Jessica M. Karmasek Oct. 29, 2013, 2:15pm

CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) -- Cedar Rapids attorney Mike Weston has been elected president of DRI -- The Voice of the Defense Bar.

Weston was elected earlier this month at the organization's annual meeting in Chicago.

A member of DRI for the past 28 years and a member of its national board of directors since 2007, Weston also has served as the speaker and steering committee member of DRI's Insurance Roundtable and is a member of its Corporate Counsel Roundtable.

He is a past DRI Iowa state representative and has served as chair of the organization's Public Policy Committee.

He also is a member of the organization's Product Liability, Insurance, Young Lawyer and Diversity committees.

"Mike brings to the presidency such a great combination of energy, enthusiasm, intellectual heft, strategic thinking, and a warm personal connection to people," outgoing president Mary Massaron Ross said in a statement Monday.

"He's just the sort of leader that all organizations seek but seldom find."

Weston, who was born in Anderson, Ind., earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa and his law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law.

He is a principal at Lederer Weston Craig, with offices in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids.

He also is a former president of the Iowa Defense Counsel Association and a fellow of the Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers and the American Bar Association Foundation.

"These are challenging times," DRI Executive Director John Kouris said in a statement. "The legal profession is changing dramatically and the defense practice in particular faces a multitude of challenges.

"DRI must lend a strong voice in the public policy debate and there is no clearer, no more articulate, no more competent voice than Mike's to lead DRI."

DRI is the world's largest professional organization of defense attorneys with 22,000 members in 30 countries.

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