2021 Product Liability Conference Agenda

2021 Product Liability Conference Seminar

*Schedule and Speakers subject to change

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Thursday, August 19, 2021

Time (Central) Program
11:00 a.m. Registration
11:30 a.m. SLG Lunch-Arounds

Join colleagues and friends at selected restaurants to network, build your book of business, and enjoy Nashville favorites. To sign up for SLG Lunch-Arounds on Thursday, August 19, please click here.
11:30 a.m. Women in the Law Luncheon

Please join us for the Women in the Law's 8th Annual Networking Luncheon during the Product Liability Conference (and yes men are welcome too – gender equity initiatives won’t succeed without the good guys involved!!). This is a great opportunity to make new connections and reconnect with friends before programming and meetings get underway. It will be great to get back together for a fun Southern Buffet luncheon at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel (that's the conference location) for some true local flavor and a wide array of options, including Nashville Chicken, Sweet Tea Glazed Pork Loin, and Pecan Pie.

The luncheon will be on Thursday, August 19 from 11:30am until 1:00pm -- just at the start of the conference. There’s flexibility for everyone to join as soon as you arrive at the hotel.

The luncheon reaches capacity every year, so sign-up soon! Sign up for this luncheon. For more information, please contact Marie Chafe.
1:00-3:00 p.m. Meeting of Specialized Litigation Groups - SLG Session 1

For more information, please click on the tab "SLG Session 1"
3:00 p.m. Smaller Group Networking Opportunities

Join your DRI friends and colleagues for small group networking opportunities on Thursday. For more information, please contact Jason Wasserman with any questions about the event.
6:00 p.m. Networking Reception
7:30 p.m. Dine-Arounds

Join colleagues and friends at selected restaurants to network, build your book of business, and enjoy Nashville favorites at local restaurants. To sign up for Dine-Arounds on Thursday, August 19, please click here.

SLG Session 1 (Aug. 19, 1:00–3:00 p.m.)

1. Automotive & Biomechanics (Joint Session)


Chair | Heather Russell Fine, Tanenbaum Keale, LLP, Philadelphia, PA
Vice-Chair | Michael McCaskey, Swanson, Martin & Bell LLP, Chicago, IL


Chair | Quincy Crochet, McCranie Sistrunk Anzelmo Hardy McDaniel & Welch, New Orleans, LA
Vice-Chair | John Halpin, Laffey, Leitner & Goode LLC, Milwaukee, WI

Use of Accident Data for Litigation Purposes
Moderator | Quincy Crochet, McCranie Sistrunk Anzelmo Hardy McDaniel & Welch, New Orleans, LA
Christopher J. Bonanti, The Baluster Group, Inc., Washington, D.C.
Ryan Harrington, Exponent, Natick, MA
Pete Leupke, Nissan, Nashville, TN

Beyond Head Injury Criterion: The Role of Rotational Acceleration in Traumatic Brain Injuries
Emily S. Gu, MS, Delta V Biomechanics, Palo Alto, CA

Seatback Litigation – Trending Claims & Testing Update
Sam White, Engineer - Collision Research & Analysis, El Segundo, CA
André M. Lloyd, ESi, Minneapolis, MN


2. Building Products & Chemical and Toxic Tort (Joint Session)


Chair | Kathryn S. Mansfield, Clariant Corporation, Charlotte, NC
Vice-Chair | Rachel Cooper, McMillan LLP, Toronto, ON


Chair | Ryan F. Kenny, Cetrulo, LLP, Boston, MA
Vice-Chair | Rich Baldwin, Foley Hoag, Boston, MA

Practical Advice for Environmental Toxic Tort Cases Involving Building Products
Heather Lynch, Cardno ChemRisk, Boston, MA
Paul LaFata, Dechert LLP, New York, NY
Lincoln Wilson, Dechert LLP, New York, NY


3. Aviation


Chair | Catherine Slavin, Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani, LLP, Philadelphia, PA
Vice-Chair | Laura McGinn, Global Aerospace Inc., Parsippany, NJ

Fireside Chat with Aviation Manufacturing General Counsel
Moderator | Laura McGinn, Global Aerospace, Parsippany, NJ
Douglas L. Hensley, GE Aviation, Cincinnati, OH
Blake Meyen, Textron Aviation, Wichita, KS

Techniques in Aircraft Accident Reconstruction: Past, Present, and Future
Matthew T. Kenner, P.E., Director of AviationESi, Peachtree Corners, GA

Friday, August 20, 2021

Time (Central) Program
6:20 a.m. DRI for Life – Friday Morning Group Run and Walk

This is a FREE event where you and your colleagues can combine health with Music City honky tonks, all at your preferred pace. Runners, joggers, and walkers are welcome and encouraged to attend! Participants will gather in the lobby of the Renaissance Nashville Hotel, between 6:20–6:30 a.m. on Friday morning. We will begin our run promptly at 6:30 a.m., through the streets of downtown Nashville and along the banks of the Cumberland River. This event will not take longer than an hour, even for the plodders, so that everyone can be ready for the main stage programming that begins at 8 a.m. We hope you will join us! 
Please email Ryan Lucinski at rlucinsk@hodgsonruss.com if you would like to sign up for this walk/run, or if you have any questions about this event.
7:00 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast
7:15 a.m. Product Liability Committee Meeting (Open to all)
8:00 a.m. Welcome and Introduction

Roman Lifson, Christian and Barton, LLP, Richmond, VA
Lindsay Lorimer, McMillan LLP, Toronto, ON
8:15 a.m. Use of Data from Wearables in Product Liability Claims

Hands-on training on the scope of real-time data collected by devices, how data is stored and what can be retrieved from wearables. This session will provide technical expertise, industry insight and judicial perspective on how this data can be used, its inherent limitations and the framework necessary to establish admissibility.

Sarah Jane Dobson, Kennedys LLP, London, UK
Gavin W. Manes, Avansic, Inc., Tulsa, OK
Hope T. Cannon, Magistrate Judge, U.S.D.C. for the Northern District of Florida, Pensacola, FL
9:15 a.m. We Provided A Warning, The User Didn’t Follow It - Open and Shut Case, Right?

Every litigator knows it can be challenging to defend a failure to warn claim when your client didn’t provide a warning. But what if your client provided a warning - a big, colorful, readable, understandable warning? This presentation will review potential pitfalls, including the challenges of warnings that don’t match consumer desires and expectations, how product information can undermine your warnings case, and how a warning's case can be a design case in disguise.

Steven Hall, Rimkus, Ann Arbor, MI
Ruth Gates, Nissan, Franklin, TN
10:00 a.m. Refreshment Break/Community Service
10:00 a.m. Corporate Counsel Breakout

For in-house counsel and claims professionals only.
10:30 a.m. Ethics, Lies and Videotape

Join your colleagues in viewing scenes from movies to explore, analyze, and compare "reel" life with common ethical issues and the Rules of Professional Conduct. How many gavels will the movie receive? How many ethical violations can Hollywood exploit?

Neal McBrayer, Judge, Tennessee Court of Appeals, Nashville, TN
Ed Lanquist, Patterson Intellectual Property Law, Nashville, TN
11:45 a.m. Diversity and Inclusion Lunch

Join colleagues and friends from the DRI Diversity and Inclusion ("D&I") Committee for lunch at City Tap Kitchen and Craft (204 3rd Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37201).
For more information, please contact Frank Carson at fcarson@fbtlaw.com or Nilda Isidro at nisidro@goodwinlaw.com.
11:45 a.m. Lunch (On your own)
11:45 a.m. SLG Lunch-Arounds

Join colleagues and friends at selected restaurants to network, build your book of business, and enjoy Nashville favorites. To sign up for SLG Lunch-Arounds on Friday, August 20, please click here.
1:15 p.m. Sketching a Glimpse of the CPSC Future Under New Leadership

For years, CPSC Commissioner Joe Mohorovic and his Senior Counsel, Mike Gentine, were "In the Room" where CPSC policies present and future were being decided. Today, the DRI community gets to join them as they talk about what the next era of CPSC may hold and what it may mean for consumer product manufacturers and retailers.

Joseph P. Mohorovic, CPSM, ESi, Chicago, IL
Mike Gentine, Keller and Heckman LLP, Washington, D.C.
2:15 p.m. Practical Tips for the Products Lawyer

Effective trial lawyers learn best from one another. William Gage will address specific visual tactics at trial, including co-opting plaintiff's visual techniques, using a burden-of-proof chart, using an effective warnings graphic, and emphasizing key jury instructions in closing. Finally, he will discuss the power of "unfolding" the case’s drama to the jury.

William Gage, Butler Snow, LLP, Jackson, MS
3:00 p.m. Refreshment Break/Community Service
3:30 p.m. Remote Depositions: Establishing a Real Presence in a Virtual Environment

Technological innovation, cost sensitivities and COVID-19 have all contributed to the rise in the use of remote depositions. These types of depositions are not new to some areas of litigation yet have raised new issues for product liability attorneys including whether a virtual deposition is the best opportunity for the client, which platforms and techniques are best for the particular deposition and the best practices for rules of engagement for all participants related to experts and exhibits.

Emily Skow, Ph.D., Exponent, Philadelphia, PA 
Nicole Brunson, Arrival, Charlotte, NC
Jennifer Collins, Womble Bond Dickinson, Atlanta, GA
4:45 p.m. Five Mistakes at Mediation

Litigation myths suggesting our adversarial system is analogous to sports or war mislead us into thinking a "good" settlement leaves everyone unhappy. Learn how avoiding five mistakes can reverse this thinking and leave both parties happy to agree.

Sidney Kanazawa, ADR, Los Angeles, CA
Keven Drummond Eiber, MTD Inc., Cleveland, OH
Ian Botnick, JCI, Milwaukee, WI
6:00 p.m. Networking Reception
8:30 p.m. Networking Reception at Ole Smokey

Join all your DRI friends and colleagues Friday evening for a networking reception that will be held at Ole Smokey. Together we will reconnect, share some late-night bites, and enjoy adult beverages along the way. It will be an evening not to be missed!!*
Registration for this event will be on the DRI seminar registration page. You will need to scroll down after the First Timers Questions to purchase tickets. You must register by August 12, 2021.

*The cost is $95 per ticket and tickets are nonrefundable.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Time (Central) Program
7:00 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:00-10:00 a.m. SLG Session 2

For more information, please click on the tab "SLG Session 2"
10:00 a.m. Refreshment Break
10:30-12:30 p.m. SLG Session 3

For more information, please click on the tab "SLG Session 3"
12:30 p.m. Adjourn

SLG Session 2 (Aug. 21, 8:00–10:00 a.m.)

1. Agricultural Construction Mining and Industrial Equipment (ACMIE) & Scaffolding, Cranes & Aerial Devices (SCAD) (Joint Session)


Chair | D. Christopher RobinsonFrost Brown Todd LLC, Louisville, KY
Vice-Chair | Kristen Elizabeth Dennison, Littleton Park Joyce Ughetta, Radnor, PA


Chair | D. Craig York, Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, Louisville, KY
Vice-Chair | Kat CarringtonButler Snow, LLP, Ridgeland, MS

Lessons from Trial: Trying a $250 Million Product Liability Case in Cook County
Tony Monaco, Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP, Chicago, IL
Mike McCaskey, Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP, Chicago, IL

Lessons Learned: Manufacturing in a Post-COVID World
Patrick Taverna, OshKosh Corporation, Hagerstown, MD


2. Consumer Goods and Business Equipment & Food Law (Joint Session)


Chair | David L. Campbell, Bowman Brooke LLP, Bloomfield Hills, MI
Vice-Chair | Katie Fillmore, Duane Morris LLP, Austin, TX


Chair | Jennifer Snyder Heis, Ulmer Berne, Cincinnati, OH
Vice-Chair | Shannon Nessier, Hanson Bridgett LLP, San Francisco, CA

Practical Guidance for the Food and Consumer Products Industries: Avoiding False & Misleading Advertising
Richard Fama, Cozen O'Connor, New York, NY

Who Has the Ball: Jurisdictional Delineation Between Federal Health & Safety Agencies
Mike Gentine, Keller & Heckman LLP, Washington, D.C.

Hemp-Derived CBD in Food & Consumer Products: State and Federal Requirements
Elizabeth Bain, Williams Kastner, Portland, OR
Melissa K. Roeder, Foley & Mansfield, Seattle, WA


3. Hand and Power Tools & Recreational Products (Joint Session)


Chair | Patrick P. Clyder, Swanson, Marting & Bell LLP, Chicago, IL
Vice-Chair | Suzanne Galvin, Thompson Coburn, St. Louis, MO


Chair | Chris Jackson, Dinsmore, Lexington, KY
Vice-Chair | Jared Hawk, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, Pittsburgh, PA

What's the Deets: Case Law Update on Developments in Personal Jurisdiction and Daubert
Ryan Clarke, Lewis Thomason, Nashville, TN

Frenemies: Manufacturers and Dealers: Partnering for Successful Defense of a Product Liability Claim
Carl Pesce, Thompson Coburn, St. Louis, MO
Jason Britt, Textron, Augusta, GA
Keven Drummond Eiber, MTD Inc., Cleveland, OH
Ryan Stiles, Polaris Inc., Hudson, WI

Mediation in the Time of Corona - A Panel on Mediation Post-COVID-19
Mark Hickok, Director of Product Safety and Regulatory Compliance, Milwaukee Electric Tool, Brookfield, WI
Steve Dunn, Miles Mediation & Arbitration, Charlotte, NC
Sam Terzich, Executive Vice President, Director, GB Specialty, Gallagher Bassett, Chicago, IL

SLG Session 3 (Aug. 21, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.)

1. Digital Evidence and Emerging Technologies & Trial Techniques and Technology (Joint Session)


Chair | Charles S. Painter, Ericksen Arbuthnot, Sacramento, CA
Vice-Chair | Matthew D. Gurbach, Bricker & Eckler, LLP, Cleveland, OH


Chair | Juan Ortega, Sirote, Mobile, AL
Vice-Chair | Jeffrey Warren, Bowman Brooke, Mobile, AL

Outside the Courtroom - Technology and Advocacy
Moderator | Graham M. Cridland, Ericksen Arbuthnot, Sacramento, CA
Donald Vilfer, Digital Evidence Ventures, Roseville, CA
Matthew GurbachBricker & Eckler LLP, Cleveland, OH

Navigating COVID-19 Inside the Courtroom
Carmen Chambers, Maynard Cooper & Gale, Birmingham, AL


2. Children's Products & Manufacturer's Risk (Joint Session)


Chair | Dannel Duddy, Harman, Claytor, Corrigan & Wellman, Richmond, VA
Vice-Chair | Rachel Remke, Schiff Hardin, Chicago, IL


Chair | Chris Horkins, Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, Toronto, ON
In-House Chair | Marie-Claude Simard, Bombardier, Quebec, QC
Vice-Chair | Jason Gagnon, Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP, Hartford, CT

New Technology to Better Communicate Warnings and Instructions
John F. Kuppens, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, Columbia, SC
Paul Ratcliffe, BILT Inc., Ashburn, VA

Social Media Influencers: Manufacturers’ Exposure to Risk and FDA Regulation Based on Social Media Endorsements
Caitlin Vetter, Frost Brown Todd, Columbus, OH
Maureen Bickley, Frost Brown Todd LLC, Cincinnati, OH

Collaborative Case Investigations: The Art of Virtual Inspections
Dennis B. Brickman, P.E., ESi, Aurora, IL
Charles A. Fox, Ph.D., ESi, Atlanta, GA


3. Fire Science & International (Joint Session)


Chair | Kathryn Regier, Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard, P.C., Kansas City, MO
Vice-Chair | Andrew Stead, McMillan LLP, Calgary, AB


Chair | Jonathan L.S. Hodes, Miller Thomson LLP, Vancouver, BC
Vice-Chair | Ryan Krushelnitzky, Field Law, Edmonton, AB

New Fire Hazards Related to the Marijuana Industry
Zachary J. Jason, PE, CFI, CFEI, AEI Corporation, Littleton, CO
Melissa K. Roeder, Foley Mansfield, Seattle, WA

Defining Impairment: As legal cannabis use increases, the question of THC impairment will arise more frequently. Defense counsel will need to know how impairment is assessed in this context, and how to use this information in the defense of claims. This session will cover methods of assessment, including new technology for defining impairment in the field, THC concentrations over time, and post-mortem assessment of impairment prior to death.
Angela Perez, Ph.D., CTEH LLC, Portland, OR


4. Young Lawyers Breakout

Chair | Catherine Kopiec, Rogers Townsend, Columbia, SC
Vice-Chair | Pamela Kaplan, Tanenbaum Keale LLP, Newark, NY
Marketing LiaisonXan Flowers, Butler Snow LLP, Birmingham, AL

Litigation by iPad: How to be a Tech Whiz In and Out of the Courtroom
Brett Tarver, Troutman Pepper, Atlanta, GA

Products Motions in Federal Court
Jason Avelar, Wilson Turner Kosmo, San Diego, CA

How to Address Ever-Expanding and Amorphous Product Liability Claims
Kali Book, Nelson Mullins, Baltimore, MD
Margaret O'Neill, Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP, Philadelphia, PA

DRI Cares


Community Service Project - Book Drive
Join in the fun and good feeling!! I hope you join us at the 2021 Product Liability Conference in Nashville, Tennessee from August 19-21, 2021. As is our tradition, the Products Liability Committee has chosen a very worthy service project: a Book Drive and Fundraiser for Book 'Em Nashville! Book 'Em envisions a future in Nashville where all children own books and know first-hand the joy and value of reading. Let’s help make the vision a reality.

Please bring your new or gently used children’s books – from board books to chapter books (ages 0-18) – to donate to the book drive.

  • Want more guidance on the type of books to donate, click here.
  • Or, feel free to provide a monetary donation directly to Book ‘Em by clicking here.

Remember to include DRI Products in the “special instructions or comments” section so that your participation is recorded. You want to note your participation because...

THERE’S A PRIZE! The Products Liability and Governmental Liability Committees are in a friendly competition to see who’s the biggest giver. The committee with the higher percentage of participation among its members wins a prize and bragging rights for a year! So let the giving begin!!