In August 2002, I attended my first Trial Lawyers Section Summer Meeting. The venue was the Gideon Putnam Hotel in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. The fabled thoroughbred racetrack and golf courses were memorable. The opportunity to connect with Section Chair, Judge Seymour Boyers, and program chairs, William J. Keniry and Stephen W. O'Leary Jr., was even better. Steve had invited me to speak. I enjoyed meals and hours of conversations with Philip Catapano, Gordon Haesloop, Lucille Fontana, Shawn Kelly, Ed Rosenthal, Tom Valet and Judge Thomas Polizzi. John Powers gave an excellent lecture on the Black Box in General Motors vehicles. I have not missed a Summer Meeting of the Trial Lawyers Section since. Where else can you spend quality time with the top trial lawyers in your chosen field?
Network at Scenic Venues
Unlike typical CLEs, where you may confer briefly with a speaker, at the Trial Lawyers Section Summer Meetings there are cocktail parties, dinners and hours of recreation. Venues since 2002 have included Niagara on the Lake; Skytop Lodge in Pennsylvania; the Fairmont Southampton in Bermuda; Newport, R.I.; the Equinox Resort and Spa in Manchester, Vt.; The Mirror Lake Inn & Resort in Lake Placid; and the Woodstock Inn & Resort, Woodstock, Vt.
In 2013, we are meeting at the Malton Hotel in Killarney in County Kerry, Ireland. Killarney is a golf destination and spa known for its national park, restaurants, pubs and shopping. This is a terrific opportunity to connect with the top lawyers in your field.
Moot Court Competitions
While summer meetings are my favorite rite, other Trial Lawyers Section membersTony DeMarco, Gunther Kilsch and Tom Valethave championed our law schools' Moot Court Competition. Our law schools provide outstanding talent for these competitions. U. S. District Court Judge Mae D'Agostino was the first award winner of the Moot Court Competition when she participated as a Syracuse Law School competitor years ago, and became perhaps the premier trial lawyer in the Albany area in defending complex medical malpractice cases. D'Agostino lectured at our 2012 Summer Meeting at the Woodstock Inn.
I encourage trial lawyers to join our section and participate in our meetings, especially the summer meetings.
See you in Killarney, Ireland July 28-31, 2013!
Peter C. Kopff, Chair of the Trial Lawyers Section, is a founding partner at Kopff & Di Pippo in Garden City.