DRI Faculty List

2021 Insurance Coverage and Practice Symposium

Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel | New York | December 9 - 10, 2021

Jeffrey Commisso
Special Counsel
Sheppard Mullin Richter

Jeffrey Commisso brings extensive insurance-litigation and insurance industry experience to his clients. He committed his early career to advising and representing insurance companies in high-stakes litigation where he established a reputation for thoughtful, efficient, and results-focused representation. In the 2010s he began what would be nearly a decade as a claims officer and inside claims counsel for Fortune-500 carriers where he led claims personnel and oversaw more than two billion dollars in exposure at any one time. His inside experience provides valuable insight into the needs and calculations of key stakeholders, including underwriters and actuaries, and the factors they consider when evaluating risk, identifying trends, or developing new products. He returned to practice in 2020, again representing carriers in litigation and at trial, where he puts his industry experience to effective use. He is a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) and an active member of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel and the Defense Research Institute. Given his unique background and perspective, Jeffrey is sought out frequently as an expert speaker on insurance issues.

Jennifer D. Eubanks
Senior Staff Attorney
Canal Insurance Co

Jennifer D. Eubanks is Director of Claims Legal at Canal Insurance Company, in Greenville, South Carolina. She assists the Claims organization with litigation management, litigation strategy, coverage issues and coverage training. She also manages appeals and coverage litigation involving Canal Insurance Company, including extra-contractual litigation, and is involved in Canal's insurance product development. Prior to joining Canal, she was in private practice for 20 years, handling exclusively coverage matters, including extra-contractual litigation.

Melissa Fernandez
Senior Counsel

Melissa Fernandez is Senior Counsel for the Major Case Unit of Travelers Claim Legal Liability Group, and provides coverage advice, litigation management and other legal services to Travelers complex claim professionals. She earned an A.B. in Psychology, summa cum laude, from Princeton University in June 2004. Melissa is also a 2007 graduate of New York University School of Law, and was an Articles Editor for NYU's Journal of Legislation and Public Policy. Melissa began her legal career at the firm of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, LLP in New York as an associate in the firm's Capital Markets and Litigation Groups. She then clerked for the Honorable Vanessa L. Bryant, United States District Court Judge, District of Connecticut. Melissa joined the Stamford, Connecticut office of Wiggin & Dana upon completion of her clerkship, where she focused her practice on a broad spectrum of civil litigation and was a member of the firm's Insurance and White Collar Practice Groups.

Monique Ferraro, CISSP, CIPP/US, CIPM, FIP
The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company

Monique Ferraro, CISSP, CIPP/US, CIPM, FIP provides legal and technical expertise in support of Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection & Insurance Company Global Cyber Products. Ms. Ferraro's cybersecurity and privacy experience spans more than twenty-five years in digital forensics, e-discovery, information security and privacy. Ms. Ferraro holds a master's degree and a JD. She is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), a Fellow of Information Privacy, Certified Information Privacy Professional/US (CIPP/US) and Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM).

Ellen D. Fine
Litigation Manager
ProSight Specialty Insurance

Ellen D. Fine is the Litigation Manager at ProSight Specialty Insurance Company. She has more than 25 years of experience working for major insurance companies including ACE (now Chubb), Gulf (now Travelers) and The Argo Group, managing insurance coverage litigation as well as complex claims arising out of a wide variety of product lines, including General Liability, D&O, E&O, Excess and Umbrella, Entertainment, Transportation, Environmental, Asbestos and Product Liability in leadership roles. Prior to her work with insurance companies, she was in private practice in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania as a litigator. She is a graduate of Boston University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and the New England School of Law, where she earned a Juris Doctor degree.

Daniel W. Gerber
Gerber Ciano Kelly Brady LLP

Daniel W. Gerber is a founding partner of Gerber Ciano Kelly Brady LLP. Mr. Gerber chairs the firm's Insurance Solutions Practice Group. He maintains an international practice in complex insurance coverage and reinsurance matters. He has served as an expert witness in insurance disputes all over the United States. In addition, he advises insurance and reinsurance companies on regulatory risks and compliance. Among his many leadership roles, Gerber is a former member of the DRI Board of Directors and is a current member of the DRI Law Institute. Gerber is a former Chair of the Life, Health, Disability, and ERISA Committee.

Daniel I. Graham, Jr.
Nicolaides Fink Thorpe Michaelides Sullivan

Daniel I. Graham, Jr., a founding partner in his firm, assists his insurance company clients in evaluating the coverage issues that intellectual property infringement, privacy, and unfair business practice claims present. He represents his clients' interests in technology-related coverage disputes throughout the country at both the trial and appellate level. Recognized by Leading Lawyers Network, Chambers USA, and Super Lawyers, Dan is an active and enthusiastic member of DRI's Insurance Law Committee.

Sean C. Griffin
Dykema Gossett PLLC

Sean C. Griffin is a member in the Washington, D.C. office of Dykema. He litigates breach of contract and fraud cases before courts, arbitrators, and mediators around the country. He also responds to subpoenas investigating violations of federal or state laws, including the False Claims Act, anti-bribery laws, and securities laws and regulations. Additionally, he assists clients with data security and responding to data breaches.

Matthew M. Haar
Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP

Matthew M. Haar is a litigation attorney in Saul Ewing's Harrisburg office and is a member of the firm's Insurance Practice Group. He focuses his practice on corporate and commercial litigation with an emphasis on complex coverage and bad faith disputes, as well as administrative proceedings and rehabilitations and liquidations. Mr. Haar also routinely handles extra-contractual liability cases for other clients in the financial services industry, such as banks, trust companies, producers and credit card companies, as well as agents and brokers in the real estate industry. A frequent speaker on the law of bad faith, Mr. Haar is an active member of DRI's Insurance Law Committee, chair of its Bad Faith Subcommittee and previously served as co-editor of the committee's monthly e-newsletter Covered Events.

Lee Murray Hall
Jenkins Fenstermaker PLLC

Lee Murray Hall is a Member of Jenkins Fenstermaker PLLC where she practices coverage, bad faith and defense work throughout West Virginia. Lee is past President of the Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia and serves as the President of the West Virginia Board of Law Examiners. She was named on the list of Top 10 attorneys in West Virginia in 2014 and 2015 and was named the 2016 Defense Attorney of the Year for the State of West Virginia by Defense Trial Counsel. Lee is a member of FDCC, IADC and DRI.

John T. Harding
Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP

John T. Harding is a partner who practices in his firm's Insurance and Bad Faith Group. John's practice is concentrated in the areas of insurance coverage litigation and advice, reinsurance disputes and arbitrations, and "bad faith" litigation. John has more than twenty-seven years of experience in representing domestic and foreign insurers on a national basis in coverage disputes under CGL, excess, umbrella, commercial property, homeowners, auto and other specialized policies, and extensive experience in the trial of complex coverage cases.

Atoyia Scott Harris
Proskauer Rose LLP

Atoyia Scott Harris practices Labor and Employment at Proskauer Rose and is a member of Proskauer's Employment Litigation & Counseling Group. Atoyia has advised and successfully defended matters on a wide variety of issues, provides employment-based training and conducts in-house investigations. She is an appointed member of the DRI Membership Committee and member of the DRI Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Atoyia received her Bachelor of Music in Industry Studies with emphasis in classical piano from Loyola University New Orleans and was member of Loyola's Women's Basketball Team. She received her Juris Doctorate and International Law Certification from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law.

Floyd Holloway
General Counsel
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company

Floyd Holloway is Counsel in the State Farm Law Department. He has been an active member of Law Dept.'s D&I Committee for a number of years, working on law firm diversity issues. He has served on the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity and currently represents State Farm on the Board of The Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession.

Dan D. Kohane
Hurwitz & Fine PC

Dan D. Kohane a Senior Member of Hurwitz & Fine, P.C., is a nationally recognized insurance coverage counselor who serves as an expert witness, conducts extensive training, consultation and in-house seminars on this highly specialized practice. Mr. Kohane is known in the industry for his comprehensive newsletter, Coverage Pointers, a bi-weekly publication summarizing important insurance coverage decisions. He teaches Insurance Law as an adjunct professor at the University at Buffalo Law School and heads the firm's Insurance Coverage practice group.

Robin LaFollette
Head of Prof Advisors Claims
Swiss Reinsurance America

Robin LaFollette is the Head of Fin Pro Claims for Swiss Re Corporate Solutions. Her team handles claims for various lines of business, including E&O (lawyers and insurance agents and brokers), executive risk, transactional liability and cyber. She is a graduate of IIT/Chicago-Kent College of Law and the University of Missouri, Kansas City.

Melissa Lin
Righi Fitch Law Group

Melissa Lin is an AV rated partner at Righi Fitch Law Group in Phoenix, Arizona. Her trial practice includes general liability, personal injury, employment, insurance coverage and bad faith, construction, product liability, and data privacy and cyber security. She was named a 2021-2022 Best Lawyer in America in Construction Law and a 2012-2019 Southwest Super Lawyers Rising Star.

Melanie C. Lockett
Lowe Stein Hoffman Allweiss & Hauver LLP

Melanie C. Lockett is a partner at Lowe, Stein, Hoffman, Allweiss & Hauver LLP, in New Orleans, Louisiana. She enjoys a diverse trial and appellate practice with an emphasis on insurance coverage and defense in the areas of commercial general liability, professional liability, extra-contractual liability, surplus lines, employment and bad faith. Melanie is a steering committee member for the DRI Insurance Law Committee and DRI Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She has also served as a member of the DRI Law Institute.

Charles A. Lynch
Claims Counsel

Charles A. Lynch joined CapSpecialty in 2014 as Claims Counsel. He manages coverage litigation and extra-contractual litigation involving all lines of business and provides counsel to adjusters handling professional liability claims and property and casualty claims.

Christopher W. Martin
Senior Partner
Martin Disiere Jefferson & Wisdom LLP

Christopher W. Martin is the founding Partner of Martin, Disiere, Jefferson & Wisdom in Texas, a prolific trial lawyer of bad faith insurance cases, Professor of Insurance Law (Baylor Law School (2017- present) & University of Houston Law School (1995-2005)) and the author of 3 legal treatises and more than 150 articles on insurance law.

Kathleen J. (Kathy) Maus
Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig LLP

Kathleen J. (Kathy) Maus is a Partner of Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig LLP, is active in her firm's bad faith, casualty, and first/third party insurance coverage practices. She is a recognized Super Lawyer in Insurance Coverage and a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer. Her memberships are varied, including Past Board Member of DRI and current DRI Insurance Law Committee Chair. Kathy is an author and served as a speaker at numerous seminars on issues including first and third party coverage and bad faith.

R. Brandon McCullough
Houston Harbaugh PC

R. Brandon McCullough is a director and shareholder at Houston Harbaugh, P.C. in Pittsburgh, PA, where he focuses his practice on insurance coverage and bad faith litigation and commercial and business litigation. Mr. McCullough represents insurers in a wide array of coverage and bad faith disputes involving numerous types of commercial and personal lines policies, including disputes over coverage for construction defects, environmental contamination latent and progressive injuries, first-party property losses, and auto liability. Mr. McCullough is a member of the Insurance Law Committee of DRI, where he currently serves as Compendium Chair and Vice Chair of the Commercial General Liability Subcommittee.

Sarannah L. McMurtry
SVP General Counsel
First Acceptance Insurance

Sarannah L. McMurtryis Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Acceptance Insurance in Nashville, TN. Ms. McMurtry manages all extracontractual claims and suits filed against the company. She began her tenure at Acceptance as Claims Counsel in 2006. Prior to joining Acceptance, she was in private practice as an insurance defense attorney for eight years in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and an additional seven years in Tennessee primarily handling coverage and bad faith matters. Ms. McMurtry is a member of DRI and is the Industry Co-Chair for the Bad Faith and Extra Contractual Liability Seminar for 2021. Ms. McMurtry is also a frequent speaker and lecturer on topics involving insurance coverage, bad faith and litigation management.

William K. McVisk
Tressler LLP

William K. McVisk is with Tressler LLP in Chicago. Bill focuses his practice on complex insurance coverage litigation, and hospital law and medical liability. He has handled all areas of coverage and bad faith litigation, especially third-party bad faith and coverage litigation involving commercial general liability, professional liability coverages, as well as personal lines coverages such as auto and homeowners coverages.and focuses on complex insurance coverage litigation. He has published numerous articles on insurance coverage. He is a fellow in the American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel, and is an active member of the DRI Insurance Law Committee. He has tried numerous serious cases, including insurance bad faith cases and personal injury cases with injuries as severe as brain damage and death.

John B. Mumford
Hancock Daniel & Johnson PC

John B. Mumford leads Hancock Daniel's insurance coverage practice group from the firm's office in Richmond, Virginia. John represents insurance companies in litigating coverage disputes and bad faith claims in multiple jurisdictions. He also advises insurers on coverage related matters, such as extra-contractual liability avoidance and the handling of complex claims with coverage issues.

William G. Passannante
Anderson Kill PC

William G. Passannante is a nationally recognized authority on policyholder insurance recovery in D&O, E&O, asbestos, environmental, property, food-borne illness, and other insurance disputes, with an emphasis on insurance recovery for corporate policyholders and educational and governmental institutions. Mr. Passannante is co-chair of Anderson Kill's Insurance Recovery group. He is also a member of Anderson Kill's Cyber Insurance Recovery group and the COVID Task group. He has represented policyholders in major precedent-setting cases argued in trial and appellate courts throughout the country. Law360 recognized Mr. Passannante as 2013 MVP in the Insurance category, and he has been recognized in Chambers USA in every year since 2006 as a leading insurance recovery attorney. The Legal 500 United States consistency includes him on their elite "Leading lawyers" list and he is recommended for Insurance - advice to policyholders. Since 2010, Mr. Passannante has been selected by his peers for listing in The Best Lawyers in America. He has also been rated "AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated," the top rating, 5.0 out of 5.0, by his peers and was also designated a 2020 Top Rated Lawyer as listed in Martindale Hubbell.

Elaine M. Pohl
Plunkett Cooney PC

Elaine M. Pohl is a shareholder with Plunkett Cooney PC in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. She maintains a national practice counseling insurers in complex property and casualty insurance coverage disputes. Ms. Pohl is active in DRI's Insurance Law Committee, presently serving as an editor of DRI's Covered Events publication. She is also the chair of the Insurance and Indemnity Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan.

Joanna M. Roberto
Gerber Ciano Kelly Brady LLP

Joanna M. Roberto of Gerber Ciano Kelly Brady, LLP concentrates her practice in complex insurance coverage and commercial litigation. She serves as counsel for multi-national insurers and litigates all phases of DJ actions including international arbitrations. She counsels clients on risk management, underwriting and claims practices. She is the CLE Chair for the Torts Insurance and Compensation Law Section of the NYS Bar Association and served as commentator for Mealey's Litigation Reports. Joanna is multi-lingual, studied and worked in Italy and has a degree in linguistics. She is familiar with and appreciates international claims practices because of her experience in handling claims in South America and Europe.

Jonathan L. Schwartz
Goldberg Segalla LLP

Jonathan L. Schwartz is a partner in the Global Insurance Services Practice Group of Goldberg Segalla. He resides in the Chicago office and is admitted to practice in Illinois, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and in the federal district courts in Michigan and Ohio. Jonathan concentrates his practice on insurance coverage litigation and counseling, including primary and excess commercial general liability, commercial auto and trucking liability, and commercial and residential property insurance policies. He is also the Chair of Goldberg Segalla's Cyber Risk Coverage practice. Jonathan is the regular host of Goldberg Segalla's weekly podcast, Timely Notice.

The Honorable George J. Silver
New York Supreme Court

The Honorable George J. Silverserves as Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for the New York City Courts. In this capacity, he is responsible for the handling of the day-to-day court operations for the Trial Courts in New York City. Judge Silver has served on the bench since 2004 when he was elected to the Civil Court of the City of New York. In January 2010, Judge Silver was appointed a Supreme Court Justice by designation and assigned to Supreme Court, New York County. In 2012, Judge Silver was elected to the Supreme Court of the State of New York. Judge Silver is involved in many community-based organizations and bar associations and currently serves as co-chair of the Ethics and Professional Committee of The Torts, Insurance Compensation Law Section of the New York State Bar Association.

Gordon K. Walton

Gordon K. Walton, the founding partner of Walton Law Group, LLC in Chicago, Illinois, has nearly 30 years of experience in insurance coverage litigation representing insurance companies throughout the United States in a variety of matters, including coverage analysis, extra-contractual and bad faith analysis, coverage mediation/arbitration, and trial.

Tom Werlein
Associate Counsel
Sentry Insurance Legal Dept

Tom Werlein is Associate Counsel for Insurance Operations in the Legal Department at Sentry Insurance where he provides services in the areas of litigation management, underwriting, sales, and claims (including bad faith, extracontractual issues, and UNCP). Prior to Sentry, Tom worked for the oldest and one of the largest medical malpractice carriers providing legal and regulatory services. In his career, Tom has tried lawsuits, handled claims, written insurance policy forms, and taught classes but he is most proud to serve as Sentry's chair of the Legal subcommittee for the upcoming 2023 USGA Senior Open to be held at SentryWorld.

Kenneth P. Williams
Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney

Kenneth P. Williams represents insurers and provides coverage advice for both commercial and personal lines carriers on an array of issues including cybersecurity coverage, rideshare coverage and injury litigation. He represents insurers in bad faith and declaratory relief lawsuits in cases involving general liability, homeowner, auto, along with E&O policies, among others.