of Rights
  • Freedom Rising: A 17-minute Journey from 1787 to the Present in Kimmel Theater
  • Singers’ Hall – An opportunity to sign the Constitution alongside 42 life-size bronze statues of the Founding Fathers
  • The 19th Amendment: How Women Won the Vote
  • The Story of We the People – A constitutional history through innovative exhibits, films, and photographs, rare artifacts, and hands-on activities.
National Constitution Center Auditorium We the People

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