2023 DRI Life, Health, Disability, and ERISA Seminar

April 26–28, 2023 | New Orleans, Louisiana

Landscape of New Orleans

Join Us for an Unforgettable Event in the Big Easy!

The nation’s best conference for Life, Health, and Disability practitioners is making its long-awaited appearance in the Big Easy, with best-in-class CLE, enhanced networking opportunities, and new ways to connect with your colleagues in a setting unlike anywhere else. Explore New Orleans with networking events that offer something for everyone and earn CLE from top industry leaders and practitioners. Plus, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival kicks off on April 28; come for the seminar and stay for a weekend of world class music and celebration. This is the seminar you will not want to miss!

View registration information here, and make sure to register by March 27 for the best pricing!

What You Will Learn:

  • Skills you can use, including bad faith litigation techniques, avoiding interpleader pitfalls, and making mediation effective;
  • An in-depth discussion of Supreme Court ERISA jurisprudence;
  • Cutting-edge data privacy issues including how artificial intelligence (AI) is impacting claims;
  • Litigation challenges involving In-Network and Out-of-Network Providers;
  • The latest developments in ongoing California policy lapse litigation; and
  • A thoughtful discussion on Dobbs, EMTALA and ERISA.

Expand Your Network By:

  • A variety of small group networking events, such as walking tours, a book club, a hands-on service project, morning runs, morning strolls, and morning “we aren’t moving fast but we will grab a beignet” outings. Your options for making lasting connections with your colleagues have never been better!
  • A Diversity and Inclusion Luncheon open to all attendees with a dynamic judicial speaker.
  • For the first time at our seminar, a special Thursday night Premier Networking Reception at the Creole Queen.

Panel Counsel Meetings with Major Companies
Take advantage of the opportunity to engage with key industry companies* including:

  • NY Life
  • Primerica
  • The Hartford
  • Transamerica

*Subject to change

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

Elizabeth G. Doolin
Elizabeth G. Doolin
Program Chair
Kristina N. Holmstrom
Kristina N. Holmstrom
Program Vice Chair
Jeaneen J. Johnson
Jeaneen J. Johnson
Program Second Vice Chair
Michelle Thurber Czapski
Michelle Thurber Czapski
Committee Chair
Sarah J. Delaney
Sarah J. Delaney
Committee Vice Chair
Kyle N. Kirby
Kyle N. Kirby
Corporate Co-Vice Chair
Z. Logan Gould
Z. Logan Gould
Corporate Co-Vice Chair
Pamela W. Carter
Pamela W. Carter
Law Institute

Join the Life, Health and Disability Committee

Registration Information

Save $300 when you register on or before March 27!

Register Now

  Member Pricing Non-Member Pricing
Early Bird Registration* $1,095 $1,395
Regular Registration* $1,395 $1,695
Group Registration (Non-Sponsored)** $995/person $995/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 (4) 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).

Networking Events

Premier Networking Reception | Creole Queen
Sponsored by: Beveridge & Diamond PC, Carlton Fields, Husch Blackwell LLP, Irwin Fritchie Urquhart & Moore LLC, Robinson + Cole LLP

Date: Thursday, April 27 from 6:00–8:00 p.m.
Pricing: Free when you register for the seminar (Guest tickets $100 each, available at check-out. A limited number of guest tickets may be available on site for $125 each.)
Location: Creole Queen, 1 Poydras St., New Orleans, LA

Join the Intellectual Property, Commercial Litigation, Life, Health, and Disability, Toxic Torts and Environmental Law committees for a networking event as we savor a taste of New Orleans aboard the Paddlewheeler Creole Queen! Even though the Creole Queen would have been right at home among the steamboats of 1850's New Orleans, passengers of that era could never have conceived of a paddle-wheeler with her luxury, comfort, and safety.

Please note the boat will stay dockside for continuous boarding and will offer light appetizers and beverages. The entrance to the Creole Queen is at the Poydras Street dock at Spanish Plaza, located behind the Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel.

Agenda with Speakers

*Schedule and Speakers subject to change

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Time (Central) Program Location
12:00 p.m. Registration
2:00 p.m. Breakout Sessions

For more details, click on the "Breakout Sessions (Wednesday)" tab.

5:00 p.m. In-House/Corporate Counsel Breakout Meeting

Take advantage of an intimate networking opportunity with other in-house counsels from across the industry to discuss new products, use of outside counsel, and best practices in the Life, Health & Disability universe.

5:30 p.m. Jump Start Your Seminar Networking Experience

Whether you’re a new member, non-member, seasoned attendee, or in-house counsel, join committee leaders and fellow attendees to learn how to make the most of your networking opportunities and your membership in the LHD Committee.

6:00 p.m. Networking/Cocktail Hour

7:30 p.m. Dine-Arounds

Join colleagues and friends at selected restaurants for dinner (on your own). Electronic sign-up. Details for sign-up are circulated to registrants in advance of the seminar. Limited availability.

7:30 p.m. Women’s Networking Dinner

Meet and dine with prominent women professionals in the industry at this popular event, offered by the Life, Health, and Disability Committee. Electronic sign-up. Details for sign-up are circulated to registrants in advance of the seminar. Limited availability.

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Time (Central) Program Location
8:00 a.m. Registration and Coffee Service
8:00 a.m. DRI For Life Run, Walk or Eat

Are you an early riser? Want to enjoy some fresh air and networking, too? Gather in the hotel lobby for an energizing run/walk around town, or a visit to the world-famous Café Du Monde for beignets and café au lait and get a head start on building your Seminar networking contacts.

8:30 a.m. Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

Join your colleagues for coffee and conversation and get caffeinated for “Full Throttle Thursday” at our full day of Seminar events.

9:00 a.m. Welcome and Introductions

Pamela W. Carter, Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A., New Orleans, LA
Elizabeth G. Doolin, Chittenden Murday & Novotny LLC, Chicago, IL

9:15 a.m. Infallible(ish) Because We Are Final(ish): Supreme Court ERISA Jurisprudence

A deep dive into the reasoning and evolution of the Supreme Court’s ERISA jurisprudence.

Kristina N. Holmstrom, Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart P.C., Phoenix, AZ

10:15 a.m. Coffee Break
10:30 a.m. Health Law Update: ERISA, EMTALA and State Laws in the Wake of Dobbs

An in-depth examination of cutting-edge issues in health law, including a discussion of the elephant in the room.

James Lewis Griffith, Jr., Reger Rizzo & Darnall LLP, Philadelphia, PA

11:30 a.m. Don’t Get Trapped: Hidden Pitfalls in Interpleaders

Seasoned advice from an expert practitioner on how to avoid getting in trouble when getting out of a dispute.

Heather Austin, Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP, Philadelphia, PA

12:30 p.m. Diversity and Inclusion Lunch

All are welcome! Join your colleagues for lunch on-site, followed by a thoughtful and engaging discussion with a dynamic local speaker you will not want to miss.

2:00 p.m. Schmidtke on ERISA

Need we say more? The nation’s foremost expert on ERISA offers an update on the latest developments involving everyone’s favorite reticulated enforcement scheme.

Mark E. Schmidtke, Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart P.C., Valparaiso, IN

3:00 p.m. Committee Business Meeting

The room where it happens. Learn about the numerous opportunities to get involved in DRI’s best substantive law committee. Our committee leaders will outline upcoming events and initiatives, including the 2024 Seminar and how you can help plan it. Want to speak, write, or guide the LHD Committee into the future? Don’t wait for it or ask what you missed – come to our meeting, because our committee is non-stop!

3:30 p.m. Small Group Networking Opportunities

Sign up for various options and start building your connections and developing relationships! Details to come, but sure to include some of the following:
 1. DRI for Life Book Club
 2. DRI Cares (more detail to come)
 3. Local Small Group Outings (more details to come)

6:00 p.m. Premier Networking Reception | Creole Queen
Sponsored by: Beveridge & Diamond PC, Carlton Fields, Husch Blackwell LLP, Irwin Fritchie Urquhart & Moore LLC, Robinson + Cole LLP

Click here for details.

8:00 p.m. Dine-Arounds

Join colleagues and friends at selected restaurants for dinner (on your own). Electronic sign-up. Details for sign-up are circulated to registrants in advance of the seminar. Limited availability.

9:30 p.m. Young Lawyers’ Post-Celebration Cocktail Event

Everyone is welcome at this popular networking event, hosted by our Young Lawyers Subcommittee. Come out and meet the future of the Life, Health, and Disability Committee. Last year’s outing featured a giant Dolly Parton head made of pink mesh. Who knows what this year may bring? More details on-site.

Friday, April 28, 2023

Time (Central) Program Location
8:00 a.m. Registration and Coffee Service
8:00 a.m. DRI For Life Run, Walk or Eat

Pick your poison - Run, walk, or more beignets. Or run with beignets and see who has the most powdered sugar on their running clothes at the end (dark clothing discouraged).

9:00 a.m. Welcome and Announcements

Kristina N. Holmstrom, Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart P.C., Phoenix, AZ

9:10 a.m. Disability Insurance Update

Recent highlights and trends in the worlds of both Individual and ERISA disability litigation.

Leo Lagomasino, Lagomasino Law P.A., Miami, FL

10:10 a.m. Coffee Break
10:30 a.m. Life Insurance Update

An in-depth discussion of the most recent significant state and federal court decisions relating to life insurance and accidental death and dismemberment insurance.

Jeannine Jacobson, Maynard Cooper & Gale, LLP, Miami, FL

11:30 a.m. Managing Ethical Risks and Avoiding Malpractice in Close Attorney-Client Relationships

Lawyers in comfortable, longstanding attorney-client relationships may become complacent and fail to follow good risk management practices. This can lead to errors, ethical traps, misunderstandings, miscommunication, bad outcomes, and/or claims. Learn how to prevent this from happening to you.

Brett Preston, Hill Ward Henderson, Tampa, FL

12:30 p.m. Adjourn

Breakout Sessions (Wednesday 2:00–5:00 p.m.)


Time (Central) Program Location
2:00 p.m. Friends with Benefits: Offsets, Subrogation, and Other Income-Related Complications

Alexandra C. Markel, Bodman PLC, Detroit, MI

2:50 p.m. In It for the Long Haul: Covid, Long Covid, and Covid-Adjacent Claims Issues

Lisa E. Montelongo-Connor, Unum, Chattanooga, TN
Joni Sobocinski, New York Life, Philadelphia, PA
Caitlin P. Strauss, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP, Philadelphia, PA

3:50 p.m. Coffee Break
4:05 p.m. A Mediator's View on Dispute Resolution - Maximizing the Opportunity for Success

Scott Maker, Woodworth Maker LLC, Portland, ME

5:00 p.m. Adjourn

Life, Health, and Disability

Time (Central) Program Location
2:00 p.m. You be the Judge: Accidental Death Scenarios

Linnsey Amores, Hartford, Hartford, CT
Kaitlyn E. Luther, Chittenden, Murday & Novotny LLC, Chicago, IL
Latanae L. Parker, Maynard Cooper, Miami, FL

2:50 p.m. A Lapse in Judgment? Recent California Jurisprudence Shakes Things Up

Gerardo Puig, Transamerica, Baltimore, MD
Jarrett Ganer, McDowell Hetherington LLP, Houston, TX

3:50 p.m. Coffee Break
4:05 p.m. Mad Skills: Key Litigation Techniques for Defending Bad Faith Claims

Andrea Snowden, Ameritas, Lincoln, NE
William D. Hittler, Nilan Johnson Lewis, Minneapolis, MN
Leah Kippola-Friske, Nilan Johnson Lewis, Minneapolis, MN

5:00 p.m. Adjourn


Time (Central) Program Location
2:00 p.m. Non-Network Provider Pricing Disputes: Your Vendor or Mine?

Shari Gerson, Gray/Robinson PA, Fort Lauderdale, FL

2:50 p.m. In-Network Challenges: Provider Arbitration and Related Issues

Daniel K. Ryan, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, Chicago, IL

3:50 p.m. Coffee Break
4:05 p.m. Data Privacy and AI: A Perspective from In-House Counsel

Tim Smith, Unum, Portland, ME
Eric Langland, Unum, Portland, ME

5:00 p.m. Adjourn

Hotel Information

A limited number of discounted hotel rooms have been made available at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside, Two Poydras St, New Orleans, LA, 70130. Take advantage of the group rate of $284.00 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 28, 2023, to be eligible for the hotel’s group rate. Requests for reservations made after March 28 are subject to room and rate availability. A small portion of your room rate offsets the costs of the seminar.

CLE Information

Earn up to 9.75 hours of continuing legal education, including one (1) hour of ethics credit from this seminar.

Life, Health, Disability and ERISA CLE by State


DRI's Life, Health, Disability, and ERISA Seminar is proudly sponsored by:

Carlton Fields Celebrating 120 Years CM&N Chittenden Murday & Novotny LLC
Funk & Bolton
Gordon & Rees Scully Mansukhani NJL Nilan Johnson Lewis
Ogletree Deakins Robinson + Cole Rumberger | Kirk

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

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NEW in 2023 – 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 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.