Admittedly, saying that you are headed to Chicago to spend two days with lawyers from up to 47 states doesn’t sound like a rockin’ good time. I would suggest to you, however, that in the case of the National Workers’ Compensation Defense Network (NWCDN), you just haven’t met these particular lawyers. The group, whose seminars I have written about before, will be holding their annual complimentary conference in Chicago on September 21st & 22nd. As usual, they have assembled an impressive program and are poised to once again educate their clients and other interested workers’ comp professionals.

And, as is almost always the case (I missed last year because I was speaking at a conference in Georgia), I intend to be there. I came very close to missing it this year, as I will be keynoting the Nebraska Symposium the morning of the 21st, but the good folks in Lincoln scheduled me early enough to allow a flight to Chicago in time for the evening kick-off reception.

As an article featured in our CompNewsNetwork recently highlighted, they have assembled a strong agenda with nationally known speakers and experts. Carl Van of the International Insurance Institute and Mark Pew of PRIUM are both scheduled to present at the event. Van will be discussing “Negotiation Skills for the Claims Professional”, and Pew will present a session entitled “A National Program: Reducing/Avoiding Narcotic Use”. In addition, Dr. Robert Heilbronner will discuss Traumatic Brain Injury, and experts from well-known employers across the nation including Walmart, Target, Caterpillar and Ascension Health will be featured.

The NWCDN is a group of defense lawyers that offer like-minded defense strategies to employers with challenges in multiple jurisdictions. I have written previously about the brilliance of the concept. The NWCDN was the first of its kind to essentially offer a national strategy to what has been traditionally a jurisdictionally focused element of the industry.

Their annual conferences are remarkable for a number of reasons. First, as an introductory tool to the services they offer, they are free to employers and insurance professionals who wish to attend. The quality is always good, and CLE’s are often available (I’m not sure if that is the case this year). The most remarkable thing for me personally, however, is the relaxed and convivial atmosphere that is a trademark of NWCDN events. I’ve written previously that, if you attend an ABA or other attorney centric event that the atmosphere is often “collegial”. At NWCDN conferences however, the feeling is downright fraternal.

You can’t really describe it. It has to be experienced. So, if you have an interest in attending, I encourage you to visit their site at and register. This is an “invite only” event, and vendors and non-NWCDN attorneys may not attend for obvious reasons. This exclusive event is for NWCDN clients, insurance professionals and employers. 

If anyone asks, tell them Bob Wilson sent you. It is probably the only conference in the world where my name might actually get you in the door. Now that I think of it, that’s another thing that makes the conference remarkable…..

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