DRI will hold its annual meeting in New Orleans beginning Oct. 16. DRI has planned a week of spectacular keynote speakers, cutting-edge CLE presentations and plenty of networking events just for you. You can earn up to 10 hours of continuing legal education, including up to 3 hours of ethics credits, for attending the meeting and have fun in New Orleans at the same time. You should mark your calendars now to attend the DRI Annual Meeting.
This year’s annual meeting will be one day shorter. The meeting begins Wednesday and concludes Friday evening with the Celebration of Leadership Dinner. As a result, if you choose to stay a couple of extra days, you can have your spouse, partner or friend join you and still have Saturday and Sunday to explore New Orleans on your own time after the annual meeting concludes.
Keynote speakers will include Mitch Landrieu, mayor of New Orleans from 2010 to 2018, speaking on “Courage in Times of Crisis”; Kevin Mitnick, the “world’s most famous former hacker” and now cybersecurity consultant, speaking on “How Hackers Attack and How to Fight Back: Live Hacking Demonstrations”; Ruby Bridges, the civil rights activist who was the first African-American to attend an all-white elementary school in New Orleans; David Mann, a persuasive story specialist; and James Kane, behavioral scientist and author.
The DRI Annual Meeting provides an excellent opportunity to get involved and join your Substantive Law Committee colleagues for committee business meetings and dine-arounds designed to provide you with leadership and business development opportunities. Strengthen old relationships and develop new ones while networking with more than 1,000 defense attorneys and in-house counsel during the week’s activities. At the annual meeting, you will undoubtedly meet colleagues from Indiana as well as lawyers from around the country who practice in your same practice area. When one of those attorneys in your practice area needs an Indiana lawyer, they frequently look to DRI members for their referral.
Thursday night will include a “second line” parade and continue to a party on Fulton Avenue. The “second line” is a tradition in brass band parades in New Orleans. The “first line” is the main section of the parade and includes members of the brass band. Those of us who follow the band just to enjoy the music are called “the second line.” You will be able to experience the excitement of brass and marching bands, led by a grand marshal, all while enjoying a famous Hurricane drink and tossing beads along the way. Fulton Avenue offers us excellent food and beverages and an array of games, including bowling, bocce ball, shuffleboard and darts. Later, we will have the opportunity to dance under the stars on Fulton Avenue and enjoy great conversation and laughter, all while renewing connections with old and new friends.
This year’s activities include a walking tour of the Vieux Carre. Vieux Carre is the old name for the French Quarter in New Orleans and literally means “Old Square” in French. This walking tour will provide you with local insight into the history, culture and architecture of the French Quarter. Another event entitled “Antiquing New Orleans Style” will explore the lesser-known shops and offerings along Royal Street in the French Quarter, with a little history along the way. You may want to consider attending the New Orleans School of Cooking Demonstration put on by the New Orleans School of Cooking with Cajun and Creole experts who will teach about New Orleans specialties such as gumbo, jambalaya and pralines, all the while sharing some history, trivia and tall tales. “Walkin’ on the River” is a narrated stroll along the Mississippi River to discuss the importance of the mighty Mississippi to the New Orleans culture.
All of us work hard at our careers, and it is important that we take a little bit of time to recharge our batteries and enjoy life. Since we must acquire continuing legal education hours, why not consider obtaining your CLE hours somewhere fun like New Orleans where you can meet new people, make memories and enjoy the continuing education programs?
Please keep your eyes open for emails and notices from DRI about the upcoming annual meeting so that you can register and reserve your hotel room in time. If you are not already a member of DRI, I encourage you to join and attend the upcoming meeting in New Orleans in October. If you are coming to our meeting, please be sure to bring some comfortable shoes and make sure to say hello. I hope to see you in New Orleans in October.•
• James W. Hehner heads Hehner & Associates in Indianapolis. He is a former president of DTCI and now serves as Indiana representative to DRI. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.