IFV 2013: Our Panelists and Schedule

May 2, 2013

With last-minute itinerary changes and arrivals, we’ve been juggling our Conference schedule to accommodate everything. And we’ve also made some minor additions to our schedule as well in order to cover some very recent events that we believe most of the retired player community will want to hear about.
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Here’s a list of our Panelists with biographies:
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Bennett OmaluDr. Bennet Omalu
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Dr. Omalu received his MB, BS [M.D.] degree from the University of Nigeria in 1991. He received his MPH [Masters in Public Health] degree in Epidemiology from University of Pittsburgh in 2004. He also received his MBA [Masters in Business Administration] degree from Carnegie Mellon University in 2008. Dr. Omalu holds four board certifications in Anatomic Pathology, Clinical Pathology, Forensic Pathology and Neuropathology. Dr. Omalu is also board certified in Medical Management and is a Certified Physician Executive [CPE].
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Dr. Omalu was the first to identify, describe and name Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy [CTE] as a disease entity in football players and wrestlers. He is currently the Chief Medical Examiner of San Joaquin County, California, and is the President and Medical Director of Bennet Omalu Pathology. He also serves as a Clinical Professor and Associate Physician Diplomate at the UC, Davis Medical Center, Department of Medical Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.
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Dr. Omalu has testified twice before the United States Congress and has provided hundreds of testimonies as an expert witness in federal courts and state courts across the United States. Dr. Omalu is a member of many professional organizations, including but not limited to the College of American Pathologists, American Society of Clinical Pathology, American College of Physician Executives, American College of Epidemiologists, American Association of Neuropathologists, American Academy of Forensic Sciences, National Association of Medical Examiners, International Academy of Pathology and American Medical Association.
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Tom GirardiThomas Girardi
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Thomas V. Girardi, J.D. is a partner in the Los Angeles law firm of Girardi and Keese and has been practicing law since 1965, specializing in product liability law, toxic torts and bad faith insurance cases. Mr. Girardi has been a Director of Spectrum Laboratories Inc., since January 2, 1999. He has been an Independent Director of Astex Pharmaceuticals, Inc (SuperGen Inc) since May 2000. He has been an Independent Director of Boyd Gaming Corp. since February 2005. He serves as Member of Supervisory Board of Super lawyers. He served as a Director of Coast Hotels & Casinos Inc. from August 12, 2002 to July 1, 2004. He served as a Director of Coast Casinos Inc. from August 12, 2002 to July 2004.
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In his 40 years of practice, Mr. Girardi has tried over 100 jury cases to conclusion and has been recognized by several professional associations. Mr. Girardi is a National President and Los Angeles Chapter President of the American Board of Trial Advocates, is a fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and the Inner Circle of Advocates and is a member of the American Board of Professional Liability Lawyers, International Society of Barristers and American Trial Lawyers Association. He served as President of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, an organization limited to 500 trial lawyers in America, from 2005 to 2006. Mr. Girardi holds a BS from Loyola Marymount University, JD from Loyola Law School and LLM from New York University.
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Yakub HazzardYakub Hazzard
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Yakub Hazzard is the Co-Chair of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi LLP’s Entertainment and Media Litigation Group, with primary areas of expertise in trademark and copyright infringement, rights of publicity and privacy, and breach of contract in the motion picture, television, and music industry. With solid experience in music-related and intellectual property disputes, his clients include profit participants, songwriters, musicians, actors, business and personal managers, independent record and music publishing companies, apparel companies, entertainment guilds, gaming companies, and beverage manufacturers. Yakub has been retained as testifying expert and consultant in trademark and other intellectual property litigation.
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Dan GustafsonDan Gustafson
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Daniel E. Gustafson is a founding member of Gustafson Gluek PLLC where he has been practicing law since 2003. Dan has devoted his practice to the prosecution of antitrust violations, consumer protection, product liability, patent infringements and securities fraud, litigating in federal and state courts across the United States. Dan is admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth, Eighth and Eleventh Circuits, and in the United States Supreme Court. He is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of North Dakota (B.S. 1986) and a cum laude graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School (J.D. 1989). He was a member of the Minnesota Law Review from 1987 to 1989, serving as an Associate Research Editor in 1988-1989. Dan served as a law clerk to the Honorable Diana E. Murphy, United States District Judge for the District of Minnesota (1989-91). Gustafson was named an “Attorney of the Year” in 2010 by Minnesota Lawyer magazine and has been designated by Law & Politics magazine as a “Super Lawyer” in the fields of antitrust, class actions and business litigation for eleven consecutive years. In September 2011, Dan testified before the House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet regarding the proposed merger between Express Scripts and Medco. He has also testified before the United States Congressional Commission on Antitrust Modernization in June 2005. Dan has authored numerous pieces on various topics related to class action litigation, antitrust, consumer protection or legal advocacy. He recently co-authored chapters, “Pretrial Discovery in Civil Litigation” in Private Enforcement of Antitrust Law in the United States and “Obtaining Evidence” in The International Handbook on Private Enforcement of Competition. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota Law School teaching “Fundamentals of Pretrial Litigation.” Dan is a member of the Hennepin County, Minnesota State, Federal, and American Bar Associations. He was the president of the Federal Bar Association, Minnesota Chapter for the 2002-2003 year, and vice-chair of the 2003 Eighth Circuit Judicial Conference. In 2009, Dan developed the Federal Bar Association’s Pro Se Project, which coordinates volunteer representation for pro se litigants in the Eighth Circuit. He is also an active Advisory Board Member for the American Antitrust Institute.
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Fred_Dryer_5Fred Dryer
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In 1969, Fred Dryer was the thirteenth overall pick in the NFL draft – selected in the first round by the New York Giants. After palying for three seasons, Fred was traded to Los Angeles where he attained All-Pro honors playing right defensive end for the Rams. Fred retired from football in the summer of 1981.
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In 1984, Fred landed the lead role in the Stephen J. Cannel series HUNTER. The show aired for seven successful seasons on NBC and elevated Fred to world fame. While acting as detective Rick Hunter, Fred’s interests turned to directing and producing. He produced the sixth and seventh seasons of HUNTER with much success and critical acclaim.
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Although NBC stopped airing original HUNTER episodes in April 1991, Detective Sgt. Rick Hunter lives on in syndication to this day in more than one hundred countries worldwide and Fred continues to receive royalties for his role in the series. Because of his personal experiences with visual rights, Fred Dryer is most acknowledged as the lead plaintiff in the Dryer vs NFL Films lawsuit.
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DAN-PASTORINIDan Pastorini
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Dan Pastorini played both football and baseball at Bellarmine College Prep and, in 1968, he was drafted by the New York Mets who saw him as a potential major-league shortstop. He decided, however, to attend the nearby University of Santa Clara where he majored in political science and continued to play sports. His interest in baseball soon fell to his skill at football and he wound up playing in the East-West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl. These appearances prompted the Houston Oilers to make him their #1 pick in the 1971 draft. Dan quarterbacked for the Oilers for several years before moving on to the Oakland Raiders, the L.A. Rams and the Philadelphia Eagles. Dan currently lives in the Houston area where he’s hosted a sports show on local TV and continues to indulge his passion for race-cars.
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John Hogan - Disability AttorneyJohn Hogan
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John Hogan is a well-known speaker on Social Security disability and frequently makes presentations throughout Georgia and nationally. He serves on the board of directors of the National Organization of Social Security Representatives and is a former co-chair of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, Social Security section. You’ve seen John’s posts and comments frequently on Dave’s Blog and many others as a proactive advocate for retired football players.
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John has been advocating for a total reform of the current NFL/NFLPA Disability Plan and has been successful in many of his cases representing retired NFL players in their Disability and Social Security Disability cases.
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Ron MixRon Mix
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Ron Mix played right tackle and guard for the American Football League’s Los Angeles/San Diego Chargers (1960–1969) and the NFL Oakland Raiders (1971& 1972). Because he had a Juris Doctor in Law degree, Mix was nicknamed “The Intellectual Assassin” for his physical play. Mix was called for a mere two holding penalties in ten years. Ron was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979 along with Dick Butkus and Johnny Unitas.
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Ron currently practices law in San Diego, California with a practice focused on representing retired professional athletes in claims for workers’ compensation benefits. Prior to that, he was a civil litigator and received an AV rating which is the highest rating an attorney can receive for skill and integrity. Ron has successfully represented hundreds of retired professional athletes in claims for workers’ compensation benefits.
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Xavier FigueroaXavier Figueroa
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Dr. Figueroa began his scientific career at the University of California, San Francisco in the Fresno extension, working in the field of Alzheimer’s disease pathology in 1995. Dr. Figueroa is a 2003 graduate from the program in Neurobiology and Behavior at the University of Washington in Seattle. Dr. Figueroa’s work has looked at the basic mechanisms that regulate cell and neuron survival and death in neurodegenerative diseases and in cancer treatment. He completed two fellowships in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Washington in 2010. His first fellowship work centered on microfluidic based assay development for basic neuron research. His second fellowship focused on the role of water in material science and biological mechanisms. Dr. Figueroa is an active member of the Society for Neuroscience and the Society of Toxicology.
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Dr. Figueroa has published a number of peer-reviewed articles in biological, medical and engineering journals and presented at international scientific conferences. His interests center on the development of science policy that maximizes the discovery of novel and transformative ideas and technologies. He currently works on studying the effects of hyperbaric oxygen on symptoms and cognitive deficits associated with post-concussion syndrome, following traumatic brain injuries. He is the founder of the non-profit Brain Injury & Healing Foundation and owner of the consulting firm Sciencia Incognita.
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Michael CiresiMichael Ciresi
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Michael Ciresi is a partner at Robins, Kaplan, Miller, & Ciresi L.L.P. His trial practice focuses in the areas of product liability, intellectual property, business, and commercial litigation. His work has been instrumental in the growth and diversity of the firm’s practice. Ciresi served on the firm’s executive board as chairman from 1995 to 2008 and as a member from 1983 to 2008.
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Ciresi has acted as counsel for corporations, individuals, and governmental entities throughout his career. Other experiences include teaching and lecturing nationally and internationally to various professional and business groups.He also was a candidate for the U.S. Senate.
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Ciresi is perhaps most famous for serving as co-lead counsel in State of Minnesota and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota v. Phillip Morris Incorporated, et al, the groundbreaking lawsuit against the tobacco industry. After four years of litigation— including discovery of more than 30 million pages of internal documents, litigation of crime-fraud privilege issues, more than a dozen interlocutory appeals (including two to the United States Supreme Court) and four months of trial, the case settled on May 8, 1998, on the eve of jury deliberations for $7 billion and unprecedented injunctive relief against the tobacco industry. Ciresi received the Trial Lawyer of the Year Award from Trial Lawyers for Public Justice for work on the litigation.
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Ciresi serves on many boards of directors, including the boards of Public Radio International, Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Hennepin County Commission to End Homelessness, University of St. Thomas, Saint Thomas Academy, Institute of Judicial Administration at New York University School of Law, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, among others.
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Ciresi’s educational background includes a B.A. (1968) from the University of St. Thomas, a J.D. (1971) from the University of Minnesota Law School, and an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws (2001) from Southwestern University School of Law.
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Jason LuckasevicJason Luckasevic
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Jason Luckasevic is a Shareholder with Goldberg, Persky & White in Pittsburgh, PA. Jason began consulting with retired NFL players and their families 5 years ago. In July of 2011, his legal theory was used to file the first two concussion lawsuits in the Country against the NFL, NFL Properties and Riddell. Jason has enlisted a litigation team consisting of the nationally recognized law firms of Girardi Keese and Russomanno & Borrello. Jason’s team actively represents over 300 former NFL players in concussion lawsuits. Jason is licensed in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Arizona. He also is admitted to practice in other Federal Courts including the U.S. Supreme Court and also practices in some cases filed in Nevada. Jason graduated from Washington & Jefferson College in 3 years with a degree in English and Political Science. He graduated from Duquesne University Law School in 2000. He has successfully settled as well as tried various wrongful death, toxic tort, medical malpractice and personal injury cases during his years as a litigator. As a trial lawyer, Jason has been selected as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer Rising Star and a member of the National Trial Lawyers Association Top 40 Under 40.
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Jason is a member of the American Association of Justice, Pennsylvania Association of Justice, ACLU, Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, and many state and county Bar Associations. Jason is married with 2 young daughters and enjoys golfing, biking and hockey.
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Shawn StuckeyShawn Stuckey
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Shawn Stuckey represents both plaintiffs and defendants in complex litigation matters. Shawn’s area of practice includes sports law litigation, antitrust, and complex insurance coverage disputes. Shawn has worked on some of the most complex antitrust, sports law, and insurance coverage cases in the country including representing retired National Football League (NFL) players against the NFL in the 2011 NFL Lockout; representing current and former NCAA student-athletes against the NCAA and Electronic Arts arising out of the alleged misappropriation of student-athletes’ publicity and antitrust rights; and both coverage and subrogation claims arising from the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks.
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Shawn, a retired NFL football player and award-winning author, attended the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis. Shawn’s experience as a retired NFL football player makes him uniquely situated to handle matters involving current and former professional and amateur athletes.
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In law school, Shawn held the positions of Circulation Editor for the Midwest BLSA Law Journal and Associate Editor for the University of St. Thomas School of Law Review. Shawn was recently selected as the 2008 winner of the University of St. Thomas (UST) Scholarly Engagement and Societal Reform Award, and is UST-Law Chapter of Amnesty International’s 2008 Human Rights Award recipient. Shawn has also given testimony at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland regarding the United States’ treaty compliance obligations. Shawn was selected to represent the University of St. Thomas School of Law at the 2009 Legal Education Awareness Program.
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George Visger Brain ScansGeorge Visger
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George Visger attended the University of Colorado on a football scholarship in 1976, where he majored in Fisheries Biology and played in the 1977 Orange Bowl. He was a 3-year starter at defensive tackle earning the Regiment Award and Honorable Mention All-Big 8 in 1979. In 1980, George was selected by the NY Jets in the 6th round of the NFL draft, ultimately playing with the San Francisco 49ers in 1980 and 1981. During a Dallas game in 1980, George sustained a major concussion in the first quarter, yet played the entire game by clearing his head with smelling salts each time he came off the field. Early in the following 1981 Super Bowl season, George underwent his first knee surgery. Several weeks later, he developed hydrocephalus from concussions and underwent emergency VP shunt brain surgery. Four months after their Super Bowl XVI victory, George underwent two additional brain surgeries 10 hours apart and was given last rites. In 1984, he required two additional knee surgeries, including an experimental Gore-Tex ACL transplant to repair damage sustained during the 1981 season.
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George returned to school to complete his Biology degree in 1986. He survived four brain surgeries and several gran-mal seizures in 1987, while enrolled in Chemistry and Physics courses, and earning a Class B General Contractor’s license. In 1990, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Conservation, despite developing dyslexia and major short-term memory deficits from his surgeries and seizure medications. George began his career as a wildlife biologist/environmental consultant in 1990 and has now survived nine emergency VP shunt brain surgeries.
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In recent years, Visger has been better-known as an expert on traumatic brain injuries. In 2010, he founded The Visger Group, a traumatic brain injury consulting organization with the goal of raising the awareness of TBI in a variety of venues, including football, injured military veterans, and pediatric groups. He makes presentations at brain injury conferences and coordinates with hospital TBI recovery programs, the California School Nurses Organization, the NFLPA and the Wells Fargo Play It Safe Concussion Care Program.
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George has been featured on NPR, CNN, CBS Evening News and specials in London, England, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He consults directly with Dr. Rich Ellenbogen of the NFL Head, Neck, and Spine Injury Group on rule changes to reduce TBI in football. Many of George’s suggestions have been implemented to date. George also conducts motivational seminars, is writing a full-length biography and co-authored an eBook memoir with Irv Muchnick, “Out of My Head; My Life In and Out of Football,” which was published in January 2012. He is featured in Todd Trigsted’s upcoming movie, Gladiators: The Uncertain Future of American Football. Doug Cosbie (Dallas Cowboys 1979-1988) and associates begin filming George’s autobiographic documentary “An NFL Brain Injury and Recovery” in April, 2013.
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Brandi Head shotBrandi Winans
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Brandi has been a strong NFL advocate for former NFL Pre-93 players and their families since 1981, fighting 16 years with her husband Jeff Winans, for his disability pension. In 2007, she gave written testimony at the 2007 Congressional Hearings in Washington, D.C. to what the wives and families go through behind closed doors and interviews with HBO Real Sports, Dr. Ann McKee of Boston University and Sports Legacy Institute on the current concussion crisis. She is the published author of The Flip Side of Glory, a motivational speaker, Coach (Personal and Corporate), and co-founder of Day for Our Children, Inc. (DFOC) is an educational non-profit 501c(3) organization, founded by Jeff and Brandi in 1992.
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Jeff passed away unexpectedly December 21st, 2012 but his legacy continues.
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Her “I believe in you“ attitude has made her a sought after speaker, coach, facilitator and storyteller.
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THURSDAY May 2 2013
7:00 – 9:30 Arrivals, Mixer (location to be announced)
FRIDAY May 3 2013
8:30 – 9:30 Conference Room NAPA C – Welcome, Introductions & Announcements
9:30 – 10:00 A BRIEF UPDATE ON THE NCAA LAWSUITS AND THE ELLER SUIT
10:00 – 11:00 CONCUSSIONS: UPDATES AND LATEST INFORMATION FROM THE EXPERTS
11:15 – 12:30 CONCUSSIONS: LAWSUIT NEWS & UPDATES
12:30 – 1:45 LUNCH BREAK
2:00 – 3:30 WHO OWNS YOU: A BASIC PRIMER ON YOUR RIGHTS, LICENSING & ROYALTIES
3:30 – 5:00 FUTURE OF WORKERS COMPENSATION CLAIMS: IMPACT OF CA BILL 1309 AND IMPORTANT CASES TO WATCH
After Dinner MOVIE NIGHT: SPECIAL SHOWING OF UNITED STATES OF FOOTBALL
SATURDAY May 4 2013
9:00 – 10:45 FOOTBALL: THE LONG-TERM IMPACT ON NFL FAMILIES
11:00 – 12:30 PENSIONS, DISABILITY con’d: LATEST NEWS & UPDATES ON CURRENT CASES
12:30 – 1:45 LUNCH BREAK
2:00 – 3:30 SPECIAL DISCUSSION PANEL: THE TWO SIDES OF THE NFL FILMS SETTLEMENT OFFER – LAWYERS & PLAINTIFFS
3:45 – 5:15 FOOTBALL: TRUE STORIES ABOUT WHAT PLAYING CONDITIONS WERE REALLY LIKE IN THE OLD DAYS
5:30 CONFERENCE BANQUET AT DON VITO’S – ALL ATTENDEES INVITED
SUNDAY May 5 2013
9:30 – 11:00 Conference Summary, Check Out
CHECKOUT

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