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Clearing the Backlog

Takeaways from the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee's recent webinar, “ADR and the Aftermath of COVID-19”

September 15, 2021 Photo

CLM’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee recently held a webinar entitled, “ADR and the Aftermath of COVID-19,” which included a discussion on how alternative dispute resolution is key to maintaining appropriate workloads as courts and claims organizations resume more standard operations. Below are a few key takeaways from the presentation.

12:00:00 p.m.

THE SPEAKERS
Kelly Hopper Moore, Claims Manager, State of Oregon

Ralph Woodard, Claims Manager, Navigators (a brand of The Hartford)

Jillisa O’Brien, Partner, Law Office of Jillisa L. O’Brien, P.C.

12:05:00 p.m.

Jillisa O’Brien

“Those of you in litigation as well as on the claims side can attest to the fact that even during the worst period of what we all know as the shutdown in March [2020]—and then perhaps reoccurring back in November and December to a certain extent—the volume of cases…did not stop.”

12:06:27 p.m.

Jillisa O’Brien

“So, with the impact of COVID-19…trying to manage the volume of all of those cases in a remote environment with courts potentially being backlogged has just resulted in this huge…lack of speed in being able to resolve cases.”

12:07:41 p.m.

Jillisa O’Brien

“Meanwhile, now you’ve got the trial dates which obviously all got dominoed into…a November, December, January, February of next year timeframe that just looks absolutely brutally ugly.”

12:10:33 p.m.

Kelly Hopper Moore

“To echo what Jillisa was saying, we are seeing all of those issues as well as some of the other outlined factors with some novel allegations and, interestingly enough, more challenges to liability standards than we historically see.”

12:12:07 p.m.

Ralph Woodard

“What needs to happen in getting the file into mediation? Well, of course, communication. You need to have conversations with…defense counsel. If you don’t have an attorney representing the insured, you need to have communications with the attorney…representing the claimant.”

12:16:22 p.m.

Ralph Woodard

“You just want to look at the data that determines what cases that you think you might have that are appropriate for mediation and what data you have that might support that move. Input from counsel is important—what is your communication plan? That’s always important. Who’s going to communicate, and who is going to play what role and part if you do mediate.”

12:19:05 p.m.

Kelly Hopper Moore

“It’s recommended to start with data analytics. That’s how we start with most of our initiatives in claims, and when you’re dealing with a backlog, you really want to try to get your arms around it and manage it. And having some data reviews and taking a look at those numbers can give you that holistic picture of the inventory.”

12:20:15 p.m.

Kelly Hopper Moore

“One of the overlooked factors in data review is that it’s a really helpful tool for momentum, as well. You can see again the aggregate of potential for inventory reduction to reach optimal resolution on cases. So, it really can help build momentum for an ADR initiative.”  

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About The Authors
Fran Clark

Fran Clark is SME Manager at CLM.  fran.clark@TheCLM.org

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