2023 DRI Sexual Torts Seminar

March 13–14, 2023 | Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis landscape skyline view

Defending Sexual Abuse Claims: What You Need to Know Now

Defending businesses, churches, schools, and other institutions against liability for sexual abuse is a daunting challenge for defense lawyers.  Attendees will gain valuable education about investigation and discovery, statutes of limitation, evaluation of damages, and insurance coverage issues from experienced lawyers and professionals.  They will also gain practical insight into how children who are abused are interviewed, evaluated, and treated while learning about the science of repressed memory.  This seminar will equip attendees against opposing counsel’s tactics when handling these sensitive and emotional claims.

View registration information here, and make sure to register by February 6, 2023 for the best pricing!

What You Will Learn:

  • What to do in the first 48 hours of a claim.
  • How to effectively investigate claims in advance of litigation while protecting applicable privileges.
  • The science of memory and repressed memories from a renowned expert.
  • How to identify insurance coverage dilemmas encountered in abuse claims.
  • The best means of evaluating cases without traditional or easily quantifiable damages.

Expand Your Network By:

  • Attending receptions and dine-arounds with knowledgeable colleagues and clients.
  • Engaging with claims personnel from across the country.
  • Discussing cutting-edge issues in this evolving area of practice.

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Thank You to DRI's Sexual Torts Planning Committee Leadership

Thomas J. Hurney, Jr.
Thomas J. Hurney, Jr.
Program Chair
Ellen E. Herzog
Ellen E. Herzog
Program Vice Chair
Todd Presnell
E. Todd Presnell
Law Institute

Registration Information

Save $300 when you register on or before February 6, 2023!

Register Now

  Member Pricing Non-Member Pricing
Early Bird Registration* $795 $1,095
Regular Registration* $1,095 $1,395
Group Registration (Non-Sponsored)** $895/person $895/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).

Agenda with Speakers

*Schedule and Speakers subject to change

Monday, March 13, 2023

Time (Eastern) Program Room
1:00 p.m. Registration Opens  
2:00 p.m. Panel Counsel Meeting
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).

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Time (Eastern) Program Room
7:30 a.m. Registration and Coffee Service  
8:00 a.m. Welcome and Introduction

E. Todd Presnell, Bradley, Nashville, TN
Thomas J. Hurney, Jr., Jackson Kelly PLLC, Charleston, WV
8:15 a.m. Investigating Sexual Tort Claims

Claims of sexual abuse often involve parallel criminal and civil investigations. Clients need to promptly involve outside counsel in order to identify credible allegations, protect privileged information, and effectively communicate with victims, staff, and law enforcement in order to limit any civil exposure. This presentation will address best practices with a particular focus on investigations in the context of hospitals, psychiatric facilities, churches, and educational institutions.

Ellen E. Herzog, Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell LLP, Denver, CO

John P. Delaney, Jr., Office of Investigations, Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
Andrew C. Efaw, Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell LLP, Denver, CO
Janice P. Gregerson, Venable, Washington, D.C.
9:15 a.m. Discovery Toolbox for the Defense Practitioner

Do you know all the tools you should have in your discovery toolbox for your next sexual misconduct case? This fast-paced presentation will cover everything you need to know from critical written discovery to subpoenaing documents to preparing and defending witness depositions. Join us to make sure you’re prepared for your next case.

Brian H. Leinhauser, MacMain Leinhauser, West Chester, PA

Noell Sauer Huffmyer, Rodey Law, Albuquerque, NM
Kenneth P. Williams, Segal McCambridge, Detroit, MI
10:15 a.m. Break  
10:30 a.m. Memory: Science & Pseudoscience

Dr. Deryn Strange is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and an expert on the malleability of memory. Her research focuses on: (1) the causes and consequences of distorted memories for traumatic events; (2) the techniques that elicit false personal or collective memories and whether those false memories can be corrected; and (3) the legal implications of memory distortion. Dr. Strange’s presentation will provide participants with a better understanding of the science of memory and how to identify and address unscientific but widely held theories about memory that plaintiffs often advance in sexual tort litigation.

Dr. Deryn Strange, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY, New York, NY
11:30 a.m. Networking/Working Lunch  
12:15 p.m. Understanding The Evaluation and Treatment of Abused-Children

Ms. Runyon has over 25 years of experience interviewing children alleged to be victims of sexual abuse and frequently testifies as an expert in criminal, abuse and neglect, and custody matters. She will provide an overview of forensic interviewing and discuss how children disclose abuse and the emotional aspects of sexual abuse. She will also discuss how these factors can impact the perception of the child’s statement and the outcome of a case. She will share her experience testifying in court before juries and provide insight on how lawyers can appropriately address these challenging claims.

Thomas J. Hurney, Jr., Jackson Kelly PLLC, Charleston, WV
Maureen Runyon, Children’s Advocacy Center, Charleston, WV
1:05 p.m. Statute of Limitations: Too Soon or Too Late, How Do We Calculate?

Statutes of limitation issues can manifest themselves in multiple contexts in cases alleging sexual torts. The jurisdictional landscape varies dramatically and remains ever changing, from window and revival statutes for both childhood and adult claims, to statutes encompassing discovery rules based on opinions of healthcare professionals, to states with strong and defense-friendly statutes. Apart from statutory nuances, whether a claim is barred can also hinge on critical facts gathered during discovery or alleged by the parties. Join an experienced practitioner for a discussion of what statutes of limitation issues can arise, when to strategically raise them, how to use the statute to shape the defense strategy and claim evaluation, and more. You will also receive, as part of your course materials for this presentation, a 50-state compendium on current status of statutes of limitations in sexual tort cases.

Michael A. Airdo, Airdo Werwas, Chicago, IL
2:00 p.m. Strategies for Evaluation of Damages, Mediation & Settlement

Claims of sexual misconduct require a multifaceted approach in evaluation, settlement discussions and mediation. There are often competing interests and frequently multiple parties involved on both sides of the case that can make the evaluation and mediation a more complicated process. This panel will discuss the tactics and strategies that have proven successful to effectively evaluate a claim and successfully bring that claim to resolution.

Joanna M. Roberto, Gerber Ciano, New York, NY

Ronald Troyer, Brotherhood Mutual Ins. Co., Fort Wayne, IN
Wm. Clayton Crawford, Foland Wickens Roper Hofer & Crawford, Kansas City, MO
Irene J. Marusic, Hepler Broom, St. Louis, MO
3:00 p.m. Navigating Challenging Coverage Issues in a Sexual Tort Case

Sexual tort cases present an array of coverage issues that can be complex and confusing. They may have occurred long ago, and policies have been lost or misplaced; there may have been multiple occurrences over multiple policy periods; some policies may have sub-limits that apply in certain circumstances and policies differ widely on the exclusions for avoidance of sexual torts. Further, insurers are often faced with policy limit demands when there may be multiple competing claimants. This panel will identify and offer guidance as to how insurers can effectively address these and other typical issues.

John C. Trimble, Lewis Wagner, Indianapolis, IN

Lee S. Siegel, Hurwitz & Fine, Buffalo, NY
Gena L. Sluga, Christian, Dichter & Sluga, Phoenix, AZ
Minal Unruh, Rodey Law Firm, Albuquerque, NM
4:00 p.m. Adjourn  

Hotel Information

A limited number of discounted hotel rooms have been made available at the Omni Severin Indianapolis, 40 W. Jackson Place, Indianapolis, IN 46225. Take advantage of the group rate of $169.00 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 13, 2023, to be eligible for the hotel’s group rate. Requests for reservations made after February 13, 2023, 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 TBD hours of continuing legal education hours from this seminar. More information coming soon.

Sexual Torts CLE by State


DRI's Sexual Torts Seminar 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.

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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.