*Schedule and Speakers subject to change

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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

4:00 p.m.RegistrationPromenade (Promenade Level)
6:00 p.m.Networking ReceptionFlorentine Ballroom (Promenade Level)
7:30 p.m.Dine-Arounds

Join colleagues and friends at selected restaurants for dinner.
To sign up for Dine-Arounds on Wednesday, July 28, please click here.
7:30 p.m.Young Lawyers Dinner

The DRI Medical Liability Skills Committee, along with the DRI Litigation Skills Committee, will be hosting a Young Lawyers Dinner on Wednesday, July 28, at 7:30 p.m. at Carmine’s in Caesar’s Palace! The Young Lawyers dinner is a great opportunity to meet other first-time attendees/young lawyers, network, and start off the seminar with some fun!
Our reservation can only accommodate 40 attendees. If you would like to RSVP, please contact Meg Yanacek at myanacek@hallboothsmith.com. Spots are already filling up and will be reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Carmines in Caesars Palace

Thursday, July 29, 2021

7:00 a.m.Registration and Continental BreakfastPromenade, Florentine Ballroom 2-4 (Promenade Level)
8:00 a.m.Welcome and Introduction

Stephen O. Plunkett, Bassford Remele, Minneapolis, MN
Andrew DeSimone, Sturgill Turner, Lexington, KY
Roman Ballroom (Promenade Level)
8:10 a.m.Defending Sexual Battery Claims in the #MeToo Era: Outside of the Box Strategies

Allegations of improper conduct in medicine are on the rise. The speakers will explore the various types of intentional tort claims that arise in the healthcare setting as well as recommendations for the investigation and defense of these claims.

John F. Floyd, Sr., Wicker Smith, Nashville, TN
Mandi J. Karvis, Wicker Smith, Phoenix, AZ
Roman Ballroom (Promenade Level)
8:55 a.m.Hypoxia or Genetic Disorder: Causes and Consequences

While attention often focuses on potential obstetrical departures from the standard of care, determining the cause of a neonate’s physical or neurodevelopmental impairment requires a thorough genetics evaluation. Dr. Milunsky will explain the differences between hypoxic brain injury and genetic or congenital disorders.

Aubrey Milunsky, M.D., Tufts University, Boston, MA
Roman Ballroom (Promenade Level)
9:40 a.m.Refreshment BreakFlorentine Ballroom 2-4 (Promenade Level)
10:00 a.m.COVID-19's Effects on Pregnancy

Dr. McHale will provide an overview of how COVID-19 impacts both mom and fetus. Learn how the medical community is adjusting to this disease.

Dr. Staci McHale, Las Vegas, NV
Roman Ballroom (Promenade Level)
10:45 a.m.Physician Assistant Liability

Physician assistants play an ever-larger role in the provision of health care. With their increased patient care, claims against physician’s assistants are on the rise. Hear from a PA and an industry expert on how to defend these claims.

Karen Salmon, Western Litigation, Houston, TX
Lindsay Miller, Trident Emergency Physicians, Charleston, SC
Roman Ballroom (Promenade Level)
11:25 a.m.Correctional Medicine

Ms. Dillon will discuss §1983 claims that are typically seen in the context of prison healthcare settings, and how these cases are litigated through trial. Explore the latest opinions concerning Eighth Amendment liability.

Carol Dillon, Bleeke Dillon Crandall, Indianapolis, IN
Roman Ballroom (Promenade Level)
12:00 p.m.Lunch (On your own)
12:00 p.m.Women in the Law Luncheon (Female Attendees)

The Women in the Law luncheon is a ticketed event and registration is required (space is limited). The luncheon will be held at the hotel and you can purchase tickets through the website when you register. Cost of Ticket: $73.00
The deadline to register for the luncheon has been extended to Thursday, July 15.
Florentine 1 (Promenade Level)
1:10 p.m.The Future of MedMal: A Rise in Frequency and Severity and How to Combat It

Medical malpractice defense is changing. The industry needs to invest in younger attorneys to combat the rising number of claims and the exorbitant demands. Mr. Hall will focus on how the defense community inadvertently contributed to this rise and how defense counsel can work collectively in the future to reform medical malpractice litigation.

John Hall, Jr., Hall Booth Smith, Atlanta, GA
Roman Ballroom (Promenade Level)
2:00 p.m.Immunity Statutes and the Coronavirus

Hear the latest updates on the status of COVID-19 federal and state immunity defenses against health care providers. This presentation will focus on new guidance from the Department of Health and Human Services on the PREP Act protections and how Federal Courts are interpreting the PREP Act. The presentation will also discuss new state laws, the status of executive orders, and claims being litigated in state courts. This presentation will discuss strategies that are being utilized in some of these cases. In addition, the speakers will explore liability exclusions, exemptions, and ambiguities that may lead to additional disputes in the future.

Jodi V. Terranova, Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP, Washington, D.C.
Jim Craven, Wiggin and Dana LLP, New Haven, CT
Roman Ballroom (Promenade Level)
2:45 p.m.BreakFlorentine Ballroom 2-4 (Promenade Level)
3:05 p.m.What We Are Currently Seeing: The Latest Legal Trends in Ophthalmology and Optometry

Both the number and value of vision-related cases are on the rise. Learn from Dr. Cykiert and Dr. Harrison about the most common claims in ophthalmology/optometry and the medicine behind the al-legations.

Robert Cykiert, M.D., New York University, New York City, NY
Linda Harrison, Ph.D., Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Company, San Francisco, CA
Roman Ballroom (Promenade Level)
4:05 p.m.Deposition Maneuvers of Today’s Plaintiff’s Bar: How to Arm Yourself and Your Client for the 30(b)(6) Battle and Beyond

The use of 30(b)(6) depositions is on the rise in medical malpractice cases. The best methods for collecting the pertinent information, identifying the appropriate witness(es), as well as preparing and defending the witness(es) will be discussed.

Laura Eschleman, Nall & Miller, LLP, Atlanta, GA
Roman Ballroom (Promenade Level)
5:05 p.m.Medical Liability and Healthcare Law Committee Meeting (Open to all)Roman Ballroom (Promenade Level)
6:00 p.m.Networking ReceptionFlorentine Ballroom (Promenade Level)
7:30 p.m.Dine-Arounds

Join colleagues and friends at selected restaurants for dinner.
To sign up for Dine-Arounds on Thursday, July 29, please click here.

Friday, July 30, 2021


Practicing in a Pandemic: How Young Lawyers Can Stand Out While Practicing During COVID-19

We all know COVID-19 has altered the typical course of business. However, changes to enhance health and safety don’t preclude changes to enhance your practice. This discussion will highlight opportunities for young lawyers to make the most of practicing law during the Coronavirus and stand out among their peers.

Anu Chudasama, Bassford Remele, Minneapolis, MN
Florentine 1 (Promenade Level)
*Joint session with Litigation Skills
8:00 a.m.*Opening Remarks and Introductions

Stephen O. Plunkett, Bassford Remele, Minneapolis, MN
Meghan Hatfield Yanacek, Hall Booth Smith, P.C., Atlanta, GA
Roman Ballroom (Promenade Level)
8:05 a.m.*COVID-19 and Its Effects on Communities of Color

Hear how health care disparities in the U.S. relate to COVID-19. Hear clinical observations pertaining to communities of color and propose how we might move forward in this "new normal" with proper education, social distancing, contact tracing, and more.

Stephen T. Jones, MD, Urgent Care Eleven, New Orleans, LA
Roman Ballroom (Promenade Level)
9:00 a.m.*How to Value Cases: From Start to Finish

In-house specialists typically set reserves at the outset of the case and continue valuing the case for mediation and/or trial. This panel – which includes an experienced claims professional, outside counsel and mediator – will provide recommendations for valuation of a case from before suit is filed until the jury is about to decide the case.

Nicole Palichat, ProAssurance, Las Vegas, NV
Kimberly Logue Woodland, Bendin, Sumrall & Ladner, LLC, Atlanta, GA
Hon. Joe W. Hilberman, Ret., Judge of the Superior Court, Los Angeles, CA
Roman Ballroom (Promenade Level)
10:00 a.m.BreakFlorentine Ballroom 2-4 (Promenade Level)
10:20 a.m.*Counter-Anchoring and the Reverse Reptile: The Offensive Use of Plaintiff’s Strategy for the Defense Lawyer

Learn how to counter the Plaintiffs’ Bar use of the Reptile theory and to counter-anchor the damages Plaintiff seeks at trial.

Pamela Lee, Swift, Currie, McGhee & Hiers, LLP, Atlanta, GA

Mark Solheim, Larson King, LLP, Saint Paul, MN
Nicholas Rauch, Larson King, LLP, Minneapolis, MN
Roman Ballroom (Promenade Level)
11:20 a.m.*The Fine Art of Client / Trial Lawyer Communications

This panel discussion between trial lawyers and in-house attorneys who manage large litigation dockets will focus on defining best practices for communications before and during trial. What should you communicate, without over-communicating? What information needs to be communicated immediately versus what can wait? How is the information best communicated?

Ray Persons, King & Spalding, LLP, Atlanta, GA
Bert Dizon, Gallagher Bassett, Los Angeles, CA
John Henley, UPC Insurance
Roman Ballroom (Promenade Level)
12:20 p.m.When Things Go Terribly Wrong – Lessons From The Dewey LeBoeuf Scandal

This ethics presentation takes a look at what happened to one of the oldest and most prestigious law firms in the country, with more than 1,000 lawyers in 26 offices around the world. The firm’s demise has been called "one of the greatest law firm collapses of all time." How did such a firm go from being the most prestigious to tabloid-fodder in such a short time? More importantly, what lessons can we learn from this event that is as tragic as it is ironic?

Kile T. Turner, Norman, Wood, Kendrick & Turner, Birmingham, AL
Roman Ballroom (Promenade Level)
1:20 p.m.Adjourn

DRI Cares

Opportunity Village Pride Purpose And A Paycheck

Opportunity Village (OV) operates employment training centers in southern Nevada to help adults with disabilities through vocational training, community employment, day services, advocacy, arts and social recreation.

Please help by donating sketchbooks, drawing paper, Colored pencils, markers, books, card games, board games, adult diapers, and Amazon gift cards or items that OV can auction at their own fundraisers. If you have something of value; i.e. sports tickets, time share, etc., OV could auction such items and raise funds.

The OV will be on-site at the seminar to collect items or to contribute monetary donations.

Please click here to donate. Under “Pick Your Team!” make sure to select Team B: Medical Liability and Health Care.

The Litigation Skills and Medical Liability & Health Care Law Committees are in a friendly competition to see who’s the biggest giver.

Registration and Hotel/Travel Information


DRI Member Pricing: $995
Non-Member Pricing: $1,195

DRI Member Pricing: $1,095
Non-Member Pricing: $1,295

DRI Member Pricing: $695
Non-Member Pricing: $695

Register by July 5, 2021 to receive the early registration rate. If you wish to have your name appear on the registration list distributed at the seminar and receive the course materials in advance, DRI must receive your registration by July 5, 2021. Registrations received after July 5, 2021 will be processed on-site.

*If your membership recently lapsed, please renew your membership prior to registering to ensure you receive your discounted member rate.


Hotel and Travel

A limited number of discounted hotel rooms have been made available at the Caesars Palace, 3570 S. Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109. Take advantage of the group rate of $219.00 (there is a daily resort fee of $30 per night) Single/Double in one of two ways:

The hotel block is limited and rooms and rates are available on a first-come, first-served basis. You must make reservations by July 5, 2021 to be eligible for the hotel’s group rate. Requests for reservations made after July 5, 2021 are subject to room and rate availability. A small portion of your room rate offsets the costs of the seminar.


Travel Discounts: DRI is pleased to announce that discounted air fares are available on various major air carriers for DRI seminar attendees. To receive these discounts, please contact Direct Travel Ltd., DRI’s official travel provider, at 800.840.0908. If you would like to have access to the DRI online travel booking tool, you must complete a Business Travel Profile form at www.dt.com. Within 24 business hours, you will receive information on accessing the system.