Wrangling a Career
Fitch grew up on a cattle ranch riding horses, hauling water, and caring for newborn calves under harsh conditions that included both drought and blizzards. Her family urged her to pursue a professional career, so she looked to trial law, which she views as a natural progression since trial attorneys also work hard under difficult conditions, except for one key difference: They don’t have to worry about the weather.
“Ranchers value tenacity, resilience, and individual responsibility, and they filter decisions through the prism of a risk/benefit analysis.”
Fitch, explaining the similarity of values between ranchers and insurers/claims professionals, which she says guided her to insurance defense.
What are some of the trends Fitch is seeing in the courtroom in 2022? She says the plaintiffs’ bar is emboldened by the success of reptile theory-based tactics, third-party litigation funding, increasing verdict values, and time-sensitive policy limit demands to leverage higher settlements. When it comes to countering reptile approaches, she says recognizing it and employing a counterstrategy early is the key to success.
“Innovation, inclusiveness, and community.”
Fitch, listing three reasons why she loves CLM. In particular, she most admires CLM’s intentionality to inclusion and diversity, which she says maximizes engagement between members and fellows.
Fitch serves as co-dean of CLM’s Claims College’s School of Cyber and says new technology that exploits the human condition via social engineering scams is the most disturbing trend she is seeing, citing deepfake technology as a prime example. Ransomware and wire transfer fraud, she adds, also continue to be a multi-billion-dollar industry.
“Ranching isn’t a hobby; it’s a way of life.”
Fitch, who says she is a cowgirl through and through. Recently, her father and his two brothers were inducted into the Arizona Ranchers Hall of Fame. At the same time, she was honored as past president and trailblazer by the Arizona Association of Defense Counsel.