2019 WAJ Winter Seminar & Annual Meeting
Fri, December 6, 2019
7:30 AM to
Sat, December 7, 2019
12:00 PM CT
Wisconsin Association for Justice
Pending CLE for 2019 Winter Seminar:
Friday, December 6th Schedule:
7:30 - 8:30 AM Registration & Breakfast Buffet
8:30 - 9:00 AM: WAJ Annual Meeting
Edward E. Robinson, WAJ President,
Edward E. Robinson is a partner at Cannon & Dunphy, D.C. in Brookfield. He specializes in vehicle accidents, animal injuries, products liability, and medical malpractice. He received his J.D. (cum laude) from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1995. Ed is active in WAJ serving as its President-Elect and on the editorial board of The Verdict. He previously served on the Amicus Curiae Committee, where he authored or co-authored 17 briefs on behalf of WAJ submitted to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals and Wisconsin Supreme Court. Since 2011, he has been selected annually for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America.
9:00 - 10:30 AM - Opening Session with Special Guest:
Jury Research: Connecting and Strengthening through the Divide
Artemis H. Malekpour
Artemis Malekpour of Chapel Hill, NC is a partner in the litigation consulting firm Malekpour & Ball, where she specializes in focus groups, case strategy, and jury selection. As a lawyer with a background in psychology and psychiatric research, Artemis holds a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master’s in Healthcare Administration with a concentration in mental health issues from UNC’s School of Public Health. Before earning her degree with honors from Duke Law School, Artemis worked in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina Hospitals with children and adolescents coping with psychiatric disorders and legal issues.
A member of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, AAJ and the North Carolina State Bar, Artemis has consulted on a wide variety of cases, both large and small, advising plaintiff’s attorneys and criminal defense attorneys across the country on how to deal with their case weaknesses and maximize their strengths. She is particularly well-known for identifying the potential landmines in a case, incorporating the knowledge and experience she’s gained from years of watching jury deliberations and talking with actual and potential jurors nationwide. Artemis also places a strong emphasis on case presentation and the development of a compelling damages story.
10:30 to 10:45 AM - Break with Exhibitors/Sponsors & Networking
10:45 to 11:30 AM
Employee Rights for Your Injured Clients
Tamara B. Packard, Pines Bach LLP
Synopsis: When your client has been injured, the last thing they need is for their livelihood to be threatened, too. Many have the right to take the time off needed to heal, without risking termination. When they are cleared to return to work, but have new physical or mental limitations, they often will be entitled to job accommodations or modifications, to keep them in their job. Learn some basics about the FMLA, ADA, WFEA, STD, LTD, and more. Bring your employment questions!
Tamara Packard is a partner in the Madison law firm Pines Bach. She has been practicing law for over 25 years, primarily in civil litigation and appeals, emphasizing employee rights law. For nearly all of her career, plaintiffs’ personal injury has also been an important part of Tamara’s practice. As an advocate for employees, among other things, Tamara helps her clients obtain protected medical leave and disability accommodations, which enables them to keep and do their jobs despite serious health issues. In her Winter Seminar presentation, Tamara will help PI attorneys help their injured clients to minimize the compounding effects of an injury on their livelihood by utilizing workplace legal protections.
11:30 AM to 12:00 PM
Dealing Effectively with Health Insurance
Kenneth M. Zuber
Ken Zuber grew up in Milwaukee/Wauwatosa, WI, received his B.A. in Political Science/History from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and his J.D. from Valparaiso University School of Law. While at Valpo, he attended a summer legal studies program at Cambridge University, England, taught by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia; worked in the law school’s pro-bono legal clinic representing low-income families; and clerked for several personal injury attorneys and the Wisconsin Court of Appeals in Milwaukee.
Ken has been practicing law since 1995 and for 20+ years has specialized in health insurance “lien” resolution in personal injury cases (16 years as counsel on “the dark side”, the last 4 beating up on them!). Ken now works to educate and assist fellow plaintiffs’ lawyers and their clients in reducing and resolving health “liens” of all kinds by presenting at numerous trial lawyer and Bar associations, along with working with Synergy Settlement Services to provide litigation/case “wrap up” services (settlement planning, lien resolution, special needs/pooled trust services, Medicare set-aside evaluations and administration, attorney fee deferral).
Having previously represented health insurance Plans and carriers to recover funds from injury victims; Ken notes: “I’ve switched sides and now assist seriously injured people in maximizing their recovery while putting their lives back together – which is far more gratifying and rewarding; I love what I do”!
Lunch with Sponsors / Exhibitors from 12:00 to 1:00 PM
Special Guest Presenter(s): TO BE ANNOUNCED
1:00 - 2:30 PM - Special Guest:
Coloring Outside the Lines:
Zoe Littlepage is a named partner in the joint venture firm of Littlepage Booth, headquartered in Houston, Texas. Ms. Littlepage has a unique practice focusing on complex - and generally lengthy - trials in federal and state court, all across the country. She has been a leader in several mass tort projects including heading the state court charge in the Rezulin litigation and serving as lead counsel in the Hormone Therapy MDL litigation from 2003 to 2014. Zoe Littlepage’s jury verdicts were listed on the Top Ten Verdicts of the Year for 2007, 2009 and 2010. On appeal, she successfully defended her six significant punitive damage jury awards in the hormone therapy litigation, thus forcing the defendants to pay every punitive penny awarded and almost $85 million. Zoe Littlepage is one of only six women invited into the exclusive Inner Circle of Advocates and she has been named a “Super Lawyer” every year since 2011 as well as one of America’s top lawyers by American Trial Lawyers Association, Fortune Magazine and The American Lawyer. Zoe Littlepage received the Clarence Darrow Award for outstanding advocacy in 2009. In 2015, the American Bar Association awarded Zoe Littlepage the prestigious Pursuit of Justice award in recognition of her 25 years of advocacy on behalf of victims.
2:30 to 2:45 PM - Break with Exhibitors/Sponsors & Networking
2:45 to 3:15 PM
The fight to enforce employees’
Jesse B. Blocher
Synopsis: Some workers compensation carriers are attempting a new strategy to limit the employee’s attorneys’ reasonable contingency fees in §102.29 cases, and allow a portion of those fees to the carrier’s counsel. If successful this strategy would likely result in employees having difficulty finding competent representation in such cases. The presentation will discuss the state of the law, pending cases, and results of recent cases addressing the issue.
Jesse Blocher is a shareholder with Habush Habush & Rottier and practices in the firm’s Waukesha office. He represents injured individuals in a variety of cases from automobile collisions to products liability claims. Mr. Blocher is a Board Certified Civil Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He has also litigated several appeals and has argued before the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Mr. Blocher is the co-chair of the WAJ amicus committee and jury instruction committee. He is a summa cum laude graduate of the Marquette University Law School. He obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
3:15 to 3:45 PM
The King’s Gift: Qui Tam Litigation under the False Claims Act
T. Christopher Tuck & Charles Dukes
Qui tam litigation is the procedure through which a private individual (c.k.a. “whistleblower”) sues on behalf of the government to recover public funds and, in the event of a successful recovery, is entitled to share in the proceeds.
Chris Tuck is a member attorney at Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman, LLC in its Mount Pleasant, South Carolina office. He has focused his career on representing plaintiffs across the United States in complex litigation. He is licensed in Wisconsin and South Carolina and is admitted to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second, Fourth, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Circuits.
He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Marquette University Law School.
Chuck Dukes is an associate at Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman, LLC in its Mount Pleasant, South Carolina office. He practices in the firm’s class action group, which also represents whistleblowers in qui tam litigation brought under the False Claims Act.
Mr. Dukes is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and a magna cum laude graduate of the Charleston School of Law, where he served as a senior legal writing teaching fellow.
Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman, LLC is a law firm with extensive experience representing plaintiffs across a diverse array of practice areas, including product liability, consumer protection, whistleblower/qui tam litigation and personal injury. The firm is frequently selected to hold leadership positions in consumer class actions and MDLs, and has a long track record of recovering money for the federal government through whistleblower actions using the False Claims Act. The 2019 edition of The Best Lawyers in America® ranked the firm as the top law firm in South Carolina and the United States for attorneys listed in mass tort and class action litigation, and the top law firm in South Carolina in product liability. Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman, LLC has five offices in South Carolina and one office in Illinois.
3:45 to 4:15 PM
"Seeing is Believing": Use of Video In and Out of the Courtroom
Susan V. Haibeck, Haibeck and Associates Legal Nurse Consulting
Synopsis: Seeing is believing. Video, as valuable demonstrative evidence, can bring an argument "to life" before a jury or for out of court settlement for the plaintiff or defense. In our society, video images are an integral part of our daily routine. Video instantly demonstrates in a few frames what otherwise would take several paragraphs of written text or minutes of spoken language to describe.
Susan V Haibeck RN MS CLNC, President of Haibeck and Associates Legal Nurse Consultant is a registered nurse with over thirty years of experience, serving attorneys and their clients nationwide. She possesses a graduate degree in adult oncology nursing from Northern Illinois University and has reviewed many cancer related cases (defense and plaintiff) as well as medical records involving nursing home negligence, emergency room incidents and medication errors. She is available to develop pain and suffering reports, compose questions for depositions, coordinate “A Day In The Life” videos and locate medical experts.
Ms. Haibeck was featured as one of the Vickie Milazzo Institute of Legal Nurse Consulting Success Stories in 2017. Her strong nursing background provides needed insight to the ‘behind the scenes’ story of the institutional nursing culture and organization regarding medical related cases.
Gera-Lind Kolarik is the founder and owner of Evidence Video, Inc. since 1988. She has produced over 30,000 videos and helped attorneys win over 2 billion dollars in settlements and verdicts. Ms. Kolarik specializes in brain injury, paralysis, birth injury, amputee, and death cases. After graduation from Dominican University, she worked at CBS and WBBM as an Assignment Editor and Producer. She then worked at Channel 7 in Chicago where she received an Emmy Award for spot news coverage. Ms. Kolarik was nominated for two more Emmy Awards and an Oscar for an ABC news special. She has spoken at numerous legal seminars on the use of video at trial and mediation and maximizing damages.
Friday, December 6th Paralegal Track
Paralegals will attend general sessions until 2:00
Paralegal Track Moderators
Angelique Imm, Beaver Dam
2:00 to 3:30 PM
Understanding the Interplay Between Discovery,
Daniel Billington, Great Lakes Collision Experts, LLC.
Daniel Billington is an Accredited Collision Reconstructionist and Human Factors Expert specializing in Forensic Visibility Analyses. He is a former Deputy Sheriff from Waukesha County, WI with 18 years in law enforcement, leaving for the private sector in 2009. Today Dan operates a successful private consulting practice which provides expert support for legal and insurance professionals.
With his extensive training and experience in the field of collision reconstruction, Daniel has provided expert support and testimony throughout the United States and abroad. The truth is Daniel’s focus and his integrity is unimpeached. He is a tenacious expert having helped to win cases on both sides of criminal and civil matters. As an experienced lecturer, Daniel has spoken at the Harvard School of Law, national conferences, and many state organizations throughout the North America.
Daniel is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Traffic Accident Reconstruction, a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers and the Illuminating Engineering Society, and holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Daniel is currently pursuing a second master’s degree in Psychology.
3:30 to 4:00 PM
Maximizing Your Paralegal in Trial
Angela N. Pyka, Litigation Paralegal/Litigation Assistant Manager and Jennifer Williams, Attorney, Gruber Law Offices, LLC
Jennifer Williams was born and raised in Racine, WI, before attending the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she obtained a dual degree in International Relations and French, along with a certificate in European Studies in 2002. During her undergraduate years, she studied abroad in Paris, France, as well as Oaxaca, Mexico.
Ms. Williams brings a wealth of experience and compassion for individuals hurt or injured, especially those harmed by larger and more powerful entities. Her breadth of legal experience offers her unique insight and skill in building a case, negotiating an outcome or proving a dispute at trial.
8:00- 9:00 AM - Registration & Breakfast Buffet
9:00 AM - Opening Session
Edward E. Robinson, WAJ President,
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM ETHICS SESSION - 1 Ethics Credits
Addiction in the Legal Field
Jason Wied, Jason Wied Legal Consulting, LLC
Jason G. Wied is an experienced Attorney and Entrepreneur with a demonstrated history of working in the legal industry, sports and entertainment industry and telecommunications industry. Skilled in Negotiation, Public/Media Relations, Business, Real Estate and Corporate Governance. Jason is a graduate of UW-Madison, BA ’95 and Marquette Law, JD ’98 and the NFL Management Program at Stanford ’06. He worked in private practice as a litigator before joining the Green Bay Packers as Corporate Counsel in 2000 ultimately serving as General Counsel and Vice President of the Packers for many years. He returned to private practice after leaving the Packers in 2012 and today operates as an attorney and business advisor through his firm - Jason Wied Legal Consulting, LLC. He is currently on a long term in-house assignment with a telecommunications company. In addition to being a seasoned legal and business advisor Jason volunteers his services to a number of charitable organizations, is a director for various non-profits including the Green Bay Packer Hall of Fame and speaks often as an advocate for addiction recovery services.
10:00 AM to 10:15 AM Break with Sponsors & Exhibitors
10:15 AM to 12:00 PM: ETHICS SESSION - 2 Ethics Credits
Interactive Ethics: What Would You Do?
Kelly L. Centofanti, Ronald G. Pezze, Jr. and Timothy J. Pierce
Synopsis: Bring your laptop or cell phone – our panel will pose a series of ethical conundrums to the audience with an interactive poll. How would your actions mirror that of our audience? What would our ethics counsel advise?
Kelly L. Centofanti is the managing partner of Centofanti Law, S.C. Her practice focuses on personal injury litigation on the plaintiff's side. She handles cases involving medical, legal and other professional negligence, nursing home neglect and abuse, insurance bad faith, motor vehicle and boating accidents and premises liability.
She has lectured locally and nationwide at numerous seminars and CLE programs on a variety of topics. Kelly has guest lectured at Marquette University Law School and the University of Wisconsin Law School. She has also served on the faculty of five National College of Advocacy Trial Skills Colleges (Essentials, Houston; Medical Malpractice, Safety Harbor; Depositions, Atlanta; Direct and Cross Examination, Phoenix and Knoxville), has spoken at two AAJ National Conventions, and was a speaker at an AAJ “Weekend of the Stars” in New York City.
Ronald G. Pezze, Jr. is a shareholder at Ratzel, Pytlik & Pezze, LLC. His practice is concentrated in civil litigation. He routinely represents insurance companies and their insureds in the defense of liability claims, insurance contract interpretation issues, claims of bad faith and other complex insurance coverage matters. Other areas of practice include casualty insurance law, property insurance law, employment practices liability, products liability, copyright law, commercial litigation, construction law and general negligence. Mr. Pezze has argued cases before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals as well as the Wisconsin Supreme Court; and has lectured at numerous seminars and CLE programs on a variety of substantive and procedural topics. He has been board certified in Civil Pretrial Practice Advocacy and Civil Trial Advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Mr. Pezze’s professional affiliations include a former chair of the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Litigation Section. He has been selected as a Super Lawyer by his peers, as well as listed in The Best Lawyers in America since 2007. Mr. Pezze has been rated by Martindale-Hubble as AV Preeminent. He is admitted to all Wisconsin state courts; the United States Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit; and the U.S. District Court for Eastern and Western districts of Wisconsin. Mr. Pezze earned his B.S. degree, cum laude, from the University of Wisconsin-Superior and his J.D. degree from Marquette University Law School.
Timothy J. Pierce is Ethics Counsel for the State Bar of Wisconsin. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School. Mr. Pierce was previously a Deputy Director at the Office of Lawyer Regulation. He has also been employed as the Ethics Administrator for Milbank, Hadley, Tweed & McCloy, in New York, and as an Assistant State Public Defender in Racine. He is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin. He is a frequent speaker on matters of professional ethics.
Wisconsin Association for Justice
Cordially Invites you to an Evening of Celebration!
2019 Presidents' Dinner & Reception
Friday, December 6th at The Pfister Hotel, Milwaukee on 7th Floor
Reception: 6:00 pm
Dinner: 7:00 pm
Edward E. Robinson
Cannon and Dunphy, S.C.
Gingras, Thomsen & Wachs S.C.
The following will be announced in October
2019 President's Award Honoree
Robert L. Habush - Trial Lawyer of the Year Award Honoree
Outstanding Young Trial Lawyer Award Honoree
Paralegal of the Year Award Honoree
Honored on Friday, December 6th
during Conference Opening at 8:30 a.m.
The Pfister Hotel
424 E Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53202
Reservations: To reserve your lodging, contact the hotel at 414-935-5942.
Reference the Wisconsin Association for Justice Block.
Room Rates starting at:
$185 King or two Queens per night;
Pfister King Suite (upgrade option)
ONLINE LODGING REGISTRATION LINK: Wisconsin Association for Justice
Reservation Deadline: November 5, 2019
Become a Winter Conference Sponsor
Cancellation & Substitution Policy
Attendee substitutions may be made at any time and are encouraged when the original registrant cannot attend. If you must cancel or reschedule, please notify us at least three (3) business days (or 72 hours) prior to the program to receive a refund less a $15 service charge. Cancellations made less than 3 business days prior to the program will incur the full registration cost.
At the Door Registrations will incur a $20 late fee.