2023 DRI Trucking Litigation Essentials Seminar

June 13–14, 2023 | Charlotte, North Carolina

Two trucks on the road during sunset

Learn to Lay the Groundwork for Defending Your Case!

In today's high-stakes trucking litigation, a complete set of comprehensive strategies is essential to laying the groundwork for the defense of your case. Attendees will be shown how to handle an emergency call and how to thoroughly investigate an accident at the earliest stage. Experienced attorneys, claims professionals, and industry experts will discuss evidence preservation, pre-suit discovery, and effective strategies for early resolution.

View registration information here, and make sure to register by May 15 for the best pricing!

What You Will Learn:

  • Having a plan and investigation strategies in place is critical when the client calls.
  • The step-by-step “know how” to navigate your investigation into these stressful hours.
  • Various strategies and tactics to secure new types of data.
  • How managing work/life balance as a trucking lawyer is key for long-term success.
  • Modern strategies for early resolution of cases.

Expand Your Network By:

  • Engaging with Trucking Law committee members and attendees during a welcome evening cocktail hour.
  • Participating in dine-arounds while enjoying the best southern dining Charlotte has to offer.
  • Gathering with clients and peers over a networking luncheon at the hotel (included in registration) and other networking opportunities.

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Thank You to DRI's Trucking Law Committee Leadership

Patrick E. Foppe
Patrick E. Foppe
Program Chair
Chris Cotter
Chris Cotter
Program Vice Chair
Terrence L. Graves
Terrence L. Graves
Committee Chair
Bradford G. Hughes
Bradford G. Hughes
Committee Vice Chair
Christopher T. Sheean
Christopher T. Sheean
Law Institute

Join the Trucking Law Committee

Registration Information

Save $300 when you register on or before May 15!

Register Now

Member Pricing Non-Member Pricing
Early Bird Registration* $795 $1,095
Regular Registration* $1,095 $1,395
Group Registration (Non-Sponsored)** $695/person $695/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).

Networking Events

Women of Color Roundtable | Foundation for the Carolinas (Optional Programming)

Date: Tuesday, June 13 from 1:00–6:00 p.m.
Pricing: Free - check attending on registration
Location: Kearney Solarium at the Foundation for the Carolinas, 220 N. Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC 28202 (one mile from the seminar hotel)

Despite diversity and inclusion being a daily topic within the legal profession, the needle is barely moving, in particular, for women of color within the profession. The DRI Women of Color Roundtable will be a candid discussion on challenges facing women of color within the legal profession and will provide insight on how women of color attorneys can overcome those challenges.

Premier Networking Reception | Charlotte Beer Garden
Sponsored by Clark Hill PLC, Cox PLLC

Date: Wednesday, June 14 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: Charlotte Beer Garden, 1300 S Tryon St, Charlotte, NC 28203

Join the Trucking Litigation Essentials, Diversity for Success, Insurance Bad Faith, and Young Lawyers committees for a networking event at USA Today’s Best Beer Garden of 2022! You’re guaranteed to find something to your taste from the almost 400 draft options (one of the world’s largest selection of draft beers available in one restaurant), wine, spirits, seltzers, and light appetizers. Join us for a fun evening on the spacious and partly covered rooftop, mixing a cozy greenhouse feel with some cool city views.

Agenda with Speakers

*Schedule and Speakers subject to change

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Time (Eastern) Program Location
1:00 p.m. Women of Color Roundtable | Foundation for the Carolinas (Optional Programming)

In town before the program begins? Join the Diversity Committee for this optional, and complimentary session, at the Foundation of the Carolinas.

Click here for more details.
5:00 p.m. Registration
6:00 p.m. Networking/Cocktail Hour

7:00 p.m. Dine-Arounds

Join colleagues and friends at selected restaurants for dinner (on your own).

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Time (Eastern) Program Location
7:15 a.m. Registration and Coffee
8:00 a.m. Welcome and Introductions

Christopher T. Sheean, Swanson Martin & Bell LLP, Chicago, IL
Patrick E. Foppe, Lashly & Baer PC, St. Louis, MO

8:15 a.m. Knowing Your Adversary and Having a Great Game Plan

Trucking litigation is high stakes and requires unique technical knowledge and skills. This is no time to improvise on the spot or go at it alone. Knowing the law and facts of your case is essential at the very early stages of any trucking accident case. Understanding the plaintiff’s “play book” is key to mounting an early and strong defense. Having a plan and investigation strategies in place is critical when the client calls.

Chris Cotter, Roetzel & Andress, Akron, OH
8:45 a.m. Winning the Golden First 48 Hours

Rapid responses for accidents are ever-evolving with fast changing technology. Having the experience and knowledge to effectively manage a rapid response is critical. We will give you the step-by-step “know how” to navigate your investigation into these stressful hours.

Nick A. Rauch, Larson King LLP, Saint Paul, MN
Tara N. Karch Cross, Addelman Cross & Baldwin, PC, Buffalo, NY
Darrell Flesner, Vanliner Insurance Company, Richfield, OH
Tyler Black, J.S Held, Charlotte, NC
9:45 a.m. Don’t Forget the Electronic Plaintiff

It is essential to be proactive to preserve evidence of the plaintiff’s electronic data to advance your case. You will learn new types of electronic data that is now available through means such as cell phones, wearable fitness devices, vehicle infotainment units, and social media. We will provide various strategies and tactics to secure these types of data and practical tips on what to ask for, and how to get it under the applicable legal framework. You will also learn how to raise spoliation issues when a plaintiff fails to preserve data.

Whitney Lay Greene, Chartwell Law, Atlanta, GA
Lars Daniel, Envista Forensics, Morrisville, NC

10:45 a.m. Coffee Break

11:00 a.m. Life of a Trucking Lawyer

Being a trucking lawyer is hard with high job demands and ever-mounting pressure. Managing the work/life balance can be challenging but is key for long-term success. Further, ethical considerations loom from the beginning of every trucking case, whether from investigating the plaintiff to navigating the tripartite relationship when confronted with excess policy limit demands or potential claims for punitive damages. We will provide both practical and technical tips to succeed.

Mike Bassett, The Bassett Firm, Dallas, TX
MaryJane Dobbs, Bressler Amery & Ross PC, Florham Park, NJ

12:00 p.m. Networking 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.

1:00 p.m. FMCSRs You Got to Know (Acute v. Critical)

It is vital to assess your driver and your company’s compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) in defending against the plaintiff’s theories of liability you will be facing. Plaintiffs’ arguments often involve issues such as driver hiring, drug and alcohol testing, preventability, driving in adverse weather, hours-of-service, and vehicle maintenance. You will learn how to reign in the plaintiff’s overreaching theories and to engage defense strategies to give proper focus on the truck accident in question.

John M. Nunnally, Ragsdale Liggett PLLC, Raleigh, NC
Shane O’Dell, Naman Howell Smith & Lee, Fort Worth, TX

2:00 p.m. Super Pitfalls: How CDL, Training Manuals & Driver Handbooks Change the Accident

Plaintiffs’ attorneys use the CDL Manual and the company’s training manual and driver handbook to attempt to define the standard of care for the driver and the motor carrier. We will explore whether the CDL Manual and the motor carrier’s company policies set the standard of care and how to handle these documents in your initial evaluation and to help prevent these documents from coming back to bite you during litigation.

Gene Zipperle, Ward Hocker & Thornton, Louisville, KY
M. Garner Berry, Chartwell Law, Ridgeland, MS

2:55 p.m. Break
3:10 p.m. The Art and Delicate Dance: Balancing What to Give and Get in Pre-Suit Discovery

The voluntary disclosure of evidence pre-suit poses risks and benefits. On one hand, it can help lead to an early resolution of a claim, but it can help your opponent to develop direct negligence and punitive damages claims against your motor carrier client and foreclose the opportunity to file a motion to dismiss before formal discovery begins. You will learn practical tips and technical knowledge to navigate this delicate dance.

Melody Kiella, McAngus Goudelock & Courie, Atlanta, GA
Karla Eaves, Cardinal Logistics Management Corporation, Concord, NC

4:00 p.m. Buying Your Peace: Pay Them Now or Later?

After you’ve gathered the evidence and done your initial evaluation, you and the client will need to consider whether to move forward with resolving the claims that result from the accident or to mount an aggressive defense. In most cases, the parties have opportunities to settle these cases before litigation is filed. This presentation will explore the finer details of early negotiations with claimants, the use of alternative dispute resolution, and other techniques that will allow motor carriers and insurers to reach fair and final resolutions

Bryson Datt, Burns White LLC, Pittsburgh, PA
Jean Givner, FedEx Ground, Charlotte, NC
5:00 p.m. Program adjourn

6:00 p.m. Premier Networking Reception | Charlotte Beer Garden
Sponsored by Clark Hill PLC, Cox PLLC

Click here for details.

Headquarters Hotel Information

A limited number of discounted hotel rooms have been made available at the Sheraton Charlotte Hotel/Le Méridien Hotel Complex, 555 South McDowell Street, Charlotte, NC 28204. Take advantage of the group rate of $179.00 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 May 16, 2023, to be eligible for the hotel’s group rate. Requests for reservations made after May 16 are subject to room and rate availability.

CLE Information

Earn up to 7.50 hours of continuing legal education hours (CLE), including one (1) hour of ethics from this seminar.

Trucking Litigation CLE by State


DRI's Trucking Litigation Essentials Seminar is proudly sponsored by:

Clark Hill
Cox P.L.L.C.
Envista Forensics
Exponent logo JS | Held MGC Insurance Defense

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

HandsOn New Orleans (Joint Effort with Intellectual Property Litigation Seminar)

Boys & Girls Club

HandsOn New Orleans creates and manages projects relating to school revitalization, youth recreation, neighborhood beautification, urban gardening and environmental restoration, blight reduction, and disaster management as well as connect volunteers with volunteer opportunities.  Come help build kits and network with attendees. Donations are needed in advance to purchase items for the kits.

Donate Online (Need Link)


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.