2014 Annual Meeting Amended Brochure

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Jason Sudeikis
Jason Sudeikis

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Paul Clement
Paul Clement

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September 17-19, 2014
The Westin Georgetown
2350 M Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C.
“Please join us for fascinating discussions of
developments in legal, medical, construction
design, cyber, D&O (FDIC), insurance agent/
broker, investment professional (FINRA), and
miscellaneous professional liability claims.
Gain insights into ACA, MSP and HIPAA best practices, e-discovery management, adjuster/
defense counsel collaboration, challenging life care plans, and preparing clients for litigation
anxiety. Ethics leaders will address professional conduct issues arising in jury selection or
in the insurer-counsel relationship. Also learn from industry leaders about the state of the
professional liability insurance market.”
• Substantive Law Presentations
• Defending Malpractice Claims
• Ethics Instruction
• Trial Tactics
• Emerging PL Claim Developments
• Board of Directors Election
• CLE/CEU Credits
• Social Hour and Dinner!
Please join your member colleagues
for a Welcome Party on September
17, 2014, from 6:00 to 7:45 p.m., in
The Westin Georgetown Promenade
on the mezzanine level.
The Welcome Party is sponsored by:
8:00 to 8:45amFull Breakfast Buffet (The Promenade)
8:45 to 9:00amWelcome and State of Professional Liability Defense Federation
(Washington Ballroom, Conference Level)
Chris Jensen, PLDF Managing Director
Peter Akmajian, PLDF President
9:00 to 9:50amCyber Liability: What are the Risks to My Business? Am I Covered?
(Washington Ballroom)
Kenneth M. Labbate
Richard J. Monahan, XL Insurance
Jeremy Gittler, XL Insurance
Jeremy Gittler,
Kenneth M.
Labbate, Esq.
9:55 to 10:45am
This presentation will focus on external and internal risks presented to attorneys, accountants,
insurance agents and brokers, and real estate professionals when proprietary or confidential
information is lost or disclosed. We will discuss internal and external risks to electronically stored
data, and potential first and third party exposures. The presentation will additionally address the
scope of coverage available under traditional CGL or property policies as well as the scope of first
and third party coverage available under cyber-liability policies. Also addressed will be recent court
rulings regarding companies’ responsibility to protect data.
Adjuster/Defense Counsel Relations in PL Claims Handling
(Washington Ballroom)
Christopher B. Block
Jennifer Minnick Edmonds, Great American Insurance Group
Christopher B.
Block, Esq.
10:45 to 11:00am 2
This presentation will focus on the defense attorney/claims adjuster relationship using actual
examples and demonstrating problem-solving skills in a professional malpractice setting. Along with
the obvious rules of “no surprises” and “meet our guidelines”, we’ll tackle the tougher questions
about when to ask for collaboration on major issues, what puts the carrier or client on high alert,
what pressure does the adjuster feel that lawyers may not appreciate, and what are the signs that
defense counsel is over reporting. This interactive discussion will also highlight strategies to avoid
the loss of trust and confidence in your defense team colleague.
Refreshment Break (Washington Ballroom Foyer)
11:00 to 12:00pm
Current and Future State of the Professional
Liability Insurance Market
(Washington Ballroom)
Timothy J. Gephart, Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Insurance
Paul M. Ablan, OneBeacon Professional Insurance
Nick Tzaneteas, Transatlantic Re
William J. McDonough, MMIC Group
Mark P. Synnott, Willis Re
Paul M.
Timothy J.
Ablan, J.D.,
Nick Tzaneteas
William J.
12:05 to 12:45pm
A troubled economy over the recent past has affected the professional liability
insurance marketplace in a number of different ways. This panel of experts will
discuss the ways in which the market has been affected, and what the future
holds. The panel will present views from the primary, reinsurance and broker
vantage points. Having an idea of what might be expected will help all prepare
for the future.
Mark P. Synnott
Luncheon (The Promenade)
Sponsored by:
Balestreri Potocki & Holmes
Sullivan & Worcester, LLP
12:45 to 1:15pm Luncheon Speaker:
Paul D. Clement, Bancroft, PLLC
“Supreme Court Review and Preview”
Paul D. Clement, Esq.
1:20 to 2:10pm Three Presentation Choices:
Defense of Construction Design Claims: Liability Theories and Defenses, Contractual
Limitations, Third Party Liability, Role of Building Codes, and Trial Tactics
(Washington Ballroom)
Geoffrey A. Bryce
Geoffrey A.
Bryce, Esq.
Design professionals face liability exposures for injuries caused by worksite accidents and for failure of the
construction work to conform to plans and specifications. Even though GCs are required to name the
design professionals as additional insureds, coverage disputes continue to plague architects and engineers.
This presentation will identify these risks and offer strategies for mitigating the potential exposure.
Survey of Specific LPL Claim Defenses
(Thomas Boardroom)
Andrew W. Countryman
Doug Holthus
Andrew W.
Doug Holthus,
Countryman, Esq.
When is client contributory negligence in play? Can retention letters reduce claim risk? Is
plaintiff a client? Is mandatory arbitration possible? Does liability extend beyond the scope of
work? Are disciplinary rules admissible? Can they be jury instructions or serve as the basis
for expert opinion? Are disciplinary investigations and outcomes admissible? These and other
questions will be explored in this discussion-provoking segment.
Preparing the Defendant Physician for the Informed Consent Case
(Dupont Room)
Marian J. Patchen
Marion J.
Patchen, Esq.
Informed consent is a process that will be explored in this segment. This concept serves as the
foundation for the defense of the case. Credibility plays a major role. For the jury to find that the doctor
failed to obtain the patient’s informed consent, the jury essentially has to conclude that the doctor was
dishonest or made a misrepresentation. But the jury need not reach that conclusion as to plaintiff to
find for the physician because the jury can simply conclude that the patient did not understand the
information. Thus, in a pure informed consent case, the doctor must earn the jury’s trust to win.
2:15 to 3:05pm
Three Presentation Choices:
Defense of Injury Causation In Cerebral Palsy and Shoulder Dystocia
Births, and Birth Injury Damages Claims in General
(Washington Ballroom)
Rodney R.
Cate, Esq.
Walter J.
Price III, Esq.
James E.
Looper, Jr. Esq.
Rodney R. Cate
James E. Looper, Jr.
Walter J. Price, III
Birth injuries often involve catastrophic loss leading to malpractice claims.
This presentation will describe causation strategies helpful in high value shoulder and cerebral palsy contexts,
and will offer guidance on approaches to defense of the damages claims in these cases to reduce outcome
severity through jury acceptance of defense-themed advocacy.
Goliath vs. David: Defending the FDIC’s Aggressive Claims Against
Failed Bank Leaders and Counsel
(Thomas Boardroom)
Albert J. D’Aquino
Albert J.
D’Aquino, Esq.
After the enormous payouts the FDIC made to insured depositors following the 2008 market collapse,
it became an active litigant to recover its losses from former bank D & O targets and even from service
professionals to the banks. Federal law makes the FDIC a Goliath to battle with, giving it special litigation
tools and scope of claims. Those who insure and defend attorneys sued by the FDIC need to know the
playing field.
Defense of Non-Traditional, Often Non-Licensed, Professionals
(Dupont Room)
W. Barry Montgomery
Edmund G. “Chip” Farrell
W. Barry
Montgomery, Esq.
“Non-traditional” professional liability claims continue to grow as our economy becomes ever
more service-oriented and new specialties emerge. Personal trainers, credit counselors, credit
bureaus, collection agencies, employment agencies/executive searchers, mortgage brokers,
translators and various other “consultants” have had claims of professional negligence made
against them. Miscellaneous Professional Liability (“MPL”) insurance provides coverage to these
“non-traditional” professionals. The panelists will discuss various examples of these kinds of claims, and the
unique challenges involved in defending a professional whose standard of care is not always well regulated
or defined. An overview of common MPL policy terms, conditions and exclusions will be examined as well.
Edmund G.
Farrell, Esq.
3:05 to 3:20pm Refreshment Break (Washington Ballroom Foyer)
3:20 to 4:10pm
Three Presentation Choices:
Insurance Producer and Carrier Tensions When an Insurance Claim Goes Sour
(Washington Ballroom)
Rolf E. Sonnesyn
Rolf E. Sonnesyn, Esq.
An insurer denies a claim. That often prompts the insured to sue the agent because the insured is
dissatisfied with the policy. What are the rights and liabilities of the agent and insurer to one another? What
are the different tactics to consider?
Medical Potpourri: Anesthesiology Claims and National Practitioner Data Bank
Practices Update
(Thomas Boardroom)
Mark V. Gende
James C. Goodwin
Mark V.
Gende, Esq.
James C.
This presentation will cover an overview of defense of anesthesiology claims, some emerging
trends, and will discuss how technology can influence exposure in anesthesiology cases. Also
addressed will be NPDB reporting obligations, exceptions and consequences for failure to file, and
approaches to managing client reactions to NPDB reporting realities.
Emerging Tort Risks in Medicinal Marijuana
(Dupont Room)
Anthony E. Abeln
Noel B. Dumas
Anthony E.
Abeln, Esq.
Noel B.
Dumas, Esq.
The prescribed use of marijuana is regulated through multiple schemes, and will open professionals
to a host of potential liabilities. This presentation will focus on the regulatory schemes and will
explore the issues of liability raised thereby. It will also focus on other exposures facing practitioners
who prescribe marijuana when injuries occur, when drug abuse follows, or when adverse drug
interactions occur.
4:15 to 5:05pm
Three Presentation Choices:
Challenging Life Care Plans in Catastrophic Injury Cases
(Washington Ballroom)
Paul C. Catsos
Paul C. Catsos,
A significant method for plaintiffs to expand their claim to damages is by projecting future medical needs,
often decades into the future. This presentation will focus on practical approaches to challenging both the
foundation for, and opinions of, a life care planner and suggest competing evidence to be offered, from
prescription medications, including opiates, to present value assessments.
Defense of Financial Professionals: Securities Litigation in the FINRA Arbitration Setting
(Thomas Boardroom)
Thomas D. Jensen
Thomas D.
Jensen, Esq.
E&O claims asserted against investment professionals on grounds of misrepresentation, unsuitability,
portfolio churning, or unauthorized trading often require arbitration pursuant to Financial Industry Regulatory
Authority rules. This discussion will introduce malpractice defense practitioners to the FINRA process.
e-Discovery Update
(Dupont Room)
Thomas R. Nolasco
Thomas R.
Nolasco, Esq.
This program will focus on the changes and challenges parties face related to electronic discovery. In
addition to discussing case law updates and potential e-Discovery sanctions, attendees will learn the
landscape of Electronically Stored Information (ESI) and explore policies for ESI identification, preservation
and collection. This program will also provide discovery questions for ESI/IT players and cost-saving
strategies for clients through process efficiencies.
7:00pm Member Social Hour (Sequoia Restaurant)
Sponsored by:
Huie, Fernambucq & Stewart, LLP
NAMIC Insurance Company, Inc.
8:00pm Member Dinner (Sequoia Restaurant)
Sponsored by:
Burke Cromer Cremonese, LLC
Burns White, LLC
Bush & Augspurger, P.A.
Carr Allison
Fineman Krekstein & Harris, P.C.
Frazer Greene Upchurch & Baker, LLC
Haight Brown & Bonesteel, LLP
Lind Jensen Sullivan & Peterson, P.A.
McDaniel Acord, PLLC
Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company
Tomsche Sonnesyn & Tomsche, P.A.
Starnes Davis Florie, LLP
Udall Law Firm, LLP
Wicker Smith O’Hara McCoy & Ford, P.A.
8:00 to 8:55am
9:00 to 9:50am
Michael E.
Upchurch, Esq.
Committee Meetings – Full Breakfast Buffet (Chevy Chase Room)
Preparing the Client for Deposition, Trial, Winning, and Losing
(Washington Ballroom)
Michael E. Upchurch
A great deal on emphasis is placed on developing trial skills such as cross-examination techniques
and effective opening statements. This presentation addresses the often overlooked skill of managing
the client, from the initial meeting through trial and appeal. Topics include inspiring confidence,
preparing your client for the highs and lows of litigation, dealing with the emotional or stoic client,
preparing your client to peak at the right time, and the responsibilities and pitfalls of keeping the client
informed. Real world examples and scenarios of client relationship successes and failures will be
discussed. Members of the audience will be encouraged to participate in the conversation.
9:55 to 10:55am
An Ethical Choice:
Ethics in Jury Selection: Discovery of Juror Misrepresentation and
Effects of Social Media
(Washington Ballroom)
Robert E. Cooper
John L. Carroll
Robert E.
Cooper, Esq.
Dean John L.
This presentation will explore the ethical obligations and limitations that apply to lawyers when
investigating potential (or seated) jurors, and what the lawyer’s obligations may be if the lawyer
becomes aware of a juror not providing a truthful answer during voir dire. The discussion will
assess the issues in light of the applicable Rules of Professional Conduct in the context of the
increasing availability and use of various forms of social media.
Common Ethical Issues for Professional Liability Practitioners
(Thomas Boardroom)
Erin K. Higgins
Ellen M. McCarthy, Swiss Re
Thomas B. Mason
Erin K. Higgins,
Ellen M.
McCarthy, Esq.
Thomas B.
Mason, Esq.
Insurers and outside defense counsel face an array of ethical challenges that go beyond the
simple “who is the client” issue. For example, must defense counsel report information learned
during discovery that might adversely impact coverage? May defense counsel institute a thirdparty action against another insured? Does an attorney’s role as defense counsel conflict them
out of cases adverse to the insurer client, and even affiliates/subsidiaries of the insurer client?
Finally, are the answers to these questions different for “panel” counsel vs. “independent”
counsel? In this interactive panel discussion, we will hear views on these and other issues
from defense counsel, claims counsel, and an ethics advisor.
10:55 to 11:10am
Refreshment Break (Washington Ballroom Foyer)
11:10 to 12:00pm
Statutory Rapid Fire: Affordable Care Act, Medicare Set Asides and HIPAA
Erik P. Crep, Esq.
Stuart T. O’Neal, III, Esq.
(Washington Ballroom)
Erik P. Crep,
Stuart T.
O’Neal, III,
This fast paced presentation will focus on three almost ubiquitous statutory legal mazes: (1) whether
provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act can be used to attack damages claims;
(2) update on Medicare Secondary Payer Act compliance and issues remaining now that the process
has matured; and (3) evaluation of privacy and other litigation triggers presented by the Health
Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
12:00 to 12:15pm
Award Presentation and Board Election (Washington Ballroom)
12:15 to 1:30pm
Luncheon of the Board of Directors
Anthony E. Abeln is a partner in the Boston office of Morrison Mahoney LLP. His practice areas include professional
liability defense, hospital and medical law, product liability, pharmaceutical litigation, multidistrict medical device litigation,
commercial litigation and environmental law. Tony has written extensively on evidentiary law, civil procedure, and the nature
of judicial decision-making in the Commonwealth. He has also served as a judge in mock trial and moot court competitions
held by area law schools. Tony also serves as an adjunct legal research and writing professor at New England Law/Boston.
He is Chair of the Other Healthcare Committee of PLDF. He can be reached at [email protected]
Paul M. Ablan is President of the Professional Liability Group at OneBeacon Professional Insurance. He oversees
several lines of professional insurance, including lawyers, design professionals, content, technology, network security and
insurance brokers. Paul began his career as an attorney in private law practice and entered the insurance industry in 1991.
Before joining OneBeacon in 2005, he held a variety of professional liability and public entity management positions within
the U.S. and international operations of The St. Paul. Paul received his B.A. from Hamline University in 1982 and his J.D.
from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1985. He can be reached at [email protected]
Christopher B. Block is special counsel with Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin in the Roseland, New Jersey
office. Chris defends professional negligence claims against lawyers, real estate agents and brokers, insurance agents and
brokers, appraisers, architects and engineers. He graduated from Widener University School of Law (J.D. 1996) and from the
University of Pittsburgh (B.S. 1993). Chris is admitted to practice in the state courts of New York and New Jersey, and the federal
court in New Jersey. He is Vice Chair of PLDF’s Real Estate Claims Committee. He can be reached at [email protected]
Geoffrey A. Bryce is managing partner at Bryce Downey & Lenkov LLC in Chicago. Geoff concentrates in commercial
and construction transactions and litigation. He represents developers, owners, facility management companies, architects,
general contractors, subcontractors, developers, engineers and material suppliers. His litigation practice includes: product
liability, insurance coverage, personal injury, property damage, real estate, landowner-contractor disputes, annexation,
condemnation, zoning, breach of contract, restrictive covenant, construction defect, architectural/engineering malpractice,
breach of surety agreement, and delay claims arising out of construction/development projects. He can be reached at
[email protected]
John L. Carroll is Dean of Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama. He teaches
Federal Courts, Complex Litigation, Mediation, Evidence, Trial Practice and an on-line course in E-Discovery and Evidence.
He received his undergraduate degree from Tufts University and holds law degrees from Cumberland (magna cum laude)
and Harvard. John also served as a United States Magistrate Judge in the Middle District of Alabama for over 14 years.
Before that he was the Legal Director of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama, and has twice argued
cases before the United States Supreme Court.
Rodney R. Cate received his J.D. degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a partner in the Hand
Arendall firm in Mobile, Alabama. Rod is in his 22nd year of practice and specializes in medical malpractice defense. He has
defended physicians in almost every conceivable practice area, including neurologists, psychiatrists, ER physicians, and others.
In particular, he has defended obstetricians in multiple birth injury cases. Rod is “AV” rated by Martindale-Hubbell. He is listed
in the publication Best Lawyers of America for Medical Malpractice Defense. He can be reached at [email protected]
Paul C. Catsos began practicing law in Maine in 1989 and New Hampshire in 2009. At Thompson Bowie, LLP in
Portland, Maine, his practice is focused on civil litigation, including professional and products liability. Paul is an Adjunct
Assistant Professor at the University of New England’s College of Pharmacy, where he assists with courses on pharmacy law
and ethics as well as healthcare litigation. He presently serves as Maine’s Vice President to the Tri-State Defense Lawyers’
Association. Paul graduated from Cornell University in 1982 and worked as a claims supervisor while attending Suffolk
University Law School, where he graduated cum laude in 1989. He can be reached at [email protected]
Paul D. Clement is a partner at Bancroft PLLC in Washington, D.C., and served as the 43rd Solicitor General of the
United States. He has argued over 70 cases before the United States Supreme Court and argued more Supreme Court
cases since 2000 than any other lawyer. Mr. Clement holds degrees from Georgetown, Cambridge University and the
Harvard Law School, where he was the Supreme Court editor of the Harvard Law Review. He clerked for Supreme Court
Justice Scalia and D.C. Circuit Judge Silberman. He serves as an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown and is a Senior
Fellow at its Supreme Court Institute. He can be reached at [email protected]
Robert E. Cooper of Christian & Small LLP in Birmingham, Alabama, has tried more than 150 cases to a jury
verdict. He devotes much of his practice to defending clients in the health care and medical device, manufacturing, and
the insurance industries. Bob also represents clients before agencies that regulate professional conduct. In addition to
being a member of PLDF, he is a member of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, FDCC, IADC, DRI, and the ADLA.
Bob graduated from the University of Alabama School of Law, is AV® rated in Martindale-Hubbell, listed in Best Lawyers in
America® and Alabama Super Lawyers®. He can be reached at [email protected]
Andrew W. Countryman is a partner at Carlock, Copeland & Stair, LLP’s Charleston, South Carolina office. He
defends professionals, including doctors and healthcare facilities, lawyers, architects and engineers. A portion of Andy’s
practice also includes general liability matters. Andy carries a “BV Distinguished” rating with Martindale-Hubbell, and
Super Lawyers® magazine named him a “Rising Star” for 2013 and 2014. Andy is Co-Chair of PLDF’s Legal Malpractice
Committee. He earned his law degree from the University of South Carolina in 2005 after obtaining his undergraduate
degree from Davidson College in 2002. He can be reached at [email protected]
Erik P. Crep is a partner at Wicker, Smith, O’Hara, McCoy & Ford, P.A. and practices in the firm’s Miami, Florida office.
He received his undergraduate degree from Columbia University and his law degree from University of Miami. He provides
representation in the area of medical malpractice, legal malpractice, D&O and E&O. Florida Super Lawyers magazine
named him a “Rising Star” in 2010, 2013 and 2014. Erik is a board member and Treasurer of PLDF. He can be reached at
[email protected]
Albert J. D’Aquino is Chair of the Complex Litigation Practice Group and founding member of Goldberg Segalla LLP. Al
practices with the firm’s Buffalo, New York office; he has a long and successful track record of defending attorneys, physicians
and other medical practitioners, and a wide variety of other professionals against claims of malpractice and malfeasance. Al
is a former PLDF President, has been named a Super Lawyer® from 2008 to 2014, and he is listed in Best Lawyers in America
2013-2014 for expertise in insurance and legal malpractice law. He can be reached at [email protected]
Noel B. Dumas is a partner in the Boston office of Morrison Mahoney LLP, where he has accumulated over a decade
of trial and civil litigation experience. Noel’s practice has concentrated in the areas of professional liability and aviation
law. With respect to his professional liability work, Noel primarily focuses on the defense of physicians, nurses and other
healthcare providers. Noel’s practice encompasses all of the state courts within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and
the State of New Hampshire, in addition to the United States District Court (District of MA and NH) and the United States
Court of Appeals (1st Circuit). He can be reached at [email protected]
Jennifer Minnick Edmonds is a Claim Specialist at Great American Insurance Company in Cincinnati, Ohio. She
graduated from Thomas More College and then matriculated at Salmon P. Chase College of Law in Highland Heights, Kentucky
in 2006, and is licensed to practice law in Kentucky. Prior to becoming a Claim Specialist, Jennifer’s law practice focused in the
areas of professional liability, product liability, inland marine, and excess insurance and umbrella coverage claims.
Edmund G. Farrell is Chair of the Appellate Law and Co-Chair of the Professional Liability practice groups of Murchison
& Cumming, LLP in Los Angeles. He has represented attorneys, architects and engineers, insurance brokers and other
professionals in the defense of various claims of malpractice, sexual harassment and breach of fiduciary duties. Mr. Farrell is a
certified appellate specialist and has been involved in the handling of over 200 appeals and writ petitions before the California
Supreme Court, the California Court of Appeal, and the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He also regularly handles matters for
the London insurance market. He can be reached at [email protected]
Mark V. Gende is a shareholder with the firm of Sweeny, Wingate and Barrow, P.A. in Columbia, South Carolina. Mark
practices civil litigation defense primarily in the areas of medical malpractice, nursing home and assisted living facilities, and
complex litigation ranging from personal injury to products liability matters. He also litigates construction, trucking, retail, and other
professional liability cases and has litigated in all South Carolina state courts, the Federal District of South Carolina and the Fourth
Circuit Court of Appeals. He is a magna cum laude graduate of the Michigan State University College of Law and is admitted to
practice in South Carolina and Michigan. He can be reached at [email protected]
Timothy J. Gephart has served as Vice President of Claims at Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company since 1985.
He is an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law, where he teaches a course on legal malpractice. Gephart
served two three-year terms on the Minnesota Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board and the State Board of Legal Certification,
and is now serving on the Board on Judicial Standards. He is a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association and was a
recipient of the 2003 MSBA President’s Award as a member of the task force on the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct.
Tim, a CPCU, can be reached at [email protected]
Jeremy Gittler manages the Cyber/Technology/Media Liability claims group at XL Insurance. His team coordinates and
implements data breach response and crisis management services for XL insureds that suffered a cyber-attack. They also evaluate
coverage and draft analyses pursuant to cyber, technology, media, and miscellaneous professional liability policies. Jeremy advises
senior management, underwriters, brokers and insureds on coverage, litigation/dispute resolution strategies, and the business
impact of lawsuits. Earlier in his career Jeremy practiced with the law firm Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker in New York.
He graduated with honors from Emory University with a B.A., and obtained his J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.
James C. Goodwin is a shareholder at Sanders & Parks, P.C., in Phoenix where he manages a practice focused primarily
on complex civil litigation and medical malpractice defense. Jim has dedicated a significant portion of his practice to defending
physicians in general, and anesthesiologists, in particular. He began his career as a criminal prosecutor, where he learned to love
the fast-paced environment of the courtroom. Since graduating from the University of Arizona College of Law in 1996, Jim has
successfully taken over fifty jury trials to verdict. He has an “AV” rating with Martindale-Hubbell. He can be reached at james.
[email protected]
Erin K. Higgins is a partner with Conn Kavanaugh in Boston, Massachusetts. She is Co-Chair of the firm’s Professional
Liability Practice Group and a former Co-Chair of the Boston Bar Association’s Professional Liability Committee. She also serves as
her firm’s Risk Management Partner. Erin is a graduate of Georgetown University and Boston College Law School (J.D. cum laude
1991). Her PL practice includes the defense of attorneys in malpractice and disciplinary proceedings, and the defense of insurance
agents and brokers facing E&O claims. Erin has been named a Massachusetts Super Lawyer ™ each year since 2004. She can
be reached at [email protected]
Doug Holthus practices with Poling Law in Columbus, Ohio. He defends claims of professional negligence, personal injury and
wrongful death, product liability, employment discrimination, and miscellaneous business disputes in state and federal courts. Doug
earned his B.A. from Wittenberg University, and is a graduate of the Capital University School of Law. He is a published author
and has presented on various topics to multiple professional groups and for continuing education courses on topics ranging from
insurance coverage and claims issues to trial advocacy. He has received a Martindale-Hubbell “AV” rating and has been recognized
by Columbus CEO Magazine as a Top Lawyer in the community. He can be reached at [email protected]
Thomas D. Jensen is a shareholder with Lind, Jensen, Sullivan & Peterson, P.A., in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His
practice emphasizes the defense of professional and product liability claims, the defense of physicians in board discipline
matters, and the representation of insurers in declaratory judgment coverage litigation. Licensed in Minnesota, North
Dakota and Wisconsin, Tom is certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, is a member of ABOTA, holds the “AV”
peer-reviewed rating, and has been named Super Lawyer® in civil litigation defense from 2003 to the present. He serves as
editor of the Professional Liability Defense Quarterly. He can be reached at [email protected]
Kenneth M. Labbate practices with with Mound Cotton Wollan & Greengrass in New York City. He has over 20 years’
experience in defending complex civil litigation for professionals including accountants, attorneys, insurance agents & brokers,
architects & engineers, land surveyors, title companies, real estate brokers & appraisers and others. Mr. Labbate also handles
declaratory judgment actions on behalf of insurers involving issues arising under Professional Liability, Directors & Officers and
Cyber/Technology/Media liability policies. Ken is admitted to practice in New York and Connecticut. He is a graduate of the
State University of New York at Albany and Hofstra Law School. He can be reached at [email protected]
Prior to attending law school, James E. Looper, Jr. attended graduate school in pharmacology and medical school.
Following graduation from law school, he joined Hall Booth Smith, P.C., and now serves as co-managing partner of its
Nashville, Tennessee office. His practice is centered on medical-related issues, complex litigation and alternative dispute
resolution. James has had numerous jury trials in Georgia and Tennessee and currently serves as the assistant chair of
the firm’s Medical Malpractice Practice Group. He is peer review rated “AV” with Martindale-Hubbell, and in 2012-2014
Nashville Medical News InCharge Healthcare named him to the list of key decision-makers in Nashville’s healthcare industry.
He can be reached at [email protected]
Thomas B. Mason works almost exclusively in the areas of professional responsibility and legal ethics. Mr. Mason, chair
of Zuckerman Spaeder LLP’s Legal Profession and Ethics Practice, served three terms as chair of the Washington, D.C.
Bar Legal Ethics Committee. He represents attorneys and law firms in a variety of matters, including conflicts of interest,
confidentiality, disciplinary investigations and prosecutions, partner departures, and law firm breakups. Mr. Mason was
selected as the 2014 Washington, D.C. Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers.
He can be reached at [email protected]
Ellen Marth McCarthy is a Vice President and Claims Expert at Swiss Re Corporate Solutions in Severna Park, MD,
teleworking out of its Overland Park, KS office. Ellen joined a predecessor of Swiss Re in 1996 as a lawyers professional
liability claims specialist and has handled professional advisors claims in a variety of capacities over the past 18 years. She
currently manages complex attorney malpractice and insurance agent errors and omissions claims. She graduated from
McDaniel College with a B.A. and earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law. She holds CPCU and RPLU
certifications, and can be reached at [email protected]
William J. McDonough is President and CEO of MMIC Group (Constellation, MMIC Insurance and UMIA Insurance),
headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Mr. McDonough has worked in the insurance industry for more than 35 years,
the last 28 focusing on medical professional liability insurance. Prior to joining MMIC, McDonough was President and CEO
of Princeton Insurance Company, headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey. He graduated from Temple University with
Bachelor of Arts degrees in marketing and education. He also earned an MBA in Finance from the University of Phoenix
and holds the RPLU (Registered Professional Liability Underwriter) designation.
Richard J. Monahan joined XL Insurance in 2003 and is currently the Head of XL Select Professional Claims. For
the last 19 years, Rick has managed various Professional Liability E&O lines of business, including miscellaneous, real
estate, lawyers, insurance agents and brokers, dentists, accountants, public entities (law enforcement, public officials and
educators liability), and cyber/technology/media liability. He also concurrently served as Head of XL Design Professional from
2009-2011. Rick earned a Bachelor’s of Science & Business Administration degree from American International College and
received the CPCU designation from the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters and the RPLU
designation from PLUS.
W. Barry Montgomery is a partner with Kalbaugh, Pfund & Messersmith in the firm’s Richmond, Virginia office, and
is licensed to practice in Virginia and West Virginia. He began his career prosecuting criminal cases in the United States
Attorney’s Office and then went into private practice concentrating in civil commercial defense litigation. Mr. Montgomery
represents various professionals and professional liability insurers in malpractice cases and before administrative licensing
agencies. He also represents employers in EPL litigation. Mr. Montgomery is a board member and immediate past chair of
the Miscellaneous Professional Liability Committee of PLDF. He can be reached at [email protected]
Stuart T. O’Neal, III is a member of Burns White LLC in its Philadelphia-area office, where he maintains a state-wide
practice. He is a Co-Chair of the firm’s Professional Liability Group and was named Burns White’s first Chief Privacy Officer
in 2014. After graduating from the Villanova University School of Law, Stuart commenced his private practice emphasizing
the defense of medical facilities, long term care facilities, hospitals, physicians, and other professional liability claims. He is a
board member and Past President of PLDF. He can be reached at [email protected]
Thomas R. Nolasco is a shareholder with Engelman Berger, P.C., in Phoenix, and practices in the areas of accounting
malpractice, legal malpractice, intellectual property and commercial litigation. Mr. Nolasco served as Co-Chair of the
Accounting Malpractice Committee of PLDF and the Intellectual Property Group for USLAW. He is a member of the state
bars of Arizona and Wisconsin, and has been retained as an expert witness on legal malpractice matters. Tom received his
law degree from Marquette University and his M.B.A. from Thunderbird. He can be reached at [email protected]
Marion J. Patchen is a shareholder with Matis Baum O’Connor in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has extensive
experience representing physicians in medical malpractice cases including the specialties of interventional cardiology, OB/
GYN, plastic surgery, urology, radiology, interventional radiology, family practice, internal medicine, nephrology, orthopedic
surgery, ophthalmology, general surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, gastroenterology, emergency medicine, pathology, neurology,
otolaryngology and pediatrics. Marian graduated from the University of Michigan and Duquesne University School of Law,
and is licensed to practice in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. She can be reached at [email protected]
Walter J. Price, III is a partner in the Birmingham, Alabama law firm of Huie, Fernambucq & Stewart, LLP. For
25 years he has actively engaged in defending medical malpractice, professional errors and omissions, and insurance
extra-contractual litigation. During that time he has tried wrongful death and personal injury cases on behalf of healthcare
providers throughout the State of Alabama. Walter is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of Alabama School
of Law. He was selected by his peers for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America, 2012-2014, and has been named in the
“Top Attorneys in Birmingham,” Birmingham Magazine. He can be reached at [email protected]
Rolf E. Sonnesyn practices with Tomsche, Sonnesyn & Tomsche, P.A. in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Rolf is engaged
in a general defense practice with a special emphasis in the defense of insurance agents and brokers in breach of fiduciary
duty and related claims. After graduating summa cum laude from the University of Minnesota with a B.A. degree, Rolf
matriculated to William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul from which he graduated in 1981. He is a board certified Civil
Trial Specialist and practices in both Minnesota and Wisconsin. Rolf can be reached at [email protected]
Mark P. Synnott is an Executive Vice President and member of Willis Re North America’s Professional Liability and
Healthcare practice groups. Mark has over 30 years of broking and underwriting experience in reinsurance and ran Willis Re
North America’s London office before relocating to the company’s Chicago office in 2013. Prior to joining Willis in 2009, Mark
held various broking and management positions at Guy Carpenter, Aon and Carvill and was joint deputy underwriter at the
Jago syndicate at Lloyd’s. Mark received his B.A. from Oxford University. He can be reached at [email protected]
Nick Tzaneteas is Executive Vice President and head of North American Professional Liability at TransRe. He has
twenty-plus years of experience in underwriting diverse classes of business including healthcare professional and D&O/E&O
liability. Prior to joining Transatlantic, Nick spent seven years at Travelers Insurance Company as a serious injury claims
handler in the National Account Division of the New York Region. Nick received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business
Administration from Fordham University in New York City. He can be reached at [email protected]
Michael E. Upchurch is a partner with the Mobile, Alabama defense firm Frazer, Greene, Upchurch & Baker. Mr.
Upchurch has been representing healthcare providers, police officers, accountants, engineers, and other individual
professionals for over 30 years. He is a director of the Alabama Defense Lawyers Association and the immediate past
president of the Mobile Bar Association. Mr. Upchurch is a Best Lawyer, Super Lawyer, and is a member of the International
Society of Barristers, the Alabama Law Foundation and numerous other legal organizations. Michael received his J.D.
degree from the University of Virginia, and his undergraduate degree from James Madison University, summa cum laude.
He can be reached at [email protected]
Fee for the seminar for early registrants is $599.00 for PLDF members and $699.00 for non-members. After
August 20, 2014, the fee is $649.00 for PLDF members and $749.00 for non-members. The fee includes
programming, meals at the event venue, refreshments, CLE/CEU credits (in process), Welcome Party,
and the member only Social Hour and Dinner. (Members’ guests may attend the Social Hour and Dinner
for an additional fee of $100.00.) PLDF maintains a financial aid policy dated August 1, 2010 for those
seeking registration fee accommodation based upon individual circumstances. Call PLDF for information
pertaining to the program. A full refund will be issued for cancellations received on or before September 3,
Registration: Visit www.pldf.org to register electronically or mail your registration fee to Professional Liability
Defense Federation, 1350 AT&T Tower, 901 Marquette Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55402.
PLDF’s 2014 Annual Meeting and CLE/CEU Presentation will be held at The Westin Georgetown, 2350 M
Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20037. We have reserved a limited number of rooms on September 17
and September 18 at a preferential daily rate of $275.00 for this conference (good through August 18,
2014). Call (800) 228-3000 for the PLDF rate and reservations. Or login to The Westin’s site at: https://www.
starwoodmeeting.com/StarGroupsWeb/res?id=1403143694&key=4BB45. We encourage attendees to
register early to secure space at The Westin. Thank you.
The manner in which state CLE accreditation rules determine the number of credits available from this
seminar will vary, as they do for all seminars. We do expect each presentation offered at this seminar will
receive credit. Inasmuch as written materials or presentation slides frequently are not produced until shortly
before the seminar, and some states wish to review the materials as part of the credit evaluation process,
we will alert members from such states when the credits are determined after the seminar. We will receive
many credit approvals in advance of the seminar and will have that information available to attendees at the
meeting. We expect to receive approximately nine CLE credits for this program, including at least one ethics
credit we will apply for.
Professional Liability Defense Federation is a registered provider of continuing education courses for agents
and adjusters under the Texas Insurance Code (Provider Number 65013). We will submit portions of this
course for credit approval through the Texas Department of Insurance. Please note that programs eligible for
adjuster CEU credits require that the programming be adjuster – not necessarily lawyer - focused. Therefore
we expect that fewer adjuster credits will be granted for this program than will be granted for lawyers.
Sequoia Restaurant
3000 K Street N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20007
(202) 944-4200
Business casual dress is
appropriate for this program.
For more information contact:
Christine S. Jensen
Managing Director
Professional Liability
Defense Federation
1350 AT&T Tower
901 Marquette Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55402
(612) 481-4169
[email protected]
An Association of Malpractice Defense Professionals ™

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