Speaker Spotlight: Guerra, Zachary, Gillispie, and Curry


ATLA’s two day CLE is THIS WEEK. We still have tickets available so hurry to register – click here!  Featuring phenomenal speakers including Frank Guerra, Lee Curry, Josh Gillispie, Justin Zachary and more – this will be a phenomenal learning experience for any attorney interested in keeping up with 21st Century Litigation trends.

Read more about our speakers below:

Frank Guerra
CLE Topic: Opening Statements and Closing Arguments – How Far Can You Go?

Frank Guerra, IV. is a capital partner in Watts Guerra, LLP and has served as the managing partner of the San Antonio office since 2001. Frank received his B.A. from Texas A&M University in 1992 and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Texas School of Law in 1996. While at the University of Texas, he served as Intern to the Honorable Justice John Cornyn, Supreme Court of Texas, in 1995, and Intern/Research Assistant to the late Charles Alan Wright. He was also an officer on the Board of Advocates and was a member of the ATLA Mock Trial Regional Champion, State Finalist, and National Quarter Finalist Teams in 1995 and 1996. He was subsequently inducted as a National Member of The Order of Barristers.

After graduating from law school, he joined the law firm of Allen, Stein, Powers, Durbin & Hunnicutt, where he practiced insurance defense and civil litigation law. He managed the Rio Grande Valley Office of Allen, Stein & Durbin from 1999 to 2001. Frank joined the San Antonio office of the predecessor firm of Watts Guerra in 2001. He also served on the Malpractice, Premises & Products Pattern Jury Charge Committee for the State Bar of Texas. He was co-counsel with Mikal Watts in Garza vs. Holiday Inn, Castro vs. Ford, Garcia vs. Ford, English vs. Bay, Ltd, Rincon vs. Shell, and Strange vs. Penhall, and Longview vs. Huff in which the jury rendered significant verdicts.

Frank is fluent in written and spoken Spanish.

Justin Zachary
CLE Topic: Investigating and Avoiding Potholes in Construction Cases

Justin C. Zachary is a partner at Denton & Zachary, PLLC, based out of Central Arkansas. Justin graduated from his hometown at the University of Memphis before attending law school at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where he met his wife Heather and received the Bowen public service award for accumulating over 300 hours of public service during law school.

Justin’s passion for public service has led him to represent individuals and families across the state of Arkansas. For almost 10 years, Justin has represented people in a variety of cases, including tractor trailer and truck collisions, dangerous roadway construction collisions, as well as complex tort and large class action matters against some of the biggest companies in the world. Justin’s talents as a lawyer have helped him to quickly develop a reputation as a very aggressive and effective advocate for his clients. He takes pride in applying an “attention to details” approach and being extensively involved in every aspect of his clients’ cases from beginning to end. Today, Justin is continually looking to develop and hone his skills as a lawyer and has spoken at seminars and schools on safety issues. He is fortunate enough to be married to the love his life, Little Rock lawyer, Heather Zachary. Justin and Heather have three children, Grace, Shepard and Cecelia and are active member at the Christ the King Catholic Church in Little Rock.

Josh Gillispie
CLE Topic: Bad Apples – Litigating Against Residential Treatment Facilities and Youth Homes on Behalf of Sexually Abused Children

Josh graduated with honors from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law in 2010. Since then, the majority of his practice has been devoted to representing Arkansans who have been injured by no fault of their own as a result of the negligence and misdeeds of others. Josh handles all types of personal injury cases, including car wrecks, truck wrecks, wrongful death, medical malpractice, and premises liability.
In 2011, Josh was awarded the Capitol Citation by the Arkansas Secretary of State for his service to the preservation of the Arkansas State Capitol Zoning District. This prestigious award was the result of Josh’s success in litigating against an attempt by developers to illegally construct buildings taller than three stories in the area immediately surrounding our state Capitol. In 2012, Josh was named to the list of “Best Personal Injury Lawyers in Little Rock” by Soiree Magazine.
Josh is a proud member of the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association. In 2015, Josh was named to the Legislative Committee of the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association. Josh is also a member of the Arkansas Bar Association and Pulaski County Bar Association. Josh serves on the Capitol Area Advisory Committee to the Capitol Zoning District Commission, a state agency.
Prior to law school, Josh taught college English and Literature. He holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Central Arkansas and a Bachelor Degree in English from Hendrix College, where he graduated in 2003. In his spare time, Josh enjoys spending time with family and friends and with his beloved dog, Annie. He also volunteers at the Pulaski County Humane Society.


Lee Curry
CLE Topic: Social Media Discovery & Admissibility

Lee D. Curry is an associate attorney with Gibson & Keith, PLLC, in Monticello, Arkansas. He joined the bar in 2014, and practices across various areas of the law, including personal injury litigation, commercial litigation, domestic relations, probate and estate administration disputes, and criminal defense. Lee is a member of AAJ, the Arkansas Bar Association’s House of Delegates, and President of the Southeast Arkansas Legal Institute, as well as an active member of the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association. Lee co-authored Behind the Screen: Truth, Lies and the Internet, an article on internet defamation which was published in the Fall 2015 issue of the Arkansas Lawyer.

Lee is an alumnus of the both the Walton College of Business and the School of Law at the University of Arkansas, and remains a proud Razorback fan. He is married to Lyndsey Erin Curry. Both natives of Sheridan, Lee and Lyndsey have laid down their roots in Monticello and anxiously await their daughter’s arrival this fall.

More information about Litigating in the 21st Century 

Thursday June 22, and Friday June 23, 2017
8:00am start – 4:15 adjournment each day

Holiday Inn Presidential, 600 I-30 Little Rock, AR
12 CLE Hours, including 1 Ethics hour
*Be sure join us for our Thursday night party at 7:00pm at Prost in downtown Little Rock.

Members register for $395, and ATLA Season Ticket Holders register for only $199!


On-site registration the day of the seminar will add $50 to your registration.
We have a small room block for $99 a night. Call 501.375.2100 to make your hotel room reservation.


Litigating in the 21st Century Speakers

ATLA’s two day CLE is THIS WEEK. We still have tickets available so hurry to register – click here!  Featuring national renown speakers including Frank Guerra, Ed Cappozi and more – this will be a phenomenal learning experience for any attorney interested in keeping up with 21st Century Litigation trends.

More information about Litigating in the 21st Century 
Thursday June 22, and Friday June 23, 2017
8:00am start – 4:15 adjournment each day
Holiday Inn Presidential, 600 I-30 
Little Rock, AR
12 CLE Hours, including 1 Ethics hour

*Be sure join us for our Thursday night party at 7:00pm at Prost in downtown Little Rock.
 Members register for $395, and ATLA Season Ticket Holders register for only $199!

On-site registration the day of the seminar will add $50 to your registration.
We have a small room block for $99 a night. Call 501.375.2100 to make your hotel room reservation.


Joe Fried, Paul Byrd, and Christian Morris to speak at ATLA’s Litigating in the 21st Century CLE

Fried, Byrd, Morris

ATLA’s biggest CLE of the summer is just a week and a half away – do you have your tickets to Litigating in the 21st Century yet? If not, you’d better hurry because space is limited and registrations are filling up quickly! The seminar will be Thursday, June 22 and Friday, June 23 at the Holiday Inn Presidential in Little Rock. We have an incredible line up of speakers including Joe Fried, one of the nations top trucking lawyers; Paul Byrd, who has extensive experience with successfully handling mass torts; and Christian Morris who is a national leader in premises liability cases. ATLA Season Ticket holders get a 50% discount on this CLE, too! For more information and to register click here.

Read more about our speakers below!

Joe Fried
CLE Topic: What Every PI Lawyer Needs to Know About Trucking

Joe Fried is one of only a few lawyers in America who limits his entire legal practice to handling truck crash cases. Based out of Atlanta, GA, Joe has handled truck crash cases in over 20 states around the country and has helped recover more than $400 million for his clients. He holds several record settlements and verdicts in truck crash cases.

When he is not actually handling cases, Joe is writing about and teaching other lawyers around the USA how to get the best results possible in commercial motor vehicle crash cases. He has authored books, book chapters, peer reviewed articles, and a Trial Guides DVD specific to handling truck crash cases. He has given over 200 presentations around the country specific to this field.

Joe is a nationally recognized leader in trucking litigation. He is currently the chair of the American Association of Justice Trucking Litigation Group, president of the National Trial Lawyers Trucking Division, and founder of the Truck Accident Attorneys Roundtable and the Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys.

Joe brings a diverse background to each case. He is a former judge and police officer, has real world training in accident investigation and reconstruction, physics, engineering, and human factors. At the same time, Joe is known for his unique ability to find and tell the compelling human story that underlies each of his cases.

Paul Byrd
CLE Topic: The Ins and Outs of Mass Torts Explained

Paul Byrd has been representing deserving injured victims for 25 years. After graduating from the University of Arkansas School of Law in 1985, he clerked for the Honorable Tom F. Digby, and then went into private practice in 1988. Paul’s practice has focused on civil litigation with an emphasis on representing consumers in product liability actions. He has tried tire failures and vehicle safety litigation in many states including Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

In November of 2000, he was featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal due to his work in the case of Brownlee/Whitaker vs. Cooper Tire and Rubber Company. He appeared in a Dateline NBC documentary regarding the same case in January of 2001.

His work has been mentioned in USA TodayChicago Sun-Times, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, and the Arkansas Times.

Paul has represented rice farmers in agricultural litigation regarding genetically modified crop contamination that had global as well as state and local implications.

Paul was a past President of the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association. His message to his fellow members was “You went to law school to make a difference!”. He is currently a Board of Governor member of the American Association for Justice.

In 2010, Paul was the recipient of the Roxanne Wilson Award. The Roxanne Wilson Advocacy Award is given by the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association to those members whose love of the law, the legal profession and advancement of advocacy is reflective of  those same qualities displayed by the late Roxanne Wilson, for whom the award is named. The criteria for the award is that outstanding jurists and barristers may receive this award but the true prerequisite for nomination should be a strong love of the profession, and a demonstration of dedication to family, the community and ATLA. The recipient should be an activist in the advancement and improvement of the legal system and the legal profession and in the defense of those who cannot find justice for themselves.

In 2012, Paul was a co-recipient of the Outstanding Trial Lawyer of the Year Award from the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association.

He is the managing member of the Little Rock, Arkansas office of Paul Byrd Law Firm, PLLC. Paul has served as a Special Justice to the Arkansas Supreme Court by request of the Governor of Arkansas. He has served as Special Judge in many Circuit Court Trials.

He has an “AV” rating in the Martindale-Hubble Legal Directory, has been recognized by the Mid-South Super Lawyers in 2011 and 2012, and is a life member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

Christian Morris
CLE Topic: Locking Down Liability on Premises Cases

Christian practices personal injury in Las Vegas and California.  She is also licensed in New Jersey and has passed the New York Bar.  She is a graduate of the Gerry Spence Trial Lawyer’s College. Christian serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association of Justice and for the Nevada Justice Association.  She has tried bench trials and jury trials in both State and Federal Court. Christian has tried numerous premises liability cases. She has tried a slip and fall on a cotton ball against a hospital, a slip on an unknown substance in a garage, numerous slips and falls in casinos, and a hotly contested trip and fall case against Costco which changed the law regarding the “open and obvious” defense in Nevada.  Christian is active in the American Cancer Society and the Three Square Food Bank in Nevada.  She is committed to preserving our ability to keep getting Justice for our clients, in even the toughest cases.   Prior to becoming a lawyer, Christian worked in politics in Washington, D.C.; working on Capitol Hill,  a Presidential re-election campaign, and eventually a lobbying firm.  Currently, she is active in fighting tort reform in Nevada.


Speaker Spotlight: Dion, Priebe, Williams


Attorneys come to ATLA CLE seminars because they know it’s where they will gain the most valuable insights and learn from some of the best trial attorneys in the nation. And our upcoming seminar, Litigating for the 21st Century, is our biggest and best of the year, and will be held June 22 – June 23. Packed with 12 excellent CLE hours in two days, you’ll learn all the latest to keep your trial skills current in an ever changing landscape. Below are a few of the esteemed speakers who have signed on to present at the seminar – read more about them below, then click here to register!

Jeff Dion, Esquire  CLE TOPIC: Representing Victims of Crime in Civil Lawsuits

Jeff Dion has championed crime victims’ rights for more than two decades. Jeff began advocating for victims in 1982, when his twenty-three year old sister, Paulette, was murdered by a serial killer. Only 14 years old himself, Jeff pressed   the police for information on his sister’s case and, after it was solved, decided to   pursue a career in law to help other crime victims.

In honor of his sister’s memory, Jeff lobbied the Virginia General Assembly, resulting in 13 victims’ rights bills being enacted into law. These statutes established a victim’s right to be present in the courtroom, the right to offer oral impact testimony at sentencing, the right to confer with the prosecutor, a civil cause of action for stalking, an expanded civil statute of limitations for victims, and an expanded legal definition of “victim.”

In 1998, Jeff joined the staff of the National Center for Victims of Crime, where he currently serves as the Director of the National Crime Victim Bar Association. In that capacity, he lectures throughout the country to foster greater communication and understanding among crime victims and trial attorneys. He trains victim advocates in the application of civil litigation and instructs fellow attorneys in crime victim issues and services. Having trained advocates and attorneys in 37 states, Jeff is a nationally recognized expert with strong ties to direct service providers and leaders in the field of victim services. In the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks, Jeff worked with more than 1,500 victims and surviving family members to help them understand their rights, and he helped train more than 2,000 attorneys on the dynamics of victimization and understanding the special needs of survivors.

He previously served as a Governor’s Fellow in the Office of the Virginia Attorney General, a Law Clerk to the Judges of Virginia’s 17th Judicial Circuit, and a civil litigator with the firm of Hudgins, Carter & Coleman.

In 2002, he was appointed by Governor Mark Warner and in 2006 was re-appointed by Governor Tim Kaine to the Virginia Criminal Justice Services Board, which distributes Victims of Crime Act and Violence Against Women Act grant funds to local programs throughout the Commonwealth. Jeff serves on the Victim Services Grant Review Committee, and is the Chairman of the Victim-Witness Issues Advisory Committee.

Jeff, who is also a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, serves on the Board of Directors of his local rape crisis center, Sexual Assault Victim Advocacy Service of Prince William County, Inc., which serves nearly 500 victims each year. He is a former board member and current advisory council member for the National Association to Prevent Sexual Abuse of Children.

In 2005, Jeff was presented the Allies for Justice Award by the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, and was honored by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services as one of the individuals who has had the greatest impact on crime victims’ rights in Virginia over the previous 10 years. In 2006, the Attorney General of the United States presented him with the Ronald Wilson Reagan Public Policy Award. This award honors an outstanding individual whose leadership, vision, and innovation have led to significant changes in public policy and practice that benefit crime victims, and is one of the prestigious National Crime Victims’ Rights Week Awards, which are the highest honors in the field of crime victim services.

Jeff earned both his undergraduate and law degree at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

Jeff Priebe, Esquire CLE TOPIC: Making Discovery Great Again

Jeff Priebe is currently a partner in the James, Carter & Priebe law firm located in Little Rock, Arkansas. He has a general litigation practice with emphasis on election law, personal injury litigation, and nursing home litigation. He has previously served as an Assistant Arkansas Attorney General and practiced law for many years with a national law firm that specialized in nursing home litigation. He has had the honor of being appointed by the Governor of the State Arkansas, Governor Mike Beebe, to serve as a Special Justice on the Arkansas Supreme Court to hear last three appeals involving the West Memphis Three and represented four plaintiffs who successfully challenged the Arkansas Voter ID requirements and had the entire act held unconstitutional by the Arkansas Supreme Court.

Jeff is currently licensed to practice law in Arkansas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and before the United States Supreme Court. In addition, he is a member of the Arkansas Bar Association, a Board Member of the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association, the Pulaski County Bar Association, the American Association of Justice, and participates in various other legal organizations. He frequently speaks to group on nursing home litigation and election law.

Amanda Williams, Esquire CLE TOPIC: The Inside Scoop on Class Actions

Amanda Williams is a magna cum laude graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College (B.A. 2001) and a graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School (J.D. 2004). She was admitted to the Minnesota Bar in 2004.  Amanda began as an associate at Gustafson Gluek in August 2005 and then became a member of the firm in January 2012.  Prior to joining Gustafson Gluek, Amanda served as the law clerk to the Honorable Judge Gordon W. Shumaker, Minnesota Court of Appeals (2004-2005).

Amanda has presented at multiple national CLE’s across the country and is an active member of the Minnesota Women Lawyers.  She is currently appointed to the Plaintiff Steering Committee for the In Re: American Medical Systems, Inc. Litigation, Consolidated File No. 27-CV-11-3933, in Minnesota State Court.