2021 Insurance Coverage and Practice Symposium Agenda

Insurance Coverage and Practice Symposium Seminar

*Schedule and Speakers subject to change

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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Time (Eastern) Program
5:30 p.m. Women's Networking Reception
6:00 p.m. Registration and Networking Reception

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Time (Eastern) Program
7:00 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast
7:00 a.m. First-Time Attendees Breakfast
8:00 a.m. Welcome and Introduction

Daniel W. Gerber, Gerber, Ciano, Kelly, Brady, LLP, Buffalo, NY
Melanie C. Lockett, Lowe, Stein, Hoffman, Allweiss & Hauver, LLP, New Orleans, LA
8:10 a.m. COVID Related Claims and Coverage Issues

While the world grappled with the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic, a wave of lawsuits hit courts across the country claiming that businesses devastated by shutdown orders were entitled to coverage for their income losses under a common provision found in most commercial property insurance policies. This session will address the manner in which these cases unfolded, the conflicting decisions that followed, and important lessons for insurance coverage litigators.

John B. Mumford, Jr., Hancock Daniel, Richmond, VA
9:05 a.m. Impact of Social Movements

Social Movements including #metoo #timesup #blacklivesmatter #lovewins, coupled with the recent landmark decision, Bostock v. Clayton County, ignited an increased awareness and spawned increased litigation of claims resulting from civil unrest and employment discrimination. This session will identify relevant policies, provisions, and exclusions and consider the effect on underwriting.

Atoyia Harris, Proskauer Rose, LLP, New Orleans, LA
Sarannah L. McMurtry, Acceptance Insurance, Nashville, TN
Elaine M. Pohl, Plunkett Cooney, PC, Bloomfield Hills, MI
10:00 a.m. Refreshment Break
10:15 a.m. Carrier v. Carrier Litigation - The Double-Edged Sword

Carriers are litigating subrogation and bad faith claims against other carriers when trigger and allocation issues are not amicably resolved. This session will focus on the issues giving rise to these conflicts, evaluate the risks of pursuing carrier v. carrier litigation, and explore potential alternatives.

Richard Cammett, Amtrust Financial Services, Inc., Ipswich, MA
William K. McVisk, Tressler, LLP, Chicago, IL
11:10 a.m. Diversity and Inclusion in the Insurance Industry - How are we Doing?

Recognizing the importance of diversity, insurance companies implemented diversity initiatives, which reward employees and law firms for utilizing diverse legal talent and penalize those who do not. These initiatives further motivate law firms and the industry to attract diverse legal talent. Examine how we are doing from the perspective of in-house counsel and law firm management and how we may further advance these efforts.

Ellen Fine, ProSight Global, Inc., Morristown, NJ
Floyd Holloway, State Farm, New York, NY
Melissa Lin, Righi Fitch Law Group, Phoenix, AZ
Gordon K. Walton, Walton Law Group, LLC, Chicago, IL
12:00 p.m. Lunch (On your own)
1:20 p.m. Litigating the Bad Faith Failure to Settle Case

This session will provide practical tips on how to litigate bad faith failure to settle cases. It will also explore strategies to address privilege issues, difficult witnesses, and the critical need to memorialize advice to the insured about the extent of exposure.

Lee Murray Hall, Jenkins Fenstermaker, PLLC, Huntington, WV
Jeffrey Commisso, Sheppard Mullin, San Diego, CA
2:10 p.m. What is Privileged? An Examination of the Erosion of the Attorney-Client and Work-Product Privileges

Recent cases have challenged the discoverability of communications between coverage counsel and insurers. Policyholders and plaintiffs are pushing the boundaries of what is discoverable, which is particularly problematic when litigating bad faith claims. This session will help you understand the scope and utility of the privileges and how to preserve them for your clients.

Sean C. Griffin, Dykema Gossett, PLLC, Washington, D.C.
3:00 p.m. Refreshment Break
3:15 p.m. New Developments in Allocation of Long-Tail Claims, Trigger of Coverage Theories, and Exhaustion

Allocation of long-tail claims arising out of personal injury, property damage, and construction defects is intertwined with conflicting theories concerning the trigger of coverage and exhaustion, which creates complex issues for insurers and their outside counsel. We will explore the impacts of recent decisions and offer guidance for navigating the allocation landscape.

John T. Harding, Lewis Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith, LLP, Boston, MA
4:05 p.m. Strategies for Navigating Covered and Non-Covered Claims While Avoiding Bad Faith Failure to Settle Exposure

We are often faced with matters involving both covered and non-covered claims, which render carriers vulnerable to bad faith failure to settle exposure. Learn how to navigate these scenarious with affirmative procedural tactics, including declaratory judgments and interventions.

Charles A. Lynch, CapSpecialty, Farmington, CT
Joanna Roberto, Gerber, Ciano, Kelly, Brady, LLP, Buffalo, NY
5:00 p.m. Insurance Law Committee Meeting (Open to all)
6:00 p.m. Networking Reception
7:30 p.m. Dine-Arounds

Friday, December 10, 2021

Time (Eastern) Program
7:00 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:00 a.m. Welcome and Introduction

Matthew M. Haar, Saul, Ewing, Arnstein & Lehr, LLP, Harrisburg, PA
8:05 a.m. Was It Something I Said? Social Media and Coverage B

Social media facilitates connection, but it also presents evolving exposures. From defamation to privacy violations to intellectual property infringement, we will address the implications of internet communications under the "personal and advertising injury" coverage and examine how coverage responds to such web-based claims.

Daniel I. Graham, Jr., Nicolaides, Fink, Thorpe, Michaelides, Sullivan, LLP, Chicago, IL
8:55 a.m. Appraisal & Loss Settlement/Assignments

Appraisal and loss settlement/assignments are not always appropriate and are often used and abused. This session will take a closer look at what can and cannot be resolved and provide insight into the insurer's rights when an appraisal award is issued.

Christopher W. Martin, Martin, Disiere, Jefferson & Wisdom, Houston, TX
J. Mayer, Network Adjusters, Inc., Englewood, CO
9:45 a.m. Refreshment Break
10:00 a.m. Sex Abuse Claims

Analyzing coverage for child victim sex abuse cases can be challenging. Because many states have revival statutes, old policies are triggered. This session will detail strategies to streamline the identification of policies at issue and will address related allocation issues.

Dan D. Kohane, Hurwitz & Fine, PC, Buffalo, NY
10:50 a.m. Coverage for Cyber Incidents

Technology is vital. Conducting business virtually has become a new norm. However, reliance upon technology only increased the risk for potential data breaches. Evolving privacy threats are constantly evolving and include social engineering scams, classic data breaches, and breaches of biometric data. This session will dive into an analysis of CGL, D&O, and E&O policy terms and exclusions applicable to various data breach claims.

Monique Ferraro, The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company, New York, NY
Kenneth P. Williams, Segal, McCambridge, Singer & Mahoney, Ltd., Detroit, MI
11:40 a.m. A Return to Civility: Litigating Harmoniously With Policyholders and Plaintiffs

Acrimonious and hostile litigation tactics against insurers are on the rise. Do these tactics violate ethical obligations? If so, are we required to take action? In this session, we will examine the line between zealous advocacy and unprofessional conduct and discuss the obligation to ensure that the line does not continue to blur.

Honorable George J. Silver, New York City Courts, New York, NY
William G. Passannante, Anderson Kill, P.C., New York, NY
Kami Holmes, Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company, Grinnell, IA
Jonathan Schwartz, Goldberg Segalla, Chicago, IL
12:30 p.m. Perspectives from the Insurer-What Keeps Us Up at Night?

Industry panelists will discuss trends, tactics, and issues that are occurring. They will highlight those that create potential opportunities for creative coverage and defense counsel.

Brandon McCullough, HoustonHarbaugh, Pittsburgh, PA

Melissa Fernandez, Travelers Insurance, Stamford, CT
Robin LaFollette, Westport Insurance Corporation, Overland Park, KS
Wesley Sunu, Sentry Insurance, Stevens Point, WI
1:20 p.m. Adjourn

Registration and Hotel/Travel Information


DRI Member Pricing: $995
Non-Member Pricing: $1,195

DRI Member Pricing: $1,095
Non-Member Pricing: $1,295

DRI Member Pricing: $695
Non-Member Pricing: $695

Register by November 8, 2021 to receive the early registration rate. If you wish to have your name appear on the registration list distributed at the seminar and receive the course materials in advance, DRI must receive your registration by November 8, 2021. Registrations received after November 8, 2021 will be processed on-site.

*If your membership recently lapsed, please renew your membership prior to registering to ensure you receive your discounted member rate.


Hotel and Travel

A limited number of discounted hotel rooms have been made available at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel, 811 7th Avenue 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019. Take advantage of the group rate of $399.00 Single/Double in one of two ways:

  • Reserve Online
  • Contact the hotel directly at 212.581.1000 and mention DRI Seminars.

The hotel block is limited and rooms and rates are available on a first-come, first-served basis. You must make reservations by November 8, 2021, to be eligible for the hotel’s group rate. Requests for reservations made after November 8, 2021 are subject to room and rate availability. A small portion of your room rate offsets the costs of the seminar.


Travel Discounts: DRI is pleased to announce that discounted air fares are available on various major air carriers for DRI seminar attendees. To receive these discounts, please contact Direct Travel Ltd., DRI’s official travel provider, at 800.840.0908. If you would like to have access to the DRI online travel booking tool, you must complete a Business Travel Profile form at www.dt.com. Within 24 business hours, you will receive information on accessing the system.