The Litigation Counsel of America's 2017 Spring Conference & Celebration of Fellows was held at La Fonda on the Plaza in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on May 3-5, 2017. Both tenured Fellows and new inductees were treated to a sunset cocktail reception overlooking the plaza and mountains on Wednesday evening, a presentation by the Trial Law Institute (TLI) followed by the Celebration of Fellows Gala and Induction Ceremony on Thursday, and a half-day of presentations on Friday morning.

The Santa Fe setting was at its loveliest during the entire event and into the weekend, giving attendees the opportunity to explore the Santa Fe/Taos/Sangre de Cristo Mountains area, its rich history and culture, the varied and exquisite New Mexican cuisine and over 300 world renowned galleries, as well as hiking, golf, fishing, and endless outdoor entertainment. Texas Fellow Rusty Hardin, 2017 LCA President of the LCA, of Rusty Hardin & Associates LLP in Houston, Texas, presided over the event.

For Thursday’s session, the faculty of the Trial Law Institute presented the final of its four-part series leading to the Trial Advocacy Master designation. The agenda included J. Ric Gass, Gass Weber Mullins LLC, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Closing Arguments: The Intersection and Trinity of Storytelling, Radical Empathy and PowerPoint; Lea Carol Owen, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, Nashville, Tennessee, The Instruction and Verdict Conference; Brian G. Cahill and David J. Turek of Gass Weber Mullins LLC, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Closing Argument Structure; Kenneth J. DeMoura, DeMoura|Smith LLP, Boston, Massachusetts, Methods for Creating the Winning Closing Argument; Pat Lundvall, McDonald Carano LLP, Las Vegas, Nevada, Post-Verdict Juror Interviews.

Presentations during the Friday general session included Howard L. Nations, The Nations Law Firm, Houston, Texas, Persuading the 21st Century Juror; Peter S. Selvin, TroyGould PC, Los Angeles, California, Insurance Coverage Litigation: Tools & Tactics for 2017; Mark S. Bernstein, Akerman LLP, Chicago, Illinois, After Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins: Tips and Considerations; Edward P. Schwartz, Ph.D., DecisionQuest, Boston, Massachusetts, A Crisis of Confidence: Truthiness, Alternative Facts and False Experts; and Michael Jeffrey Glick, FRONTEO USA, Inc., Los Angeles, California, Ethical Protocols in Conducting Electronic Discovery; followed by some inspiring closing remarks by Rusty Hardin.

On Thursday evening, 2017 LCA President Rusty Hardin presented Peter Perlman Service Awards to Adam Arceneaux, Ice Miller LLP, Indianapolis, Indiana; Michael D. Ehrenstein, Ehrenstein Charbonneau Calderin, Miami, Florida; Deborah Johnson Race, Ireland Carroll & Kelley, P.C., Tyler, Texas; and Hala A. Sandridge, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, Tampa, Florida, for outstanding community service.

A record number of raves were received following the conference, which was widely described as engaging, informative, interesting, close, productive and personal.

Corporate Diversity Partners and sponsors of the conference included DecisionQuest; Elliott Davis Decosimo; Fishman Marketing; Girardi | Keese; FRONTEO USA, Inc.; McDonald Carano LLP; The Nations Law Firm; Nexsen Pruet, LLC; Rodey, Dickason, Sloan, Akin & Robb, P.A.; the Expert440; the Trial Law Institute; and the Diversity Law Institute.