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January 26, 2023 TIPS Notes

Fall 2022 Update on the Latest Programs and Events in Your Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section

ABA Annual Meeting

TIPS officers met at the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago, with officers and some delegates in person and most Council members by phone. The ceremonial passing of the gavel signaled the transfer of the leadership of the Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section from outgoing Chair John C. McMeekin II to Gary L. Gassman. The event took place at the TIPS annual business meeting on August 10, when officers for the 2022–2023 bar year were officially elected.

The TIPS Leadership Academy met for their second to last session at the Annual Meeting. The class heard from a panel of corporate counsel entitled “Inside View: Career Advancement, DEI, and Expectations for Outside Counsel.” They also heard from ABA President Deborah Enix-Ross; Mike Bergmann, Executive Director of the Public Interest Law Initiative; and ABA House of Delegates Chair Palmer “Gene” Vance II, as well as a panel entitled “The Bench, Bar, and Pipeline to the Judiciary.” The class organized and participated in a public service project at the Chicago Greater Food Depository.


The Fidelity and Surety Law Conference, a midwinter conference that was originally planned for January but because of COVID was moved to August 17–19, was held in Nashville at the Grand Hyatt. This was an excellent conference with a full-day construction program, a full-day surety program, and a day and a half of fidelity programming. Each of these programs addressed valuable topics for new claim professionals and provided comprehensive analysis and perspectives beneficial to seasoned attendees.

The Life, Health and Disability, ERISA, and Insurance Regulation Conference, originally planned for January but postponed to August 18–20 because of COVID, was held in Nashville at the Grand Hyatt. This conference focused on the latest issues and trends in life insurance, health and disability insurance, employee benefits and ERISA, and insurance regulation.

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

The Aviation Litigation Conference, Welcome to the New Normal, was held October 27–28 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington, D.C. This conference featured key representatives and experts in aviation covering the latest issues in aviation and space litigation.

Fall Meeting

TIPS members met for a successful Fall Meeting, held October 13–16 in Scottsdale, Arizona, at the Omni Montelucia. The meeting was very productive, with lots of energy, enthusiasm, and great ideas for the year ahead. 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 plan for the year ahead.

Middle School Outreach

Members of the Diversity and Inclusion, Law in Public Service, and Staff Counsel Committees participated in our middle school outreach program, “A Day in the Life of a Lawyer,” at the Madison No. 1 Middle School in Scottsdale, Arizona, held during the Fall Meeting on October 13. Attorneys discussed their professional experience in the legal industry and encouraged students to explore the possibility of a law-related career. The goal of this outreach program is to inspire young people to become lawyers.


Thomas Leatherbury received the Edmund S. Muskie Pro Bono and Public Service Award during the opening plenary session 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.

Michelle Worrall Tilton was presented with the Andrew C. Hecker Memorial Award for her demonstrated leadership, outreach, enthusiasm, professionalism, and pride in TIPS and its accomplishments at the Saturday evening reception and dinner at the Fall Meeting.

Leadership Academy

Congratulations to the 2021–2022 Leadership Academy class, who graduated at the Fall Meeting! We look forward to their continued involvement in TIPS. 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.

Nominations are being accepted for the next Leadership Academy class, which will be held during the 2023–2024 bar year. For questions about the Leadership Academy or to submit your nomination, please contact TIPS Director Theresa Livingston at [email protected].

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