Gregory S. Cusimano is a partner in the law firm of Cusimano, Roberts, Knowles & Mills, LLC, located in Gadsden, Alabama. He concentrates his practice in products liability, fraud, bad faith, personal injury and death, civil trials, and professional negligence litigation. Mr. Cusimano was awarded the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA, now the American Association for Justice)’s Citation of Excellence, and is a Diplomate of the National College of Advocacy (NCA) and the International Academy of Litigators. He has been listed in Best Lawyers in America since 1993 and the Best of the U.S. multiple times, named a Super Lawyer in Alabama since 2006, and named Best in Birmingham twice. He is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, the Alabama Bar Foundation, and the Roscoe Pound Foundation. He has served as vice chair and co-chair of the Board of Trustees of the NCA. Mr. Cusimano has published several legal articles and co-edited Thomson West’s six-volume ATLA’s Litigating Tort Cases series, and was featured in AAJ’s “Commanding the Courtroom” video series. He is a member of the American Society of Trial Consultants and is a founding principal in Winning Works, LCC, a national consulting firm. He is a member of AAJ’s Sole Practitioner & Small Firm Section.
Robert F. Danzi founded his own firm, the Law Office of Robert F. Danzi, in 1996, after having practiced in a larger personal injury firm for 16 years. He serves as president of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association (NYSTLA). His small boutique practice focuses on complicated medical malpractice and select personal injury cases. Mr. Danzi has built a reputation as the patient's advocate. Mr. Danzi graduated from Albany Law School in 1979, and is admitted to the Courts of the State of New York, the United States Federal Courts for the Eastern and Southern Districts, and the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Over the years, Mr. Danzi has written articles, has lectured for the New York State Bar Association and Nassau County Bar Association, was on the New York State Bar Association's committee on Civil Practice Law and Rules, was vice-chairman of the Nassau County Bar Association Medical Legal Committee, and co-authored proposed legislation in support of the plaintiff's bar. Mr. Danzi is “AV” rated by Martindale-Hubbell. The Law Office of Robert F. Danzi is located in Westbury, New York.
Thomas V. Girardi is widely regarded by his peers as one of the nation's top trial lawyers with nearly fifty years of experience representing victims. He concentrates his practice in wrongful death, commercial, products liability, bad faith insurance, and toxic torts litigation. Mr. Girardi was inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame by the California State Bar. Mr. Girardi serves on the board of directors, is a past president of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and is a member of AAJ’s Leaders Forum. Mr. Girardi is the first trial lawyer to be appointed to the California Judicial Council, the policymaking body of the state courts. Girardi | Keese has offices in Los Angeles and San Bernardino, California.
Robin L. Greenwald is of counsel at Weitz & Luxenburg, P.C., where she heads the firm’s Environmental Toxic Torts Litigation Group. Ms. Greenwald is a former assistant chief of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environmental Crimes Section. She has served as liaison counsel in multi-district litigation against over 50 petroleum companies and as a member of the plaintiffs’ steering committee for victims of the 2010 British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Prior to joining the firm, she was a clinical professor of environmental law at Rutgers University School of Law and director of Rutger’s Environmental Law Clinic. Ms. Greenwald also served as the executive director of Waterkeeper Alliance, an international nonprofit water conservation organization, and served as general counsel in the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of the Inspector General and previously as deputy chief in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn, New York. She is a member of the American Association for Justice’s Leaders Forum and Products Liability Section. Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C., has offices in New York, New York, Los Angeles, California, and Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
Jonathan Haidt, keynote speaker, is the Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership at the New York University’s Leonard H. Stern School of Business. Professor Haidt is a social psychologist whose research examines the intuitive foundations of morality. He is author of New York Times bestseller The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion and The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom. Prior to joining the faculty at Stern, Professor Haidt taught for 16 years at the University of Virginia, where he was given three awards for outstanding teaching, including the Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award, conferred by Governor Mark Warner. Professor Haidt’s writings appear frequently in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. He received a B.A. in Philosophy from Yale University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.
Richard D. Hailey concentrates his practice in complex personal injury litigation. Mr. Hailey is a past president of AAJ and is actively involved with several international trial lawyer associations including the Australian Trial Lawyers Association. In 2000, Mr. Hailey traveled to South Africa to assist in the initial formation of the South African Trial Lawyers Association, which was the first organized bar in South Africa after it approved its new constitution under President Mandela. Mr. Hailey serves on the board of directors of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association, was awarded the Melvin Belli Society Trial Lawyer of the Year Award in 1998, and has been included in the Best Lawyers in America and Best Lawyers in Indianapolis. The law firm of Ramey & Hailey is located in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Russ M. Herman is a senior partner of Herman, Herman & Katz, LLC, where he concentrates his practice in personal injury, maritime, motor vehicle collision, wrongful death, catastrophic injury, and products liability litigation. He served as President of the American Trial Lawyers Association (ATLA, now the American Association for Justice), President of the Civil Justice Foundation, and President of the Roscoe Pound Foundation. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys and the National College of Advocacy (NCA), is a Fellow and Director of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), a Fellow of the International Society of Barristers, and a Barrister of the American College of Barristers. In 2001, Mr. Herman was awarded the Leonard M. Ring Champion of Justice Award. Mr. Herman was also awarded the ATLA Lifetime Achievement Award and the Joe Tonahill Award. He is “AV” rated by Martindale-Hubbell and was selected for listing in Naifeth and Smith’s Best Lawyers in America in Personal Injury, Maritime, Complex Litigation, and Appellate Trial Practice Areas. The National Law Journal named Mr. Herman as one of Louisiana’s top ten litigators and he has been featured in the American Law Journal and Fortune magazine. He was also selected as one of America’s 500 Leading Lawyers and Jurists by Lawdragon. Mr. Herman has authored over 200 articles, papers, and books on civil trial practice, including Courtroom Persuasion: Art, Drama & Science (West Group) and West Group’s two-volume series on Louisiana personal injury. He has been published in Am Jur, TRIAL, The Forum, and Personal Injury Annual, among other publications. He is a member of AAJ’s Leaders Forum and Admiralty Law, Business Torts, Motor Vehicle Highway and Premises Liability, Professional Negligence, and Railroad Law Sections, and the Section on Toxic, Environmental, and Pharmaceutical Torts (STEP). Mr. Herman is a member of the National Trial Lawyers and Tulane Law School Hall of Fame. Herman, Herman & Katz, LLC, is located in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Linda A. Lipsen was named Chief Executive Officer of AAJ in April 2010 and donates to AAJ’s PAC. She joined the organization in 1993 to direct AAJ’s Public Affairs department. Since that time, Ms. Lipsen has led the trial lawyers’ highly regarded Washington lobby team and successfully fought back efforts that would limit access to America’s courts and make it impossible for the victims of negligence or willful wrongdoing to be fairly compensated for harm. She has directed countless legislative campaigns on behalf of a host of issues including patient, worker, and investor protections. Ms. Lipsen has received the Senator Paul Wellstone Award from U.S. Action and the Marie Lambert Award, and is regularly recognized by leading Capitol Hill publications such as Roll Call and The Hill as one of Washington’s most effective lobbyists. Following the tragedy of September 11th, she led the fight for enactment of the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund. Following enactment of the Fund, Ms. Lipsen’s leadership helped ATLA/AAJ establish the nation’s largest-ever pro-bono legal representation program.
Paul N. Luvera is the founder of the Luvera Law Firm, a plaintiff’s trial lawyer firm with offices in Seattle and Mount Vernon, Washington. In 2010, Luvera was one of only five lawyers in the United States to be inducted into the American Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame. Mr. Luvera has been selected as one of the top 100 lawyers in Washington state every year and was listed in the top 10 of Washington lawyers in a 2011 survey by SuperLawyers. He has been listed in Best Lawyers in America for over 25 years, and in 2009, he was named as “Best Lawyer’s Seattle Personal Injury Litigator of the Year.” Mr. Luvera lectures nationwide on trial advocacy. The National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, and The Washington Journal have all honored Luvera as one of the nation's most accomplished trial lawyers, and he has been featured in Seattle Magazine as one of Seattle’s top trial lawyers. Mr. Luvera is past president of the Inner Circle of Advocates, the most exclusive plaintiff’s trial organization in the nation, and past president of the Washington State Association for Justice. He is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, the American Board of Trial Advocates, and the International Society of Barristers.
Mark S. Mandell is a senior partner in the Providence, Rhode Island-based law firm of Mandell, Schwartz & Boisclair, Ltd. He is Board-certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy as a Civil Trial Specialist. Mr. Mandell is a Fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and served as chair of the Federal Board of Bar Examiners for the United States District Court, District of Rhode Island. He serves on the Rhode Island Supreme Court’s Ethics Advisory Panel and is a past president of the Rhode Island Trial Lawyers Association and the Rhode Island Bar Association. Mr. Mandell is a past president of AAJ and a past president of the Roscoe Pound Institute. He served as the president of the National Crime Victims Bar Association. He is a member of AAJ’s Leaders Forum and Professional Negligence Section. He has co-chaired the Board of Trustees of the National College of Advocacy (NCA), is a Diplomate of the NCA, and co-chaired several NCA trial advocacy colleges. Mr. Mandell is listed in the “Best Lawyers in America,” authored over 20 articles on trial law, and lectures internationally to the medical and legal communities.
Kathleen Nastri's focus is on medical malpractice, personal injury, and other complex cases. She recently won the largest medical malpractice verdict in Connecticut history for a Norwal family whose son suffere a birth injury that resulted in cerebral palsy. In June 2003, Kathleen was elected president of the Connecticut Trial Lawyers' Association (CTLA) after previously serving as the vice president and treasurer. In 2013, she was elected treasurer of the American Association for Justice. She previously served on the Board of Governors of the American Association for Justice as state senator. Before joining Koskoff Koskoff & Bieder, PC, in Bridgeport, Connecticut, she had been head of the Plaintiff's Personal Injury Practice Group at a Waterbury-based law firm, where she began assisting clients in 1986. She is admitted to practice at the U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, as well as Connecticut state courts. Ms. Nastri is a Fellow, Connecticut Bar Foundation, a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. She is a member of AAJ's Leaders Forum. Koskoff Koskoff & Bieder, PC, is located in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Howard L. Nations, course advisor, concentrates his practice in mass tort pharmaceuticals, individual catastrophic injuries, and complex business litigation. Mr. Nations co-founded AAJ’s National College of Advocacy (NCA) and has taught advocacy-related courses in law schools for 35 years. He is widely published and lectures nationwide. Mr. Nations pioneered the use of forensic psychological and neurolinguistic principles to persuade judges and jurors in trial. Mr. Nations served as president of The National Trial Lawyers, the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, the Southern Trial Lawyers Association, the Belli Society and the Aletheia Institute. He also served on AAJ’s Executive Committee, is a member of AAJ Leaders Forum, an AAJ PAC Donor, is a Diplomate of the NCA, and a member of AAJ’s Toxic, Environmental and Pharmaceutical Torts Section. He is the recipient of the Belli Society’s Mel Award, Mass Torts Made Perfect’s Clarence Darrow Award, the Southern Trial Lawyer’s War Horse and Tommy Malone Great American Eagle Awards, and AAJ’s Heavy Lifting Award. Mr. Nations has been listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in Finance and Industry, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in the World. He is a member of the Litigation Counsel of America, LLC and was inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame 2012. The Nations Law Firm is located in Houston, Texas.
Matthew Robinson is a former Naval Aviator and aircraft accident investigator for the Navy and Marine Corps. He has instructed aviation safety officers from all Department of Defense branches on Crew Resource Management and Aviation System Safety. His students included U.S. Coast Guard aircrew (as seen on the weather channel) and the Blue Angels flight demonstration team to name a few. Matt is a current flight instructor and lecturer for the Federal Aviation Administration's Flight Safety Team on Aviation Human Factors. He is the chair of the Aviation group at Robson Forensic and the area manager of the firm's Denver office.
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 the chair of the Plaintiffs’ Trial Committee in the Chinese-Manufactured Drywall Products Liability multi-district litigation (MDL), was appointed to the Actos Product Liability MDL Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, was appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee in the In re: Depuy Orthopaedics, Inc. ASR Hip Implant Products MDL, served as a member of the Yasmin and Yaz MDL Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, was unanimously selected by the Vioxx plaintiffs’ lawyers to co-lead the federal Vioxx MDL and serve on the Executive Committee, and serves as colead counsel in the concussion lawsuit against the National Football League. He is a Fellow of the American Bar Association and the American Association for Justice’s Leaders Forum and Business Torts, Products Liability, and Professional Negligence Sections. He is listed in New York and New Jersey SuperLawyers and in the Lawdragon 500. Mr. Seeger lectures on complex litigation and is an adjunct professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where he teaches trial advocacy and complex litigation. Seeger Weiss, LLP has offices in New York, New York, Newark, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
David A. Wenner, course advisor, is nationally recognized as an authority on juror bias and decision-making. As a partner in the Phoenix law firm of Snyder & Wenner, P.C., Mr. Wenner has spent the last two decades prosecuting wrongful death and catastrophic injury accident cases, speaking to lawyers across the country on juror bias and decision-making, and creating a successful juror bias model. He is a member of AAJ’s Leaders Forum, served on the National College of Advocacy (NCA)’s Board of Trustees and is a Diplomate of the NCA.