2024 DRI Litigation Skills Seminar

February 28–March 1, 2024 | Miami, Florida

Shaking hands to an agreement

Countering Nuclear Verdict Tactics – 2024 Litigation Skills Mock Jury Master Class

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 1 through January 16. View registration information here.

Join us in Miami for a DRI seminar that is a first of its kind. DRI’s Litigation Skills Committee and DRI’s Center for Law & Public policy are joining forces to put on a program specially designed to discuss, combat, strategize and understand how verdicts skyrocket. We’ll open with a panel from the Center for Law & Public Policy’s Social Inflation Task Force to discuss how to combat critical plaintiff tactics and strategies. Then we will assess these concepts in the context of jury selection and watch as a real, impartial jury is seated for a mock case summation. The mock jury will hear argument from top defense attorneys on a disputed liability, high damages case. Attendees will watch as the jurors deliberate the verdict live and lead through a moderated discussion of their views on parties, facts, and overall claim value. Then, after the jury has deliberated, attendees will be allowed to engage with the jury in a group discussion to better understand the key arguments, facts, and positions that drove the jury to their verdict.

On Friday we will have a round table discussion on these issues along with a fabulous session from David Mann, jury consultant and nationally-known story teller, to help us develop effective narratives that are persuasive to juries. We will end our seminar a discussion on the ethical issues encountered in joint representations.

This seminar is truly unlike any other. Join us to experience a real mock jury setting, engage with colleagues on how we can combat nuclear verdicts, and learn from the nation’s leading jury psychologists and trial attorneys who will deliver a master class education on all things nuclear verdict.

What You Will Learn:

  • How jurors process hotly contested issues.
  • What defense counsel can do to reduce unnecessarily high settlements and verdicts.
  • How to better develop trial themes and strategies—with guidance from national jury consultants.
  • How counsel can better foresee trial issues and stand stronger in negotiations.

Expand Your Network By:

  • Hitting the town and “dine around” with fellow attendees at some of Miami’s hottest restaurants.
  • Mixing and mingling at two joint networking events with attendees from the DRI Medical Liability & Healthcare Law Committee Conference.
  • Attending the Young Lawyers Dinner and First Time Attendee session to connect with colleagues from across the country.
  • Getting involved and joining us at the Litigation Skills Committee Business Meeting for committee openings and opportunities.

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 Litigation Skills Committee Leadership

Nick Rauch
Nick Raunch
Program Chair
Katie Strawbridge
Katie Strawbridge
Program Vice Chair
Christopher Turney
Chris Turney
Committee Chair
Pamela Lee
Pamela Lee
Committee Vice Chair
Todd Presnell
E. Todd Presnell
Law Institute

Join the Litigation Skills 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 1 through January 16.

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 Nov. 30)
$1,195 Not Offered Not Offered
Early Bird Registration*
(Dec. 1–Jan. 16)
$1,395 $1,795 $1,715
Regular Registration*
(Jan. 17–Feb. 27)
$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 Litigation Skills 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, February 28, 2024

Time (Eastern) Program
12:00 p.m. Registration
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, February 29, 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

E. Todd Presnell, Bradley, Nashville, TN
Nick Rauch, Larson King, LLP, St. Paul, MN
9:15 a.m. The Pushback: Strategies for Countering Plaintiff Tactics in Inflated Valuations and Verdicts

Members of the DRI Social Inflation Task Force will engage in an active discussion about strategic responses to increasing settlement demands, the impact of attorney advertising, and pitfalls associated with third-party litigation funding. The panel will also discuss celebrating recent trial victories and settlement outcomes from across the country.

Lauren Motes, Dinsmore & Shohl, Morgantown, WV

Lisa Bellino Apelian, Zurich North America, Philadelphia, PA
Eric Passeggio, Sulloway & Hollis, Boston, MA
Chris Turney, Turney LG - Midwest Litigators, Kansas City, MO
Clare Maisano, Evert Weathersby Houff, Baltimore, MD
10:15 a.m. Coffee Break
10:30 a.m. Mock Jury Study: Voir Dire

Counsel for Baili Rhodes (Plaintiff) and Orange County Elevator Company (Defendant) will demonstrate a mock voir dire exercise with our jury to help you get to know the jurors before they deliberate the case.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Scott W. Self, Fee Smith Sharp, LLP, Dallas, TX
Jennifer M. Lee, Fee Smith Sharp, LLP, Dallas, TX

Counsel for Defendant
Guy Hughes, Casey, Bailey, & Mayes, Lexington, KY
Jane Higgins, Casey, Bailey, & Mayes, Lexington, KY
11:30 a.m. Mock Jury Study: Description of Case and Case Summations

Counsel for Baili Rhodes (Plaintiff) and Orange County Elevator Company (Defendant) will conclude the trial phase of the mock jury study by providing closing arguments.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Scott W. Self, Fee Smith Sharp, LLP, Dallas, TX
Jennifer M. Lee, Fee Smith Sharp, LLP, Dallas, TX

Counsel for Defendant
Guy Hughes, Casey, Bailey, & Mayes, Lexington, KY
Jane Higgins, Casey, Bailey, & Mayes, Lexington, KY
12:30 p.m. DRI Cares

More details to come.
12:30 p.m. DRI Networking Lunch (with Medical Liability & Health Care Law Seminar)

Join the Medical Liability & Health Care Law Seminar attendees for lunch and networking opportunities that are second to none.
2:00 p.m. Mock Jury Study: Live Deliberations

Watch jurors deliberate and hear from top jury consultant Nick Polavin as he moderates discussions of liability and damages with the jury. Attendees will watch live as the jurors openly discuss the issues of the case, consider each witnesses’ testimony, and reach a verdict.

Nick Polavin, IMS Group, Columbus, OH
3:00 p.m. Debrief and Live Q/A with Our Jury

Now it’s your turn! You ask the questions! Our jury will return for one final session where we will ask the members about their thoughts on the case and how they reached their verdict. All attendees are encouraged to participate as we better understand the jury’s decisions and analysis.

Nick Polavin, IMS Group, Columbus, OH
4:00 p.m. Committee Business Meeting
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 1, 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
9:10 a.m. Making Case Stories Come Alive! (Joint Session with Medical Liability & Health Care Law)

David Mann shares the secrets of crafting persuasive stories for defense cases in court. He shows DRI lawyers how to build on the facts to add a dynamic narrative arc that grabs attention and keeps it. He demonstrates how to make a story resonate by unfolding it strategically, while using vocal inflection and body language to make it come alive. This is a 1-hour distillation of David’s full-day legal seminars, delivered with the humor and energy of a veteran performer.

David Mann, Simple Message, Minneapolis, MN
10:10 a.m. Coffee Break
10:25 a.m. Let’s Talk About It! An Open Forum (Joint Session with Medical Liability & Health Care Law)

Time for a roundtable discussion! You have questions? Ask them! Attendees will engage in a lively discussion about current issues and cases in their respective jurisdictions. With insights from top trial counsel and in-house counsel on the current state of social inflation, tort reform, and jury verdicts, you won’t want to miss this engaging discussion.

Siobhan Briley, Pugh Hagan Prahm, PLLC, Coralville, IA
Joseph Fontak, Leader Berkon Colao & Silverstein, LLP, Philadelphia, PA
Phillip Sarnowski, Roetzel Andres, Columbus, OH
11:25 a.m. Working the Crowd: The Ethics of Joint Representation (Joint Session with Medical Liability & Health Care Law)

Multiple representation reduces cost per client and provides benefits like common strategy and discovery efforts but with possible risks for the lawyer and for the clients. Conflicts of interest, communication difficulties, and privilege are at the top of list of issues that can result in disciplinary complaints and legal malpractice claims. Join us to discuss the benefits and risks of joint representation, best practices in creating and maintaining joint representation, specific areas of risk, and strategies to address those risks in your practice.

Alyssa A. Johnson, Barron & Newburger, P.C., Milwaukee, WI
Noah Fiedler, Esq., Barron & Newburger, P.C., Milwaukee, WI
12:25 p.m. Adjourn

Headquarters Hotel Information

A limited number of discounted hotel rooms have been made available at the Hyatt Regency Miami, 400 SE 2nd Avenue, Miami, FL 33131. Take advantage of the group rate of $309.00 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 January 30, 2024, to be eligible for the hotel's group rate. Requests for reservations made after January 30 are subject to room and rate availability.

CLE Information

Earn up to 8.00 hours of continuing legal education hours (CLE), including 1.00 hour of Ethics from this seminar.

View CLE Credit by State

CLE Late Fees


DRI's Litigation Skills 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.