Tennessee Defense

Lawyers Association

Calendar of Events

Upcoming events

    • 02 Sep 2020
    • 1:00 PM - 4:30 PM (EDT)
    • Webinar

    Calling all TDLA Young Lawyers! Please join us for a stellar line up of speakers and topics geared towards young lawyers at our Virtual YL Boot Camp on the afternoon of Wednesday September 2, 2020. TDLA will apply for 3 hours of General TN CLE. This webinar is FREE for Young Lawyers!

    If Young Lawyers would like to join the TDLA Virtual Annual Meeting on September 3, 2020 it is only $25! So, you can receive 7 hours of CLE (incl. one hour of Ethics) for only $25 (TDLA pending application for CLE).

    YL Boot Camp AGENDA

    1:00pm EST - Welcome

    1:05-2:05pm EST – “Federal Court Speaker Panel” - Susan K. Lee, United States Magistrate Judge, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee in Chattanooga; Carrie Stefaniak, Law Clerk to Curtis L. Collier, Senior United States District Judge, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee in Chattanooga; Kelly Walsh, Law Clerk to Harry S. Mattice, Jr., Senior United States District Judge, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee in Chattanooga.

    Join Magistrate Judge Lee, along with Carrie Stefaniak, Law Clerk for Judge Collier, and Kelly Walsh, Law Clerk for Judge Mattice, as they provide valuable insights and tips to help young lawyers with their civil litigation practice, particularly those practicing in federal court.  Judge Lee and the Clerks will discuss what judges and law clerks are looking for in lawyers that appear before the court, including what is effective/less effective in motions/briefs, how lawyers should conduct themselves in the courtroom, and what not to do/what to do when filing and submitting pleadings and motions to the court.  Our young lawyer members will have a valuable opportunity to interact with, ask questions, and learn from Judge Lee and the Clerks in the small group Zoom setting.

    2:05pm- 2:10pm EST - Break

    2:10pm-3:10pm EST – “Diversity & Inclusion” – Kim Vance, Baker Donelson - As recent events have shown, diversity and inclusion are important in all aspects of life, including in our practice of law.  Kim Vance, a Shareholder at Baker Donelson in Nashville, will provide insight, training, and tips regarding diversity in the legal profession and how young lawyers can encourage and promote diversity and inclusion in their firms.  Our young lawyers will have the opportunity to learn valuable interpersonal skills from Kim Vance and to ask her about her practice and experience in providing countless trainings and seminars to her clients, employers and employees, to law firms, and to other professional organizations and trade groups.

    3:10-3:15pm EST - Break

    3:15-4:15pm EST-  “Developing Trial Themes from Day One” – Frank Ramos, Clarke Silverglate- Even though few cases go to trial, we must treat every case, from day one, as if it is most certainly headed to trial.  Frank will teach how to develop trial themes and trial theories from the inception of a case and have them evolve during the course of litigation to put the case in best posture for settlement, a dispositive motion and for trial.

    Frank Ramos is also the author of DRI's "The Associate's Handbook" - a must have read for all Young Lawyers. Click here to find your copy.

    4:15-4:30pm – Comments and Conclusion of program

    • 03 Sep 2020
    • 1:00 PM - 6:00 PM (EDT)
    • Webinar

    Please join us for an afternoon of Tennessee CLE in our first Virtual Annual Meeting! TDLA will hold our Annual Meeting virtually on Thursday Sept 3, 2020. Conference chair for this meeting is Rachel D. Bishop with Stites & Harbison in Nashville.

    For only $25 registration fee, TDLA will apply for 4 hours of TN CLE which includes one hour of Ethics. Link will be sent to registrants prior to the virtual meeting.

    Topics include:

    • "Technology Competency Requirements in Tennessee and Nationwide" presented by Baxter Drennon, DRI Board of Directors; Partner at Wright, Lindsey & Jennings, Little Rock, AR - This presentation will focus on technology competency requirements. In the past few years, the Model Rules of Professional Conduct were amended to require attorneys to competent with regard to technology. Tennessee adopted that same requirement. The question in Tennessee and nationally is what does it mean for an attorney to be competent with regard to technology.

    • "COVID-19 and Valuation" presented by Brent McDade of Elliott Davis – Economic and industry conditions are important concerns in business valuation, and the impact of COVID-19 has been felt very differently across industries. Mr. McDade will discuss current economic conditions and the impact of the pandemic on private company business valuations.

    • "Eyewitness News: How Science Can Help You Understand and Reduce Bias in Eyewitness Testimony" Presented by Caroline Crump and Genevieve Nauhaus of Exponent - Car accidents, explosions, and trip-and-falls are just a few contexts where a judge or jury’s decision making may rely heavily on the reliability of one or more witness observations. In situations where witness testimony becomes important, it is critical to understand the scientific interplay among witness accounts, the physical evidence, and known factors influencing witness perception and memory. This webinar will provide an overview of how these elements can combine and contribute in the investigation of individual incidents, including: The science of how we form, store, and retrieve memories; Environmental, individual, and situational factors that affect these processes; Tips for minimizing bias when questioning witnesses

    • "Tennessee Law Updates"- Law updates from our sections in Workers’ Comp, Tort, and Labor and Employment. This session will include recent changes in legislation and case law in these areas. Hot topics will include trending issues arising from the COVID 19 pandemic.

    AGENDA: Click Here

    We will conclude the virtual meeting with our Annual Business Meeting where we will discuss the State of TDLA, propose by-law changes and announce recipients of the TDLA “Defense Lawyer of the Year” and “Rising Star” awards.

    TDLA is now taking nominations for the “Defense Lawyer of the Year” and “Rising Star” awards. Nominations are due by Monday August 17, 2020. To nominate Click Here.

    • 25 Mar 2021
    • (EDT)
    • Atlanta, GA


    We have rescheduled the inaugural SE Women Litigators Conference for Thursday, March 25, 2021, at the Atlanta Zoo. Our keynote speakers have been confirmed, so the program remains the same.

    We will still have an opening reception and dine-arounds at The Ellis hotel the evening before; we’re working on another room block there.

    We will open registration for those who did not register in 2020 this fall. Stay tuned and thank you!


    Women litigators in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee are teaming up to support, educate and advance women civil defense litigators in the first Southeastern Women Litigators Conference to be held at a future date. 

    This one-day seminar will combine speakers and panelists who will discuss developing leadership and career building skills. The presentations will also explore challenges, risks and rewards on the path to having a fulfilling and productive career for women lawyers. 

    Keynote speaker is Cindy McGovern, CEO of Orange Leaf Consulting, a Wall Street bestselling author and international speaker. She helps companies and individuals grow their businesses. Her best selling book "Every Job is a Sales Job - How to Use the Art of Selling to Win at Work" may be bought at a reduced price to registrants.

    SEWL Agenda: Click Here

    Registration Fee:  $395

    Conference Refunds/Cancellations Policy: No refunds after Friday, March 13th.  Substitutions may be made in the event of an individual cancellation.

    Hotel Room Block Information: Ellis Hotel, 176 Peachtree Street NW Atlanta, Georgia 30303.   The discounted room rate is $169.  Due to the Final Four the following week, the rate will increase after the conference date.  Use the Hotel Info link below to book directly online.  Deadline to book hotel room is February 25, 2020. There is no onsite parking at the hotel, valet is available for an extra charge. Ellis Hotel reservation link: click here

    Law firm sponsorships are appreciated to help offset the cost of the event.  If your firm is interested in sponsoring the inaugural women’s conference, please contact Mary Gadd at office@tdla.net for more information or view our sponsorship package by clicking here.

    Thank you to our 2020 SEWL Sponsors:


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