8:00-9:00: There are five section meetings on Wednesday.  Support these hard working members and attend one of these informative presentations.


When an insurer discovers during a claim investigation that the insured made a material misrepresentation in the application, the insurer’s usual response is to seek a judicial rescission of the policy.  But is rescission requesting voidance of the policy the only remedy available to the insurer?  What if the independent agent and not the insured made the misrepresentations in an application not signed by the insured?   Can the insurer- for strategic reasons – forego rescission and simply deny the claim based upon the material misrepresentations, and then assert the misrepresentations as an affirmative defense in the insured’s bad faith suit?  If so, what are the critical considerations favoring use of the misrepresentations as an affirmative defense as opposed to rescission?  This panel will lead a unique roundtable discussion of the rarely if ever discussed distinction between these two misrepresentation defenses.  The panel will also discuss the law and strategies necessary for coverage counsel to make an informed recommendation to the insurer for rescission or affirmative defense, and what defense counsel needs to know in defending the bad faith suit.  This is a must see program for insurance coverage and bad faith counsel. 

C. Michael Johnson, The Johnson Insurance Law Group, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia

Lola Hogan, CPCU ARM ARe, Pacific Grove, California

J. Lee Wright, QBE North America, Irvine, California

Lee Murray Hall, Jenkins Fenstermaker, PLLC, Huntington, West Virginia

View and download the paper here.

TOXIC TORT – ENVIRONMENTAL LAW SECTION: Amphibian Attack: Plaintiffs’ Increasing Use of the Reptile Theory

This presentation will discuss what the Reptile Theory is and why the plaintiff’s appeal to emotions and community danger should not be allowed in the courtroom.  This roundtable discussion will address the various Reptile tactics the plaintiffs’ bar attempts to use, and what the defense can counter with to kill the snake.

Kurtis B. Reeg, Goldberg Segalla LLP, St. Louis, Missouri

View and download the paper here.

PROPERTY INSURANCE SECTION: Analysis of Property Insurance Coverage Issues That Arise Out of Extreme Weather Events

Although a subject of constant debate, many scientists are predicting that climate change is and will be destabilizing the United States meteorological system, and will cause extreme weather events such as epic floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, hailstorms and wild fires.  Needless to say, if those predictions hold true, property insurance carriers are likely to be seriously impacted.  This open forum will explore and engage members with emerging legal issues and coverage questions resulting from claims arising out extreme weather events.  Discussion points include proving or disproving weather related property claims through the use of qualified experts, the latest technological advancements, the use and misuse of public insurance adjusters, evolution of the appraisal process and assignment of insurance benefits.

Mike Kiernan, Traub, Lieberman, Straus & Shrewsberry LLP, St. Petersburg, Florida

Joyce C. Wang, Carlson, Calladine & Peterson, LLP, San Francisco, California

William R. Lewis, Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig, LLP, Tampa, Florida

W. Neil Rambin, Sedgwick, LLP, Dallas, Texas

View and download the paper here.

PREMISES AND SECURITY LIABILITY LAW SECTION AND TRANSPORTATION SECTION: Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?  The Perils of In-Fighting in the Defense of a Catastrophic Loss

The panel discussion in this unlikely paring of sections will be generated from a fictitious catastrophic loss case and three scenarios arising from the fact pattern.  The panel will lead a group discussion from the varying perspectives of the insured, the primary insurer, excess insurer, and the attorneys representing each.  The questions to be discussed include who has the duty as opposed to the right to control the litigation, the primary or excess insurer when it is known that excess limits are implicated but the primary insurer has not exhausted its limits of liability.  What potential ethical issues arise between defense counsel and oversight counsel?  What are the potential coverage and bad faith issues the insurer must navigate while the defense team, at the same time, tries to achieve the best outcome for the claim?  Come and learn how to lead your client in the catastrophic case to a momentous result.

Sean W. Martin, Carr Allison, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Jennifer D. Eubanks, Canal Insurance Company, Greenville, South Carolina

Kurt M. Rozelsky, Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP, Greenville, South Carolina

View and download the paper here.

APPELLATE LAW SECTION AND LIFE, HEALTH, AND DISABILITY SECTION: Strategies for Seeking or Opposing Discretionary Appellate Review

This roundtable discussion will be based upon a hypothetical case scenario regarding under what conditions trial and appellate counsel may want to seek discretionary interlocutory appellate review of critical rulings made by the trial court during litigation.  What factors should defense counsel consider, such as cost, delay, client benefit, impact on the broader development of the law, and whether the particular case has the right ultimate issues for an interlocutory appeal?  The panel will lead a discussion that includes Section 1292(b) certification, Rule 54(b) certification, the collateral order doctrine, class actions, and issues of certification to a state supreme court.  The panel will also address what defense counsel can do when the shoe is on the other foot, opposing plaintiff’s petition for interlocutory appellate review. 

Anthony J. Zarillo, Jr., Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland Perretti LLP, Morristown, New Jersey

Wystan M. Ackerman, Robinson & Cole LLP, Hartford, Connecticut

Charles T. Frazier, Jr., Alexander Dubose Jefferson & Townsend LLP,  Dallas, Texas

View and download the paper here.

9:00-9:30: Networking Opportunity

9:30-12:00: Plenary Session


Prepare to be motivated, educated, entertained, and enthralled as a “few good” past Federation Presidents share over 200 collective years of hard-earned wisdom and experience on law practice, life in the Federation, and life in general.  Each former Federation President will share in 1 to 2 minute snippets, or in 1 to 2 words, what they wish they had known when they joined the Federation, that they know now.  Derive the benefit from what our past-Presidents wish they had known then, that you can employ now.  Enjoy wisdom from these “vintage bottles” for what was a very good year when they served as President of our beloved Federation. 

Lewis F. Collins, Jr., Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig, LLP, Tampa, Florida

John R. Trigg, Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell LLP, Denver, Colorado

Jack T. Riley, Jr., Johnson & Bell, Ltd., Chicago, Illinois

John R. Woodard, III, Coffey, Senger & McDaniel PLLC, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Robert V. Dewey, Jr., Peoria, Illinois

Jeane M. Lawler, Murchison & Cumming, LLP, Los Angeles, California

Victoria H. Roberts, Meadowbrook Insurance Group, Scottsdale, Arizona

Steven L. Barney, TrueNorth ADR, LLC, Petoskey, Michigan

Michael T. Lucey, Gordon & Rees, LLP, San Francisco, California

Dan D. Kohane, Hurwitz & Fine, PC, Buffalo, New York

F. Thomas Cordell, Frailey, Chaffin, Cordell, Perryman, Sterkel, McCalla & Brown, LP, Chickasha, Oklahoma

Edward M. Kaplan, Sulloway & Hollis PLLC, Concord, New Hampshire

Michael I. Neil, Neil Dymott Frank McFall & Trexler APLC, San Diego, California

Timothy A. Pratt, Boston Scientific Corporation, Marlborough, Massachusetts 

Douglas G. Houser, Bullivant Houser Bailey, PC, Portland, Oregon

D. Dudley Oldham, Norton Rose Fulbright, Houston, Texas

10:05-11:00: NED Talks

Whether a lawyer, banker, or candlestick maker, there are certain emotions and traits that we experience as we journey through life.  Join us for this unique plenary session based upon the TED Talks® format by our five speakers, one of whom is a highly decorated war veteran and former Naval Seal Director, who each will offer an intensive talk on determination, balance, integrity, hope, and leadership.

Victor R. Anderson, III, Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP, Los Angeles, California

Elizabeth F. Lorell, Gordon & Rees, LLP, Florham Park, New Jersey

Robert A. Biggs, III, Biggs Ingram & Solop, PLLC, Jackson, Mississippi

Lauren S. Curtis, Traub Lieberman Straus & Shrewsberry LLP, St. Petersburg, Florida

Rear Admiral Ray Smith, USN (Ret.), San Diego, California. Rear Admiral Smith graduated from the Naval Academy in 1967.  He served in the Vietnam conflict and later as Director of SEAL training, where he achieved the highest graduation rate in the history of the school.  In addition to serving as Executive Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Rear Admiral Smith served as Commanding Officer of SEAL Delivery Team ONE.  During Operation Desert Storm, his force successfully completed 270 combat missions.  Between 1992 and 1996, Rear Admiral Smith commanded the entire SEAL force of 2,300.  He ultimately became Deputy Commander in Chief of the 47,000 United States Special Operations Forces.  Rear Admiral Smith's awards include the Defense Distinguished and Superior Service medals, five Legion of Merit awards, and the Bronze Star and Navy Commendation Medal (4 awards) with V's.

View and download the paper here.

11:00-12:00: Aurora!

At 12:05 a.m., “The Dark Knight Rises” began playing at the Century 16 movie theater at the Aurora, CO Town Center.  Attending moviegoers dressed as characters from this popular Batman sequel.  Twenty-four year-old James Holmes, thinking himself dressed as the Joker, bought a ticket and seated himself in the theater.  After the movie began, he left through an emergency exit, propped open the door, got dressed in riot gear and re-entered the theater.  He tossed gas canisters and began shooting into the crowd.  Unsuspecting moviegoers initially thought it was a stunt.  In the horrifying aftermath, twelve people were killed and fifty-eight were injured.  Holmes was tried for the mass murder and mayhem, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.  Multiple suits for wrongful death and personal injury were filed against the theater.  Be prepared to be spellbound as the Deputy District Attorney from the prosecutorial team in the criminal case walks us through the tragic events leading up to the shootings, while going into the mind of the shooter as he carried out his plan.  What evidence swayed the jury in its deliberation leading to the conviction and what was the impact of the shooter’s insanity defense?   But the presentation will go much further than focusing on the shooter.  We will hear about the impact on the victims and the families of the deceased.  The program will then segue into how such a criminal trial can impact the defense of the civil action brought against the movie theater where such crimes are increasing with horrifying frequency.  In light of the emotionally charged nature of the shootings, the impact on the victims, and the claimed insanity defense to the criminal charges, how can lawyers defending a civil case mount an effective defense?  How can evidence from a criminal case such as Aurora play out in a civil case arising from the same event?  

Rounding out this presentation will be the potential insurance coverage issues arising in the civil suit.  With multiple deaths and a large number of injuries, how can an insurer deal with limits of liability potentially less than total exposure in such cases?  

John P. Rahoy, Brown & James, PC, St. Louis, Missouri

Stacy A. Broman, Meagher & Geer PLLP, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Lisa Teesh-Maguire, Rocky Mountain Victim Law Center, Denver, Colorado

Kyle P. Seedorf, Taylor Anderson LLP, Denver, Colorado

View and download the paper here.