2018 Professional Liability Roundtable Materials

Below is the conference agenda and meeting materials for your reference. To view speaker biographies, click here. If you have any questions, please email Melisa Maisel Vanis.

2018 Professional Liability Roundtable - May 17, 2018

12:45 - 1:00 p.m. 
Welcome and Introductions
Andrew Kopon Jr., IADC President, Kopon Airdo LLC, Chicago, IL
J. Calhoun Watson, Program Chair, Sowell Gray Robinson Stepp & Laffitte, LLC, Columbia, SC

1:00 - 2:00 p.m.
Cyber Monsters: Do You Really Think You are Safe? (Almost) Everything You Need to Know About Cyber Risk
This session will address the ever-changing world of cyber risk faced by practicing attorneys. Topics will include major cyber risks facing law firms today, applicable Rules of Professional Conduct and relevant opinions, plausible standards of care, potential legal malpractice exposure, and methods to help mitigate malpractice exposure. The panelists will also discuss the evolution of insurance coverage, identify potential coverage gaps, bring the audience up-to-date on coverage litigation, and provide thoughts on the future of cyber coverage. Panelists include a defense attorney, an insurance company claim attorney, and an underwriter for a leading provider of cyber liability insurance. 

Timothy J. Gephart, Minnesota Lawyers Mutual, Minneapolis, MN

Elizabeth (Libby) Benet, Beazley Group, Philadelphia, PA
Troy Crawford, Lawyers Mutual Liability Insurance Company of North Carolina, Cary, NC
Elizabeth S. Fitch, Righi Fitch Law Group, Phoenix, AZ


2:00 - 2:15 p.m. 
Refreshment Break

2:15 - 3:15 p.m. 
Diminished Capacity of Professionals: Dealing with the Monsters We Pretend Do Not Exist
What are the consequences of a client or colleague whose capacity is slipping? This panel will bring together company professionals and experienced professional liability counsel to discuss best practices in dealing with that professional down the hall who is developing, or worse, ignoring the signs of disabling conditions in his or her life. This monster can take the form of mental or degenerative issues that may creep up in old age or it can arise by stress of the job that impairs performance in crucial moments or routine situations. What are the exposures for professionals if the signs are ignored? Conversely, how can a carrier ensure it is providing the best possible service and that its relationship with its professional vendors is secure for the long haul? This panel will also address the steps a carrier can take, and must take, in a world where we all would like to believe that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Panelists will cover perspectives from both outside defense counsel and insurance professionals. 

Amy L.B. Hill, Gallivan, White & Boyd, P.A., Columbia, SC

Deborah Bjes, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, Chicago, IL
Gary E. Snodgrass, Pitzer Snodgrass, P.C., Saint Louis, MO
R. Douglas Vaughn, Deutsch Kerrigan, LLP, Gulfport, MS


3:15 - 3:30 p.m. 
Refreshment Break

3:30 - 4:30 p.m.
Artificial Intelligence: Robots, Monsters, or Helpful Friends?
This segment will explore the intersection of artificial intelligence with the professional obligations of attorneys and claims professionals. For the Luddites among us, the panel will discuss today’s basic and advanced technology: how artificial intelligence is already specifically impacting litigation and what new innovative technologies are shaping the insurance and claims industry. In addition, the panel will consider a multitude of practical and ethical issues facing practitioners in discovery/document production, due diligence, regulatory compliance, and supervisory obligations. Can the use of artificial intelligence impact an insurance professional’s liability for bad faith? How can practitioners handle issues that might arise in document production including the litigator’s obligations under the rules of civil procedure and the impacts of “burdensomeness” and “proportionality?” What are the best practices to avoid sanctions and liability when the production is driven by artificial intelligence? Panelists include outside counsel, an insurance company executive, and an e-discovery expert.

William H. Jordan, Sowell Gray Robinson Stepp & Laffitte, LLC, Columbia, SC

Rob Hellewell, Lighthouse eDiscovery, Seattle, WA
Mark Martin, CUNA Mutual Group, Madison, WI
Theodore M. Schaer, Zarwin Baum, Philadelphia, PA


4:30 - 5:30 p.m. 
Cocktail Reception