2022 DRI Toxic Torts & Environmental Law Seminar

March 14–16, 2022 | Atlanta, Georgia

DRI Toxic Torts & Environmental Law

Learn All About the Opportunities & Challenges in Defending Toxic Torts and Environmental Law Cases!

DRI's Toxic Torts and Environmental Law Committee heads to Atlanta, March 14-16, 2022. Join us to obtain the latest information in toxic tort and environmental law to keep your practice on the cutting edge. This premier gathering for the defense bar brings you the latest litigation, science, and regulatory developments.

View registration information here.

What You Will Learn:

  • Hear from trial attorneys who navigated virtual trials and how to communicate with juries post-COVID
  • Listen to in-house counsel discuss the future of toxic tort and environmental litigation
  • Learn about important trends in environmental and toxic tort cases, climate change, PFAS, and multi-district litigation
  • Earn Ethics credit and hear from leading professionals on the trials and tribulations of the practice of law during a pandemic
  • Network with top toxic tort and environmental lawyers from across the U.S.

Expand Your Network By:

  • Connecting with attendees and sponsors at our premier networking event
  • Attending dine-arounds to see old friends and meet new people

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Thank You to DRI's Toxic Tort & Environmental Law Committee Leadership

Jennifer L. Dlugosz
Jennifer L. Dlugosz
Program Chair
Roy Prather
Roy Prather
Program Vice Chair
William J. Hubbard
William J. Hubbard
Committee Chair
Jennifer L. Dlugosz
Jennifer L. Dlugosz
Committee Vice Chair
Jaime W. Luse
Jaime Walker Luse
Law Institute

Join the Toxic Torts and Environmental Law 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 January 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

Monday, March 14, 2022

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

Click more for more details about Camp Sunshine.
5:00 p.m. Registration
5:00 p.m. First-Time Attendee/Speed Networking

Come ready with your pithy elevator speech and your business cards. This fast-paced exercise will start new relationships in a fun setting.
6:00 p.m. Networking Reception
7:30 p.m. Dine-Arounds

Join your friends and colleagues following the networking reception and enjoy local Dine-Arounds throughout the Atlanta Area. Sign up online.*

*Space is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Time (Eastern) Session Description
6:45 a.m. DRI For Life Event - Yoga with Lauren Burke
7:00 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:00 a.m. Welcome and Introduction

Jaime Walker Luse, Tydings & Rosenberg LLP, Baltimore, MD
Jennifer L. Dlugosz, Husch Blackwell LLP, Chicago, IL
8:15 a.m. Communicating to Juries After 2020 – Lessons Learned from the Pandemic, BLM, and Virtual Trials

The pandemic upended jury trials as we have known them. Not only did potential jurors became more aware of scientific concepts such as dose, exposure, and epidemiology, they also became more aware of the continued unequal treatment of racial minorities in our country. Plus they had to serve on juries remotely while sitting in their living rooms. This panel will evaluate changes in jury perceptions as a result of COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement, discuss lessons learned from virtual trials, and recommend strategies to communicate effectively to juries in the new normal.

Kyle Bjornlund, Cetrulo LLP, Boston, MA

Suntrease Williams-Maynard, Adams & Reese, LLP, Mobile, AL
Jill M. Leibold, Ph.D., IMS/Litigation Insights, Los Angeles, CA
Lisa Oberg, Husch Blackwell LLP, Oakland, CA
9:15 a.m. Legal Ethics in the New Normal (Ethics)

The past two years have brought significant changes to how, where, and even when we practice law. While these rapid changes have resulted in unprecedented opportunities and challenges, lawyers remain bound by ethics rules predating this evolving new normal. Viewed through the lens of the Rules of Professional Conduct, recent experience reveals some unique issues, but also several consistent underlying themes that continue to be a challenge for some lawyers.

Paula Frederick, State Bar of Georgia, Atlanta, GA
10:15 a.m. Refreshment Break
10:45 a.m. To MDL or Not to MDL? – The Proliferation of Multi-District Litigation

Litigation in both State and Federal Multi-districts continues to increase. When should defendants request MDL status? What are the advantage and disadvantages? Can MDLs be utilized to weed out meritless cases? What happens once status is requested? Are MDL process changes in the horizon?

The Honorable Shira Scheindlin, U.S. Dist. Judge (Ret.), FedArb, New York, NY
Barbara J. Barron, MehaffyWeber, Houston, TX
Jamie L. Dodge, Emory’s Institute for Complex Litigation and Mass Claims, Atlanta, GA
11:45 a.m. Lunch-Arounds

Reconnect with friends and meet new ones at various Lunch-Arounds in Atlanta! Sign up now to secure your spot*.

*Space is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
1:30 p.m. COVID-19 Focused 30-Minute "Tech Talks"

COVID-19: Lessons Learned

How the Specialty and Contract Chemical Industry continues to adapt to a pandemic and how we can be better prepared next time.

Jennifer Abril, SOCMA, Arlington, VA
2:00 p.m. COVID-19: Chemicals Are Our Friends

Bleach, hand sanitizer, single use plastic bags all were necessary to human health and safety during the pandemic. Will they be blackballed again once there is a cure, or will we stick by our old tried and true friends?

Colleen O’Brien, Scali Rasmussen OC, Los Angeles, CA
2:30 p.m. COVID-19: What You Can’t See Can Hurt You

Be prepared for virus-related damage claims under different types of policies. The panelists will discuss who is making what types of claims and the status of current cases and known claims.

Tom Alleman, Dykema, Dallas, TX
3:00 p.m. COVID-19: How Strategic Technologies Minimize Liabilities and Save Lives

The pandemic highlighted the power of molecular monitoring methods to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the human ecosystem. However, these detection methods were erratically applied even though they provided important data to inform protective actions. The lessons learned here are directly applicable to variants and to the next serious pathogen that infects the human population. This presentation describes the efficient application of virus detection methods, how results were used to limit infections, and the viewpoints of those who adopted detection technologies for informing their pandemic response and those who did not.

Duane Graves, Ph.D., BCES, Geosyntec, Knoxville, TN
3:30 p.m. Refreshment Break
3:45 p.m. Good Corporate Citizenship and Liability in an Era of Climate Change and Environmental Justice

The Biden administration brought a much sharper focus and prioritization to issues of climate change and environmental justice, which presents significant implications for environmental permitting, civil and criminal enforcement, agency rule-making and legislative action, and beyond. Corporations are constantly adapting and must remain light on their feet, particularly in these changing times. This panel will take a closer look at how those initiatives are taking shape in practice and what to anticipate going forward. This includes increased consideration of climate change and environmental justice impacts in decision-making and liability as it relates to existing and closed CERCLA sites. This panel will further address company response to these issues and proactive approaches to community outreach. The panel will also examine environmental justice screening tools and the underlying databases to better understand how they work, how regulators and litigants are using them, and what limitations and concerns they present.

Roy Prather, Beveridge & Diamond, Baltimore, MD

Shahrokh Rouhani, Newfields, Atlanta, GA
Peter Hsiao, King & Spalding, Los Angeles, CA
Marjorie Hall, NewFields, Atlanta, GA
4:45 p.m. Committee Business Meeting (open to all)
6:00 p.m. Networking Reception
8:00 p.m. Premier Networking Event: Painted Pin

Join friends and colleagues for an evening of networking at The Painted Pin, sponsored by Beveridge & Diamond, Husch Blackwell and King & Spalding. Enjoy an upscale entertainment venue in an industrial warehouse space in the heart of Buckhead’s Miami Circle that takes a twist on traditional nightlife by offering vintage bowling lanes, along with complimentary games like bocce ball, shuffleboard, ping pong, and darts. The sophisticated atmosphere is the perfect place to gather with friends.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Time (Eastern) Session Description
7:00 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:00 a.m. Welcome and Announcements

Roy Prather, Beveridge & Diamond, Baltimore, MD
8:15 a.m. What’s Next For Groundwater Claims: Emerging Contaminants and Related Litigation

Companies continue to face claims of groundwater contamination from current and past operations of their facilities. This panel of experts and in house counsel will address why and how certain contaminants become identified as emerging contaminants and how current and anticipated litigation plays a role in that process. They will also discuss potential health and environmental impacts of emerging contaminants and existing federal and state guidelines.

Nicole Sullivan, BASF, Florham Park, NJ
Robyn Prueitt, Ph.D., DABT, Gradient, Seattle, WA
Katie Rahill, Nouryon, Radnor, PA
Caroline Tuit, Ph.D., Gradient, Boston, MA
9:15 a.m. PFAS: It’s Not Going Away

This panel will discuss the latest technology and challenges in source identification for PFAS to use in the defense of regulatory enforcement and toxic tort lawsuits.

Ian M. Phillips, Haley & Aldrich, Boston, MA
Daniella Landers, Womble Bond Dickinson, Houston, TX
Monty Cooper, Crowell & Moring, Washington, D.C.
10:15 a.m. Refreshment Break
10:45 a.m. Supreme Court Update

Join our esteemed panelists for a review of developments in toxic tort and environmental cases decided by, or headed for, the Supreme Court and expected trends for the 2020s.

Elbert Lin, Hunton Andrews Kurth, Richmond, VA
Mindy Goldstein, Emory University School of Law, Atlanta, GA
11:45 a.m. A Look Ahead From In-House

A panel of distinguished in-house counsel from different industries will consider how their roles have been evolving and what they expect for tomorrow.

Irving W. Jones, Jr., Balch & Bingham, Birmingham, AL

Kate Gillespie, Corteva Agriscience, Philadelphia, PA
Kacy Goebel, Home Depot, Atlanta, GA
John Bottini, Georgia-Pacific, Atlanta, GA
12:45 p.m. Adjourn


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 InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta, 3315 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30326. Take advantage of the group rate of $229.00 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 February 21, 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 9.75 hours of continuing legal education hours, including 1 hour of ethics credit from this seminar.

Toxic Torts CLE Grid (PDF)


DRI's Toxic Torts & Environmental Law Seminar is proudly sponsored by:

Barnes & Thornburg LLP
Beveridge & Diamond
Exponent logo
First Environment
Geosyntec Consultants
Haley Aldrich
Hawkins Parnell & Young, LLP
Husch Blackwell
Irwin Fritchie Urquhart & Moore LLC Counselors at Law
JS | Held
King & Spalding
NewFields Perspective Vision Solutions
Roux Thompson Hine

DRI thanks our Official Supporter: Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP

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


DRI is delighted to partner with Camp Sunshine which enriches the lives of Georgia's children with cancer and their families through recreational, educational, and support programs. Come help us put together bracelets for the children who attend the Camp Sunshine Summer Camp. The bracelets are friendship bracelets and the children can only receive one if attending summer camp. Someone has to put the bracelet on, and the child receives a hug. They are also an identifier for children in the hospital; they see someone with a bracelet on and they know they are a part of Camp Sunshine. The number of bracelets a child has is usually an indicator of how many years a child has attended Camp Sunshine.

To participate in DRI Cares to help Camp Sunshine, please go to Meeting Room: Trippe 3 (Lobby Level) on Monday, March 14 at 2:00 p.m.

If unable to attend, donate online to Camp Sunshine.

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.