Lathrop GPM Hosts 2023 State of Litigation Conference at Arrowhead Stadium


State of Litigation: Football Draft Edition features keynote speaker DeMaurice ‘De’ Fitzgerald Smith, Executive Director of the National Football League Players Association.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (March 9, 2023) — Lathrop GPM LLP is pleased to share that the 2023 State of Litigation seminar will be held in person on Wednesday, April 12 from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The firm is excited to host this year’s event at Arrowhead Stadium, home of the 2023 Superbowl Champions. As Kansas City gears up for even more national attention with the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft, and featuring a guest speaker from the NFL Players Association, this year’s State of Litigation event is aptly titled: Football Draft Edition. Held annually, this complimentary event brings together business leaders, legal decision-makers, and industry experts to explore the latest trends in litigation and risk management.

“This event is something we look forward to hosting every year,” said Lathrop GPM’s Tort, Insurance & Environmental Practice Group Leader and event co-emcee Mara H. Cohara. “Since its inception over 15 years ago, the event has evolved as we have adapted to changes in the legal market and the economic and political climate. Our goal is to make this a premier event for business leaders and legal decision-makers in our geographical markets who want the latest insights into current and upcoming litigation trends.”

“It’s especially exciting for me to be involved in this year’s seminar,” added Pat Fanning, a Lathrop GPM litigation partner who will emcee the event alongside Cohara. “After starting my career at Lathrop GPM, I took a decade-long hiatus from the firm to pursue other opportunities, and I was honored to rejoin in November 2021. As someone who was born and raised in Kansas City, one thing that drew me back to the firm was its long history and deep roots to the local community. Coming off the outstanding Chiefs season and leading into the 2023 NFL draft, Arrowhead Stadium is the perfect venue to add to the incredible energy this event brings, and I look forward to sharing it with our clients.”

The event will include a networking lunch, several general sessions, a DEI roundtable, a post-conference reception, and a keynote fireside chat-style interview with DeMaurice “De” Fitzgerald Smith, Executive Director of the National Football League Players Association. De will cover a variety of hot button topics affecting the National Football League Players Association today and what is on the horizon for the league. The general session topics include:

  • Juror attitudes and court practices since COVID
  • Trade secrets and non-competes, including the FTC's proposed rule banning them
  • Consumer protection as a B2B claim
  • Data privacy & cybersecurity
  • Government investigations
  • Marijuana legalization labor and employment considerations

The DEI roundtable will be moderated by the firm’s Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Vanessa Vaughn West. The discussion will focus on the importance of diversity engagement in the legal sector, the benefits of having diverse representation in leadership and how to get there. The panel will also address challenges, promising practices, and lessons learned along the way to attaining more diverse leadership across the legal industry.

“I enjoyed leading the planning process for this event for many years and now I’m even more excited to participate as an attendee,” said Jennifer Hannah, former leader of Lathrop GPM’s litigation practice group and now Chief Legal Officer at FORVIS, LLP. “The topics they are planning to cover look interesting and relevant to a wide variety of companies. I expect the event will be informative and engaging.”

CLE credit will be applied for in California, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Texas, and Virginia. One hour of Elimination of Bias credit will also be sought for applicable states. View the agenda here and register to attend the conference here. For any questions about the event, contact