2024 DRI Life, Health, Disability, and ERISA Seminar

March 20–22, 2024 | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia skyline

Hone Your Knowledge on the Latest Legal Trends Your Clients are Facing!

DRI Members can register now and get best pricing thanks to exclusive, limited-time Early Access Registration! Everyone else can take advantage of Early Bird Registration starting December 22 through February 5. View registration information here.

Whether you think of it as the City of Brotherly Love or the Cradle of Liberty, there can be no question that Philadelphia is the perfect venue for the nation’s premier Life, Health, Disability & ERISA (LHD&E) conference. Take a selfie with Rocky and then enjoy unparalleled CLEs from some of the country’s top LHD&E practitioners before heading out to network with colleagues, old acquaintances, and new friends. There will be plenty of time to soak up the local history, check out art museums, and maybe even enjoy a famous cheesesteak in between honing your knowledge on the latest legal trends your clients are facing. This is the seminar you will not want to miss!

What You Will Learn:

  • An in-depth tutorial on prepping for and defending your client’s witnesses at deposition.
  • How to avoid ethical pitfalls with rapidly-evolving AI and other technological advances.
  • Why you should consider diversity, equity, and inclusion when building a winning litigation team and strategy.
  • The latest in health litigation, including recent mental health parity developments and class action trends.
  • What an in-house attorney expects outside counsel to know when litigating and arbitrating life insurance sales claims.
  • Which ERISA circuit splits we’d like the Supreme Court to decide.

Expand Your Network By:

  • Attending a variety of networking events. Your options for making lasting connections with your colleagues have never been better!
  • Getting involved and joining us at the Life, Health and Disability Committee Business Meeting for committee openings and opportunities.
  • Connecting over a diversity luncheon and an on-site DRI Cares community service project.

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

  • TBD

*Subject to change

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

Kristina N. Holmstrom
Kristina N. Holmstrom
Program Chair
Jason James
Jason James
Program Vice Chair
Julie F. Wall
Julie F. Wall
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
Ford Stephens
Ford Stephens
Law Institute

Join the Life, Health, Disability Committee

Registration Information

DRI Members enjoy exclusive early access to seminar registration. Don’t miss this limited-time opportunity to secure your spot before other registrants, and at the lowest price. Everyone else can register for Early Bird starting December 22 through February 5.

DRI Members - Register Today!

Non-Member Registration Options:

  • Become a member today for early access. See what people are saying about DRI and find the right membership for your needs.
  • Fill out the form to get updates on the seminar so you don't miss out.
Join DRI Today Get Updates on the Seminar
Member Pricing Non-Member Pricing Non-Member Bundle ^
Member Only Early Access
(Now thru Dec. 21)
$1,195 Not Offered Not Offered
Early Bird Registration*
(Dec. 22–Feb. 5)
$1,395 $1,795 $1,715
Regular Registration*
(Feb 6.–Mar. 19)
$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 new to DRI? Take advantage of the Non-Member / Trial Membership Bundle and receive up to 9 months of membership when you register for the DRI Life, Health, Disability, and ERISA Seminar. You’ll be able to add this special offer to your cart at 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 Event at the XXXXX
Sponsored by: ABC

Date: Wednesday, Month Day from 7:00–10:00 p.m.
Pricing: Free when you register for the seminar (guest tickets $100 each, available at check-out)
Location: XXXXX, Address, City, State


Agenda with Speakers

*Schedule and Speakers subject to change

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Time (Eastern) Program
1:00 p.m. Registration
2:00 p.m. Breakout Sessions

For details, click on the blue tab "Breakout Sessions (Wednesday)."
5:00 p.m. In-House/Corporate Counsel Breakout 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).

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Time (Eastern) Program
8:30 a.m. Registration & Coffee Service

Get to know the early risers in our group over a cup of coffee.
9:00 a.m. Welcome and Introductions

Ford Stephens, Christian & Barton, Richmond, VA
Kristina N. Holmstrom, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., Phoenix, AZ
9:15 a.m. What’s Happening in Health Law: Health Update

This program will cover the latest developments in lawmaking and litigation, including Wilderness Therapy and the Mental Health Parity Act, Recovery of Unpaid Surgical Costs as Unjust Enrichment, Non-Discrimination including ACA Section 1557, State Restrictions on Gender Affirming Care and the Impact of Dobbs, Religious Exemptions and recent regulatory developments regarding Civil Money Penalties under the Medicare Secondary Payer Rules.

Edna Kersting, Health Care Service Corporation, Chicago, IL
Bryan D. Bolton, Funk & Bolton, Baltimore, MD
10:15 a.m. Coffee Break
10:30 a.m. Machines Need Love, Too

An overview of current trends in technology / AI in the legal field and related ethical issues.

Jason A. James, Meserve Mumper & Hughes, LLP, Los Angeles, CA
11:30 a.m. A Practical Guide for Keeping up with Disability Trends: Disability Law Update

Defending disability claims has become more challenging and complex in recent years. This program will provide practical guidance on how to navigate the disability minefield in light of recent case law and regulatory developments.

Byrne J. Decker, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., Portland, ME
12:30 p.m. DRI Cares Project

More details to come.
12:30 p.m. DRI Networking Lunch

Join the Business & Intellectual Property Litigation Super Conference and the Toxic Torts Environmental Law seminar attendees for lunch and networking opportunities that are second to none.
2:00 p.m. Unlocking Diversity: A Dynamic Collaboration Between In-House and Outside Counsel to Elevate Your Legal Team

Join us for a captivating conversation with seasoned trial lawyers and an in-house attorney as they delve into the intricacies of modern law firms and their clients in a thought-provoking dialogue, which will unveil the art of integrating innovative methodologies with well-established practices in order to cultivate diverse, high-performing teams. Discover how this approach not only augments value for our clients but also fosters superior outcomes in the realm of litigation and other legal matters

Mohamed N. Bakry, Marshall Dennehey, Philadelphia, PA
Christina Gonzales, Golberg Segalla, Philadelphia, PA
Regina Won, New York Life Insurance Company, New York, NY
3:00 p.m. Committee Business Meeting (open to all)
3:30 p.m. Small Group Networking Opportunities

More details to come.
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, March 22, 2024

Time (Eastern) Program
8:30 a.m. Registration and Coffee Service

Get to know the early risers in our group over a cup of coffee.
9:00 a.m. Welcome and Announcements

Jason A. James, Meserve Mumper & Hughes, LLP, Los Angeles, CA
9:10 a.m. Schmidtke on ERISA

An annual favorite: The country’s top ERISA litigator breaks down all the latest developments.

Mark Schmidtke, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., Valparaiso, IN
10:10 a.m. Coffee Break
10:25 a.m. Prepping for & Defending Company Depositions

Proactive defense strategies are key to successful corporate witness depositions. Our panel of outside and in-house counsel will offer tips and personal insight on navigating the process, including how to: minimize risks in responding to the notice, select witnesses, prepare for the deposition, handle privilege issues, and defend the deposition, whether in person or remote.

Jamie Moore, Bradley, Birmingham, AL
Leasa Stewart, Gable Gotwals, Oklahoma City, OK
11:25 a.m. Catching Up on Life: Life Insurance Update

Donna Tillis, Nelson Mullins, Columbia, SC
12:25 p.m. Adjourn

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


Time (Eastern) Program
2:00 p.m. You’re Killing Me, Smalls: Circuit Splits We’d Like to See Resolved

Primary goals of Congress when enacting ERISA included uniformity and predictability. But on a number of important subjects, there is disagreement among the Federal Courts of Appeals. This session will address those differences and the potential for the Supreme Court to address them.

Josh Bachrach, Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP, Philadelphia, PA
2:50 p.m. Call Of Duty: Recent Developments on the Scope of Co-Fiduciary Liability

We will discuss recent trends involving courts (with Department of Labor support) allowing plaintiffs to proceed with § ERISA 502 (a)(3) claims against claims administrators/insurers pursuant to a co-fiduciary liability theory where the damages sought relate to alleged errors in processing made by an employer.

Kate Katchen, Robinson & Cole, Philadelphia, PA
3:50 p.m. Break
4:05 p.m. Show Me the Money: Affirmative Recovery Based on Claimant’s Recovery from Third Parties

In-house and outside counsel team up to discuss the rights under a Plan to recover where the claimant receives payments from a third party, including practical strategies for when the claimant receives payments as the result of a workers’ compensation claim or settlement, or money from a third party tortfeasor.

Sandra Davis, The Hartford, Hartford, CT
Gemma Saluta, Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP, Winston Salem, NC
5:00 p.m. Adjourn


Time (Eastern) Program
2:00 p.m. Honesty Is the Best Policy: Misrepresentations in Applications and Claims

Nicole True, Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie, Phoenix, AZ
2:50 p.m. The Ever-Evolving Workplace: Vocational Issues in a Post-Pandemic World

Frederick Clarke, Rumberger Kirk, Birmingham, AL
3:50 p.m. Break
4:05 p.m. The Punctilio of An Honor the Most Sensitive: What Your Clients Need You To Know About Life Insurance Sales

There are a slew of new regulations governing the sale of insurance, annuity, and securities products that insurers and their field forces distribute. An in-house attorney will offer invaluable guidance on how to be the lawyer your insurance clients call when they face a sales malpractice/vicarious liability case. This presentation will familiarize you with the applicable rules and regulations and teach you strategies to set the case up for successful defense and resolution from the outset of the case.

Robert Rosh, New York Life Insurance Co, New York, NY
William F. Ray, Watkins & Eager, Jackson, MS
5:00 p.m. Adjourn


Time (Eastern) Program
2:00 p.m. Hot Topics and Trends In Health Class Actions

This breakout session will provide an overview of class action procedures and strategies. It will also address trends and updates in class action litigation, including health insurers’ use of algorithms in the claim review process, and class treatment of ERISA-governed healthcare claims.

Adelle Greenfield, Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani LLP, Seattle, WA
2:50 p.m. Where Do We Go from Here? Employee Benefit Plans in a Post-Dobbs World

It’s been more than a year since the landmark US Supreme Court Dobbs opinion and employers continue to navigate both federal and state-level impacts on their employee benefit programs Join us as we discuss:

1. A review of abortion laws on the federal and state level;
2. How employers have responded to the new landscape in their benefit programs;
3. Key compliance considerations for employee benefit programs in light of the legal landscape; and
4. The role ERISA preemption plays.

Rory Akers, Lockton Companies, Kansas City, MO
3:50 p.m. Break
4:05 p.m. Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) 101: Introduction To Pharmacy Benefit Managers

Jim Burns, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans of IL, MT, NM, OK, & TX, Chicago, IL
5:00 p.m. Adjourn

Headquarters Hotel Information

A limited number of discounted hotel rooms have been made available at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, 1201 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107. Take advantage of the group rate of $259.00 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 17, 2024, to be eligible for the hotel's group rate. Requests for reservations made after February 17 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

CLE Late Fees


DRI's Life, Health, Disability, and ERISA 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, January 18th. Feeding a child before you feed yourself is a wonderful way to support children and families in the Phoenix 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.