Tuesday, April 16, 2013

DRI Products Liability Conference De-Brief

I returned from the DRI Products Liability Conference on April 5th, and I am just now getting around to blogging about it.  This was my fourth conference, and my (and I believe DRI's) first at Gaylord National Resort (picture to the right) in National Harbor, Maryland. 

From a programming and speakers standpoint, the conference was fantastic.  The conference had an interactive mock trial component that allowed the audience to provide feedback during voir dire and closing argument demonstrations, and the case fact pattern was incorporated into numerous other presentations. 

I am proud to say that the Agricultural, Construction, Mining and Industrial Equipment ("ACMIE") Specialized Litigation Group ("SLG") breakout session went very well, and we got great feedback on the presentations from our attendees.  I am not sure if it is the breadth of our subject matter or the thoughtful speakers we have each year, but our SLG always has a heavy turnout of attendees.  This year was no exception.   We probably had 80 to 100 people.  I also attended the Consumer Products SLG to hear my friend and former colleague, Steve Morrison, speak.  As always, he did a fantastic job.

In terms of networking....a very different story for yours truly.  On the Monday prior to the conference, I got the "mother of all stomach bugs" and stayed out of work.  On Tuesday, I awoke feeling like I was on the mend, and I flew to the conference.  It only took about a day to realize I was not on the mend, and by Thursday I was crawling into my hotel bed.  So...in short, it did not make for a great social experience.  I managed to attend most of the CLE segments, and I was even able to catch up with some friends over a dinner or two.  But, I doubt I was good company.  Luckily, since the conference was on the east coast this year, my direct flight back had me home earlier than usual on Friday. 

Nonetheless, special thanks to Anne Talcott and James Weatherholtz, this year's Chair and Vice-Chair for the conference, who did an outstanding job.  I liked the site, and even though I was a bit out of sorts with my stomach funk, I thought conference was fantastic.  I am looking forward to next year's conference, and I have taken over the reins of the ACMIE SLG as the Chair, with Mike McWilliams serving as my Vice-Chair.  Special thanks to J.K. Leonard for serving as our Chair for the last two years.  J.K. was always on top of things, so I have some big shoes to fill.  If you have any interest in getting involved in our SLG, please let me know.

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