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MDLA 2020 Mid-Winter Conference
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MWC 2020

1/24/2020 to 1/26/2020
When: January 24–26, 2020
Where: Great Wolf Lodge
1700 American Blvd E
Bloomington, Minnesota  55425
United States
Contact: 651-290-6293

Online registration is closed.
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Register (pdf)   Rates   Lodging   Schedule   Handouts   Policies   Sponsors   View sponsorship and exhibitor details

Online Registration is open.

The Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association (MDLA) is pleased to announce registration is open for the Mid-Winter Conference on January 24–26, 2020 at Great Wolf Lodge in Bloomington, MN. This year’s theme is “Going Through the Motions.”

MDLA’s Mid-Winter Conference (MWC) promises programs of interest to all defense lawyers. Hear how our presenters have used a unique or interesting angle/approach to a trial or area of practice, and how you can apply them to your own practice!

The presentations will be delivered by an outstanding roster of speakers:

  • Kelly Magnus, Tomsche, Sonnesyn & Tomsche PA
  • Nick Rauch, Lind Jensen Sullivan & Peterson
  • Jeff Grace, Blethen Berens
  • Andy Rorvig, McEllistrem, Fargione, Landy, Rorvig & Ekern, PA
  • Mike Skram, O’Meara, Leer, Wagner & Kohl, PA
  • Honorable Joseph R. Klein 4th Judicial District
  • Scott Nesvold, Crane Engineering
  • Rachel Beauchamp, Cousineau, Van Bergen, McNee & Malone PA
  • Natalie Walz, Tomsche, Sonnesyn & Tomsche PA
  • Eric Hayes, Brown & Carlson PA
  • Kathryn Hammers, Brown & Carlson PA
  • Kate Johnson, Meagher & Greer, PLLP

Back by popular demand!

Saturday Family Movie Night! There will be snacks, hot cocoa bar, and a family friendly movie – No additional cost!

Now is the time to sign up for a great opportunity to connect and learn from defense lawyers throughout the State of Minnesota. We look forward to seeing you in Bloomington this winter!

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MDLA Member$295 ($345 after Jan 1)
Non-Member$345 ($395 after Jan 1)
Judges, Law Clerks, Students$75 ($125 after Jan 1)

Additional Pricing

Saturday Family Dinner (dinner not included with registration)
Adults (13+) - $30 ea.
Children (8-12) - $15 ea.
Children (7 & under) - FREE

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Great Wolf Lodge
1700 American Blvd E
Bloomington, Minnesota 55425

Reservation Details

  • MDLA has secured a special room rate of $159 per night and local taxes and resort fee available until January 3, 2020 or until the room block is exhausted, whichever comes first.
  • To make a reservation, call 844-561-9653 or visit the Great Wolf Lodge website. Mention MDLA or use offer code 2006MINNES to receive our special room rates.

Interested in Sponsoring or Exhibiting?

Sponsorship and exhibitor options are now available for the 2020 Mid-Winter Conference.

View sponsorship and exhibitor details

Thank you Sponsors

Diversity Sponsor

David Riley, CPA

Annual Partner Sponsor



Minnesota Lawyers Mutual

Welcome Reception Sponsors

Quinlivan & Hughes PA
Robson Forensic

Saturday Dinner Sponsor

Bassford Remele

Saturday Social Sponsor

SEA, Ltd.

Break Sponsors

O'Meara, Leer, Wagner & Kohl, P.A.
Quinlivan & Hughes PA
Rajkowski Hansmeier Ltd.
Tomsche, Sonnesyn & Tomsche, P.A.

Law Firm Sponsors

Blethen Berens
Foley & Mansfield
Goetz & Eckland, P.A.
Iverson Reuvers Condon
Larson King, LLP


Digistream Investigations
Robson Forensic
SEA, Ltd.

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Friday, January 24, 2020




Welcome and Announcements
Tammy Reno, Tomsche, Sonnesyn and Tomsche, P.A.


Legal Research for Motion Writing
Kelly Magnus, Tomsche, Sonnesyn and Tomsche, P.A.


Behind The Curtain: What Do Judges And Clients Really Think About Your Motion?
Nick Rauch, Lind Jensen Sullivan & Peterson




Effective Oral Arguments
Jeff Grace, Blethen Berens

5:00–6:30 pm

Board of Directors Meeting


New Lawyers Reception


Welcome Reception

Saturday, January 25, 2020




Continental Breakfast


Welcome and Announcements
Tammy Reno, Tomsche, Sonnesyn and Tomsche, P.A.

8:50–10:00 am

May the Best Advocate Win
Plaintiff: Andy Rorvig, McEllistrem, Fargione, Landy, Rorvig & Eken, PA
Defense: Mike Skram, O'Meara, Leer,Wagner & Kohl, PA
Judge: Honorable Joseph R. Klein (4th Judicial District)

10:00am -10:15am


10:15–11:05 am

Effectively Using an Expert in Defending your Construction Defect Claim
Scott Nesvold, Crane Engineering

11:10am–12:00 pm

DEFENSE AGAINST THE DARK ARTS: Motion Practice in Commercial Trucking Defense
Rachel Beauchamp, Cousineau, Van Bergen, McNee & Malone, PA


On Your Own


Cocktail reception




Movie Night
There will be snacks, hot cocoa bar, and a family friendly movie – No additional cost!

Sunday, January 26, 2020




Continental Breakfast


Welcome and Announcements
Tammy Reno, Tomsche, Sonnesyn and Tomsche, P.A.


Following the Yellow Brick Road to Dismissal of Real Estate Misrepresentation Claims
Natalie Walz, Tomsche, Sonnesyn & Tomsche, PA


Defending Motions in Workman's Comp Cases 
Eric Hayes, Brown & Carlson PA; Kathryn Hammers, Brown & Carlson PA




Effective Motion Practice in Medical Malpractice Cases
Kate Johnson, Meagher & Greer, P.L.L.P.

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MDLA Mid-Winter Conference Policies

Registration Information

Online registration requires credit card payment; MDLA accepts American Express, Visa, Mastercard, and Discover. If you want to pay by check, please download the form here. Payment is required prior to the event.

To edit your registration, please contact the MDLA office at or 1+ (651) 290-6293.

Both members and nonmembers need to log in to register for events. If you are a member or have previously created an account on the MDLA website, login here. If you are a nonmember, please create a guest account in the system; we will require your first and last name, organization, email, username and password.


If you are not a member and would like to join to receive reduced conference rates, please join here. To renew your membership and receive member rates, log into your profile, renew, then return to register for the event. These will be two separate transactions. You also have the option to pay for both by downloading forms.

Attendance Policies

Attendee Cancellation

To receive a registration refund, less a $25 processing fee, all cancellations must be received via this form by January 1, 2020 11:59 p.m. U.S. Central Time. No refunds will be granted thereafter. No-shows will not be refunded. Registrations can be transferred to another person within your organization with the same membership status by contacting

Conference Modification or Cancellation

MDLA reserves the right to modify the course’s schedule or program as necessary. MDLA also reserves the right to cancel this conference, in which case a full refund of the registration fee will be provided. We are unable to refund any travel costs (flight, hotel, etc.) in the case of MDLA cancellation.

Data Privacy/GDPR

We host events throughout the year, including our annual conference, webinars, and trainings (collectively “events”). If you are a member and register for one of our events, we will access the information in your member account to provide you with information and services associated with the event. If you are not a member and you register for one of our events, we will collect your name and contact information, which we will store in our database and use to provide you with information and services associated with the event. If you are a presenter at one of our events, we will collect information about you including your name, employer and contact information, and photograph, and we may also collect information provided by event attendees who evaluated your performance as a presenter. As an attendee, speaker, or sponsor/exhibitor, we will keep a record of your participation to provide you with post-event information including details on upcoming events you may be interested in. Your contact information may be shared via an event mobile app or attendee list as part of your participation in the event. Your hotel reservation information may be shared between MDLA and the hotel.

PCI Compliance

Please do not email forms with credit card information. To protect your data and to comply with PCI standards, the MDLA office will not accept emailed credit card information.

Photo/Audio/Video Release

Registration for or attendance at this event acknowledges consent to be recorded or photographed. We reserve the right to use any photograph/video taken at our events, without the expressed written permission of those included within the photograph/video. We may use the photograph/video in publications or other media material produced, used or contracted including but not limited to: brochures, invitations, books, newspapers, magazines, television, websites, etc. To ensure the privacy of individuals, images will not be identified using full names or personal identifying information without written approval from the photographed subject.

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