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2018 Auto Torts-Advanced Trial Lawyer college: November 30- December 1, 2018

Often described as "the best seminar in the region, if not the country," the SCAJ Auto Torts seminar is enjoyed each December in Atlanta, GA by Trial Lawyers from across the south. While the seminar used to focus purely on Auto Torts, throughout the years the seminar has shifted to include topics that are relevant to all Trial Lawyers. The seminar offers members a chance to earn nine CLE credits and experience the best holiday shopping, entertainment and food Atlanta has to offer.

Click Here to Register on line Today!

To register for the seminar using a check, please click here to print a pre-registration form. 


2018 Auto Torts Schedule

Friday, November 30, 2018

8:00 a.m.                           Seminar Registration

8:00 a.m.                           Coffee and Danish

8:55 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.       Welcome - Theile B. McVey, SCAJ President

9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.       What is Justice in the Digital Age? (Ethics)  - Justice John C. Few, Greenville, SC

9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.    Depositions are Trial! - Sach D. Oliver, Esq., Rogers, AR

11:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.  Coffee Break Compliments of Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman, LLC

11:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.   The 411 on 911! - W. Michael Hemlepp, Jr., Esq., Columbia, SC

11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.   How to Organize & Summarize Medical Records Like a Pro! - Elizabeth E. Chambers, Esq., Birmingham, AL

12:15 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.     Lunch (On Your Own)

1:45 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.       Negotiations in Mediation - Nick Cotten, Esq., Chester, SC

2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.       The Effective Use of Legal Technology - Lloyd Bell, Esq., Atlanta, GA

3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.       Turning the Defense on its Head in an Auto Products Case - Chris Glover, Esq., Atlanta, GA

3:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.       Coffee Break Compliments of David R. Price, Jr., PA

3:45 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.       Praying for Their Prey – The Enabling of Serial Sex Abuse! - Richard Serbin, Esq. and Andrew S. Janet, Esq., Baltimore, MD

4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.       Electronic Filing; Practice Tips and Tools - Jason Bobertz, Esq., Columbia, SC

5:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.       Ethics Update - John S. Nichols, Esq., Columbia, SC

5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.        Welcome Reception Compliments of HMR Funding and South Carolina Association for Justice

Saturday, December 1, 2018

8:00 a.m.                           Seminar Registration

8:00 a.m.                           Coffee and Danish

9:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.   Focus Groups & The Five Types of Typical Jurors
     Watch a live, interactive focus group in an auto case;

        Listen to national trial consultants explain how to use focus groups
        Learn what really matters to Juries
      Deborah M. Nelson, Esq. and Jeffrey D. Boyd, Esq.  Seattle, WA

10:15 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.   Coffee Complements of SCAJ


Lloyd M. Bell (Atlanta, GA) is an experienced medical malpractice trial attorney who has been lead counsel in over 75 civil jury trials over his 25-­‐year career. After graduating with honors from the Virginia Military Institute, Mr. Bell attended Mercer University Law School where he graduated in 1992. Upon graduation, Mr. Bell began his legal career in U.S. Army JAG Corps, serving four year on active duty, first as a prosecutor and later as defense counsel where he represented soldiers accused of crimes. Mr. Bell received an Honorable Discharge, and then entered private practice working for several large insurance defense law firms. He founded his own firm -­‐ Bell Law Firm -­‐ in 1999, and since that time, has dedicated his practice exclusively to representing people who have suffered serious injury or wrongful death. Mr. Bell has developed an expertise in representing people who have suffered catastrophic brain and spinal cord injury.
Over the past 5 years, Mr. Bell has obtained several of the largest verdicts in Georgia, including most recently, a record $26 Million medical malpractice verdict in Muscogee County Georgia, for a client who suffered brain damage following neck surgery; a $15 Million medical malpractice verdict for client who suffered a spinal cord injury following a blood draw; $4.4 Million medical malpractice verdict for a client who suffered Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (“CRPS) following a blood draw, $3.8 Million against a restaurant chain for a client who suffered a crush injury to her foot and developed CRPS; a $3.9 Million verdict in a truck wreck case tried in federal court in Virginia; a $2 Million verdict against a grocery store after a customer slipped and fell leading to neck surgery and permanent nerve damage, a $2 Million verdict for slip and fall in a grocery store; and $1.2 Million verdict wrongful death trucking case tried in federal court in Georgia.
In addition, Mr. Bell has recovered millions of dollars in settlements for his clients in both state and federal courts throughout the United States. Mr. Bell has been recognized by Georgia Trend Magazine as Legal Elite every year since 2011, most recently in the December 2017 edition. He has been recognized by Atlanta Magazine as a Georgia “Super Lawyer” every year since 2005, and was listed by Atlanta Magazine as one of the "Top 100" lawyers in Georgia in every year since 2012.

Jason Bobertz (Columbia, SC) is a Deputy Clerk of Court for the Supreme Court of South Carolina.  Among other responsibilities, Mr. Bobertz has been involved in assisting the Judicial Department in implementing the E-Filing Pilot Program.
Mr. Bobertz has served as a Staff Attorney with the Supreme Court and as a law clerk to the Honorable John H. Waller, Jr.  Mr. Bobertz was also previously an associate attorney with the Columbia law firm of Callison, Tighe, & Robinson, LLC, where he concentrated on litigation matters, including ERISA, title insurance, personal injury, and workers' compensation. 
Mr. Bobertz is a 1998 graduate of the University of Georgia, where he majored in criminal justice.  He received a Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 2002.  Mr. Bobertz served as an adjunct legal writing professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law from 2003 to 2004, and as an adjunct professor at Midlands Technical College from 2007 to 2008, where he taught Introduction to Civil Litigation in the Paralegal Program.

Jeff D. Boyd (Seattle, WA) has been a trial lawyer since 1982 and has tried over 100 civil jury trials to verdict. In addition to his private practice, since 1997, Jeff has worked as a trial consultant across the country conducting hundreds of focus groups, working with lawyers to help them win their cases.  His unique approach is highly interactive and focuses on learning what real people think about your case and how to use that information to improve your results.
Jeff received his undergraduate degree in psychology from Kent State University and his law degree from The Ohio State University.  He was a board member of the Ohio Association for Justice and received their President's Award.  He is active in the American Association for Justice and received their Wiedemann Wysocki Award.  He is also a member of the Western Trial Lawyers Association and the Melvin Belli Society. 
In addition to being President of Boyd Trial Consulting,  he is also a partner in the Seattle law firm of Nelson Boyd and regularly tries cases.  Jeff focuses his practice in the areas of traumatic brain injury, serious personal injury, insurance coverage, insurance bad faith litigation, legal malpractice, consumer class actions, and serves as local counsel on complex litigation.

Nick M. Cotten, Jr. (Chester, SC) is a native Carolinian; his professional career began in Columbia, South Carolina, at Allstate as a Claims Adjuster.  During his ten years at Allstate, Mr. Cotten received claims training in Chicago, worked catastrophe claims and achieved multiple promotions. Nick resigned from Allstate after achieving a 10 year vested status.
During the period following his work with Allstate, Nick Cotten attended Harvard Law School’s Project of Negotiation. He also became a private consultant working with attorneys to provide consultative services regarding strategic negotiation, claims consulting, as well as civil court arbitration and mediation strategies. In 2009, Nick Cotten once again returned to school and earned his Juris Doctor. 
As an attorney and partner with Hamilton, Delleney, Grier, and Cotten LLC, Nick utilizes his combined 25 plus years of in depth experience and education in the insurance claims industry, negotiation/mediation and legal field to help his clients in matters involving serious bodily injury. Nick previously served on the SCAJ Board of Governors and their Executive Committee.

Justice John C. Few (Greenville, SC) was born in Anderson, South Carolina. He grew up in Greenwood, SC and graduated from Greenwood High School in 1981.  John graduated from Duke University in 1985 with an A.B. degree in English and Economics.  He went on to attend the University of South Carolina School of Law, where he was a member of The Order of Wig and Robe and The Order of the Coif, receiving his J.D. in 1988.
Justice Few served as a trial judge on the Circuit Court of South Carolina from July 2000 until February 2010. He then became the Chief Judge of the South Carolina Court of Appeals, a position he held until February 2016. John was sworn in as a Justice on the Supreme Court of South Carolina on February 9, 2016. 
He has also been active in teaching law as he has served on the faculty at the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada, from 2005 to 2009 and was an Adjunct Professor of Law and later a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Charleston School of Law from 2008 to 2012. Justice Few is now an Adjunct Professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law. He has also given or moderated over one hundred and twenty-five continuing legal education seminars in South Carolina and numerous other states.

Chris Glover (Atlanta, GA) was recently named managing attorney for Montgomery, AL based Beasley Allen’s Atlanta office. He has dedicated his practice to protecting the rights of survivors of catastrophic personal injury and victims of wrongful death. He graduated from Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law and practiced law in Birmingham, Alabama, for a number of years prior to joining Beasley Allen Law Firm in 2008.
In 2011 and again in 2013, Chris was selected as Beasley Allen’s Lawyer of the Year for the Products Liability Section. In 2015 and 2016, he was selected as Beasley Allen’s Lawyer of the Year for the Personal Injury Section. He is a Martindale Hubbell AV Rated attorney. In 2018, Chris was inducted into membership for the Georgia Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
A frequent lecturer, Chris has spoken across the country on issues concerning commercial truck litigation, defective products, trial skills and effective leadership. He has authored more than 50 papers for publication and presentation to various lawyer organizations.

Deborah M Nelson (Seattle, WA) graduated magna cum laude from Armstrong Atlantic State University (now Georgia Southern University) in Savannah, Georgia, and from the University Of Cincinnati College Of Law where she was a member of the Moot Court Honor Board.  She is a partner in the Seattle law firm of Nelson Boyd, PLLC and is a partner in Boyd Trial Consulting, a national trial consulting firm that provides interactive focus groups and related services to plaintiff’s trial lawyers. Deborah served as President of the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association.  She is past chair of the Insurance Law Section of AAJ and is a member of AAJ’s Jury Bias Litigation Group, Insurance Law Section and Solo & Small Firm Section.  She is also a Fellow and Board member of the Melvin Belli Society
Deborah is a frequent speaker who has lectured locally, nationally, and internationally on a variety of legal topics especially in the areas of traumatic brain injury, insurance litigation, jury trials and focus groups, and legal malpractice, which is where most of her practice is focused.  She has also written numerous articles and has been published in Washington Association for Justice’s Trial News, American Association for Justice’s Trial magazine and other publications.

John S. Nichols (Columbia, SC) received a BS in mathematics from Francis Marion College in 1978 and his JD from the USC School of Law in 1985. He worked for the SC Court of Appeals as a staff attorney and then as chief staff attorney, and as interim law clerk for Chief Judge Alex M. Sanders, Jr., Judge Randall T. Bell, and Acting Judge C. Bruce Littlejohn. From 1996 until 2000, John worked with Suggs & Kelly, PA, primarily on pharmaceutical products liability litigation around the country. In 2000, John and Marti Bluestein formed Bluestein & Nichols, which is now Bluestein Thompson & Sullivan. John’s primary focus was on appellate practice, general tort litigation, and representing attorneys before the Office of Disciplinary Counsel. In 2017 the Supreme Court appointed John as Disciplinary Counsel and he took over the office in January 2018.
John serves on a variety of committees and is a frequent speaker. He has authored, co-authored, or edited several publications.  From 2014 to 2017 he served as special counsel to the SC House of Representatives and the House Ethics Committee, and from 2016 to 2017 served as special counsel to the Senate Ethics Committee. 
John has received many awards including the Gold Compleat Lawyer award from the USC School of Law in 2002, the Matthew J. Perry Public Service Award from SCAJ in 2014, the inaugural G. Dewey Oxner Mentor of the Year Award in 2014 by the Supreme Court’s Commission on the Profession, as well as the 2015 Trial and Appellate Advocacy award by the South Carolina Bar.

Sach D. Oliver (Rogers, AR) is a trial lawyer and partner with the Bailey & Oliver Law Firm in Rogers, Arkansas.  The Bailey & Oliver Law Firm has a regional practice focusing exclusively on catastrophic injury and death cases. Sach primarily works on 18 wheeler and construction work site cases.
His role on the team involves litigation strategy, depositions, negotiations, and all aspects of the trial. Sach recently received the 2015 Outstanding Trial Lawyer award from the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association.   He has been a guest speaker for AAJ and numerous other conventions throughout the U.S.
Sach gives back to his community by volunteering as an auctioneer for various local charity events and to date has helped raise over two million dollars for northwest Arkansas charities.
Sach and his wife Codi have two young girls, Reesa and Reagan and enjoy life away from the office with his family on their horse and cattle ranch in beautiful northwest Arkansas.


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The South Carolina Association for Justice (SCAJ) was founded over 50 years ago by a small group of trial lawyers. Since then, our mission has been to serve our members and those we are sworn to protect.  We work to uphold and defend the constitutions of our state and nation. We fight tirelessly to protect the rights of the individual; to seek justice through open and fair courtrooms; to resist unjust laws; to support policies that hold wrongdoers accountable; to strengthen the civil justice system through education; and to uphold the highest standards of ethical conduct and integrity in the legal profession.

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