DRI Faculty List

Turning the Tables on Plaintiffs in Trucking Litigation Seminar

Hilton Chicago | Chicago, IL, United States | April 26 - 27, 2018

Michael Arnett, PE
Project Engineer
S-E-A Limited

Michael Arnett, PE, earned both his BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering from The Ohio State University. He came to S-E-A from the automotive industry where he worked for a major automobile manufacturer designing and implementing powertrain control algorithms for production conventional, hybrid, and electric vehicles. Mr. Arnett's responsibilities at S-E-A include investigations and analysis relating to vehicle accident reconstruction involving passenger vehicles, commercial trucks, and motorcycles. His responsibilities also include causation analysis relating to product failures.

Michael H. Bassett
Senior Partner
The Bassett Firm

Michael H. Bassett, Senior Partner at The Bassett Firm, was born in Chicago, Illinois, August 26, 1961. Admitted to bar, 1987, Texas, U.S. District Courts for Texas; Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts. "AV" rated by Martindale-Hubbell. Education: University of Texas El Paso (B.B.A. [dual majors], cum laude 1984); St. Mary's University School of Law (J.D., with distinction 1987). Articles Editor, St Mary's University Law Journal, 1986-1987; John Harlan Society; Briefing Attorney, Justice Ted Z. Robertson, Texas Supreme Court, 1987-1988. Certified Mediator and Neutral. Member: American Bar Association (Member of Litigation Section), Dallas Bar Association, Defense Research Institute (DRI), DRI Transportation Committee (Trucking Sub-Committee), American Trucking Association, and American Transportation Lawyers Association. Areas of Practice: Transportation Litigation, Products Liability, Personal Injury, Premises Liability, Professional Liability, and Employment Litigation.

Jill F. Bechtold
Hall Booth Smith PC

Jill F. Bechtold practices in the areas of transportation and general insurance claims. Her clients include national trucking companies, logistics carriers, business owners, and insurers. She is certified in all Florida courts and the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. She is a member of the IADC, DRI, Florida Defense Lawyer's Association and is AV-rated. Ms. Bechtold is a national speaker on the defense of reptile tactics and has presented to numerous state defense organizations and professional groups.

Chip Campbell
Director Liability Claims/Assistant General Counsel
Old Dominion Freight Line Inc.

Chip Campbell is the Director – Liability Claims and Assistant General Counsel of Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc. Prior to joining ODFL, Chip was a partner in a Raleigh, North Carolina based law firm where he practiced for 13 years with a focus on transportation law and complex claims. ODFL is a leading less-than-truckload ("LTL") company providing premium services to all of its customers. In addition to its core LTL services, ODFL, based in Thomasville, North Carolina offers its customers a broad range of logistics services.

Rocky Coe
Claims Manager
Claims Services Inc./McLane Company Inc.

Rocky Coe is the Claims Manager for McLane Company/Claims Services Inc. Responsibilities include overseeing all Auto and General Liability claims and litigation for McLane Company, Inc. Rocky has over 24 years of insurance claims experience, with 13 of those years in commercial trucking. Rocky spent 11 years with Texas Farm Bureau Insurance handling and supervising Personal Auto, Homeowner, Farm & Ranch, and Commercial Auto and General Liability claims. He holds an Associate in Claims Designation, Senior Claims Law Designation, and completing the Charted Property Casualty Underwriter program for the CPCU designation. He is a graduate of Texas State University where he earned a Bachelor Degree in Exercise and Sports Science.

Clint V. Cox IV

Clint V. Cox IV is a Martindale-Hubbell AV-Rated attorney who practices in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. He represents clients in commercial, employment, catastrophic tort, insurance, premises, construction defect, class action and transportation defense matters. He came to the private legal industry after serving as a Captain in the United States Air Force and in management for the General Electric Company. He lives in Dallas, Texas, with his wife Heather and their four children.

Bryson F. Datt, Jr.
Burns White

Bryson F. Datt, Jr. is the co-chair of Burns White's Trucking Group. Mr. Datt has extensive experience representing national and regional transportation and logistics clients, and regularly responds to catastrophic losses on their behalf—working to manage their exposure. Accustomed to the complexities of tractor-trailer accidents and multiple vehicle collisions, he handles cases for clients in both federal and state courts. Datt graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and received an undergraduate degree from Washington and Lee University.

MaryJane Dobbs
Bressler Amery & Ross PC

MaryJane Dobbs is a partner in the law firm of Bressler Amery & Ross PC in Florham Park, New Jersey. She has substantial experience in handling defendant personal injury matters, including premises liability, products liability and trucking negligence actions. Ms. Dobbs has defended numerous corporations in their general personal injury cases, including a variety of transportation-related entities. She has worked extensively with expert witnesses in the medical, pharmaceutical and scientific fields. Besides transportation cases, Ms. Dobbs also specializes in employment matters including litigation and counseling. Ms. Dobbs is the Chair of the DRI Trucking Committee.

Clarence C. Easterday
Executive Vice President
Western Express Inc

Clarence C. Easterday is executive Vice President for Western Express Inc., a Nashville Tennessee based transportation Company. Western Express provides irregular route common carrier service for van, flatbed and over-dimensional freight. Western Express also provides dedicated services for customers across the United States. Clarence graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1978. He started his professional career as a US Army Field Artillery Officer. He started his transportation career with Schneider National Carriers in 1984 and joined Western Express in 2002.

June J. Essis
Fineman Krekstein & Harris PC

June J. Essis is a partner at Fineman, Krekstein & Harris, P.C. in Philadelphia. She has more than 25 years of experience representing trucking companies and truck drivers in accident-related claims alleging personal injury, catastrophic loss and property damage. She is currently on the Board of Directors for the Defense Research Institute 2016-present. She is the former Chair of the DRI Trucking Committee from 2014-2016. She has served as Vice Chair of the Trucking Committee from 2012-2014. June was also program chair in 2008 for the DRI Trucking Law Conference. In addition, June handles products liability cases for trucking component manufacturers and E&O insurance claims on behalf of several insurance companies representing a variety business professionals. She is a frequent lecturer on issues related to the trucking industry. June has worked tirelessly to help change the public's perception that trucks are dangerous and trucking companies engage in unsafe practices.

Jennifer D. Eubanks
Senior Staff Attorney
Canal Insurance Co

Jennifer D. Eubanks is a Senior Staff Attorney at Canal Insurance Company, in Greenville, South Carolina. She assists the Claims organization with analysis of coverage issues and provision of coverage training. She also manages appeals and coverage litigation involving Canal Insurance Company and its subsidiary, including extra-contractual litigation. Prior to joining Canal, she was in private practice for 20 years, handling exclusively coverage matters, including extra-contractual litigation, for multiple insurer clients.

Joseph A. Fried
Fried Rogers Goldberg LLC

Joseph A. Fried is one of the leading plaintiff truck crash lawyers in the country. Based out of Atlanta, Joe has handled truck cases in over 25 States with recoveries approaching $500 million. Joe is the founder of the Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys, past Chair of AAJ's Truck Litigation Group and President of NTL's Truck Trial Attorneys. He has authored books, peer reviewed articles & DVDs on handling trucking cases and has given over 250 presentations on trucking specific topics.

Bryan C. Garcia
Founder and President
Garcia Law Group LLC

Bryan C. Garcia is the founder and president of the Garcia Law Group, LLC. He is the Southwest Region Director for DRI's national board of directors. He previously served as the DRI state representative for New Mexico and is a past president of the New Mexico Defense Lawyers Association. Bryan is AV-rated by the Martindale-Hubbell peer review process. He has been selected by Southwest Super Lawyers, as a Rising Star every year since 2012. The Garcia Law Group LLC enjoys a Best Law Firm's Tier 1 rating.

Terrence L. Graves
Sands Anderson PC

Terrence L. Graves is a shareholder in the firm of Sands Anderson PC in Richmond, Virginia where he heads the firm's Coverage and Casualty Litigation Group and its Commercial Transportation and Premises Liability Teams. His practice focuses on the defense of transportation, toxic tort, premises liability, and general insurance defense matters involving catastrophic injury and property damages. Mr. Graves also handles first party insurance disputes on behalf of insurers. Mr. Graves is an active member of DRI, the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys, the Council on Litigation Management, the Trucking Industry Defense Association, and the Transportation Lawyers Association, and is listed in America's Best Lawyers in Transportation Law and Personal Injury Defense. He is the current President-Elect of the Richmond Bar Association. He has been listed as a member of Virginia's Legal Elite and Virginia's Super Lawyers for 10 plus years. He is a Senior Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America and a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Lee Murray Hall
Jenkins Fenstermaker PLLC

Lee Murray Hall is a Member of Jenkins Fenstermaker PLLC where she practices coverage, bad faith and defense work throughout West Virginia. Lee is past President of the Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia and serves as the President of the West Virginia Board of Law Examiners. She was named on the list of Top 10 attorneys in West Virginia in 2014 and 2015 and was named the 2016 Defense Attorney of the Year for the State of West Virginia by Defense Trial Counsel. Lee is a member of FDCC, IADC and DRI.

Sarah E. Hansen
Burden Hafner & Hansen LLC

Sarah E. Hansen, a partner at Burden, Hafner & Hansen LLC in Buffalo, NY, primarily defends personal injury cases arising out of trucking and automobile accidents, employment law matters, labor law, municipal law/governmental liability, premises liability cases, product liability cases and general negligence matters. She is a member of the firm's 24/7 Emergency Response Team. She is on the Steering Committee for DRI's Trucking Law Committee and Employment and Labor Law Committee and is past editor of The Whisper.

Matthew S. Hefflefinger
Heyl Royster Voelker & Allen PC

Matthew S. Hefflefinger is a Shareholder in the Peoria, Illinois office of Heyl Royster Voelker & Allen PC and is Chair of the firm's Trucking Practice Group. His practice is devoted primarily to the defense of complex personal injury cases in the trucking and construction industries. Matt is an aggressive advocate who has tried many cases to verdict and is frequently contacted by clients immediately after a catastrophic loss to help develop the facts and case strategy. He is a frequent presenter on a variety of litigation related topics at local and national legal seminars. Matt is the currently the Vice Chair of the DRI Trucking Law Committee.

Bradford G. Hughes
Clark Hill

Bradford G. Hughes is a Member in Clark Hill's Los Angeles office where he represents clients in Commercial Litigation and Trucking and Transportation matters. He is considered an industry leader in defending motor carriers in catastrophic injury litigation at trial and on appeal. Bradford also represents Fortune 500 businesses, closely-held companies, motor carriers, financial institutions, and individuals in litigated and transactional matters, including as outside general counsel.

Jason D. Jupe, PE
Forensic Division Manager
Rimkus Consulting Group Inc

Jason D. Jupe, PE, holds a Master of Science in industrial engineering, with an emphasis on human factors engineering and a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering. Mr. Jupe's professional practice is focused in the areas of accident reconstruction, human factors, and transportation safety. In addition, Mr. Jupe has extensive education, training and experience in vision and perception, cognitive engineering, and failure analysis. Mr. Jupe is a licensed professional engineer and an accredited traffic accident reconstructionist. He has testified as an expert witness at deposition, mediation and trial settings.

John J. (Jack) Laffey
Founding Partner
Laffey Leitner & Goode LLC

John J. (Jack) Laffey has an extensive Product Liability and Commercial Transportation Catastrophic Injury practice that regularly takes him to courts in Wisconsin and across the nation. In his 30 years of practice, Jack has been proud to represent clients in litigation in more than 25 states. He has had more than two dozen jury verdicts since he started practicing law in 1985. Jack has had the unique experience of having been a winning plaintiff's attorney during that time (1989-1995); this provides Jack with a very interesting and productive insight into the thought processes and motivations of his clients' adversaries. Jack's Product Liability experience ranges from industrial machinery (conveyors and overhead cranes) to consumer products (furnaces and smoke detectors) to toxic torts (asbestos, silica and mold) to pharmaceuticals (diet drugs), to outline a few. Jack has been asked to handle and resolve some of his clients' most problematic and dangerous cases in some of the most challenging venues in this country, oftentimes after the discovery has been completed. These engagements have been particularly rewarding personally because of the faith and trust his clients have placed in him. Jack takes that trust very seriously. His Catastrophic practice always presents very "interesting" problems to solve and it centers upon Wrongful Death, Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury matters. Jack's specialties include: Catastrophic Case oversight and resolution, Trial and Appellate work as well as an extensive mediation practice on behalf of corporate litigants.

Diana C. Manning
Bressler Amery & Ross PC

Diana C. Manning, a Principal at Bressler, Amery & Ross PC, has over two decades experience in complex commercial litigation including professional liability claims. Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Civil Trial Attorney, she is an accomplished litigation who handles a broad range of matters. Diana is also a skilled appellate practitioner, with experience appearing before the New Jersey Supreme Court. She frequently lectures on topical issues including ethics.

Michael L. Miller
Drew Eckl & Farnham LLP

Michael L. Miller has been practicing law for over 23 years with a focus on commercial transportation, premises liability, and general tort litigation. He also serves in an advisory capacity for compliance and best practices for several large retailers and trucking companies. Mike received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Georgia School of Law, and graduated from the University of Alabama as a Presidential Scholar.

Matthew G. Moffett
Managing Partner
Gray Rust St Amand Moffett & Brieske LLP

Matthew G. Moffett is a partner with Gray Rust St. Amand Moffett and Brieske LLP. Matt is an AV rated (Martindale-Hubbell) attorney, listed among the top 100 lawyers in Georgia (Super Lawyers) in Atlanta Magazine, and selected among the Legal Elite in Georgia Trend magazine. Matt's jury trial experience for the defense totals well over 100. Matt is the immediate past President of the Georgia Defense Lawyers Association. He is a Charter Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, a member of The Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (FDCC), Association of Defense Trial Attorneys and member of the American Board of Trial Advocates.

Beth Morgan, CPC, MCS-P
Medical Bill Detectives

Beth Morgan, CPC, MCS-P, is a patient advocate who helps clients analyze medical bills for errors, negotiate their medical bills and reduce healthcare costs. Beth has over forty years' experience in the medical field as a billing and coding specialist. Her business, Medical Bill Detectives, analyzes medical bills for errors and overcharges. She has experience as a speaker in the medical billing field. She has been a Wilton, CT resident her entire life and looks forward to a future traveling the United States and sharing her experience about medical bills and fraud.

Eric Nau
Associate General Counsel
Prime Inc.

Eric Nau is an in-house lawyer for New Prime, Inc. d/b/a Prime, Inc. and carries the title of Corporate Counsel. Prime is one of the nation's largest refrigerated carriers headquartered out of Springfield, MO. It has approximately 7000 power units on the road, logs approximately 15 million miles a week and has annual gross revenue in excess of $1.5 billion. In his capacity as Corporate counsel he oversees workers' compensation, liability claims, trucking litigation, and political activities. Prior to working for New Prime, Inc. he was an associate attorney for the law firm of McDonald & Associates, which was a general civil litigation firm. In addition to his law degree from the University of Tulsa, Eric has an MBA from Drury University. He is a member of the Missouri Bar Association and TIDA.

Edwin S. Norris
Manager and Legal Counsel
Protective Insurance Company

Edwin S. Norris is Manager and Legal Counsel for Protective Insurance in Carmel, Indiana. Ed joined Protective in 2014 after litigating for 14 years. Ed supervises commercial litigation throughout the United States and directs the investigation for serious and/or complex pre-litigation matters In addition, he manages a staff of liability and no-fault adjusters, managers, and legal counsel. Ed works closely with defense counsel throughout litigation and is a primary negotiator for Protective.

John M. Nunnally
Ragsdale Liggett PLLC

John M. Nunnally is an experienced trial lawyer with 25 years of experience, which includes trying over 75 civil cases to verdict. John's experience allows him to provide insight into the specialized challenges facing the commercial transportation industry. John practices in the areas of civil litigation and insurance defense, focusing on trucking/transportation law, construction law, and products liability. John serves on the DRI Trucking Law Steering Committee and is a member of the Trucking Industry Defense Association and the NC Trucking Association.

Stephen G. (Steve) Pesarchick
Sugarman Law Firm LLP

Stephen G. (Steve) Pesarchick has been a partner with the Sugarman Law Firm LLP, in Syracuse, New York, since 1994. His practice focuses on catastrophic personal injury and property damage cases. His civil litigation experience includes motor carrier accidents, farming accidents/issues, transportation accidents, fire claims, construction accidents, product liability cases, and automobile accidents. He has successfully handled countless cases in New York state and federal courts. As an active DRI member, he chaired the 2017 DRI conference titled "Outsmarting the Trucking Reptile at Trial;" from 2011-2016 he was the editor of In Transit, the newsletter of DRI's Trucking Law Committee; and he is a frequent speaker at many national trucking and fire loss seminars.

Matthew J. Peterson, CFCE, CCME
Mobile Device Investigator & Digital Forensic Expert
Robson Forensic Inc

Matthew J. Peterson, CFCE, CCME is a digital forensic expert and mobile device forensic investigator. A graduate of the US Coast Guard Academy, Matt gained vital experience in digital forensics while on active duty with the USCG and in working with other Homeland Security agencies. Matt was Honorably Discharged from the US Coast Guard as a Lieutenant and currently applies his combined digital forensic and geospatial expertise in the recovery and analysis of location data for a wide range of case types.

Brett A. Ross
Carr Allison

Brett A. Ross is a partner in the Birmingham office of Carr, Allison. He graduated from the University of Alabama School of Law. He is a member of the ABA, TIDA, IADC, Trial Attorneys of America and the Alabama Defense Lawyers' Association. Mr. Ross has served DRI as Program Chair for the Trucking Committee, Chair of the Lawyers' Professionalism and Ethics Committee and as a member of the DRI Board of Directors. He is AV rated by Martindale Hubbell and has been an Alabama Super Lawyer in Transportation since 2008.

Steven E. Rothke, Ph.D.
Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Steven E. Rothke, Ph.D. is a neuropsychologist, who consults with legal professionals and insurance companies, evaluating and treating personal injury, disability, and workers' compensation claimants with conditions such as brain injury, dementia, exposure to neurotoxins, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression. He is board-certified in Clinical Neuropsychology and Rehabilitation Psychology and is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University.

Kurt M. Rozelsky
Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP

Kurt M. Rozelsky is a partner with Smith Moore Leatherwood, LLP, in Greenville, South Carolina where he defends transportation litigation. He has tried over 75 cases to verdict. Kurt is the Past Chair of the DRI Trucking Law and FDCC Trucking Committees. He is an active member of the DRI, TIDA and TLA. Kurt frequently speaks on topics relevant to the trucking industry and trial practice. Kurt has been inducted into the ABOTA for his trial experience and has been selected annually since 2009 for inclusion as one of only four transportation lawyers in the South Carolina Super Lawyers and has been named to The Best Lawyers in America 2011-17.

Eliza M. Shepherd
Founder & Partner
Livingston & Shepherd Trial Consulting LLC

Eliza M. Shepherd is a founding partner of Livingston & Shepherd Trial Consulting, LLC. She has been studying juror decision making for over a decade, consulting on matters nationwide. Her background in nonverbal communication and social psychology contributes to her expertise in advising clients on effective case strategy and communication techniques. Eliza has extensive experience on personal injury, product liability and premises liability cases for industries including trucking, automotive, construction and insurance. She specializes in mock trials, jury selection, voir dire and case strategy.

Charles R. Wendland, CCP, SCLA
Claims Manager - National Accounts
National Interstate Insurance Company

Charles R. Wendland, CCP, SCLA, is the Claims Manager of National Accounts for National Interstate Insurance Company, a Northeast Ohio-based leading specialty property and casualty insurance company offering more than 30 different insurance products, including traditional insurance, innovative alternative risk transfer (ART) programs for commercial companies and insurance for specialty vehicle owners. Charlie joined National Interstate in 2012. During his time with the company, he has led multiple Bodily Injury and Property Damage Units that adjudicated claims of varied complexity and severity. Today, Charlie leads the National Accounts Claims Department, which handles Property & Casualty claims nationwide. Prior to joining National Interstate, Charlie held high level technical claims positions at Progressive Insurance and Travelers Insurance. Charlie is a graduate of Cleveland State University having received a Bachelor of Business and is currently pursuing his Masters of Business Administration. He earned his Senior Claim Law Associate (SCLA) designation from the American Educational Institute (AEI) and Certified Claims Professional (CCP) designation from the Claims College at Claims & Litigation Management Alliance (CLM). He is also a licensed Property and Casualty adjuster in 14 states, member of the Trucking Industry Defense Association (TIDA), President and board member of the Northeast Ohio CLM and Chair of the Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys (OACTA) Insurance Claims Advisory Committee.