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Annual Meeting Spotlight

It’s All About Connections at the 2023 Annual Meeting! 

Thank you to everybody who joined the 2023 DRI Annual Meeting! Stay tuned for a full feature of the meeting in the January issue of For The Defense. 

Until then, enjoy these highlights! See how attendees: 

Participated in Networking Events 

AM Networking

Learned From Phenomenal Guest Speakers

AM Speakers

Participated in DRI For Life Activities, Including the DRI for Life Pony Up! Run/Walk

AM DRI Cares

Earned CLE On The Go 

AM CLE on the Go

And Enjoyed Being Part of the DRI Community! 

AM Overall

Professional Liability

Membership Spotlight

It’s New Lawyer November at DRI 

Build Your Network, Elevate Your Skill Set with DRI

For the third year in a row, DRI is focused on expanding the number of new lawyers within the DRI community during the month of November. New Lawyer November has become an important initiative for the organization, as it has increased the number of Young Lawyer memberships each year. 

Current DRI members that refer new associates at their firm to join DRI by November 30 will receive 100 DRI Dividend Points, which can be redeemed on rewards like Advocate Certificates. New Young Lawyer members will not only receive the countless benefits of DRI membership, but also a complimentary registration to a DRI Seminar of their choice and a complimentary copy of "The Associate’s Handbook: A Resource for Aspiring Trial Lawyers." 

More information on this initiative can be found here. Thank you in advance for your support of it. 


DRI, Center Leaders Offer Insight into Important Changes for Privilege Logs, MDL Proceedings

Thanks to then-DRI President Lana Olson and DRI Center for Law and Public Policy Vice Chair John Guttmann for their October 16, 2023, testimony before the Advisory Committee on the Rules of Civil Procedure in support of proposed amendments to FRCP 16 and 26 regarding privilege logs and proposed FRCP 16.1 regarding MDL proceedings, respectively. They elaborated on the Center’s recently filed comments on the proposals. 




Center Joins Coalition Comment on Proposed Ohio Rule 702

The Center for Law and Public Policy recently joined a coalition comment to the Supreme Court of Ohio’s Commission on the Rules of Practice & Procedure in support of a proposed amendment that would align Ohio Rule of Evidence 702 (“Ohio Rule 702”) more closely with its updated federal counterpart, Federal Rule of Evidence 702, 2023 Amend. (effective Dec. 1, 2023). 

The proposed amendment to Ohio Rule 702 clarifies that the proponent of expert testimony must demonstrate “to the court that it is more likely than not” that the rule’s existing admissibility requirements are met. The amendment underscores the need for judges to act as “gatekeepers” against the admission of unreliable expert testimony. Clarifying the Ohio rule will help avoid misapplication of the rule that has occurred with the analog federal rule and will promote harmony in Ohio’s state and federal courts. 

The Comment also urges the court to consider further harmonizing Ohio Rule 702 with new Federal Rule 702(d), which requires a proponent to show “that it is more likely than not that . . . the expert’s opinion reflects a reliable application of the principles and methods to the facts of the case.”

Center Files Comment on Proposed Amendments Class Action Rules

Rule 23(b)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) requires federal courts to determine in class actions whether “a class action is superior to other available methods for fairly and efficiently adjudicating the controversy.” In a recently submitted comment to the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules, the Center voiced support of the amendment to Rule 23(b)(3) proposed by the Lawyers for Civil Justice (LCJ) on September 2, 2022, and supplemented on March 23, 2023. The comment expressed the Center’s belief that the real value of eliminating the ambiguity in the current superiority rule is the societal good that will be fostered by encouraging businesses to provide prompt and even more attractive nonjudicial remedies than they have in the past when faced with customer concerns.   


FROM THE DRI Foundation

Thank You for Being Part of the Foundation's International Day of Service

This past September, the DRI Foundation, along with participating state, local and national defense organizations (SLDOs/NDOs), held its second International Day of Service. The Foundation asked SLDOs/NDOs to hold a service project of their choice, irrespective of size or scope, anytime during the month of October. Participation gave SLDOs/NDOs the chance to give back to the community; strengthen relationships with DRI members and SLDOs/NDOs across the nation; assist in membership development; and generate positive publicity. 

Thank you to the following organizations for their participation in the DRI Foundation's Inaugural International Day of Service. 

  • Colorado Defense Lawyers Association 

  • DC Defense Lawyers Association 

  • Georgia Defense Lawyers Association 

  • Idaho Association of Defense Counsel 

  • Iowa Defense Counsel 

  • Kansas Association of Defense Counsel 

  • Kentucky Defense Counsel 

  • Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel 

  • Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association, Inc. 

  • New Jersey Defense Association 

  • New Mexico Defense Lawyers Association 

  • North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys 

  • Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys 

  • Oklahoma Association of Defense Counsel 

  • Defense Counsel of Rhode Island 

  • South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys’ Association 

  • Tennessee Defense Lawyers Association 

  • Utah Defense Lawyers Association 

  • Washington Defense Trial Lawyers 

  • Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia  

  • Wisconsin Defense Counsel 

DRI is committed to giving back to DRI members, their communities, and the cities in which DRI holds seminars. That’s why we started The DRI Foundation. The DRI Foundation was built to make a difference. It helps raise proceeds that fund and foster initiatives that make a difference, including diversity programs, healthy living programming, and more.  

The DRI Foundation consists of two volunteer-led committees: DRI Cares and DRI for Life. DRI Cares helps members engage with local communities through fundraising and volunteer activities while DRI for Life helps members lead healthy, balanced, and productive lives through wellness activities, support programs, and mentoring.  

Examples of programs supported by the DRI Foundation include but not limited to:  

  • Member attorney support programs  

  • Healthy living programming and activities at seminars and other events  

  • Community service projects  

  • Disaster recovery  

  • Support for the judicial system  

  • Promote and support diversity programs and initiatives  

We thank you for being a part of the International Day of Service.   


New Amicus Committee Leadership

DRI is pleased to announce that Lisa Baird is now chair of the Center for Law and Public Policy’s Amicus Committee.  The position will carry with it an appointment to the Center Management Council.  A partner of Reed Smith LLP in Miami, Florida, Lisa represents manufacturers of medical devices, prescription drugs, and OTC drugs in product liability and commercial litigation. She has more than twenty years’ experience defending corporate clients in appellate and trial courts throughout the country, and is admitted in both Florida and California. Her work has a particular emphasis on issues that regularly recur in medical device and pharmaceutical product liability litigation, including preemption, as well as other types of complex litigation, such as class issues, unfair competition, consumer fraud claims, third party payor claims, and punitive damages.

Lisa previously served as vice chair of the Center’s Amicus Committee and is a past chair of the DRI Appellate Advocacy Committee.

DRI is also pleased that Melinda Kollross has accepted an appointment as vice chair of the Center’s Amicus Committee.  Melinda is a shareholder of Clausen Miller PC and chair of its Appellate & Trial Monitoring Practice Group. From the firm’s Chicago office, she handles post-trial and appellate litigation for savvy clients nationwide. Licensed in Illinois and New York, she has litigated more than 200 appeals in state and federal reviewing courts and has participated in appeals before the United States Supreme Court. Her work spans all areas of firm practice, including commercial litigation, first-party property, liability insurance coverage, and liability defense.  

DRI and the Center wish to thank Matt Nelson (Warner Norcross + Judd LLP) for his years of service as chair of the Amicus Committee.  Matt, who now serves on the DRI Board as Center Region Director, will continue to serve as a member of the Amicus Committee.  


Pictured, L to R: Baird, Kollross, Nelson

Center Joins ALF Brief Urging Supreme Court to Limit Civil RICO’s Scope

Supreme Court

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) authorizes the filing of civil suits for treble damages and attorney fees by “[a]ny person injured in his business or property by reason of” engaging in certain prohibited activities.  18 U.S.C. § 1964(c).  RICO was enacted as a prosecutorial tool for fighting organized crime. The Second and Ninth Circuits have held, however, that a civil RICO treble-damages claim can be filed for lost wages or other employment-related economic injuries resulting from a personal injury—such as in a product liability case—even though it is well settled that personal injury claims themselves are excluded from civil RICO. Plaintiffs’ lawyers have seized upon these holdings, with which at least three other circuits disagree, to attempt to transform ordinary product liability suits into civil RICO actions. Civil RICO’s broad venue and jurisdictional provisions enable plaintiffs to “forum shop” to courts that allow such personal injury-related civil RICO claims, and thereby not only seek treble damages, but also circumvent various States’ tort reform measures.

Horn v. Medical Marijuana, Inc. is a seemingly ordinary product liability suit involving a legal, non-psychoactive, CBD wellness product. The Second Circuit held, however, that the truck driver plaintiff, who lost his job after ingesting the product and then failing a routine drug test, can maintain a civil RICO claim for lost wages and other employment-related economic harm against the product’s producers. They have filed a certiorari petition requesting the Supreme Court to rule that civil RICO claims do not encompass economic harms resulting from personal injuries.

The Atlantic Legal Foundation, joined by the DRI Center for Law and Public Policy, has filed an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to grant review and hold that civil RICO does not extend to personal injury-related economic harms, and cannot be exploited by the plaintiffs’ bar to circumvent state tort reform laws, such as those which place caps on damages.  The ALF/Center brief was authored by DRI Appellate Advocacy Committee chair and Center Amicus Committee member Sarah Spencer of Christensen & Jensen and ALF Executive Vice President & General Counsel Larry Ebner, who also serves on the Amicus Committee and as chair of the Center. Valuable pro bono assistance also was provided by Joe Hollingsworth, Bill Cople, and Elyse Shimada of Hollingsworth LLP.  

Sarah SpencerLawrence S. Ebner
Pictured, L to R: Spencer, Ebner

FROM The DRI Foundation

DRI Launches Two-Year Partnership with Blessings in a Backpack

During its Annual Meeting, DRI announced its two-year partnership with Blessing in a Backpack, a national organization dedicated to ensuring that no child goes hungry on the weekends.  

Over the course of the two-year partnership, the DRI Foundation has committed to supporting 10 packing events a year, providing weekend meals to thousands of children in need. These events will be hosted during key DRI events, including the Annual Meeting and several seminars.  

DRI believes that, through this partnership, it can make a meaningful difference in the lives of children facing food insecurity and contribute positively to the communities we serve. Together with Blessings in a Backpack, DRI is committed to ensuring a brighter, more nourished future for America's youth.  

"We are thrilled to announce our two-year partnership with Blessings in a Backpack. At DRI, we are committed to making a meaningful impact on the communities we serve, and our collaboration with Blessings in a Backpack is a testament to that promise. Together, we aim to provide essential support to children in need, ensuring they have access to the nourishment they require to thrive. We believe that this partnership will not only make a difference in the lives of these young individuals but also inspire others to join us in this important mission." 

— Dean Martinez, DRI CEO 

"Blessings in a Backpack is excited to join forces with DRI in a powerful partnership, uniting our commitment to ensuring no child goes hungry over the weekend. We are honored that DRI has committed its time and resources to the children we serve.”  

— Erin Kerr, Blessings in a Backpack CEO 

For more information about this partnership, click here.  Blessings in a Backpack

FROM The DRI Foundation

DRI Foundation Launches Two-Year Partnership with Blessings in a Backpack, Recognizes NFJE Sweepstakes, SLC Challenge, and Law Student Diversity Scholarship Winners

The DRI Foundation had a lot to celebrate during the 2023 DRI Annual Meeting! 

DRI Cares: Blessings in a Backpack 

Annual Meeting attendees heard from former Blessings in a Backpack Chief Development Officer Christin Kruse, MBA and DRI President-elect Pat Sweeney as they discussed DRI’s partnership with Blessings in a Backpack. Attendees then participated in a DRI Cares event with Blessings in a Backpack to help feed school-aged children who might otherwise go hungry and put together 1,000 lunches for kids in 24 minutes. 

Blessings in a Backpack 2

We would like to recognize the following winners and award recipients: 
NFJE Sweepstakes & SLC Challenge Winners 

The DRI Foundation once again held a sweepstakes at the Annual Meeting that supported the National Foundation for Judicial Excellence. The NFJE supports a strong, independent, responsive judiciary by providing officers of the courts with educational programs and other tools to enable them to perform at their highest level.  
DRI substantive Law committees (SLCs) participated in the SLC Challenge to support the sweepstakes. SLCs were placed into one of three groups (organized by size) and competed against each other to see who could raise the most funds. 
We are proud to announce that from the SLC Challenge and the sweepstakes tickets, we raised $30,000 to donate to the NFJE! Thank you to all who participated. 

As a part of the sweepstakes, DRI CEO Dean Martinez agreed to wear a cowboy hat onstage if 100 raffle tickets were sold by Friday’s general session. That goal was reached, and he wore a blue DRI cowboy hat during Friday’s general session. 

Dean Martinez

(DRI CEO Dean Martinez)

This year's NFJE Sweepstakes winners included: 

  • Emily Coughlin, Coughlin Betke, Boston, MA: Registration for the 2024 Annual Meeting (Value $1,695) 

  • Stacy Douglas, Everett Dorey, Los Angeles, CA: 85-inch Television (Value $1,000) 

  • James Craig, Lederer Weston Craig PLC, Cedar Rapids, OH: Christian Louboutin Gift Card (Value $500) 

  • Jeffrey Lowe, Kightlinger & Gray LLP, New Albany, IN: reMarkable Tablet (Value $300) 

  • James Noonan, Ryan Ryan Deluca LLP, Bridgeport, CT: Exotic Meat (Value $200) 

DRI Law Student Diversity Scholarship Recipients 

Congratulations to the three recipients of DRI Law Student Diversity Scholarships.  

  • Jerosem Esparza Castillo  

  • Sarah Jane Longalong  

  • Lakshmi “Lex” Kumar  

Diversity AwardsDiversity Award

(Pictured, L to R: DRI '21-'22 President Douglas Burrell, Sarah Jane Longalong, DRI Foundation President Matt Keris, and Lakshmi “Lex” Kumar.) 



Support ADR DE&I Initiative in NYC


The DRI Center for Law and Public Policy’s ADR Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiative will be holding a meeting on Wednesday, November 29, in New York City in conjunction with the DRI Insurance Coverage and Practice Symposium and Professional Liability Seminar. Registrants of both events are urged to attend this session to learn more about how this group is working to increase diversity among neutrals appointed to resolve insurance-related disputes—and how organizations can get involved. 

Read more about the initiative or email for information on how to participate.

CMS Publishes Final Rule on Civil Monetary Penalties

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has finalized and published the rule, for Section 111 reporting, specifying how and when it will calculate and impose civil monetary penalties (CMPs) when Group Health Plan (GHP) and Non-Group Health Plan (NGHP) Responsible Reporting Entities (RREs) fail to meet their Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) reporting obligations. The text of the Final Rule, as published at 42 CFR 402, can be found here. The Final Rule will become effective on December 11, 2023. 

For more information, read the summary report from the Center for Law and Public Policy’s MSP Task Force.

DRI Workforce Assessment

Help us Serve You Better!

At DRI, we are always looking for ideas to better serve the needs of the DRI Community. We’ve partnered with Sarah Sladek and XYZ University LLC, a research and strategy firm, on a DRI Workforce Assessment to help identify information critical to the legal profession's current workforce challenges. 

Please take a few minutes and complete the workforce survey to help us understand the current workforce outlook as well as any challenges our members may be facing in the recruitment or retention of talent. Your input is critical as we look to build the future of DRI and the future workforce. 

Thank you for your time and for your continued support of DRI! 

Voice your opinion here.

DRI Elections Announcement 

DRI Recognizes Second Vice President, Secretary-Treasurer, National & Regional Directors at 2023 Annual Meeting

At the 2023 DRI Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas, on October 25–27, the DRI Board of Directors elected four individuals to join them as national directors (each serving three-year terms), as well as the next DRI second vice president and secretary-treasurer. Four new regional directors were also recognized, and they will serve three-year terms.

Thank you to the Nominating Committee, chaired this year by DRI Past President Toyja E. Kelley, for its work during the 2023 DRI Elections.

Congratulations to the individuals below for their appointments.


  • Jill Cranston Rice, Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, Morgantown, West Virginia


  • Sara M. Turner, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, Birmingham, Alabama


  • Jody C. Corbett, City of Phoenix Law Department, Phoenix, Arizona

  • Mario J. Delano, Campbell, Foley, Delano & Adams, LLC, Wall, New Jersey

  • Stacy L. Douglas, Everett Dorey LLP, Irvine, California

  • Danielle M. Waltz, Dinsmore & Shohl LLP, Charleston, West Virginia


  • Matthew J. Lavisky, Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig LLP, Florida | Southeast Region

  • Matthew T. Nelson¸ Warner Norcross + Judd LLP, Michigan | Central Region

  • Rachel Tallon Reynolds, Wilson Elser, Washington | Northwest Region

  • Aleksandra (Aleks) Zivanovic, SGI Canada, Toronto, Canada | Canadian Region

View the entire DRI Board of Directors here.

Leadership Spotlight

A Thank You to Former DRI President Douglas Burrell

Douglas Burrell Thank You

DRI thanks Former President Douglas Burrell for his service to the organization over the years. Burrell, who is a partner at Chartwell Law, has been a member of DRI since 2006 and has served on the Board of Directors in various roles since 2013. During his term as president, he introduced more young lawyers, women and early-career lawyers, and attorneys from diverse backgrounds to our organization. He also promoted collaborative efforts between DRI’s substantive law committees, SLDOs, and other organizations. While Burrell's tenure on the DRI Board of Directors has now ended, we know he will continue to advocate for our members and continue the crucial work of advocating for the civil defense bar. All of us at DRI thank you for your service, Douglas!

DRI Veterans Spotlight

Celebrating Veterans Day and Remembrance Day

As we celebrate Veterans Day in the U.S. and Remembrance Day in Canada, DRI is proud to honor its members who are Veterans.

DRI would like to thank and recognize these members for all that they have done to go beyond the call of duty to ensure our continued freedom. We are grateful to you for all your sacrifices.

Last month, during the Annual Meeting in San Antonio, members of the DRI Veterans Network gathered to share stories and reconnect. The group also recognized DRI member, Lee C. Schmeer of Pennsylvania, as the 2023 honoree of the DRI Veterans Network Meritorious Service Award. Want to connect with other DRI veterans? Join the DRI Veterans Network by sending an email to and asking to be added to the roster.

Veterans Network 1

Civil Rights
2023-Product Liability


DRI's 2024 Editorial Calendar is Here: Reserve Your Committee Spotlight Issue(s) Now!

Looking to expand your thought leadership in 2024? Contribute to DRI's publications!

2024 Editorial Calendar.pdf_Page_12024 Editorial Calendar.pdf_Page_2

If your committee would like to reserve a spotlight issue of For The Defense for next year, please contact with the issue you’d like. We recommend 4-8 articles for a committee spotlight, and an introductory column from committee leadership can count toward that total. Articles in For The Defense are typically 3,000-5,000 words. 

Each committee may reserve up to two (2) dedicated issues of For The Defense for 2024. Features will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. We are able to spotlight up to three (3) committees per issue of For The Defense. (You may also, of course, contribute articles across several issues, if your committee prefers that format instead of a dedicated feature issue.)
Additionally, we’d love to get content from your committee for The Voice, In-House Defense Quarterly, and The Brief Case: DRI Committee News. Our Communications team is happy to work with you on where to best slot content. Black History Month (February), Women’s History Month (March), Well-Being Week in Law (May), Hispanic Heritage Month (mid-September through mid-October), Cybersecurity Awareness Month (October), and more are examples of themed content features we’d love to highlight next year!
We look forward to your quality submissions in 2024. Please note that we require all recognized authors to be DRI members. 

The DRI Blog

Read Our Newest Blog Post — DRI Members Offer Advice for New Lawyers

Whether you're just beginning your journey in the field or looking for a fresh perspective on your legal career, our DRI members have a treasure trove of advice to help you navigate the path to success.


Blog Slider

Embarking on a career in law can be both exhilarating and daunting, especially for those fresh out of law school. The transition from the classroom to the courtroom can be difficult to navigate. Luckily, most seasoned attorneys are willing and eager to provide mentorship and advice.

We asked DRI members for their best piece of advice for new lawyers, and many of the things they said can be applied to other career paths or aspects of life, as well. Read our new blog post to learn what our members have to say.

Check out our new post on Court & Counsel: The DRI Blog to learn more!

Court & Counsel: The DRI Blog – Your premier resource for civil defense content.

DRI Committee Spotlight

SLC Corner | Aviation Law & Governmental Liability Committees

SLC Corner Narrow

Aviation LawAviation Law
Matthew Berard, Committee Chair

The Aviation Law Committee is made up of professionals who work and are interested in the field of aviation law. Our committee includes attorneys defending the interests of airlines, airports, aircraft component manufacturers and suppliers and related industry groups on a national and international scale. Committee members counsel clients in complex commercial transactions regarding the purchase and sale of aircraft and others represent clients in regulatory and enforcement matters. Still others are involved in litigation arising from international and domestic aviation accidents and disputes regarding the performance of aerospace products. Many of our Committee members have technical experience as pilots, aircraft mechanics and even air traffic controllers!

Our committee provides a forum for collaborating to address common defense strategies and learning from those who have effectively utilized certain arguments (many of which are rapidly developing or novel) in defense of aviation clients.  DRI serves as a conduit to connect and re-connect practitioners defending clients in similar industries and as a sounding board for defense strategies.

The Aviation Committee’s well-regarded podcast, Wingtips, continues to produce new episodes where we interview some of the most interesting legal minds in the aviation field, and occasionally delve into a non-legal (but still fascinating) facet of the aviation industry. 

If you are an aviation practitioner or even are simply interested in the practice of aviation law, contact DRI and join the Committee!  Leadership positions are available, and even contributing an aviation-focused article for a DRI publication would be a tremendous way to help and get your name out to a wide audience.

We are an experienced and accomplished group of aviation defense attorneys, who navigate the small community of aviation practitioners on both sides of the aisle, and who take pride in their work on behalf of a key segment in the national and worldwide economy.

Want to get involved?

Governmental LiabilityGovernmental Liability
Ryan Kunhart, Committee Chair

The Governmental Liability Committee is comprised of professionals who devote a substantial amount of their time working with governments and their employees. Our membership includes attorneys in private practice and in the public sector, as well as insurance industry representatives involved in underwriting and in adjusting public entity claims.

The focus of the committee is litigation under 42 U.S.C. §1983, which over the years has become a labyrinth of procedural and substantive rules. Complicating matters further is the fact that the constitutional rights at the root of all §1983 litigation are themselves fluid concepts that are continually being revisited by the circuit courts as well as the Supreme Court. Given the vagaries of §1983 claims and defenses, and the creativity of our adversaries in court, we aim to stay on the “cutting edge” of the evolving standards in this challenging area of the law.

One of the challenges our members face is an evolving political and social climate involving the representation of law enforcement officers.  Our committee provides great resources to help members when unique issues arise, or a member wants a second opinion on a situation.

The Committee’s annual Civil Rights and Governmental Tort Liability seminars provide opportunities for professionals engaged in the defense of governmental entities to hear from leading litigators, professors, and other industry experts who share valuable insights and strategies in defending government. The success of this Committee and its annual seminar is based in large part on the quality and well-known reputations of many of its speakers who come from a variety of backgrounds, including the top professors and professionals in the field. 

We are always looking for steering committee and seminar planning committee members. We are also working on a governmental attorney initiative to find ways to get public sector attorneys more engaged in our committee while recognizing the budget constraints some of these attorneys might face.
We will find a role for anyone looking to get involved so please reach out to learn more about the Governmental Liability Committee.

Want to get involved?

And the Defense Wins

DRI Members Share Their Victories

Tracy Kolb Obtains a Defense Verdict in Medical Malpractice Case

Following a six-day trial, Tracy Kolb secured a defense verdict for a small rural hospital in North Dakota. The estate for the Plaintiff sought $2.5 million in damages, alleging our hospital client was negligent because it did not have a policy that told a radiologist how to communicate a CT finding incidental to a critical, life-threatening pulmonary embolism, for which the patient was transferred from the hospital’s emergency department to another hospital to receive the higher level of necessary life-saving care. Everything about the patient’s condition was sent to the receiving hospital.

A few years later, after surviving the pulmonary embolism, the patient returned to the emergency department suffering a stroke. The workup revealed the patient had metastatic kidney cancer, the origin of which was depicted on the earlier CT, that had spread to the brain and lungs. The patient did not survive the cancer. It was unfortunate and unintended that the patient’s cancer was not recognized earlier, but it was not a consequence of the absence of a policy by the hospital. In less than an hour of deliberations, the jury returned a verdict finding the hospital was not at fault.

Tracy has been practicing law in North Dakota since 1995. She has practiced in the private and public sector handling litigation, administrative and legislative matters, and legal and regulatory compliance matters, particularly in the health care setting. Her private practice has been devoted primarily to litigation, mostly representing health care providers—hospitals, clinics, physicians, nurses, and long-term care facilities—and the defense of medical malpractice cases. Tracy has also represented providers in state regulatory licensing and disciplinary matters.

Tracy Kolb bio picture

Belle v. Sea World Parks & Entertainment LLC d/b/a Busch Gardens

A Hillsborough County jury entered a defense verdict for Busch Gardens in Belle v. Sea World Parks & Entertainment LLC d/b/a Busch Gardens on October 20, 2023. Plaintiff alleged foot injuries resulting in two surgeries due to the Skyride door shutting twice onto her leg on July 14, 2018, at the Tampa theme park. In closing argument, Plaintiff’s counsel asked the jury to award just under $1.5 million in damages. The RumbergerKirk trial team of partners Rob Blank and Carie Hall convinced the jury there was no negligence on the part of Busch Gardens or its employee.  Busch Gardens has moved for its attorneys’ fees and costs based on Plaintiff’s rejection of its proposal for settlement.

Rob BlankCarie Hall

Keep The Defense Wins Coming!
Please send 250–500-word summaries of your “wins,” including the case name, your firm name, your firm position, city of practice, and email address, in Word format, along with a recent color photo as an attachment (.jpg or .tiff), highest resolution file possible, to Please note that DRI membership is a prerequisite to be listed in “And the Defense Wins,” and it may take several weeks for The Voice to publish your win.

DRI Member News

Congratulations to DRI Members for Their Achievements


M. Stephen Bingham has joined Rose Law Firm in Little Rock, AR as a Member. Rose Law Firm expands with the addition of attorneys from Cross, Gunter, Witherspoon & Galchus, P.C. Steve’s practice areas as an experienced litigator include products liability defense, commercial litigation, insurance defense, transportation law, construction law, and airport law. Steve was the DRI Arkansas State Representative, 2017-2020. Steve has been a DRI member since 1989. 

Tanya S. Bryant has joined Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores Inc in Oklahoma City, OK as Assistant General Counsel of Employment Law. Tanya’s areas of expertise include regulatory compliance, corporate law, and litigation management. Tanya has been a DRI member since 2006. 

Susan J. Cole has joined Manning Gross + Massenburg LLP (MG+M Law Firm) in Miami, FL as Partner. With more than 40 years of trial experience, Susan defends clients in products liability, construction defect, wrongful death, medical malpractice, and asbestos trials. Susan has been a DRI member since 2006. 

Kennard B. Davis has joined Beveridge & Diamond PC in Baltimore, MD as an Associate. Kennard’s service areas and industries of practicing law include alternative dispute resolution, litigation, oil and gas, transportation, toxic torts and environmental law, and water. Kennard has been a DRI member since 2019. 

James R. Embrey, Jr. has joined Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani LLP in Nashville, TN as Partner. As a trial lawyer, James focuses his practice on medical malpractice, transportation, and general liability actions on a local and national level. James has been a DRI member since 2018. 

Jay Evans has joined Segal McCambridge in Pittsburgh, PA as a Shareholder. Jay focuses on a diverse range of litigation and appellate matters such as products liability, contracts, real estate disputes, trade secrets, restrictive covenants, and other business disputes. Jay has been a DRI member since 2013. 

Alex J. Hagan was elected Managing Partner/Chief Executive Officer of Ellis & Winters in Raleigh, NC. As one of the firm’s founders and Management Committee members, Alex served as the practice area leader for the firm’s Litigation Team. Alex’s practice areas include commercial litigation, product liability, and the defense of academic institutions, religious organizations, and health care providers. He previously served as a Board Member for DRI. Alex has been a DRI member since 2005.

Jonathan E. Hall has joined Phelps Dunbar LLP in Raleigh, NC as Partner. Jonathan is an experienced litigator and trial attorney specializing in complex commercial matters and product liability cases. Jonathan has been a DRI member since 2009. 

Rachel Tallon Reynolds has joined Wilson Elser in Seattle, WA as Partner. Rachel provides counsel for product manufacturers, asbestos litigation, medical device suppliers, and various other products such as automobiles and personal watercraft. She was the DRI Washington State Representative, 2020-2023. Rachel has been a DRI member since 2018. 

Cornelius “Con” F. Riordan has joined Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP in Chicago, IL as Senior Counsel. Con primarily focuses on biometric privacy, construction law, and litigation. Con has been a DRI member since 1999. 

Michael Shumway has joined Struck Love Bojanowski & Acedo, PLC in Chandler, AZ as an Associate. Michael’s areas of practice include corrections, law enforcement, and governmental liability defense at the trial and appellate level. Michael is new to DRI as of this year, 2023. 

Brett A. Tarver was promoted to Partner at Troutman Pepper in Atlanta, GA (effective January 1, 2024). Brett’s practice areas of expertise include business litigation, health sciences, pharmaceutical and medical device litigation and counsel, and product liability. Brett has been a DRI member since 2014. 

Gina S. Vogel has joined Lewis Thomason in Knoxville, TN as Special Counsel. Her practice areas include civil litigation, governmental entity defense, employment law, and medical malpractice defense. Gina has been a DRI member since 2017. 

If you have a recent achievement or recognition that you would like featured, email your news to Please note that DRI reserves the right to review all accomplishments to ensure they are adequate for publishing. All submissions will be reviewed for relevance and compliance with DRI’s mission. Submissions may be edited to conform with our standards, and space limitations.


Members Begin Terms as DRI State Representatives

During the month of October 2023, the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys held their Annual Meeting and James Cales, III was elected as President. Mr. Cales, III, has been a DRI member since 1999. 

The following DRI members have begun their terms as State Representatives for their respective state: 

  • Stephen Wright Still, Jr., Alabama

  • Baxter D. Drennon, Arkansas

  • Marcus B. Snowden, Canada

  • Ilana B. Olman, Florida

  • Robert A. Luskin, Georgia

  • Brandon Pellegrino, Michigan

  • Lloyd Bernstein, Oregon

  • Hannah Lowe, Tennessee 

  • Allison K. Krashan, Washington

  • Diana Leigh Jacobs, West Virgina

  • Rachel Ryckman, Wyoming

We wish them a successful three-year term. 

24-Lit Skills-NL-300x250
2023-Med Liab NL

DRI Cares

DRI Partners with Blessings in a Backpack

By Cate Dugan

At the DRI Annual Meeting last month in San Antonio, the DRI Foundation announced an exciting new partnership with non-profit Blessings in a Backpack! Blessings in a Backpack is a national organization that provides food for school children on weekends, when they might otherwise go hungry.  Blessings in a Backpack reports that 1 in 8 children in America experience food insecurity. This means they struggle with access to basic nutrition. During the school week, these children can be fed by federal programs that provide access to breakfasts and lunches for free or reduced cost.  But on the weekends, they do not have this same access.  

Blessings in a Backpack provides breakfasts and lunches for the weekends in small bags that are placed discreetly in the children's backpacks on Fridays at school, so the children can take it home for the weekend to have access to nutritious meals until they return to school on Monday. For the 2022-2023 school year, Blessings in a Backpack distributed over 3.3 million bags of food to children at 1270 schools across the country!

For the next two years, DRI is honored to partner with Blessings in a Backpack and has pledged to host 20 bag-packing events at DRI events.  This means that DRI is committed to providing at least 10,000 bags of weekend food to school children around the country, in the areas where DRI will be hosting our seminars. DRI Cares will be hosting these events, in conjunction with the SLCs, at seminars throughout the year. Typically, we will set up the project to take place as our attendees enter the space for the networking lunch. Our motto is - Feed a child before you feed yourself!

At the Annual Meeting, as a kick-off after this special announcement, attendees worked together to pack 1,000 bags of food for an elementary school in San Antonio! These bags will provide weekend food for the children in need for the next 12 weeks!

Be on the lookout at your next DRI Seminar for the DRI Cares/Blessings in a Backpack event - come join us, pack a few bags, and help to feed children who face food insecurity across the country!

Blessings in a Backpack

DRI's August Seminars Partner with Blessings in a Backpack

By Jodi Terranova

On August 17, 2023, DRI’s Fire Science and Litigation, Senior Living and Long-Term Care Litigation, Strictly Automotive and Talc Litigation Seminars took place in Washington, D.C. and partnered with Blessings in a Backpack for a joint DRI Cares Project. Blessings in a Backpack provides food to local schools so students in need have food over the weekend and serves nearly 100,000 students throughout the United States. 

Attendees prepared 500 bags filled with soup, cereal, yogurt, snacks and a powerful note to be given to the elementary students at Mount Vernon Community School, located in Alexandria, Virginia, right outside of Washington, D.C. A teacher from Mount Vernon was on hand to bring these meals back to her students, making the project that much more fulfilling as attendees were able to learn how much these meals mean to her students.

DRI is excited to partner with Blessings in a Backpack for the next two years. Look out for Blessings in a Backpack activities at future seminars in 2024! Don’t forget to “feed a child before your feed yourself!"

DRI Cares Blessings in a Backpack


DRI Welcomes the Following Members and Advocates:

New Members
Daniel J. Cunningham, Chicago, IL                                                                   
Tyson B. Shofstahl, New Orleans, LA                                                                 
Daniel G. Katzenbach, Raleigh, NC                                                                   
Leslie M. Henry, Houston, TX                                                                        
Sean P. Rabalais, New Orleans, LA                                                                   
Justin C. Taylor, Charleston, WV                                                                    
Liberty L. Roberts, Fishers, IN                                                                     
Chanel A. Mosley, Orlando, FL                                                                       
Jessica Kirkwood Alley, Tampa, FL                                                                   
Timothy S. Smith, Lanham, MD                                                                        
Robert R. Rigolosi, New York, NY                                                                    
Lee Blanton Ziffer, New Orleans, LA                                                                 
Joshua I. Arnkoff, Southfield, MI                                                                   
Alex Diaz, Miami, FL                                                                                
Richard M. Jones, Miami, FL                                                                         
Joseph J. Rava, Irvington, NY                                                                       
Thomas A. Murphy, Kingston, NY                                                                      
Casey Boyle, Morristown, NJ                                                                         
Glenn Vallach, New York, NY                                                                         
Clay Wilkerson, Houston, TX                                                                         
Sandra Taylor, San Diego, CA                                                                        
Jamison MacMain, West Chester, PA                                                                   
Alex Tilling, New Orleans, LA                                                                       
Trevor L. Hughes, Tulsa, OK                                                                         
Erin Salfen, Saint Louis, MO                                                                        
Jennifer A. McHugh, Toledo, OH                                                                      
William Dawson Ogletree, Nashville, TN                                                              
David J. HagEstad, Sr., Surprise, AZ                                                                
Amber N. Thompson, Birmingham, AL                                                                   
Kylie Ayal, New York, NY                                                                            
Allison Reuter, Ada, MI                                                                             
Amy Freiman, Waukesha, WI                                                                          
Stacy L. Raphael, Woodland Hills, CA                                                                
Chandler D. Atkins, Saint Louis, MO                                                                 
Pamela D. Miller, Bridgeport, CT                                                                    
Mehwish Aslam, Saint Louis, MO                                                                      
Dale A. Knoshaug, Des Moines, IA                                                                                
Gayle Kono, Sacramento, CA                                                                          
Meghan Lovett, Little Rock, AR                                                                      
Kerry Callahan, Hartford, CT                                                                        
George Helfrich, Roseland, NJ                                                                       
Jack Cooper, Canton, OH                                                                             
Sean B. Swords, Austin, TX                                                                          
Julie A. Harris, West Hartford, CT                                                                  
Olivia Rayburn, Boston, MA                                                                          
Susan Romano, New York, NY                                                                          
Theresa Villani, Estero, FL                                                                         
James Koblenzer, New York, NY                                                                      
Andrew O'Connor, New York, NY                                                                      
Demetrios Stratis, New York, NY                                                                    
Todd Strother, Des Moines, IA                                                                       
Anthony Kohrs, Malibu, CA                                                                          
Diana Masters, New Orleans, LA                                                                      
Constantinos James Tsanatelis, New York, NY                                                         
Jeffrey A. Hegewald, Denver, CO                                                                     
Andrew M. Taleghany, Houston, TX                                                                    
Victoria Nicole Godwin-Reese, Deerfield Beach, FL                                                   
Matt Bolt, Saint Paul, MN                                                                           
Kacey Bennett, Pembroke Pines, FL                                                                   
Caitlin McAuliffe, Chicago, IL                                                                      
Alla Cherkassky Galati, Chicago, IL                                                                 
Katherine Sommer Lee, Oklahoma City, OK                                                             
Samantha M. Marrelli, New Brunswick, NJ                                                             
Atasia Rashae Richardson, New York, NY                                                              
Maeve Bain, West Chester, PA                                                                        
William Menzalora, Cleveland, OH                                                                    
Marisa Wahlstrom, Missoula, MT                                                                      
Annabelle Smith, Missoula, MT                                                                       
William Edward Buenger, Jr., Chicago, IL                                                            
Eric Lankton, New York, NY                                                                          
Max R. Lewkowski, Hoboken, NJ                                                                       
Nora Chetcuti, Norfolk, VA                                                                          
Audrey Lane, Chicago, IL                                                                            
Catherine Newman, Birmingham, AL                                                                    
Clint Woodfin, Knoxville, TN                                                                        
Daniel Gourash, Cleveland, OH                                                                       
McKenna Rae Giovingo, New Orleans, LA                                                               
Zachary Hoover, Columbus, OH                                                                        
Sean T. Conrecode, Denver, CO                                                                       
Brittney Lehtinen, Las Vegas, NV                                                                 
Emily Hager Sutherland, Glen Allen, VA                                                              
Julian Viscidi, Glen Allen, VA                                                                      
John Wilson Booth, Birmingham, AL                                                                   
John T. Loughney, Alexandria, VA                                                                    
Amber C. Leija, Hobbs, NM                                                                           
Brian Medhat Touna, Arlington, VA                                                                   
Elizabeth L. Melamed, Lancaster, PA                                                                 
Matthew W. McCullough, Erie, PA                                                                     
Blake Walker, Atlanta, GA                                                                           
Madeline Kuluz Tincher, Covington, KY                                                               
Nicholas Shodrock, Dallas, TX                                                                       
Jane E. Weiler, Topeka, KS                                                                          
Robert E. Hawthorne, III, Birmingham, AL                                                            
Heather McCloskey, Moorpark, CA                                                                     
Nichole Marie Koford, Lutz, FL                                                                      
Marie J. Ignozzi, Owings Mills, MD                                                                  
Pamela J. DeVet, Seattle, WA                                                                        
Holland Denton McCloskey, San Diego, CA                                                             
Lissa Andrews, Honolulu, HI                                                                         
Zackary Paal, Seattle, WA                                                                           
Akash D. Brijpaul, Toronto, ON, Canada                                                              
Andrea Silk, Hackensack, NJ                                                                         
Christopher L. Parisi, Hackensack, NJ                                                               
Rachel Trauner, New York, NY                                                                        
David Placke, New York, NY                                                                          
Brian Ettari, Henrico, VA                                                                           
Kourtney Twenhafel, New Orleans, LA                                                                 
Eric Jones, Orlando, FL                                                                             
Danielle LeGrand, Glen Allen, VA                                                                    
Nicole Jones, Denver, CO
Dana M. Trexler, Chicago, IL                                                                        
Michael J. Rossignol, Morristown, NJ                                                                
Michelle Thurber Czapski, Troy, MI                                                                  
Brenda K. Wallrichs, Cedar Rapids, IA                                                               
Melanie J. Whittamore-Mantzios, Lincoln, NE                                                         
Michael D. Williams, Houston, TX                                                                    
R. Dale Bay, Nashville, TN                                                                          
Scott Haworth, New York, NY                                                                         
Konrad Pilatowicz, Phoenix, AZ                                                                      
Lana A. Olson, Birmingham, AL                                                                       
Marta-Ann Schnabel, New Orleans, LA                                                                 
Meghan E. Ruesch, Indianapolis, IN                                                                  
Andrew R. McCloskey, San Diego, CA                                                                  
David J. MacMain, West Chester, PA                                                                  
Heather Korsgaard, Branchville, NJ                                                                  
Thomas E. Dunlap, Washington, DC


DRI's 2024 Events Calendar is Now Available! 

Calendar 1Calendar 2Calendar 3

2024 will be here before we know it! We are happy to announce all of the incredible seminars we have planned for upcoming year, as well as the 2024 DRI Annual Meeting. Be sure to check out the dates and location for your seminar under the Education/CLE tab on the DRI website.

Find a seminar you are interested in attending? Click on it and fill out the form to sign up for registration updates - we'll send you an email when registration is open so that you can take advantage of Early Bird discounts and special hotel rates!

Make sure to include DRI seminars in your 2024 budget for business and professional development opportunities. See the lineup of 2024 events below to discover what we have in store for you. Additionally, you can view and download a PDF version here.

DRI Learning Center

Take Advantage of the DRI Learning Center!

Your One-Stop Destination for the Best in Civil Defense Legal Education

With seminars, webinars, as well as anytime access through on-demand learning, the DRI Learning Center is making continuing legal education more convenient, flexible, and cost-efficient than ever.

Here are some of the ways you can benefit:

  • Explore 27 key practice areas.

  • Choose what's convenient for you: in-person (seminars), virtual (webinars), or on-demand.

  • Bundle your own content customized to your specific practice needs.

Learn more at!

DRI Education

Upcoming Seminars and Webinars


2023 Professional Liability Seminar
November 29 – December 1, 2023 | New York, New York

The last three years have launched unprecedented changes in the world as we knew it. These changes carry over into issues faced by professionals in multiple disciplines. With advancements in technology like ChatGPT and other AI products come a myriad of unique ethical issues. And when professional negligence results in potential licensure exposure, the stakes can be particularly high. Soaring costs of litigation, particularly e-discovery, present real and logistical challenges with eroding limits policies. The stresses of practice, while always significant, are magnified as insurers, lawyers, and clients return to the new real world as if blinking into the sunlight after recent years of remote work, quarantine, and remote meetings. Effective communication both within and outside the office, self-care, employment, and retention issues, including aging professionals have become pressing concerns. Join us as we explore this new landscape with dynamic speakers and thought-provoking topics, all in the heart of New York City.

2023 Insurance Coverage and Practice Symposium
November 29 – December 1, 2023 | New York, New York

DRI's Insurance Coverage and Practice Symposium is the flagship educational and networking program for insurance executives, claims professionals, and outside counsel who specialize in insurance coverage. This year's symposium will once again offer the unparalleled opportunity to engage with a distinguished faculty of insurance industry leaders and coverage lawyers on emerging and cutting-edge issues such as the impact of artificial intelligence, the future for coverage issues involved in "forever chemical" environmental claims, and the continuing impact of nuclear verdicts on coverage and excess insurance issues. As always, the symposium will provide exceptional networking events and will offer the opportunity to build relationships with other professionals who share your interests.

2024 Women in the Law Seminar
January 17-19, 2024 | Phoenix, Arizona

Women professionals, and particularly lawyers, are under a lot of pressure to succeed despite the systems and cultural norms that present obstacles in our daily lives. These systems and cultural norms can hamper our ability to be our best and truest selves in both our professional and personal lives. At the 2024 Women in the Law Seminar, we will thoughtfully analyze these tough issues together. We hope you join us for this incredible seminar, where we know each of you will gain valuable skills to help you embrace your authentic self and bring out the best in each other. When we empower ourselves, we empower others. Together, we will rise!

Register by December 4, 2023, to receive the early bird discounted rate. If your membership recently lapsed, please renew your membership prior to registering to ensure you receive your discounted member rate.

2024 Construction Law Seminar
January 17-19, 2024 | Phoenix, Arizona

The future is upon us. Construction professionals face new challenges at every stage of the build. The race for alternative energy has changed not just how we build but what powers the build. Traditional building methods are rapidly giving way to novel methods due to both necessity and invention. Attorneys, clients, and insurers must be prepared to address the future workforce, products and contractual relationships which come with this change. In challenging legal and economic times, how do we as lawyers best represent our clients moving forward into an era where AI and the global view impact the drafting, management, and litigation of construction? Join the DRI Construction Law Committee as we share our thoughts and strategies for practicing in this challenging and exciting time.

Register by December 4, 2023, to receive the early bird discounted rate. If your membership recently lapsed, please renew your membership prior to registering to ensure you receive your discounted member rate.

2024 Civil Rights and Governmental Tort Liability Seminar
January 17-19, 2024 | Phoenix, Arizona

DRI is proud to announce the 37th annual Civil Rights and Governmental Tort Liability Seminar in Phoenix, AZ! This seminar will provide you with invaluable information and tools to represent your governmental clients. This year’s faculty include preeminent insurance professionals, a renowned Supreme Court advocate, a qualified immunity scholar, and Section 1983 experts from across the United States. Attendees will develop litigation and trial tactics, including maintaining client relations, defending officer depositions, addressing medical causation in use-of-force cases, giving an opening statement, and more! As always, attendees will also have opportunities to network and exchange ideas and winning strategies with experienced litigators and insurance professionals. See you in Phoenix!

Register by December 4, 2023, to receive the early bird discounted rate. If your membership recently lapsed, please renew your membership prior to registering to ensure you receive your discounted member rate.

2024 Product Liability Conference
February 7 - 9, 2024 | Denver, Colorado
Join us for the 2024 DRI Product Liability Conference which, for the first time in the Committee’s history, will be held in Denver, Colorado! This year’s Program is even more awe-inspiring than the City’s breathtaking views of the snow-capped Rocky Mountains, with world-class speakers set to discuss topics ranging from the ever-changing landscape of product liability claims, to building an evidentiary basis to reconstruct reality. Find out how both science and the game of poker can take aspects of your practice to the next level. And, we will have a number of exciting networking opportunities you will not want to miss that are as unique as the Mile High City itself!

Register by December 21, 2023, to receive the early bird discounted rate. If your membership recently lapsed, please renew your membership prior to registering to ensure you receive your discounted member rate.

2024 Litigation Skills Seminar
February 28 - March 1, 2024 | Miami, Florida
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.

DRI Members can register now for $1,195 thanks to exclusive, limited time Early Access Registration! Everyone else can take advantage of Early Bird Registration starting November 30 through January 16. If your membership recently lapsed, please renew your membership prior to registering to ensure you receive your discounted member rate.

2024 Medical Liability and Health Care Law Seminar
February 28 - March 1, 2024 | Miami, Florida

Join us in Miami, Florida, for an engaging and exciting seminar that will address some of medicine’s most relevant and controversial issues. Topics include: a maternal fetal medicine and pediatric neurology “blockbuster” two-part series addressing common themes and countervailing claims in a birth injury case; the latest insight into gastroenterology and hepatology, including use and possible claims related to weight loss injectables; the newest concerns and claims in sports medicine and the problems facing treatment of elite athletes; and issues of social inflation and combating jury influence. Each day has dedicated time for networking opportunities in a variety of settings such as dine-arounds and an offsite event on Thursday night.

DRI Members can register now for $1,195 thanks to exclusive, limited time Early Access Registration! Everyone else can take advantage of Early Bird Registration starting November 30 through January 16. If your membership recently lapsed, please renew your membership prior to registering to ensure you receive your discounted member rate.

So You Want to Be a Mediator?
November 15 | 11 a.m. CST

Mediation continues to be a significant aspect of defense practice for litigators, in-house counsel, and claims personnel alike, and has become one of the primary forums where the real work of resolving claims, litigation, and other disputes takes place. For defense attorneys, expanding one's practice into serving as a mediator can be a natural extension and can provide significant legal, business, and professional benefits. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) committee chair Pete Cantone will lead a discussion/roundtable with Sidney Kanazawa and John Trimble, two defense attorneys and DRI members that have developed significant practices as mediators/neutrals. The discussion will focus on how and why John and Sid entered into this practice area for themselves, what defense attorneys can learn from their experiences, and how developing this practice area can improve and complement a defense practice.

The registration is $75 for DRI members and $150 for non-members.

When the Client Relationship Goes Too Far: Ethical Issues to Avoid
December 7 | 11 a.m. CST
Hear from the Managing Counsel for Transunion and General Counsel for West Virginia University about when socializing with clients, defense counsel, and insurance professionals, gift-giving and campaign contributions (giving and receiving) go too far and become an ethical issue. The panel will be a roundtable discussion of various situations and the ethical impacts of same.

The registration is free for DRI members and $150 for non-members.

Medicare Reporting and Applicable Civil Money Penalties
December 13 | 11 a.m. CST
The federal government's rule on civil money penalties for failure to comply with Medicare Secondary Payer Reporting requirements has issued and is effective December 11, 2023. Attend this program to learn of potential penalties, how they may be determined, how they may be appealed. This is a must attend program for attorneys, claims adjusters, self-insured businesses who may be involved in personal injury litigation.

The registration is free for DRI members and $150 for non-members.

Quote of the Month

"Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” — William Arthur Ward