THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2022
8:25 Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:55 Welcome and Introductions
9:00 State Versus Federal Claims
Brian P. McElreath, Lueder Larkins & Hunter LLC, Mount Pleasant, SC
Start the day off with a deep dive into the interplay between state workers' compensation claims and federal Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act cases.
10:10 Stress Management †
Candice Epps Jackson, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem
Walk through best practices for handling and coping with the stress of working in the legal profession.
11:20 Sticky Situations in Mediations *≠
Tara L. Kozlowski, North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission, Raleigh
Review the most common ethical dilemmas brought to the NC Dispute Resolution Commission's attention over the past year. Then learn how to use the mediation rules effectively to alleviate common problems and the best ways for a mediator to deal with various ethical situations.
12:20 Lunch Break
1:20 Workers' Compensation Case Law Update
Heather T. Baker, Teague Campbell Dennis & Gorham LLP, Raleigh Bruce A. Hamilton, Teague Campbell Dennis & Gorham LLP, Raleigh
Receive an update on the most recent cases impacting the practice of workers' compensation law.
2:30 Workers' Compensation Discovery
Lucy T. Austin, North Carolina Industrial Commission, Raleigh Zachary B. Marquand, Deuterman Law Group, Winston-Salem Brooke Mulenex, Hedrick Gardner Kincheloe & Garofalo LLP, Charlotte
Hear practical tips and strategies for maximizing discovery in workers' compensation litigation.
3:40 The Pros and Cons of Medicare Set-Asides
Dawn Dietz, NuQuest, Longwood, FL Annemarie Pantazis, Wilder Pantazis Law Group, Charlotte Robert Sagrillo, NuQuest, Longwood, FL
Listen as this panel discussion explores both sides of the Medicare set-aside debate.
4:40 Adjourn for the day
4:45 Networking Reception
Griffin Room | Grandover Resort
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2022
8:25 Continental Breakfast
8:55 Welcome and Introductions
9:00 Alex Murdaugh: An Ethical Case Study *
Charles "Trey" Collier III, Collier Law PLLC, Charlotte Mandy Matney, FITSNews, Irmo, SC J. Reid McGraw Jr., Mullen Holland & Cooper PA, Gastonia
Take a deep dive into the Alex Murdaugh case and review the ethical implications of his actions.
10:10 Working With Clients Suffering From Chronic Pain
Gisele J. Girault, M.D., Pain Medicine Specialists PA, West Columbia, SC
Explore depression, anxiety and addiction in clients with chronic pain and how you can better serve these clients.
11:20 Utilizing Social Media ‡
Brian C. Groesser, Midkiff Muncie & Ross PC, Raleigh
Delve into best practices for using social media in claims handling.
12:20 Adjourn * Indicates portion providing Ethics/Professional Responsibility credit † Indicates portion providing Substance Abuse/Mental Health credit ‡ Indicates portion providing Technology Training credit ≠ Indicates portion providing NC Dispute Resolution Commission Continuing Mediator Education
With practical tips and strategies, best practices, and important updates on a medley of relevant topics impacting your workers' compensation practice, this program helps you successfully navigate the changing legal landscape.
Lucy T. Austin
Lucy T. Austin is the Special Deputy Commissioner at the North Carolina Industrial Commission in Raleigh.
Lucy earned her B.A. in Psychology from North Carolina State University and her J.D. Campbell University, Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law.
Click here for more information about Lucy.
Heather T. Baker
Heather T. Baker is originally from New Jersey, but grew up in North Carolina and went on to graduate from N.C. State University with a degree in English. A high school teacher instilled in her the importance of being able to write and say exactly what you mean, and Heather has continued to love and develop this skill set in both the written and spoken word. Since graduating from UNC Chapel Hill School of Law in 2009, Heather has focused her practice on workers' compensation and is an integral member of Teague Campbell's workers' compensation team. She practices with a comprehensive understanding of the law while balancing each of her clients' specific needs. Heather has an impressive record advocating for her clients in and out of the courtroom.
Within the realm of workers' compensation in North Carolina, Heather represents employers across industries, some of which include construction, manufacturing, healthcare, hospitality, utilities, and vegetation management. She is regularly asked to speak at local and national conferences, client seminars, and other industry events. Heather has been honored to speak annually at the NC Bar Association's Workers' Compensation Seminar and has also spoken at the NC Bar Association's Annual Review Meeting. She currently serves as Secretary of the NC Bar Association's Workers' Compensation Section Council for the 2020/2021 session and will serve as Vice-Chair in the 2021/2022 year. Heather is also an active member of the National Workers' Compensation Defense Network (NWCDN), a network of prominent insurance defense firms throughout the United States and Canada. She is currently serving as the Southeast Regional Chair and regularly speaks at NWCDN conferences.
Community is important to Heather and she has made it a priority to invest in her local community. During law school, she helped co-found a mentoring program, Graduate2Graduate, which paired law school students with local high school students who were identified as academically at risk. Heather went on to assist with the launch of Lawyers 4 Literacy in Wake County, a volunteer organization that pairs lawyers in the area with elementary school children to increase literacy and interest in history and civics. More recently, in response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on public education, Heather volunteered to assist with fundraising for the Project for Equitable Access in Remote Learning (PEARL), which aims to mitigate the education equity gap that has intensified as a result of COVID-19 by providing support for high school students in Raleigh, North Carolina. Heather is also the Chair of the firm's Mentoring Committee, where she enjoys working with associates and other newer attorneys in the legal community.
Heather is a proud resident of downtown Raleigh. She and her husband, Mike, met while attending N.C. State University and they love living in Raleigh. They have two young daughters who keep them on their toes. Heather is an avid runner and enjoys participating in marathons across the country. The Boston marathon holds a special place in her heart. When not working, wrangling children, or running, Heather enjoys traveling. She and Mike most recently traveled to Vietnam and Cambodia and continue to add to their list of places to visit.
Click here for more information about Heather.
B. Jeanette Byrum
B. Jeanette Byrum is with Byrum Stiles Byrum & Horne LLP in Charlotte.
Jeanette earned her B.A from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and her J.D. from Western New England College School of Law.
Click here for more information about Jeanette.
Charles "Trey" Collier III
Charles "Trey" Collier III is an attorney at Collier Law PLLC in Charlotte.
Sherman Lee Criner
Sherman Lee Criner is a litigation attorney and mediator with Alternative Dispute Resolution of the Carolinas in Wilmington. He began his legal career as an Agency Legal Specialist for the NC Industrial Commission and was a partner with Hedrick Blackwell & Criner from 1994-2002 handling defense, plaintiff & non-insured cases in workers' compensation. He was in solo practice with The Criner Law Firm d/b/a The Workers Compensation Law Firm from 2003-2007.
Sherman is a NC State Bar Board Certified Workers Compensation Specialist. He is a licensed attorney and mediator in North Carolina & South Carolina. He continues to litigate selected cases in NC & SC but primarily spends his time mediating and arbitrating cases in NC & SC and for the American Arbitration Association.
Sherman earned his B.A. in Political Science from North Carolina State University, his MBA from Campbell University, Lundy-Fetterman School of Business and his J.D. from Campbell University, Norman A. Wiggins School of Law.
Click here for more information about Sherman.
Dawn Dietz is with AVP Settlement Consulting at NuQuest in Longwood, FL.
Click here for more information about Dawn.
Gisele J. Girault, MD
Gisele J. Girault, MD is with Pain Medicine Specialists PA in West Columbia, SC. She is affiliated with Prisma Health Richland Hospital. She has over 31 years of experience in the medical field. She is an anesthesiologist, with Board Certifications in Anesthesia, Pain Medicine and Addiction Medicine.
Dr. Girault is a Certified Independent Medical Examiner, proficient in the AMA Guides to Permanent Impairment Fifth and Sixth editions. She has performed impairment ratings, Workers' Compensation physical exams, Consultations and evaluations for medical necessity for interventional procedures such as Spinal Cord Stimulators and Radiofrequency Ablation.
Dr. Girault attended Yale University and graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Chemistry. She received her Medical Degree from the Kansas University School of Medicine in 1990, and completed her residency in Anesthesia at the Tufts New England Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts.
Click here for more information about Dr. Girault.
Brian C. Groesser
Brian C. Groesser is the Director of North Carolina Operations at Midkiff Muncie & Ross PC in Raleigh. His practice is dedicated to serving the needs of employers and insurance carriers in defending workers' compensation claims in North Carolina.
Brian earned his A.B,
magna cum laude, in Political Science from University of Michigan and his J.D., magna cum laude, from North Carolina Central University School of Law.
Outside of the office, he enjoys spending time with his wife and three children. Brian is a member of Fuquay-Varina United Methodist Church and enjoys playing golf, visiting the beach, and cheering on his Michigan Wolverines.
Click here for more information about Brian.
Bruce A. Hamilton
Bruce A. Hamilton is a partner at Teague Campbell Dennis & Gorham LLP in Raleigh. He has developed a special expertise in the field of workers' compensation.
Bruce has lectured about workers' compensation law at the North Carolina Bar Association's Workers' Compensation Seminars annually from 1997 through 2017. He has also been a member of the faculty and speaker at continuing legal education programs produced by the North Carolina Association of Self-Insurers, North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, Wake Forest University, and the North Carolina Institute of Government to name a few. In addition, Bruce has lectured at each of the North Carolina Industrial Commission's Annual Educational Conferences from 2001 through 2016, was a council member of the Workers' Compensation Section of the North Carolina Bar Association from 2001 through 2004, was selected by his peers to be included in the North Carolina Edition of Super Lawyers from 2006 through 2016 and has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America© since 2001. Bruce received the unique honor of being named by Best Lawyers as its 2013 Raleigh Workers' Compensation-Employers "Lawyer of the Year", a recognition he again was awarded in 2016 and 2019. He has earned the highest (AV-Rated) raking awarded by Martindale-Hubbell since 2009. In 2018, Bruce was selected as one of the 2018 North Carolina Lawyers Weekly Leaders in the Law, an honor bestowed upon the most influential individuals in our state's legal community.
Bruce graduated from Tulane University with a Bachelor of Science degree, and received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Originally from a small town outside of Chicago, Bruce spent time in New Orleans, Charlottesville and Boston before settling down in Raleigh to establish his workers' compensation practice.
Click here for more information about Bruce.
Candice Epps Jackson
Candice Epps Jackson is the Associate Dean of Students for Community Response and Caring Outreach at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem. She provides vision, leadership, and coordination of important student- and community-facing systems that facilitate incident assessment, intervention and caring outreach, support, and referrals in response to reports of students, faculty, and staff experiencing personal, medical, and/or mental-health related crises, incidents of identity-related bias, and incidents involving concern for free expression and dissent.
Candice develops programs and policies, prevention and community education initiatives, strategic plans,, program and learning assessment, and initiatives that advance department and university goals for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Candice also serves as co-chair of the Behavioral Intervention and Threat Assessment Team (CARE Team) and a primary point of contact for the WFU community regarding persons of concern and/or potential threats to the health, safety, and general welfare of members of the community.
Candice earned her B.S. in Science Education from North Carolina State University, her M.S. and Ed.S. in College Counseling and Student Development and her Ph.D in Counseling and Counselor Education both from University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Click here for more information about Candice.
Tara L. Kozlowski
Tara Lynn Kozlowski
is the Executive Director of the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission.
She has been with the Commission since July of 2018. Prior to working with the
DRC Tara was a family law litigator and mediator, practicing with a
small firm in Wake County. Tara obtained a B.S. degree in Chemistry
from Indiana University, and her J.D. degree from The University of Toledo
College of Law in 2006. She lives in
Apex with her husband, two daughters, and two yellow labs. Please feel free to
contact her at the DRC office anytime with questions or to introduce yourself.
Click here for more information about Tara.
Zachary B. Marquand
Zachary B. Marquand is an attorney at Deuterman Law Group in Winston-Salem. He handles workers' compensation claims and enjoys working one-on-one with clients to help them overcome the problems they face and receive the compensation they deserve. Zach is a board-certified specialists in workers' compensation law.
Zach began his professional career as a high school math teacher with Teach for America, working in a rural community in Eastern North Carolina. While he enjoyed working with students, Zach felt drawn to the idea of addressing issues of inequality through the legal system and made the decision to trade algebra, calculus, and geometry for law school.
Zach earned his B.A. in Economics and Latin from DePauw University in Indiana and his J.D with honors from UNC School of Law. At law school, he became immersed in pro bono work and spent time volunteering with the university's Wills Project, the UNC Center for Civil Rights, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice.
Click here for more information about Zach.
J. Reid McGraw
J. Reid McGraw Jr. is a shareholder at Mullen Holland & Cooper PA in Gastonia. He works primarily in the areas of workers' compensation, civil litigation and dispute resolution.
Reid received his B.A in English and Post Baccalaureate degree in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He received his J.D. from the Wake Forest University School of Law where he was awarded the highest honor for Trial Practice. His mediator training was received at the Duke University Private Adjudication Center.
Click here for more information about Reid.
Mandy Matney is the News Director at FITSNews in Irmo, SC. She's an award-winning journalist from Kansas who has worked for newspapers in Missouri, Illinois, and South Carolina before making the switch to FITS.
Mandy earned her B.S. in Journalism and Mass Communications Journalism with a news and information emphasis from University of Kansas.
Click here for more information about Mandy.
Brian P. McElreath
Brian P. McElreath is a partner at Lueder Larkins & Hunter LLC in Mount Pleasant, SC. His practice primarily focuses on Longshore, Defense Base Act and War Hazard Compensation Act claims and workers' compensation and subrogation claims, and he also handles general liability and insurance coverage matters throughout Georgia and South Carolina. Brian represents a variety of employers, manufacturers, shipping companies, stevedoring companies, shipyards, and staffing companies both skilled and non-skilled, both self-insured and those with insurance carriers, group associations and third-party administrators.
Brian's extensive experience handling Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation claims and workers' compensation and subrogation matters enables him to aggressively defend clients against false or inflated claims during litigation, as well as work hand-in-hand with clients to develop policies and practices to help reduce work-related accidents. Brian handles workers' compensation and subrogation claims throughout South Carolina and Georgia. Additionally, Brian handles Longshore, Defense Base Act and War Hazard Compensation Act claims with recent Longshore claims from South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Virginia, Louisiana, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Texas, Michigan, and Oregon.
Brian has presented seminars to employer and insurers throughout the Southeast on a wide array of topics ranging from the impact of the affordable care act on workers' compensation, evidence based medicine, claim defenses and preparing your workers'compensation case to Medicare Set-Asides.
Born and raised in Asheville, Brian came to Charleston to attend the Charleston School of Law, where he was a member of the Maritime Law Bulletin and obtained his J.D. after receiving a B.A. in monetary economics and finance in a joint degree program from North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Asheville.
Click here for more information about Brian.
Brooke Mulenex is a partner at Hedrick Gardner Kincheloe & Garofalo LLP in Charlotte.
Brooke earned her B.A. in Political Science and Government from University of South Carolina-Columbia and her J.D. from University of North Carolina School of Law.
Click here for more information about Brooke.
Annemarie Pantazis is a board certified workers' compensation specialist with the Wilder Pantazis Law Group in Charlotte. She represents plaintiffs in NC workers' compensation claims.
Annemarie served two terms on the NCAJ Board of Governors and served as Chair of the Workers' Compensation Section. She currently serves on the NC State Bar workers' compensation specialization committee, which drafts and grades the specialization exam. She also currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Workplace Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG), which is a nationwide organization of workers' compensation advocates. She received WILG's rising star award, the Charlotte Business Journal's 40 Under 40 Award, Super Lawyers recognitions of Top 25 Lawyers in Charlotte, Top 100 Lawyers in N.C., Top 50 Women Lawyers in N.C., and Best Lawyers-Workers' Compensation Claimant's Lawyer of the Year Award.
Annemarie earned her B.A. from The College of William & Mary and her J.D. from Wake Forest University School of Law, where she was a published member of the Law Review and Chief Justice of the Moot Court Board.
Click here for more information about Annemarie.
Robert Sagrillo is the president of national accounts and settlement consulting with NuQuest in Longwood, FL. He is a highly-respected professional in the Medicare set-aside arena and was one of the first Medicare set-aside advisors in the country.
As an attorney and senior consultant for NuQuest – a leading provider of Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) compliance solutions – Robert draws on his expertise in public benefits, trust and estate planning, and tax to advise his clients on the best and most cost-effective way to maximize benefits for claimants while minimizing the overall cost to and liability of insurance companies and employers. Many of the nation's largest self-insured employers and workers' compensation insurance carriers turn to Robert regularly for consultation.
Click here for more information about Robert.
Jack P. Waissen
Jack P. Waissen is an associate attorney at Deuterman Law Group in Greensboro.
summa cum laude, from N.C. Central University with a double major in political science and criminal justice. He earned his J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law. While in law school, he worked as a research assistant for several professors, served as articles editor for The Journal of the Legal Profession, and volunteered at Raise the Bar, a 6th grade mentoring program in Alabama.
Originally from Basingstoke, England, a town about 50 miles southwest of London, Jack came to the United States on a tennis scholarship at N.C. Central.
Click here for more information about Jack.
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