Preparing the Next Generation of Leaders of the Defense Bar — Strategy and Trial Advocacy Deep-Dive
March D. Coleman
Director, Legal
Merck & Co., Inc. (North Wales, PA)
Colleen M. Hennessey
Peabody & Arnold LLP (Boston, MA)
Frank C. Woodside, III, M.D., J.D.
Of Counsel
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP (Cincinnati, OH)
In this session designed for up-and-coming drug and medical device products liability attorneys, leading members of the defense bar will share the insights that they have gained in the trenches of litigation and will give attendees the nuanced information they need to stand out in this competitive field. More than just a primer of defending mass torts, this session will teach the rising stars of the defense products liability bar what they need to know to try a case and will increase their value to pharmaceutical and medical device clients. Topics to be discussed include:
  • Setting the framework and demystifying what litigators need to know about the FDA’s role in products liability: approval, labeling, adverse event reporting, off label promotion, clinical trials, social media regulations and more
  • Fighting discovery battles
    • Working with the client to get the best info to prepare a strategy: what are the right questions to ask?
    • Avoiding discovery pitfalls and landmines
    • Getting key documents early on in a case
    • Making meaningful objections and taking concrete positions on what you want produced
    • Heading off any attempts to assert a spoliation of evidence claim
  • Taking depositions: plaintiffs, treating and prescribing physicians, experts
    • Analyzing the applicable case law regarding the requirements for the admission of testimony by treating/prescribing physicians and expert witnesses
    • Conducting discovery with the goal of filing Daubert motions to preclude the admission of plaintiffs’ treating physicians and expert witnesses
  • Trial hacks: tips and best practices for those who are new to products liability litigation from those at the top of the game
    • Case analysis for potential mass torts
    • Choosing trial themes that resonate and will mitigate any bad facts in your case
    • Openings and closings
    • Direct and cross examination

12:00 In-House Think Tank Lunch (by Invite Only)

Only for in-house counsel, this working lunch will provide a forum to discuss the state of the industry candidly with your peers and to focus on how members of the defense bar can coordinate their advocacy efforts to match those of a highly organized and well-funded plaintiffs’ bar.

(Included in main conference tuition)
2:00 Defense Counsel War Room: Deconstructing the Latest and Greatest in Plaintiffs’ Tactics (Facilitated by In-House Counsel)
Connie Matteo
Assistant General Counsel
Pfizer Inc. (New York, NY)
Sarah M. Padgitt
Senior Counsel
Baxter International Inc.
(Deerfield, IL)
Steve Phillips
Special Counsel
Medtronic, Inc.
Included in your registration, join your peers for a state-of-the-industry analysis and candid discussion about what is happening in the trenches of drug and medical device products liability litigation. In-house and law firm defense counsel are encouraged to participate in this unique networking session featuring interactive polling that will set the stage for the topics discussed in-depth throughout the event and provide you with valuable takeaways about what your peers from around the country are seeing from the plaintiffs’ bar.
  • Examining the theories of liability plaintiffs are using in products liability cases against drug and device manufacturers around the country
  • Status of select mass torts and bellwether trials from around the country: what are the new mass torts and MDLS, and where is the plaintiffs’ bar headed in these cases?
  • Proactively identifying drugs or devices which may be ripe for mass tort litigation in light of adverse event reports, social media postings, and attorney advertising
  • Deconstructing recent noteworthy jury verdicts and coming up with a drug and med defense playbook of what themes resonate with juries
  • Analysis of active and unfriendly jurisdictions
  • Overview of plaintiffs’ firms: who are the key players driving this litigation?
  • Expert witnesses: who are the frequent testifiers?
  • Good science and bad science: sharing literature that is relevant to the defense perspective in select mass torts
  • Update on third party funding of products liability claims
  • Getting the message of people over profits out there: successfully telling the public the real story of the efforts and costs inherent in the development of a drug or device to promote health and well-being
  • Developing a good reputation and fostering positive public relations to increase favorable public perception pre-suit
  • Combating public perception against corporations generally and preventing trials from turning into an indictment of “Big Pharma” or “Big Device” in particular
  • Peeling back the lid on where the plaintiffs’ bar focusing its lobbying efforts
  • Keeping up with tort reform initiatives: moving forward with concerted
    tort reform efforts for 2016
4:30 Judicial, Special Master, and Healthcare Perspectives on Products Liability Litigation
The Honorable Ed Kinkeade
District Judge, United States District
Court, Northern District of Texas
(Dallas, TX)
The Honorable James M. Stanton
Former State District Judge
Stanton Law Firm, PC
(Dallas, TX)
5:30 Pre-Registration and Welcoming Cocktail Reception

Post-Conference Master Class: Friday, December 4, 2015

Post-Conference Business Development Master Class 3:30 P.M. – 5:30 P.M.
Patricia A. Barbieri
Deputy General Counsel, Legal Affairs
Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. (Parsippany, NJ)
David N. Royster
Vice President,
Deputy General Counsel
Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc.
(Warsaw, IN)
Mary R. Pawelek
Executive Managing Partner
Bowman & Brooke LLP (Austin, TX)
Back by popular demand: Designed to provide inside insights from both in-house and national trial counsel, this intimate networking group will leave attendees armed with the knowledge of what top companies and firms expect from their “go-to” team members.
  • Comparing the various models for counsel roles — national, regional, local or by areas of expertise (e.g., evidence, discovery, appellate, Daubert and related scientific issues)
  • Demystifying the selection process: what criteria are companies using to select national law firm counsel to represent them
    • What is the process for becoming a manufacturer’s preferred provider?
    • How do the smaller firms get in the game?
    • Referral resources and decision making
    • Underlying partner relationships and engagement of outside counsel
    • How does the selection processes differ for high-stakes work?
  • Tips for regional and liaison counsel: how can you most benefit and be a resource to your trial team?
    • Explaining local mores during jury selection
    • Ensuring local court practices and filings are appropriately adhered to
    • Questioning witnesses and providing additional support
  • Dealing with the tremendous pressure to reduce costs and slash budgets in light of increased costs to life sciences companies in drug development, government regulations
    and requirements arising from healthcare reform
  • Increasing outside counsel’s performance while decreasing costs
    • Assessing outside counsel’s performance: metrics for effectiveness and efficiency
    • Monitoring billing practices
    • What kinds of alternate and fixed fee arrangements with law firms are working to lower the cost of litigating products liability cases, to in-house counsel’s satisfaction?
  • Examining in-house and law firm counsels’ “pet peeves” with regards to their outside counsel — what behavior/activities/style should be avoided?

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