Michael Akiva is Managing Partner of Pre-Litigation of Jacoby & Meyers. Having started his career as an attorney at Latham & Watkins LLP, a prestigious, global corporate law firm, Michael quickly realized that representing big corporations was not for him. After leaving the firm, Michael dedicated himself to fighting for the rights of the injured.
J.D. UCLA School of Law, Editor, UCLA Law Review
B.S., Finance, University of Southern California, Magna cum laude
Memberships & Associations
Los Angeles County Bar Association
Committee Member, LACBA Lawyer Referral and Information Service Committee
Bill Biggs is the Vice President of Walter Clark Legal Group, Chief Culture Officer of Pond Lehocky Giordano, and Leadership Strategist at Vista Consulting. He's considered one of the nation's most innovative thinkers in law firm leadership. His unique perspective on culture and ability to inspire and multiply leaders has created a movement reshaping firms across the country.
He is the founder of the Law Firm Leadership Summit, host of the Transforming The Culture of Law Podcast, limited engagement consultant to select firms, and is relentlessly committed to spreading his message of Love Your People & Demand High Performance as a platform for organizational success. He is also the President of Biggs & Associates, serving high value sports professionals and franchises as a brand and messaging strategist.
His distinguished client list includes Heisman Trophy winners, NFL HOFers, NBA champions, Olympians, and many of the top teams in college and professional sports. Bill is a Phi Kappa Phi graduate of Texas A&M University and completed his executive training through the CORe program at Harvard Business School. He lives in College Station, Texas, with his beautiful wife, two sons, and a herd of dogs.
Misti Bryant was born and raised in Broussard, Louisiana. She completed undergraduate at LSU receiving a degree in English and completed law school at Mississippi College School of Law. During law school, she was a member of the Mississippi College Moot Court team. During law school, she clerked with the Mississippi Supreme Court, U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office. Misti is admitted to practice law in all Louisiana and Mississippi state courts and federal courts in both states.
Prior to joining Gordon McKernan Injury Attorneys in 2016, she practiced law at a local insurance defense firm. There, she litigated numerous personal injury and workers’ compensation cases. Misti has litigated cases before the Louisiana Appellate Courts and has served as co-counsel on cases before the Louisiana Supreme Court.
Misti handles wrongful death, automobile accidents, workers’ compensation, 18 wheeler accidents, slip and falls and premise liability cases. She has served as lead counsel on multiple million dollar plus files. During her time at GMIA she has recovered over $20 million dollars on behalf of our clients. She takes a sincere personal interest in each of her clients, and their lives. Her desire is for each client to leave the firm in a better place than they were before.
In 2021, Misti was named as the firm’s Managing Attorney. In this role, she oversees the daily operations of all legal aspects at the firm, including managing the firm’s more than 50 attorneys throughout all offices across the state.
Misti lives in Lafayette, Louisiana, with her husband, Justin and three sons, Parker, Henry, and Jack. She is an active in community volunteering at St. Cecilia School, Sacred Heart Church, and Junior League of Lafayette.
In 1996, Mark Breyer and his wife, Alexis Breyer, started what would become one of Southwest’s largest and most prominent injury law firms: The Husband and Wife Law Team.
Having met in law school, Mark assured Alexis that he would never have a girlfriend or get serious while in law school. Alexis out-negotiated Mark for the first of many times, and they were not only serious but were married a couple weeks after law school graduation. Having not learned his lesson, Mark made sure Alexis knew that when he started his own firm one day, the two would never work together. Not too long after those statements, the couple formed The Husband and Wife Law Team.
Mark went to law school knowing he wanted to be a trial lawyer. Alexis worked through college as a legal secretary/paralegal handling injury claims. From the inception of their practice, Mark focused on litigation and trial work while Alexis focused on pre-litigation and negotiations. For many years, they focused the growth of their practice using word of mouth and then phone books ads. (Remember those?) It was not until about 13 years into their practice that they started advertising on major media – yet with a client-focused practice, the top source of new cases remained word of mouth.
Focusing on trial work, Mark became among the youngest to achieve recognition by The State Bar of Arizona as a certified specialist in injury and wrongful death litigation – a distinction currently held by less than 1% of all lawyers in Arizona. He is also AV rated, a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, and has repeatedly been named one of the top 5 injury lawyers in Phoenix. Mark has been honored to fight for and win repeated 7-figure and greater verdicts for deserving clients. These have included a case the Arizona Republic found to be the largest against the Arizona Department of Corrections during its 5-year investigation and another verdict that was one of the year’s largest construction accident verdicts in the country. (Plus, like most injury lawyers, a random assortment of “awards” that range from the valid to the ridiculous but all that can be turned into a plaque for a small fee!)
The Husband and Wife Law Team now has more than 100 team members and remains obsessed with providing clients with an unmatched combination of customer service and legal results.
As if growing a firm was not a challenge enough, Mark and Alexis have eight children together – four boys and four girls. Mark stays (somewhat) sane by finding time to cheer on his beloved Michigan State Spartans. Mark’s favorite time of year – outside of the excitement of trial – remains March Madness. Go Green!
Stephen Burg is a trial attorney at the law firm Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh Jardine, P.C. Mr. Burg’s practice is focused on representing victims of auto crashes, personal injury, trucking accidents, motorcycle collisions, product liability injuries, gas explosions, wrongful death, and harmful drug products.
Mr. Burg has been recognized for his legal excellence both nationally and locally. He was named as a “Recommended Attorney” by the U.S. Legal 500. and has also been recognized as a Best Lawyer in America and a Colorado Super Lawyer. He is also named a “Top 100 Trial Lawyer” by the National Trial Lawyers, and Denver’s 5280 Magazine selected Mr. Burg as a “Top Lawyer” and the Face of Personal Injury Law Litigation since 2020. Mr. Burg has been admitted as a member of the “Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum” and was named Law Week Colorado’s “Compleat Lawyer”.
Mr. Burg donates a substantial amount of his free time to supporting nonprofit organizations in Colorado and nationally. Mr. Burg is on the Board of Directors for the Anti-Defamation League, the Colorado Judicial Institute (CJI) and ARC Thrift. Mr. Burg helps to support the Denver Health Foundation’s Newborns in Need program, and the Southern Poverty Law Center, among others. Mr. Burg is an Associate Attorney for the ZRBG Pension Project – this project is designed to ascertain pension benefits for Holocaust survivors.
Stephen Burg earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Wyoming and his Law Degree from the University of Denver. Mr. Burg is currently admitted to practice in Colorado and in Arizona. He lives in Colorado with his wife Amy, and their two children.
Chad Dudley was born in Southern California and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. He grew up playing competitive tennis at a national level and at the age of 15 was awarded a scholarship to the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy (now IMG Academies) in Bradenton, Florida. He finished high school in Florida and moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to accept a tennis scholarship at Louisiana State University. After obtaining his undergraduate degree at LSU, Chad attended the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center where he received his law degree. From his very first job out of law school, Chad has always represented those who have been injured by others and need help recovering from those events. In 2009, Chad Dudley, along with his partners Steven DeBosier and James Peltier, formed the law firm of Dudley DeBosier Injury Lawyers. Since that date, the firm has grown from a few attorneys and few employees, to over 200 employees and nearly 50 attorneys across Louisiana. During that time, the firm has been privileged to help tens of thousands of individuals throughout the state after an injury. Additionally in 2009, Chad formed Vista Consulting, which is a consulting firm dedicated to helping other plaintiff personal injury firms run more efficiently. For nearly a decade, Chad worked with nearly 100 personal injury firms across the country on making their firms better. He is regarded as an authority on the topic of law firm management and is a frequent speaker at national conferences. In 2017, Chad left Vista Consulting to take the position of CEO at cj Advertising. Chad is excited to take his years of experience in helping firms grow and apply it at cj.
Gary Falkowitz, Esq. is not your typical lawyer. He found a hole in the way we run our law firms and has dedicated his career to filling that hole. What hole? Intake! Gary has a unique understanding and extensive experience in the inner workings of a personal injury law firm. After years of hands-on involvement and hundreds of consultations, he has come to the conclusion that a lack of attention to details at the Intake level is resulting in significant loss, financially and reputationally.
Given the resources invested (with no guarantee of success) on trying to generate qualified leads, Gary says “it is incumbent upon each of us to ensure that our staff is performing, our process is efficient, and our results are favorable”. Gary doesn’t just talk the talk, here are some titles that Gary has held over the last decade in our industry. And he believes that he’s just getting started.
It’s safe to assume that if you have an intake issue, Gary likely has an intake solution. Personally, Gary is a husband to a loving and caring (attorney) wife (yes, she wins most of the arguments) and father to three wonderful children (Ethan, Landon and Reese). He and his family are actively involved in their community, where Gary serves as Village Prosecutor. They LOVE the Mets! Gary hopes to instill in his children that with hard work and determination, anything is possible.
As a transformational executive with an unparalleled vision for technology and agility, John has a strong track record of surpassing ambitious business goals and timelines while delivering large-scale innovative technology solutions to growing organizations.
He has consistently positioned companies for success, delivering on ROI and savings while building high-performing teams that demonstrate dedication to operational excellence.
In his current role, John has been appointed Chief Information Officer for the Michael Morse Law Firm and its subsidiaries. He is responsible for leading the firms IT digital transformation and is poised to disrupt the legal space.
Prior to this, John was the Global Chief Information Officer for MDC Partners and led the Group’s IT transformation in preparation for the merger with The Stagwell Group. His responsibilities included consolidating, centralizing, and standardizing all IT services and systems to drive efficiency and savings, modernizing existing technology platforms, enhancing security, and strengthening the strategic cloud investment to improve collaboration between networks and agencies.
John accelerated the transformation and in less than one year successfully delivered $25M in operational savings. He built a state-of-the-art cloud-first workplace at One WTC, which was designed to drive collaboration between 13 of the Group’s agencies and set the standard blueprint on future consolidations and buildouts. In conjunction, he also centralized all IT Talent under a single P&L and launched GTG (Global Technology Group); a unified service provider to all agencies. John’s strategy helped the organization navigate challenging and evolving technology demands during a global pandemic, which resulted in 5000 global employees being able to work remotely seamlessly without any disruption to the business. John’s efforts largely contributed to help position the merger for success, driving the stock price from $1.97 to $9.20, and ultimately grew the company from a $1B market cap to $2B.
John previously served as Vice President of Global Technology at MDC, where he delivered $2M in operational savings for MDC Corporate and architected the Group’s global transformation strategy. Prior to MDC, John was with WPP Group for 10 years, where he started out as an IT Engineer at Y&R and left as the Head of IT for the Americas, overseeing all technology aspects for the business.
John has a degree in Computer Science from the Technology Institute of Greece and holds a Bachelor of Science in Business and Communications from St. John’s University.
KEN HARDISON, is known as the “Millionaire Maker” for a reason, having helped lawyers across the country double, triple even quadruple their law practices and income, he brings to law firm owners the insights, knowledge, and critical strategies of Legal Marketing and Management that can only be learned in the trenches of real law firm success.
With over 30 years of legal experience, Ken has personally grown and sold two seven-figure law firms and has shared his knowledge and experience with attorneys, helping them experience exponential growth, increased profits, and ethical market preeminence.
With a passion and deep understanding of both grass roots and cutting-edged online legal marketing strategies, Ken is committed to helping lawyers experience greater levels of financial success, freedom and personal satisfaction, the kind that comes from building an ethical and exceptional law practice. Focusing on the practical and the proven, rather than the cerebral, Ken guides lawyers through the steps needed to build the law practice many lawyers have only dreamed possible.
Ken is the Founder of PILMMA, Personal Injury Lawyers Marketing and Management Association, dedicated to helping lawyers learn the critical strategies to success. As a trusted advisor, consultant, coach, and Mastermind mentor, Ken has coached lawyers to greater success time and time again.
PILMMA’s powerful live and virtual events, such as the ever-popular Super Summits and Internet Domination Boot Camps have helped hundreds of lawyers gain the insights and strategies they need to propel their firms forward to greater success and exponential results and to stay current on the latest legal management and marketing strategies, such as leveraging SEO, PPC, PPL, Social Media, etc.
Ken is the author of numerous best-selling books such as Systematic Marketing, Under Promise, Over Deliver, Powerful Online Legal Marketing, and his latest book, The Mastermind Effect. He’s known for his practical and engaging style of taking the complicated world of legal marketing and management and giving clarity and step by step guides that any lawyer can implement to experience real results, greater profits, transformational growth, and heightened success.
Jennifer Harvala has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Ferris State University and a Master of Science in Administration – Workforce Training and Development from Central Michigan University. She joined the Mike Morse Law Firm in 2004 as the 8th full-time employee of the firm. Throughout her 17-year tenure, Jennifer sat in many seats at the firm and helped create and launch numerous departments and positions. However, her most notable position was as a member of the executive leadership team and as Director of Operations, managing the firm’s 60 pre-litigation paralegals and litigation legal secretaries. Additionally, she spent a year serving as the Vice President of Operations and Integrator for a staffing and recruiting firm before joining the FIREPROOF team. At FIREPROOF, Jennifer brings an extensive knowledge of leadership, management, process, and training to help law firm leaders maximize the talents of their human capital.
In her free time, Jennifer enjoys spending her time with her husband and three dogs. She also loves running and has completed many 5k’s and 10k’s, four half-marathons and one full marathon. One of the most memorable events being the 10k she and her husband completed in Jamaica!
As a managing partner with Brown & Crouppen, Ed fights for what is right on behalf of clients and works hard to educate the public on their legal rights. He became a lawyer to pursue justice for everyday people, and today, he is proud to spend his career leveling the playing field against big insurance and drug companies.
After graduating from Washington University School of Law, Ed spent more than a decade handling cases for injured people. Since joining Brown & Crouppen, he has turned his attention to educating the public about their rights. Ed has appeared on “Great Day St. Louis,” “Show Me St. Louis,” and “KC Live” more than 500 times, offering guidance on common legal situations such as what to do when you are in an accident and the type of insurance coverage you need to protect yourself. Ed is also a regular presence on BCTV, where he is a creator and host on the series “Ed Versus” and “3 Lawyers Eating Sandwiches,” as well as the voice of the Bad Idea Bandit on “Terry’s Safety Squad.”
In addition to his passion for helping individuals understand and fight for their rights, Ed is a baseball fan and an avid collector.
Darryl Isaacs co-founded the firm of Isaacs & Isaacs with his late father, Sheldon N. Isaacs in 1993. Over the past 20+ years, our firm has helped literally thousands of clients, and has recovered more than 1 billion dollars for clients in Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio.
Darryl completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Kentucky in the “Horse Capital of the World,” the great city of Lexington.
Accepting the challenge to listen to his callings and give his time and energy in service to the people and courtrooms of America, Darryl earned his J.D. from the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law.
A continual learning environment has allowed Darryl to work hard and earn membership into the Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio Bar Associations. You’ll find Darryl and the team at Isaacs & Isaacs serving from office locations in all three states, including the city of Louisville where he also holds membership in the Louisville Bar Association.
For more than 25 years, attorney Darryl Isaacs — The Hammer — has been dedicated to achieving justice and fair compensation for each client he represents. Plain and simple, when you’ve been wronged, The Hammer has this clear message for the parties at fault: “Time to Pay Up!”
Creating a great, transformational company comes with certain. challenges.
It requires that you transform that way you think about and pursue strategy creation and excellence in execution. It requires discipline in building and executing the right strategic plan for your company, and it depends on mindful cash-flow management and funding of your growth. There are also people challenges. You need to be able to attract, lead and develop capable, innovative leaders and know how to hire “A” players talent for your team. Then you need to communicate effectively with your team with a focus on measurable execution and productivity. That, too, requires changing your culture, thinking, and your actions.
Finally, you need to build a sustainable, scalable infrastructure with the systems in place that enable you to understand and respond to ever-changing market dynamics. Those are the things that transform an ordinary company into a great, transformational company. Chuck has coached, trained, and spoken to thousands of businesses leaders from a wide variety of industries across the globe and has helped them successfully transform. In addition to his 40 years of experience helping entrepreneurial leaders successfully change the way they operate, Chuck is also a passionate learner himself. Each year he commits more than 250 hours to improving his own knowledge and skills so that he can pass that on to businesses that don’t just want to be good, but want to be great!
To do that, Chuck has earned certifications and accreditations from some of the best high-growth business training organizations in the world, including Scaling Up Coaches, John Maxwell Leadership Coaches, Wiley (DISC & 5 Cohesive Behaviors) and Flippen Leadership Profiles. He is a voracious reader and also attends four learning and development conferences every year. That means you can expect the best and most current thinking and insights to help you grow your team, and your business.
To help you address the opportunities and challenges that you face, Chuck brings significant experience, a track record of client success, proven world-class best practices/models/tools and a passion for your success! To help you address the opportunities and challenges that you face, Chuck brings significant experience, a track record of client success, proven world-class practices/models/tools and a passion for your success! Chuck’s mission and passion is to be his best to help you be your best so that you and your organization can achieve transformational results!
What about Results?
Chuck’s life work is coaching and training entrepreneurs, teams, and businesses to achieve extraordinary results. His clients consistently reach new heights in terms of increased business value, record-breaking sales, industry leading profitability, scalable and sustainable cash flow, innovative and exponential strategies, high performance execution, leadership, team and individual development, and “Best-Year-Ever” Results!
Rob Levine has three passions in life: serving others, building businesses, and the practice of law. At 16 years old, Rob started as a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician for the Glen Rock Ambulance Corps. Rob went on to serve in the Rhode Island Army National Guard as a military police officer. He then became a police officer for the city of Central Falls after earning his bachelor’s degree from Salve Regina University. Rob also became a nationally registered paramedic, working for various rescue squads over the years and continuing to work as a ski patroller today.
After earning his law degree from Roger Williams University School of Law, Rob opened his own law practice with then-partner, Anthony Gemma. Rob also served as in-house counsel for Gem Plumbing and Heating. Rob sat on the board of directors with five others. Over the next seven years, they grew the company from 50 employees and 5 million in revenue to 300 employees and 40 million in revenue.
During this time, the law practice continued to grow. After seven years of dividing his time working as in-house counsel for Gem Plumbing and Heating and running the law practice, Rob decided to solely focus on the growth of the law firm.
At that time, the law firm focused on personal injury, as well as a real estate title and closing company with approximately 30 employees. In the last 13 years, Rob has expanded the law firm to handle personal injury and medical malpractice in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut as well as social security and veteran’s disability as a nationwide practice. The law firm now has 130 employees and continues to grow.
Ten years ago, Rob formed the company now known as Records on Time, a medical record retrieval company originally designed to serve the clients of Rob Levine & Associates. Records on Time has built a proprietary software platform that integrates 100% with law firms’ case management systems, allowing the paralegal to never leave the case management system while Records on Time pulls the record request, delivers the records OCRed, as well as case expenses, retrieval fees, and notes directly into the case management system—saving the law firm time and money.
Nationally known for successfully representing clients in personal injury matters, Steven Levin is an outstanding attorney, successful entrepreneur and, most importantly, a committed family man. Steve’s family values carry over into everything he does, from representing people seeking better care for their elderly loved ones to building a law firm that has become one of the best in the nation at winning substantial verdicts and settlements for people affected by medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, or other personal injury cases.
Steve Levin grew up in the Chicagoland area and has lived there with his family his entire life. He married his childhood sweetheart Marsha. Steve is the father of three boys and one girl, and grandpa to fourteen grandchildren. He also proudly plays the role of ‘dad’ to some of the younger attorneys he mentors, including his now partners Mike Bonamarte and Margaret Battersby. Steve was a groomsman in Mike’s wedding and spoke at Margaret’s rehearsal dinner.
He has instilled a family-like culture at Levin & Perconti since the firm’s inception in 1992. The firm began with Steve, John Perconti and Steve’s sister and partner Susan Novosad. Steve and Susan have worked together for over 30 years. Steve has helped grow the law firm of three to more than 20 attorneys handling hundreds of serious injury and death cases. Through the practice of law Steve has touched and influenced the lives of thousands of colleagues and clients since beginning his legal career in 1976.
Steve is known nationally as one of the best trial attorneys. His peers and adversaries will tell you that his cross-examination skills rival those of the best litigators in the country. He is widely sought after to share his techniques and strategies in speaking roles at seminars all over the United States.
Steve is a pioneer in the area of nursing home abuse and neglect and is one of the first attorneys in the country to prosecute these types of cases on behalf of the elderly and their families. He is a founding member and one of the original officers of the American Association for Justice Nursing Home Litigation Group. This is a national group of attorneys dedicated to prosecuting nursing home corporations that allow residents to be abused and neglected. Steve’s firm has obtained the top three jury verdicts in nursing home negligence cases in the state of Illinois.
Steve has been a zealous advocate for the rights of nursing home residents. Not only will Steve make sure that nursing homes are held accountable for wrongdoing toward residents, he works with numerous advocacy groups in an effort to effect change and prevent neglect and abuse from occurring. As Steve likes to put it, his goal is to “Stop Poor Care.” He has contributed to lobbying efforts in Springfield to strengthen legislation that governs the operation of nursing homes. He has helped write stricter laws that have been enacted as part of the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act. He is in regular contact with Federal and State ombudsman regarding issues they are dealing with from a regulatory perspective. Steve is a member of the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care’s Leadership Council. This organization is dedicated to protecting the rights of nursing home residents.
Richard “Rick” Meadow is the National Mass Tort Leader as well as the Director of Business Development for The Lanier Law Firm. His responsibilities include overseeing all the firm’s pharmaceutical mass tort litigation in addition to promoting, recruiting and maintaining associated outside relationships at a national level.
Mr. Meadow has represented the rights of individuals who have been injured by pharmaceuticals, medical devices, asbestos, medical malpractice, defective products, construction defects, lead poisoning, and motor vehicles, as well as the negligence of premises owners and municipalities for over 30 years. He further has extensive experience in the representation of large national insurance companies as an insurance defense attorney. This experience provides a 360-degree perspective of the practice of tort law in the United States.
For over the past 20 years, Mr. Meadow has developed an extensive practice in mass tort and aggregate litigation. He has been nominated and selected to a variety of leadership positions by both his peers and courts across the country. He has served in leadership positions in many cases that have resulted in nationwide settlements against many of the world’s largest pharmaceutical and automotive companies
Mr. Meadow is often called on as a featured lecturer at legal forums and conferences. In 2008, Mr. Meadow was given the high honor to testify before the United States Congress. His testimony was based on his expertise regarding the Sunshine in Litigation Bill, which would have effectively amended the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure regarding the use of protective orders in discovery and the use of confidentiality provisions in settlement agreements. He has been appointed to many committees that explore issues germane to the medical and legal communities and he is a distinguished member of The Sedona Conference.
In 2004, prior to relocating to the firm’s Houston office, Mr. Meadow opened, managed and grew the New York office of the Lanier Law Firm to what is now three floors and 17 attorneys. Born in New York, he currently resides in Houston, Texas, and is the proud father of Ruby and Joshua. He enjoys playing golf and watching his beloved New York Yankees.
Darren was born in London, England and lived there for 10 years before moving to the United States. The son of Jamaican immigrants, who worked hard to put themselves through college, he was brought to America as his parents pursued the American Dream. They sought to provide a better education for their children and as Darren grew he too saw the opportunities that education and hard work would provide. It was through this exposure he began working to achieve his dream of becoming an attorney.
While in high school, Darren was invited by a friend’s father to shadow him at his law office. A partner in his firm, he allowed Darren to interact with his team, learn about researching cases and observe general strategy sessions. Though this attorney had a very full docket of cases, he also donated his time to his community and social causes that affected it. This had an amazing impact on Darren. He learned that though you may find great financial success and recognition with a successful practice, giving back through your time and sharing your knowledge with others who can not afford or otherwise access good representation is the ultimate reward.
To achieve this goal of being able to provide for his future and assist his community, Darren attended Texas A&M University and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. After graduation, Darren returned to Houston from College Station and began his pursuit of his MBA from the University of St. Thomas and shortly upon attaining that, he began law school at Texas Southern University.
During this time he interned for a Mass Tort attorney. He worked on cases involving psychiatric fraud. He was appalled by how the patients were abused both emotionally and physically. The families were often times misled by big corporations more interested in the profits they could make than in actually helping their patients. This lead to terrible abuses which included kidnapping and sometimes even death. Darren worked, as an intern, on these groundbreaking cases and was able to be a part of the solution. He assisted in helping the families seek and receive justice for their unnecessary pain and suffering. Darren witnessed first hand how powerful the law could be to help right the wrongs and give peace and assistance to victims of abuse. The impact of this case has stayed with Darren. Many of our most important cases today pertain to victims of exploitation. Darren has sought to help them and to educate society in an effort to prevent creating more victims.
Darren is more determined than ever about what he can do for his clients. He feels a great sense of duty and responsibility to make the public aware of issues in our society. He is working hard to change laws, assisting victims and continuing to help those who need to be heard. Darren strongly believes that he can and will make a difference in his client’s lives and together we can all make the world a better place.
2006 Personal Injury Top Lawyers from H Texas Magazine
2007 Mass Tort Litigation Top Lawyers from H Texas Magazine
2013 Best of Business from Houston General
2014 Top 100 Trial Lawyers from the National Trial Lawyers
2016/2017 Top Attorneys of North America by the Who’s Who Directories.
2017 Top 100 The National Black Lawyers Association
Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Houston, TX – Doctorate of Jurisprudence, May 1997
University of St. Thomas, Houston, TX – Masters of Business Administration w/ Concentration in Finance, December 1993
Texas A&M University, College Station, TX – Bachelor of Science, May 1992
Mike Morse is the founder of Mike Morse Law Firm, the largest personal injury law firm in Michigan. Since being founded in 1995, Mike Morse Law Firm has grown to 150 employees, served 25,000 clients, and collected more than $1 billion for victims of auto, truck and motorcycle accidents.
Mike lectures across the country on the practice of law and how to build a successful law firm. Recently, he was named a #1 Amazon Best-selling author for his book on this topic, FIREPROOF. Mike also hosts a weekly podcast, Open Mike, where he shares advice on the law and brings important legal topics to the forefront. He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and the American Association for Justice. He is also involved with many charitable organizations including Project Backpack, a program he founded that provides free backpacks and school supplies to students in need.
Mike has received many awards and accolades, including being named one of America’s 50 Most Influential Trial Lawyers by The National Law Journal and The Trial Lawyer Magazine, Lawyers Weekly Leader in the Law, DBiz Top Lawyer, and Super Lawyer’s Top Rated Lawyer. He is widely regarded as a foremost expert in personal injury law and has delivered keynote addresses on the topic at prominent industry events such as The National Trial Lawyers Summit, The Annual State Bar of Michigan Business Symposium, and Mass Torts Made Perfect, amongst many others. Mike has also received multiple Golden Gavel Awards for his award-winning commercials and garnered coverage from prominent news outlets and renowned publications such as The Today Show, Huffington Post, and Lawyers Weekly. He is often featured as a legal advisor on local news broadcasts in metro Detroit.
Mike is a native of Detroit, Michigan. He began his college education at the University of Arizona where he earned a Bachelors-of-Science in business. He graduated with honors in 1989, and then earned a Juris Doctor Degree Cum Laude from the University of Detroit School of Law.
In his free time, Mike loves to golf, travel, and spend time with his three daughters.
John Nachazel holds both a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Miami University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan. Before joining the Mike Morse Law Firm in 2008 as Chief Operating Officer, he had 20 years of sales and marketing experience. He worked for R. L. Polk & Company for 13 years in various leadership positions and worked for Ford Motor Company for 6 years prior. Although he transitioned from the automotive industry to the legal industry, he still utilizes many of the same business skills. His previous experience has led him to become an industry innovator in running a law firm like a business.
In his free time, John enjoys being with his wife and four children. He has been a volunteer basketball coach for over 22 years and has received awards for his coaching. John is a big University of Michigan sports fan and his favorite coach of all time is John Beilein.
An accomplished attorney and transformational thought leader, Seth Price is a founding partner and the business backbone of Price Benowitz LLP as well as the founder and CEO of BluShark Digital. Seth took a two person law firm and scaled it to 36 lawyers in less than a decade. Now Seth has taken the same digital power that built the firm to create a best in class digital agency focused on the legal sector in BluShark Digital.
Seth has been a frequent lecturer and moderator at some of the largest and most influential law conferences in the United States, speaking on the tools and strategies law firms can use to align their business development with changing consumer habits. He has spoken on topics including but not limited to, how to build a firm, ethics, best practices for firm operations, search engine optimization (SEO), and digital marketing as a whole.
Steve Nober, Founder and CEO of Consumer Attorney Marketing Group has been a major force in the legal industry for over a decade. His expertise covers the full spectrum of legal marketing, from offline, online, and social media marketing to telemarketing, intake and contracting services and medical record retrieval and review. Employing a staff of over 400, Consumer Attorney Marketing Group operates six service divisions to help law firms with new case acquisition. With CAMG’s Legal Marketing Index, Steve makes the agency’s proprietary data and marketing trends available to law firms. Recognized as an industry innovator, Steve speaks at over 40 conferences a year on topics including best marketing practices and ethics in advertising.
Sara Papantonio is an associate attorney at Levin Papantonio and focuses her practice on mass torts. She graduated from the University of North Carolina with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Journalism. Ms. Papantonio then received her Juris Doctorate from Stetson University College of Law in 2020, graduating cum laude.
While in law school, Ms. Papantonio was a member of Stetson’s #1 nationally ranked Trial Team, competing in three regional, and four national competitions. In 2019, she was a Regional Champion and a National Finalist at the National Trial Competition. The following year, Ms. Papantonio was a Regional Champion at the National Trial Competition. Additionally, she excelled at the Tournament of Champions and Top Gun trial competition.
Ms. Papantonio also served as a Senior Associate of Stetson’s Law Review. While serving on Law Review, Ms. Papantonio composed an article discussing the complexities of the litigation against opioid manufacturers and distributors and each party’s role in the opioid epidemic.
During law school Ms. Papantonio received the highest grade possible in both Torts and evidence. Upon graduation, Ms. Papantonio was honored by the faculty and staff of the law school nominating her to be inducted into the Order of Barristers, a national organization that provides recognition for individuals who have excelled in advocacy and service at their respective schools. Additionally, Ms. Papantonio received the Richard Harris Ferrell Competition award which is awarded to “the student advocate who has best demonstrated excellence through his or her performance in intercollegiate competitions.”
In her free time, Ms. Papantonio loves to travel, boat, and spend time with family and friends.
Year Joined the Firm
Present Position with the Firm
Areas of Practice
Juris Doctor, Stetson University College of Law Honors: graduated cum laude Honors: Regional Champion and a National Finalist at the National Trial Competition Honors: Senior Associate of Stetson’s Law Review
Bachelor of Science, University of North Carolina Major in Political Science and Journalism
Go to any website on how to be a good lawyer or what you should expect in a good lawyer, you’ll find qualities like compassion and empathy at either the bottom or not at all. In fact, some of the advice goes straight against these qualities. Well, clients can lie and it is good for lawyers to have a healthy skepticism towards every statement and evidence they collect, from whichever side. However, in reality, separating compassion from law can go against long-term success more often than not. Even though such opinions have been expressed in quite a few popular movies and TV shows, not many professionals in the field have caught up. Houston-based award-winning attorney Willie Powells, with more than a thousand successful litigation settlements, some of them a few million dollars, agrees. When asked about his secret of such massive success as an advocate entrepreneur, that too at such a young age as 40s,
Powells simply cites “the power of giving back”. It is practically how he started off in the business of personal injury litigation and that’s what still keeps him going even 10 years later - the gratitude towards all the people that helped and trusted him, and his zeal of returning the favor a thousand times over. Going to a reputed law school, internships during law school, and part-time and full-time jobs post-graduation did show Powells a basic picture of the legal world, but he faced trouble finding his passion in a system where opportunities to work in a courtroom performing litigations take way too long. Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, and with lessons of pushing beyond his limits collected in university, Powells mustered up courage and took a chance on himself. He started his own practice and the Law Offices of Willie D. Powells, III and Associates, PLLC was born. Powells understood, however, that he had a lot of on-the-field experience to gather before handling a whole case himself. So, he started collaborating with his friends working in a small general service boutique law firm where he embarked on just about everything - tax, family, and criminal law, accident litigation, and much more in an attempt to obtain real-world experience. Powells finally began his legal profession as a personal injury attorney after a nurse from his church, Mary McCray, contacted him following a catastrophic car accident with a commercial vehicle. Despite being sought by other major law firms and Powells being relatively new in the zone, Mary believed in him and continued with him. In response, he made sure Mary received all the support she would require in the case, including money and first-rate expertise. Together, they won in the case, marking the beginning of a long and eventful career for Powells. Mary became the foundation of some of Powell's very first and the most loyal clients. This led him to work with people he knew and cared about, and that made him really see the possible devastating effects of personal injury claims on a family - lawsuits that last years and leave people bankrupt in exchange for negligible payout. This is what motivated Powells to choose this space and work hard to change things. His genuine concern for his clients, ability to secure fair settlements for them within a reasonable budget, and success in the majority of cases, quickly gained him recognition. People from all around the town began to favor him over other larger firms, and business started pouring in. Today, the Law Offices of Willie D. Powells, III and Associates, PLLC represent clients in a range of legal issues, with a focus on criminal law, complex lawsuits, and personal injury. Esteemed organizations like The American Institute of Legal Advocates, The American Institute of
Personal Injury Attorneys, National Black Lawyers Association, and many more have recognized his brilliance in the legal field and have honored him with several awards and listings. He was also named in the list of Power Lawyers in 2019 for USA Today. Even after all this success, Powells still ensures that all of his clients are treated with the highest care and commitment, just as his first client. Regardless of his consistent victories, he continues to give all the credit to God and the power of human compassion. According to him, the secret to long-lasting, sustainable success is just fourfold - faith in oneself, faith in one’s dreams, faith in a higher power, and most importantly, giving back to people.
Originally from a small town in Western Massachusetts, Ashley had always dreamt of becoming an attorney. Her fascination with law and passion for helping people began at an early age and only grew as she got older.
After graduating from Western New England University School of Law, Ashley packed her entire life into suitcases and moved to Southern California to pursue her dreams of becoming an attorney. Through persistence, tenacity, outstanding work ethic, and faith in God, she passed the California State Bar Exam and started her journey towards becoming an accomplished personal injury attorney.
Having worked in several law offices over the years, Ashley realized it was time to run a law practice the way it should be—with honest, ethical, and compassionate representation. As an award-winning attorney, Ashley’s clients are her number one priority. Her main focus is on doing what is right while providing exceptional client service and satisfaction. She is the perfect combination of compassionate and understanding, fighting aggressively for your rights against insurance companies and other obstacles that stand in your way.
When Ashley is not working, she enjoys watching and playing sports, going to the beach, running, staying fit, traveling, trying out new restaurants, networking, and giving back to the community.
Brian Riley, born and raised in Tucson, Arizona and works out of the newly formed Morgan and Morgan Phoenix office. Previously with a mid-sized personal injury firm where he achieved firm-wide record setting results in pre-litigation and litigation for Arizona injury victims.
Mr. Riley is fully committed to representing victims involved in motor vehicle accidents, premise liability, dog bite, and wrongful death. Mr. Riley understands the value of listening to injured victims during one of the most difficult times in their lives and compelling the responsible party to compensate accordingly.
Mr. Riley is prepared to represent and advise injured victims from inception through trial. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arizona Summit Law School on an academic scholarship and is licensed in Arizona and the State of Washington. Mr. Riley has a strong background in athletics and was the former Captain and starting Tight End with Northern Arizona University's football team.
Mr. Riley was married to his wife, Casey, on March 6, 2020 in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. They reside in Phoenix, Arizona with their dogs Frank and Bode. Mr. Riley enjoys spending quality time with his family, hiking amazing trails all throughout Arizona, and golf.
Harlan Schillinger has four decades of experience in legal advertising with a passion for legal marketing, intake, and conversion.
Harlan is widely considered the Grandfather of Legal Advertising, being the very first in the Legal field to produce and market Television Advertising for the Legal community. Harlan's commercials started airing throughout the country in 1978-79.
Harlan has worked with more than 130 law firms in over 98 markets throughout North America. Currently, he is consulting privately only with lawyers who share his vision of increasing business, being accountable, and obtaining high-value cases. He takes, perhaps, the most unique and accountable approach to intake and conversion and insists on complete accountability within that arena.
In April 2016 Harlan retired from Network Affiliates of Lakewood, Colorado, the nation's first and largest Full-Service Legal advertising agency, where he was the leader of their attorney marketing efforts for over 34 years. Before joining Network Affiliates in 1985, Harlan was Vice President and one of the founding partners of Madison, Muyskens & Jones advertising agency in Lakeville, Connecticut. In 1975, along with his partners, Harlan founded the first syndication TV production firm for high-end retailers and Lawyers, creating television commercials that aired throughout the United States and Canada.
Since 1979, Harlan has worked aggressively, productively, and professionally within the Legal advertising space.
When asked about his approach to legal marketing and client relationships, Harlan says, "Creating opportunities and increasing market share for advertising law firms is my #1 priority. The value of the case is everything in such a crowded market." Harlan has trademarked within the Legal advertising world the two phrases that have become his backbone of philosophy; What You Don't Know, You Don't Know® and Ambassador of First ImpressionsTM.
Several years ago, Harlan took his obsession with intake and conversion to a new level. He, along with his two other partners, Dino Colombo Esq. and Eric Coffman developed Lead Docket. It is software for Intake and Conversion within Law firms. Simply put, it helps law firms increase their net business by 20, 30, or 40 percent of their net profits. Harlan says Lead Docket helps law firms’ control, manage and better prosper from Intake and Conversion. Increasing your bottom line without spending a dime more on advertising is great! Lead Docket tells you what you do not know and do not see, that is the trick.
Harlan is an intricate part of the National Trial Lawyers Executive Summit committee as well as a senior editor and writer for the National Trial Lawyers Magazine. Being the chairman of the NTLA’s “A” list and Magazine is a tremendous honor that Harlan takes very seriously.
In addition, Harlan is a Brand Ambassador for FileVine software. He contributes to their continuing understanding and expertise in Law firm Technology and Marketing.
Harlan sits on the advisory board of PILLMA as well as a handful of other mastermind groups for continuing education and the advancement of Legal Marketing.
Harlan's passion is riding and building custom motorcycles. He is a proud member of the Hamsters USA ® Motorcycle group. It is widely known as the most prestigious motorcycle group in the world. Membership is exclusive and prestigious.
Harlan sucks at golf but keeps swinging the clubs. Nothing on the golf course enters his mind for 18 holes. Therapy for sure!
Harlan sits on the Board of the Children's Care Hospital in South Dakota (http://cchs.org), a special needs hospital dedicated to helping special needs children from all parts of the country. He is co chairman of The Hamsters USA effort each year in their fundraising efforts for this charity. Together, with his motorcycle friends, they have raised well over $3.2 million over the past 11 years.
Sara Williams currently practices at Alexander Shunnarah Trial Attorneys headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, where she handles primarily trucking, wrongful death and catastrophic injury litigation. Sara has collected over $30 million in verdicts and settlements on behalf of her clients, including a $12 million dollar verdict against the Birmingham Max Bus system arising out of a collision caused by that transit system’s failure to properly monitor the health of its drivers resulting in a driver passing out while driving a bus.
From 2017 through the close of 2021 she served as the managing attorney for the firm. During that time the firm would grow to include over 100 attorneys and over 400 staff members in offices in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Massachusetts.
Prior to joining the Alexander Shunnarah firm, Sara spent the first half of her career defending trucking companies and drivers. She has recently returned to a more active practice after spending the last three years as the firm’s managing attorney, during which time the firm grew to over 65 lawyers and over 300 employees with offices in nine states.
In 2021 Sara decided to step away from her role as managing attorney to re-focus on her litigation practice and developing a social media campaign focused on empowering women lawyers.
Sara is an adjunct professor of Trial Advocacy at Cumberland School of Law where she teaches Advanced Skills in Trial Advocacy-Civil and Depositions and Technology. She is a 2003 graduate of Florida State University and a 2006 graduate of Cumberland School of Law.