DRI Faculty List

Nursing Home/ALF Litigation Seminar

Atlanta Marriott Marquis | Atlanta, GA, United States | September 14 - 15, 2017

Frank Alvarez
Quintairos Prieto Wood & Boyer PA

Frank Alvarez is the managing partner in the Dallas office of Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A. His practice focuses in the areas of healthcare, medical malpractice, general liability, products liability, commercial and business litigation. Mr. Alvarez has extensive experience in the defense of a wide range of medical specialties and related medical issues. He represents health care systems, hospitals, physicians, allied health providers, home health agencies, hospice companies, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other long term care facilities.

R.T. (Rick) Beard III
Mitchell Williams Selig Gates & Woodyard PLLC

R.T. (Rick) Beard III is the Managing Director of Mitchell Williams. He is a trial lawyer and a member of the firm's litigation group. His practice focuses primarily on the representation of insurance companies and self-insured corporations in all phases of civil litigation, including defense of medical malpractice claims, personal injury claims, products liability claims and legal malpractice. Mr. Beard has over 40 years of litigation and trial experience, and is a Fellow of The American College of Trial Lawyers, a Member of The American Board of Trial Advocates and a Member of the International Association of Defense Counsel and DRI.

Patricia M.B. Caracci
CNA Insurance

Patricia M.B. Caracci is a member of CNA's Strategic Claims Unit Coverage Team, serving as counselor for all Specialty lines She has over 20 years coverage experience, litigating and negotiating complex cases throughout the United States. Prior to joining CNA, she successfully litigated 40 trials to verdict before Illinois courts and obtained numerous favorable summary judgment rulings throughout the country. Patricia received her Juris Doctor from DePaul University, was a member of DePaul Law Review, and recipient of the American Jurisprudence Award.

Kasie L. Cousino
Claims Executive
Chelsea Rhone LLC

Kasie L. Cousino directs all aspects of HealthCap's carrier-level claims functions. She has primary responsibility for managing service providers, overseeing claims data analytics, providing strategy support for HealthCap and is also for file-level case management. She also conducts onsite claim review meetings with HealthCap clients. Ms. Cousino has held various positions at Chelsea Rhone, including Senior Underwriter. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a MBA from The Ross School of Business and a BS in Mathematics.

Tara N. K. Cross
Gibson McAskill & Crosby LLP

Tara N. K. Cross is a trial/litigation partner at Gibson, McAskill & Crosby LLP in Buffalo, New York. She devotes a portion of her practice to defending nursing homes in medical malpractice and negligence matters, in particular in the defense of class action litigation. Ms. Cross is a member of DRI's Medical Liability and Health Care Law Committee. She has been consistently named a Rising Star for her work in Civil Litigation Defense by New York Super Lawyers, Upstate New York edition.

Gretchen K. Dougherty, RN
Health Systems Inc

Gretchen K. Dougherty, RN is the Executive Vice-President of Health Systems, Inc., and consults as Corporate Risk Manager and Corporate Compliance Officer for Guardian Foundation, Inc., a non-profit, long-term care group. Ms. Dougherty possesses 45 years of diverse nursing, risk, and management experience, including medical, surgical, intensive care, psychiatric, pediatrics, long-term care and administrative management. She has also served as an experienced state surveyor and nurse consultant for a large medical malpractice insurance company.

Mark S. Eisen
Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff LLP

Mark S. Eisen practices at Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff LLP in Chicago office with an emphasis in the areas of consumer privacy and class action litigation. Mark focuses his practice on defending companies against class actions brought under various state and federal privacy and consumer protection statutes. Prior to joining Sheppard Mullin, Mark clerked for the Honorable Gary Allen Fees in the Central District of California. Mark received his Juris Doctor from the Boston University School of Law.

Aimee D. Garcia, MD, CWS, FACCWS
Baylor College of Medicine

Aimee D. Garcia, MD, CWS, FACCWS is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine, Geriatrics Section at Baylor College of Medicine and the Program Director for the Clinical Wound Care Fellowship Program at Baylor College of Medicine. She served as the Program Director for the Geriatric Medicine Fellowship Program at Baylor College of Medicine from 2003-2015. She is the Medical Director for the Wound Clinic and Consult Service at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. Dr. Garcia served as Vice-President and President of the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel, and was the Co-Chair of the Public Policy Committee. She is also Past Chair of the American College of Certified Wound Care Specialists. Dr. Garcia is also currently serving on the Board of Directors of St. Dominic Village Nursing Facility. Dr. Garcia's practice includes nursing home care, Geriatric outpatient care and Acute care as a hospital consultant. She practices wound care in all care settings, and is actively involved in teaching learners at all levels, including physician assistant students, medical students, Internal Medicine residents and Geriatric Medicine fellows. Dr. Garcia has been working as a medical legal expert since 1998.

Ashlee M. Gray
Director Claims
Kindred Healthcare

Ashlee M. Gray is Senior Director, Litigation at Kindred Healthcare. In this role, she assists with the company's complex litigation matters and government investigations as well as handles litigation for the company's liability claims. Ashlee joined Kindred's Law Department in 2013, as Director and Counsel, Liability Claims, where she managed and directed medical malpractice and general liability litigation in 11 states. Ashlee is a graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School and Duke University. Ashlee also is a State Registered Nursing Assistant.

Michael A. Gross
CogentEdge LLC

Michael A. Gross is an Av rated trial attorney who has both defended nursing homes and sued nursing homes. Michael developed a specific method of witness preparation that is based on the idea that "the whole truth" is what wins' cases for both the Defense and Plaintiffs. Michael works for CogentEdge, which provides strategic witness preparation services exclusively for defense clients including insurance carriers, law firms and Fortune 500 companies.

Alex J. Hagan
Ellis & Winters LLP

Alex J. Hagan, a partner with Ellis & Winters LLP in Raleigh, North Carolina, concentrates his practice on medical, hospital and commercial laboratory defense, as well as business and product liability litigation. He represents software manufacturers, automobile manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, and medical device manufacturers. Mr. Hagan has been selected by Best Lawyers in America for medical malpractice and personal injury defense. He is the chair of DRI's Medical Liability and Health Care Law Committee.

John E. Hall, Jr.
Hall Booth Smith PC

John E. Hall, Jr., is one of the founding partners of Hall Booth Smith, PC. He specializes in the defense of high exposure cases, involving hospitals and medical malpractice claims. He manages and handles high exposure cases in over 20 states as National Counsel for several Insurers, Companies and Hospitals. He has extensive litigation experience, having tried in excess of 100 civil cases. Mr. Hall is licensed in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama and North Carolina.

Nicole (Nikki) Collins Huffman
Carr Allison

Nicole (Nikki) Collins Huffman recently joined Carr Allison in their Gulfport, Mississippi office. She previously worked as the VP of Litigation for Consulate Health Care, one of the nation's largest skilled nursing providers whose service area encompasses 21 states. In that capacity, Ms. Huffman managed the company's litigation portfolio, providing oversight, direction, and input into crafting an overall corporate legal strategy. She is a graduate of Missippi College School of Law and spent neearly a decade on the Gulf Coast defending physicians, hospitals, nurses, practice groups and skilled nursing facilities. She carries an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell and is licensed to practice law in Missippi, Alabama, Florida, Kentucky and Michigan.

William H. Jordan
Alston & Bird LLP

William H. Jordan is co-chair of Alston & Bird's Litigation & Trial Practice Group and the firm's Health Care Litigation Team. He served as a senior official at the Department of Justice from 2001-2004. Since returning to the firm he has represented companies and individuals in a wide range of state, federal, and congressional investigations ranging from health care fraud and compliance issues to antitrust matters to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. He also represents companies in complex civil litigation relating to administrative and constitutional law challenges and class actions. From 2005-2009 Bill served as a commissioner and as chair of the Georgia State Ethics Commission, which regulated and adjudicated issues regarding campaign finance and election matters in the state.

Karen Lou Kennedy-Evans, RN, FNP, APRN-BC
KL Kennedy LLC

Karen Lou Kennedy-Evans, RN, FNP, APRN-BC has been a nurse for 47 years, a Nurse Practitioner for 43 years and has worked in Long Term Care for the last 41.In 1974 she became the very first Family Nurse Practitioner in Fort Wayne, Indiana. In 1983, in a 500 bed Long Term Care Facility, Karen started one of the very first skin care teams in the United States. Karen is on the Board of Directors of the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) and adjunct faculty of the University of Arizona School of Nursing.

Mary Re Knack
Ogden Murphy Wallace PLLC

Mary Re Knack is a member of the Healthcare and Litigation Departments at Ogden Murphy Wallace. Her practice focuses on insurance, healthcare and civil matters. Re provides a wide range of legal services to members of the healthcare industry including regulatory compliance, confidentiality and privacy-related compliance services including HIPAA and state laws, licensing and risk management related services and related investigations, federal and state agency investigations, guidance and representation related to medical staffing, and defense of professional negligence claims. Re also provides guidance and advice to the insurance industry and self-insureds with respect to their obligations under the Medicare Secondary Payer Act and Section 111 of the Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP Extension Act (MMSEA). Re was named to the Washington Super Lawyers by Super Lawyers magazine for 2005 and 2010 – 2017. She has also been recognized by Seattle Met magazine as a "Top Lawyer" in Health Care for 2011 and has been designated as one of the "Top Women Attorneys in Washington" for 2012 – 2017.

Lisa H. Leiner
Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman PC

Lisa H. Leiner is a partner with the law firm of Harman Claytor in Richmond, Virginia. Ms. Leiner focuses her practice on the defense of long term care facilities, home health providers, and residential care facilities. She also represents healthcare providers in matters brought before the Virginia Department of Health Professions. Ms. Leiner is a graduate of the University of Richmond School of Law and carries an AV rating with Martindale-Hubbell.

Claire N. Luna
Jury Impact

Claire N. Luna is the senior vice president and a partner at Jury Impact, based in Orange County, CA. She has been with the company for more than 10 years. Claire heads the company's daily operations and client communications and is consistently the lead in providing messaging and strategy assistance to attorneys. Claire has interviewed jurors in nearly every state and led jury selection in dozens of trials covering the civil litigation spectrum. She is responsible for case research, message development and case analysis on a wide range of cases, including medical malpractice, breach of contract, employment, toxic tort and pharmaceutical-related litigation.

Minton P. Mayer
Wiseman Ashworth Law Group PLC

Minton P. Mayer, AV-rated Partner of Wiseman Ashworth Law Group PLC, in Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee, focuses his practice on the defense of the health care industry, where he represents nursing homes, assisted living facilities, physicians, drug and medical device manufacturers, and pharmacies. Minton's professional practice and volunteer experience as President of a 160 bed skilled nursing and rehab facility provides him with unique insight into the operational, compliance and risk management issues. Minton is the Program Chair for this seminar.

J. Richard Moore
Bleeke Dillon Crandall

J. Richard Moore is a shareholder with Bleeke Dillon Crandall in Indianapolis, IN. His practice focuses on the defense of professional liability claims against physicians, nurses, long-term care providers, architects, engineers and attorneys; advising businesses and insurers regarding large property losses, catastrophic casualty claims, complex insurance coverage questions, fraud and bad faith; and assistance in the resolution of a variety of business and commercial disputes before litigation where possible, and through trial where necessary. Richard is licensed in Indiana, Alabama and Tennessee, and has also assisted in the assessment and handling of matters in Arkansas, Illinois, Ohio, West Virginia, Missouri, Mississippi and Georgia. Richard is an active member of DRI, having served as Program Chair for the 2011 and 2012 DRI Nursing Home/ALF Litigation seminars, and as Program Chair for the DRI Sexual Torts seminar. He currently serves as Vice Chair of the DRI Medical Liability and Health Care Law Committee.

Christopher C. Puri
Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP

Christopher C. Puri is an attorney with Bradley's Senior Housing and Long Term Care Practice team. His practice focuses on providing ongoing counseling on regulatory, reimbursement, legislative, and business development issues for long-term care providers. A recognized national leader in the long-term care area, he has helped develop long term care policy at both the state and national level as outside counsel for the Tennessee Health Care Association (THCA) and as a member of the American Health Care Association's Legal Committee.

Brett A. Ross
Carr Allison

Brett A. Ross is a shareholder in the law firm of Carr Allison in Birmingham, Alabama. He concentrates his practice in trucking litigation. Mr. Ross is a past member of the DRI Board of Directors, past Chair of the Lawyers' Professionalism & Ethics Committee and past Chair of the DRI Trucking Seminar. He has been recognized by his peers as a Transportation super lawyer and is a member of the IADC, TLA and TIDA.

Charity Scott, MSCM
Georgia State University College of Law

Charity Scott, MSCM, is the Catherine C. Henson Professor of Law at Georgia State University's College of Law. She was the founding and past Director of the Center for Law, Health & Society, whose health law program has been consistently ranked in the top ten by U.S. News & World Report. Scott has taught courses on health law and policy, bioethics, tort law, and ADR (negotiation and mediation) and publishes on these topics. She is a member of the American Law Institute. She has served on the Governing Council of the ABA Health Law Section, and as past Chair of the Health Law Section of the State Bar of Georgia. She has been instrumental in developing the mindfulness program at Georgia State Law. Scott received her AB from Stanford University and JD from Harvard Law School.

Barbara C. Tommasulo, MD, CMD, LNHA, CWSP
Northwell Orzak Center for Rehabilitation

Barbara C. Tommasulo, MD, CMD, LNHA, CWSP, has devoted her career to the care of older adults. She is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, a certified medical director of long-term care, a certified wound specialist physician and a licensed nursing home administrator. Dr. Tommasulo served as Medical Director of Orzac Center for Rehabilitation before her recent promotion to Deputy Executive Director. In practice since 1989, she has served in a variety of leadership positions spanning the continuum of geriatric care. Dr. Tommasulo, an Assistant Professor at Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine, has been active in medical education and professional societies throughout her career.

Peter B. Winterburn
Lewis Thomason

Peter B. Winterburn is special counsel in the Memphis office of Lewis Thomason. He concentrates his practice in Long Term Care defense and medical malpractice defense litigation. Mr. Winterburn has represented physicians, skilled nursing facilities, and assisted living facilities in Tennessee and Mississippi throughout his career. He also maintains a general civil litigation practice that includes automobile and premises liability, legal malpractice, and appellate practice. Mr. Winterburn is an active member of the DRI's steering committee for Long Term Care Litigation and vice-chairs the Medical Liability and Health Care Law Online Community. He is a member of the LTC Risk-Legal Forum and is the Vice Program Chair for the 2017 DRI Nursing Home ALF Seminar.

Albert Barclay Wong
Drewry Simmons Vornehm LLP

Albert Barclay Wong, an AV-rated Partner at Drewry Simmons Vornehm, LLP in Carmel, Indiana, represents health care providers His practice focuses on defending physicians, hospitals, and nursing facilities in negligence claims. He also represents all licensed health care providers, including physicians, nurses, and dentists in professional licensure matters before all of Indiana's health related boards and committees. Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Wong was an Indiana deputy attorney general where he successfully litigated hundreds of administrative actions.