Wystan M. Ackerman is a partner of Robinson & Cole LLP in Hartford, Connecticut, where he chairs the firm's Class Action Team. He has a national practice focusing on defending insurers and other companies in class actions and litigating insurance coverage issues. Wystan writes the blog Class Actions Insider at www.classactionsinsider.com, and has chaired the Class Action Special Litigation Group of the Commercial Litigation Committee of DRI. Wystan is the Program Vice Chair for the 2017 Class Action Seminar.
Stewart A. Baker is a partner in the Washington office of Steptoe & Johnson LLP. He returned to the firm following 3½ years at the Department of Homeland Security as its first Assistant Secretary for Policy. He served previously as General Counsel for the National Security Agency. Described by The Washington Post as "one of the most techno-literate lawyers around," Mr. Baker's practice covers national security, data privacy, electronic surveillance, law enforcement, encryption, and related technology issues. He hosts the weekly Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast.
Matthew D. Berkowitz with Carr Maloney PC is an experienced civil litigator with significant class action experience. He has successfully defended clients in shareholder derivative suits, trademark infringement claims, breach of contract and negligence suits. He also has successfully defended clients accused of violating Federal & State Consumer Protection Acts, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Matt regularly defends attorneys and other professionals accused of malpractice.
Kurt Beyerchen, Jr. is Counsel, Privacy for Hyundai Motor America in Fountain Valley, CA. He is responsible for privacy compliance, risk management, and governance. His focus includes advising business stakeholders on the legal and regulatory issues regarding vehicle and data privacy and cybersecurity. Prior to joining HMA, Mr. Beyerchen represented automobile manufacturers in product liability and warranty litigation with Bowman and Brooke LLP. Mr. Beyerchen earned his JD from the George Washington University Law School and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan.
Christine L. Brandt works as in-house counsel at Macy's Inc., providing legal advice and counsel on a variety of retail operations and regulatory matters, including advertising, marketing, commercial contracts, licensing, OSHA, product integrity, litigation, price accuracy, and asset protection. She became the in-house expert at Macy's on TCPA compliance as it relates to text marketing shortly before the FCC's rule changes went into effect in October 2013. Christine received her B.A. from the University of California at Santa Barbara and her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.
The Honorable Suzanne Côté was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada on December 1, 2014. Previously, Justice Côté was a partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, where she headed the Montréal office's litigation group. Justice Côté has taught evidence and litigation at the école du Barreau du Québec, and lectured at the Université du Québec à Rimouski and the Université de Montréal. Justice Côté received the Advocatus Emeritus distinction from the Barreau du Québec in 2011. She has been a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers since 2005.
The Honorable Robert M. Dow, Jr. has served as a United States District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois since December 2007. He serves on the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules and as the Chair of the Rule 23 Subcommittee. Prior to entering into judicial service, Judge Dow was a partner at the Chicago law firm of Mayer Brown LLP, where he was a member of the firm's Litigation, Telecommunications, and Supreme Court and Appellate Litigation practice groups.
Tristan L. Duncan chairs Shook, Hardy & Bacon's Energy Law Practice, where she focuses on class actions, multidistrict litigation and constitutional law. For her successful and innovative defense of energy retailers, wholesalers and refiners in litigation across the nation, Tristan has been named a National Law Journal Energy & Environmental Trailblazer, ACC Value Champion and BTI Client Service All-Star. She received her bachelor's degree in political science from Duke University, her law degree from the University of Iowa, and she did a post-doctoral fellowship at Yale Law School in constitutional law.
Alison Frankel writes the daily On the Case column for Reuters and Westlaw. Reuters has honored Frankel's column every year since 2011 with a nomination for Best Commentary and Analysis. Frankel won the category in 2012. Her previous work at The American Lawyer received numerous business and legal trade journalism awards. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, Newsday and several national magazines. In addition, Frankel is the author of Double Eagle: The Epic Story of the World's Most Valuable Coin (Norton, 2006).
Craig M. Halseth is responsible for managing global class action litigation for Ford Motor Company. In addition to class action matters, Craig has managed mass tort litigation, commercial disputes, and dealer litigation at Ford. He has been actively involved in legal reform efforts, including advocacy concerning recently proposed amendments to FRCP 23. Prior to joining Ford in 2004, Craig was a partner in the antitrust group at Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn in Detroit, Michigan.
Jeffrey A. Holmstrand is a member at Grove, Holmstrand & Delk, PLLC, in Wheeling, West Virginia. His practice focusses on defending products liability claims, including those brought against pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers; mass torts/class actions of all sorts; and complex insurance disputes. AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell, he has been named a Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers in the areas of Appellate Practice, Product Liability Litigation - Defendants, and Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions - Defendants.
Courtney C.T. Horrigan is the Deputy Group Head of Reed Smith LLP Insurance Recovery Practice Group and the Hiring Partner in the firm's Pittsburgh office. She represents policyholders in coverage litigation and ADR proceedings nationwide and internationally. Courtney regularly counsels corporations and partnerships, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, boards of directors, independent directors and risk managers on all aspects of insurance coverage, corporate indemnification and enterprise risk management. She also assists clients in obtaining and renewing coverage, including with manuscripting policy forms and endorsements.
Neal K. Katyal is a partner at Hogan Lovells US LLP in Washington, D.C., and the Paul Saunders Professor at Georgetown University. Neal, the former Acting Solicitor General of the United States, focuses on appellate and complex litigation. He has extensive experience in matters of patent securities, criminal, employment, tort, and constitutional law. Neal has orally argued 28 cases before the Supreme Court of the United States, with 26 of them in the last seven years. He is already scheduled to be arguing at least three more cases for the October, 2016 Term at the Supreme Court. As Acting Solicitor General, Neal was responsible for representing the federal government of the United States in all appellate matters before the U.S. Supreme Court and the Courts of Appeals throughout the nation. During his distinguished tenure, Neal argued several major Supreme Court cases involving a variety of issues, such as his successful defense of the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, his victorious defense of former Attorney General John Ashcroft for alleged abuses in the war on terror, and his unanimous victory against eight states who sued the nation's leading power plants for contributing to global warming. Neal has also served as a law professor for 16 years at Georgetown University Law Center, where he was one of the youngest professors to have received tenure and a chaired professorship in the university's history. He was also Director of the Georgetown Center on National Security and the Law until his appointment to Principal Deputy Solicitor General at the Justice Department. Additionally, he served as a visiting professor at both Harvard and Yale Law Schools. Neal has published dozens of scholarly articles in law journals, as well as many op-ed articles in such publications as the New York Times and the Washington Post, and has testified numerous times before various committees of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. He is the recipient of the very highest award given to a civilian by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Edmund Randolph Award, which the Attorney General presented to him in 2011. The Chief Justice of the United States appointed him in 2011 (and again in 2014) to the Advisory Committee on Federal Appellate Rules.
Christiana L. Lin is a business strategist and legal advisor who creates solutions that drive revenue, market share, and innovation, blending a deep knowledge of corporate operations and the law to capitalize on the ever-changing possibilities of technology, media, and big data. As a counselor to corporate boards and executives in start-up to Fortune 500 environments, Chris has structured and negotiated hundreds of millions of dollars in strategic alliances, M&A transactions, and IP deals, while delivering operational oversight across nearly 50 international offices. Chris currently serves as a strategic advisor for high tech companies with a focus on those that manage big data, including companies like comScore. She is also a venture partnner with NextGen Ventures, a netork-driven venture firm that brings together part-time venture capitalists who invest in and support NextGen's portfolio of entrepreneurs.
Bryan Merryman with White & Case LLP has a national practice defending class actions. His recent achievements encompass a number of prominent and precedent setting wins, including one of the first district court opinions on Article III standing following the Supreme Court's decision in Spokeo, later affirmed by the Seventh Circuit; the first dismissal decided in a string of federal class actions advancing a new legal theory based on corporate responsibility and transparency regarding commercial supply chains, now on appeal in the Ninth Circuit; and the Glauser v. GroupMe, Inc. decision regarding the definition of an autodialer under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Mike Pennington is a partner with Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP. After graduating magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1984, Mike helped establish and still chairs his firm's class action practice. He currently defends a variety of insurance, financial services, and consumer class actions all over the country. He also chairs DRI's Class Action Task Force and DRI's Class Actions SLG, and has co-authored many amicus briefs for DRI on important class action issues.
Mark A. Perry is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and Co-Chair of the Firm's Appellate and Constitutional Law Practice Group. He has briefed and argued many cases in the Supreme Court of the United States and the federal courts of appeals. Mr. Perry was recognized by Best Lawyers in America® in the fields of Appellate Practice and Securities/Capital Markets Law, and ranked in the National Appellate category by Chambers USA.
Alexander E. Potente is a partner with Sedgwick LLP in San Francisco, CA. Alex is an experienced trial lawyer who represents insurers in complex commercial insurance litigation matters including disputes pertaining to general liability and professional liability policies, with an emphasis on environmental and other long-tail insurance coverage disputes, as well as coverage issues arising from claims involving class actions, product defects, and public sector liability. In connection with his coverage work on privacy and cyber issues, Mr. Potente serves as co-chair of the DRI Data Breach Subcommittee. He served as a law clerk for the Honorable James B. Zagel of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois from 1997-1999. Mr. Potente was previously an editor of Sedgwick's Insurance Law Blog and Sedgwick's Insurance Law Update newsletter.
Jennifer Quinn-Barabanov leads the class action practice at Steptoe & Johnson LLP. A partner based in the Washington, DC office, she focuses on class actions, mass torts, and other complex disputes. She has successfully defended class actions involving consumer products and services, as well as chemical exposures. A recognized leader on the use of expert testimony in class action proceedings, Ms. Quinn-Barabanov is the Program Chair of the July 2017 DRI Class Action Conference.
Christine M. Reilly with Manatt Phelps and Phillips LLP defends companies in consumer class actions and other major civil litigation in various areas, including consumer protection, unfair competition, and false and deceptive advertising. She also represents clients facing investigations and proceedings initiated by the Federal Trade Commission, Federal Communications Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and other federal and state regulatory agencies. The co-chair of Manatt's Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) compliance and class action defense group, Christine regularly defends companies from claims brought under the TCPA, and she frequently writes and speaks on TCPA compliance. She has significant experience litigating under other federal statutes, including the Federal Trade Commission Act; Electronic Communications Privacy Act; Electronic Fund Transfer Act; Fair Debt Collection Practices Act; and the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.
Stephen M. Rummage is with Davis Wright Tremaine LLP and represents clients in complex litigation and appeals. In 37 years of practice, he has defended a wide variety of matters, including consumer and securities class actions, copyright and right of publicity claims, and complex contract disputes. Steve represents clients from a wide variety of industries, including software, telecommunications, digital media, and professional sports. Since 2007, he has been Microsoft's lead counsel in the Xbox 360 cases that culminated in Microsoft v. Baker.
Scott Burnett Smith is the founding member of the appellate litigation group at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP in Huntsville, Alabama. He has represented clients before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Alabama Supreme Court, and several U.S. appellate courts. He is a DRI national director.
Angela M. Spiveyis managing partner of the McGuireWoods LLP Atlanta office. She defends and counsels food companies on a host of issues, including implementation of recalls, defense of widespread international outbreaks and resulting civil litigation, defense of corporations and individuals in OCI criminal investigations, and regulatory oversight and compliance. Angela is a national speaker at various food industry group conferences and has first-chair trial experience before state and federal courts on matters ranging from product liability, personal injury, contract disputes, and business torts.