CAALA VEGAS - A definition right out of Webster’s

If you haven’t yet registered, here’s what you will be missing. Online registration is open through September 5

Stuart Zanville
2015 August

There are some words that are either overused or worse, misused to the extent that they lose their meaning completely. Unique is one of those words. Anything that’s different is described as unique and unnecessary modifiers or adverbs often precede the word when it is used.

This isn’t the correct use of the word. A journalism professor once taught me that “the word unique is like the word pregnant: you either are or you aren’t.”

Webster’s defines unique as: 1. Being the only one. 2. Being without an equal. Synonyms include incomparable, matchless, peerless, unequaled, unparalleled, unrivaled.

So how would you use the word unique in a sentence? I’m glad you asked. How about: “Unique is the best way to describe CAALA Vegas, the annual convention of the Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles.” (Surely you didn’t think this column was just a language lesson, did you?) CAALA’s annual convention can be described many ways, but calling it unique is the one description that makes the most sense; just ask Webster’s.

The nation’s largest gathering of trial lawyers

Lots of organizations put on annual conventions, seminars and meetings, but ours has such stature it has taken on its own brand – CAALA Vegas. It’s more than a convention, seminar or meeting. CAALA Vegas is the nation’s largest and most successful gathering of trial lawyers. The attendance, and more important, the national reputation have grown every year since the first one was held in 1983. Last year’s event attracted a record turnout of nearly 3,000 attendees.

The 33rd edition will be Sept. 3-6 at the renowned Wynn/Encore Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

Most people have a love/hate relationship with CAALA Vegas. They love coming and hate to leave.

If you are one of the thousands of attorneys who has attended before, this observation comes as no surprise. If you are attending for the first time, get ready for something special.

Under the direction of CAALA’s Deputy Director Cindy Cantu, CAALA Vegas evolves and grows each year.  Cindy is supported by CAALA Finance Director Bill Smith, who oversees convention registration and logistics, and by Lucas Harrelson, CAALA’s technical support staffer who handles all things related to technology at the convention.

CAALA’s volunteer members make it possible. The 2015 Convention Planning Committee is Education Committee Chair Genie Harrison and Vice-Chair Christa Ramey; Convention Co-Chairs Martin Aarons, John Blumberg, Danica Dougherty, Tobin Ellis, Taylor Rayfield and Ibiere Seck; CAALA’s Second Vice President Mike Arias and Secretary Jeff Rudman are also involved as advisors.

CAALA Vegas is our Association’s signature event, but it’s much more than that. It embodies the vision statement of our Association, which is to “Empower Plaintiff Attorneys to Achieve Justice.” Or to put it another way, our purpose is to make your life easier.

One-stop destination

CAALA Vegas is a one-stop destination where trial lawyers can connect with the people who are an integral part of their practice and profession. This includes fellow CAALA members; attorney peers from other legal associations and both sides of the counsel table; jurists and bench officers and trial experts. In the exhibit hall you will find over 145 providers of every product and service a trial lawyer could need.

The theme of this year’s CAALA Vegas is “Follow the Road to Trial Success” and at the end of each successful day you are invited to a fun-filled networking reception with complimentary food and beverages. The closing night party will take place at the Wynn’s spectacular XS nightclub.

Over 130 speakers

More than 130 attorneys, jurists and legal professionals are speaking at the convention and the list runs the gamut from senior Court leadership and CAALA Hall of Fame members to up and coming new attorneys. For the first time, each panel also features a jurist who will provide a judicial perspective for the session topic.

You can earn 20 hours of MCLE credit at the 20 education sessions featuring the nation’s leading trial attorneys and judges. The panels are for all attendees, from new lawyers to seasoned veterans. Registered attendees also have access to all of the convention sessions at no charge for one year through the Legal Education Center on the CAALA Website.

Registration is open to all attorneys, law firm staff, jurists and law student CAALA members. The registration fee includes all sessions, digital syllabus, continental breakfasts, coffee breaks, plus Thursday, Friday and Saturday parties and Sunday breakfast session. If you haven’t yet registered, visit or our dedicated convention Website, Registration is open online through September 5. CAALA Vegas is the benchmark by which all similar attorney gatherings are judged and measured. It is the gold standard of legal conventions. And, if you go by the Webster’s definition, CAALA Vegas is unique.

Stuart Zanville Stuart Zanville

Stuart Zanville is the Executive Director of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA). Contact him at (213) 487-1212 or by e-mail:

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