CAALA Vegas is bigger, more inclusive than ever

114 attorney speakers and 17 bench officers speak on 105 topics

Genie Harrison
2021 September

After a year off due to the pandemic, CAALA’s Vegas Convention is back, bigger and better than ever, at a new location, the Bellagio Hotel. The Convention will have 114 total attorney speakers presenting on 105 different topics, plus medical experts, a car crash mock trial, and judicial and defense perspectives on many of the panels. We will proudly welcome 17 total bench officer speakers, including Los Angeles County Superior Court Presiding Judge Eric C. Taylor and Civil Supervising Judge David J. Cowan.

If you know anything about me, you know about my commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. It should come as no surprise that the lineup of speakers for the Vegas Convention meets this promise. Out of 114 total attorney speakers, 56 speakers identify as women – at 49.1% women speakers, this is higher representation than in any other year. In addition, the speaker list is incredibly diverse on other protected class bases.

Our exhibitor space is sold out and will provide attendees with access to the best legal services vendors in the country. CAALA’s Affiliate Members count on the Vegas Convention as their premiere opportunity to connect with thousands of lawyers and showcase their services. This year our Affiliate Members tell me they are more excited than ever to attend the Convention and connect again with all of you.

Proof of vaccination or COVID test required

CAALA’s Las Vegas Convention health and safety protocols are substantial – we have partnered with CLEAR Health Pass to require proof of vaccination, or a negative COVID-19 test, and we will provide disposable masks and hand sanitizer at the Convention. Two of our parties will be outdoors, and we will provide color-coded ribbons for name badges that will immediately show the wearer’s physical distancing preferences. CAALA’s staff and the Bellagio Hotel are working nonstop to ensure that the Convention follows current health and safety measures, so we can all feel confident about participating in the Convention.

Huge thanks go to CAALA’s Education Committee Chair Christina Coleman and Vice-Chairs Diana Diskin and Shannon Ward, who worked tirelessly to create incredible Las Vegas Convention programming with a fantastic lineup of speakers. Likewise, CAALA is grateful to the Las Vegas Convention Co-Chairs and Moderators for their hard work – Stuart Fraenkel, Janet Gusdorff, Oscar Gutierrez, Aimee Kirby, Timothy Loranger, Molly McKibben, Ese Omofoma, Alyssa Schabloski, Ibiere Seck, Derek Tran, and Natalie Weatherford. These lawyers volunteer dozens of hours to create and provide legal educational programming to benefit all of us. Please take the time to thank them along with CAALA’s exemplary staff – Liz Hagan, Kwedi Moore, Margie Ruiz, Martha Ruiz, Bill Smith, Jordan Smith, and Stuart Zanville – for their outstanding work.

In-person seminars have returned

On August 7, CAALA held its first in-person program in 18 months, Trial Skills for New Attorneys. New Lawyers Chair Belinda Theam and Vice-Chairs Teresa Johnson, Sergio Puche, and Derek Tran, hit the planning on this program out of the park. With over 150 registrants, reimagined content, and two separate tracks, suffice it to say that the program was a huge success.

To those who will join us for the Convention in Las Vegas, we look forward to seeing you. To those who will not join us in Las Vegas, we will hope to see you during an upcoming virtual seminar, as a Settlement Officer in the virtual RLLA MSC program, and on CAALA’s listserv. Whether in person or virtual, CAALA is vibrant – we teach, inspire, and advocate on behalf of our 4,000+ membership, all for the greater good.

See also Genie Harrison’s update on the State Bar’s ongoing efforts to open the practice of law to non-lawyers. Also, a report on the Virtual Mandatory Settlement Conference (MSC) platform, Resolve Law Los Angeles (RLLA), for cases in the PI Hub of LASC.

Genie Harrison Genie Harrison

Genie Harrison is the principal of the Genie Harrison Law Firm, where she focuses on plaintiff’s employment, civil rights and wage and hour matters. Ms. Harrison is one of only two women in the state of California named by the Daily Journal as a Top Labor & Employment Lawyer for five years in a row. She has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America for Plaintiff’s Employment Litigation and been named by the Daily Journal as one of the Top 100 and Top 75 Women Litigators in California. In 2014 she was elected as a Fellow of the College of Labor & Employment Lawyers. In 2013 Ms. Harrison received CAALA’s Presidential Award.

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