2021 Traumatic Brain Injury Retreat
Courtney Sweasy—January 11, 2021
Breit Cantor’s own, Joseph Cantor, is chair of this year’s Traumatic Brain Injury Retreat presented by the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association. The event, which has not taken place since 2015, will be held on January 29 and 30, 2021 at The Westin Richmond and will also have a virtual option. Attendees can earn 9.5 CLE hours while being enlightened with current scientific discoveries, advances in treatment, and powerful new information. If you handle cases involving brain injuries, this retreat covers the subject areas from experts that you won’t want to miss. Speakers and topics include the following:
- Current Breakthroughs in TBI Evaluation and Treatment
Gregory O’Shanick, M.D., Center for Neurorehabilitation Service
Come learn from one of the top brain injury physicians in the country, Dr. Gregory O’Shanick. This presentation will include a comprehensive review of the diagnosis and treatment of TBI, including cutting-edge developments, current breakthroughs and scientific discoveries. Dr. O’Shanick will delve deep into the science but will also provide the basics of brain anatomy and function that every trial lawyer needs to know. Bring your questions as well for his Q&A session.
- Outcomes for TBI Patients and Families
Kelli Williams Gary, Ph.D., MPH, OTR/L, CBIS, VCU College of Health Professions, Department of Rehabilitation Counseling
Dr. Gary will provide an overview of the treatment options available for clients suffering from a brain injury. A brain injury survivor herself, Dr. Gary will provide the framework of outcomes and treatment necessary for an attorney to help guide his/her client and their family through the neurorehabilitation process. There will be opportunity for questions and answers.
- Latest Developments in TBI Visuals
Bob Shepherd and Tara Rose, MediVisuals, along with Irv and Joseph Cantor, Breit Cantor Grana Buckner
The experts at MediVisuals will provide a thorough discussion of the most effective presentation methods for a jury trial and will include examples of different types of demonstrative evidence, including animations, 3D renditions, and the latest technology in TBI visuals.
Irv & Joseph Cantor will also provide a practical guide for the attorney who has a limited budget as well as the attorney who has a more robust budget. In addition, they will go over the rules of evidence as they relate to demonstrative evidence, laying the foundation for the evidence, how to use these exhibits with experts, and practical suggestions for dealing with opposing counsel in the courtroom. The interactive presentation will conclude with audience feedback of what has successfully been used in your cases, including use of free exhibits off the internet.
- What We Have Learned from TBI Focus Groups
Irv Cantor, Joseph Cantor, and Janie Devers, Jury Impressions
Jury Impressions will share their knowledge of lessons learned from actual focus groups conducted of TBI cases over the past 10 years throughout Virginia. Learn what jurors liked and did not like in actual TBI cases including recurrent themes and issues discussed by jurors. Some topics include: the most effective expert witnesses for a TBI case, the best ways to discredit defense expert witnesses, the most powerful lay witnesses for a TBI case, how to best handle your client’s pre-existing conditions, and often overlooked damages that you should emphasize in your TBI case. The lessons learned from these focus groups are invaluable for trial lawyers handling brain injury cases.
- Theming Your Case
Amy Griggs, Regan, Zambri & Long, and Kevin Mottley, The Mottley Law Firm
Amy and Kevin will discuss the use of discovery, consultation with expert witnesses, and use of focus groups to develop powerful themes to use in their TBI cases. This presentation will include an interactive discussion to help you develop themes to use in your next TBI case.
- Quick Hitter Topics
Speakers will cover hot topics that arise in a large number of TBI cases as well as the foundation necessary for admissible evidence and the expected opposition from the defense.
- Neuropsych Results in High Achievers (Establishing a Pre-Morbidity Baseline) and Pediatric Cases – Wait Until You Know What the Permanent Damages Really Are Peter Everett, Blankingship & Keith
- Use of Lay Witnesses (Are They Unsung Heroes?) and Recent TBI Literature – What You Need to Know Chidi James, Blankingship & Keith
- Cracking the Defense Neuropsychologist’s Black Box: Obtaining Raw Data Juli Porto, Blankingship & Keith
- Pituitary Function After Brain Injury Ryan Walker, Marks & Harrison
- Make the Defense Pay for Its Antics: Using the Stress of Litigation as Part of Your Damages and Other Misdirection Strategies
Steve Smith, Stewart Gill, and David Holt, Brain Injury Law Center
This presentation will cover tips and tricks for dealing with nasty defense antics and how to actually use them to your client’s advantage at trial. The speakers from Brain Injury Law Center will discuss how to turn the tide on defense counsel by making the litigation stress the client has been forced to endure an actual element of damages as well as other misdirection strategies to use at trial. You will walk away with invaluable information for your next brain injury case.
- How To Deal With Pre-Existing Conditions and Increased Risk in Your TBI Case
Bruce Stern, Stark & Stark
Immediate past president of American Associates for Justice, Bruce Stern has specialized in brain injury cases for many years. He concludes that all clients have pre-existing conditions of some sort – whether emotional, physical, or cognitive – that make the client more at risk for a worse outcome from a brain injury. Mr. Stern will provide you the practical advice to deal head-on with defenses that will come your way. When those conditions become an increased risk in your case, he will discuss the pros and cons to consider in deciding to take on a case, working up the case, and settling versus trying the case. Learn valuable guidelines on knowing what cases to take, what defense techniques to anticipate, and what to expect at trial. You’ll leave with a great primer on pre- existing conditions.
The program will begin at 9 a.m. on Friday, January 29th, and conclude at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 30th. At Friday’s lunch, we will welcome Anne McDonnell, Executive Director of the Brain Injury Association of Virginia. If you are attending in person, please also stay for a cocktail reception Friday afternoon immediately after the program ends at 5:00 pm.
To learn more and to register, please click here.
By Courtney Sweasy