2019 Driving Diversity & Leadership Conference Agenda

Register for Conference   Conference Info

Time Event and description Other info

1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Understanding Gender-Based Communication Styles

It’s been said that men and women are so different, they must be from different planets. John Gray’s famous book, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, popularized this theory through the title alone, even with tongue planted firmly in cheek. In reality, we all come from Earth, but men and women do have diverse ways of speaking, thinking and communicating overall. Just think of how you would respond to a particular stimulus and how someone of the opposite sex might respond if faced with the same situation. Through extensive research of the genders, many differences have been found. Most people, though, don’t look deeper into why there’s a difference. Rather, they magnify stereotypes or focus on the surface-level issues instead of digging deeper into why the genders act one way or another. I even include some gender-inclusive language isn’t typically something you learn in school, but its use is incredibly important to make life easier for non-binary peers.


Susan Freeman, Strategic Partner, Jaffe


1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Reputation Management – Managing Your Brand Can Be as Important as Managing Your Firm

Many firms don’t recognize the potential of their brands and wind up ignoring or marginalizing this most valuable asset. While it’s true that an attorney’s online reputation isn’t strictly under their control, it doesn’t mean they can’t manage it. This session will help attorneys understand how their firm’s brand can influence their incoming caseloads. rt will also help illustrate the importance of encouraging reviews from past clients and properly responding to them – both good and bad-to help build their firm’s brand and business.              


Bradley Severson, Findlaw


2:40 p.m. – 4:10 p.m.

Finding & Retaining Diverse Talent: Learning From Experts Like You

Today’s law firms face growing client demands for a diverse workforce, while Millennial candidates, who now make up the largest generation of new lawyers, are increasingly looking for employers who value and encourage diversity. In addition, women and minority partners continue to be underrepresented in US law firms. Studies have demonstrated that diversity improves intellectual processes and outcomes. Therefore, it is a win-win for law firms to seek out, hire and retain a diverse legal team. In this presentation, we’ll forgo the traditional panel discussion in exchange for quick, TED-Talk-style presentations followed by interactive, small group discussions, touching on topics such as diversity as a law firm differentiator, expectations and demands relating to diversity from clients and prospective employers, and strategies, best practices, and challenges for building a pipeline of diverse talent. Presenters will give brief, 7-minute discussions on pressing topics, followed by small group, roundtable talks among the participants, allowing NAMWOLF’s members to learn from both experts in this space and each other’s own experiences.


Kay Suh, Lee, Hong, Degerman, Kang & Waimey (LHDK&W)

Roy Banerjee, KPPB Law

Kathleen K. Lucchesi, Lincoln Derr PLLC


2:40 p.m. – 4:10 p.m.

5 Creative Ways To Explode The Growth Of Your Law Firm: #3 Will Shock & Awe the Competition!

Legal marketing requires a different set of strategies to be positioned as a thought leader, expert and authority. This training is designed to help you dramatically explode the growth of your law firm and improve the return on the time and money you Firm invests in marketing. Not only will you learn the latest ways to market your Firm – BUT – you will walk away with a content marketing plan, follow-up blueprint and real strategies that you can put into work immediately to explode the growth of your law firm!


Montina Portis, CIA Media Group LLC


4:20 p.m. – 5:20 p.m.

General Session: Tell it to Me Straight: Candid Feedback From the Client

Join In-House Counsel to hear straight talk about what does and doesn’t work in marketing and in providing legal services. You’re sure to leave this session with several takeaways to help you win, grow and retain client business.


Justi Miller, State Farm

Vanessa Watson, Mastercard

Rachel Milano, BP

Barbara Stevens, Prudential

5:25 p.m. – 6:05 p.m.

Insurance PAC Business Meeting

6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Cocktail Reception with the Board of Directors

All attendees are welcome to attend and mix and mingle with the NAMWOLF Board.

8:10 a.m. - 8:55 a.m.

Products Liability PAC Business Meeting

10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Registration and Business Partner Expo

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Tennis Outing

Sign up and join a group to play tennis.


9:00 p.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Amazing Race Around New Orleans

Join us as we do a mini version of The Amazing Race! The Emerging Leaders created this fun, lively and interactive networking session and it has become one of the most popular events. You will be assigned a team and be given a list of tasks to complete. The first one back to the Royal Sonesta is the winner.


12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Luncheon, Featured Speaker Michelle Silverthorn, Inclusion Nation

Get Off the Ground Floor: Why the Legal Profession Won’t Move Forward on Diversity and Inclusion (And How It Finally Can)

For decades, we’ve heard variations on the same theme on how to increase diversity in the legal profession. It’s no surprise that we remain mired in stagnant progress and unimaginative change, unable to take the bold moves needed toward true equity, representation, and inclusion. In this one-of-a-kind speech, Michelle Silverthorn of Inclusion Nation will explain why the legal profession remains last on diversity, and show us the innovative leadership we need to finally change the demographics of our legal profession and embrace the future of our transforming nation.


1:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Law Firm Only Meeting

Law Firm Members will have a presentation on the state of the organization, presented by the Board of Directors and the NAMWOLF CEO.


1:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Legal Department Deep Dive

State Farm and a T-Mobile company will present an open discussion regarding their use of NAMWOLF Law Firms.


3:10 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

In-House Session: Make it Rain, In-House Counsel! The Importance of Consistent Business Development, Relationship Building, and Reinventing for In-House Counsel

Business development is a continuing obligation for lawyers in private practice. MIHCA believes that in-house counsel have a similar obligation to themselves to position themselves as an integral part of the business and advance their in-house career trajectory. Attend the MIHCA session on the evolving role of the in-house lawyer, how in-house counsel can operate more effectively by building cross-functional relationships, and why in-house counsel should market themselves to their business peers and partners to build their “business” i.e. their in-house career.


Julie Mehta, Ecolab

Shireen Advani Lee, International SOS Assistance Inc.

Rudhir Krishtel; Executive Coach and Consultant


3:10 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Law Firm Cross Marketing Session: Solving the Puzzle of Cross-Marketing with other NAMWOLF Firms (Law Firm Only Session)

Whether you are a long-term NAMWOLF member or new to the organization, this session will provide guidance and inspiration for cross-marketing with other NAMWOLF members.  We will discuss how to develop and maintain enduring connections within the organization, and hear examples of those connections leading to business opportunities at various points along the membership timeline.  There will also be hands-on opportunities to get to know other NAMWOLF lawyers, along with some fabulous prizes for those who put in the extra effort in solving the cross-marketing puzzle!


4:45 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Labor & Employment PAC Business Meeting

4:45 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Retail Restaurant & Hospitality PAC Business Meeting

4:45 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Transactional PAC Business Meeting

5:45 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.

Cocktail Reception


7:45 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Registration & Business Partner Expo

8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Emerging Leaders Session:  The Art of Effective Client Communication & Avoiding Communication Crises

Effective client communication can have a significant impact on a lawyer’s practice, success, and future business development.  This panel discussion will explore in-house counsel’s and outside counsel’s viewpoints on and experience with effective client communication.  Panelists will provide their top client communication practice pointers, share cautionary tales of communication crises, and advice on how to avoid client communication crises. 


Julie Gibbons, Walmart

Vanessa Watson, Mastercard

Reginald Dozier, Lewis & Munday

Renee Livingston, Livingston Law Firm

Sharhonda Robinson-Edwards

8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Law Firm Management Session: Oh No! Now What?!

This edition of the Law Firm Management session will address some common firm crises. In this open forum discussion among law firm management, we will share war stories, steps to prevent, and ways to respond to some common crises that firms have faced or should expect to face, such as a cyber-security breaches, fraud, embezzlement, partnership disputes, lawyer walkouts and other topics that might be raised by the group. We will be crowdsourcing throughout the discussion.

8:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.

Advisory Council Business Meeting


9:15 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Inclusion Initiative Meeting


10:10 a.m. – 11:25 a.m.

Labor & Employment Practice Area Committee CLE: Preventing Scandals — Zero Tolerance for Zero EQ in the Legal Practice and at Trial

Corporate America’s resignations due to misconduct grow daily.  Are legal departments and law firms immune?  This presentation focuses on building emotional intelligence and trust through effective communication, which are often lacking in law firms and corporate legal departments, where “no news is good news” and avoiding difficult conversations and other negative dynamics frequently abound.  This session will help to reduce unnecessary obstacles to crucial communications, among attorneys and staff, with clients, and to jurors, with an overall objective of creating more productive (and happier) workplaces, effective communication between in-house and outside counsel, and presenting your clients’ defense to jurors.  “Emotional intelligence is a way of recognizing, understanding, and choosing how we think, feel, and act. It shapes our interactions with others and our understanding of ourselves. …”


Kerrie R. Heslin, Nukk-Freeman & Cerra, P.C.

Terese M. Connolly, Culhane Meadows PLLC

Amanda Green Alexander, Alexander Law PA

Elizabeth Martineau, Martineau King PLLC

John A. Ferguson, Jr., Schmoyer Reinhard LLP

Theos McKinney, Exelon

Rick Hammond, Walmart

10:10 a.m. – 11:25 a.m.

Products Liability Practice Area Committee CLE: In Re Rising Tide – A Deep Dive into Current Strategies to Protect the Company in the Throes of Multi-District Litigation

Staged as a monthly case status conference before a federal Magistrate Judge, our presenters will dive deep and provide insights into critical and pivotal issues and strategies in Multi-District Litigation, from selecting bellwether cases to eliminating the chaff to managing reputational consequences and public relations in these often high profile litigation matters directed at the heart of the company — its products. 


Deirdre A. Fox, Scharf Banks Marmor LLC

James K. Grasty, Merck & Co. 

Jerry W. Blackwell, Blackwell Burke P.A.

Ashley Garry, Eli Lilly

Scott Freedman, Southern California Gas Company

10:10 a.m. – 11:25 a.m.

Financial Services Litigation Practice Area Committee CLE: How to Enrage the SEC Whilst Tweeting Stoned (Allegedly): Social Media and the SEC

This program will identify the situations in which the use of social media may draw the watchful eye of the SEC.  First, we will briefly identify the primary statutes and regulations under which the SEC has considered social media and pursued actions –Regulation FD, the “Testimonial Rule” under the Investment Advisers Act, and Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.  Second, we will examine the limited guidance provided by the SEC concerning social media usage, which is most extensive in the context of Regulation FD and the flurry of actions against investment advisers for alleged violations of the Testimonal Rule.  Third, we will discuss the intersection of social media and the Exchange Act’s broad antifraud provision – Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5.  This will include a brief discussion of the purpose of the provisions, the elements of the claim, and the SEC’s wide-ranging investigatory and enforcement authority.  We will then dive into a discussion of the application of these principles to social media, using the colorful Tesla complaint and subsequent settlement as an example and starting point for hypotheticals to illustrate key principles and elements of these claims, such as materiality and scienter.   Finally, we will discuss practical recommendations for in-house counsel to utilize to create or update their company’s social media policy. 


Jennifer Novoselsky, Reyes Kurson

Julie Moran, Orlans P.C.

Gopal Burgher, Burgher Gray, LLP

Sharonda Mills, Wyndham Destinations

Kris Keys, Exelon Corporation

10:10 a.m. – 11:25 a.m.

International Law Practice Area Committee Ethics CLE: CSI (– New Orleans Style): The Corporate Scene Investigation of an International Scandal and the Pitfalls to Avoid Creating Another One

In today’s global world, investigations for purposes of defending litigation, regulatory action or compliance programs often involve multiple jurisdictions.   The panel discussion will cover aspects of international investigations that may trap the unwary lawyer and other corporate employees and potentially create renewed scandal for the investigating counsel or investigators.  Such will include the legal ethical issues that can easily be overlooked by in-house and outside counsel conducting investigations overseas, including the ability to assert attorney client privilege or attorney work product doctrine, the impact of foreign privacy laws, implications of foreign laws regarding the transfer of data and information and other practical issues that arise in certain foreign jurisdictions.  The panel will also present a prepared scenario and discuss which international concerns impact an investigation (e.g.,  US company’s Indian subsidiary’s head of sales is suspected of embezzling company funds to bribe government agents in various jurisdictions to obtain the awarding of government contracts to the subsidiary, as well as earning increased commissions to the head of sales). (Ethics CLE)


Larry R. Schmadeka, Lee, Hong, Degerman, Kang & Waimey

Andrés Rivero, Rivero Mestre

Sonjui L. Kumar, KPPB Law

Minhee Kuo, APL

JB Perrine, Huntington Ingalls

11:35 a.m. – 12:35 p.m.

Luncheon and Keynote Speaker

Chad Jerdee, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, Accenture

12:50 p.m. – 2:05 p.m.

White Collar Practice Area Committee CLE: In-House Counsel at Risk: Enforcement Actions Against Gatekeepers

In-house counsel provide advice in real time to their clients every day. Yet that advice may be scrutinized and second-guessed by regulators and criminal authorities, sometimes with dramatic consequences. This CLE will examine recent SEC and DOJ enforcement actions against in-house counsel and compliance officers and provide guidance on how to reduce your exposure to such claims.


Leah Mayersohn, Mayersohn Law Group

Mary L. O’Connor, Farrow-Gillespie Heath Witter LLP

Anthony L. Schumann, Quintairos Prieto Wood & Boyer


12:50 p.m. – 2:05 p.m.

Retail Restaurant & Hospitality Practice Area Committee CLE: Workplace Active Shooters:  Lawyers Preparing For & Responding To The Unimaginable

This CLE will take an informative and practical approach to prepare companies and law firms for active shooter situations, as well as how to respond during and after such an incident. Panelists will address proactive steps to prepare for and mitigate risk by utilizing security and prevention measures, such as employee training, as well as appropriate response measures, including: working effectively with law enforcement, issuing coordinated public relations responses, addressing employee mental wellness needs, evidence preservation, incident investigation, assessment of potential company/law firm exposure, and anticipation of insurance and litigation issues. This CLE will cover also address best practices as well lessons learned from previous acts of violence in retail, restaurant, and hospitality spaces. 


Jon Strauss, Sapientia Law Group

Maureen M. Deskins, Ocean Properties, Ltd.

Ashley Larson, Sutton Booker P.C.

Gregg McCrary, Threat Assessment Group

Christopher Knopik, Laser Spine Institute


12:50 p.m. – 2:05 p.m.

Insurance Practice Area Committee CLE: I Object? Navigating Bias and Harassment While in Your Advocacy Role

Beginning the discussion on the problems faced by women and minority lawyers while acting in advocacy roles, how ethics rules and rules of various organizations may apply to these situations, and balancing the desire to address the issue with the potential adverse effects to your client and your case.


J.P. Harrington Bisceglia, Christian, Dichter & Sluga, P.C.

Whytne Brooks, New York Life Insurance Company

Chief Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown, US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana

Pamela W. Carter, Carter Law Group


2:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Intellectual Property Practice Area Committee CLE: SCANDAL AND THE BRAND: Strategies from Adoption to Litigation and Beyond

We all hear about brand scandals from high profile litigations.  But once someone attacks your brand and company, do you ignore, defend or attack?  This panel will discuss the different causes of action available when a brand faces a scandal, as well as ways a company can try to avoid litigation, from the initial stages of choosing a brand, to conducting intellectual property audits, to non-litigation public relation solutions. 


Heather Heft, Schoeman Updike Kaufman & Gerber

Adam Sikich, Dunner Law

Jennifer Friedman, Schroder, Joseph & Associates, LLP

Qasim Jami, Siemens Healthineers

Terry M. Isner, Jaffe

2:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Trials Practice Area Committee CLE: Securing the Scene – The Trial Lawyer’s Role in Crisis Management

The Trials PAC will present an interactive demonstration of a trial lawyer’s value during the first 48 hours of a crisis.  Join us as we explore how on-scene investigation, evidence preservation, and issue-spotting can improve outcomes in high-exposure cases, even before the smoke clears.


Nelson Bellido, ROIG Lawyers

Catherine La Fleur, La Fleur Law

Katie Johnson, Sutton Booker

Michael Canaras, The Home Depot

Frank Bear, Walgreen Co.

2:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Transactional Practice Area Committee CLE: Risky Business: Legal and Ethical Considerations in Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) is becoming ubiquitous in business operations.  This CLE presentation will explore key legal considerations arising from the use of AI, including privacy, data security, intellectual property, allocation of liability and general contract considerations.  In addition, we will also discuss policy considerations related to the use of AI (e.g., algorithmic bias) and ethical considerations arising from the use of AI in law practice (e.g., how the Rules of Professional Conduct may apply).            


Lisabel Bobrow, Comcast Cable

Mike Cammarota, Accenture LLP

Linda Henry, Patrick Law Group

Joan Lebow, Partner, Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A.

Rhonda Powell, BuzzFeed, Inc.

Travis Rogers, Allstate

Laurie H. Selkowitz, Wargo French

3:40 p.m. – 4:40 p.m.

Marketing Best Practices Presents:  Level Up: Elevating Your Elevator Pitch from Basement to Penthouse

Whether it’s online or in person, your personal brand encompasses many different things, and it’s not always easy to compress it all into one simple, catchy elevator pitch. In this interactive session, we’ll cover the basics of developing and delivering a great elevator pitch. Then it’s time to test your pitch—break-out groups will provide feedback on each other’s pitches, with the best advancing and presenting to the entire session, and an award given to the room’s best pitch.

4:45 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Financial Services Litigation PAC Business Meeting

4:45 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Intellectual Property PAC Business Meeting

4:45 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Trials PAC Business Meeting

5:45 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.

Cocktail Reception

7:30 p.m.

Dine Arounds by PAC/Industry

8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Is Your Pitch Perfect?  In-House Counsel Help Law Firm Members Perfect Their Pitches

Whether you’re in-house counsel or a law firm member, the annual Pitch Perfect session is perfect for you!  NAMWOLF Law Firm Members will have the opportunity to make a 15-minute “pitch” to a panel of in-house counsel.  Law firms will receive real-time feedback on perfecting their pitches.  Additional in-house counsel are invited to watch in the audience and provide additional feedback. Once the pitch is complete, the law firm will obtain feedback on its presentation and how its pitch can be improved.   Although the pitches are “mock,” many in-in house counsel on the panels and in the audience take the opportunity to source prospective law firms. Non-pitching members in the audience learn best practices and foibles to avoid in pitching for work.  Detailed information will be emailed to Law Firms in preparation for this great session that gets bigger and better each year