CAALA Educational Programs and CAALA Vegas 2018

The opportunity to become the best trial lawyer you can be

Mike Arias
2018 April

CAALA Seminars and Webinars

Have you attended a CAALA seminar or participated in a CAALA webinar in the last year? Did you attend the CAALA Vegas Annual Convention last year? If your answer to any of these questions is “No” – YOU ARE TRULY MISSING OUT!

I assume you joined CAALA for several good reasons. However, I hope one of the main reasons you joined was to become the best plaintiff trial lawyer you can be. CAALA’s educational programs are a proven resource to help you accomplish this goal. For the last several years I have stressed my desire that our educational agenda include as many trial-skill-based programs as possible. This year’s educational lineup does just that. Please take a moment to visit the CAALA website at and review the educational programs available to you.

In 2018 alone, CAALA offers six live seminars and five webinars – many of them are offered free of charge. Topics are as diverse as how to properly use People v. Sanchez to how to handle cases in federal court. The program topics for these seminars and webinars are specifically selected and designed to address the most timely and current legal issues and to provide insight and improvement in the trial skills that our members have expressed a need for and/or the Education Committee has determined will address the needs of our membership.

If you don’t see an educational program that you feel is needed or have ideas to help enhance or improve the educational programs CAALA offers, please reach out to this year’s Education Committee Chair Liz Hernandez of Michels & Lew at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Vice-Chairs Martin Aarons of Aarons Law at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Taylor Rayfield of Greene Broillet & Wheeler at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The educational programs presented at CAALA Vegas are designed to provide the most current subject matter and trial-skills-based programs available. The convention and the programs presented are the product of a year’s worth of planning and evaluation. The session topics and speakers are vetted at various levels – from the membership to the Education Committee to the Executive Committee – all done to ensure the best possible programs are presented by the most effective speakers.

Last year 1,980 CAALA members, 42 sitting judges and 28 retired judges attended the convention. With our exhibitors and others, total attendance reached a record of nearly 3,000 people. All indications are that we will exceed that record this year.

Legal Staff Support Program

One of CAALA’s fastest growing membership areas is with our legal staff. Through the Legal Staff Support Program,  we saw membership grow last year from 455 members to 535. Not only do these members meet throughout the year and exchange best practices and present seminars, but they have a vibrant and robust list serve where they are able to share ideas and issues and get answers. The Vegas convention will, again, have a Legal Staff track of educational programs – designed and presented by legal staff.

If members of your legal support staff are not members – and you believe they would be interested in improving their skills and professional growth development – please suggest they join CAALA as Legal Staff members. If they are uncertain about the program, they can attend a Legal Staff program to judge for themselves and/or have them reach out to this year’s Chairs of the program: Sheri Dempsey of Greene Broillet & Wheeler at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Lupe Flores of Shernoff Bidart & Echeverria at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to obtain more information about the program.


This year’s annual convention will take place from August 30th to September 2nd at Wynn Las Vegas. Early registration began on March 1.

To keep the convention fresh, each year we have a new theme. This year it’s “Catch the Wave of Justice” – and you can be sure there will be plenty of fun, excitement and surprises throughout the weekend.

The educational topics this year include sessions on: Alternative Dispute Resolution, Liens, Employment Law, Medicine for Lawyers, Basic Trial Skills, Legal Ethics, Auto Cases, Damages, Jury Selection, Federal Practice, Harassment, Discovery & Evidence, Opening Statements, Specialty Credits, Government Torts, Advanced Trial Skills and Master Speakers.

This will be the second year that we will be offering a track for our Legal Staff members. The theme of this year’s track is “Handling Cases from Beginning to End.” The topics to be covered will include: Case Intake, Investigation, Litigation Funding, Filing and Serving a Lawsuit (including e-filing), Discovery, Experts, Legal Software for Trial, Trial Preparation, Settling Cases, Post-Trial and Handling Stress.

Additionally, the keynote speaker for the Legal Staff luncheon will be Judge Samantha Jessner. We encourage you to send your staff to Vegas to learn how they can help you improve your practice.

Remember, you can get all the information you need about the convention by going to: 

I am hopeful that each and every CAALA member takes advantage of the many educational programs we have to offer. These programs take a lot of time and effort to create, design and present. I want to thank all those who help develop CAALA’s educational programs and all those who present at these programs – without your commitment to CAALA – the continued success of our educational programs would not be possible. Thank you!

Mike Arias Mike Arias

Mike Arias has a national practice. He has been practicing law for over 30 years and has been a CAALA member since 1986. While he is litigating class and mass tort actions throughout the country he is also handling personal injury, employment, business and other individual cases. His trial experience is diverse as well, having tried cases involving serious personal injury, medical and dental malpractice, products liability, false imprisonment, fraud, breach of contract and employment issues. Arias is the current President of Consumer Attorneys’ Association of Los Angeles and President-elect of Consumer Attorneys of California and serves on the Board of Governors of AAJ.

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