The Mass Torts Made Perfect conference at the Wynn in Las Vegas was one of the best events we’ve attended recently. The energy was palpable and attendance was the highest ever, according to Sharon Booth of Levin Papantonio, organizer of the conference.
The Wednesday Business of Law sessions covered topics ranging from marketing and financing to law firm innovation. Verus hosted a panel discussion on Trends in Mass Tort Litigation, presented by myself, Mark Zabel, our Director of Analytics, and Deb Zonies, our VP of Mass Tort Services. We spoke about recent acquisitions in the space, trends in financing, the advantages of using analytics, diversity and how the plaintiffs’ bar is tackling tough social issues. The feedback we got was great.
That afternoon I was the first presenter at the inaugural Shark Tank session. Thanks to the advice of Dan Myer, our VP of Client Services, I decided to speak from the heart and scrapped my prepared remarks. You can see the video here:
Our booth was staffed by Veronica Blum, our Director of Marketing. In addition to our usual giveaways, including our always-popular hangover kit, we offered a game for charity where participants could choose which charity they wanted to support. Verus has made donations to 11 charities, including the ACLU, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. We also once again sponsored the headshot booth.
Wednesday evening was time for socializing, with multiple receptions and the over-the-top Opening Night Gala at XS Nightclub.
Thursday opened with a powerful presentation by Mike Papantonio and Mark Lanier focused on Valsartan and 3M earplugs. Human trafficking was the main topic in the morning. The Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame inductions took place at lunch. It’s always inspiring to hear from these legal trailblazers. Joe Theisman was the featured speaker. He found a way to relate his sports career to the work done by mass tort lawyers and also told an amusing story about his Notre Dame coach changing the pronunciation of his last name to rhyme with Heisman…as in the Heisman trophy.
One of the popular sessions on Thursday afternoon was the Roundup update with Aimee Wagstaff and Jennifer Moore, fresh off their victory in the Hardeman case, and Mark Niemeyer. The 3M earplugs and Xarelto settlement sessions were also well-attended. Of all the recent new cases, the 3M earplugs litigation is drawing a lot of attention. As Todd Mathews of Gori Julian has said, “You don’t talk bad about your mom. You don’t kick your dog. And, you don’t hurt our military men and women.” We fully support the firms taking on 3M in this litigation.
Thursday evening was the cocktail party in the exhibit hall. Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth. The cocktail party was followed by entertainment by W. Kamau Bell.
Friday morning began with an over-capacity crowd at the Women in Legal Leadership breakfast. Our CEO, Mark Eveland, spoke on a panel with Judge Corodemus and Fabrice Vincent of Lieff Cabraser about some of the ethical issues involving attorney fees and expenses in mass torts. The rest of the day was filled with the Judicial Panel and update sessions on various mass torts, such as gadolinium, IVC filters and talc.
All in all, this was a great conference. We had the chance to spend time with some of our clients and we got to meet many new people. If you didn’t get a chance to stop by to see us in Vegas, please feel free to reach out to me to learn how Verus can help with your mass tort cases.