Sharon Donaldson Stuart

Sharon Donaldson Stuart

Committee Chair Corner – Insurance and Reinsurance Committee
Sharon Donaldson Stuart
Christian & Small LLP

What do reservations of rights, the duty to defend, and avoiding bad faith have in common with opioids, climate change, and autonomous vehicles? The answer is, "an awful lot." Insurance plays a huge role in many of the key legal issues facing the world. For this reason, the Insurance and Reinsurance Committee addresses a wide variety of topics important not only to insurers and insurance practitioners, but to virtually every other practice area within the IADC. Our Committee is large and vibrant, with active participation from our international and U.S. members, as well as in-house and claims counsel. I am honored to serve as Chair of the Insurance and Reinsurance Committee, and I am excited about the great work the Committee is doing to further the IADC's 2018-19 theme: One World, One Mission, One IADC.


The wide substantive reach of our Committee is reflected in our robust continuing legal education programs, Webinars, and publications. Through the good work of our Programs and Projects Vice Chair, John Harding, we are pleased to present CLE at the 2019 Midyear Meeting on the timely topics of the "ALI Insurance Restatement: Participants' Perspective," and "Public Entities' Climate Change Nuisance Litigation: An Update on the Cases and Where They are Going." Our Webinar Vice Chair, Maritza Pena, is also on the lookout for timely Webinar topics. Please email Maritza at or John at if you have ideas for Webinars or seminar presentations. 


Our Newsletter Vice Chair, Bryan Bolton,, has developed a schedule where each of our substantive subcommittees is responsible for two articles a year. Likewise, Brian Weiss,, is Vice Chair of Defense Counsel Journal, which publishes scholarly, peer-reviewed articles. Through these publications, we are able to provide a wide variety of content across the many insurance practice areas in which our members engage. If you have an idea for a newsletter article or Defense Counsel Journal publication, please contact one of these Vice Chairs.


Neftali Garro,, is our Vice Chair of International. Through Neftali's leadership, we are working to expand our international involvement in Latin America, and throughout the world. 


Our Vice Chair of Diversity, Karen Karabinos,, ensures that our recruiting and programming reaches diverse attorneys. If you know of diverse attorneys who should be members of the Insurance and Reinsurance Committee, please contact Karen.

Corporate Counsel and Insurance Executives

We are fortunate to have many in-house counsel and insurance executives among our members. Natalie Furniss (, our Vice Chair of Corporate Counsel, and Sonia Valdes (, our Vice Chair of Insurance Executives, are working to increase the number of corporate members in our ranks and improve opportunities for their involvement. Please contact Sonia or Natalie if you are corporate counsel or an insurance executive who would like to become involved, or if you would like to propose a corporate counsel or insurance executive for committee membership.


Doug Vaughn is our Vice Chair of Membership. Doug is on the lookout for new in-house and outside counsel members for our Committee from the U.S. and abroad. If you would like to nominate a potential member, please contact Doug at and he will facilitate the process.


Last year, our Committee was proud to earn one of IADC's "Defensie" Awards as a Committee that made regular contributions for visibility efforts. We intend to build on that focus this year by publishing items of interest to our members and by using the listserv to inform our members of upcoming Committee events. Please contact our Communications Vice Chair, Mitch Smith, at to help publicize interesting news for the Committee.

Former Chairs

Our Committee is grateful to our colleagues who have served as former chairs of this Committee.  To that end, my predecessor Lisa Bondurant created a somewhat unique, but important position – Vice Chair of Former Chairs. Mike Hamilton,, currently serves in this role and will help keep our former Chairs involved in the work of the committee.

Substantive Vice Chairs

Because of the vast breadth of insurance topics, we have five Vice Chairs whose subcommittees address substantive topics through newsletter and DCJ publications, CLE suggestions, and membership recruitment: Matt Brown, – Vice Chair of Bad Faith Subcommittee; Charlie Scibetta, – Vice Chair of First Party Property Subcommittee; Eric Mull, – Vice Chair of Casualty Subcommittee; Harmon Hayden, – Vice Chair of Excess/Reinsurance Subcommittee; and Cove Geary, – Vice Chair of Life/Health/Disability Subcommittee. 

Monthly Calls

Monthly calls are an important part of our Committee's work. They take place on the second Thursday of each month at 11:30 a.m. U.S. Central time. In each call, we spotlight one of our Committee members, as well as discuss developments and trends of interest to our members, publication and CLE topics, and upcoming events.

Our Committee is always in search of new members and new ways to engage our members. If you would like to become involved in our Committee, or if you have ideas for seminar topics, Webinars, or newsletter articles, please join our monthly calls, which take place on the second Thursday of each month at 11:30 Central time, or email me at To learn more about the Insurance and Reinsurance Committee, check out our Committee page at 

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