Lakeside Litigation SuperCourse
2023
April 27 - 30
Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee
Greensboro, GA
 

Program Agenda

  • Thursday April 27, 2023
  • Friday April 28, 2023
  • Saturday April 29, 2023
6:00p - 9:00p

Welcome Cocktail Reception and Dinner at Lakeside Landing

8:00p - 11:59p

Hospitality Suite in the Lake House

7:00a - 8:00a

Sunrise Yoga at Lakeside Landing

7:30a - 9:00a

Breakfast and Program Registration

9:00a - 9:05a

Opening Statement by The Trial Network Chair

9:05a - 9:10a

Welcome from the Seminar Chairs

Jerry Glas

Jerry Glas

Deutsch Kerrigan
Louisiana
9:10a - 9:30a

Crushin’ Concussions: Defending Against Frivolous Brain Injury Claims

Traumatic brain injuries occur every 15 seconds, and billboards now claim, “Whiplash is brain injury.” Jerry Glas, Chair of Louisiana member Deutsch Kerrigan’s Civil Litigation Department, shares how his team triages and defends against claims that a mild concussion caused permanent brain damage. His approach will leave your head spinning.

Mark Clark

Mark Clark

Parsons McEntire McCleary
Texas
9:30a - 9:50a

Blurred LInes: Product Liability or Public Nuisance?

There is a disturbing new trend in mass torts: plaintiffs are alleging public nuisance causes of actions instead of, or in addition to, traditional product liability claims. Whether claims are centered on pharmaceuticals, climate change, polyfluoroalkyl substances (“PFAS”), pollution, or other product-related harms, plaintiffs are attempting to sow confusion among jurors and blur the lines between nuisance and product liability law when they cannot prove traditional product liability elements. Mark Clark of Texas member Parsons McEntire McCleary discusses the rise of this troubling trend and the courts’ response, and considers implications for future litigation.

Rick Barnes

Rick Barnes

Goodell DeVries Leech & Dann
Maryland
9:50a - 10:30a

Panel Discussion: 21st Century MDLs – The New Wild West

The MDL process gives the plaintiffs’ bar the opportunity to come out with discovery guns blazing, pushing for intensive e-discovery, corporate designee depositions, and more, all while deferring scrutiny of individual plaintiffs’ evidence on product identification or causation. But there are new sheriffs in town – some judges are using a mix of old and new tactics to lasso MDL abuses. Are these tactics strong enough to restore order to the new Wild West? Saddle up as Rick Barnes from Maryland’s Goodell DeVries and his posse of in-house counsel address hot topics and strategies for taming the MDL process.

Panel: Sean Gugerty
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10:30a - 11:00a

Refreshment Break

Katie Reilly

Katie Reilly

Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell
Colorado
11:00a - 11:20a

Spot the Risk, Reap the Reward: Top 10 Antitrust Risks to Avoid in 2023

With the increase in private lawsuits and scrutiny by government regulators, companies of all shapes, sizes, and industries need to be vigilant in guarding against antitrust risks. In this presentation, trial lawyer Katie Reilly from Colorado member Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell outlines the antitrust risks that pose the biggest threats to in-house counsel and their companies through a discussion of recent cases and Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice actions.

Terry Brantley

Terry Brantley

Swift Currie McGhee & Hiers
Georgia
11:20a - 11:40a

The Devil Went Down to Georgia: What Makes a State a Judicial Hellhole?

In 2022, the American Tort Reform Foundation named Georgia as the #1 Judicial Hellhole in the United States, up from 2021’s designation as #3.  Defense lawyers and their clients point to nuclear verdicts and recent liability-expanding decisions by the Georgia Supreme Court, while plaintiff’s lawyers cry foul and claim the designation is nonsense, citing Area Development magazine’s ranking of Georgia as the No. 1 state for business for the ninth consecutive year.  Headline-grabbing verdicts like the recent $1.7 billion award against Ford Motor Co. attract attention, but what makes a state a judicial hellhole, how did Georgia get here and what are the implications for other states? Swift Currie’s Terry Brantley will examine the numbers behind the headlines and address the practical reality of trying to resolve tort lawsuits in a designated judicial hellhole.

Todd Williams

Todd Williams

Corr Cronin
Washington
11:40a - 12:00p

Never Off the Grid: How to Find and Use Electronic Location Data in Litigation

Electronic devices and systems that record location data are part of our everyday lives, and establishing the location of an individual at a specific point in time can make or break a case. Todd Williams from Washington member Corr Cronin discusses what location data is being captured on everyday devices, how to find it, relevant laws, and how location data can be used effectively in litigation.

Mary Clift Abdalla

Mary Clift Abdalla

Forman Watkins & Krutz
Mississippi
12:00p - 1:00p

Break-Out A: Banning Non-Competes in a Post-COVID Workplace

Nearly every aspect of the workplace has changed as we settle into our post-pandemic new normal. Drafting, executing, and enforcing non-compete clauses are no exception. In this interactive session, Mary Clift Abdalla of Mississippi member Forman Watkins leads a discussion of issues related to geographical limitations on non-competes and the government’s interest in protecting worker mobility. The session also examines legal ramifications at the intersection of these issues, with a specific focus on the FTC’s plan to ban employers from using non-compete agreements with employees.

Discussion Leaders:
Melissa Muro LaMere – Maslon
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Brian Kern

Brian Kern

Hood Law Firm
South Carolina
12:00p - 1:00p

Break-Out B: Best Practices for Using Mock Trial/Jury Consultants

Mock trial exercises offer attorneys insight into how prospective jurors may perceive a case, enabling the trial team to test and hone their trial strategy to tap into the jury’s emotions and values. Engaging a mock jury consultant can maximize invaluable insights about case strengths, weaknesses, and the impact and perception of key evidence. Brian Kern of South Carolina’s Hood Law Firm leads a collaborative discussion on best practices, common mistakes, and misconceptions about using jury consultants to help conduct mock trials and jury selection.

Discussion Leaders:
Paige Mills – Bass Berry & Sims
Christina Marinakis – IMS / Litigation Insights
Jennifer White – VW

Gabriele Wohl

Gabriele Wohl

Bowles Rice
West Virginia
12:00p - 1:00p

Break-Out C: Avoiding the Pitfalls and Liabilities of Cyber-Fraud

The DOJ rolled out its Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative last year, aimed at utilizing the False Claims Act to pursue cybersecurity-related fraud by government contractors and grant recipients. This new initiative seeks to impose penalties on companies that fail to implement cybersecurity measures, misrepresent compliance with cybersecurity requirements, or do not timely disclose cybersecurity breaches. This interactive break-out led by trial lawyer Gabby Wohl from West Virginia member Bowles Rice provides an overview of the new initiative and recent resulting settlements, and shares tips for developing a cyber incident response plan to mitigate False Claims Act liability.

Discussion Leaders:
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Lauren Fisher White

Lauren Fisher White

Christian & Barton
Virginia
12:00p - 1:00p

Break-Out D: The Rise - and Risks - of Artificial Intelligence in the Hiring Process

With record-low unemployment rates, finding a new hire sometimes seems like searching for a “needle in a haystack.” Employers have used artificial intelligence to screen resumes for decades, but recent technology developments have enabled companies to do more: use data compiled from current candidates to find others who could be a good fit, predict the compensation required to get a candidate to accept an offer, and even interview candidates in AI chats. Trial lawyer Lauren Fisher White of Virginia member Christian & Barton leads this break-out discussion on using AI in the hiring process and potential liability traps.

Discussion Leaders:
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1:30p - 5:00p

Afternoon Recreation (Golf, Kayaking, Jet-Skis, Biking, Pontoon Scavenger Hunt)

6:30p - 9:00p

Cocktail Reception and Group Dinner at the Pavilion

8:00p - 11:59p

Hospitality Suite in the Lake House

7:00a - 8:00a

Sunrise Yoga at Lakeside Landing

7:30a - 9:00a

Breakfast and Registration

9:00a - 9:10a

Welcome Back from the Seminar Chairs

Steve Finley

Steve Finley

Gibbons
Pennsylvania
9:10a - 9:30a

Entering the Matrix: Redefining “Products” in a Virtual World

Product liability claims have long centered around physical products. As technology advances, social media and software play an ever-expanding role in our lives and the economy, new product liability claims have emerged targeting the latest platforms and programs. These claims raise a fundamental question for product liability law: what is a product? Steve Finley of Pennsylvania member Gibbons addresses emerging product liability claims and how companies can prepare a successful defense.

Kevin Clark

Kevin Clark

Lightfoot Franklin & White
Alabama
9:30a - 9:50a

Exploring Trends in the Discovery of Personnel Information

The landscape regarding the protection of personal information has evolved dramatically in recent years. Twenty years ago, it was common for litigants to request and produce personnel files and other personal information in civil litigation under only a protective order. However, heightened sensitivity and new requirements under federal and state statutes have made attorneys more reluctant to produce personnel files and other personally identifiable information (“PII”). Kevin Clark of Alabama member Lightfoot discusses the new trends and tactics for navigating the use of PII in litigation and strategies for defending clients in this new landscape.

Ronda Harvey

Ronda Harvey

Bowles Rice
West Virginia
9:50a - 10:30a

Panel: From the Trenches - Preparing and Presenting Corporate Designees for Depositions

As national counsel to The Kroger Company in its ongoing nationwide multidistrict opioid litigation, the Network’s West Virginia firm, Bowles Rice, has prepared numerous 30(b) witnesses for depositions. In this panel discussion, Ronda Harvey and her trial team discuss lessons learned and highlight the need to engage all parties in the process by sharing the stage with two corporate designee witnesses from Kroger, who will share their experiences. Counsel and witnesses also discuss their tested, effective strategies when preparing for and defending corporate designee depositions.

Panelists:
Ashley Hardesty Odell – Bowles Rice
Levi Brehm – Kroger
Jaime McDermott – Kroger
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10:30a - 11:00a

Refreshment Break

David Harless

David Harless

Christian & Barton
Virginia
11:00a - 11:20a

Mitigating “Forever” Liability When Faced with “Forever” Chemicals Claims

Polyfluoroalkyl substances (“PFAS”) are a group of synthetic chemicals that have been used in various industries and in many applications. Described as “forever” chemicals because they accumulate in the human body and the environment, PFAS may survive up to 1,000 years. Some studies have linked PFAS to certain cancers, thyroid disease, ulcerative colitis, high cholesterol, and pregnancy-induced hypertension and preeclampsia. Trial lawyer David Harless of Virginia member firm Christian & Barton discusses the ramifications of PFAS in tort and property claims, how the plaintiffs’ bar is approaching these cases, and strategies for mounting a successful defense to avoid “forever” liability due to these chemicals.

Greg Marshall

Greg Marshall

Snell & Wilmer
Arizona
11:20a - 11:40a

Navigating Turbulent Waters: A Conversation with Global Public Affairs Executive Danny Martí

The gales of political disruption, economic turmoil, and technology advances continue to make for turbulent waters, both in the U.S. and around our increasingly interconnected globe. Former White House Intellectual Property Czar and global public affairs executive Danny Martí joins Network attorney Greg Marshall from Arizona and Utah member Snell & Wilmer to lend his insight into navigating emerging political and technological trends and avoiding the shoals of the resulting regulatory and enforcement landscape. The conversation charts a course through a range of technologies, including the metaverse, NFTs, AI, and data privacy and security, and explores their implications for U.S. and international litigation.

Moheeb Murray

Moheeb Murray

Bush Seyferth
Michigan
11:40a - 12:00p

Well, That’s Settled! … (Or is it?)

What can you do to ensure an iron-clad settlement agreement in the personal injury and commercial litigation contexts? Trial lawyer Moheeb Murray from Michigan member Bush Seyferth addresses what constitutes an enforceable settlement agreement, how to avoid common pitfalls and stumbling blocks in negotiating and drafting them, the necessity of hearings to approve them, and when a party can “undo” them.

Diane Averell

Diane Averell

Porzio Bromberg & Newman
New Jersey
12:00p - 1:00p

Break-Out A: Who’s Zooming Who?

Some argue that remote mediations are here to stay, but tried-and-true negotiation techniques do not necessarily translate to the virtual context. It is essential for in-house lawyers and their outside advisors to reevaluate traditional playbooks and develop a new game plan that leverages new and not-so-new skills. Diane Averell of New Jersey member Porzio Bromberg & Newman shares her insights and techniques to succeed in remote proceedings.

Discussion Leaders:
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Wes Gilchrist

Wes Gilchrist

Lightfoot Franklin & White
Alabama
12:00p - 1:00p

Break-Out B: Compelling Arbitration under the New York Convention

The Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (the “New York Convention”) is an international treaty that governs the enforcement of arbitration agreements and awards involving international commerce. Chapter 2 of the Federal Arbitration Act implements the New York Convention in federal courts. Join Wes Gilchrist from Alabama member Lightfoot as he draws from his experience representing GE in a high stakes case that made its way to the Supreme Court, to explain and explore how to navigate overseas arbitration.

Discussion Leaders:
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Jessica Salisbury-Copper

Jessica Salisbury-Copper

Thompson Hine
Ohio
12:00p - 1:00p

Break-Out C: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Trial Tips from Inside the Chambers

There’s nothing quite like learning by observing others, and judicial clerks have countless opportunities to witness greatness and big mistakes in the courtroom. Ohio member Thompson Hine’s Jessica Salisbury-Copper is joined by former clerks who share first-hand accounts of the good, the bad, and the just-plain-ugly trial tactics they saw while clerking in federal and state courts. The lessons you learn from their stories could make or break your case.

Discussion Leaders:
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Tina Wills

Tina Wills

Freeborn & Peters
Illinois (Northern)
12:00p - 1:00p

Break-Out D: “Battle of the Forms”: Tips to Avoid Disputes in UCC Sales Contracts

“Battle of the forms” disputes arise when buyers and sellers fail to resolve conflicting order form terms before proceeding with a transaction. Trial lawyer Tina Wills from Illinois member Freeborn & Peters examines strategies for mitigating and navigating these disputes, including legal considerations under the UCC, commonly disputed contract terms, and practical tools to prevent future disputes.

Discussion Leaders:
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1:30p - 5:00p

Afternoon Recreation (Kayaking, Biking, Painting, Fishing, Skeet Shooting Course)

6:00p - 9:00p

Closing Night Cocktails and Dinner at Lakeside Landing

8:00p - 11:59p

Hospitality Suite in the Lake House