2024 DRI Appellate Advocacy Seminar

November 6–8, 2024
Caesars Palace | Las Vegas, Nevada

A jury taking notes in the courtroom

Build Your Book of Business in Las Vegas This Fall!

DRI members can register now through August 8 and save up to $500 thanks to exclusive, limited-time Early Access Registration!
Everyone can take advantage of Early Bird Registration starting August 9 through September 23. View registration information here.

Join us in fabulous Las Vegas for a program that will benefit all attorneys involved in appeals. Sessions will include discussions on building an appellate practice, practical advice for presenting a persuasive appellate brief, and insights into judicial decision-making. Experienced appellate advocates from across the country, along with federal and state court judges, serve as speakers. Additionally, the committee collaborates with the Asbestos Medicine Committee for joint sessions on product liability and failure to warn, as well as the diversity initiative. Receptions and networking opportunities with other appellate attorneys and conference attendees are also part of the event.

What You Will Learn:

  • Hone your appellate skills and grow your network.
  • How to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) into your appellate practice.
  • Attend joint programming with the Asbestos Medicine Seminar.

Expand Your Network By:

  • Attending receptions with attendees of Appellate Advocacy and Asbestos Medicine Conferences.
  • Discussing cutting-edge appellate issues with appellate attorneys and judges from across the country.
  • Dining with fellow members of the Appellate Advocacy Committee.

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

  • Great American Insurance – Risk Solutions
  • Trilogy Health Services

*Subject to change

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Thank You to DRI's Appellate Advocacy Committee Leadership

Hillary Taylor
Hillary A. Taylor
Program Chair
Jason W.  Anderson
Jason W. Anderson
Program Vice Chair
Sarah E. Spencer
Sarah E. Spencer
Committee Chair
Matthew T. Nelson
Matthew T. Nelson
Committee Vice Chair
E. Ford Stephens
E. Ford Stephens
Law Institute

Join the Appellate Advocacy Committee

Registration Information

DRI members can register now through August 8 and save up to $500 thanks to exclusive, limited-time Early Access Registration! Don't miss this limited-time opportunity to secure your spot before other registrants, and at the lowest price.

DRI Members Register Now!

Non-Member Registration Options:

  • Become a member today for early access by clicking "Join DRI Today." See what people are saying about DRI and find the right membership for your needs.
  • Click "Get Notified" to get updates on the seminar so you don't miss out.
  • Early Bird Registration opens for everyone starting August 9.
Join DRI Today Get Notified
Member Pricing Non-Member Pricing Non-Member Bundle ^
Member Only Early Access
(Now thru Aug. 8)
$1,195 Not Offered Not Offered
Early Bird Registration*
(Aug. 9–Sept. 23)
$1,395 $1,795 $1,715
Regular Registration*
(Sept. 24–Nov. 5)
$1,595 $1,995 $1,915
Onsite Registration $1,695 $2,095 $2,015
Group Registration (Non-Sponsored)** $1,095 per person $1,095 per person $1,095 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.

Not a DRI Member? Select the Non-Member Bundle and Save!

^ Not a DRI Member and want to save on your registration? Take advantage of the Non-Member / Trial Membership Bundle when you register for the DRI Appellate Advocacy Seminar. Select the bundle and get up to 9 months of membership with the membership add-on when you check out. Note: Trial membership processing can take up to 30 days from the date of purchase, please contact DRI Customer Service with any questions.

Learn more about membership at DRI and get started on your DRI journey today!

*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).

Networking Events

Premier Networking Reception
Sponsored by: ABC

Date: TBD from 6:00–8:00 p.m.
Pricing: Free when you register for the seminar
Location: TBD


Agenda with Speakers

*Schedule and Speakers subject to change

Wednesday, November 6, 2024

Time (Pacific) Program
12:00 p.m. Registration Opens
2:00 p.m. Diversity Initiative – The Hispanic and Latino American Lawyer (Joint Session with Asbestos Medicine)

In part three of our multi-year diversity initiative, the panel will take a deep dive into what it means to be a Hispanic American or Latino American lawyer at a defense law firm. Our panelists will share their backgrounds and take us through the challenges and triumphs that made them the strong, resilient, and successful attorneys that you see today. The goal of this discussion is to continue creating a thought-provoking discussion that promotes a positive outlook and respectful interactions between all attorneys.

Jonathan Terrell, KCIC, Washington, D.C.
Mahsa Kashani Tippins, DCo LLC, Nashville, TN

Eduardo J. Medina, Foley & Mansfield PLLP, Miami, FL
Lucia V. Pazos, MG+M Law, Miami, FL
Edward Ulloa, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, Los Angeles, CA
Kirsten M. Castañeda, Alexander Dubose & Jefferson, Dallas, TX
3:00 p.m. Recent Trends, Verdicts and Lessons Learned (Joint Session with Asbestos Medicine)

The panel will analyze litigation trends, recent verdicts taken in asbestos and talc litigation, share the lessons learned, and provide ideas on successful paths forward.

Michelle Potter, KCIC, Washington, D.C.
Carrie S. Lin, MG+M Law, San Francisco, CA
Michael A. Brown, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, Baltimore, MD
Chris Massenburg, MG+M Law, New Orleans, LA
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).

Thursday, November 7, 2024

Time (Pacific) Program
8:30 a.m. Registration & Coffee Service
9:00 a.m. Welcome and Introductions

Ford Stephens, Christian & Barton LLP, Richmond, VA
Hillary A. Taylor, Keating Jones Hughes, PC, Portland, OR
9:15 a.m. Building an Appellate Practice

You know how to research legal issues, prepare an appendix, and write a brief. But how do you turn your skills into a full appellate practice? Our panelists will share their career paths and discuss opportunities for appellate and related work. Learn how appellate counsel can best serve clients, both on appeal and at earlier stages of litigation, from lawyers in private practice and from in-house counsel.

Derek M. Gillis, Barton Gilman LLP, Boston, MA

Michael B. King, Carney Badley Spellman, Seattle, WA
Mary Massaron, Plunkett Cooney, PC, Bloomfield Hills, MI
Kirsten Castañeda, Alexander Dubose & Jefferson LLP, Dallas, TX
Caroline Speranza, Travelers Insurance, Chicago, IL
Betty Thorne Tierney, Macy’s, Inc., Creve Coeur, MO
10:15 a.m. Coffee Break
10:30 a.m. Everything a Lawyer Needs to Know About Appeal Bonds

Dan Huckabay, Court Surety Bond Agency, Orange, CA
11:00 a.m. SCOTUS Update

Judge Stras will provide an update on recent United States Supreme Court cases of interest to DRI members. Discussion will include implications of recent cases geared toward members of the civil defense bar.

Judge David R. Stras, US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, Saint Paul, MN
12:30 p.m. DRI Cares Project | Blessings in a Backpack

Click here for details on Blessings in a Backpack.
12:45 p.m. DRI Networking Lunch

Join all seminar attendees for lunch and networking opportunities that are second to none.
2:00 p.m. Managing High-Profile Appellate Litigation

What makes a high-profile appeal different from any other appeal? Is there anything different about advocating for a client in a high-profile matter? Do you have a coordinated media strategy for dealing with high-profile cases? Should you? We’ve assembled a panel of practitioners who have handled high-profile appeals in state and federal courts throughout the country, including state supreme courts, federal appeals courts, and the United States Supreme Court. Our panelists bring a variety of perspectives, including as private counsel, public counsel, and media consultant. They will talk about the challenges and joys of handling high-profile litigation, unique aspects of high-profile appellate matters, the differences between handling high-profile appeals in public and private practice, what to do and not do in terms of communications with the public and other stakeholders, and tips for how we all might better navigate appellate matters that garner a wider audience.

Michelle A. Liguori, Ellis & Winters LLP, Raleigh, NC

Kannon K. Shanmugam, Paul Weiss, Washington, D.C.
Benjamin Gutman, Solicitor General of Oregon, Portland, OR
Monica Smith, Integer PR, Columbia, SC
3:00 p.m. Appellate Advocacy Committee Business Meeting (open to all)
3:30 p.m. The Future of Persuasion: How AI Is Changing the Landscape of Appellate Advocacy

"The Future of Persuasion: How AI Is Changing the Landscape of Appellate Advocacy" is a timely exploration of the integration of AI into legal practices. This program covers AI-driven strategies for appellate arguments, the use of AI in crafting legal narratives and enhancing oral and written submissions, and predictive models that forecast legal trends. We invite you to join us for an engaging roundtable on AI's evolving role in appellate advocacy.

Daniel F. Polsenberg, Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP, Las Vegas, NV

Richik Sarkar, Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, Cleveland, OH
Joseph Regalia, University of Las Vegas (William S. Boyd School of Law), Las Vegas, NV
John C. Gray, CIPP/US, Lewis Roca, Phoenix, AZ
4:30 p.m. Everything I Learned about Life and Ethics I Learned from Baseball

Baseball is life being played out on a field. There will be ups and downs, successes, and disappointments, the expected and unexpected. You just watch, look, and listen to the stories, the people, and the games. That's why everything you need to know about life and ethics, you can learn from baseball.

The Honorable (Ret.) Margret G. Robb (Chief Judge), Court of Appeals of Indiana, Indianapolis, IN
5:30 p.m. Adjourn
6:00 p.m. Premier Networking Reception

Join fellow seminar attendees at our Premier Networking Reception. More details to come.
8:00 p.m. Dine-Arounds

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

Friday, November 8, 2024

Time (Pacific) Program
8:30 a.m. Registration & Coffee Service
9:00 a.m. Welcome and Announcements

Jason W. Anderson, Carney Badley Spellman PS, Seattle, WA
9:10 a.m. Appellate Trends: Spotlight on Failure to Warn Cases (Joint Session with Asbestos Medicine)

In this joint session with the DRI Asbestos Medicine Seminar, the panelists will explore developing issues and trends in product liability for failure-to-warn claims, offering insights from the trial and appellate bars, as well as industry.

Robert Wise, Nelson Mullins, Richmond, VA
Rory D. Cosgrove, Carney Badley Spellman PS, Seattle, WA

Rachel Tallon Reynolds, Wilson Elser, Seattle, WA
Beverly M. Bond, Gordon Rees, Dallas, TX
10:10 a.m. Coffee Break
10:25 a.m. The Beautiful Brief — Persuasion through Appearance

Persuasion is the key. Learn essential tips for formatting visually persuasive briefs relevant to any court.
11:25 a.m. What Motivates Judicial Decision-Making: Does the Quality of Advocacy Matter?

This session will explore whether and how our appellate briefs and oral arguments influence judicial decision-making. The leading scholar on this topic and a former state supreme court chief justice will engage in an interesting conversation about how the quality of advocacy shapes case outcomes and the content of judicial opinions.

The Honorable Lorie Skjerven Gildea (Former Chief Justice), Greenberg Traurig, Minneapolis, MN
Dr. Adam Feldman, J.D., Ph.D., Optimized Legal Solutions, Los Angeles, CA
12:25 p.m. Adjourn

Headquarters Hotel Information

The seminar will take place at Caesars Palace, 3570 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV 89109.
To contact the hotel directly, call 866.227.5938.

A limited number of discounted hotel rooms have been made available at the Caesars Palace. Take advantage of the group rate of $249.00 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 October 14, 2024, to be eligible for the hotel's group rate. Requests for reservations made after October 14 are subject to room and rate availability.

CLE Information

Earn up to TBD hours of continuing legal education hours (CLE) From this seminar.

View CLE Credit by State

In some states that charge late CLE submission fees, there will be a $100 late fee to report CLE credits submitted more than 30 days after a seminar/virtual event. Click the button below for more details.

CLE Late Fees


DRI's Appellate Advocacy Seminar is proudly sponsored by:

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

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

Please join us in supporting Blessings in a Backpack, an organization that mobilizes communities, individuals, and resources to provide food on the weekends for school-aged children across America who might otherwise go hungry. Seminar attendees will have the opportunity to fill bags of food on the way to the joint networking lunch on Thursday, November 7. Feeding a child before you feed yourself is a wonderful way to support children and families in the Las Vegas community.

Donate to Blessings in a Backpack

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.