Rules of the Road for Medical Negligence, Drugs, and Devices, featuring Patrick Malone | The American Association For Justice

Rules of the Road for Medical Negligence, Drugs, and Devices, featuring Patrick Malone

April 7, 2017 to April 8, 2017
Program Information:

Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa | Sonoma, CA

Sponsored by Lisa Blue and Williams Kherkher
​Sponsored by Local Lawyer Guide, Synergy Settlements, and HMR Funding

About the Seminar:

Mark your calendars! Based on Patrick Malone and Rick Friedman’s Rules of the RoadTM, one of the best-known books on proving liability, Rules of the Road: Medical Negligence, Drugs, and Devices returns this April. Don’t miss the chance to learn how to apply Rules from Patrick Malone himself, joined by an all-star faculty of renowned trial attorneys from around the nation.  

Registration Fees:

AAJ Members: $995

If you are an AAJ member and have been admitted to the bar for five years or less, you can attend this seminar for 50% off. (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 from the same firm with the same firm address.

Hear from Past Participants:

“This program has an excellent balance of theory, practice, [and] motivation.”
Rick Stege, Ohio

“If you want to learn to pick the right battles to fight and want to win them, this is a must course.”
Phillip G. Benton, GA

“[This seminar] was the most useful and inspirational continuing legal education course I have attended in years. The faculty is top-notch.”
Margaret Simonian, AK

Contact Education 800.424.2725 | 202.965.3500, ext. 8612 |


Friday, April 7

Registration (continental breakfast available)
8:00 - 8:30am

​Morning Session
8:30am - 1:00pm
     • Cross-Examining Tough Witnesses with Rules of the Roadtm
     • Thinking Outside the box: How to Visually Present the Rules at Trial
     • Rules of the Roadtm and Using Focus Groups

1:00 - 2:00pm

Afternoon Session
2:00 - 6:00pm
     • Rules in Opening and Closing Statements
     • Integrating Rules Into Your Case
     • Bookending Rules Into Your Case
     • Rules in Medical Device Cases
     • Brainstorming Rules in Participant Cases

Networking Reception
5:00 - 6:00pm

​Saturday, April 8

Continental breakfast available
8:00 - 8:30am

Morning Session
8:30am - 1:00pm
     • Cross-Examination Without Deposing the Witness
     • Using Rules to Connect with Your Jury
     • Shifting the Rules Into Rhetorical Questions
     • Cross-Examining Experts with Rules

Invited Faculty:

Cliff Atkinson

Cliff Atkinson has worked with attorneys and corporate executives for fifteen years and is the author of Beyond Bullet Points (Microsoft Press), which was named a Best Book of 2007 by the editors of and has been published in three editions and translated into twelve languages.  Mr. Atkinson teaches a communications approach internationally at top law firms, government agencies, business schools, and corporations, including Sony, Chevron, Toyota, Del Monte, Nestle, Intel, and more.  Mr. Atkinson is also the author of The Backchannel, a book about the use of Twitter and social media during presentations.  His work has been featured in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, and on Fox News.

Gary D. Fox

Gary D. Fox concentrates his practice in medical malpractice, products liability, and wrongful death litigation.  He is a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates and was selected as Trial Lawyer of the Year by the American Board of Advocates, Florida Chapters (FLABOTA).  Mr. Fox is certified as a civil trial lawyer by the Florida Bar and the National Board of Trial Advocacy.  In 1990, Mr. Fox was elected president of FLABOTA in 1990 and in 1992 was elected president of the Miami Chapter of ABOTA.  In 2004, he was selected for inclusion in the International Society of Barristers.  Mr. Fox is the author of numerous articles in publications including TRIAL magazine, The Florida Bar Journal, and contributed to the medical textbook Operative Obstetrics (Williams & Wilkins).  Mr. Fox was selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America and cited as one of the best lawyers in Florida by Florida Trend Magazine, as well as inclusion in Florida Super Lawyers and Miami Metro Magazine’s list of South Florida’s best lawyers.  Between 1997 to 2002, Mr. Fox served by appointment of the Florida Supreme Court on the Florida Board of Bar Examiners, served as the chairman of the American Association for Justice’s Professional Negligence Section, and served on the Board of Trustees of the National College of Advocacy (NCA), and has lectured at numerous continuing legal education seminars nationwide.  Mr. Fox currently serves of the Board of Directors of the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and served on the Board of Trustees of his undergraduate alma mater, Drury College.  Stewart, Tilghman, Fox, Bianchi & Cain, P.A., is located in Miami, Florida.

Michael A. Kelly

Michael A. Kelly concentrates his practice in personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice, products liability, medical device, motor vehicle injury, and complex catastrophic injury litigation.  In 2012, Mr. Kelly was awarded the Robert E. Cartwright Award by the Consumer Attorneys of California and received the Robert Oliphant Award from the National Institute of Trial Advocacy in 2011.  He was voted the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association's "Trial Lawyer of the Year" in 2010 and chosen by the San Francisco Recorder as the "Best Personal Injury Attorney" in 2009.  Mr. Kelly is "AV" rated by Martindale-Hubbell and is a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, the American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Society of Barristers (where he served as president from 2012 to 2013) and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers.  Mr. Kelly has spoken on a wide variety of trial advocacy topics at continuing legal education seminars internationally and lectures regularly for the California Continuing Education of the Bar, the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, the American Association for Justice, and other organizations.  Mr. Kelly was an assistant professor of law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law from 1981 through 2001.  He is a Sustaining Member of the American Association for Justice and a member of AAJ's Products Liability Section. Walkup Melodia Kelly & Schoenberger is located in San Francisco, California.

Jim Leventhal

Jim Leventhal has concentrated his practice in representing injured victims in cases involving medical negligence and serious personal injury for thirty years.  He is one of only 100 lawyers in the United States and only the third lawyer from Colorado to achieve membership in the Inner Circle of Advocates, and he speaks locally and nationally on trial practice and prosecution of medical negligence cases. He is a past chair of the American Association for Justice’s Professional Negligence Section and a past cochair of AAJ’s Medical Negligence Information Exchange Group (MNIEG).  Mr. Leventhal is a member of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, American Bar, Denver Bar, and Colorado Bar Associations, serves on AAJ’s Board of Governors, Evergreen Advisory Board, and the Committee on the Judiciary.  Mr. Leventhal has received numerous awards, including “Lawyer of the Year – Personal Injury, Colorado” in 2013 by Best Lawyers in America, Law Week Colorado’s “Best Plaintiff Medical Malpractice Lawyer” in 2012 and 2011, has been listed in Best Lawyers in America since 1993, included in the Top 50 Lawyers in Colorado by Colorado Super Lawyers, and was awarded the Kenneth M. Kripke Lifetime Achievement Award by CTLA.  He is a senior partner in the Denver, Colorado-based law firm of Leventhal & Puga, P.C., which is a member of AAJ’s Leaders Forum. 

William P. Lightfoot

William P. Lightfoot limits his practice to plaintiffs’ personal injury claims.  He is board certified in Civil Trials by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, is “AV” rated by Martindale-Hubbell, and is a Diplomate of AAJ’s NCA.  Mr. Lightfoot is a past member of AAJ’s NCA Board of Trustees, donates to AAJ’s PAC, and is a former Council Member at Large for the District of Columbia, where he chaired the Committee on Judiciary.  He has been awarded the Attorney of the Year “Good Scout” Award from the National Capital Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.  Mr. Lightfoot is managing partner at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, L.L.P. in Washington, DC.

Zoe Littlepage

Zoe Littlepage is a named partner in the joint venture firm of Littlepage Booth, headquartered in Houston, Texas.  Ms. Littlepage has a unique practice focusing on complex and generally lengthy trials in federal and state court nationwide.  She was active in several mass tort projects, including leading the state court charge in the Rezulin litigation and served as lead counsel in the Hormone Therapy multi-district litigation for twelve years.  Ms. Littlepage’s jury verdicts were listed in the Top Ten Verdicts of the Year for 2007, 2009, and 2010.  She successfully defended against appeals of her significant punitive damage jury awards – six times in the last eight years – and forced defendants to pay every punitive penny awarded.  She is one of only six women invited into the exclusive Inner Circle of Advocates and she has been named a Super Lawyer every year since 2011, as well as one of America’s top lawyers by Fortune Magazine and The American Lawyer.  Ms. Littlepage was awarded the Clarence Darrow Award for outstanding advocacy in 2009 and was awarded the Pursuit of Justice award in 2015 by the American Bar Association in recognition of her twenty-five years of work on behalf of victims.  Ms. Littlepage is a member of the American Association for Justice and has served on the faculty of several of AAJ’s continuing legal education programs.

Judith Livingston

Judith Livingston is a partner in the law firm of Kramer, Dillof, Livingston & Moore, where she concentrates her practice in medical malpractice and personal injury litigation.  In recognition of her trial skills, Ms. Livingston was the first woman admitted to the Inner Circle of Advocates, an invitation-only professional group limited to the top 100 trial lawyers in America.  She was named the New York Medical Malpractice Lawyer of the Year in Best Lawyers in 2011 and 2013 and cited by National Law Journal as one of 40 lawyers who have made a mark in the area of health care law, and has been listed yearly by New York Magazine and Super Lawyers as one of the best lawyers in New York.  New York Magazine also named Ms. Livingston as one of the 50 most influential woman lawyers in America, and she has been selected as one of the top 500 lawyers in the United States by Law Dragon every year since the list’s inception.  In 2014, Ms. Livingston received the Presidential Medal from Hofstra University and the Fordham Founder’s Award from Fordham University.  Ms. Livingston serves on the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association (NYSTLA) and is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Society of Barristers, the Bar Association of the City of New York, the American Association for Justice, and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers.  From 2006 through 2009, Ms. Livingston was co-president of the Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert (JALBCA) and currently serves on JALBCA’s Board of Directors.  Ms. Livingston donates to AAJ’s PAC and Kramer, Dillof, Livingston & Moore, an American Association for Justice Leaders Forum member firm, is located in New York, New York.​ 

Patrick Malone, course advisor

Patrick Malone is a patient safety advocate and attorney who represents seriously injured people in medical malpractice, product liability, and other types of lawsuits.  Formerly an award-winning investigative medical journalist and Pulitzer Prize finalist, Mr. Malone graduated from Yale Law School and is the co-author of the original Rules of the Roadtm:  A Plaintiff Lawyer’s Guide to Proving Liability (Trial Guides 2009) and Winning Medical Malpractice Cases With the Rules of the Roadtm Technique (Trial Guides 2012), and teaches the Rules technique at continuing legal education programs nationwide.  Mr. Malone is also the author of The Life You Save: Nine Steps to Finding the Best Medical Care – and Avoiding the Worst (Da Capo Lifelong Books, 2009) and contributed a chapter to Up All Night: Practical Wisdom from Mothers and Fathers (Paulist Press, 2004).  He is a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and a member of AAJ’s Federal Tort Liability & Military Advocacy Section and Professional Negligence Section.  Mr. Malone has been recognized in Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Lawyers in America.  Patrick Malone & Associates, P.C. is located in Washington DC and is a member of the American Association for Justice’s Leaders Forum.  

Tom Rhodes

Tom Rhodes is the managing partner of the Tom Rhodes Law Firm P.C., with over thirty years of trial experience.  He is a nationally recognized speaker and author on trial strategy and jury argument and a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates.  Mr. Rhodes is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and is a past president of the San Antonio Trial Lawyers Association (SATLA).  Mr. Rhodes was recently awarded the Pat Maloney, Sr. Courage Award by the SATLA.  He has served on the Board of Directors of the American Association for Justice and the Texas Trial Lawyers Association and is presently on the executive committee of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association.  The Tom Rhodes Law Firm P.C. is located in San Antonio, Texas.

Nicholas C. Rowley

Nicolas C. Rowley concentrates his practice in serious injury and medical malpractice liability, especially for plaintiffs who have suffered traumatic brain injuries or spinal injuries.  In 2009 and 2020, the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CALAA) named Mr. Rowley as a finalist for its Trial Lawyers of the Year Award.  Mr. Rowley was recognized by the Los Angeles Daily Journal for winning a “Top Verdict of 2010” and in 2012, he was a finalist for the Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC)’s Consumer Attorney of the Year Award.  Mr. Rowley has served as an instructor at Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College, speaks nationwide, and has spoken at the American Association for Justice’s Annual Convention.  He is the author of Trial By Human (Trial Guides, 2013) and serves on the Board of Directors of the Imagination Workshop, a non-profit theater arts organization and on the Honorary Board of Governors of Los Angeles Trial Lawyers Charities.  Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley, LLC, an American Association for Justice Leaders Forum firm member, is located in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles, California.

Shanin Specter

Shanin Specter is a founding partner of the law firm of Kline & Specter in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, one of the leading catastrophic injury firms in the United States.  Mr. Specter is a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, whose membership is limited to the top 100 plaintiffs’ trial attorneys in the United States, and is the recipient of the Michael A. Musmanno Award, the highest honor conferred by the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association, and the Pennsylvania Association for Justice's Milton D. Rosenberg Award.  Beyond winning substantial compensation for his clients, many of Mr. Specter’s cases has prompted changes that provide a societal benefit, including improvements to vehicle safety, nursing and hospital procedures, the safe operation of police cars, training for the use of CPR at public institutions, and inspections, installation and maintenance of utility power lines.  One case spurred the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to create a new Electric Safety Division to investigate reported electrical injuries.  Most recently, Mr. Specter’s lawsuit on behalf of victims of a fire escape collapse helped move the City of Philadelphia in 2016 to enact an ordinance requiring all fire escapes to be regularly inspected.  Mr. Specter earned undergraduate degree with honors from Haverford College, his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania and an L.L.M. with First Honors from Cambridge University.  Mr. Specter teaches at Penn, Stanford, Berkeley, and Hastings law Schools.  Kline & Specter is a member firm of AAJ’s Leaders Forum.  Mr. Specter is a member of the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association and the Pennsylvania Association for Justice and donates to AAJ’s PAC.  He has written numerous articles and has been published on, The Daily Beast, and in The Philadelphia Inquirer and is the author of a chapter in Global Perspectives on Alternative Dispute Resolution (Intersentia, 2014).


Enjoy the unmatched beauty of Sonoma’s wine country from the luxurious resort Fairmont Mission Inn & Spa, featuring the Willow Stream Spa, Sonoma Golf Course, and Michelin-award winning restaurant Santé. Experience the Fairmont’s ancient thermal mineral waters in the Spa, explore Sonoma’s famous vineyards, play a round on a championship golf course, or take advantage of the Fairmont’s personalized activities, from yoga to guided local hikes, to turn your visit into an unforgettable vacation. 

AAJ Education offers a discounted room block for Rules of the Road Seminar attendees. Choose from four different room styles (Fairmont, Deluxe, Junior Suites, or Mission Suites) at a special room rate of $339 to $569 per night (single or double occupancy) plus applicable taxes and fees, including a $25/night resort fee. For reservations, email with your name, preferred room type, and check-in and check-out dates.

For modifications or cancellations of existing reservations, contact the Fairmont directly. Guests are responsible for any applicable change or cancellation fees in accordance with hotel policies.
Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa
100 Boyes Boulevard
Sonoma, CA 95476


Who should attend:

This seminar is open to AAJ Members (Regular, Life, Sustaining, President’s Club, and Leaders Forum). AAJ Paralegal Affiliates may attend this seminar  if they are employed by, and attending with, an AAJ plaintiff attorney with the same firm address.

Program Location:

Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa
100 Boyes Boulevard
Sonoma, CA 95476


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.

MCLE/NCA Requirements:

AAJ has filed for MCLE credit in the appropriate jurisdictions.  Registered participants can receive approximately 12.5 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 March 30, 2017 will result in a refund less a 10% administrative charge. Cancellations received March 31 to April 4, 2017 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 April 4, 2017 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>>

Terms and Conditions:

The American Association for Justice reserves the right to, in its sole discretion, refuse entrance to the event and/or remove any individual from the event whose behavior is disruptive and/or is not consistent with the character and purpose of the event. All American Association for Justice badges are the property of the American Association for Justice and must be returned upon request.

By registering for this AAJ Education program, you agree to receive electronic, written, and telephonic communication from AAJ staff regarding the program and to have your name, firm, city, and state included on the participant and exhibitor/sponsor roster.  AAJ may also need to contact you to service your membership record or to provide you with information about your membership, products and services, and advocacy and legislative updates.  By providing your contact information, including phone number, fax number, and email address, you consent and give permission for AAJ to contact you by any of those means, which may include calls to your mobile phone, faxes, or emails. You may contact AAJ at any time to change your preferences.

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