chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.
December 15, 2021 TIPS NOTES

Fall 2021 Update on the Latest Programs and Events in Your Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section

ABA Annual Meeting

TIPS 2020–21 Council met on August 4 in conjunction with the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago, via Zoom, followed by our annual business meeting, where the 2021–22 officers and Council were elected. Following the annual business meeting, the new 2021–22 Council also met.

TIPS/ABOTA National Trial Academy

The National Trial Academy was held September 18–22 at the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada, with 25 students—and was spectacular! The faculty were impressive, and the students thrived with the input from these seasoned trial lawyers.

The National Trial Academy is the premier program for the leading trial lawyers of tomorrow and is labeled one of the country’s top “boot camp for lawyers” by the ABA Journal. This intense four-and-a-half-day program utilizes a wide range of individualized teaching methods and approaches not found anywhere else, offering a unique, interactive, diverse program combining today’s latest technology with the country’s top trial lawyers as personal mentors.

Fall Meeting

TIPS members and staff met for a successful Fall Meeting, held October 13–16 in Dallas at the Four Seasons, after a long hiatus from live meetings. Specialized chair and chair-elect orientation and training sessions were held for TIPS general committees; and TIPS general committees, standing committees, task forces, and Council held business meetings to continue to advance the good work of the Section.

The opening plenary session included a preview of the TIPS Financial Literacy Project. We also heard from a dynamic panel, put together by our new Practice Renewal & Reintegration Task Force, focusing on issues confronting women, law students, and law firms.

Our Diversity Committee met virtually with local middle school students from Dallas Hybrid Prep to conduct “A Day in the Life of an Attorney,” an outreach program designed to inspire young people to become lawyers, with over 70 students in attendance!

Leadership Academy

Our very enthusiastic 2021–22 Leadership Academy class launched at the Fall Meeting, after having been delayed a year. We had many illustrious speakers, including former ABA President Judy Perry Martinez and Mark Curriden, author of Contempt of Court: The Turn-of-the-Century Lynching That Launched a Hundred Years of Federalism.

The Leadership Academy is held every other year and is a program designed to increase diversity of leaders, nurture effective leadership, build relationships, and raise diversity awareness. Twenty young lawyers were selected to participate in the Leadership Academy, which will also meet at the ABA Midyear Meeting, TIPS Section Conference in April, and ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago.


At the Fall Meeting, former Council member Jennifer Kilpatrick received the Kirsten Christophe Memorial Award for Excellence in Trial and Insurance Law during the Wednesday evening Council dinner. The award is named in honor of Kirsten Christophe, a former TIPS Council member who perished September 11, 2001, in the World Trade Center attack. This award is given to TIPS members with the exemplary attributes of balancing career, profession, and family in life and practice.

Gail Vaughn Ashworth, Council member and Tennessee lawyer, received the Edmund S. Muskie Pro Bono Service Award during the Thursday evening welcome reception at the Fall Meeting. The award recognizes those TIPS members who have demonstrated commitment to justice for all citizens and dedication to pro bono service.

The material in all ABA publications is copyrighted and may be reprinted by permission only. Request reprint permission here.