Top Gun Litigation: Courtroom Mavericks
2024
October 24 - 27
Grand Del Mar Resort
San Diego, CA
 

Program Agenda

  • Thursday October 24, 2024
  • Friday October 25, 2024
  • Saturday October 26, 2024
6:00p - 9:30p

Welcome Cocktail Reception and Dinner

9:30p - 12:00a

Hospitality Suite

7:00a - 8:00a

Sunrise Yoga

7:00a - 8:30a

Breakfast and Registration

Diane Averell

Diane Averell

Porzio Bromberg & Newman
New Jersey
8:30a - 8:35a

Opening Statement by The Trial Network Chair

8:35a - 8:40a

Welcome from the Seminar Co-Chairs

Jerry Glas

Jerry Glas

Deutsch Kerrigan
Louisiana
8:40a - 9:00a

The Waiter Pivot: Redefining Your Role in the Courtroom

Jurors have become self-proclaimed experts in everything and do not want to be told what to think. Fearing manipulation, modern-day jurors not only distrust lawyers, but they have also grown skeptical of subject-matter experts. In this session, Jerry Glas from Louisiana member Deutsch Kerrigan will explore the “Waiter Pivot,” a radical and sensible alternative approach to trial advocacy that can surprise, disarm, and persuade modern jurors. Are you ready to challenge conventional wisdom?

Jessica Salisbury-Copper

Jessica Salisbury-Copper

Thompson Hine
Ohio
9:00a - 9:20a

Under the Microscope: Increased Scrutiny of Class Action Settlements

In recent years, regulators and courts have begun more closely scrutinizing class action notices and settlements. They are taking greater care to ensure settlements are fair and reasonable and that notices are designed to reach the greatest number of putative class members. In this session, Jessica Salisbury-Copper from Ohio member Thompson Hine will discuss recent trends in class action litigation, how parties are responding to this increased scrutiny, how it may impact case strategy, and the resulting effects on class action practice in general.

Mark Adkins

Mark Adkins

Bowles Rice
West Virginia
9:20a - 9:40a

AI Will Not Take Our Jobs! Building Efficient and Secure Artificial Intelligence Practices

Artificial intelligence is becoming prevalent across every industry, including in the legal profession, where it is increasingly common for clients to require that law firms adopt AI tools to increase efficiency and provide cost savings. In this session, Mark Adkins from West Virginia member Bowles Rice will explore popular AI tools that are currently used and on the horizon for litigation firms. He will also cover policies and procedures law firms can adopt to ensure the use of these tools is ethical, secure, and efficient.

Jim Campbell

Jim Campbell

Campbell Conroy & O’Neil
Massachusetts
9:40a - 10:00a

This is Clearly Not My Fault: Evaluating Tort Claims Against Tangentially Involved Corporations

There has been a noticeable rise in the number of cases where an individual commits a crime or otherwise causes significant damage, and the damaged party subsequently makes a claim against a tangentially or indirectly involved corporate defendant. Considering both the lawyer and client perspective, Jim Campbell from Massachusetts member Campbell Conroy & O’Neil will discuss the valuation and analysis of these types of claims, as well as the dos and don’ts of trying a case under these high-stakes circumstances.

10:00a - 10:20a

Refreshment Break

Stephanie Laws

Stephanie Laws

Maslon
Minnesota
10:20a - 10:40a

More Warnings, More Problems? Failure-to-Warn Claims in the Digital Age

From QR codes to YouTube videos, product-related warnings and instructions are rapidly changing in response to technology advancements and changing communication norms. Stephanie Laws from Minnesota member Maslon will discuss evolving standards for product warnings, the risks presented to manufacturers, and strategies for successfully defeating failure-to-warn claims in 2024 and beyond.

Katie Reilly

Katie Reilly

Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell
Colorado
10:40a - 11:20a

Panel - Game Changers: Legal and Regulatory Developments in Collegiate Sports

The NCAA’s rules on name, image, and likeness (NIL) payments and other student-athlete benefits have changed dramatically in recent years. Notably, the five biggest athletic conferences announced a settlement in May, setting the stage for direct payments to student-athletes by schools for the first time. This lively panel discussion, led by Katie Reilly from Colorado member Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell, will review recent and past antitrust cases, provide an overview of the historic House settlement, and consider the future of collegiate sports litigation..

Panelists:


Henry Gimenez – Lightfoot Franklin & White



William King – Southeastern Conference



Amy Sorenson – Snell & Wilmer


11:20a - 11:30a

Gather Lunch for Breakout Sessions

Sean Gugerty

Sean Gugerty

Goodell DeVries Leech & Dann
Maryland
11:30a - 12:30p

Breakout A – A [Plaintiff’s] World of Pure Imagination

“Come with me, and you’ll be, in a [Plaintiff’s] world of pure imagination.” This engaging breakout discussion, facilitated by Jeff Hines from Maryland member Goodell DeVries, will explore some truly bizarre developments in product liability litigation, including a wholly new theory of liability for “failure to innovate” and bring to market a newer, better product; the recent shift to mass torts for consumer goods paid in cash, where plaintiffs rely on an imaginary purchase history; and other examples that surely defy explanation.

Discussion Leaders:


Jeff Hines – Goodell DeVries Leech & Dann



Josh Schumacher – Perrigo


Marissa Ronk

Marissa Ronk

Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell
Colorado
11:30a - 12:30p

Breakout B – Big Pains, Big Gains: Artificial Intelligence in Class Action Litigation

Class actions are massive by nature. As a result, they are uniquely situated to magnify the opportunities and threats of artificial intelligence. This breakout session, led by Colorado member Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell’s Marissa Ronk, will discuss how the plaintiffs’ bar is using artificial intelligence to identify class members; how both sides can leverage AI to streamline discovery costs; and potential fraud risks presented by AI in settlement claim submissions.

Discussion Leaders:


Mark Adkins – Bowles Rice



Terry Newby – Maslon


Steve Schleicher

Steve Schleicher

Maslon
Minnesota
11:30a - 12:30p

Breakout C – The Growing Risk Posed by Public Interest Litigation

Public interest litigation, where governments or nonprofit organizations file lawsuits on behalf of the general public, are often seen as noble causes that seek to protect the environment or preserve historical structures – that is, unless your company or client is in the crosshairs. Led by Steve Schleicher from Minnesota member Maslon, this breakout session will explore the recent rise of public interest litigation and defense strategies to employ if your company or client is the target.

Discussion Leaders:


Rachel Dyrud – Wells Fargo



Jason Lien – Maslon


Rachel Lary

Rachel Lary

Lightfoot Franklin & White
Alabama
11:30a - 12:30p

Breakout D – Courage in the Courtroom: Overcoming Bias and Confronting Intimidation

A team of Trial Network members recently collaborated on and won an eight-day trial in D.C. Superior Court. The team overcame unique challenges on the road to victory, including confronting and conquering imposter syndrome and triumphing over unfair biases and intimidation tactics from opposing counsel. In this breakout session, led by Rachel Lary from Alabama member Lightfoot Franklin & White, team members will dive into their experiences and practical strategies for mental preparation, maintaining composure, and turning perceived weaknesses into formidable strengths.

Discussion Leader:


Carrie Williams – Goodell DeVries Leech & Dann


1:00p - 4:00p

Afternoon Recreation: Golf Tournament, La Jolla Kayaking, Surfing Lesson, Zoo Safari Park, Nature Hike

5:00p - 5:30p

Buses Board for Dinner (Last Bus Departs at 5:30p)

6:00p - 9:30p

Cocktail Reception and Dinner on the USS Midway

9:30p - 12:00a

Hospitality Suite

7:00a - 8:00a

Sunrise Yoga

7:00a - 8:30a

Breakfast and Registration

8:30a - 8:40a

Welcome Back from the Seminar Co-Chairs

Haley Cox

Haley Cox

Lightfoot Franklin & White
Alabama
8:40a - 9:00a

Developing the Next Generation: Succession Planning for Clients and Outside Counsel

Who are the rising stars ready to manage your litigation, and how do you cultivate their skills? This question is critical for clients and outside counsel to consider – ideally together – since a relationship partner’s successor sustains a company’s litigation strategy, and law firms need to prepare lawyers to assume leadership roles. In this session, Haley Cox from Alabama member Lightfoot Franklin & White will explore how to identify and cultivate junior talent, the ethical considerations of training lawyers, and the importance of collaboration between clients and outside counsel in succession planning.

Moheeb Murray

Moheeb Murray

Bush Seyferth
Michigan
9:00a - 9:20a

ETHICS – Who’s the Boss? Navigating the Tripartite Relationship Among Lawyers, Insurers, and Insureds in Litigation

The “tripartite” relationship created when an insurer pays for its insured’s defense can create a complex web of strategic and ethical issues for defense counsel and the insurer. In this ethics session, Moheeb Murray from Michigan member Bush Seyferth will examine the nature of the tripartite relationship, highlight critical areas where strategic and ethical considerations intersect, and offer solutions on how to effectively manage the relationship to achieve an optimum outcome.

David Lacy

David Lacy

Christian & Barton
Virginia
9:20a - 9:40a

ETHICS – Navigating Privilege and Ethical Issues in Internal Corporate Investigations

Organizations often turn to outside counsel to investigate sensitive problems, hoping to protect information under attorney-client privilege. However, just because a lawyer handles the investigation does not mean the findings are privileged. In this ethics presentation, David Lacy from Virginia member Christian & Barton will explore the complexities and nuances of attorney-client privilege, including ethical responsibilities to the client and unrepresented witnesses. In particular, he will highlight issues that in-house and outside counsel should consider to maximize confidentiality and privilege before embarking on an internal investigation.

Malissa Wilson

Malissa Wilson

Forman Watkins & Krutz
Mississippi
9:40a - 10:00a

ETHICS – It’s Time to Play… Name That Ethical Rule!

If you enjoyed the game show, “Name That Tune,” you are in for a treat. Hosted by Malissa Wilson from Mississippi member Forman Watkins & Krutz, and powered by the musical talents of former New York radio DJ “Fast Eddie” Schillay, “Name That Ethical Rule,” will enhance your understanding of the most common ethical rule violations. Participants will be challenged to identify specific rules based on song clips, so brush up on your musical knowledge, study the ethical rules, and get ready to “Name That Ethical Rule”!

10:00a - 10:20a

Refreshment Break

Bob Fulton

Bob Fulton

Hill Ward Henderson
Florida
10:20a - 10:40a

Under Siege: Strategies for Upholding Confidential Settlement Agreements

There are many reasons a party may seek to include non-disparagement and confidentiality provisions in settlement agreements, such as wanting to discourage additional claims or preserve their reputation. In his presentation, Bob Fulton from Florida member Hill Ward Henderson will delve into the common reasons opposing counsel may claim they cannot sign agreements with such provisions, including ethical rules and alleged impact on their ability to practice law, and how to effectively manage these challenges.

Charlie Stoia

Charlie Stoia

Porzio Bromberg & Newman
New Jersey
10:40a - 11:20a

Panel - Disarming Nuclear Verdicts in an Evolving Jury Pool

The jury pool is evolving. Safetyism, politics, and social inflation are making jurors increasingly angry, untrusting, risk-averse, and less willing to compromise. As a result, “nuclear verdicts” are becoming more common and more expensive. This panel, moderated by Charlie Stoia from New Jersey member Porzio Bromberg & Newman, will present targeted long- and short-term solutions for defendants, including strategies for public relations, jury selection, voir dire, social searches, and other ways to counter the risk of nuclear verdicts.

Featuring a presentation from Jill Leibold of IMS Legal Strategies on long- and short-term strategies to stop safetyism and high damages in their tracks.

Panel:


Jill Leibold – IMS Legal Strategies



Sarah McAfee – General Motors



Steve Pearson – Smith Gambrell Russell



Carrie Williams – Goodell DeVries Leech & Dann


Tony Rospert

Tony Rospert

Thompson Hine
Ohio
10:20a - 10:22a

Special Presentation by The Trial Network Vice Chair

Diane Averell

Diane Averell

Porzio Bromberg & Newman
New Jersey
11:22a - 11:25a

Closing Argument by The Trial Network Chair

11:25a - 11:30a

Gather Lunch for Breakout Sessions

Jessie Zeigler

Jessie Zeigler

Bass Berry & Sims
Tennessee
11:30a - 12:30p

Breakout A – It’s a Small World After All: Litigation in a World in Crisis

From pandemics to wars to catastrophic weather events, businesses have suffered across the globe, regardless of their proximity to a triggering event. This break-out session, facilitated by Jessie Zeigler of Bass Berry & Sims, will discuss the business and litigation impacts of economic globalization, from supply-chain issues to process modifications and contract compliance challenges. Participants will leave with a better understanding of how companies are adapting business operations and litigation strategies to fare better in the next global crisis.

Discussion Leader:


Patrick Bradley –  Shoals Technologies


Brad Marsh

Brad Marsh

Swift Currie McGhee & Hiers
Georgia
11:30a - 12:30p

Breakout B – Differentiating Your Defense: Knowing How and When to Resolve Claims

Representing or being one of several defendants in a products liability or complex civil case presents unique challenges, including knowing how and when to resolve your claims. Facilitated by Brad Marsh from Georgia member Swift Currie, this break-out session will cover specific strategies to best position a party for early resolution, starting with the initial responsive pleading, as well as recommended steps to take in discovery to differentiate your company or client to encourage pre-trial resolution.

Discussion Leader:


Christopher Parkerson –  Campbell Conroy & O’Neil


Melissa Muro LaMere

Melissa Muro LaMere

Snell & Wilmer
California (Southern)
11:30a - 12:30p

Breakout C – The New Standard for Accommodating Religious Beliefs in the Workplace

In Groff v. DeJoy, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that employers must reasonably accommodate employee religious beliefs unless doing so would result in a substantial increase to the cost of doing business. In this breakout session, facilitator Melissa Muro LaMere from Southern California member Snell & Wilmer will explore how the Supreme Court’s ruling impacts pending and anticipated employment litigation, and what steps employers should implement to minimize legal risk.

Bill McDonald

Bill McDonald

Bush Seyferth
Michigan
11:30a - 12:30p

Breakout D – Whose Surrogate Is It Anyway?

In complex product liability cases, demonstrating the accident facts, alleged injury mechanism, and product performance are critical. Defendants have long relied on surrogate testing, such as computer simulation or product modeling, to demonstrate what happened and whether or not a product performed as designed. With surrogate testing by plaintiffs’ counsel on the rise, defense counsel faces pressure to present more innovative, convincing surrogate tests. In this breakout session, facilitator Bill McDonald from Michigan member Bush Seyferth will review recent examples of out-of-the box testing and their impact on the case and jury.

Discussion Leaders:


Bob Fulton – Hill Ward Henderson



Michael Steinberger – General Motors



Justin Weiner – Bush Seyferth


1:00p - 4:30p

Afternoon Recreation: Catamaran Cruise, Shore Bike Tour, College Football Viewing

6:00p - 11:00p

Closing Night Cocktail Reception and Dinner Featuring Live Band Karaoke

9:30p - 12:00a

Hospitality Suite