Something remarkable is coming

CAALA women trial skills conference

Ricardo Echeverria
2017 September

A conference for women

I still have a few months in my term as CAALA’s president, but when I look back on my year in office, one of the things I will be most proud of is an event I won’t even be allowed to attend.

The event is the first CAALA Women Trial Skills Conference, and it will take place October 20 and 21. The location is the Ritz-Carlton, Marina Del Rey.

It has been a long time coming, but it will be the first time CAALA has presented a program offering trial skills for women attorneys, taught by women.

The idea was actually brought to me by Danica Crittenden, an attorney in my firm and a member of CAALA’s Board of Governors.

Putting it all together

Danica had attended a national program offering trial skills for women and she came back energized and excited. She said that this is something that CAALA should consider doing.

I loved the idea and when I was asked by CAALA’s Deputy Director Cindy Cantu what programs I wanted CAALA to present in my year as president, the women’s conference was the first thing I mentioned.

I can’t take credit for the program, though; that belongs to the wonderful Conference Planning Committee that was brought together to bring the program to life. Working with Cindy Cantu are the co-chairs Danica Crittenden and Elizabeth Hernandez, and the planning committee members Deborah Chang, Christa Ramey, Ibiere Seck and Amy Solomon.

They held several meetings brainstorming the Conference idea and came up with a program that reflects the high standards of CAALA’s education programs. It is also unlike any program that CAALA has ever presented.

The planning committee began by establishing a theme for the conference and it says it all: “Empowering Each other: Trial Skills for Women – An Inspirational & Educational Conference for CAALA Women Members.

The two-day program features a remarkable lineup of outstanding speakers from CAALA and across the country.

On the first day, Friday, October 20, a three-hour afternoon session will begin at 3:00 p.m. and will include three renowned speakers. The first panel features Santa Monica attorney Jessica Olmon, who is known nationally for helping professionals build successful businesses. Her topic is Marketing Yourself in and Out of Your Firm.

Something for everyone

The second panel features Kimberly White, a well-known consultant who empowers attorneys and business professionals using techniques developed from her 25-year career in theater. Her topic is Finding Your Voice & Its Persuasive Power.

The third topic is The Art & Artistry in the Courtroom and it will be presented by famed New Mexico attorney Randi McGinn, one of the nation’s premier trial lawyers.

The session will be followed by a hosted reception.

On Saturday, the program features two of California’s most prominent attorneys, CAALA officer Genie Harrison and CAOC officer Micha Star Liberty. They will speak on Using Your Feminine Side to Select a Jury.

They will be followed by Debbie Chang, the outstanding attorney who is also a prominent member of CAALA and CAOC, who will speak about Asking for Damages in Your Cases.

The third panel features prominent Houston attorney, Zoe Littlepage, whose topic is Telling Your Client’s Story. Her practice focuses on complex cases including mass torts, defective medical product or drug cases as well as human rights issues. Zoe’s presentation will include unique, creative trial visuals to help the jury understand a client’s story.

And that’s not all

Following those three sessions will be an incredible panel featuring CAALA past president and Ted Horn Award winner Amy Solomon; CAALA past president, Ted Horn Award winner and Trial Lawyer of the Year Chris Spagnoli; CAALA Trial Lawyer of the Year Maryann Gallagher; CAALA Ted Horn Award winner Gretchen Nelson; and Randi McGinn and Zoe Littlepage. These remarkable attorneys will provide Tales from the Trenches.

The morning program will be followed by lunch with keynote speaker Judge Samantha Jessner. Judge Jessner is Assistant Supervising Judge of the L.A. Superior Court’s Civil Courts. Judge Jessner’s topic is Tales from the Benches.

It’s truly a remarkable lineup of outstanding trial lawyers, jurists and consultants, but the best news is that the program is free to CAALA women members. Affiliate members may attend as exhibitors.

Registration for the program closes on October 18 at 5 pm, or until it is sold out. Space is limited, so don’t wait to register. For those who will spend Friday night at the Ritz Carlton Marina Del Rey, a special discount deluxe room rate is available.

This is a program you will want to attend in person; it will not be recorded and there won’t be live video streaming. Advance registration is required.

I’m confident that this Women Trial Skills Conference will gain traction and will become yet another superb program that CAALA offers to its members for years to come.

Ricardo Echeverria Ricardo Echeverria

Ricardo Echeverria is a trial attorney with Shernoff Bidart Echeverria LLP, where he handles both insurance bad-faith and catastrophic personal-injury cases.  He is currently the incoming President of CAALA and was named the 2010 CAALA Trial Lawyer of the Year, the 2011 Jennifer Brooks Lawyer of the Year by the Western San Bernardino County Bar Association, and a 2012 Outstanding Trial Lawyer by the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego. He was also a finalist for the CAOC Consumer Attorney of the Year Award in both 2007 and 2009, and is also a member of ABOTA and the American College of Trial Lawyers.


Copyright © 2021 by the author.
For reprint permission, contact the publisher: Advocate Magazine