2023 DRI Boot Camp for New Life, Health, and Disability Lawyers

November 3, 2023 | Chicago, Illinois

Chicago Skyline

Increase Your Understanding of Life, Health and Disability Litigation!

Join the DRI Life, Health, and Disability Committee for a boot camp aimed at providing a basic understanding of the concepts applicable to life, health, and disability litigation. Taught by highly experienced attorneys and ideal for young lawyers, or older lawyers who are new to the practice or who wish to brush up on their skills, this program receives rave reviews each year it is held! Don’t miss this opportunity to benefit from a classroom atmosphere that will be limited to 75 persons.

This event will be held at the Conference Center, 111 South Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60606. The room is in 2930 South Conference Room, located on the 29th floor.

View registration information here.

What You Will Learn:

  • Basic policy provisions in individual and group life insurance.
  • Basic policy provisions in individual and group disability insurance.
  • ERISA basics as they apply to life, health, and disability litigation.
  • Strategy for defense of life, health, and disability litigation.

Expand Your Network By:

  • Reconnecting with friends, colleagues, and clients at dine-arounds on Thursday night.
  • Engaging with fellow DRI members during lunch and at breaks on Friday.

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Thank You to DRI's Life, Health, and Disability Committee Leadership

Mark E. Schmidtke
Mark E. Schmidtke
Program Co-Chair
Brooks Magratten
Brooks Magratten
Program Co-Chair
Michelle Thurber Czapski
Michelle Czapski
Committee Chair
Sarah J. Delaney
Sarah Delaney
Committee Vice Chair
Pamela W. Carter
Pamela Carter
Law Institute

Join the Life, Health and Disability Committee

Registration Information

Register Now

Member Pricing Non-Member Pricing
Regular Registration* $795 $1,095
Group Registration (Non-Sponsored)** $695 per person $695 per person
Government Government members will receive the applicable government rate for the seminar upon login. If the government rate does not appear after logging in, please call DRI directly at (312) 795-1101 to receive the discounted rate. Invoices can be sent after purchase upon request.

*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.

**Group registration is for registering four 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, fill out the form here (online registration is not available for this offering).

Agenda with Speakers

This event will be held at the Conference Center, 111 South Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60606. The room is in 2930 South Conference Room, located on the 29th floor.

*Schedule and Speakers subject to change

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Time (Central) Program Location
6:30 p.m. Dine-Arounds

Join colleagues at selected restaurants for dinner (on your own). Details for signing up will be circulated to registrants in advance of the program.

Friday, November 3, 2023

Time (Central) Program Location
8:00 a.m. Registration and Assorted Pastries/Coffee
8:30 a.m. Welcome and Opening Remarks

Michelle Czapski, Bodman, Detroit, MI
8:40 a.m. Disability Insurance Basics

Learn the differences between group and individual disability insurance policy clauses, defenses, and bad faith.

Kristina Holmstrom, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., Phoenix, AZ
9:40 a.m. Life Insurance Basics

Discussion of life insurance coverage, insurable interest, STOLI and accidental death coverage.

Elizabeth G. Doolin, Chittenden, Murday & Novotny LLC, Chicago, IL
Julie F. Wall, Chittendon, Murday & Novotny LLC, Chicago, IL
10:40 a.m. Refreshment Break
10:50 a.m. Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance Basics

Discussion of group accidental death and dismemberment insurance policy clauses, bases for claims, and defenses.

Brooks Magratten, Pierce Atwood LLP, Providence, RI
E. Ford Stephens, Christian & Barton, LLP, Richmond, VA
11:50 a.m. Analyzing the Claim File and Preparing for Litigation

Practical tips for the ERISA life, health, and disability defense lawyer.

Byrne J. Decker, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, PC, Portland, ME
Joshua Bachrach, Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP, Philadelphia, PA
12:45 p.m. Lunch (on-site)
1:00 p.m. Discovery Issues and Strategies

Learn how to analyze and respond to discovery issues in life, health, and disability litigation.

Leonor Lagomasino, Gordon Rees., Miami, FL
Kimberly Jones, Faegre Drinker Biddle, Chicago, IL
2:00 p.m. ERISA Litigation Primer

Discussion of the substantive and procedural legal issues that apply in ERISA-governed life, health, and disability litigation.

Mark E. Schmidtke, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, PC, Valparaiso, IN
3:00 p.m. Break
3:10 p.m. Health Insurance and Self-Funded Health Plans

Key industry concepts and terms, plus common claims and defenses.

James L. Griffith, Jr., Reger, Rizzo, Darnell LLP, Philadelphia, PA
Edna Kersting, Health Care Service Corporation, Chicago, IL
4:00 p.m. Adjourn

Headquarters Hotel Information

DRI has secured a discounted rate for seminar attendees at two Hyatt properties conveniently located in The Loop. To book your room at a discount rate, please access the links below.

CLE Information

Earn up to 6.75 hours of continuing legal education hours (CLE) from this seminar.

LHD ERISA Boot Camp CLE by State


DRI's New Life, Health, and Disability Lawyers Boot Camp is proudly sponsored by:

Thank you to our Official Supporter: TBD

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


Blessings in a Backpack Who Will Feed the Kids this Weekend?


To donate online:

  1. Click the "Donate" button or scan the QR code below.
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  4. Select from one of the gift amounts or set your own amount. The default value is $100.
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Substantive Law Committee QR Code Foundation Contributions


NEW in 2023 – Four 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 hours that have been approved by each jurisdiction and for which credits. For states not requiring these special credits, general education credits will be sought.

View On-Demand Library

Diversity/Elimination of Bias in the Profession

Invisible or Mixed-Visible Diversity – Combatting Bias

Often diversity programs and initiatives are focused on visible traits such as gender or race, but bias exists related to sexual orientation, gender identity, and some disabilities that are not readily visible to the eye. This panel will discuss how to address these biases and to create an environment where those with invisible or mixed-visible diversity can operate at the highest level.

Stacy Douglas, Everett Dorey LLP, Irvine, CA
Gary Howard, Bradley, Birmingham, AL
Ronna Kinsella, Glassman Wyatt Tuttle & Cox PC, Memphis, TN

Law Practice Management Credit

Succession Planning: Failing to Plan Is a Plan to Fail

Succession planning is considered one of the most pressing issues facing not only law firms but also clients. Senior partners are working into their golden years and can sometimes be reluctant to engage in a succession plan, but clients want to know that there is a plan for the transition of their work without interruption. Join us to learn:

  1. the importance of succession planning for the benefit both the law firm and its clients;
  2. how succession planning impacts retention and continuity of the firm and client relationships;
  3. how to approach the subject with senior attorneys; and
  4. strategies for implementing a successful succession plan.

Marie E. Chafe, Conn Kavanaugh, Boston, MA
Matthew Cairns, Textron Inc., Providence, RI
Elizabeth M. Brotten, Foley & Mansfield PLLP, Minneapolis, MN
Meade Hartfield, Bradley Arant, Birmingham, AL


Technology, Ethics & Remote Work: What You Need to Know Now

The Rules of Professional Conduct regarding competence and diligence require all lawyers to keep abreast of changes in technology. This webinar will provide you with tips and information on new issues related to technology and the practice of law, including the challenges of the remote work environment. You will learn the ethics and professionalism considerations when using technology in your practice and your ethical duties when it comes to “keeping abreast of changes” in technology.

Amber Garcia, Deutsch Kerrigan LLP, New Orleans, LA
Alyssa Johnson, Barron & Newberger PC, Milwaukee, WI
Clare Roubion, Louisiana Legal Ethics, LLC, Lafayette, LA

Mental Health & Attorney Wellness

Lessons for Lawyers from the Science of Well-Being

This presentation will focus on the practical steps that we can take as individuals to improve well-being, drawing on recent research from cognitive science and beginning with the preface that happiness can be learned and applied. Specifically, we will provide an evidence-based arsenal of practical tools that lawyers can apply in their own lives to improve their well-being.

Emma Ross, Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum, Chicago, IL
Shayna Cook, Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum, Chicago, IL

Other Information

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