*Speakers and schedule subject to change

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Thursday, June 10, 2021

Time (Central)Program
10:30 a.m.Welcome 

Jody C. Corbett, Berke Law Firm PLLC, Phoenix, AZ
Chair, DRI Governmental Liability Committee
10:35 a.m.Section 1983 Basics - A to Z

This session will be a high-level introductory (or refresher) course of the basics of a Section 1983 claim that will discuss the elements a plaintiff must establish in order to succeed and the defenses a Defendant should consider in defending the claims.

R. Jeffrey (Jeff) Lowe, Kightlinger & Gray, New Albany, IN
Dana K. Maine, Freeman Mathis & Gary, Atlanta, GA
11:30 a.m.Monell - The Bridge and Barrier to Claims Against Local Governments Under 42 USC Sec. 1983

Sure, you can sue the Kingdom, but it is oftentimes far easier for the camel to get through the eye of the needle. In Monell v. Department of Social Services of the City of New York, 436 U.S. 658 (1978) the Supreme Court forever changed the landscape of Federal Constitutional challenges when, reversing prior precedent, it held that local governments are "person[s]" under 1983 - subject to liability for violations of Constitutional and other federal law. At the same time, the Court rejected allowing for liability based on respondeat superior in favor of requiring the Constitutional injury be proximately caused by application of a rigorous policy, custom or practice standard. This presentation takes you on a ride through the Monell quagmire, exploring the practicalities and philosophies involved in proving/defending local government 1983 claims.

Phillip (Phil) E. Friduss, Hall Booth Smith PC, Atlanta, GA 
12:15 p.m.Break
12:45 p.m.Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment Claims

This session will consist a round-table discussion led by leading civil rights defense practitioners about two of the more prominent and prolific Section 1983 claims, specifically claims under the Fourth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment. The panel will discuss the elements of the claims, the applicable defenses and strategies for defending these claims.

David S. Baker, Fisher Patterson Sayler & Smith, Overland Park, KS
Jody C. Corbett, Berke Law Firm PLLC, Phoenix, AZ
Robert D. Meyers, Glankler Brown, Memphis, TN
1:30 p.m.Litigating Use of Force Cases including Motion Practice and Rule 68 Offers

Excessive force is the most common and often highest exposure claim that arises in 1983 litigation. This session will discuss: (1) the basic elements and common issues that arise; (2) strategies to defend force claims, developing themes, shaping the narrative, and explaining the need for force; (3) the interplay between the threshold claim and the derivative Monell claim; (4) motion practice – both discovery and dispositive; and (5) strategic use of Rule 68 Offers of Judgment to protect against large fee awards.

Cathy H. Greer, Wells, Anderson & Race, Denver, CO 
David J. MacMain, MacMain Connell & Leinhauser LLC, West Chester, PA
2:15 p.m.Break
2:30 p.m.Qualified Immunity Under Attack

Qualified immunity is under attack not only in the political arena but also within the halls of the Supreme Court. This presentation will explore the practical applications of the immunity as well as what may lie ahead in the future.

Philip (Phil) W. Savrin, Freeman Mathis & Gary LLP, Atlanta, GA
3:15 p.m.Jail and Prison Claims and Litigating Pro Se Prisoner Cases

From excessive force to failure to provide medical care, there are many pitfalls in jail and prison claims. Learn about recent trends in correctional law and how to best handle these types of claims. Additionally, learn how to deal with Pro Se Prisoner cases, from responding to dealing with discovery disputes with a pro se. Just because they are pro se does not make some cases less dangerous.

Casey C. Stansbury, Freeman Mathis & Gary LLP, Lexington, KY
4:00 p.m.Networking

Presenters will become hosts of breakout Zoom rooms and conduct 15-minute ice breaker sessions with attendees.

The attendees get moved to the next room to meet new hosts and attendees. The attendees each spend 15 minutes with 3 different rooms.
5:00 p.m.Adjourn