March 5, 2021

DRI Committee Leaders and Members,

Hope is a small word with boundless power. As we write to you today, there is hope that this pandemic will soon come to an end. There is hope in not one, not two, but three COVID-19 vaccines. There is hope for a return of children to the classroom. There is hope for a time when we can come together sleepy-eyed over coffee and morning pastries after a full evening of networking. There is hope for attending dine-arounds together again, making connections, and growing our books of business. There is hope for a return to all things normal. Those days are coming, but we are not quite there – yet. After an extensive review of all available information, guidelines, and mandates and some difficult discussions, we have made the decision to convert our May in-person programming to a virtual format. This will include the Trucking Primer, Talc, Business Litigation, IP, Employment Law, and Appellate Advocacy.

As we shared in our last seminar update for the April seminars, the decision on whether to proceed with an in-person event is the product of a comprehensive review process that includes members of the Executive Committee, the CEO, and ourselves as leaders of the Law Institute. These are extremely challenging decisions to make, and in making them we are very much aware that no matter the decision, there will be some that are disappointed.

The DRI virtual programs have provided and will continue to provide tremendous value to our members. In fact, these virtual offerings have allowed us to reach members who would not otherwise be able to travel to in-person events due to work, budget, or family obligations. The rise of virtual Zoom-based committee meetings and networking sessions have resulted in an increase of deeply personal connections between our members, and in some cases, connecting members who may not have otherwise met. We look forward to your support of the upcoming DRI virtual events listed below:

  • Life, Health, Disability, and ERISA: April 15-16
  • Cannabis Law: April 28
  • Women in the Law: April 28-30
  • Retail and Hospitality Litigation: April 28-29
  • Drug and Medical Device: April 29-30
  • Construction Law: April 29-30
  • Trucking Law Primer: May 12
  • Talc Litigation: May 13-14
  • Business Litigation Super Conference: May 13-14
  • Intellectual Property Litigation: May 13-14
  • Fidelity and Surety: May 14
  • Employment and Labor Law: May 27-28
  • Appellate Advocacy: May 27-28

For a full list of events, please use this link.

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said "Only in the darkness can you see the stars." DRI’s virtual programs are shining brightly, and the delivery of more and better virtual content is just one of the stars that is apparent during this dark time. If you haven’t participated in a virtual program yet, we invite you to come and see what you may be missing.

In the meantime, the review process for the remaining 2021 programming calendar will continue. We will continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation and maintain our current review process.

Like you, we are eager to connect with our DRI family in person when the time is right. Thank you for your patience, understanding, cooperation, and everything you do for DRI.



Todd PresnellTodd Presnell
Law Institute, Chair

Laurie MillerLaurie Miller
Law Institute, Vice-Chair