2023 DRI Product Liability Conference

February 1–3, 2023 | Austin, Texas

Machine in a manufacturer

DRI’s Product Liability Conference Returns to Texas in 2023!

Join us in Austin, Texas, for the 2023 DRI Product Liability Conference. Hear from world-class speakers on topics that impact defense practitioners in product liability cases while expanding your professional network. Learn the latest in product recall news, elevate your expertise on product liability issues arising from the expansion of artificial intelligence, and examine the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on jury selection strategies. A special Fireside Chat on Supply Chain (the New Normal) will also address how issues in the supply chain affect product liability cases.

View registration information here.

What You Will Learn:

  • Expansive programming designed to improve all aspects of your practice
  • Cutting-edge research presentations on how the pandemic changed jurors and jury selection strategies
  • A Fireside Chat with CPSC Commissioner Feldman on emerging issues in the CPSC
  • Sessions on how the increased use of artificial intelligence has and will impact product liability litigation
  • Targeted programming stemming from collaboration amongst the 18 Specialized Litigation Groups
  • A special session from DRI CEO, Dean Martinez (former General Counsel of the Association for Supply Chain Management), Craig Dupen, Senior Corporate Counsel of Kubota Tractor Corporation and Nate Walker, In House Counsel of Husqvarna Group on how supply chains will impact product liability and risk

Expand Your Network By:

  • Taking advantage of DRI’s Ambassador Program (available to first-time attendees)
  • Connecting with old and new colleagues during several on- and off-site networking events
  • Getting involved with the Product Liability Committee through one of the 18 Specialized Litigation Groups (SLGs) offering additional programs

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 Product Liability Committee Leadership

Chip Adams
Chip Adams
Program Chair
Heather Bub
Heather Bub
Program Vice Chair
Gretchen N. Miller
Gretchen N. Miller
Committee Chair
Fred E. (Trey) Bourn III
Trey Bourn
Committee Vice Chair
Roman Lifson
Roman Lifson
Law Institute

Join the Product Liability Committee

Registration Information

  Member Pricing Non-Member Pricing
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 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).

Premier Networking Reception | Bull & Bowl Austin
Sponsored by Campbell Conroy & O'Neil, Cassels Brock & Blackwell, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin, Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani

Date: Thursday, February 2 from 6:00–8:00 p.m.
Pricing: Free when you register for the seminar (guest tickets are $100 each, available at checkout. A limited number of guest tickets may be available on site for $125 each)
Location: Bull & Bowl, 501 W 6th St #200, Austin, TX 78701

Join the Product Liability Conference and Litigation Skills Seminar to reconnect with your DRI friends on Thursday evening for a networking event at Austin's Bull & Bowl sponsored by Campbell Conroy & O'Neil, Cassels Brock & Blackwell, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin, and Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani. Bull & Bowl is a short walk from the hotel and offers a unique experience in Austin featuring gaming experiences, including duckpin bowling (a variation of mini bowling), a mechanical bull, karaoke rooms, skee-ball, and more! Light appetizers and beverages will be served.

Agenda with Speakers

*Schedule and Speakers subject to change

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Time (Central) Program Room
11:00 a.m. Registration Waterloo Pre-Func (Level 5)
11:30 a.m. SLG Lunch-Arounds

Sign up and select your dine-arounds.

11:30 a.m. Women in the Law 10th Annual Networking Luncheon

Join us on Wednesday, February 1 at 11:30 a.m. at the Alta’s Café on Lady Bird Lake (74 Trinity Street) – an oasis in the heart of thriving downtown Austin. We will gather to network, enjoy being back together, and take in the view. Alta’s is just a 4 minute walk from the conference hotel, Austin Marriott Downtown. We're going to have a great time and can’t wait to see you in Austin!

We are working with the caterer to develop a wide variety of menu options. If you have any dietary restrictions or allergies, please let me know and the restaurant would be happy to accommodate.

RSVP through Sign-up Genius, or send a payment of $90/person via Venmo to @Kristy-Wedell. Let us know if you need other payment options.

1:00 p.m. Meetings of Specialized Litigation Groups (SLG) Session 1

For more details, click on the "SLG Session 1" tab.

  Food Law and Consumer Goods & Office Equipment (Joint Session)
Waller Salon A (Level 3)
  Scaffolds, Cranes & Aerial Devices and ACMIE (Joint Session)
Waller Salon E (Level 3)

Recreational Products and Power & Hand Tools (Joint Session)
405 (Level 4)
  Young Lawyers Breakout
603 (Level 6)
3:15 p.m. Product Liability Committee Meeting (open to all)
405 (Level 4)
3:45 p.m. Smaller Networking Events

For more details, click on "Smaller Networking Events (Wednesday)" tab.
6:00 p.m. Networking/Cocktail Hour Waterloo Pre-Func (Level 5)
8:00 p.m. SLG Dine-Arounds

Sign up and select your dine-arounds.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Time (Central) Program Room
8:00 a.m. Registration and Coffee Service Waterloo Pre-Func (Level 5)
8:30 a.m. Coffee & Conversations

The early bird gets the most out of this networking session. Get to know the early risers in the group over a cup of coffee. Rise, shine, caffeinate and connect!
Waterloo Pre-Func (Level 5)
9:00 a.m. Welcome and Introduction

Roman Lifson, Christian and Barton, LLP, Richmond, VA
Chip Adams, Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani, Houston, TX
Waterloo Blrm 3-6 (Level 5)
9:10 a.m. Fireside Chat with CPSC Commissioner Peter Feldman

Join a fireside chat with current CPSC Commissioner Peter Feldman while he talks about the past, present and future of the Commission, which is turning 50 this year, with former Commissioner Joe Mohorovic. Listen in as they discuss CPSC’s activities and what it may mean for consumer product manufacturers, distributors, and retailers.

Joseph P. Mohorovic, ESI, Chicago, IL

Commissioner Peter Feldman, CPSC, Washington, D.C.
Waterloo Blrm 3-6 (Level 5)
10:00 a.m. Creative Strategies when Presenting Corporate Witnesses

Join us for a panel discussion on strategies to take the offensive when offering corporate representatives for depositions. This program will focus on how attorneys can use corporate representative depositions as affirmative tools to push their cases forward.

Will Purnell, Bowman & Brooke, Phoenix, AZ

Peter Querubin, Tokio Marine, Plano, TX
Elizabeth Mykytiuk, Zoox, Washington D.C.
Brian Wolensky, Zoomo, Philadelphia, PA
Waterloo Blrm 3-6 (Level 5)
10:50 a.m. Coffee Break Waterloo Pre-Func (Level 5)
11:10 a.m. The New Normal and How "Supply Chains" Can and Will Impact Product Liability

Fireside chat between DRI CEO, Dean Martinez (former General Counsel of the Association for Supply Chain Management), Craig Dupen, Senior Corporate Counsel of Kubota Tractor Corporation and Nate Walker, In House Counsel of Husqvarna Group. They will discuss the potential risks and impact the “new normal” within supply chains will impact product liability and risk.

Dean Martinez, DRI Chief Executive Officer, Chicago, IL
Craig Dupen, Kubota Tractor, Grapevine, TX
Nate Walker, Husqvarna Group, Charlotte, NC
Waterloo Blrm 3-6 (Level 5)
12:05 p.m. Best Tips for Safety Recalls

This quick hit presentation will share the best tips from 20 years of experience in deploying safety recalls all over the world. Hear how you can improve the deployment process for the regulators, the customers and the company.

Marie-Claude Simard, Bombardier Recreational Products, Valcourt, Canada
Waterloo Blrm 3-6 (Level 5)
12:30 p.m. Networking Lunch (included in registration)

Join the Product Liability & Litigation Skills seminar attendees for lunch and networking opportunities that are second to none.
Moontower Hall
1:30 p.m. Corporate Counsel Breakout (for in-house counsel and claims professional only) Waller Salon E
2:00 p.m. Future is Now: Liability Exposure for Products that are Connected and Infused with Artificial Intelligence

This panel will cover traditional product liability claims for personal injury and property damage focus on theories that the physical product suffered from a defect or the incident was caused by a failure to warn. This panel will discuss how connected products utilizing artificial intelligence can be used to manage traditional product liability risk during the design, manufacture, sale, and use of the product. However, this new technology also creates new risks as products offer more and more post sale services, features, and enhanced functionality. Topics for discussion include the current state of the art and future capabilities, the regulatory environment, the emerging standard of care, insurability for these new types of claims, and strategies for defending claims that are based primarily on data and software, not the physical or mechanical features (or failings) of the product.

George Wray, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Toronto, Canada

Tina Georgieva, Waymo, New York, NY
Keith Steenlage, Deere & Company, Urbandale, IA
Zachary Bonefas, Deere & Company, Urbandale, IA
Merton Howard, Hanson Bridgett LLP, San Francisco, CA
Waterloo Blrm 3-6 (Level 5)
2:45 p.m. Quick Hit – Lessons Learned from Losing a Multi-Million Dollar Product Liability Case as Outside Counsel

Phillipa Ellis, Home Depot, Atlanta, GA
Waterloo Blrm 3-6 (Level 5)
3:15 p.m. Break
3:30 p.m. Navigating the Pitfalls of Virtual Hearings and Court Appearances

The pandemic forced judges and lawyers across the country to incorporate technology into their daily lives. As the civil justice system continues to recover, questions have arisen about the role remote proceedings should play going forward. Should we expect to return to "normal," or will virtual hearings and trials continue in some form? Assuming they continue, how can lawyers best prepare for them and avoid any pitfalls? This panel will cover these topics and more, primarily from the judicial perspective.

Todd Smith, Butler Snow, Austin, TX

Justice Brett Busby, Texas Supreme Court, Austin, TX
Federal Magistrate Judge Dustin Howell, Western District of Texas, Austin, TX
Judge Roy Ferguson, 349th Texas Judicial District Court, Alpine, TX
Waterloo Blrm 3-6 (Level 5)
4:20 p.m. Post-Pandemic Juries – How Things Have Changed

As court systems have reopen across the country, and the backlog of jury trials loosens, under-standing how juror views have changed during the pandemic will be critically important to trial lawyers and clients. The disruption caused by the pandemic has dramatically altered how jurors think about issues like government oversight, personal and corporate responsibility, risk, fairness and other concepts central to juror deliberations and rendering a verdict. This presentation will cover new research data on changed juror attitudes across the country in the time of the pandemic. Our panelists will discuss the practical impact of this research on jury selection strategies, with a particular emphasis on cases involving financial services, technology and life sciences companies.

Dr. Rachel York Colangelo, Magna Legal Services, Alexandria, VA
Kristine Campbell, U-Haul, Phoenix, AZ
Imoh Akpan, Goldberg Segalla, Baltimore, MD
Waterloo Blrm 3-6 (Level 5)
5:15 p.m. Adjourn

6:00 p.m. Premier Networking Reception | Bull & Bowl Austin
Sponsored by Campbell Conroy & O'Neil, Cassels Brock & Blackwell, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin, Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani

Click here for more details.

Friday, February 3, 2023

Time (Central) Program Room
7:30 a.m. Registration and Coffee Service Waterloo Pre-Func (Level 5)
8:00 a.m. Meetings of Specialized Litigation Groups (SLG) Session 2

For more details, click on the "SLG Session 2" tab.

Digital Evidence & Emerging Technologies and Trial Techniques (Joint Session)
Waterloo Blrm 3 (Level 5)

Fire Science & Litigation and Building Products (Joint Session)
Waterloo Blrm 4 (Level 5)

Children’s Products & Manufacturers’ Risk (Joint Session)
Waterloo Blrm 5-6 (Level 5)
10:00 a.m. Coffee Break Waterloo Pre-Func (Level 5)
10:30 a.m. Meetings of Specialized Litigation Groups (SLG) Session 3

For more details, click on the "SLG Session 3" tab.

Automotive and Biomechanics & Injury Causation (Joint Session)
Waterloo Blrm 5-6 (Level 5)

Aviation and Aerospace
Waterloo Blrm 3 (Level 5)

Mass Torts & Class Actions and Chemical & Toxic Tort (Joint Session)
Waterloo Blrm 4 (Level 5)
12:30 p.m. Adjourn  

SLG Session 1 (Wednesday 1:00–3:00 p.m.)

Food Law and Consumer Goods & Office Equipment (Joint Session)

Food Law
Chair | Shannon Nessier, Hanson Bridgett, San Francisco, CA
Vice Chair | S. Michael Gentine, Arnold & Porter, Washington, D.C.

Food Safety: It's Not Just a Gut Feeling
Join this session to gain a foundational understanding of disease-causing microorganisms and pathogens, including the top 5 pathogens that cause food illnesses. The speakers will discuss the main types of foodborne illnesses and the best methods of preventing them. In addition to the science behind these issues, the speakers will share the legal perspectives of food safety issues and risk transfer as they relate to food safety – a topic for every part of the food supply chain!

Dr. Allison Stock, J.S. Held, New Orleans, LA
Jonathan Toren, Cozen O'Connor, Seattle, WA

Consumer Goods & Office Equipment
Chair | Katie Fillmore, Duane Morris, Austin, TX
Vice Chair | Ike Messmore, Nelson Mullins, Minneapolis, MN

Crossing the Line: Managing Cross-Border Reporting and Product Recalls
With the global market reality, recalls aren’t just in your jurisdiction, or even your country! This panel will first speak to issues with reporting on product issues that cross borders, and how to factor that into how you advise your clients on reporting practices. Then, the speakers will focus on the approaches to, and logistics involved in, conducting a cross-border recall. Make sure you can advise your clients, from major retailers to mom-and-pop shops innocently shipping across the border, on how to best manage issues as they arise in real time.

Sarah-Jane Dobson, Kennedys Law, London, England
S. Michael Gentine, Arnold & Porter, Washington, D.C.

Scaffolds, Cranes & Aerial Devices and ACMIE (Joint Session)

Scaffolds, Cranes & Aerial Devices
Chair | Kathleen Ingram Carrington, Butler Snow, Nashville, TN
Vice Chair | Brandon Meyers, McCoy Leavitt Laskey LLC, Albuquerque, NM

Optional Safety Features and the Power of Comparative Fault
How do you defend a case alleging your product lacked an optional safety feature? This presentation will provide strategies on how to defend these cases. Hear from experts in the field on how to use scientific evaluation to determine whether the optional safety feature would have prevented the accident.

Tim Freeman, Tanenbaum Keale, Newark, NJ
Rachel Kelly, Exponent, Philadelphia, PA
Kirk Ney, Ney Forensic Science LLC, Waterloo, IA

Chair | Kristen E. Dennison, Littleton Park Joyce Ughetta & Park, Philadelphia, PA, ON
Vice Chair | Patrick Edwards, Stinson, Wichita, KS

MEWP Operator Training Certification Programs and Other Training Issues
What do you do when operators of aerial devices are “certified,” but the certification program did not meet the ANSI requirements? Learn which online programs meet ANSI requirements and which do not, and what to look for or ask when an operator claims to be certified. Hear from the Chairman of the A92.22 Safe Use of MEWPs Sub-committee regarding his thoughts and advice.

Paul Guthorn, Vollmer Gray, Signal Hill, CA
Tony Groat, Anthony W. Groat and International Powered Access Federation (IPAF), Schenectady, NY

Recreational Products and Power & Hand Tools (Joint Session)

Recreational Products
Chair | Jared Hawk, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, Pittsburgh, PA
Vice Chair | Christopher Jackson, Dinsmore, Lexington, KY

What Experts Want Their Lawyers to Know
A discussion of issues such as ways lawyers can assist their experts better, dealing with experts in new normal of COVID, remote inspections, drafting of reports, testimony preparation and much more.

Matthew Kulick, Hino Motors, Novi, MI
Douglas Morr, S-E-A Limited, Columbus, OH
Dr. Rose Figueroa, Rimkus, St Petersburg, FL
Farheen Khan, Rimkus, Dallas, TX

Power & Hand Tools
Chair | Suzanne Galvin, Thompson Coburn, St. Louis, MO
Vice Chair | Andrei Pascu, McMillan LLP, Montreal, Canada

Dealing with Foreign National Witnesses
A discussion of issues relevant when witnesses are foreign nationals, especially when serving as corporate representatives – preparing such witnesses to testify, explaining the U.S. legal system, and concerns about expert opinions vs. lay testimony.

Jessica Kuredjian, Cassels, Toronto, Canada
Thomas Panter, Kennedys, London, England

Young Lawyers Breakout

Chair | Pamela Kaplan, Tanenbaum Keale LLP, Newark, NJ
Vice Chair | Xan Ingram Flowers, Butler Snow, Birmingham, AL

Distinguishing Yourself as Junior Attorney: The In-House Counsel’s Perspective
Beyond Work-Product: Delivering quality work product and doing so on time are merely the table stakes to distinguishing yourself as a young attorney. What else can young attorneys do to set themselves apart? This discussion includes important “Dos and Don’ts” from an in-house perspective, and the right way to communicate with in-house counsel.

Matt Bown, Hermes, Netburn, O’Connor & Spearing, P.C., Boston, MA
Mariah Jacobsen, Northern Tool & Equipment Company, Northfield, MN

Treatment of Software as a Product
This presentation will discuss the evolution and split of authority in the treatment of software as a “product” for purposes of product liability litigation (discussion and interpretation of this has been taking place in the Courts for many years now with inconsistent results). It will also cover the implications of this in terms of liability (for example, if a product would be subject to strict liability and other traditional product claims/defenses). Additionally, it will discuss thoughts about where this space may go in the future (particularly as more and more products integrate software into the product itself, which blurs the traditional notions of “software”).

Hilary Johnson, Crowell & Moring, Washington D.C.

"TikTok Lawyering" In Today’s Legal Landscape: The Continuing Impact of Social Media on Litigation Strategy
This presentation will address the growing trend of "TikTok Lawyering" recently popularized during the Johnny Depp Trial. What are some of the potential ethical issues that this trend raises? Additionally, it will discuss some of the difficulties that litigators face in picking juries in cases where social media plays such a large factor.

Alexandria Layton, Evans Fears & Schuttert, Las Vegas, NV

SLG Session 2 (Friday 8:00–10:00 a.m.)

Digital Evidence & Emerging Technologies and Trial Techniques (Joint Session)

Digital Evidence & Emerging Technologies
Chair | Matthew D. Gurbach, Bricker & Eckler, Cleveland, OH
Vice Chair | James M. Dedman, IV, Gallivan, White & Boyd, Charlotte, NC
Marketing Chair | R. Andrew Walden, Womble Bond Dickinson, LLP, Charleston, SC

Can We Trust What We See? - Deep Fakes and the Manipulation of Digital Evidence Using Crafty Edits, Artificial Intelligence, Selective Omission, and Good Ole’ Fashion Fabrication
A picture may not be worth a thousand words. Specifically, if the picture is altered, manipulated, or faked. During this session, we will explore the tactical and practical considerations for practitioners and companies relating to alteration of digital evidence such as photographs and videos.

Matthew Gurbach, Bricker & Eckler LLP, Cleveland, OH

Casey S. Erick, Cowles Thompson, Dallas, TX
Collin Warren, Fisher Phillips, Houston, TX
Don Vilfer, Digital Evidence Ventures, Roseville, CA

Trial Techniques
Chair | Jeffrey C. Warren, Bowman & Brooke, Phoenix, AZ
Vice Chair | Tom Bazemore, Huie, Birmingham, AL

Preserving Issues for Appeal: Common Trial Lawyer Errors and Strategies for Preventing Them

Michael Eady, Thompson, Coe, Cousins & Irons, LLP, Austin, TX
Raffi Melkonian, Wright Close & Barger, Houston, TX

Fire Science & Litigation and Building Products (Joint Session)

Fire Science & Litigation
Chair | Andrew E. Stead, McMillan, Calgary, Canada
Vice Chair | Allison Waase, Kaufman Borgeest & Ryan, LLP, Westchester, NY

How to Best Challenge Fire Cause-and-Origin Opinions Under NFPA 921
NFPA 921 is the preeminent guide for fire investigations and is referenced in a majority of court decisions involving Daubert challenges to fire cause-and-origin opinions. Despite its acceptance among fire investigators and courts across the country, courts refuse to elevate it to the standard for reliability under the Rules of Evidence. This creates a predicament for litigators who challenge fire investigators’ cause-and-origin opinions because the case law is unclear about how closely an expert needs to follow NFPA 921’s methodology to support reliable opinions. This presentation will provide an in-depth discussion of these and related issues.

Haley A. Johnston, Frost Brown Todd, Indianapolis, IN
Nora Bloom, Navistar, Lisle, IL
Amy E. Gray, ESI, Miami, FL

Building Products
Chair | Rachel Cooper, McMillan, Toronto, Canada
Vice Chair | Lindsay Zanello, Dechert LLP, New York, New York

HVAC Liability
Exploring ventilation systems, airborne diseases, and associated liability/contracts/new building products, and reflecting on the pivots and forward-thinking changes that came from COVID-19-learned lessons.

Ian Botnick, Johnson Controls, Inc., Naperville, Illinois
Marty Upchurch, S-E-A, Fishers, Indiana

Children’s Products & Manufacturers’ Risk (Joint Session)

Children's Products
Chair | Rachel Remke, Arent Fox Schiff, Chicago, IL
Vice Chair | Mitchell W. Taraschi, Connell Foley, Roseland, NJ

California’s Gender-Neutral Toy Law
California passed a law that requires that large stores have a “gender-neutral” section to display a “reasonable selection” of gender-neutral. This presentation will provide an overview of the law and its requirements, a discussion of whether the law only applies to “childcare items,” and a conversation regarding whether this law suggests a larger trend toward these types of requirements on manufacturers of all products, not just childcare items.

Merton Howard, Hanson Bridgett, San Francisco, CA
Shannon Nessier, Hanson Bridgett, San Francisco, CA

Manufacturer's Risk
Chair | Jason R. Gagnon, Carmody Law, Waterbury, CT
Vice Chair | Denis F. Alia, Cetrulo, LLP, Boston MA

Direct to Consumer Marketing
The pandemic forced many manufacturers of products traditionally sold through authorized retailers to market directly to consumers … examples include higher-end bicycles, e-bikes, e-scooters etc. What are the pit-falls/benefits of this decision? Are there products that are too complicated/dangerous to fit this model? What are best practices for warnings/instructions for these types of products? This presentation will discuss these questions.

Cheryl Possenti, Goldberg Segalla, Clarence, NY
Steven Hall, M.S.E. CPSM, Applied Safety and Ergonomics, Ann Arbor, MI
David Campbell, Cycling Sports Group, Oakland, CA

CPSC Unilateral Releases
What are the trends in the industry with CPSC use of unilateral releases, best practices for dealing with a unilateral release and best practices for minimizing use as evidence in products liability cases? This presentation will explore these questions and more.

Hon. Ann Marie Buerkle, Williams and Jensen, PLLC, Washington, D.C.

SLG Session 3 (Friday 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.)

Automotive and Biomechanics & Injury Causation (Joint Session)

Chair | Elizabeth L. Moyo, Porter Wright, Columbus, OH
Vice Chair | Natalie J. Eschbach, Litchfield Cavo, Chicago, IL

Don’t Forget your Biomechanics Expert can Help the Jury Understand the Medical Aspects of your Case
Understanding the extent of how a biomechanical engineer may help you with the medical aspects of your case during discovery and at trial. During discovery, a biomechanical engineer can help you know what to ask for and interpret the medical records that you receive. At trial, a biomechanical engineer may be able to offer medical opinions.

Lisa Gwin, Biodynamic Research Corporation, San Antonio, TX
Cary Slobin, Nelson Mullins, Plano, TX

Biomechanics & Injury Causation
Chair | John W. Halpin, Laffey, Leitner & Goode, LLC, Milwaukee, WI
Vice Chair | Megan E. Cook, Teague Campbell, Asheville, NC

In-House Experts: How to Identify and Use Them
In-house and outside counsel will speak to how they have identified, developed, and used in-house experts. The presentation will include a lively discussion on why use an in-house expert instead of a third-party expert, how to train an in-house expert, whether you should provide a report from the in-house expert and whether the in-house expert can also serve as your 30(b)(6) witness.

William E. McDonald, III, Bush Seyferth, PLLC, Troy, MI

Konrad Pilatowicz, U-Haul International, Inc., Phoenix, AZ
Reed Cochran Darsey, Stellantis, Auburn Hills, MI
Matt King, IMMI, Westfield, IN
James R. Chinni, P.E., Engineering Answers, LLC, Noblesville, IN

Aviation and Aerospace

Chair | Brad Brown, Jackson Walker, Dallas, TX
Vice Chair | Conor A. McLaughlin, Thompson Hine, Cleveland, OH

Emerging Aviation Issues
Hear an exciting panel discussion about emerging aviation issues involving 3-D printing technologies, artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles. Learn about how these issues are developing in litigation matters and are affecting product liability risks, as well as the legal considerations for the use of the different technologies. The panel will discuss recent case law addressing these subjects and their potential impact on established product liability law.

Bridget McGraw, GE Aviation, Cincinnati, OH
Daniel Ridlon, Perkins Coie LLP, Seattle, WA

Mass Torts & Class Actions and Chemical & Toxic Tort (Joint Session)

Mass Torts & Class Actions
Chair | Mary Delli Quadri, Gascon, Montreal, Canada
Vice Chair | Maude Lafortune Belair, Lavery, Montreal, Canada

Opioid Litigation and Defenses – A Comparison
This presentation addresses the types of opioid actions proceeding in Canada including some of the tort claims that are being advanced, such as public nuisance claims, as well as lessons that can be learnt from the Tobacco litigation in Canada and lessons from the settlements arrived at to date. On each of these topics, this presentation will highlight differences or similarities with the opioid litigation in the US.

Myriam Brixi, Lavery, Montreal, Canada
Kelsey Sherriff, Miller Thomson, Vancouver, Canada

Chemical & Toxic Tort
Chair | Luis A. Leitzelar, Bienvenu, Bonnecaze, Foco & Viator, LLC, Baton Rouge, LA
Vice Chair | George R. Wray, BLG, Toronto, Canada

Comprehensive Practice Update
This dynamic panel will provide an informative look at the current state of e-discovery obligations and costs for litigants, as well as personal jurisdiction and its impact on chemical and toxic tort litigation. The panelists will also discuss their insights on issues surrounding equitable imposition of successor liability, and a review of developments in “popcorn” litigation.

April Byrd, Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, Philadelphia, PA
Luis A. Leitzelar, Bienvenu, Bonnecaze, Foco & Viator, LLC, Baton Rouge, LA

Smaller Networking Events (Wednesday)

Time: 3:45–4:45 p.m.
Pricing: Free, though tips for the fearless leader will not be turned away!
Location: Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail by Lady Bird Lake, Austin TX

Join DRI For Life for a relaxing stroll by Lady Bird Lake located just a short walk from the hotel. Get some fresh air, enjoy the hopefully warm (depending on how cold it is in February where you are normally located) weather, and chat with friends old and new while getting some low impact exercise before going back to the business of the seminar, cocktail receptions, dinner, and possibly the Austin nightlife. We will follow part of the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail at a leisurely pace designed to allow you to comfortably enjoy the day in the same clothes you wore to the seminar earlier in the day. There is no agenda except to meet some new friends and enjoy the great outdoors before spending much of the next two days in the hotel.
Please RSVP by using the SignUp Genius. On-site meet up location is at DRI Seminar Registration tables.

Time: 4:00 p.m.
Pricing: Not hosted
Location: Punch Bowl Social (Downtown) / 522 Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78701

Join us for a Happy Hour after the Committee Business meeting. In addition to a big bar area, Punch Bowl Social has ping pong, darts, karaoke and a fabulous vintage arcade all designed with “style for miles.” This will be a casual/informal gathering.
For more information, please contact Tony Novak.

Time: 4:00 p.m.
Pricing: $13 per person
Location: LBJ Presidential Library / 2313 Red River St, Austin, TX 78705

The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, also known as the LBJ Presidential Library, is the presidential library and museum of Lyndon Baines Johnson, the 36th president of the United States. No reservations necessary, but tickets can be pre-reserved online, with check in on arrival. Once through security, a gallery attendant will give you instructions and maps for a self-guided tour. They currently have an exhibit on Lady Bird Beyond the Wildflowers in addition to the permanent features.
For more information, please contact Andrew Stead.

Hotel Information

The DRI room block at the Austin Marriott is now sold out on select dates. Please use the link below to reserve a room outside of the DRI block at the Austin Marriott or an available nearby hotel.

Find a Nearby Hotel and Reserve Your Room

CLE Information

Earn up to 12.00 hours of continuing legal education hours from this seminar.

Product Liability CLE by State


DRI's Product Liability Conference is proudly sponsored by:

AEI Corporation Advanced Engineering Investigations
ATA Associates Forensic Engineering
Avalon Health Economics
BLG Borden Ladner Gervais
Bowman and Brooke
BRC Analyzing How Injuries are Caused
Campbell Trial Lawyers
Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford LLP
Dechert DeeGee Rehabilitation Technologies Ltd.
Dorris and Associates International
Eckert Seamans Attorneys at Law Envista Forensics ESi Exponent logo
Frost Brown Todd Attorneys LLC
Gordon & Rees Scully Mansukhani
GT Greenberg Traurig
Hartline Barger LLP
IMS Consulting & Expert Services JS | Held
Lavery logo
LMI Litigation Management Inc
Nelson Mullins Rimkus Consulting Group Inc S-E-A Know. Stinson
VSI Vector Scientific, Inc.

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

Caritas of Austin

Caritas of Austin

Join the Product Liability Committee (and the DRI Litigation Skills Committee) in our DRI Cares event. This year, members of our Committee with be assembling care kits to be delivered to Caritas of Austin, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending homelessness for people in the Greater Austin area. Thanks to the generosity of our members, our Committee will be purchasing items such as socks, hand sanitizer, bottled water, and toiletries, which we will be assembling on site for delivery. Please join us on Thursday, February 2 for this worthwhile event and meet some of our Committee members in the process!

We will need to raise funds for the DRI Cares Service Project by January 18, 2023 in order to purchase supplies for the care kits. Every dollar makes a difference! We will continue to raise funds for Caritas of Austin and donate any additional funds directly to the charity. We appreciate your support!

To donate online:

  1. Click the "Donate" button or scan the QR code below.
  2. If you have an account with DRI, log in. Use the same login that you registered for this seminar.
  3. If you do not have an account with DRI, create a guest account.
  4. Select from one of the gift amounts or set your own amount. The default value is $100.
  5. Select “Product Liability” from "My SLC/Region" dropdown box.
  6. Click “Submit Donation.”
  7. The page will refresh. Click “View Cart” to checkout.
  8. Enter your credit card information and click “Submit Order” once all required information is entered.


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. Access to these on-demand programs will expire 30 days after the seminar ends.

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.