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Section Highlights


Message From the Chair


Dick SemerdjianTIPS Members,

I look forward to seeing you August 8-12 in San Francisco for the 2013 ABA Annual Meeting. TIPS will meet at the beautiful Westin St. Francis Hotel as we conclude our year-long 80th Anniversary celebration. As you know, my term will come to an end and we will welcome Gene Beckham as the new Chair of TIPS. It has been an absolute honor and privilege to serve as your Chair over the past year as we've celebrated 80 years of relevance, professionalism and excellence in the profession. I look forward to watching the continued success of TIPS, which would not be possible without you, our wonderful members.

If you haven't yet had a chance to register for the Annual Meeting and purchase tickets to TIPS networking events, I encourage you to do so as soon as possible. TIPS will present valuable CLE programs including a Presidential CLE Showcase program entitled, Do You Really Know What You Are Eating? which will address litigation and legislation relating to food labeling, advertising, and food fraud. Other programs will cover hot topics including women in the law, lawyers as corporate directors, managing the risks inherent in heinous crimes, transportation/accident scene investigations, internet libel and ethics. We are also holding a number of important networking events that you won't want to miss, including the Welcome, Pursuit of Justice and Liberty Achievement Award Reception and the James K. Carroll Leadership Awards Dinner.

Please note that the Westin St. Francis Hotel is sold out, however there are still other hotel options available. Please visit the TIPS Annual Meeting site for more information and to view our schedule of events.

See you soon in San Francisco!

Dick Semerdjian,
Chair, Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section
San Diego, CA

Annual Meeting Awards

TIPS will present a number of important awards during the 2013 ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco. On Friday, August 9th, during the Welcome, Pursuit of Justice and Liberty Achievement Awards Reception, TIPS will present Elizabeth J. Cabraser with the Pursuit of Justice Award and Steven R. Shapiro with the Liberty Achievement Award Sponsored by Thomson Reuters. On Saturday, August 10th, during the Animal Law Committee Awards Reception, TIPS will honor Professor Joan E. Schaffner with the Excellence in the Advancement of Animal Law Award. On Sunday, August 11, during the James K. Carroll Leadership and Awards Dinner, TIPS will present Professor Tom Baker with the Robert B. McKay Law Professor Award, Janis C. Puracal with the Muskie Pro Bono Service Award, and Thomas L. Davis with the Andrew C. Hecker Memorial Award. Congratulations to all award recipients!

Annual Meeting Public Service Project

CrossroadsThe Law in Public Service Committee is working with At The Crossroads, a San Francisco non-profit organization that helps homeless youth rebuild their lives. In addition to working on-site at the organization on August 9th from 10 AM to 1 PM, the Committee is collecting hotel sundries (shampoos, soap, etc.) to assist the program's backpacking program, which can be dropped off at the TIPS registration desk. The Committee will be assembling backpacks containing food, healthcare products and clothes for the homeless. The backpacks will then be distributed by Crossroads counselors. Committee members will also be on-site to assist the organization with facility activities. For more information, view the flyer.

Committee Spotlight: Business Litigation Committee

The Business Litigation Committee addresses commercial law nationally, which is principally governed by state statute and state decisions. It covers the entire range of substantive commercial law, including: business torts, contractual disputes, unfair trade competition, fraud and deceptive trade practices, civil liability for racketeering and criminal conspiracies, securities registration and disclosure laws, and other statutory, contractual and non-contractual causes of action arising out of commercial practices. The Committee monitors all forms of business litigation in order to proactively involve itself in the development of uniform laws, to assist in practice development throughout the country, to analyze insurance coverage and litigation issues related to commercial claims, and to promote ethical and best practices in this area of law.

Learn More about the Business Litigation Committee!

80th Anniversary Podcast Series

Listen to our latest 80th Anniversary Podcast entitled, Civility in Cross Border Negotiations, as our panel of lawyers - US and Scottish - look at issues of manner, dress, cultural understanding, respect and language in international legal relations, as well as court practice. The theme is Civility - a key factor in successful communication. Download the Podcast Today!

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Best Memories


Janet Davis My best TIPS memories all involve special people or special places and, in many instances, both. Although a member for many prior years, I attended my first in-person TIPS events in 1993, an Insurance Coverage Litigation Mid-Year Meeting in Phoenix and the Annual Meeting in NYC. These two events resulted in my first two TIPS assignments and began friendships and involvement on TIPS issues that still continue, 20 years later. At that first Annual Meeting, I attended a reception at a major museum and met for the first time, a fellow Mainer and Michigan alum who would later become Chair of TIPS. I remember him telling me that night that he planned to become President of the ABA and he did!

The Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee (ICLC) immediately became my general committee home within TIPS and I have great memories of many of the meetings and different places we visited before we found our home for our Mid-Year Meetings at the Arizona Biltmore. Many of my best TIPS friends come from this group, a number of whom have served as ICLC chair and have stayed involved for 20 years. I remember talking to Barbara O'Donnell about how she could get involved and two years later (or less) she was Chair of the ICLC! At "her" meeting in Rancho Bernardo, I met future Chair Robin Westerfield for the first time and found out in casual conversation that not only had this Californian gone to high school with my husband in Indiana, but he had a picture of him and their Boy Scout troop on his living room wall! Talk about your small world. Years later in Austin, we were talking about ICLC leadership succession and trying to identify a worthy policyholder counsel to become Chair and realized that Jill Berkeley had never been Chair of the committee. We were shocked because it seemed like she had always been there directing things and we made it official shortly thereafter.

My first standing committee, which ultimately became what is now Diversity in the Profession, introduced me to many of the people who would become TIPS current leaders. TIPS has come a long way since then, but we still have a long way to go. The first program I ever planned for TIPS was a diversity-themed panel for the Annual Meeting in New Orleans. Another great memory relating to TIPS diversity is Jim Carroll's Mid-Year Meeting in Salt Lake City, where we started with a leadership retreat in Park City. We came out of that retreat with two goals-improving diversity in TIPS and providing better support for our general committees-and we made major strides as a result of Jim's leadership. I also remember walking around Salt Lake City with Bob Peck and discussing the Roberts nomination to the Supreme Court. I've learned a lot about a lot of interesting things through TIPS.

TIPS Fall Meetings have introduced me to some of my favorite places-Jackson Hole, Santa Fe, and Vail, just to name a few. In Jackson Hole, I discovered hiking and bought my first pair of hiking boots. I also discovered how very long and tall the legs of a moose can be when one walked ahead of us on our way back to our cabin!

Janet Davis Other fond memories, in no particular order include:
-Learning at a reception on Rodeo Drive that Alex Gonzalez and Ron Richman had both been in the JAG corps and are two of the funniest lawyers on earth
-Coordinating travel to TIPS meetings with Carole Smith and learning from her editing skills on minutes of Council meetings and other TIPS writings
-Chairing ICLC when Kim Hogrefe and Kirsten Christophe Co-Chaired PODL and Patricia Thompson Chaired Fidelity & Surety
-Introducing my small son to Sandy McCandless at the Fall Meeting in Maine and his exclamation of "she's cute!"
-Receiving a call from Jim Carroll asking if I would present the Hecker Award to my friend Jill
-Serving on Council and meeting my royal family-the King of Tennessee, Queen of Alabama, and Little Prince of Philadelphia
-Being pulled aside by Dick Semerdjian in Palm Springs to tell me that I would receive the Christophe Award and later receiving it in Washington D.C. from Kim-Kirsten's friend and mine
-Jeff Kichaven as a Kabuki mediator at the ICLC Mid-Year Meeting in Miami Beach
-Going to Kuleto Estate in Napa and other wining and dining spots with my TIPS dining buddies
-Finding some of my best friends ever

My 20 active years in TIPS have resulted in so many memories it is hard to pick the best. 80 years of TIPS has created so many special memories for thousands of TIPS members. Happy 80th Anniversary TIPS!

Janet Davis
Chair, TIPS Fellows
TIPS Secretary/Chief Diversity Officer 2008/09-2010/11

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Upcoming Events & CLE


2013 ABA TIPS Annual Meeting

The 2013 ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco is just over a week away! TIPS will meet August 8-12 at the Westin St. Francis Hotel. This is a meeting you will not want to miss as TIPS will present a number of valuable CLE programs, a CLE Showcase program entitled Do You Really Know What You Are Eating? Contemporary Issues You Should Know About in Food Labeling, Advertising and Fraud, and various networking events including the Welcome, Pursuit of Justice and Liberty Achievement Award Reception and the James K. Carroll Leadership Awards Dinner. Purchase your tickets before they sell out!

Please visit the TIPS Annual Meeting website for more information. We look forward to seeing you there!

Other Upcoming Programs

TIPS Audio Webinar: Using Excel in Complex Insurance Claims: September 17, 2013

Save the Date! TIPS Fall Leadership Meeting - October 8-13, 2013 - Minneapolis, MN

Animal Shelter and Rescue Law Symposium: What Animal Shelter and Rescues Should Know About How to Avoid Liability: October 13, 2013

View All Upcoming Programs

Visit the TIPS Program Audio Archive!

Co-Sponsored Program

UIA 57th Congress - October 31-November 4, 2013 - Macau

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Don't Forget to Renew Your Membership!


Thank you for renewing your membership in TIPS for the 2013-14 year. For those who have not renewed, TIPS would like to remind you that your next dues bill for the 2013-14 membership year is coming in a few weeks. We truly value your membership and look forward to another successful and busy year in TIPS!

Shop the ABA Annual Sale Through August 16


Save 15% storewide on ABA Books and CLE Products plus FREE Shipping* Use discount code ANNUAL2013 at!

Download the TIPS Book Catalog

*See webstore for exceptions.

Don't Miss This Rare Opportunity - Join the ABA for FREE, Pay TIPS Dues!


Do you have non-ABA colleagues who want to join TIPS? Prospects identified as lawyers practicing in your specialty area will be offered a FREE ABA membership for the 2013-14 year through August 31, 2014 if they pay TIPS dues.

Through this current ABA telemarketing campaign, we are looking to recruit new members to the ABA and TIPS for this special membership offer.

To participate, please assist us in identifying and obtaining a list of your attorney colleagues from your specialty groups and/or associations (including names and telephone numbers) where TIPS and the specialty group have members in common.

If you have any questions, contact Linda Wiley, TIPS Membership Specialist, at or 312-988-5673.

ABA Email Preference Center


Don't forget to visit the ABA's Preference Center, to update and select your own individual email preferences. You can choose to receive email from only your Sections, Divisions & Forums, or email related to your areas of interest, and you may subscribe to the ABA's weekly email digest to reduce the frequency of email you receive. To use this feature, have your ABA ID number and password handy, then click on this link.