Monday, February 24, 2014

2014 DRI Products Liability Conference

Since 2010, I have made it a priority to attend the Defense Research Institute's Products Liability Conference. This year's conference is being held April 9-11, 2013, in Phoenix, Arizona at the Arizona Biltmore.  The theme of this year's conference is "Plan and Prepare."

This conference is always outstanding. I try to attend it each year because (1) the programming keeps me updated from a practice standpoint, and (2) now that I have attended for a few years, there are more and more "familiar faces" for networking purposes.  I have made some great friends, and I have also gotten referrals from contacts made at the conference.  In my opinion, it is a "must attend" if you defend products liability cases.

In addition, I am in my first year serving as Chair of the Agricultural, Construction, Mining and Industrial Equipment ("ACMIE") Specialized Litigation Group ("SLG").  As you know from posts about prior conferences, ACMIE always has a breakout session, but things are a little different this year.  ACMIE actually has a "main stage" presentation in front of all conference attendees.  Our main stage presentation is entitled "Warn, Retrofit, or Recall: Risk Management Considerations for Legacy Equipment."  This presentation will focus on products liability claims involving older equipment.  (I had a legacy equipment case years ago involving an extremely old corn picker, and I can vouch for the fact that there are some challenges and nuances when dealing with these types of cases).  Kevin G. Owens (Johnson and Bell Ltd.), Jaime L. Myers (Caterpillar Inc.) and Daniel A. DuPre (Federal Signal Corporation) will present on this topic. at 2 p.m. on April 9, 2014 during the afternoon main stage portion.

On April 10, 2104, we will also have an abbreviated breakout session (due to the fact that we are doing a main stage presentation).  Our breakout session will be from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and we will have two presentations.  First, Mark E. Gebauer (Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott LLC), Kristin K. Esche (Deere & Company) and David M. Nicholas (Volvo Construction Equipment North America LLC) will present on "Expert Witnesses: Inside or Outside?  The Pros and Cons."  Then, Matt Hundley (Moran Reeves & Conn PC Law Firm) will present our annual "ACMIE Top Ten for 2013."

If you have not already registered, I would urge you to plan to attend this conference and participate in our SLG meeting. All of the information about the conference and registration can be found at this link, and I hope you will make plans to attend.  You can also download the event brochure by clicking here.


  1. Liability claims must be interesting to work with. It would be interesting to know how many of them are actual legitimate claims made with good reason. We all know that there are people out there just trying to get something for nothing. I hope that people like that don't ruin it for those people that have a real reason for making a liability claim.