|February 8, 2012||volume 11 issue 5|
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DRI Announces a New Initiative for Claims Executives
The DRI Executive Committee and Board of Directors are pleased to announce a new program that offers free seminar attendance to claims executives. The program is similar to the successful free tuition plan for corporate counsel, and it is designed to increase the presence of claims executives at DRI events. The following paragraphs outline the operation of the new program and define eligibility requirements.
This program does not apply to DRI Annual Meetings. Additionally, our Counsel Meeting Incentives Program remains in place, and we feel it will continue to be attractive because it provides the added benefit of free travel and lodging to qualifying corporate members.
DRI’S Women in the Law Committee proudly presents Sharing Success–A Seminar for Women Lawyers to help women lawyers maximize their full potential inside and outside of the courtroom. This seminar, to be held February 23–24 in Scottsdale, Arizona, addresses the unique challenges women face in the practice of law and offers an alternative model for success, based on a woman’s distinctive communication style and personality. The program is both educational and enriching, geared to help you hone your trial and business development skills. It is also an opportunity to participate in a variety of networking and social activities. This seminar boasts distinguished faculty from around the country, including in-house lawyers from some of the most recognized companies in America, experienced and successful trial lawyers, and nationally prominent marketing and trial consultants.
What You Will Learn
Online registration will be available until February 22. On-site registration will also be available. Don’t miss out on this great seminar and networking opportunity!
DRI Product Liability Conference Is Heading to Las Vegas!
DRI’s Product Liability Conference, taking place April 11–13 in Las Vegas, is indispensible for anyone who defends product liability litigation. Attendees will learn about the latest trends and decisions affecting product liability cases and get valuable practice tips, strategies and trial techniques to gain an advantage in defending the modern product liability case. Main stage speakers include experienced and well known product liability defense trial lawyers, in-house counsel and government lawyers. The specialized litigation group (SLG) sessions will offer detailed analysis in 18 different product practice areas. This conference offers unmatched opportunities to keep abreast of current issues, earn CLE and network.
What You Will Learn
Advance registration is open through March 22, 2012. Register now to be included on the pre-registration list and get a sneak preview of this fantastic event by receiving all seminar materials in advance.
What Are the Keys to Conducting Great Depositions?
Taking a deposition of a plaintiff or a key fact witness is a big step for a young lawyer, and success depends on proper preparation, great listening skills, and artful follow-up. Outlines and stock questions are great, but it’s an attorney’s ability to listen to the answers and follow the path provided by a witness that will determine whether it’s a good deposition or a great deposition. During "Framing the Story: Plaintiff and Fact Witness Depositions," we’ll give you the keys to success and a path to conducting great depositions.
Did you know, as a DRI member, your entire office can watch this live webcast and receive CLE for only $150? The more office locations that register, the greater the discount to your firm! Register now.
Download Now Available for the DRI Law Student Diversity Scholarship!
DRI announces its annual Law Student Diversity Scholarship program, open to incoming second- and third-year African American, Hispanic, Asian and Native American students. The goal of these scholarships is to provide financial assistance to two worthy law students from ABA accredited law schools in order to promote, in a tangible way, the DRI Diversity Statement of Principle. Incoming second- and third-year female law students are also eligible, regardless of race or ethnicity. Incoming second- and third-year law students who also come from backgrounds that would add to the cause of diversity, regardless of race or gender are eligible to apply. To qualify for this scholarship, candidates must be full-time students. Evening students also qualify for consideration if they have completed one-third or more of the total credit hours required for a degree by the applicant’s law school. Two scholarships in the amount of $10,000 each will be awarded to applicants who best meet the following criteria:
Podcasts Available for Purchase
Did you know for every webcast offered by DRI, the specific webcast is recorded and formed into an audio podcast? Podcasts are currently $35.00 per download and can be downloaded straight from the DRI website. They are formatted to fit an iPod, mp3, and any other audio device. Recent highlighted podcasts include: “Combating Efforts to Cast a Wide Net: New Enforcement Approaches to Pursue Off-Label Promotion” and “Hiring, Testing, Promoting and Terminating Employees After Ricci v. DeStefano.” Over 40 podcasts are available for purchase and instant streaming from the DRI website to your audio device. Catch up on webcasts you may have missed and create your own podcast library!
Comprehensive Insurance Guide
The DRI Excess and Umbrella Insurance State-by-State Compendium is a comprehensive guide designed to provide coverage counsel, attorneys defending insureds, insurers, and corporate counsel with an understanding of umbrella/excess insurance and related issues that can arise during litigation. It includes an in-depth, jurisdiction-specific examination of several critical areas, including whether and when an excess insurer must "drop down"; loss allocation; horizontal and vertical exhaustion; duties among primary and excess/umbrella insurers; duties to defend and to reimburse for defense costs; notice issues; notable case analyses; and much more. Cost is $125 member/$155 for nonmember in CD format. Hard copy is $180 member/$210 for nonmember.
Unveiling the Medical Records Plaintiff Does Not Want You to Find
by Robert Abramson, Kopka, Pinkus, Dolin & Eads, Farmington Hills, MI
It is not surprising that plaintiffs claiming to be injured in auto accidents are often evasive about their prior medical history and treaters. In an article published by the American Medical Association, “Examinee-Reported History Is Not a Credible Basis for Clinic,” Robert Barth, Ph.D., cites numerous studies confirming that claimants tend to misrepresent their pre-claim functioning as having been “superhuman,” and distort their reported history in a fashion that potentially inflates the financial compensation for their claims.
Eric G. Johnson
DRI member Eric G. Johnson, a partner with Smith, Sovik, Kendrick & Sugnet, PC in Syracuse, New York, successfully defended a local surgeon in a medical malpractice claim and secured a verdict absolving the defendant after the jury deliberated for only one hour.
Thomas C. Gallagher
DRI member Thomas C. Gallagher, a senior associate with Deasey, Mahoney, Valentini & North, Ltd. in Philadelphia, successfully defended the County of Berks and its jail officials in a civil rights lawsuit, following a jury trial in the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The plaintiff, a former inmate at the county jail, alleged that two corrections officers, the warden and the county violated his Eighth Amendment rights by allowing him to occupy a cell with a known dangerous condition, after the upper bunk bed pan collapsed on him when his cellmate jumped onto the upper bunk; that the disciplinary unit officers were deliberately indifferent to him by not responding to cries for help after the collapse and, finally, the county and the warden were negligent for failing to inspect the bunk beds.
Michael A. Pope
DRI member Michael A. Pope, a partner with McDermott Will & Emery in Chicago, led the defense team that secured an important victory for Bituminous Casualty Corporation (Bituminous) in an insurance bad faith lawsuit on appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Jennings L. Hurt III
DRI member Jennings L. Hurt III of Rissman, Barrett, Hurt, Donahue & McLain, P.A. in Orlando, Florida, teamed with a partner recently to obtain a defense verdict for Orlando Health, Inc. and Howard Smith, M.D., after a four-week medical malpractice bodily injury trial in Orlando.
Wayne D. Taylor
DRI member Wayne D. Taylor, a partner with Mozley, Finlayson & Loggins LLP in Atlanta, and a colleague successfully represented ACE American Insurance Company in an appeal filed by RaceTrac Petroleum, Inc. in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. RaceTrac appealed the trial court’s dismissal of RaceTrac’s complaint seeking a judicial declaration of liability insurance coverage for RaceTrac under ACE’s excess liability insurance policies. ACE had denied coverage under the commercial general liability insurance policies for claims against RaceTrac in underlying lawsuits, which alleged that the plaintiffs sustained personal injuries from exposure to benzene vapors in gasoline during their employment at a RaceWay service station between 2005 and 2007.
Keep those defense wins coming! Send a short summary in Word format and a recent photo (.jpg or .tiff attachment) of yourself to Barb Lowery by email (email@example.com). Please note that it could take two or three months for your win to get published. Just as the defense victories continue to pile up, the same is true for the submissions!
We are pleased to focus DRI’s leader spotlight on David Pocius, a director at the Burlington, Vermont, firm of Paul Frank + Collins P.C. His practice focuses on commercial litigation, property and construction, and employment law. He maintains an active practice in the state and federal courts of Vermont and New York. Mr. Pocius and Laura D. Eschleman of Nall & Miller, LLP in Atlanta, currently serve as co-chairs of the Legislative Liaison Subcommittee of DRI’s Young Lawyers Committee. This subcommittee provides the legislative tracking that DRI members see in The Voice. Jim Pattilo, First Vice Chair, Young Lawyers Committee, commented, "David exemplifies the qualities of an excellent lawyer in that he is innovative, hard-working and reliable. I’m confident he will be a great asset to our committee for years to come." He is also a member of DRI’s Appellate Advocacy, Construction Law and Trial Tactics Committees.
California Block Expansion of Product Liability Law
People often complain about lack of time when the lack of direction is the real problem.
The Young Lawyers Legislative Subcommittee is led by co-chairs Laura D. Eschleman of Nall & Miller, LLP in Atlanta, Georgia, and David M. Pocius of Paul Frank + Collins PC in Burlington, Vermont, along with co-vice chairs Loretta Hoskins of Chaffe McCall, LLP in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Darryl Thomas II of Larson King LLP in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Special thanks to these leaders, along with all of the other federal and state contributors. This week’s tracking covers includes Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and New York.
ARIZONA (Contributor: Patrick C. Gorman, Jones, Skelton & Hochuli, PLC, Phoenix, Arizona)
LIFE, HEALTH & DISABILITY
LAW PRACTICE MANAGEMENT
EMPLOYMENT AND LABOR LAW
TECHNOLOGY, INSURANCE LAW
SB 1071, relating to Racial Profiling
ENVIRONMENTAL & TOXIC TORT
Toxic Torts and Environmental Law
Framing the Story: Plaintiff and Fact Witness Depositions (webcast)
Medical Liability and Health Care Law
Insurance Coverage and Claims
Making Your Case: Defending a Corporate or Client Deposition (webcast)
When Outsiders Invest in Lawsuits (webcast)
Life, Health, Disability and ERISA Claims
Employment and Labor Law
Clearing the Weeds: Artful Expert Witness Depositions (webcast)
Drug and Medical Device
For all other seminars and webcasts, click here.