Claims/Litigation Management - Registration
Claims/Litigation Management - Session 1 - To Apologize or Not to Apologize, That is the Question
Naomi Kinderman, W.R. Berkley Corporation
Angela Kopet, Copeland, Stair, Kingma & Lovell, LLP
Vic Marmo, Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation
Ronna Ruppelt, CLM
The successful implementation and execution of an apology requires careful planning and creativity. This roundtable will explore the use of apologies when handling claims and litigation, and how they can diffuse difficult situations. The panel will also discuss Apology Laws and explore different scenarios where an apology helped or could have helped resolve a dispute.
Claims/Litigation Management - Break
Claims/Litigation Management - Session 2 - Risk Transfer - Whose Liability is it Anyway?
Julie A. Freitag, Navigators, A Brand of The Hartford
Sheryl Leichenger, Selman Breitman
Nick Lopuszynski, CNA Insurance
Brenda Radmacher, Akerman LLP
Liability in all types of cases involving multiple parties involves complex analysis and strategies. Determining risk transfer mechanisms in product liability cases, construction defect cases, bodily injury cases and the like is often the key to litigation management. Often the contract language does not match the coverage provided, which further complicates these issues. This panel of attorneys and industry experts will address national trends in risk transfer using contractual indemnity provisions. The panel will evaluate case examples including professional liability, food liability, and property damage/bodily injury matters to discuss how contractual indemnity and additional insured issues impact the liability analysis and management from both the perspective of the insurer and the insured. In addition, ethical issues and obligations of defense counsel in risk transfer will be examined. Finally, the panel will discuss issues of coverage, erosion of limits, and best practices for evaluating and affecting risk transfer.
Claims/Litigation Management - Break
Claims/Litigation Management - Session 3 - Increased Use of Drone Technology in the Construction Industry and its Affect on Insurance and on Claims
Anthony Carolei, Hanover Insurance
Daniel Gmelin, Argo Group US
Wendy Keenan, London Fischer LLP
Rinat B. Klier Erlich, Manning & Kass, Ellrod, Ramirez, Trester LLP
Mike Smith, Axis Insurance Services, LLC
The seminar will discuss the increased use of technology, mainly in the construction industry by contractors and design professionals. The seminar will focus on the use of drones as an example of one of those technologies, and will discuss how drones are used, what claims can arise from their use (since the technology is new the types of claims are non-traditional), how to approach such claims when they arise and what insurance, if any may be available.
Claims/Litigation Management - Lunch
Claims/Litigation Management - Keynote Speaker - Keynote
Claims/Litigation Management - Session 4 - The Florida AOB Crisis: A Case Study in Collaboration
Timothy Cotton, Swyfft
Traci Payne, Security First Insurance
Steven Schwartz, The Schwartz Law Group
Hope Zelinger, Bressler, Amery & Ross
The issue of litigation resulting from the Assignment of Benefits, or AOB, has reached epidemic levels in the state of Florida. While there is consensus between carriers, legislators, the defense bar, and even trial lawyers, that this is the largest non-catastrophe challenge facing the industry, unfortunately, there isn't the same level of consensus when it comes to a solution. While many carriers are unsuccessfully battling this wave, some have pooled the resources of their outside counsel and litigation vendor partners to help develop effective strategies. While Assignment of Benefits is currently a Florida specific issue, reinsurers are asking carriers in other jurisdictions what pro-active steps are being implemented to prevent AOBs or a similar plague from infecting their states. This panel will present ideas that can be used as a framework for collaboration between carriers, counsel and vendor partners. The principles are applicable to challenges faced across the country.Back to top
Claims/Litigation Management - Break
Claims/Litigation Management - Session 5 - Greatest Recent Hits in the World of Property Coverage
Paul Aviles, Allied World Assurance Company, Ltd.
Janice C. Buchman, Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig LLP
Mark Katz, Mound Cotton Wollan & Greengrass
Maureen Myre, AXA XL
Stay up to date and ahead of the curve, by joining us to learn and exchange ideas about recent developments from around the country in the world of property coverage decisions. Knowledge of the most recent case law will assist with adjustment practices and litigation of claims as the claim process proceeds from the date of loss through the conclusion of trial.
Claims/Litigation Management - Holiday Party
Extra-Contractual - Registration
Extra-Contractual - Session 1 - How to Avoid Punitive Damages Awards
Alan Freisleben, Freisleben Law Group
Jeanette Hernandez, Ringler
Robert Olson, Greines Martin Stein & Richland LLP
Even though the United States Supreme Court has placed limits on the quantum of punitive damages available to aggrieved plaintiffs, an award of damages in an insurance case on top of policy benefits, plus other available monetary relief for damages elements such as emotional suffering, out of pocket losses, costs or attorney’s fees can still become a significant sum of money, not to mention harmful to one’s career.
Our panel of experienced claims professionals and outside counsel will attempt to provide some general guidance for the handling of claims in such a way as to minimize the risk of becoming embroiled in a claim in which punitive damages are an incentive for the policyholder or others to attempt to garner through litigation.
Extra-Contractual - Break
Extra-Contractual - Session 2 - Discovery in Bad Faith Litigation: Is the Attorney-Client Privilege in Jeopardy
Robert Laurie, Gfeller Laurie LLP
Kimberly Perkins, Ark Syndicate Management Limited
Jasmina Richter, Sanders & Parks, P.C.
Maggie Weber, Nationwide Insurance Company
The attorney-client privilege is one of the oldest privileges recognized in the American legal system. It has the important purpose of encouraging full and truthful communications between attorney and client. Recently, however, plaintiffs in insurance bad faith cases have asserted that the attorney-client privilege does not always protect communications from disclosure when the plaintiff is seeking information concerning an insurance carrier’s handling of a claim. While there is no bad faith exception to attorney-client privilege, the issue of an implied waiver of the attorney-client privilege is of serious concern.
The panel will analyze the attorney-client privilege in the context of the tripartite relationship, the issue of implied waiver of the privilege in subsequent bad faith claims, and best practices for protecting the privilege in bad faith litigation. Among other issues, the panel will address the following key questions:
• What is the traditional scope of the attorney-client privilege and when and how has that scope changed?
• Has there been a trend toward the erosion of the attorney-client privilege in bad faith litigation?
• What tests do courts use to determine whether there has been an implied waiver of the privilege?
• How have courts applied the joint defense exception to the attorney-client privilege in bad faith claims?
• What steps can counsel for insurers take to avoid an implied waiver of the privilege in a bad faith claim?
The panel will also raise hypothetical scenarios to exemplify how best practices can strengthen defenses to arguments that the attorney-client privilege does not apply.
Extra-Contractual - Break
Extra-Contractual - Session 3 - Bad Faith Experts
Lawrence Beemer, Tokio Marine HCC
Christopher Carucci, Gallagher Bassett Services, Inc.
George Jackson, Bush & Ramirez, PLLC
Howard Wollitz, Charlston, Revich & Wollitz LLP
Harrison Yoss, Thompson, Coe, Cousins & Irons LLP
Experts can be essential to the defense of a bad faith suit. This program will focus on practical issues in the selection and use of experts. Questions presented will include: What is the bad faith climate in the jurisdiction and with the judiciary? How can negative attitudes of jurors regarding corporate scandals, hostility to insurers, belief that juries must "send a message" and reptile issues be overcome by proper preparation and use of experts? How do you choose the right expert in your jurisdiction? How to use your expert to clarify and not confuse the issues? How to use an expert to explain the duties of the insurer and claims handling standards so that a potentially hostile jury will understand and accept that testimony? How to overcome challenges so you don't lose your expert? How to challenge the other side’s expert to have them struck?Back to top
Extra-Contractual - Lunch
Extra-Contractual - Keynote Speaker - Keynote
Extra-Contractual - Session 4 - Adjuster Training - Teaching “Good Faith” to prevent “Bad Faith,” Including Practice
Caryn Bellus, Kubicki Draper
Jeanette Bourey, Markel Service, Incorporated
John Reitwiesner, Starstone Insurance
Michelle Valencic, Clausen Miller
Attorneys and industry professionals will present a panel discussion regarding claims handling and avoiding extra-contractual claims. This presentation will include key concepts for avoiding bad faith claims and set ups during the claim handling stage.Back to top
Extra-Contractual - Break
Extra-Contractual - Session 5 - Are Settlement Discussions Soundproof? The Confidentiality And Admissibility Of Settlement Negotiations And Offers In Extra-contractual Disputes
Rachel Ehrlich, Judicate-West
Martha Keane, AIG
Maria Quintero, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP
Marjorie Sussman, Allied World Assurance Company, Ltd.
Ralph Woodard, Navigators, A Brand of The Hartford
The confidentiality of settlement communications is a hallmark principle of the dispute resolution process. But what is confidential one day may be discoverable the next when a policyholder claims bad faith. This panel will explore the discovery and admissibility of mediation communications and discuss the prohibited and permitted use of settlement discussions and offers as evidence of bad faith or of good faith in extra-contractual disputes.
Extra-Contractual - Holiday Party
Insurance Coverage - Registration
Insurance Coverage - Session 1 - Mediating with the Three C's: Construction Defects, Coverage and Confusion
John Bickerman, Bickerman Dispute Resolution PLLC
Michael Gordon, Foreman Friedman
Caryn Siebert, Gallagher Bassett Services, Inc.
Lisa Unger , Self Employed
Construction defect mediations are often complex, lengthy affairs. In jurisdictions where courts have determined that faulty or defective construction may constitute an “occurrence” for the purposes of commercial general liability insurance (“CGL”) policies, resolution-or not-of construction defect cases is frequently driven by coverage concerns. This session will explore the common coverage issues encountered at mediation, and will provide “hands-on” practical strategies for mediation success. This session will discuss whether faulty workmanship constitutes an “occurrence”, what constitutes property damage, whether property damage occurred during the policy period, potentially applicable policy exclusions, additional insured coverage issues, contractual liability coverage, priority of coverage, gaps in insurance information/missing carriers, gaps in factual information necessary to determine coverage, gaps in participant communication, and practical problems typically encountered at mediation in construction defect cases. The goal of the session will be to educate the audience on how to best identify and handle coverage issues that typically arise in construction defect mediations so as to achieve the best possible result at mediation.
Insurance Coverage - Break
Insurance Coverage - Session 2 - Cyber Claims and Coverage Update
Patrick Clabby, Chubb
Chris Cotterell, Safeonline LLP
Mark Greisiger, NetDiligence
Anahi Santiago, Christiana Care Health Systems
Anthony Valach, Bennett, Bricklin & Saltzburg
The frequency of cyber incidents is growing at a steady pace, with no end in sight. With a new data breach story in the news on an almost daily basis, more companies are purchasing cyber insurance. Forbes estimates that the market will grow from $2.5B in 2015 to $7.5B by 2020. This will inevitably lead more claims and litigation that can spiral out of control if not handled properly.
As the data to quickly provide accurate quotes enters the market, insurers and insureds of certain sizes and sectors need to work together to minimize potential losses before and after the inevitable data breach. The panel will examine coverages available under cyber policies, the court decisions discussing them to date and how insurers can work with Risk Managers to minimize risk and exposure. The panel will also discuss how a claim trends, the expenses an insurer can expect to incur to comply with coverage obligations and how they can be controlled. The discussions and suggestions will be based on real-world cyber incidents and claims encountered by the panelists.
Insurance Coverage - Break
Insurance Coverage - Session 3 - Coverage Complications: Ride-Sharing, Bitcoin, Drones, and Self-Driving Cars
Richard Dugan, Cincinnati Insurance Company
Andrew Smith, Rolfes Henry Co., LPA
Vincent Trimarchi, Sompo International Insurance
Irene Yesowitch, Self Employed
This panel of attorneys and claims professions will discuss modern insurance coverage complications associated with technologies, including ride-sharing, Bitcoin, drones, and self-driving cars. We will explore common policy terms, conditions, and exclusions applied to these business models. Does a personal automobile policy provide coverage to an Uber driver? What happens when the Uber driver gets into an accident or physical altercation? Is there coverage if my drone crashes into my neighbor’s yard? Is my Tesla covered under my car insurance when operating in autopilot mode? Is a Bitcoin theft limited by the legal tender limits to my homeowner’s policy? These are just a few of the questions we will address during this presentation.
Insurance Coverage - Lunch
Insurance Coverage - Keynote Speaker - Keynote
Insurance Coverage - Session 4 - Breaking Up Is Hard to Do—Coverage Allocation in Settlements and Judgments
Pete Duncan, FCCI Insurance Group
John Graham, RSUI Group Inc.
Jo Allison Stasney, Thompson, Coe, Cousins & Irons LLP
David Tartaglio, Musick, Peeler & Garrett
Lawsuits involving covered and uncovered claims or damages can result in settlements and judgments that fail to allocate between the two, creating issues concerning whether allocation is possible and which party bears the burden of proof on the allocation. Not surprisingly, jurisdictions have answered the question differently. The rationales for placing or shifting the burden on or to the policyholder or the insurance carrier vary, frequently turning on the control of the litigation. Inevitable problems include what evidence can be used to prove or disprove the coverage and the best procedural mechanism to address the allocation issue, intervention in the underlying lawsuit or pursuit of a declaratory judgment action.
This presentation will address, waiving and preserving the allocation issue, the effect of general and special verdicts, what the allocation evidence may look like, and how to resolve the allocation issue. Additionally, the presenters will offer practical advice that may help resolve or limit the allocation issue, such as, when to notify the insured, whether to recommend independent counsel, whether to request jury questions to resolve the allocation, or trying to reach an allocation agreement before verdict or settlement.
Insurance Coverage - Break
Insurance Coverage - Session 5 - Third Party Violence: How to Analyze Coverage for Mass Shootings in Public Venues and Places of Employment
Lea Kapral, Acuity Insurance
Karen Ludden, Dean & Fulkerson
David M. O'Connor, O'Connor & Associates, LLC
Tina Schott, Western National Insurance Co.
This panel of attorneys and claims professions will analyze coverage for incidents of third party violence in public venues and the workplace. We will explore application of standard commercial general liability exclusions for criminal acts, intentional acts and acts of war, as well as examine new insurance products excluding coverage for terrorist acts. Does it violate public policy to hold an insurer responsible for a mass shooting? Does someone qualify as a “terrorist” if at the last moment, they sign on to a website and claim to be one? Is anyone who instigates a mass shooting a terrorist, even if they never declare allegiance to an enemy of the state?
Moreover, in the domain of workplace violence, is there an applicable carve out under worker’s compensation statutes and policies for gross negligence on the part of an employer for failing to foresee such an event? Would a Commercial General Liability policy ever have coverage if one of the victims is an employee? What if the perpetrator is an employee? Is there coverage under any policy? Most carriers have not been presented with this type of claim, but this panel will offer practical analysis tips for those faced with such a claim and those interested in protecting against them.