We have worked closely for a number of years with a group called the National Workers’ Compensation Defense Network (NWCDN). We have been an active supporter of their seminars, and they have been a tremendous resource for our WorkCompResearch system and its subscribers. The NWCDN is a group of experienced lawyers and law firms forming a cohesive workers’ compensation defense network for employers across almost all states in this country. They also have Canadian representation. They are all terrific people, and highly skilled in their profession.

It was, and is, a brilliant concept. This group has developed the ability to provide one stop shopping for workers’ comp defense work, while providing critical, locally focused experts in each jurisdiction they serve. It can certainly simplify litigation strategies for companies with multi-jurisdictional operations.

If any of you have ever attended an ABA seminar, you would know that those events have a feel best described as collegiate. The NWCDN events are not dissimilar, but I would describe the atmosphere as more “fraternal”. Their members enjoy both what they do, and being part of the NWCDN family. A line that best sums up NWCDN could be: “Think of your best defense firm possible. Now imagine them in every state”. It is a great description thought up by NWCDN attorney Mike Fish, but I’ll soon have everyone convinced I thought of it myself.

Brilliant person that I am.

Truth be told, I really don’t have a “favorite” NWCDN member, because, as I have indicated, they are all remarkable people, and genuinely enjoyable to work with. But if I did have a favorite, at least an honorary one for the day, it would be Bob Maciorowski. Maciorowski, of the Chicago law firm, Maciorowski, Sackmann & Ulrich, LLP, has season tickets to the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, and for more than a year has been offering to let me use them if the opportunity ever arose. Since my wife is from Chicago, and my 85 year old father in law is a huge Cubs fan, the three of us flew to Chicago this week to take Bob up on his offer.

The game against the Marlins Wednesday night was a great one, as the Cubbies pulled a win out of a rain shortened 8 inning game. The seats were outstanding, and the weather appeared to be beautiful as the sun went down. The rain that started late in the 7th inning was a bit of a surprise, but came on the heels of a 4 run Cubs resurgence, and could not dampen the evening.


Great game – great view. Here Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis
take the delivery of a pizza at the mound during ceremonial first pitch

And of course, there was pizza. Chicago pizza. A trip here always must include a visit to one of the city's famous pizza locations. Personally, I am a Giordano’s aficionado, but I lost the pizza vote to my wife and her father, who are Uno’s traditionalists. The pizza was excellent, nonetheless (and I return to Chicago in October for an NWCDN seminar, by myself, so I’ll have a good chance of winning that vote next time).

There are many disadvantages to traveling as much as I do. Long flights, airport security, nights away from home are just a few of them. There are perks, however, that should be appreciated. The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards and my wife’s Companion Pass, which flew all of us for free. The two corner suites at the Magnificent Mile Crowne Plaza courtesy of Priority Club points. The ability to give an 85 year old man a chance to visit his favorite field and watch his beloved “Cubbies” after he thought he would never do so again. And of course, knowing people like those at the NWCDN, including my honorary favorite for the day, Bob Maciorowski.

It puts all those travel demands in perspective. I’ll think about that this weekend while undergoing my TSA sponsored colonoscopy for the flight to Portland, OR and AASCIF 2012……

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