2022 DRI Civil Rights & Governmental Tort Liability Seminar

April 6–8, 2022 | Minneapolis, Minnesota

2022 DRI Civil Rights & Governmental Tort Liability

Join DRI Civil Rights and Governmental Liability Attorneys in Minneapolis!

Join us for DRI’s annual Civil Rights and Governmental Liability Seminar - April 6–8, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Committee will present a dynamic program providing attendees with the opportunity to learn from and interact with preeminent experts on issues important to attorneys practicing governmental liability and civil rights law today. You will hear the latest issues being addressed in conditions of confinement cases, hear from those involved in the front line of policing protests, and learn about the developing trends in Titles VI, VII and IX cases. Karen Blum’s popular segment on qualified immunity will be back, along with Tom Dupree’s insightful report on the rulings at the Supreme Court. As always, attendees will have networking opportunities to exchange ideas with the faculty and other experienced litigators.

View registration information here.

What You Will Learn:

  • Techniques to combat nuclear verdicts – get the defense “playbook” for high damages cases.
  • Where the First Amendment meets the Second Amendment when policing protests
  • How to craft successful defenses to defeat wrongful conviction claims
  • When does the search of a student go too far
  • Best practices for avoiding objectionable bias and conflicts of interest in land use management

Expand Your Network By:

  • Connecting with other attorneys and insurance professionals from across the country and develop long-lasting relationships
  • Enjoying our networking happy hours and attend dine-arounds to meet with new members and expand your network of contacts
  • Engaging in the Committee’s service project

Printing is supported on Windows, iOS and macOS. To save this page as a PDF, click on the "Print Brochure" button and under printer destination select "Save as PDF" or "Print to PDF".
For Android devices, some browsers do not support printing.

Print Brochure

google-plus2 blogger tumblr2 reddit delicious stumbleupon mail

Share this page:

Thank You to DRI's Civil Rights & Governmental Liability Leadership

Tia J. Combs
Tia J. Combs
Program Chair
Mary Erlingson
Mary Erlingson
Program Vice Chair
Jody C. Corbett
Jody C. Corbett
Committee Chair
Ryan Kunhart
Ryan Kunhart
Committee Vice Chair
Joseph D. Cohen
Joseph D. Cohen
Law Institute

Join the Governmental Liability Committee

Registration Information

DRI Member Pricing: $995
Non-Member Pricing: $1,295

DRI Member Pricing: $1,295
Non-Member Pricing: $1,595

Early Bird Pricing: $695
Regular Pricing: $995

Register by February 28, 2022 to receive the early registration rate.

*If your membership recently lapsed, please renew your membership prior to registering to ensure you receive your discounted member rate. If you would like to join DRI to receive the member pricing and see the benefits of becoming a member, click here to go to the Application page.

Pricing: $895 per person

**Group registration is for registering 5 or more attendees, members and non-members. There is one free registration with every 10 registrations. You must lock in the rate three weeks prior to the seminar. If you want to register for the group pricing, please send an email to rstiner@dri.org (online registration is not available for this offering).

Agenda with Speakers

*Schedule and Speakers subject to change

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Time (Central) Session Description
1:00 p.m. Registration
2:00 p.m. DRI Cares Community Service Event

Click here for more details about Emma Norton Services.
6:00 p.m. Networking Reception
7:30 p.m. Dine-Arounds

Join fellow colleagues at local Dine-Arounds following the networking reception and enjoy everything Minneapolis has to offer! Sign-up for local Dine-Arounds here.
7:30 p.m. Young Lawyers Dine-Around

Grow your network and your business with fellow DRI Young Lawyers at a Young Lawyers Dinner at Bar la Grassa. Sign-up for the Dine-Around here.

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Time (Central) Session Description
7:00 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast
7:00 a.m. Government Lawyers Breakfast (onsite)

Start your morning off right by enjoying a Government Lawyers Breakfast to network and mingle with colleagues before the start of Thursday's programming. We will have a separate area at the hotel to network.Sign-up for breakfast here.

Natalia K. Isenberg, Teague Campbell, Raleigh, NC
8:00 a.m. Welcome and Introductions

Joseph D. Cohen, Porter Hedges LLP, Houston, TX
Tia J. Combs, Freeman Mathis & Gary LLP, Lexington, KY
8:15 a.m. Supreme Court Review and Analysis

Supreme Court advocate Tom Dupree will once again provide us with an update on the relevant and important United States Supreme Court cases since the last seminar and provide useful insight on what the opinions might mean for the state of the law moving forward.

Thomas H. Dupree, Jr., Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, Washington, D.C.
9:15 a.m. Policing Protests – Law Enforcement Crowd Management Issues

This moderated presentation will provide a multi-faceted approach to the many issues that arise for government entities addressing crowd control. Our panel consists of a former St. Paul City Attorney and current Ramsey County Attorney, Senior Commander for the St. Paul Police Department with extensive experience in civil disturbance response and Use of Force expert addressing the implications of the use of less-lethal weapons. This presentation will answer questions about demonstrator rights, rights to carry firearms when protesting, the use of less-lethal munitions and other crowd control practices by law enforcement, civil liability concerns, and considerations for public relations. The audience will be invited to submit additional questions for consideration by the panel.

Stephanie A. Angolkar, Iverson Reuvers, Bloomington, MN

Michael Brave, LAAW International LLC, Mesa, AZ
John Choi, Ramsey County Attorney, St. Paul, MN
Joshua Lego, Sr. Commander, St. Paul Police Department, St. Paul, MN
10:15 a.m. Refreshment Break
10:45 a.m. Continuing the Conversation on Representing Officers – A Discussion on Officer Mental Health

We will continue our series on how to better represent officers by learning more about their lives and circumstances. This year we will discuss the mental health problems police officers face and explore how individual officers and departments confront these issues. We will also learn how to use this knowledge to better defend officers in the future.

Janelle Fulton, MacMain, Connell & Leinhauser, LLC, West Chester, PA

Brian Casey, Sergeant, Saint Paul Police Department, Employee Assistance Program Director, St. Paul, MN
Scott Marks, Community Engagement Officer, Minnetonka Police Department, Minnetonka, MN
Lora Setter, League of Minnesota Cities, St. Paul, MN
11:45 a.m. Women in the Law Luncheon

Join your fellow Women in the Law (and men too!) for lunch at Fogo de Chao, which is attached to the hotel (Minneapolis Marriott City Center). Lunch is $65/per person. Sign up here for lunch.
11:45 a.m. Lunch (on your own)
1:30 p.m. Hot Topics in Wrongful Conviction Litigation and Novel Defense Strategies

Learn strategies and approaches that have successfully worked to defeat wrongful conviction claims based on witness coercion, questionable documents, and superficial conviction integrity review. You will gain insight into strategies to win high exposure wrongful conviction cases.

Avi Kamionski, Nathan & Kamionski, LLP, Chicago, IL
Shneur Nathan, Nathan & Kamionski, LLP, Chicago, IL
2:30 p.m. Refreshment Break
3:00 p.m. Medicine Behind Bars: Interplay Between Medical Providers and Jail Management

Join us as our panel discusses legal issues surrounding providing medical care in jails. We will cover the interrelationship between jail leadership and private providers, including practical aspects of this relationship, legal ramifications, and insurance implications.

James Bynoe, Intact Insurance, Plymouth, MN

Gene Isotti, Gallagher Bassett, Dallas, TX
Lt. Col Dennis Grimes, East Baton Rouge Parish Jail, East Baton Rouge Parish, LA
Sarah M. Hoffman, Bassford Remele, Minneapolis, MN
4:00 p.m. Qualified Immunity Update

Professor Blum will take us through the relevant developments in qualified immunity law and advise us on how to use it in the defense of our clients.

Professor Karen Blum, Suffolk University School of Law, Boston, MA
5:00 p.m. Committee Business Meeting (open to all)
6:00 p.m. Networking Reception
7:00 p.m. Dine-Arounds

Join fellow colleagues at local Dine-Arounds following the networking reception and enjoy everything Minneapolis has to offer! Sign-up for local Dine-Arounds here.

Friday, April 8, 2022

Time (Central) Session Description
6:00 a.m. DRI For Life Event

Join your fellow DRI friends and colleagues and start your morning off right by going for a run/walk. Meet in the hotel lobby at 6:00 AM to head out before coming back for morning programming sessions.

Sign-up for the walk/run here.
If you have any questions regarding DRI for Life, please contact Tricia Ambrose.
7:00 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:00 a.m. Welcome and Announcements

Mary Erlingson, Erlingson Banks, PLLC, Baton Rouge, LA
8:15 a.m. Defusing Juror Anger and Stopping Nuclear Verdicts™

As seen in the many large verdicts rendered recently, the return to jury trials following nearly two years of court closures has unfortunately not brought an end Nuclear Verdicts™ or Social Inflation. In this session, Bob Tyson, author of the #1 bestselling book, Nuclear Verdicts: Defending Justice for All, will join nationally recognized sexual tort expert Susan Oliver of Tyson & Mendes LLP. They will discuss the challenges defending public entities in a post-COVID world and focus on specific defense techniques for defending governmental organizations against all types of claims including excessive force, sexual torts, and Title IX. You will learn how you must change the way you try cases to stop Nuclear Verdicts™️.

Robert Tyson, Tyson & Mendes LLP, San Diego, CA
Susan Oliver, Tyson & Mendes LLP, San Diego, CA
9:15 a.m. Education and Land Use SLG Breakout Sessions
Education: Kindergarten Cop? Student Searches and Seizures in K-12 Public Schools

This presentation addresses searches and seizures of students by non-law enforcement officials in K-12 public schools. Topics discussed include applicable Constitutional standards, noteworthy cases, and best practices for school officials. The presentation will include an interactive discussion where attendees will apply the law to hypothetical scenarios.

Timothy A. Sullivan, Ratwik, Roszak & Maloney, P.A., St. Paul, MN
Land Use: Fruit of the Poisonous Tree: Bias and Conflicts of Interest in Land Use Decision Making

Lack of decision maker impartiality in the land use context results in tainted decisions. This panel will provide insight into best practices to avoid legal challenges to an alleged tainted decision, potential remedies, and defenses once a challenge has been made.

Paul Reuvers, Iverson Reuvers, Bloomington, MN
10:15 a.m. Refreshment Break
10:30 a.m. Title Tracks and the Transgender Experience: Exploring the Influence of Titles VI, VII, and IX in K-12 Schools

In 1975, Minneapolis became the first city in the United States to pass trans-inclusive civil rights protection legislation. Since then, transgender rights have moved forward with courts over the past year extending the protections of state and federal law to transgender students. In addition, with the changes in the current administration, agencies such as OCR and the Department of Education are taking new approaches. In a fireside conversation, we will discuss the legal landscape concerning transgender student and staff rights in the K-12 setting, resulting shifts in best practices, and the top areas of contention and resulting litigation.

Ann Cook-Graver, Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, Chicago, IL
Alex D. Ivan, Kennedy & Graven, Chartered, Minneapolis, MN
Dana K. Thompson, Supervisor of Student Support Services and Special Education, Burnsville-Egan-Savage School District, Burnsville, MN
11:30 a.m. Dissension in the Ranks: When Your Own Officials Sue for Wrongful Termination

Recognizing and defending against law enforcement wrongful termination lawsuits. The First Amendment, Garcetti/Pickering, and Due Process Liberty Interests all pose challenges unique to public sector employers. Learn how to recognize, navigate, and successfully defend against these employment law hazards.

Andrew Holder, Fischer, Patterson, Sayler, & Smith, Overland Park, KS
12:30 p.m. A Conversation with the Other Side – A Plaintiff’s Attorney’s Perspective on High Profile Cases

Join us for one last presentation as we sit down with Minnesota trial attorney Bob Bennett. Bennett, counsel for the plaintiff in several high-profile cases, including representing the families of Philando Castile and Justine Damond, will answer our questions about how he sizes up a civil rights case.

Robert S. Bennett, Robins Kaplan, Minneapolis, MN
Joseph Flynn, Jardine, Logan & O’Brien, PLLP, Lake Elmo, MN
1:30 p.m. Adjourn
2:00 p.m. Staying in Minneapolis for the Weekend? View Networking Opportunities

Interested in finding new ways to grow you network and your business? If you’re staying in Minneapolis for the weekend, check out these additional networking opportunities at Walker City Museum, Mill City Museum, Paisley Park.

You must purchase tickets to these events. Sign-up for these events here.

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Time (Central) Session Description
1:10 p.m. Minnesota Twins v. Seattle Mariners Baseball Game

If you’re interested in attending the baseball game, please click here to sign up.

You will be contacted in regards to purchasing tickets. If you have any questions, please contact Jody Corbett.


NEW in 2022 – 4 Additional On-Demand Programs Included With Every Seminar!

CLE Credit will be sought from every state requiring CLE hours in elimination of bias/diversity and inclusion, ethics, substance abuse/mental health and law practice management. The CLE grid will provide updated information concerning which courses have been approved by which states and for which credits. For states not requiring these special credits, general education credits will be sought.

Diversity/Elimination of Bias in the Profession

Batson v. Kentucky and its progeny were meant to eliminate bias in jury selection. But has that happened? This program will address that question and discuss issues of bias in the courtroom more broadly and will challenge viewers to recognize their own biases and to learn how those biases could affect their assessment of potential jurors, witnesses, judges, and adversaries. The program also will provide viewers with skills on how to identify the biases of potential jurors and how those biases could come into play during deliberations.

Stacy Douglas, Everett Dorey LLP, Irvine, CA
Gary Howard, Bradley, Birmingham, AL


Investigating claims and lawsuits often requires interviews with employees. Corporate in-house attorneys and their outside counsel need to be able to identify potential conflicts of interest and confidentiality issues with employees who may leave their employment and become opposing counsel’s best witness.

Kristie S. Crawford, Brown & James, Springfield, MO
Lauren Buford, Walgreen Co., Deerfield, Illinois 60015.

Mental Health & Attorney Wellness

Study after study suggests that lawyers aren’t happy. Continued unhappiness impacts performance, relationships, and physical health. That’s the bad news. The good news is that research proven interventions exist that increase happiness without requiring a radical change in circumstances. Even a slight increase in happiness has a lasting impact on both your current performance and resilience, not to mention, happier just feels better. This program will quickly, efficiently, and practically explain why happiness matters and offer tools you can use today to work, lead, and live happier.

Rebecca Morrison, Aldie VA

Law Practice Management

Law firms must operate more efficiently to ensure they can deliver high-quality services, handle more volume and maintain a profit margin in today’s climate of rate pressure and rising costs. Understanding Key Performance Indicators and law firm analytics concerning financial, operational and client service data are key to mastering law firm performance management. This presentation will address methods to collect information necessary for evaluating key areas of performance, identify tools and techniques to analyze data and generate action items and more.

Brian Kennel, PerformLaw, New Orleans, LA
Jan Sander, PerformLaw, New Orleans, LA
Sean Kennel, PerformLaw, New Orleans, LA

Hotel and Travel Information

A limited number of discounted hotel rooms have been made available at the Minneapolis Marriott City Center, 7th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402. Take advantage of the group rate of $195.00 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 March 8, 2022 to be eligible for the hotel’s group rate. Requests for reservations made after that date 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.

CLE Information

Earn up to 11.00 hours of continuing legal education hours, including 1 hour of ethics credit from this seminar.

Civil Rights CLE Grid (PDF)


DRI's Civil Rights and Governmental Tort Liability Seminar is proudly sponsored by:

Erlingson Banks Attorneys at Law
JS | Held
Kennedy & Graven Chartered
Kightlinger Gray
MCL MacMain Connell & Leinhauser
MD Marshall Dennehey

If you would like to contact DRI about seminar sponsorship opportunities, including pricing, or to reserve a spot, please go to Advertising and Sponsorship.

DRI Cares

Emma Norton

DRI is delighted to partner with Emma Norton Services, a trauma-informed organization that promotes healing and recovery, operating at a scale that brings an array of resources to women, individuals, and families who have experienced homelessness. Housing and services are exemplary, offered in collaboration with key community partners.

There are various ways to help support Emma Norton Services.

1. You can purchase one or more items from the Amazon Wish List to assemble welcome baskets. Welcome baskets have the basics: toiletries, sheets, towels, soap, deodorant. Please purchase these items by April 5 and ship to:

Jessica Schwie
150 S 5TH ST STE 700
MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55402-1299

2. You can help by participating at a hands-on project on Wednesday, April 6 at 2:00 p.m. to help assemble welcome baskets for Emma Norton clients. You will work in teams to assemble three baskets. Sign up to participate here!

3. Make a monetary donation to Emma Norton Services here. The goal is to reach $1,000. If each registrant donates just $10, we will exceed this goal.

Event Terms

Read the Event Terms including DRI’s Cancellation and Refund Policy

In-House Counsel and Claims Executives Initiatives

Read the In-House Counsel and Claims Executives Initiatives for DRI Seminars

Contact Us

If you have any questions or concerns regarding DRI programs, please contact DRI Customer Service at 312.795.1101 or custservice@dri.org.