The 2021 CAALA Convention will be September 2-5 at the Bellagio Resort
In the past year, I have been asked many questions about CAALA and our future. By far, however, the most questions were about our annual convention. At the beginning of the Pandemic the question was, “Will you hold a convention this year?” A few weeks later, the question was, “Will you hold a virtual convention?” A few weeks after that, the question was, “Will there be a convention next year?” And, as things got more dire in 2020, I was asked, “Will there ever be another in-person CAALA Convention?”
For the past 15 months, my answer to questions about CAALA Vegas was the same: “No one can say for certain what will happen with COVID-19 and we’ll have to let the circumstances dictate our actions.”
Today is different. When I am asked about CAALA Vegas, my answer is two words: “We’re Back!”
After a one-year forced hiatus, CAALA Vegas will be in-person at the Bellagio Resort and Casino September 2-5. Although the Convention will return to its familiar Labor Day Weekend dates, nearly everything else will be new, different and we believe, better. Some of the credit goes to the lost year of the Pandemic.
What does the Pandemic have to do with putting on a successful convention?
First, after spending the past year in hibernation, we are all itching to get out and meet in person with friends and associates.
Second, the past year gave CAALA staff time to review and determine what needed to be done to make the Convention fresh, dynamic and vital.
Third, the year off let us work closely with the Bellagio, our new hotel partner, to maximize the convention experience we present.
The last year has affected all of us, mostly negatively, but it has also given us a chance to think about how to improve our signature event.
Before I go further, I want you to know you can attend with confidence, knowing CAALA and the Bellagio will implement all current health and safety procedures for attendees, speakers, CAALA staff and hotel employees. Nobody knows what the COVID-19 situation will be in three months, but rest assured that every aspect of the attendee experience will adhere to health and safety protocols.
Here are some of the things about CAALA Vegas that will be new, and we think improved.
This is CAALA’s first convention at the Bellagio, and you will immediately see the hotel is world-class but more family friendly than previous CAALA Convention sites. As is the case at all CAALA Conventions, the event is all in one area, with the session rooms contiguous to the exhibit hall and the site of the Thursday night party.
Technology will also be state-of-the art at the Bellagio, with touchless hotel registration and room access. The entire hotel and convention registration process will be convenient and designed to meet social-distancing protocol. Good news, there will not be long lines to check in or register.
The convention will begin at noon on Thursday (September 2) with a powerful Civil Rights Warriors program and will conclude on Sunday (September 5) with a poolside brunch. The Civil Rights Warriors panel will include renowned civil rights attorney Lonita Baker who will talk about The Breonna Taylor case and the fight against police brutality.
There will be three social events, beginning with a relaxed “Welcome Back” party at the Bellagio on Thursday evening. This will give attendees their first chance to meet and mingle with friends and colleagues they have not seen in more than a year.
On Friday, attendees will be treated to a one-of-a-kind party experience at the spectacular Allegiant Stadium, home of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders. In addition to food, beverages and music overlooking the stadium, attendees will get a rare behind-the scenes tour including the Raider locker room.
We will let CAALA Vegas attendees make their own plans for Saturday night and for the first time, we will conclude the convention on Sunday with an outdoor poolside brunch to give attendees one more chance to connect with their friends and associates in a safe but fun environment.
Many of the all-important education sessions are also new, and we think better. Education Chairs and Vice Chairs Christina Colemen, Diana Diskin and Shannon Ward have added panels and sessions to reduce the number of people in each session and provide more variety in topics. Many of the topics are new and all are timely.
Beginning on Thursday there will be five separate education tracks, each session with as many as six presentations for each track. The tracks include Non-PI, PI, Trial, Medicine for Lawyers & Liens and Essentials.
Presentations will include three separate Medicine for Lawyers topics with multiple presentations (Extremities, Brain, and Spine); Deep Dives on Premises Liability, Products Liability, Rideshare and Delivery Services and Car Crash Cases and an entire session on Sex-Related Cases.
The Saturday afternoon session will begin with a State of the Court presentation from the Hon. Eric Taylor, Presiding Judge of the L.A. Superior Court. That will be followed by a Car-Accident Mock Trial featuring eight top Plaintiff and Defense attorneys.
In addition to the new hotel, new education sessions and new social events; when you register for CAALA Vegas 2021, you will discover an all-new Convention website and registration platform designed to enhance your Convention experience. Convention registration and hotel reservations are now available on the CAALA website at www.caala.org.
We hated missing the 2020 CAALA Vegas, but we think this year’s convention will be worth the wait. Welcome back.
Copyright © 2021 by the author.
For reprint permission, contact the publisher: Advocate Magazine