MIAMI/TAMPA – SEPTEMBER 27, 2021 – Civil litigation defense firm, Wicker Smith O’Hara McCoy & Ford P.A., is pleased to share Tampa partner, Erin M. Diaz, and Miami partner, Constantine “Dean” Nickas spoke as session facilitators during USLAW NETWORK’s Fall 2021 Client Conference. The conference was held at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado from September 23rd to the 25th. It is a semi-annual conference that brings together legal and business decision makers from across a spectrum of industries and practice areas and features industry leading educational sessions.
On Friday, September 24, 2021, Erin M. Diaz facilitated a session along with Hailey Hooper of Pierce Couch Hendrickson Baysinger & Green, L.L.P. titled, “Gender Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace: What It Looks Like and Why It Matters to Your Company Culture, Recruitment, and Bottom Line.” The presentation covered a 360-degree view and discussion of gender diversity and inclusion in the workplace that will focus upon latest trends, key elements, positive tools, and best practices. It took placed I the form of a group discussion and addressed internal practices, access to services and opportunities, as well as community engagement with a focus upon the impact upon company culture and the bottom line.
Erin Diaz joined Wicker Smith in 2003 and is an equity partner in the firm’s Tampa office. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from West Virginia University graduating summa cum laude in 1994. She was then commissioned as an officer in the United States Air Force after successfully completing the Air Force ROTC program and served four years on active duty as an Officer and Registered Nurse. Ms. Diaz thereafter earned her Juris Doctor with honors from the University of North Dakota in 2001. She practiced in North Dakota and Minnesota representing plaintiffs and defendants in civil and criminal matters before relocating to Florida and joining Wicker Smith.
On Friday, September 24, 2021, Constantine “Dean” Nickas facilitated as session along with Jessica L. Fuller of Lewis Roca and Jack J. Laffey of Laffey, Leitner & Goode LLC titled, “Are We on the Tip of the COVID-19 Litigation Iceberg? Lessons Learned and What to Expect in 2022 and Beyond.” The presentation discussed how the global pandemic has changed how litigation has been conducted, at least in the near term, and possibly permanently. The facilitators also touched on how verdicts nationally had been rising exponentially before the pandemic and if the changes will now add to that trend. Other topics discussed included the increasing advertisements of the Plaintiff’s Bar on COVID-related litigation P.I. claims are becoming even more aggressive, and the backlog of trials in courts. Tools and strategies were also provided to help attendees meet new challenges based upon collective experiences and to help defend against mitigating risks and exposures in the future.
Constantine “Dean” G. Nickas, a partner in the Miami office, joined Wicker Smith in 1989 and is head of the firm’s retail practice group. In his 25+ year career, Mr. Nickas has tried countless cases involving professional liability, products liability, food safety-related litigation, insurance coverage matters, labor and employment, automobile liability, and general civil litigation cases throughout the state of Florida at both the state and federal level. His passion for the law has earned him an AV® Preeminent rating from his peers, the highest-level rating awarded to lawyers by Martindale-Hubbell. He is also privileged to be recognized as a Florida Super Lawyer since 2009. As Chair of the firm’s retail practice group, Mr. Nickas has had the opportunity to defend and consult on all aspects of premises liability litigation. These matters include negligent security, premises liability and catastrophic damages claims arising out of suits against retailers.