The American Association for Justice (AAJ) Annual Convention was held in Boston, Massachusetts, July 22-25, and our lawyers were actively involved. Our activities at the convention included volunteer work in the community and speaking at CLE classes. Three Beasley Allen lawyers also were recognized for outstanding achievement. Highlights of the meeting included:

Andrew Brashier, who practices in the firm’s Consumer Fraud & Commercial Litigation Section, was awarded the AAJ Wiedemann & Wysocki Award. The award is presented annually to lawyers who demonstrate a deep commitment to the highest standards and who are passionately committed to the principles of the civil justice system and the mission of AAJ. Andrew says, “This is a tremendous honor. Everyone who is a part of AAJ is a part of the fight to defend the 7th Amendment right to a trial by jury, regardless of political party or political affiliation. Without the right to a trial by jury, it is impossible to protect and enforce each of the liberties enshrined in our Constitution and the Bill of Rights.”

Navan Ward, who practices in our Mass Torts section, was elected Treasurer of AAJ. He has previously served the organization as Parliamentarian, as past chairman of the Minority Caucus, past chairman of the Diversity Committee, a member of the Board of Governors and a member of the Executive Committee.

Navan also received the American Association for Justice’s Minority Caucus Stalwart Award for his dedicated years of service to the organization. He says, “I’m honored to receive this award from the Minority Caucus, which is a group that I have learned so much from during my time at AAJ. I look forward to seeing this Caucus continue to do great things for this organization and all of our clients.”

Parker Miller, a Principal in the firm’s Personal Injury and Products Liability Section, was elected Secretary of AAJ’s Products Liability Section.

Leslie Pescia, an Associate in the firm’s Consumer Fraud & Commercial Litigation Section, was named an AAJ New Lawyer’s Division Star and was featured in The Sidebar magazine. She also participated in Cradles to Crayons service project, held the day before the convention starts. Cradles to Crayons is a non-profit organization that provides supplies for homeless and low-income children. Leslie and other volunteers sorted through clothing donations and made “kids packs,” which are packs that contain multiple outfits, pajamas, socks, and underwear for each child.

Danielle Ward Mason and Leigh O’Dell, were featured speakers for CLE programs and presented on very important topics:

Danielle Mason spoke on the topic “When Bad Products Target Minority Communities” at the Minority Caucus’ CLE/ Talcum Powder/Ovarian Cancer Litigation Group update CLE. Danielle is one of the lawyers leading our firm’s efforts against Johnson & Johnson as part of the Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Litigation Team.

Leigh O’Dell made a presentation at the Talcum Powder/Ovarian Cancer Litigation Group CLE. Leigh was recently selected to serve as co-lead counsel for consolidated multidistrict litigation (MDL) in New Jersey federal court concerning talcum powder’s link to ovarian cancer. It is estimated that 14,000 women die from talc-related ovarian cancer each year. One medical expert calculates that this use of talcum powder leads to nearly 10 percent of the new ovarian cancer cases reported annually. More than 70 cases are pending in the MDL.

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