2021 CLM Construction Conference
Cocktail Reception 5:00 PM -6:30 PM
Breakfast 7:45 AM -8:45 AM
Premier Session 1 - What’s Sticky and What’s Not 8:45 AM -9:15 AM
Join Mr. London as he presents a tour of the state of the post-pandemic economy and how it all translates into your business prospects. Among the topics he will cover include:
- Where we are in the recovery? A primer on debt, inflation and gov’t spending.
- What is the future of our urban centers and suburban villages?
- What is the state of anxiety (or prosperity) of each of the major real estate food groups including office, retail, industrial, hotel, and housing?
- Will your home prices keep going up?
Premier Session 2 - Ransomware and Digital Extortion: The New Normal 9:15 AM -10:15 AM
After the keynote, join national thought leaders as they explore what you need to know to keep your work and home cyber secure and to prepare for the new normal.
Ransomware and digital extortion are capturing the attention of every business, from hospitals and utilities to contractors and carriers. The shifting of millions of workers online has made these issues more pronounced, from the shutting down of entire workplaces to the loss of significant amounts of personal and trade secret information. Law firms, insurers, and those in the construction industry have recently taken sharp focus as potential targets for cyber attacks of all kinds that are increasing in frequency and severity.
Break 10:15 AM -10:45 AM
Session 1 10:45 AM -11:45 AM
Various Breakout Rooms.
National - Battle of the Boy Bands: Are your Construction Contracts and Coverages NSYNC or 98 Degrees Off? 10:45 AM -11:45 AM
It is a new world of construction contracting considering financial challenges, evolving project delivery methods, material/supply chain issues, pressure to expand your scope of work or to assume new (and unfamiliar) roles on a job, and a host of modern-day issues that plague the construction industry. Ensuring that your contract obligations are harmonious with all necessary insurance coverages is increasingly challenging. We will explore the factors that complicate what coverages are necessary; what happens when you believe you have the appropriate coverages to protect you, but contractual obligations leave you exposed to liability of which you were not aware; and finally, how the various coverages line up and what each policy type covers.Communication related to expectations and obligations of the insured, underwriting, claims professionals, brokers, and defense counsel is critical and how well these players dance together is going to determine success in managing and mitigating risk.
National - Too Many Damages Too Little Coverage: Creative Settlement Strategies for Engaging the Insured Beyond the Limits 10:45 AM -11:45 AM
The CD claims professional is frequently faced with a situation where one or more of the parties has insufficient policy limits to resolve a claim. When that happens, it is important to engage with the insured, and the other parties, to determine whether there are other considerations that may facilitate settlement. This requires nuanced conversations at all levels. This panel will role-play through some of the real-life conversations that its members have had. This session will focus on the multi-faceted issues of settlement when policy limits are insufficient, but other considerations may be available to gain the maximum protection to the insured without torching the business relationships between the parties.
National - How to Arbitrate a Complex Construction Case Virtually: Practical Tips from the Trenches 10:45 AM -11:45 AM
As much as these matters are litigated with defense counsel and experts, the adjusters must also be able to manage new technological changes considering our current situation with the pandemic. The loss of in-person contact affects the claims professional’s ability to assess the legal environment and evaluate the parties involved. This course will focus on the question of whether complex construction matters can effectively be litigated in a virtual fashion, will discuss options for establishing procedures and methods for preparing complex construction cases for a virtual trial or arbitration, and provide practical hands-on tips and tactics for counsel to effectively present a case over a video conference-styled platform.
National - Poking the Bear: Championing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Construction 10:45 AM -11:45 AM
San Diego B.
Social media has changed the way people talk to one another. Important conversations are now had through shared stories loaded up with hashtags. Many trending hashtags have brought meaningful awareness to issues that were too often ignored or silenced. Consider how #blacklivesmatter and #metoo moved the dial in terms of visibility, awareness, and rectification to our friends, peers, and colleagues that had experienced discrimination and harassment.Hashtag culture has taken off; it is trendy and easy, but it can be hollow words. By simply slapping a hashtag in front of a compelling word, phrase, or trending topic we feel we are bringing awareness to those that are scrolling our feeds. Rather than waiting for the next trending #hashtag, let us get in front of issues that are important to us. We must champion for the change we want to see happen and this panel brings the conversation to the industry we all live, breath, and love: construction.
Northeast - New York Labor Law: Emerging Issues, Pitfalls, and Strategies for Success 10:45 AM -11:45 AM
Plaintiffs’ attorneys and their clients are implementing strategies that have caused an increase in jury awards over the past several years. This panel will cover strategies defense attorneys can use to eliminate unreasonably large and unsubstantiated jury awards. For personal injury cases in New York State, jurors are asked to render awards in six different areas: past pain and suffering, future pain and suffering, past loss of earnings, future loss of earnings, past medical expenses, and future medical care expenses. Panelists will discuss resolution strategies to defuse and defend plaintiffs’ arguments in these areas. Also plan to discuss the beginning of a new era in a post-pandemic world and the challenges all parties may face conducting mediations, and possibly trials, virtually.
Southeast - Florida Roofing Update: The Sky is Falling 10:45 AM -11:45 AM
San Diego C.
The current state of roofing claims and issues in Florida will be swept up in this session. Panelists will outline claims and legal issues with a thorough analysis of how to defend against many of the roofing allegations unique to Florida. Furthermore, this session will provide a show and tell for claims professionals regarding avoiding coverage pitfalls that expose their insureds to unnecessary risk, while also holding a mirror up to the Xactimate bidding program. Panelists will present strategies to curb the additional insurance claims brought by general contractors, which is a persistent and costly threat in Florida.
National - Emerging & Alarming Trends in Construction Site Accident Claims: the Impact on Nuclear Verdicts & Social Inflation 10:45 AM -11:45 AM
San Diego A.
This session provides cutting edge practice pointers for counsel, claim professionals and general counsel faced with trial of the high exposure construction site accident case. Together with a nationally recognized jury consultant and celebrated trial attorney, this session provides a deep dive into the juror’s mindset and chess game underpinning nuclear verdicts. Joining this panel are two well-known claim managers who bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the high degree of claims handling required to avoid nuclear verdicts in the first instance and otherwise address the hot issue of social inflation. Coming out of a pandemic, the plaintiff bar more than ever is laser focused on maximizing verdicts using proven techniques which dovetail into reptilian theories and more. This must-see session will leave the practitioner with valuable information to implement in best practices to avoid disastrous results and position the case for success at trial.
Lunch 11:45 AM -1:00 PM
Session 2 1:00 PM -2:00 PM
Various Breakout Rooms.
National - Through the Looking Glass: How to Handle Creative Insurance Arguments in Construction Defect Cases 1:00 PM -2:00 PM
At first glance, general liability insurance for construction defect litigation appears straight-forward. Coverage extends to third-party property damage caused by an occurrence. But defendants in construction defect cases often face claims that are not covered by their insurance. They may seek to get the insurer to settle non-covered claims, often to avoid their own non-covered exposure. And they may try to shift liability rightly covered by their own insurance onto another’s. Insureds and putative insureds have an incentive to have insurance pay amounts that are not covered; while insurers have an incentive to shift their liability to another insurance company. Because of this, construction defect insurance professionals face creative arguments designed to expand the insurer’s liability beyond that provided by the policy. This session will address how to recognize such creative arguments and what steps the claims professional may take to counter them.
National - Blurred Lines: Emerging Issues with Design Professional Liability and Construction Defects 1:00 PM -2:00 PM
Design professionals must demonstrate responsible charge over their design from conception to completion. Architects and engineers have legal and/or contractual responsibilities during construction, including responsibilities to review design changes, differing conditions, and responding to submittals or requests for information from the contractor. With such overlapping responsibilities, it is no wonder the line between design professionals and the actual general contractor gets blurred when claims arise following construction. This panel dives into the duties and responsibilities of design professionals prior to and during construction projects; emerging trends with design professional liability, including discussing many hot button topics; intervals which design professionals are required to be on the project site; what inspections are required, and by whom; evaluating the scope of contract administration in the contract; and evaluating the builder’s contract detailing responsibilities of builder and its subcontractors.
National - The Complexities of Maneuvering Through a Commercial Catastrophic Loss Claim 1:00 PM -2:00 PM
San Diego A.
Catastrophic commercial construction events, including building collapse and plumbing and mechanical failures, can be incredibly complicated and often require immediate intervention. While insurers struggle with whether to defend, emergency repairs by the claimant are often necessitated. This panel urges you to consider the benefits controlling the narrative could have by engaging counsel and experts to retain vital evidence that might otherwise be destroyed during claimant’s remediation. Effective risk transfer is complicated when downstream contractors and their respective carriers refrain from participating until suit is filed and defense counsel is faced with weighing the benefits of issuing expert reports before claimant has presented the full scope of the claim. Defining the claim can be convoluted if the claimant continues to expand not only the alleged defects, but also the damages model, including delay claims and lost income. Additional wrinkles can occur when controlled insurance programs and builders’ risk are implicated. How the excess carrier engages may also make the difference between early resolution or heated and expensive litigation.
National - Managing and Litigating Construction Claims During A Pandemic: Making Do or Embracing Permanent Changes? 1:00 PM -2:00 PM
Participants will survey the positive and negative aspects of how claims professionals, lawyers, experts, and the courts have had to adapt, survive, and succeed because of COVID-19. The panel will provide personal accounts and perspectives with the goal of exploring what worked and what did not.The presentation will highlight the tools that were developed in response to circumstances that were unimaginable a year ago and the panel will provide suggestions to handle the resulting changes, many of which will survive well into the future.
Northeast - Strategies for Success in Mediation/Settlement involving Complex Construction Issues. 1:00 PM -2:00 PM
San Diego B.
Learn the best and most current strategies for resolving complex construction disputes and focus on resolving those disputes that arise from complicated and multi-issue claims, multiple party complexities, and those that arise from design/build, construction manager at risk, public-private partnership, and BIM-based design projects. Speaking from the perspective of those that have mediated, managed, and defended some of the largest and most contentious construction claims in the country, the panel will describe the strategies they have either witnessed or that have worked best for them and equally important, the strategies and tactics that have NOT been successful and which have served to derail the mediation/settlement process. Lastly the panel will discuss the best practices they recommend for preparing for the complex construction mediation, including the selection of the mediator for such a case, preparation of the mediation statement, pre-mediation interaction with the mediator, the insurer, and the opposition, and how best to set the stage for a successful construction mediation.
Southeast - There's A Lizard on My Job Site: Addressing Reptile Tactics with Construction Claims 1:00 PM -2:00 PM
San Diego C.
Plaintiff's attorneys are increasingly applying reptile tactics to injury and property claims arising from construction projects. Using argument related to code application, minimum standards, and/or inattention to safety, adept plaintiffs' attorneys develop a narrative that creates significant exposure beyond compensatory or actual damages. This session focuses on strategies for combating these types of arguments through vignettes of demand letters, pre-suit claims conversations, depositions, and mediations where attendees will have the opportunity to provide how-to-respond feedback in conjunction with comments from the panel.
Southeast - Out of Time: Have Recent Rulings Revived the Statute of Repose Defense in Florida? 1:00 PM -2:00 PM
This panel will explore the changing landscape in Florida related to the statute of repose. The repose statute was never a very viable defense in construction defect cases as there were many loopholes that Plaintiffs' attorneys could exploit. However, there have recently been some favorable changes to the statute as well as promising court rulings. These include a defense ruling under the repose statute against a large multi-family home builder in Orange County, Florida. The details of this case as well as the statute’s recent changes will be discussed so that you can apply the lessons to your own cases.
Break 2:00 PM -2:30 PM
Session 3 2:30 PM -3:30 PM
Various Breakout Rooms.
National - Construction Defect Claims are Stuck on Stucco 2:30 PM -3:30 PM
In follow-up to the CLM Construction Claims magazine article (Spring 2021), this panel discussion doubles down on why we still have so many stucco claims. Modern stucco has been around for nearly two centuries. Yet construction defect lawsuits are increasing in number as well as value. While certain aspects remain the same, by diving deeper we discover that there have been significant changes. Insurance claims have gotten more complex. More and more housing is being built to keep up with the population growth at a rapid pace. Meanwhile, building codes and construction practices continue to evolve and are not always given the proper attention by design professionals, contractors, and builders. Moreover, laws and legal precedents regarding construction defects continue to evolve as well. Stucco claims may not be avoidable, and they surely are not going away, but we can (and should) be better prepared.
National - Wrap it up!! Don't let a WRAP cause you to come UNWOUND! 2:30 PM -3:30 PM
Wrap policies have become ubiquitous in construction insurance over the last two decades. The theory of one policy covering all potential liability claims on a construction project is sensible, cost-effective, and efficient.In practice, however, wraps can be cumbersome, inefficient, and problematic. This session will address the good, bad, and ugly of wrap policies, and discuss potential options, workarounds, and examples of real-life issues on claims involving wrap policies. The discussion will include coverage matters, potential gaps in coverage, the question of conflicts and assignment of counsel, including joint defense agreements, and best practices for resolving claims involving wraps efficiently, effectively, and economically.
National - In-Depth Roundtable: Hottest Issues, Perils, and Pitfalls for Contractors and Carriers 2:30 PM -3:30 PM
This exciting session will explore emerging issues and hot topics facing claims professionals, insurers, and contractors as they navigate an ever-changing world. For example, how have underwriting departments adapted to changes in the industry? Rate increases have occurred in primary, excess, and specialty lines, and market capacity has been reduced. Construction costs have risen, which impacts building values and related coverage needs. Also, most contractors are facing material shortages. We will explore WRAP policies and related cost-effectiveness of projects big and small.
There also will be discussion on the aspects of COVID-19 fallout including insurance policy changes and lawsuits that have emerged, and subsided, due to COVID. Finally, this panel will examine cyber risks and their impact on the industry.
National - Delays and Defects and Damages, Oh My! 2:30 PM -3:30 PM
Hybrid claims involving defect and delay claims are becoming more prevalent. The potential damages in these are often significant and defending the claims can be equally expensive. This session will discuss insurance coverage issues, i.e., different polices that may cover the claims such as builder’s risk and what potentially is and is not covered; preparing the defense of the hybrid claims, including working with general/personal counsel of the insured; and working with a variety of the experts needed to defend the claim. Additionally, the session will review how to calculate the potential value of the delay claims.
West - Effective Strategies for Resolving Catastrophic Construction Site Injury Claims 2:30 PM -3:30 PM
San Diego C.
Catastrophic injuries on construction sites raise the same insurance and indemnity issues as typical construction defect disputes with the addition of priority of coverage issues. Understanding the overlap can assist claims professionals and defense counsel in efficiently resolving these claims.
South - Anti-Indemnity Statutes’ Impact on Construction Defect Claims 2:30 PM -3:30 PM
San Diego B.
Join this session to discuss the various construction anti-indemnity statutes found in the South. Panelists will talk about key distinctions between these statutes affecting additional insured coverage and indemnity. Another look will be given to recent cases interpreting the statutes and critical outstanding issues left to be resolved by the courts. Finally, the roundtable will review tips for handling new claims that may be affected by an anti-indemnity statute.
National - Supply Chain: Time to Saddle Up! 2:30 PM -3:30 PM
San Diego A.
With the U.S. economy emerging from COVID-19, demand for housing and construction will grow at historic rates. Demand on supply chains for essential materials has stretched capacity.Infrastructure, both digital and physical, will have exponentially increased demand in the second half of 2021 and well into 2022. This panel will explore supply chain from the factors of sourcing, transportation, insurance markets and products, claims management, and legal issues that have and will continue to rise. With the looming prospect of construction delay claims occasioned by this trend, the panel will keep the information flowing to help all stakeholders stay on target for 2021 and beyond!
Break 3:30 PM -4:00 PM
Session 4 4:00 PM -5:00 PM
Various Breakout Rooms.
National - COVID Construction Boom to Bust: Who Pays When Buyers Regret Fleeing to the Burbs? 4:00 PM -5:00 PM
San Diego A.
The pandemic, among other issues, caused demand surge for housing in the suburbs and beyond. As homeowners fled urban areas demand and prices soared. For those not taking part in the relocation bidding wars, there was the race to turn homes into castles. Those with resources turned to making their restaurants and businesses COVID-compliant. As life returns to a version of normal, how long until buyers’ remorse settles in? New construction in suburbia and newly purchased homes in the mountains or at the shore are unlikely to be able to sustain their inflated value. High-end renovations that took forever to complete and used labor and material at a premium may start to lose their appeal as we return to travel, dining out, movies, the health club, and even the office. Who will pay as satisfaction wanes? Will the disillusionment lead to an uptick in large- and small-scale construction defect claims? More importantly, how will we respond to these claims? The panel will look at potential exposure and how to investigate/defend these claims, especially in the new hybrid litigation realm.
National - The Intersection of Builders Risk, CGL, Professional Liability and Subcontractor Default Coverage: What Covers What? 4:00 PM -5:00 PM
Many complex large loss commercial construction claims potentially trigger all the various types of insurance: Builders Risk, CGL, Professional Liability and Subcontractor Default. It is important for all involved in the dispute resolution process to understand the scope of coverage provided by each policy type. The panel will provide an overview of each coverage and analyze a hypothetical based on real life claims that involves each of the coverage types. This roundtable will be relevant and impactful for claims professionals, risk managers, brokers, counsel, and contractor clients.
National - Is It Safe to Get Back in the Water: COVID-19 Compliance and Claims for General Contractors in California and National Residential/Commercial Construction Projects 4:00 PM -5:00 PM
San Diego B.
This discussion will focus on the issues facing the General Contractors in the COVID world for construction disputes with COVID safety issues including Owner issues, Subcontractor Issues, COVID Safety Monitoring, and application of the newest safety regulations affecting projects in California and the country with the changing safety orders and Tier compliance throughout the pandemic. Further input by counsel on the contract provisions applicable to the disputes and potential coverage considerations for the Carriers on these post-pandemic claims.
Rocky Mountain - Expanding Soils, Populations, and Construction Headaches – Nuances of Construction Claims in the Rocky Mountain Region 4:00 PM -5:00 PM
Join us in exploring emerging trends in construction defect claims in the Rocky Mountain states, specifically including New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado. Over the years, the expansive soils prevalent in the Rockies have contributed to many of the highest exposure CD claims in the region, particularly in residential construction. While design and construction professionals have altered their means and methods to minimize the often-devastating financial impact of soil-related claims, the issues continue. In addition to discussing the unique considerations for adjusters and lawyers handling and resolving expansive soil-related claims, we will also address recent notable cases and CD trends in the Rocky Mountain region.
West - Fight Fire With Fire 4:00 PM -5:00 PM
This presentation focuses on single family home construction in the wildland-urban interface zones and the associated fire risks. Changes in the building codes and ignition-resistant construction will be discussed. Insurance and litigation risks associated with these claims as well as case studies and statistics from recent wildfires will be shared by the panel.
South - Champagne Wishes: Navigating the Pitfalls of High-End Home Litigation 4:00 PM -5:00 PM
Panelists will discuss the current construction trends in the Southwest (California, Arizona, and Texas) including the influx of high-end single-family homes in pre-litigation (PDA/SB 800) and litigation (including remodel or new construction). This session will address the unique issues that make high-end single family home defect claims different from Homeowner Association/ Large Development Cases. Panelists will discuss defense issues with remodel construction of high-end single-family homes and coverage perspectives and specific techniques that defense counsel can employ to control the cost to defend these claims. The session will focus on how to effectively handle, investigate, and set reserves for these types of claims. Most importantly, panelists will discuss the most effective way to transfer the risk contractually and via additional insured.
Cocktail Reception 5:00 PM -6:00 PM
Breakfast 7:45 AM -8:45 AM
Premier Session 3 - Judges: "What Say You?" 8:45 AM -10:15 AM
Friday's premier session features nationally recognized trial judges who will discuss challenges, opportunities, practice pointers and the future of handling construction cases throughout the nation. From technology, issue resolution, missed opportunities and best practices, the judges will share practice pointers you can implement immediately to ensure success in handling all facets of construction claims.
Break 10:15 AM -10:45 AM
Session 5 10:45 AM -11:45 AM
Various Breakout Rooms.
National - Risky Business: Risk Transfer Tips and Tricks 10:45 AM -11:45 AM
Join our roundtable leaders for a discussion of risk transfer strategies, additional insurance and indemnification issues. Participants will share tips for identifying and mitigating risks in all phases of a construction project, from contract to post-completion.
National - The Old Meets the New Meets the Old: How the Lessons of 2020 can Intersect with a Return to Normal for a More Efficient Handling of Claims 10:45 AM -11:45 AM
March of 2020 brought the world to a screeching stop. The practice of law was no different and was unable to avoid the delay, uncertainty, and expense that the jaws of COVID-19 inflicted on nearly every American. However, with people’s life, liberty, happiness, business, and livelihoods on the line, necessity forced the legal market to adapt and proceed forward as best we could considering the circumstances faced. Despite not being able to gather in person, cases moved forward. With most of the work completed from the convenience of a computer, expenses with the practice of law dropped in a significant fashion. Though computers provide an excellent opportunity for remote work, the practice of law requires that some work still take place in-person where you can truly gauge the emotion and tone of the room. With millions of Americans having received at least one vaccine, the return to normal lingers ever closer in the background. How can we incorporate what we learned in 2020 for a more economic practice moving forward?
National - Roadways, Bridges, Airports, Construction Challenges, and Public Works Projects in 2021 and Beyond. 10:45 AM -11:45 AM
San Diego A.
Join us for a conversation to address construction related liability in bridges, tollways, roadway accidents and forecast what’s ahead with infrastructure. This discussion will also address market labor shortages, unskilled laborers doing the work creating opportunities for construction site accident claims, response claims, complex risk transfer, death, bodily injury. Finally we will touch on various immunities, government torque claims, and statutes of repose.
Southeast - South East CD: It’s Hot, Hot, Hot 10:45 AM -11:45 AM
The panel consists of all participants in a typical CD claim – an insurer representative, insurer coverage counsel, policy-holder counsel, and a mediator. Plan to discuss the core concepts and hot topics in Florida and South Carolina. This will include reservation of rights letters and the importance of an allocated verdict form in the underlying liability suit; defense cost contribution; right to repair proceedings; coverage for rip and tear/preventative measures costs; and the danger of consent judgments and how to avoid those common traps. Time permitting, we will also discuss trigger of coverage and additional insured coverage for vicarious and direct liability. Also discussed will be the strategy and steps necessary to a prompt and efficient claim resolution through mediated settlement including strategies to deal with recalcitrant insurers.
No Learning Objectives Available