Plaintiff-Only Hot Topics and Trends in Litigation Seminar

September 30, 2014 to October 1, 2014
Program Information:

Platinum Level Sponsor:  Counsel Financial

Sponsored by Baron & Blue and Williams Kherkher

About the Seminar:

AAJ Education's next Plaintiff-Only Hot Topics and Trends in Litigation Seminar will be held on October 1, 2014 with a reception the evening of September 30, prior to the October Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) hearing scheduled in Louisville, KY. This program is designed to prepare trial lawyers representing plaintiffs in pharmaceuticals and medical device cases for the JPML hearing with the latest case strategies, updates, and a networking reception hosted by Janet, Jenner & Suggs, LLC, Schachter, Hendy & Johnson​, P.S.C., and Thomas Law Offices.

Registration Fees:

AAJ Member Fee: $645

You can attend your first AAJ Education Seminar at 50% off, if you are an AAJ member & have been admitted to the bar for five years or less. (Does not apply if you have previously attended an AAJ Education seminar or college).

AAJ Paralegal Affiliates may attend this college and receive 50% off the registration fee if they are employed by, and attending with, an AAJ plaintiff attorney (Regular, Life, Sustaining, President’s Club, or Leaders Forum) with the same firm address.

Hear from a past participant:

"It was a great networking opportunity.  It was also a great chance to get educated by some true experts who are passionate about obtaining justice for their clients.  This helps me to grow my practice by having the knowledge to properly screen cases and recognize cases."
––Kathy A. Brown, Charleston, WV, 12 years in practice

Open only to AAJ Plaintiff Members (Regular, Life, Sustaining, President’s Club, and Leaders Forum) and AAJ Paralegal Affiliates.

Contact Education 800.424.2725 | 202.965.3500, ext. 8612 |​


Tuesday, September 30

Testosterone Therapy Litigation Group Business Meeting
4:00 - 5:00 pm

Networking Reception 
Hosted by Janet, Jenner & Suggs, LLC, Schachter, Hendy & Johnson​, P.S.C., and Thomas Law Offices
5:30 - 7:30 pm

Wednesday, October 1

Registration (Continental Breakfast Available)
8:00 – 8:45 am

Morning Session
8:45 am – 12:30 pm

Xarelto Panel
Roger C. Denton, MO
Kristine Kraft, MO
Neil "Ned" E. McWilliams, FL

Learned Intermediary 
Janet G. Abaray, OH

Wyeth, Inc. v. Weeks
Lou Bograd, KY

Testosterone Therapy
Ronald E. Johnson, KY
Trent Miracle, IL
Timothy J. Becker, MN

Networking Lunch
12:30 – 1:30 pm

Afternoon Session
1:30 - 4:00 pm

Keynote Presentation: Model MDL Practices
Christopher A. Seeger, NY​

Fluoroquinolones (Levaquin and Avelox)
Bill Robins, NM

T. Matthew Leckman, PA

General Motors Ignition Defect Update
Lance Cooper, GA

B. Kristian W. Rasmussen, III, AL


Janet G. Abaray

Janet G. Abaray concentrates her practice in personal injury, products liability, pharmaceutical, complex, and civil litigation. She has served as co-lead counsel in both the Copley Albuterol class action litigation and Ortho Evra Birth Control Patch MDL, and as lead counsel for the Fen-Phen Redux diet pill class action and MDL. She is a member of AAJ’s Leaders Forum, Class Action Litigation Group, Preemption Law Litigation Group, and Business Torts Section. She is also a member of the Cincinnati Bar Association, Ohio Bar Association, and Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers. Ms. Abaray is a managing shareholder for the Cincinnati, Ohio office of Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C.

Timothy J. Becker, course advisor

Timothy J. Becker, course advisor, concentrates his practice in defective drugs, medical devices, and products litigation.  He served on the science team in In re:  Zicam Cold Remedy Marketing Sales Practice Litigation, on the law and briefing committee in In re:  DePuy Orthopedics, Inc., ASR Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, and has served as co-lead counsel in several other MDLs, including In re:  Zimmer NexGen Knee Products Liability Litigation.  He is a member of AAJ’s Leaders Forum, Products Liability Section, and Section on Toxic, Environmental, and Pharmaceutical Torts (STEP), serves on AAJ’s Litigation Group Leaders Council, and has been named to Minnesota’s Super Lawyers.  He is also cochair of AAJ’s Propecia/Proscar and Zimmer Knee Litigation Groups.  Mr. Becker is a founding partner at Johnson Becker, PLLC in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Louis M. Bograd

Louis M. Bograd concentrates on litigating issues of preemption involving prescription drugs and medical devices and the application of government medical liens on plaintiffs’ tort judgments. Previously he served as the legal director of the Alliance for Justice and as a senior staff attorney in the National Legal Department of the American Civil Liberties Union. Mr. Bograd is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Kentucky College of Law and is the senior litigation counsel at the Center for Constitutional Litigation, P.C. in Washington, DC.

Lance Cooper

Lance Cooper is the founding partner of The Cooper Firm, located in Marietta, Georgia. He concentrates his practice on product liability cases involving automobile design and manufacturing defects. Before forming the firm in March 2006, Mr. Cooper was a partner with the law firm of Cooper Jones & Cooper where he represented plaintiffs in substantial personal injury and wrongful death cases. Mr. Cooper was lead counsel for his clients in several civil jury trials, including trials against General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Honda, Toyota, Kia, Continental General Tire, Hilton Hotels, and the Department of Transportation. He is a past president of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, past president of the Cobb County Trial Lawyers Association, and also serves on the Cobb County Trial Lawyers Association’s Board of Trustees.

Roger C. Denton

Roger C. Denton concentrates his practice in class action, personal injury, railroad injury, pharmaceutical, and medical litigation. Mr. Denton currently serves as lead counsel in the NuvaRing MDL, and as MDL Liaison Counsel in the Yasmin/Yaz litigation. He served on the National Plaintiffs’ Steering Committees in the Ortho Evera MDL and Gadolinium MDL. Mr. Denton is a member of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys, and a frequent speaker at national and local seminars and conferences involving mass torts and pharmaceutical litigation. He is the chair AAJ’s Xarelto Litigation Group, and a member of AAJ’s Pradaxa Litigation Group, Ortho Evra Litigation Group, and Products Liability Section. Mr. Denton is a senior partner at Schlichter Bogard & Denton located in Saint Louis, Missouri.

Yvonne M. Flaherty, course advisor

Yvonne M. Flaherty concentrates her practice in the areas of complex class action and pharmaceutical and medical device litigation.  She serves on AAJ’s National College of Advocacy (NCA) Board of Trustees, is the immediate past chair of AAJ’s Section on Toxic, Environmental & Pharmaceutical Torts (STEP), a member of AAJ’s Leaders Forum, serves as vice chair of AAJ’s Litigation Group Leaders Council, and is a past chair of AAJ’s Women Trial Lawyers Caucus.  She also serves on the Minnesota Association for Justice Board of Governors and Executive Committee and is a member of the Minnesota State, Hennepin County, and Federal Bar Associations.  She has been appointed by the court to serve on numerous committees in complex litigation involving the Learned Intermediary Doctrine, Claims Review, and Common Benefit Fees.  She is a frequent lecturer on a variety of litigation topics, including mass torts, electronic discovery, Daubert, fee agreements, and the learned intermediary doctrine.  Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P. is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Robert K. Jenner, course advisor

Robert K. Jenner concentrates his practice in prescription drug and defective medical device litigation.  Mr. Jenner works out of the Janet, Jenner & Suggs, LLC Baltimore, Maryland office where he leads the firm’s mass tort department.  Mr. Jenner is currently co-lead counsel for the Massachusetts state consolidation of GranuFlo cases (In re:  Consolidated Fresenius Cases); co-lead counsel of the toning shoes MDL (In re:  Skechers Toning Shoe Products Liability Litigation); and sits on the PSC of the Lipitor MDL (In re:  Lipitor Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation). He is listed in Maryland’s Super Lawyers and was recently named Best Lawyers 2013 “Lawyer of the Year” and Baltimore Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Plaintiffs “Lawyer of the Year.”  Mr. Jenner is a past president of the Maryland Association for Justice (MAJ), serves on its Board of Governors, and was awarded MAJ’s Trial Lawyer of the Year Award (2009).  Mr. Jenner is a member of AAJ’s Leaders Forum, cochair of AAJ’s Pain Pump−Chondrolysis Litigation Group, and is chair of AAJ’s Publications Committee.

Ronald E. Johnson, Jr.

Ronald E. Johnson, Jr. is a partner with the Fort Wright, Kentucky law firm Schachter, Hendy & Johnson, PSC, and heads the firm’s mass tort practice group.  Mr. Johnson’s practice concentrates on complex litigation involving catastrophic injuries from defective medical devices, pharmaceutical products, and other product liability actions.  Mr. Johnson has successfully represented victims who have suffered catastrophic injuries from defective products in state and federal courts across the country.  He has been selected for leadership positions in multiple mass tort cases.  In the ambulatory infusion pump litigation, Mr. Johnson was co-lead counsel for the Plaintiffs’ Consortium governing hundreds of complex product liability cases nationwide against multiple, different manufacturers in numerous state and federal court proceedings.  In 2012, he was appointed co-lead counsel for In re:  Skechers Toning Shoe Product Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2308), involving both product liability and consumer fraud class action cases.  He was appointed to the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee for In re:  Pradaxa (Dabigatran Etexilate) Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2385) and was also cocounsel in the national litigation involving defective cochlear implants.  Mr. Johnson is cochair of AAJ’s Testosterone Therapy Litigation Group and is president elect of the Kentucky Justice Association.

Kristine K. Kraft

Kristine K. Kraft represents those injured by pharmaceutical products.  She is “AV” rated by Martindale-Hubbell, serves on the Board of Governors for the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys, and has been selected for inclusion in the Honors Edition of the Cambridge Who’s Who Among Executive and Professional Women.  She is a member of AAJ, the American Bar Association, the Association for Women Lawyers in Saint Louis, the Bar Association of Metropolitan Saint Louis, and the Missouri and Kansas Bar Associations.  She serves as co-lead counsel and liaison counsel of In re:  NuvaRing Products Liability Litigation and on the science and discovery committees for the multidistrict litigation matters In re:  Yasmin and Yaz (Drospirenone), In re:  Ortho Evra Litigation, and In re: Gadolinium-Based Contrast Agents.  Ms. Kraft is a partner of Schlichter, Bogard & Denton, LLP in Saint Louis, Missouri.

T. Matthew Leckman

T. Matthew Leckman is a partner at Pogust Braslow & Millrood LLC located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mr. Leckman concentrates his practice in mass torts and complex pharmaceutical and medical device litigation and has been named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyers “Rising Star” from 2010 – 2014.  He is currently active in the GranuFlo dialysis litigation, the Cymbalta withdrawal litigation, and serves on the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee for the testosterone MDL, In re:  Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation.  In his spare time, Mr. Leckman serves as an adjunct professor of trial advocacy at the Drexel University School of Law.  He is a member of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, AAJ’s Leaders Forum, AAJ’s Actos Bladder Cancer Litigation Group, Dialysis Equipment, Products and Clinics Litigation Group, and Testosterone Therapy Litigation Group.

Neil “Ned” E. McWilliams, Jr.

Neil "Ned" E. McWilliams, Jr. concentrates his practice in environmental law, toxic torts, and mass tort litigation.  He is cochair of AAJ’s Xarelto Litigation Group, and a member of AAJ’s Leaders Forum and Pradaxa Litigation Group. He is also a member of the Florida Bar and American Bar Association.  Mr. McWilliams is a shareholder in the Pensacola, Florida based law firm of Levin, Papantonio, Thomas, Mitchell, Rafferty & Proctor, P.A.

Karen Barth Menzies, course advisor

Karen Barth Menzies concentrates her practice in plaintiffs’ pharmaceutical mass tort and consumer class actions.  She served as the lead plaintiffs’ counsel in the Paxil MDL, Central District of California.  She is currently a member of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee for the Avandia MDL, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and coliaison counsel for the Paxil Birth Defects litigation pending in Philadelphia.  She is currently the cochair of the Commercial and Marketing Committee for the Zoloft MDL, co-lead counsel for the Lexapro/Celexa cases coordinated in Missouri state court, and lead counsel for the Fosamax litigation coordinated in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.  She is cochair of AAJ’s DePuy Metal on Metal Hip Implant Litigation Group and a member of AAJ’s Leaders Forum.  Ms. Menzies has testified three times before the FDA and also before the California State Senate regarding the risks of pharmaceutical drugs.  She has published numerous articles and speaks on preemption, FDA, and pharmaceutical drug risks to both legal and medical organizations.  She is a partner at the law firm of Robinson Calcagnie Robinson Shapiro Davis, Inc. in Newport Beach, California, with offices in Los Angeles and San Bernardino, California.

Tobias L. Millrood, course advisor

Tobias L. Millrood concentrates his practice in numerous mass torts, including Fen-Phen, Vioxx, Baycol, Meridia, thimerosal, ephedra, and hormone therapy.  Mr. Millrood served as liaison counsel in the consolidated Hormone Therapy Mass Tort Litigation in Philadelphia County.  Mr. Millrood is a prior member of the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice (PAJ), a member of PAJ, past chair of AAJ’s Hormone Therapy Litigation Group, chair of AAJ’s Section and Litigation Group Coordination Committee, and AAJ’s Board of Governors. He is also an AAJ Leaders Forum member.  He is a frequent speaker at various seminars on the topic of mass tort litigation, hormone therapy, cardiac device litigation, and the ethics of settling mass tort cases.  Mr. Millrood is a partner in the firm Pogust Braslow & Millrood in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.

Trent B. Miracle

Trent B. Miracle concentrates his practice in prescription drug and defective medical device litigation.  He is a shareholder at Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides and Barnerd LLC, located in Alton, Illinois, where he heads the firm’s pharmaceutical litigation department.  Mr. Miracle serves on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committees for In re:  Yasmin and YAZ (Drospirenone) Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2100) and In re:  DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. (MDL 2244), Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation and is currently co-lead in In re:  Propecia (Finasteride) Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2331).  He is a past cochair of AAJ’s Asbestos Litigation group and current cochair of AAJ’s Testosterone Therapy Litigation Group.

B. Kristian W. Rasmussen, III

B. Kristian W. Rasmussen, III concentrates his practice in pharmaceutical, mass torts, class action, and personal injury litigation.  Mr. Rasmussen is a member of AAJ’s Leaders Forum, Section on Toxic, Environmental, and Pharmaceutical Torts, Dialysis Equipment, Products and Clinics Litigation Group, Pradaxa Litigation Group, and Preemption Law Litigation Group.  He is the former cochair of AAJ’s Chantix Litigation Group and Vioxx/Bextra Litigation Group.  Mr. Rasmussen currently serves on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee as cochair of the discovery committee for In re:  Chantix Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2092.)  Mr. Rasmussen’s prior litigation experience includes being designated as co-lead trial counsel for In re:  High Sulfur Content Gasoline Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 1632) and serving as a member of the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee as cochair of the discovery committee for In re:  Bextra and Celebrex Unfair Sales Practices and Product Liability Litigation (MDL No. 1699.)  Before entering private practice, Mr. Rasmussen prosecuted cases as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of Florida and served the United States Navy as an officer in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps.  Mr. Rasmussen is a partner with Birmingham, Alabama based Cory Watson Crowder & DeGaris, P.C.

Bill Robbins, III

Bill Robins, III concentrates his practice in personal injury, product liability, environmental, and commercial litigation. While pursuing his Juris Doctorate at the University of Houston Law School, he received the A.A. White Dean’s Scholarship, the Bankston, Wright & Greenhill Award, and the University of Houston Law Foundation Academic Excellence Award. He is a member of the Houston and American Bar Associations, the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, the Houston Trial Lawyers Association, the Houston Young Lawyers Association, and is a Fellow of the Texas Bar Association. He is a member of AAJ’s Leaders Forum and Section on Toxic, Environmental, and Pharmaceutical Torts (STEP) and served as cochair of AAJ’s Acetaminophen Injury Litigation Group. Heard Robins Cloud & Black LLP has offices in Houston, Texas, Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Christopher A. Seeger

Christopher A. Seeger is the founder of Seeger Weiss, LLP, where he concentrates his practice in pharmaceutical and class action litigation.  He received his law degree from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where he was managing editor of the Cardozo Law Review, and was awarded the Alumnus Award in 2009.  He received Hunter College’s Distinguished Alumni Lawyer Award in 2013, after being inducted into its Alumni Hall of Fame in 2007.  Mr. Seeger serves as co-lead counsel in the lawsuit against the National Football League, which resulted in an uncapped nationwide settlement of concussion related injuries.  Mr. Seeger was unanimously selected by the Vioxx plaintiffs’ lawyers to co-lead the federal Vioxx MDL.  He serves as the chair of the Plaintiffs’ Trial Committee in the Chinese-Manufactured Drywall Products Liability multi-district litigation (MDL), where he also served as a member of the negotiating committee.  Mr. Seeger was appointed to the Actos Product Liability MDL Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee in the In re:  Depuy Orthopaedics, Inc. ASR Hip Implant Products MDL, and served as a member of the Yasmin and Yaz MDL Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee.  He is a Fellow of the American Bar Association and a member of AAJ’s Leaders Forum, Business Torts, Products Liability, and Professional Negligence Sections, as well as the International Society of Barristers.  He is listed in New York and New Jersey Super Lawyers and in the Lawdragon 500.  Mr. Seeger lectures on complex litigation and has taught trial advocacy at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Seeger Weiss, LLP has offices in New York, New York, Newark, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Tad Thomas, moderator

Tad Thomas, moderator, is the founding partner of Thomas Law Office and concentrates his practice in civil litigation, including motor vehicle and trucking collisions, nursing home litigation, products liability, and other serious personal injury matters. Mr. Thomas serves on AAJ’s Board of Governors, NCA Board of Trustees, Budget Committee, Membership Oversight Committee, Minority Caucus, and donates to AAJ’s PAC. He is a member of AAJ’s Leaders Forum, Nursing Home Litigation Group, and chair-elect of Sole Practitioner & Small Firms Section. He is also a member of the Louisville Bar, Kentucky Justice, and Southern Trial Lawyers Associations. Thomas Law Offices is located in Louisville, Kentucky.

AAJ's room block is closed, but a limited number of rooms are still available at the Louisville Marriott Downtown at a special group rate of $169 per night (single or double occupancy) plus state and local taxes of 15.01% for the nights of September 30th and October 1st.  For availability, please contact Ashley Kempson at  Please be sure to include your check in/check out dates with your request. 

Louisville Marriott Downtown
280 West Jefferson Street
Louisville, KY 40202

Platinum Sponsor:

Your registration includes:
  • Continuing legal education credits, which can be applied towards AAJ’s professional recognition programs
  • Reference materials on a USB drive
  • Complimentary daily continental breakfast and coffee
  • Networking Reception
Who should attend?:

This seminar is open to AAJ Members (Regular, Life, Sustaining, President’s Club, and Leaders Forum) and AAJ Paralegal Affiliates who represent plaintiffs in pharmaceuticals or medical device cases. It is held the day prior to the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) and is designed to prepare lawyers with the very latest on the topics discussed at the hearing.

Program Location:

Louisville Marriott Downtown
280 West Jefferson Street
Louisville, KY 40202
(502) 627-5045 


Call us. We'll provide you with names and phone numbers of previous attendees of AAJ Education programs who will be pleased to answer your questions. Or, if you prefer to speak with a course advisor or faculty member, we will arrange that as well. Call 800.622.1791 or 202.965.3500, extension 8612.

If I cannot participate on the scheduled date are recordings available?:

You can purchase this seminar to watch through online streaming and downloading or on hard copy discs. Share with your office and build your firm's resource library. Recordings may be accepted for MCLE credit in your state. Visit AAJ's online audio and video provider Playback Now >>.

MCLE/NCA Requirements:

AAJ has filed for MCLE credit in the appropriate jurisdictions.  Registered participants can receive CLE* credits depending on the jurisdiction and will be applied to your participation in AAJ’s professional recognition programs. AAJ Education programs are routinely accredited by states requiring continuing legal education. CLE questions may be addressed by calling the CLE Coordinator at 800-424-2725, ext. 8335 or 202-965-3500, ext. 8335.​

Click here to learn more about AAJ's Professional Recognition Programs, Achievement Recognition Program (ARP) and Advanced Studies in Trial Advocacy (ASTA), or call 800.622.1791 or 202.965.3500, ext. 8335.

The Achievement Recognition Program (ARP) provides Advocate, Fellow, and Diplomate recognition to AAJ members. To gain ARP credits, submit a certificate of attendance for every seminar, college, and convention you attend.

* Number of credits may vary depending on calculation method used by individual state accreditation agencies. AAJ is a State Bar of California MCLE-approved provider. 

Special Assistance:

AAJ Education will make every effort to ensure that its meetings are held in facilities that are fully accessible to persons with mobility disabilities. If you plan to attend our program and need special facilities or assistance relating to a disability, please call 800-622-1791 or 202-965-3500, ext. 8612.

Cancellation Policy:

Cancellations received in writing by September 24, 2014 will result in a refund less a 10% administrative charge. Cancellations received September 25 - September 30, 2014 will result in a voucher for the entire registration fee, which may be applied toward any AAJ Education college or seminar held within one calendar year of the date of issue. Requests for refunds or vouchers received after September 30, 2014 will not be honored. Fax or email your cancellation letter to the registrar at 202-625-7084 or

Contribute to the AAJ Education Fund:

Please consider a donation to the AAJ Education Fund 501(c)(3). Contributions support educational programs and activities to preserve and protect the civil justice system. Learn more>>

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