2022 DRI Professional Liability Seminar

December 7–9, 2022 | New York, New York

Reviewing contract and liability

Join Us in New York City for the Latest on Professional Liability Claims!

Our world has changed—and keeps changing—since “the before time.” Before COVID-19 hit, Bostock v. Clayton County was decided, and a billion dollars became the new million dollars, times were different. With a newly sensitized pool of jurors and remote workers in every profession, people handling professional liability claims have had to adjust. Attend the 2022 Professional Liability Seminar in New York City and explore some of the significant changes—and similarities—in professional liability claims in 2022, 2023, and beyond.

View registration information here.

What You Will Learn:

  • Back by popular demand, the new and improved “Claims Jeopardy” where carriers give the inside scoop on what they really want from counsel when they are preparing for mediation
  • How we as a profession can advance becoming allies and partners with our LGBTQ+ community
  • How professionalism, always a cornerstone of the profession, should inform our interactions with our opponents and thereby advance our clients’ interests
  • How defining the relationship, in writing by engagement letters, or through clear understanding of to whom the professional’s duties run, can protect the professional and the client in the long run

Expand Your Network By:

  • With you in mind, we’ve expanded the breaks between each session, so attendees have time to meet new friends and greet old ones during the seminar
  • We’ll have a special outing which will make the event memorable and help you cement relationships until you meet again next year
  • DRI will host the cocktail networking receptions and we’ll coordinate Dine-Arounds
  • New York during the holiday season—how can you resist?!

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Thank You to DRI's Professional Liability Committee Leadership

Kathryn Whitlock
Kathryn S. Whitlock
Program Chair
Newt Marshall
Newton C. Marshall
Program Vice Chair
Jonathan Harwood
Jonathan R. Harwood
Committee Chair
Zandra Foley
Zandra E. Foley
Committee Vice Chair
Sharon Stuart
Sharon D. Stuart
Law Institute

Join the Professional Liability Committee

Registration Information

DRI Member Pricing: $995
Non-Member Pricing: $1,295

DRI Member Pricing: $1,295
Non-Member Pricing: $1,595

Early Bird Pricing: $695
Regular Pricing: $995

Register by November 7, 2022 to receive the early registration rate.

*If your membership recently lapsed, please renew your membership prior to registering to ensure you receive your discounted member rate. If you would like to join DRI to receive the member pricing and see the benefits of becoming a member, click here to go to the Application page.

Pricing: $895 per person

**Group registration is for registering 5 or more attendees, members and non-members. There is one free registration with every 10 registrations. You must lock in the rate three weeks prior to the seminar. If you want to register for the group pricing, please send an email to rstiner@dri.org (online registration is not available for this offering).

Financial Aid Policy

Individuals who demonstrate need may receive limited financial aid to attend DRI CLE programs.

Review the Policy (PDF)

Networking Events


Agenda with Speakers

*Schedule and Speakers subject to change

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Time (Eastern) Session Description
5:00 p.m. Registration
6:00 p.m. Networking Reception

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Time (Eastern) Session Description
6:00 a.m. DRI for Life: Mat Pilates with Monica McMahon

Monica McMahon of Get Fit Retreats will guide attendees for an hour-long mat pilates session. Bring a towel or your own mat and join fellow ICP and Professional Liability attendees for this complimentary session.
7:00 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:00 a.m. Welcome and Introduction

Sharon D. Stuart, Attorneys Insurance Mutual of the South, Hoover, AL
Kathryn S. Whitlock, Wood Smith Henning & Berman, LLP, Atlanta, GA
8:15 a.m. When the Contract may Conflict with the deal: Navigating Complexity in Negotiations (Ethics)

Lawyers often treat all negotiations similarly regardless of the underlying relationship between the parties. In certain circumstances, the parties may be engaging in relationship where they require each other’s support to succeed, and that has deliverables that may not be readily definable. Such situations may require a different mindset in negotiating that considers factors that are not typical in non-complex situations. This presentation will discuss how zealously representing a client in such situations may require a holistic approach that considers the consequences on how the underlying relationship will function given the terms achieved.

Ed Hansen, Nelson Mullins, New York, NY
9:15 a.m. Whose Fiduciary Am I and What Duties Do I Owe?

Whether a duty exists is generally a question of law. But some courts have held that the question of duty is to be examined on a "case-by-case basis" creating more questions than answers for professionals and their counsel. This panel will examine recognized fiduciary duties and the ways those duties arise for professionals including attorneys, experts, financial professionals, board members, and insurers.

The panel will explore how fiduciary obligations may arise in the context of “ordinary” arm’s length business relationships, guardians, ad litem, trustees, and how cybersecurity breaches have highlighted the expanding nature of the fiduciary obligations of corporate boards. Finally, the panel will consider defenses to breach of fiduciary duty claims and then analyze additional ethical challenges attorneys face when questions of fiduciary duty arise for themselves and their clients.

Katrina Smeltzer, Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard, Kansas City, MO
Deborah Bjes, Swiss Re, Chicago, IL
10:15 a.m. Refreshment Break
10:45 a.m. Emerging Risks for Architects and Engineers and How to Overcome Them

Condo collapses, supply chain issues, design build, preconstruction services, jobsite safety, contract terms, technical specifications, broad discovery, and juror social inflation - all are coming to a courthouse near you! Learn what new risks the A&E world is facing and how to protect your clients through proper contracts, discovery, and trial. A survey of professional liability carriers regarding claims and trends will be discussed along with responsive tactics to limit exposure to clients.

Daniel Buelow, WTW A&E, Chicago, IL
Anthony M. Carolei, Hanover, Somerset, NJ
11:45 a.m. Lunch (on your own)
1:30 p.m. What’s Trending in Real Estate (broker/agent) and Insurance (broker/agent) Claims

It’s not just about lawsuits – real estate brokers and related professionals have exposure to discrimination, licensing, and other violations brought by city, county, state, and federal agencies involving fair housing, human rights, discrimination, environmental, registration, and ethics. Resulting damages may include fines, sanctions, restitution, fees, or suspension as well as traditional damages, some of which may not be covered under a standard professional liability policy. Learn how to protect real estate professionals from administrative and legal claims.

Elizabeth Ives, AXA XL, Hartford, CT
Zachary Pyers, Reminger, Columbus, OH
2:30 p.m. Refreshment Break
3:00 p.m. Claims Jeopardy: Your Issues (In the Form of a Question)

This year’s crowd-sourced claims roundtable again spans all professional lines. Don’t miss your chance to ask burning questions about best practices for mediation including pre-mediation reporting (how/when/what), reserving (what the carrier needs and what they want – including TIME), and what happens after the mediation (i.e. why does the carrier need X days to pay, what are the essential terms of the agreement and who is a party to the agreement.

Kim Noble, Applied Financial Lines, Chicago, IL

Eileen Carlton, Arch Insurance, Jersey City, NJ
Jocelyn F. Cornbleet, Argo Group, Chicago, IL
Bryan Kirsch, Attorney Protective, Chicago, IL
4:30 p.m. Professional Liability Committee Business Meeting (open to all)
6:00 p.m. Networking Reception
7:30 p.m. Dine-Arounds (on your own)

Join colleagues and friends at selected restaurants for dinner.

Friday, December 9, 2022

Time (Eastern) Session Description
6:00 a.m. DRI for Life: Yoga with Monica McMahon

Monica McMahon of Get Fit Retreats will guide attendees for an hour-long yoga session. Bring a towel or your own mat and join fellow ICP and Professional Liability attendees for this complimentary session.
7:00 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:00 a.m. Welcome and Introduction

Newton C. Marshall, Karbal Cohen Economou Silk & Dunne LLC, Chicago, IL
8:15 a.m. The Crossroads: Where Allyship and Professionalism Intersect

Despite major changes in laws and norms surrounding the issue of same-sex marriage and the rights of LGBTQ people around the world, we still face an uphill battle in the legal industry regarding the acceptance of gender fluidity and identity. In this presentation, our distinguished panelists will discuss how professionalism must encompass awareness of gender identity issues and inclusivity of our LGBTQ colleagues.

Alona R. Croteau, CapSpecialty, Hartford, CT
Nicholas P. Smith, Dame Law PC, Atlanta, GA
9:15 a.m. Defining the Relationship: How Engagement Letters and Professional Service Contracts can Keep you Safe

The importance of not just engagement letters pertaining to attorneys but professional service contracts across all professions. This program will examine the importance of well-drafted engagement letters and professional service contracts to mitigate against exposure to professional negligence claims. Engagement letters and written services agreements should be included as part of the initial intake process for each and every matter for which the professional is engaged. Engagement letters and written services agreements which clearly define the scope and terms and conditions of the professional service relationship are essential to establish and manage client expectations from the outset of engagement. The distinguished panelists will address the common pitfalls that may be encountered by professionals when failing to use well-drafted engagement agreements or services contracts. Panelists will provide insight regarding best strategies for minimizing risk during the client intake process. Best practices and terms will be discussed based on current landscape of case law around the country.

Thomas G. Wilkinson, Jr., Cozen O'Connor, Philadelphia, PA
Christopher R. Heredia, CNA, Chicago, IL
Stacey K. Smith, ALPS, Missoula, MT
10:15 a.m. Refreshment Break
10:45 a.m. Navigating the Minefields of Representing the Cannabis Client (Focus on Accounting, but Include Lawyers and Others)

New York, like many other states, has now legalized the cultivation and sale of cannabis for recreational use. It is anticipated that the cannabis industry will bring over $3.5 billion in new revenue to New York and that it will employ over 30,000 people and spawn multiple new businesses from farms, to dispensaries, and packaging facilities, as well as multiple businesses to service this industry. Professionals advising businesses in this area are faced with unique challenges that exceed routine practice for lawyers, accountants, and others.

Melissa K. Roeder, Sinars Slowikowski Tomaska, Seattle, WA
Amber E. Storr, Hurwitz & Fine PC, Buffalo, NY
11:45 a.m. Playing In the Sandbox: Non-Lawyer Investment in the Legal Service Sector

The legal economy has faced numerous challenges over the last decade, but the popularity of “alternative business structures” as an innovative means to offer legal services is perhaps the most persistent one. Endorsed by several law schools, “think tanks” and bar associations, states experimenting with “ABS” relax traditional lawyer regulation and allow non-lawyers to invest in law firms or to provide legal services. Join us as we discuss the circumstances surrounding this movement and the regulatory/liability issues it brings.

Marta-Ann Schnabel, O’Bryon & Schnabel PLC, New Orleans, LA
Susan E. Gunter, Dutton Brock LLP, Toronto, ON, Canada
Thomas J. Hurney, Jr., Jackson Kelly PLLC, Charleston, WV
12:45 p.m. Adjourn


NEW in 2022 – 4 Additional On-Demand Programs Included With Every Seminar!

CLE Credit will be sought from every state requiring CLE hours in elimination of bias/diversity and inclusion, ethics, substance abuse/mental health and law practice management. The CLE grid will provide updated information concerning which courses have been approved by which states and for which credits. For states not requiring these special credits, general education credits will be sought.

Diversity/Elimination of Bias in the Profession

Batson v. Kentucky and its progeny were meant to eliminate bias in jury selection. But has that happened? This program will address that question and discuss issues of bias in the courtroom more broadly and will challenge viewers to recognize their own biases and to learn how those biases could affect their assessment of potential jurors, witnesses, judges, and adversaries. The program also will provide viewers with skills on how to identify the biases of potential jurors and how those biases could come into play during deliberations.

Stacy Douglas, Everett Dorey LLP, Irvine, CA
Gary Howard, Bradley, Birmingham, AL


Investigating claims and lawsuits often requires interviews with employees. Corporate in-house attorneys and their outside counsel need to be able to identify potential conflicts of interest and confidentiality issues with employees who may leave their employment and become opposing counsel’s best witness.

Kristie S. Crawford, Brown & James, Springfield, MO
Lauren Buford, Walgreen Co., Deerfield, Illinois 60015.

Mental Health & Attorney Wellness

Study after study suggests that lawyers aren’t happy. Continued unhappiness impacts performance, relationships, and physical health. That’s the bad news. The good news is that research proven interventions exist that increase happiness without requiring a radical change in circumstances. Even a slight increase in happiness has a lasting impact on both your current performance and resilience, not to mention, happier just feels better. This program will quickly, efficiently, and practically explain why happiness matters and offer tools you can use today to work, lead, and live happier.

Rebecca Morrison, Aldie VA

Law Practice Management

Law firms must operate more efficiently to ensure they can deliver high-quality services, handle more volume and maintain a profit margin in today’s climate of rate pressure and rising costs. Understanding Key Performance Indicators and law firm analytics concerning financial, operational and client service data are key to mastering law firm performance management. This presentation will address methods to collect information necessary for evaluating key areas of performance, identify tools and techniques to analyze data and generate action items and more.

Brian Kennel, PerformLaw, New Orleans, LA
Jan Sander, PerformLaw, New Orleans, LA
Sean Kennel, PerformLaw, New Orleans, LA

Hotel and Travel Information

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:

The hotel block is limited and rooms and rates are available on a first-come, first-served basis. You must make reservations by November 7, 2022 to be eligible for the hotel’s group rate. Requests for reservations made after that date 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.

CLE Information

Earn up to 9.50 hours of continuing legal education hours from this seminar.

Professional Liability CLE Grid (PDF)


DRI's Professional Liability Seminar is proudly sponsored by:

If you would like to contact DRI about seminar sponsorship opportunities, including pricing, or to reserve a spot, please go to Advertising and Sponsorship.

DRI Cares

New Alternatives

New AlternativesNew Alternatives is dedicated to reducing homelessness among LGBTQ+ youth and young adults in NYC by addressing areas critical to their development and well-being: housing, physical and mental health, education, and employment. Monetary donations assist in providing direct services and referrals to meet the needs of New Alternatives clients to ensure they survive and thrive. Donations will be collected through the DRI Foundation, and a donation will be made to New Alternatives on behalf of the DRI Foundation.

To donate online:

  1. Click the "Donate" button or scan the QR code below.
  2. If you have an account with DRI, log in. Use the same login that you registered for this seminar.
  3. If you do not have an account with DRI, create a guest account.
  4. Select from one of the gift amounts or set your own amount. The default value is $100.
  5. Select “Professional Liability” from "My SLC/Region" dropdown box.
  6. Click “Submit Donation.”
  7. The page will refresh. Click “View Cart” to checkout.
  8. Enter your credit card information and click “Submit Order” once all required information is entered.


Substantive Law Committee QR Code Foundation Contributions

Event Terms

Read the Event Terms including DRI’s Cancellation and Refund Policy

In-House Counsel and Claims Executives Initiatives

Read the In-House Counsel and Claims Executives Initiatives for DRI Seminars

Contact Us

If you have any questions or concerns regarding DRI programs, please contact DRI Customer Service at 312.795.1101 or custservice@dri.org.