2021 Strictly Automotive Seminar Agenda

Strictly Automotive Seminar

*Schedule and Speakers subject to change

Printing is only supported on Windows, iOS and macOS (Android is not supported). To save this page as a PDF, click on the "Print Agenda" button and under printer destination select "Save as PDF" or "Print to PDF".

Print Agenda

Click on one of the tabs to expand the content.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Time (Eastern) Program
10:00 a.m. LIVE BURN at Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute

Join us for specialized tours of various burn demonstration cells at the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute (MFRI). Multiple experts who have designed and implemented the controlled burns will provide tours and insight into each of the burn cells as well as several hands-on stations related to different aspects of fire investigation. The experts will also discuss and demonstrate fire scene investigation technology equipment and updates. Included in this event at MFRI will be a live burn of a vehicle, with experts describing aspects of evidence collection specific to motor vehicles, burn patterns and the stories they tell, and a myriad of related issues. The seminar will conclude with a full-scale flashover cell where participants can experience first-hand the growth of a small fire to full-room involvement.
Space is limited; separate registration is required. DRI will provide live burn event registrants with transportation from the seminar hotel to MFRI. Lunch is included in the registration fee. Tickets are $120 per person and are non-refundable. Registration for the live burn is on the seminar registration page (scroll to the bottom of page). The deadline is September 1 at 12 p.m.
6:00 p.m. Registration and Networking Reception

Friday, September 10, 2021

Time (Eastern) Program
7:00 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:00 a.m. Welcome and Introduction

Roman Lifson, Christan & Barton LLP, Richmond, VA
Heather Russell Fine, Tanenbaum Keale, LLP, Philadelphia, PA
8:15 a.m. Total Recall: Navigating the Phantom "Defect" Claim

If there is a relevant recall on a vehicle, but the recall condition did not actually cause the accident/injuries, how does the phantom recall come into play in the alleged lawsuit? This presentation will discuss this scenario and best practices in handling.

Alan DeGraw, Stellantis, Detroit, MI
Amy Bice Larson, Bush Seyferth, PLLC, Troy, MI
9:15 a.m. Lessons Learned: Explosion Case (Joint Session with Fire Science)

Discussions regarding a high-profile product liability wrongful death case stemming from a food truck propane explosion, including liability and evidentiary issues and analysis.

Steve Taub, U-Haul International, Inc., Phoenix, AZ
William A. Posey, Keating Muething & Klekamp PLL, Cincinnati, OH
10:00 a.m. Refreshment Break
10:25 a.m. The Future of Alternative Fuel Vehicles is Already Here

A high-level discussion of alternative fuel vehicles, including hybrid, fully electric and hydrogen fuel cell designs, with an update from manufacturers on their short-term and future development, new technology, EV recalls, and a discussion of ways to best defend an electric vehicle case at trial.

Jeffrey J. Cox, Dykema, Dallas, TX

Jennifer White, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., Herndon, VA
Beth Mykytiuk, Tesla, Washington, D.C.
Ashish Arora, P.E., Exponent, Phoenix, AZ
11:10 a.m. Today’s Jury Psychology & Defense Strategies

Learn from a seasoned trial attorney and a jury psychologist about the jury variables that are evolving due to cohort differences and life stressors. Approaches to due diligence for assessing jury-relevant factors will be discussed, results from jury surveys and mock trial research will be shared, and insights into effective trial strategies will be offered.

Cindy K. Andrews, Firehorse Trial Consulting, Chicago, IL
Kevin Schiferl, Frost Brown Todd, Indianapolis, IN
12:00 p.m. United Way of National Capital Area

Gabrielle C. Sherb will describe how you can help support local middle school students and their families with much needed supplies that will help them achieve a successful school year.
12:10 p.m. Lunch (On your own)
1:10 p.m. Live Burn Data Analysis and Rundown (Joint Session with Fire Science)

Live burn data analysis – experts will discuss fire science issues using video, photos and data from live burn cells and flash over demonstration.

Scott E. Dillon, PE, IAAI-CFE, CVFI, ESi, Plymouth, MN
Adam Goodman, PE, CFPS, IAAI-CFI, CFEI, CVFI, S-E-A, Glen Burnie, MD
Andrew Paris, PE, CFEI, Jensen Hughes, Minneapolis, MN
David Anderson, Ph.D., PE, CFEI, Exponent, Atlanta, GA
Hernán Mercado-Corujo, ESi, Minneapolis, MN
2:15 p.m. What Does the Recent U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on Personal Jurisdiction Mean to You?

In March of 2021, the United States Supreme Court issued an opinion addressing whether personal jurisdiction will be found in a forum in which a plaintiff resides and a motor vehicle accident occurred – regardless of the fact that the manufacturer is out of state, and the subject vehicle was manufactured and sold in a different state.  Hear from one of the attorneys involved in this case about how this decision may impact your practice.

Sean M. Marotta, Hogan Lovells, Washington, D.C.
3:15 p.m. Refreshment Break
3:40 p.m. Use of Drones and Contemporary Tools to Memorialize an Accident Scene or Evidence

Use of drones represents a quantum leap in measurement methods and technology. A ten-minute flight of a drone will capture hundreds of pictures and capture a large swath of real estate. These pictures can then be used to construct a three-dimensional model that has a variety of uses, including 3D modeling and overhead map demonstratives.
This presentation will explore the use of drones as inspection tools, explain how they work, give practical applications reliably used today as well as vivid examples of some of their uses. The speakers will also discuss issues of admissibility, authentication and potential trespass concerns with drone-collected evidence.

Garry R. Brock, Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CED Technologies Inc., Annapolis, MD
Anthony J. Monaco, Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP, Chicago, IL
4:25 p.m. Winning at Trial: Using Old School and Current Trial Tactics to Get the Job Done

If you want to try and win your auto products cases, this entertaining presentation will show you how old school trial techniques combined with today’s technology and jury science can give you the winning edge.

James J. Yukevich, Yukevich Cavanaugh, Los Angeles, CA
5:20 p.m. Strictly Automotive SLG Committee Meeting (Open to all)
6:00 p.m. Networking Reception

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Time (Eastern) Program
7:00 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast
7:00 a.m. DRI Women in the Law Breakfast

Join your friends and colleagues Saturday morning for a joint Women in the Law Breakfast with the attendees from DRI’s Fire Science and Litigation Seminar and the Strictly Automotive Seminar. Don’t miss the opportunity to build your book of business, strengthen old relationships, make new ones, and much more!
For more information on the Women in the Law Breakfast, please contact Heather Fine
8:00 a.m. Opening Remarks and Introductions

Elizabeth L. Moyo, Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP, Columbus, OH
8:15 a.m. The Future is Electric

Electrification brings to the table not only new technology, but new players, risks, and rules. Hear about how the Biden Administration’s Infrastructure Plan and other developments in the legal landscape are poised to drive widespread acceptance of EV technology. Peek into the future of electric vehicles from the perspective of newer manufacturers and a major supplier, who will also discuss the increasing roles of joint ventures and other creative combinations, as well as product liability risk management and litigation implications of EV technology.

Jodi Dyan Oley, State Farm, Bloomington, IL

Dommond Lonnie, Dykema, Los Angeles, CA


Eric Mahler, Meritor, Troy, MI
Nicole Brunson, Arrival, Charlotte, NC
9:15 a.m. Ethics Session (Joint Session with Fire Science)

Recent developments in legal ethics, including attorney-client privilege and use of experts, with a focus on in-house counsel issues.

Amy Richardson, Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis, LLP, Raleigh, NC
10:10 a.m. Refreshment Break
10:30 a.m. Supreme Court Update and Insider Information (Joint Session with Fire Science)

This dynamic presentation will focus on the United States Supreme Court – its recent rulings and the big cases awaiting decision – with a special focus on cases and issues of importance to business litigators.

Thomas H. Dupree, Jr., Gibson Dunn, Washington, D.C.
11:20 a.m. Recent Trends in Automotive Class Actions

Learn about how recent developments in the Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal are shaping the landscape of automotive defect class actions around the country. We will review key decisions addressing standing, nationwide class certification, and manifestation requirements, and how those decisions can help manufacturers defend and defeat consumer class actions and product liability cases.

April Nelson Ross, Crowell & Moring, Washington, D.C.
12:00 p.m. Abundant Data: ADAS Features Enabling Early Understanding of Crash Dynamics

Many of today's vehicles have on board a host of cutting-edge technologies, including advanced radar and camera technology, that not only aid drivers but can impact the strategies for litigation of cases involving these vehicles. This presentation will provide insight into how the data available from these technologies can empower those litigating cases involving these vehicles to understand and evaluate the crash dynamics early and cost-effectively, and how this sort of data may soon become commonplace in product liability litigation.

Pamela S. Tonglao, PACCAR Inc., Bellevue, WA
Derek J. Linkous, Bush Seyferth PLLC, Troy, MI
12:30 p.m. Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Fires – How are They Different and Should We be Concerned?

This presentation will explore relevant fire causes associated with both hybrid and fully electric vehicles, applicable investigation techniques, and advise on how to approach these complex events in evaluating and defending your case.

Hernán Mercado-Corujo, ESi, Minneapolis, MN
1:00 p.m. Adjourn

DRI Cares

stuff-the-busStrictly Auto is teaming up with the United Way and its Stuff the Bus program to deliver local middle school children with a backpack full of school supplies that will help these kids meet their basic educational needs and succeed throughout their academic year.  A single donation of $25 provides one backpack full of critical supplies to a student in need. Learn more about Stuff the Bus.