So many lawyers have worked so hard for the WCEC

The 68th Annual Workers’ Compensation Educational Conference kicks off next week. There are so many Florida Lawyers that will play a role. They each should be mentioned, thanked and recognized. I am sure that I will miss some though.

The management and leadership of this annual educational opportunity falls to James N. McConnaughhay and Steven A. Rissman. They receive support and assistance from Gerald A. Rosenthal and David Parrish. These four have been the driving force behind building the conference to what we know today. They founded our “modern” conference so many years ago.

Monday afternoon, the finals of the E. Earle Zehmer National Moot Court competition will occur. This is the 26th year for this competition. The attorneys who are responsible for the competition, that is preparing a problem, recruiting competitors, grading briefs, and so much more deserve recognition. They are Jacqueline L. Blanton Steele, Barbara B. Wagner, Richard A. Sicking, Mark L. Zientz, and Tracey J. Hyde.

The Case Law Update is the result of the efforts of M. Kemmerly Thomas, Geoffrey Bichler, Marc E. Golden, Daniel T. Jaffe, and Mark L. Zientz.

The Hot Topics program Tuesday is moderated by Stuart F. Suskin. The panel includes William H. Rogner, Karen Gilmartin, Michael J. Winer, and Richard B. Berman.

Paolo Longo will moderate a panel on the Current Trends in Litigation and Alternatives to Workers’ Compensation: 440.205, Declaratory Judgment Actions & Civil RICO. Panelists include Dawn R. Traverso, John J. Rahaim, Sean O’Connor, and Monte Shoemaker.

There is a panel discussion of First Responder Heart Claims. Moderated by Michael Broussard, this panel includes Jeffry J. Branham, Colleen Cleary Ortiz, Geoffrey Bichler, and Tonya A. Oliver.

I am particularly proud of the program on Judicial perspectives hosted by Judge Rosen. This Panel will include Judges Sylvia Medina-Shore, Laura Roesch, and Mark A. Massey. Judge Rosen will also preside over a mock trial Tuesday afternoon in the Adjuster Breakout. The hearing will be held by videoteleconference, and features Ramon Malca and Robert Rodriguez.

The Attorney Breakout includes a panel discussing ethics and professionalism Tuesday afternoon. The program is moderated by Paul A. Kelley, and includes M. Todd Merritt, Frank C. Wesighan, and Steven P. Pyle.

In addition, there are more Bar members involved throughout the WCEC program. George Kagan leads the National Workers’ Compensation Review program. Many attorneys present in the Adjuster programs as well. It is an astounding list of practitioners who are involved with preparing for and presenting these educational programs.

There is much for us to praise, and we are proud of our many attorneys that have devoted hundreds of hours in preparing these programs. I realize I have not named them all, and for that I am sorry. Named or unnamed here, I thank all of these attorneys for their effort to further the knowledge of their peers, for their contribution to the practice and professionalism that benefits us all.

I look forward to seeing you next week. Travel safely!


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