To download the most current version of our 2016 Annual Meeting & Law Firm Expo Magazine click the button below. In the magazine you will find the Schedule of Events listed below and much more meeting-related information.

Download Houston Meeting Schedule Here Download CLE Speaker Bios Here

Wednesday, September 14





9:30 a.m. 12:00 p.m.
The Amazing Race Around Houston

Join us as we do a mini version of The Amazing Race! The Emerging Leaders created this fun, lively and interactive networking session two years ago and it has become one of the most popular events. You will be assigned a team and be given a list of tasks to complete. The first one back to the Hilton Americas-Houston is the winner.

The Emerging Leaders Committee
10:00 a.m. 12:00 p.m.
Vendor Expo Set-Up
12:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m.
Registration and Vendor Expo
3:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m.
Law Firm Expo Set-Up
3:05 p.m. 5:00 p.m.
CLE: The Economic Loss Rule

This talk will explain how the American Law Institute is clarifying the confusing rules that govern the recovery of pure economic loss in tort.

Ward Farnsworth, Dean of University of Texas Law School
12:15 p.m. 1:30 p.m.
Law Firm Member First-Time Attendee Orientation

If you are a first-time attendee to any NAMWOLF event, please plan on attending this session. Important information about your Law Firm Membership with NAMWOLF will be covered, and you will have an opportunity to mix and mingle with other NAMWOLF Law Firm Members. This session is for NAMWOLF Law Firm Members ONLY.

Jerry Hamilton, Hamilton Miller & Birthisel, LLP; Jessica L. Herbster, Schwartz Hannum PC
1:35 p.m. 3:00 p.m.
(Speed) Dating for Dollars, Part Two

Due to overwhelming demand, this fun, fast-paced and popular session will pair law firms members together for a quick (2-3 minute) meet and greet…10 different times! One of the best things about NAMWOLF is the business and personal relationships our law firm members develop with each other that actually lead to business. In order for that process to begin, you need to get to know the other member firms and they need to get to know you. This “speed-dating” program will not only provide lots of laughs but it will result in great connections that will help pave the way to you getting business.

3:05 p.m. 4:05 p.m.
CLE: Economic Loss Doctrine
Ward Farnsworth, Dean of University of Texas Law School
4:10 p.m. 4:55 p.m.
In-House Counsel First-Time Attendee Orientation

If you are a first-time attendee to any NAMWOLF event, please plan on attending this session. How to navigate the Annual Meeting and other relevant topics will be covered in addition to important information about NAMWOLF. You will also have an opportunity to mix and mingle with other In-House Counsel. This session is for In-House Counsel ONLY

Members of the Advisory Council
5:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m.
In-House Counsel Meet & Greet

Based on your feedback and requests, we are continuing to offer more opportunities for in-house counsel to network. Join in-house counsel—both first-time attendees and seasoned members of NAMWOLF—for a cocktail reception before the Kick-Off event! In-House ONLY Session.

Sponsored by: Wilson Turner Kosmo LLP & LimNexus LLP

6:00 p.m. 9:00 p.m.
Kick-Off Cocktail Reception

Location TBA

Thursday, September 15





7:30 a.m. 6:00 p.m.
Registration and Vendor Expo
7:30 a.m. 8:30 a.m.
Continental Breakfast
8:15 a.m. 8:40 a.m.
Welcome Address by Sylvester Turner
8:45 a.m. 9:25 a.m.
General Counsel Keynote Speaker: Raymond J. Manista, Senior Vice President – Law and Public Affairs, Northwestern Mutual
9:30 a.m. 10:30 a.m.
CLE: From Body Art and Cross-Dressing to Piercing, Hijab and More: Exploring New Frontiers in the Workplace and What Businesses Need to Know

Intersection of dress and appearance codes, restroom access, standards of conduct and employment law protections. Discussion of recent cases and what federal and state agencies are doing in this area.

Lisa Hamasaki, Miller Law Group; Danielle Linert, Giffen & Kaminski LLC; Jeff Brockmann, Assistant General Counsel, U.S. Bank; Jennifer Thiel, Executive Director Attorney, USAA;Sasha Buchert, Staff Attorney – Transgender Law Center
9:30 a.m. 10:30 a.m.
CLE: Analyze This. Strategize That. Using Data Analytics To Your Advantage

Data Analytics has already become an industry best practice and will play an increasingly important role in the claims management process over the next decade.  Big data is used to look for trends and patterns in various types of data sources in order to create a full picture and find discrepancies.  By using key data to scrutinize frequent and recurring patterns; excessive use of resources; question quantitative information and the integration of unstructured data from various data points, we can create a comprehensive analysis.  Using data analytics to piece together the puzzle will help you achieve a favorable outcome in insurance litigation.

Michael Rosenberg, Firm Managing Partner, Roig Lawyers; Brandon Danford, USAA; Shelley Brown, Director of Consulting, RVM Enterprises, Inc.; Kent Absalonsen, Panelist – Attorney, Allstate
9:30 a.m. 10:30 a.m.
CLE: Houston We Have a Problem: Journey to eDiscovery World: The Six Rings of Hell

Do you find eDiscovery daunting? Have you recently passed on or been passed up for a case based on its sheer volume of data or a lack of personal experience in electronic discovery? This informative CLE will help familiarize small and medium-sized law firms with the terminology, technology and concepts involved with eDiscovery. Topics covered will include a discussion of what eDiscovery is and what steps to follow when dealing with it. We will talk about competency, and what every lawyer should know when dealing with electronically stored information (ESI). We will define and explain what an eDiscovery plan is, and how you can actively participate in every phase—from document preservation to document production. Finally, we will discuss how to select ESI vendors, the use of analytics in your case and the dangers of inadvertent disclosure. The entire presentation will include a focus on cost-saving techniques and methods for more efficient communication and collaboration with your client, your adversary, and your service providers. At the conclusion, you should have a better understanding of the eDiscovery process, which could prove invaluable going forward into case planning or your next meet-and-confer.

Sponsored by: RVM

Laura Kibbe, Managing Director of Professional Services, RVM Enterprises, Inc.; David Moncure, Data Privacy Legal Counsel, Shell Oil Company; Christian Liipfert, Scharf Banks Marmor LLC
10:45 a.m. 11:15 a.m.
Inclusion Initiative Meeting

In-House ONLY Session

10:45 a.m. 2:00 p.m.
Law Firm Expo / Lunch Combo

NAMWOLF’s signature event provides a unique opportunity to meet with the top minority and women owned law firms in the country. In-House Counsel have the opportunity to schedule 15-minute appointments with selected firms or walk the Expo freely. A detailed directory of NAMWOLF firms is distributed prior to the Annual Meeting and Law Firm Expo.

 2:15 p.m.  3:15 p.m.
CLE (Ethics): Keeping the Lid on Pandora’s Box: What In House Counsel Need to Know About Attorney Client Privilege

Clients of in-house counsel often overestimate the protections of the attorney-client privilege in internal investigations and litigation. In this course designed for in-house attorneys, we will compare and contrast the majority rule for privileged communications (the “subject matter” or Upjohn test) with the minority “control group” test; analyze exceptions to and waivers of the privilege; discuss the ethical obligations specific to having an organization as a client, including the so-called corporate Miranda warning; analyze the implications of a change of corporate ownership on privilege; and outline best practices for in-house counsel when communicating with employees.

Moderator: Jennifer Kobayashi, Partner, Wang Kobayashi Austin LLC 


Cristina Corbo Jennings, Panelist, Senior Counsel, Schmoyer Reinhard LLP; Sandy L. Morris, Panelist, Partner, Chico & Nunes, P.C.; Elysia M. Solomon, Panelist, Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Litigation & Investigations at Humana Inc.; Lisa Modica, Senior Director – HR Legal, Halliburton

2:15 p.m. 3:15 p.m.
CLE: Try It Like TED in Court

Drawing from the TED Commandments, coaching and demonstration on how to approach presentation at trial with enthusiasm and audience capture that TED Talks are famous for.

Jeana Goosmann, CEO/Managing Partner, Goosmann Law Firm, PLC;
Jonathan A. Strauss, Attorney, Sapientia Law Group;
Amy L. Gaffney, Partner, Gaffney Lewis & Edwards, LLC;
Julie Gibbens, Associate General Counsel, Wal-Mart
2:15 p.m. 3:15 p.m.
CLE: From Discovery to Verdict – Using Technology to Make an Impact at Trial

KusarGlobal’s CLE will help litigators understand how technology will “show your story to the jury.” This presentation will focus on the evolving use of technology in the courtroom and the impact of more sophisticated demonstratives on juries and judges. We will educate attorneys on how the right technology in the deposition process will be the key to engaging juries and outshining your competitors in trial.

Sponsored by: Kusar Global, Inc.

Amber Kusar, Co-Founder / Vice President, Kusar Global, Inc.; Anthony L. Schumann, Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A.; Stacy L. Fode, Partner, Brown Law Group; Susanna J. Gray, Vice President & Corporate Counsel, Prudential
3:30 p.m. 5:00 p.m.
Emerging Leaders Session: The Art of Rainmaking: Do’s and Don’ts

This panel will look at best practices with respect to winning, growing and retaining business with in-house counsel. It will also examine practices that may appear positive from the law firm’s perspective but are not received favorably from in-house counsel.

Richard S. Amador, Managing Partner, Sanchez & Amador; Thy B. Bui, Associate, LTL Attorneys LLP; Joseph McCoin, Vice President and Operations Unit Counsel, Coca-Cola; Juan A. Gonzalez, Managing Shareholder, Liebler, Gonzalez & Portuondo; Suzanne Russo, Senior Corporate Counsel, The Home Depot; Sarah Heffley, Associate General Counsel, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
3:30 p.m. 5:00 p.m.
In-House Counsel Only Session: Bringing NAMWOLF In-House – How to Build Culture and Programs to Increase the Use of NAMWOLF Law Firm Members
Shanin Fuller, Associate General Counsel, Ingredion; Barbara Stevens, Vice President and Corporate Counsel, Prudential; Barry Parsons, Associate General Counsel, General Litigation, Freddie Mac; Melford W. Walker, Jr., Vice President and Senior Counsel, Wells Fargo
3:30 p.m. 5:00 p.m.
Law Firm Management: Be Creative BUT Don’t Give Away the Store (How and When to Negotiate Alternative Fees)
Janice P. Brown, Founding Partner, Brown Law Group; Kerin Lyn Kaminski, Co-Founding Partner, Giffen & Kaminski, LLC; Kimberly E. Howard, Partner, Smith Fisher Maas Howard & Lloyd, P.C.; Stephanie A. Scharf, Founding Partner, Scharf Banks Marmor LLC; Kerrie R. Heslin, Managing Partner, Nukk-Freeman & Cerra, P.C.; Li Chen, Managing Partner, Chen Malin LLP
6:30 p.m. 9:00 p.m.
Cocktail Reception and Gala Awards Dinner

Friday, September 16





7:30 a.m. 5:00 p.m.
Registration & Vendor Expo
7:45 a.m. 8:45 a.m.
Advisory Council Meeting
9:00 a.m. 10:00 a.m.
NAMWOLF Diversity Bar/Legal Organization Panel

Moderator: Marci Rubin

Panelists: Robert White, Executive Director, California Minority Counsel Program; Keith Perry, Executive Director, National Bar Association; Alba Cruz-Hacker, COO & Executive Director, Hispanic National Bar Association; 
Joel Stern, CEO, NAMWOLF

10:05 a.m. 11:05 a.m.
CLE: The Great Debate: Managing Electoral Politics in the Workplace

In this hotly contested election year, election politics and related topics are in full swing in the workplace – employee discussions (and arguments), political buttons, social media postings, and more – and employers are at risk for a wide range of complaints, charges and litigation.  Join us for a lively mock debate that will analyze the legal framework around politics at work.  Our debate team, consisting of employment law experts from NAMWOLF law firm members and in-house counsel, will make their arguments from the points of view of employees, employers, in-house counsel, the NLRB, and the EEOC, while they dissect controversial scenarios involving politics in the workplace.  Audience members can join in the foray during “Town Hall” question and answer sessions following the debates.

Susan D. Koval, Partner, Nemeth Law P.C.; Kerrie R. Heslin, Managing Partner, Nukk-Freeman & Cerra, P.C.; Barbara L. Johnson, Counsel, Benton Potter & Murdock, P.C.; Jennifer Ortiz Prather, Supervisory Attorney and Program Manager, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; Jeff Brockmann, Assistant General Counsel, U.S. Bank; Joseph Alan Callier, Partner, Callier & Garza L.L.P.; Rick Hammond, Senior Associate General Counsel, Employment Division, Walmart; Lori Carr, Partner, Estes Thorne & Carr PLLC; Jessica Hodkinson Chief Counsel – Litigation, Labor & Employment Panasonic Corp. of America
10:05 a.m. 11:05 a.m.
CLE: The Data-Driven Attorney: Metrics and KPIs to Drive Peak Performance & Demonstrate Value

The legal universe is defined by words: statutes, case law, regulations, written contracts, policies and memos of advice.  With the exception of a handful of data points limited to law firm profitability (hours billed, realization, origination rates), rarely does any legal professional—corporate counsel or law firm practitioner–  turn to data and metrics to describe their work, performance or contributions.  Data, metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) are relegated to the world of business, not legal. However, in this “New Normal”, the stereotype of the data-adverse attorney is changing. More and more legal professionals are embracing data and defining KPIs to better articulate the value of their legal work and contributions to their respective stakeholders and clients.  This session will investigate the multitude of data points and metrics being collected by both in-house and law firm practitioners, along with the discussion of how these data points are being used to drive decisions about legal work, including identifying the best professionals to perform the legal work.

Sponsored by: Thomson Reuters

Bernadette Bulacan, Esq., Market Development Group, Thomson Reuters; Justi Rae Miller, Counsel, Corporate Law Litigation Section, StateFarm; Monica Mosby, Senior Counsel, Commercial Litigation, McDonald’s Corporation; Elizabeth A. Skane, Partner, Skane Wilcox LLP
10:05 a.m. 11:05 a.m.
CLE: Hitting the Highlights: Best practices to reduce liability and improve productivity related to emerging technologies and safe conditions for customers and employees.  (Specific topics include: Social Media Communications, ADA Accessibility & OSHA)

Michael L. Martinez (Marriott International), Janie Perelman (Michaels), Raven Moore (McDonald’s Corporation), James Vitrano (Ruby Tuesday), Norma L. Garcia (Rent-A-Center), Elizabeth Ferrell (AT&T), John D. Bosco (Leon Cosgrove, LLC) Felicia Long (Hill Hill Carter Franco Cole & Black P.C.) 
10:05 a.m. 11:05 a.m.
CLE: On High Alert: Rising and Shifting Liability In the Face of Increased Data Breaches

Discussion of Cybersecurity, legal and regulatory environment, shifting sands of liability and best practices during an internal investigation.

Andres Rivero, Rivero Mestre LLP; Francisco Hernandez-Castillo; Roland Sanchez-Medina, SMGQ Law; Susan Lau, Assistant General Counsel, Wells Fargo & Company; Tiffini D.S. Hines, Contracting Counsel Manager (Corporate Counsel), Accenture
11:15 a.m. 12:45 p.m.
General Counsel Panel
Moderator: William A. Delgado, Partner, Willenken Wilson Loh & Delgado LLP; Jason L. Brown, Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary, Dyson, Inc.; Louise Pentland, Senior Vice President, Chief Legal Office and Company Secretary, PayPal; Teresa Wynn Roseborough, Executive Vice President General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, The Home Depot; Elizabeth Giddens, Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, Nationstar Mortgage
12:55 p.m. 1:55 p.m.
Luncheon with Keynote Speaker, Hill Harper

Sponsored By: Quintairos Prieto Wood & Boyer, P.A.

 2:05 p.m.  3:05 p.m.
CLE: Hot Topics in Transactions

The Transactional PAC will host a fast-paced and informative session on the latest trends in transactions. Topics of discussion will include general business issues, drafting tips with respect to indemnity clauses, usury issues with respect to online lending companies, importance of location of collateral in lending transactions, margin requirements for uncleared swaps, technological, new design concepts and foreign investment issues in commercial real estate, private placement forward tax-exempt loan structure and opinion practice tips.

Lisa D. Love, Managing Partner, Love and Long, L.L.P.; GuyLaine Charles, Partner, Teigland-Hunt L.L.P.; Bernardo A. Portuondo, Partner, Liebler, Gonzalez & Portuondo; Asnardo Garro, Partner, Avila Rodriguez Hernandez Mena & Ferri LLP
  2:05 p.m.  3:05 p.m.
CLE: Clear as Mud: What Inside and Outside Counsel Need to Know About the Changing Regulatory Landscape in the Financial Sector

This CLE will explore the changes in federal regulations and those wrought by recent case law and how to navigate these changes in two areas of interest to in house and outside counsel in the financial services sector. Part I, will focus on navigating the hurdles of HUD counseling requirements in the face of foreclosing on FHA insured mortgages including how to ensure compliance in the first instance, and what to do when failure to comply is raised as a defense. Part II, will focus on the effect of recent false claims and fair lending settlements and decisions.

Sonia Henriques McDowell, Associate Attorney, Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A.; Rachel Dollar, Partner, Smith Dollar PC; Howard Lindenberg, Managing Associate General Counsel, Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac)
2:05 p.m.  3:05 p.m.
CLE: Don’t Rain on My Parade: How to Make Certain Your Cloud and Data Security Agreements are the Best They Can Be

Examination of challenges arising from evolving capabilities and resources in data and software services. Primer on drafting cloud-based service agreements and challenges in utilizing services.

William Delgado, Partner, Willenken Wilson Loh & Delgado LLP 

Tim Reckart, Partner, Rusing Lopez & Lizardi PLLC; Jorge Espinosa, Partner, Espinosa Trueba LLP; Tracy Kocourek, Senior Counsel, CDW; Sandra Gallini, Senior Legal Counsel, Shell Oil Company

3:15 p.m. 4:15 p.m.
CLE (Ethics): Fundamentals of Ethics (When Belts and Suspenders may be Appropriate) 

Overview of conflicts issues including attorneys as fiduciaries, current and former client conflicts, waivers and advance waivers, multiple client matters.

Reginald Long, Love & Long, L.L.P.; Taylor Fields, Managing Partner, Fields & Brown; Sandy Sakamoto, Partner, LimNexus LLP

 3:15 p.m. 4:15 p.m.
CLE: Hot Topics in International Law – NAMWOLF Goes Global

Explore and discuss international law case studies in transactional, litigation, business-operational and cross-border regulatory investigations areas. Plan to use a large map, highlighting areas of the world where case study takes place with superimposed names of NAMWOLF companies operating there.

Sonjui Kumar, Partner, KPPB Law

Panelists: Rick Hammond, Associate General Counsel, Walmart; Lisa J. Savitt, Partner, The Axelrod Firm; Larry Schmakeda, Partner, Lee, Hong, Degerman, Kang & Waimey; Eric R. Swanson, Associate General Counsel, Autoliv ASP, Inc.

3:15 p.m. 4:15 p.m.
CLE: Product Liability Risks in a Connected World – Ready or Not Here They Come

This CLE will cover 2015 DOJ Memo addressing individual accountability; media and government attention; “Internet of Things” and traditional products: new fields for products liability; entrance of cyber-security concerns into products liability matters.

George Peters, Chrysler Group LLC;
Deborah E. Lewis, Blackwell Burke P.A.; Robert K. Dixon, Wilson Turner Kosmo LLP; Rodrick Shepard, Hewlett Packard Enterprise; Thomas J. Koch, Pugh, Jones & Johnson, P.C.
3:15 p.m. 4:15 p.m.
CLE: Confused by the Smoke?

Issues created by the use of legalized marijuana in the workplace, from accommodation to discipline and testing. Exploration of what your marijuana policy should look like.

Julie Bittner, MWH Law Group LLP, Jennifer Branch, Andrews Lagasse Branch & Bell LLP; Amy Miletich, Miletich PC; James (Jim) R. Beyer Senior Counsel, Labor & Employment, GE Power
4:20 p.m.  5:20 p.m.
The Minority In House Counsel Association (MIHCA) Presents; Unleash the Talent within and Develop Strategies to Excel within your Organization!

Sponsored by:  M I H C A

 4:20 p.m.  5:20 p.m.
NAMWOLF Marketing Best Practices Committee Presents: Everything’s Bigger in Texas: How to Make Your Website a Big Success

When it comes to referrals and recommendations, more often than not, your firm’s website is the first impression on a potential client. Join the NAMWOLF Marketing Best Practices Committee, along with a panel of website and graphic design experts, to make sure that you’re never passed over because of a mediocre website. We will identify the major do’s and don’ts, and we will give you tips and tricks to make sure your website makes a BIG first impression.

Mayra A. Jimenez, Marketing Director, AlvaradoSmith
Amy Kurson, Managing Partner, Reyes Kurson, Ltd.; Michele Ruiz, President & CEO, Ruiz Strategies; Jennifer Schaller, Esq., Managing Director and Co-Founder, National Law Review On-Line Edition; Lisa Delaney, President/Co-Founder, Power Design
 6:00 p.m.  8:00 p.m.
Closing Cocktail Reception

Location & Entertainment TBA


Saturday, September 17





8:30 a.m. 9:30 a.m.
Labor & Employment Practice Area Committee Meeting
8:30 a.m. 9:30 a.m.
Financial Services Litigation Practice Area Committee Meeting
8:30 a.m. 9:30 a.m.
Intellectual Property Practice Area Committee Meeting
8:30 a.m. 9:30 a.m.
Retail Restaurant & Hospitality Committee Meeting
9:35 a.m. 10:35 a.m.
White Collar Practice Area Committee Meeting
9:35 a.m. 10:35 a.m.
Transactional Practice Area Committee Meeting
9:35 a.m. 10:35 a.m.
Insurance Practice Area Committee Meeting
10:40 a.m. 11:40 a.m.
Trials Practice Area Committee Meeting
10:40 a.m. 11:40 a.m.
Products Liability Practice Area Committee Meeting
10:40 a.m. 11:40 a.m.
International Practice Area Committee Meeting