2021 Toxic Torts and Environmental Law Virtual Seminar Agenda

Toxic Torts and Environmental Law Virtual Seminar June 17, 2021

*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, June 17, 2021

Time (Central) Program CLE
12:00–12:10 p.m. Welcome and Introductions

Melanie C. Lockett, Lowe Stein Hoffman Allweiss Hauver LLP, New Orleans, LA
Kimberly Leue Bick, Bick Law LLP, Newport Beach, CA
12:10–1:10 p.m. Asbestos and Lead Litigation: A National Update on Trends, Developments, and Defenses

This panel will discuss the developing trends in litigation concerning lead contamination in drinking water and asbestos contamination of indoor air and some effective defense strategies to respond to these lawsuits.

Mark Zellmer, Husch Blackwell, St. Louis, MO

Bina Reddy, Beveridge & Diamond, Washington, D.C.
Len van Zyl, Ph.D. Geneticist, Array Xpress, Raleigh, NC
Julie Goodman, Gradient, Boston, MA
1:10–1:20 p.m. Break
1:20–2:20 p.m. Environmental Justice in the Wake of a Disaster: Dissecting the Connection Between Minority Communities and Disasters Through a Legal Lens

Since 1980, the U.S. has sustained 258 weather and climate disasters with a cumulative cost exceeding $1.75 trillion. These events expose social structures that put marginalized communities in harm's way. This panel will examine disaster preparedness and explore the social justice implications, as well as the resulting litigation.

Roy Prather, Beveridge & Diamond, Baltimore, MD

Barbara Barron, Mehaffy Weber, Beaumont, TX
Ricardo Woods, Burr & Furman, Mobile, AL
Professor Victor B. Flatt, University of Houston Law Center, Houston, TX
2:20–2:40 p.m. Break
2:40–3:40 p.m. Ethics of Baseless Science and Scientific Misconduct

Courts are supposed to act as gatekeepers to prevent flawed science from getting to a jury. This panel will look at cases where a court has allowed baseless and even false or misleading science that has impacted jury outcomes.

Kevin Mayer, Norton Rose Fulbright, LLP, Los Angeles, CA

Hon. Michael Truncale, USDC, Eastern District of Texas
Annette Santamaria, PhD, MPH, DABT, J.S. Held, Houston, TX
H. Christian (Chris) L'Orange, The Korn Law Group, San Francisco, CA
3:40–3:50 p.m. Break
3:50–4:50 p.m. A Year in Review: Jurisdiction and Removability

This panel will review the expansion of removability from state to federal court, including Fifth Circuit and Supreme Court decisions regarding snap removal and federal officer removal.

Meera Sossamon, Loyola University College of Law, New Orleans, LA

Tillman Breckenridge, Stris & Maher, LLP, Washington, D.C.
Edward Trapolin, Irwin Fritchie Urquhart & Moore, New Orleans, LA
4:50–4:55 p.m. Closing Announcements
5:00–5:30 p.m. Toxic Torts and Environmental Law Committee Business Meeting

Open to All
5:30–6:30 p.m. Virtual Happy Hour

Arnaud's French 75
Sazerac Recipe

DRI Cares

DRI Cares


The DRI’s Toxic Torts and Environmental Law Committee is raising money in support of Covenant House New Orleans. For over 25 years, Covenant House New Orleans has provided a safe haven for homeless, runaway and at-risk youth ages 16-22. Located on the edge of the French Quarter, Covenant House offers shelter and care for neglected, abused, and exploited kids from all walks of life.

When youth walk through the doors of Covenant House, they are provided with a hot meal, clothes, a bed, caring staff, and much more. Individual medical care is provided on-site within 72 hours. Covenant House also develops a personalized case plan with each youth and works with them every step of the way to reunite them with family, when possible, or develop the tools they need to live independently.

By donating to Covenant House through our team, you are helping to rebuild and reunite families and offer young people the tools they need to build healthy, independent and productive lives. Please make a donation today and help us reach and surpass our fundraising goal!

To learn more about Covenant House, we encourage you to watch SHELTER from the Peabody Award-winning Renaud Brothers. This film takes a raw and in-depth look at the lives of residents at Covenant House New Orleans. Please click here to donate.