2nd Annual New York Legal Education Conference | May 12, 2016

Introduction

Gordon & Rees attorneys and distinguished guest speakers presented a full day of stimulating and timely legal education on Thursday, May 12. The agenda offered 13 individual programs in ten areas of law, including two Ethics programs. The conference program included continental breakfast, lunch with a keynote speaker, and a post-session cocktail reception.

 

For a complete description of event speakers, program summaries and other details, click here for online Flipbook (Desktop version / Mobile version) or download a PDF.

 

The programs offered CLE and CE credit for New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, California, Florida and Texas.

Keynote Speaker

The Honorable Loretta A. PreskaDistrict Judge

The Honorable Loretta A. Preska

Judge Preska was appointed United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York on August 12, 1992 and entered duty on September 18, 1992.  From June 1, 2009 to the present, she serves as Chief Judge of that Court.  Judge Preska received a B.A. from the College of St. Rose in Albany, New York in 1970, a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law in 1973, and an LL.M. in Trade Regulation from New York University Law School in 1978.  Following graduation from Fordham, Judge Preska was an associate at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP and an associate and, beginning in January 1983, a partner at Hertzog, Calamari & Gleason until her induction as a United States District Judge in September 1992.


Complimentary

The full day of programs, lunch and cocktail reception is offered at no cost to our valued clients and guests.

Contact

Heather Shearer

hshearer@gordonrees.com

Joelle Underwood
junderwood@gordonrees.com


619.230.7704

DATE / TIME
Thursday, May 12, 2016
8 AM - 6 PM

LOCATION
Convene Conference Center
32 Old Slip
New York, NY 10005



Speakers

The Honorable Loretta A. PreskaDistrict Judge

The Honorable Loretta A. Preska

Judge Preska was appointed United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York on August 12, 1992 and entered duty on September 18, 1992.  From June 1, 2009 to the present, she serves as Chief Judge of that Court.  Judge Preska received a B.A. from the College of St. Rose in Albany, New York in 1970, a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law in 1973, and an LL.M. in Trade Regulation from New York University Law School in 1978.  Following graduation from Fordham, Judge Preska was an associate at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP and an associate and, beginning in January 1983, a partner at Hertzog, Calamari & Gleason until her induction as a United States District Judge in September 1992.


Conference
Program

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Our panelists will discuss their Top Five Rules to avoid employer liability. Additionally, they will address new litigation trends identified in the area of Employment Law and provide insightful advice on how to develop best practices to avoid liability so that well-informed employment decisions can be made to avoid the expense and uncertainty of litigation.

The program will cover:

  • Fair/Equal Pay Laws
  • LGBT Issues in the Workplace 
  • Politics in the Workplace
  • Physical & Electronic ADA Accessibility
  • Background Checks & the Hiring Process

Speakers:
Laura De Santos / Partner, GRSM
Chad Shultz / Partner, GRSM
Alyssa Pianelli / Claims Manager, Beazley Group
Raymond Cashman / Nationwide
Corrie Hurm, Technical Director and Counsel / Travelers

This presentation will provide multiple methods to control the cost and challenges of handling mass tort cases. Our speakers will discuss such tools as case management orders, bifurcation and consolidation motions, Lone Pine Orders, issue trials and other means to manage mass tort cases. Topics to be covered include:

  • What is a mass tort and what do we care;
  • Avoiding the avalanche from below;
  • What’s important and when;
  • Experts and expert motions practice;
  • Settlement Conferences, mediations, and arbitrations; and
  • Options for trial.

Speakers:
Mike Pietrykowski / Partner, GRSM
Nancy Erfle / Partner, GRSM
John Robinson / Partner, GRSM
J. Hayes Ryan / Office Managing Partner, GRSM

The focus of this presentation will be on avoiding the pitfalls that often occur when e-discovery is not properly managed, including making sure clients are aware of and advocating for proper application of the 2015 amendments to the federal rules relating to e-discovery. The presentation will include a primer on the current state of e-discovery and how one can prepare to handle e-discovery in litigation from an offensive and defensive perspective. Topics to be covered include:

  • An Introduction to E-Discovery
  • What to Think About Before Litigation Hits
  • What to Think About When in Litigation
  • Ramifications for Not Managing E-Discovery Properly

Speakers:
Jeffrey Lilly / Partner, GRSM
Andrew Cary / Partner, GRSM

10:10 AM - 11:10 AM

Our top employment trial attorneys will share their best advice about claims handling and creative settlements. These trial gurus will share their personal stories as to the valuable lessons they’ve learned, providing attorneys and insurance adjusters with a realistic perspective on the complexities of settling a case through the various stages of mediation. Topics that will be covered include:

  • Pre-Mediation Preparation - How parties can arm the mediator for a successful mediation;
  • Demand & Offers - The usefulness of pre-mediation negotiations;
  • When is Sharing Too Much? – Open vs. closed sessions;
  • Thinking Outside the Box – Non-monetary considerations;
  • Closing the Gap – The mediator’s toolbox.

Speakers:
Debra Ellwood Meppen / Partner, GRSM
Gina Haggerty Lindell / Partner, GRSM
Mercedes Colwin / Partner, GRSM
Roger Mansukhani / Partner, GRSM
Jeffrey Krivis / First Mediation
The Honorable Alexander Williams III / ADR Services, Inc.

This presentation explores the importance of factual evaluation and early discovery focused on the statute of limitations defense in both toxic tort personal injury claims and environmental claims involving damage to real property. The statute of limitations is a dispositive defense which courts have been willing to enforce on dispositive motion more often than other more fact-centric defenses because they are both statutory and turn on the plaintiff’s failure to prosecute in a timely fashion. The presentation will discuss the general legal principles and analysis pertinent to the statute of limitations defense in both the personal injury and injury to property settings, including a discussion of multiple state statutes and their application. Discussion will include the discovery rule, actual, constructive and inquiry notice issues, “continuing” tort issues, and the related statute of repose.

Speakers:
James Messenger / Partner, GRSM
Margaret Stolfa / Partner, GRSM
Brian Ledger / Partner, GRSM

Every claims professional strives to handle claims in a professional, competent, and error- free manner. Despite those good intentions, mistakes sometimes happen that can become amplified in the context of a bad faith claim. The successful defense of a bad faith claim requires strategies for identifying and dealing with these imperfect claims and minimizing the negative impact they may otherwise have. Our speakers will educate insurance claims professionals on the process of analyzing bad faith claims and the methodology used to successfully defend them in court.

Speakers:
Asim Desai / Partner, GRSM
Robin Taylor Symons / Partner, GRSM
Anne Kevlin / Director of Litigation, American Integrity

11:20 AM - 12:20 PM

Construction Defect litigation continues to grow in all states. This presentation will focus on the five most significant issues and trends in Construction Defect litigation in 2016. These topics are applicable to any insurer who provides coverage and faces claims for construction defects in any state. We will discuss:

  • Update on Repair Statutes in multiple states;
  • Current status of indemnity and anti-indemnity statutes;
  • Traps in OCIPS and WRAP claims;
  • Use of Case Management Orders and Special Masters in Handling Cases; and
  • Key Insurance Coverage Issues for construction defect and how these differ across the U.S.

Speakers:
Thomas Cronin / Partner, GRSM
Jay Gregory / Partner, GRSM

Our panelists will provide insights for the defense industry on the tools available to limit the amount of special damages which plaintiffs can present as evidence. We will discuss how some jurisdictions are limiting the evidence of “reasonable” billing charges for medical expenses. For example, we will discuss how the cases of Howell, Corenbaum, Luttrell and State Farm are affecting the practice in California and similar trends in other states. Additional discussion will focus on Medicare, Medi-Cal, and treatments on a lien basis. In addition to discussing past medical expenses, our panel will discuss strategies on how to deal with future damages. This will include future medical expenses, lifetime care, and lost future income/diminished earnings claims. Our speakers will also discuss strategies and arguments to be made under the Affordable Care Act. Every defense life care plan should have an alternative under the ACA so as to show the jury, in jurisdictions where the court may allow such evidence, that the plaintiff's future medical care is not as expensive as the plaintiff attorney would have them believe.

Speakers:
Stephanie Alexander / Partner, GRSM
Catherine Slavin / Partner, GRSM
Keri Ryan / Vice President-Senior Claims Specialist Aviation and Claims Manager, XL Catlin

This program will educate insurance claims professionals on trends in case law involving primarily defendants in copyright and trademark litigation. Our panelists will review situations where courts have made factual findings impacting both liability and damages in copyright and trademark litigation. Additionally, they will address the consequences of recent trends in litigation from an insurance industry perspective, particularly related to advertising injury coverage.

Speakers:
Richard Sybert / Partner, GRSM
Susan Meyer / Partner, GRSM

12:30 PM - 2:00 PM

The Honorable Loretta A. Preska / District Judge, Southern District of New York

2:10 PM - 3:10 PM

OCIPS (Owner Controlled Insurance Programs) and CCIP (Contractor Controlled Insurance Programs) is a new and growing segment of the insurance market. These policies cover general liability and in some instances, worker compensation losses. These policies are underwritten and marketed as the primary insurance coverage for a particular project. Adjusting claims under Wraps, OCIPS and CCIP can be a minefield for an adjuster, and each presents its own unique insurance coverage issues. This presentation will focus on how these policies are designed and what they are intended to cover, coverage issues unique to these policies, and how to avoid problems when adjusting these claims. The program will include:

  • An overview of OCIP and WRAP claims in construction defect litigation;
  • Key insurance coverage issues in adjusting OCIP and WRAP claims; and
  • Key issues and traps while adjusting OCIP and WRAP construction defect claims.

Speakers:
Ernie Isola / Partner, GRSM
Christine Barker / Senior Counsel, GRSM

Can Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter posts of an employee be attributed to the company? Is social media subject to discovery? What ethical pitfalls exist when using social media for research? These and other related social media questions permeate civil litigation regardless of the practice area. But being able to spot these ethical issues will ensure claims representatives and the lawyers they work with are properly equipped to confidently navigate the uncertainties presented by new forms of digital evidence. This ethics program will educate insurance claims professionals handling claims in multiple jurisdictions as to the ethical rules and caselaw related to the use of social media, both personally and as a tool in litigation. Topics will include:

  • Whether Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter posts of an employee can be attributed to an employee’s company;
  • Publicity, YouTube and depositions;
  • Ethical pitfalls when using social media for research;
  • Ethical implications regarding use of social media when investigating witnesses, parties and experts;
  • Ethical rules related to use of social media to research prospective jurors;
  • Recent ethics opinions related to whether LinkedIn constitutes attorney advertising.

Speakers:
Robert Modica / Partner, GRSM
Thomas Packer​ / Partner, GRSM
Elizabeth Lorell / Partner, GRSM
Heather Kelly / Partner, GRSM

3:20 PM - 4:20 PM

Few cases get to trial: fewer still are appealed. Thus, many may be unfamiliar with the differences between trial and appeal, and with the pitfalls and opportunities at trial for ensuring success on appeal. This hour will explain both the basics of the appellate process and the significant benefits of using appellate counsel, not just after a judgment but earlier, sometimes much earlier, in appropriate cases. Our speakers, including a former appellate judge, will use multi-modal techniques for this highly interactive presentation. The panel will conduct a lively discussion and present real life scenarios where the attendees will be both challenged and educated about re-thinking their approach to litigation. Using illustrative film clips, our panelists will demonstrate how a winning case can be lost and a losing case won by the use, or non-use, of appellate counsel. Attendees will learn how to:

  • Better understand the appellate process, how it is different than trial and recurring issues for insurers (e.g. timing, stays and bonds);
  • Comprehend the importance of using appellate counsel in both pre-trial and trial litigation;
  • Recognize and assess the need to use appellate counsel at all critical stages of litigation;
  • Manage litigation in a way that maximizes a favorable outcome both at trial and appeal.

Speakers:
Jacob Cohn / Partner, GRSM
David Gersten / Partner, GRSM
Sara Anderson Frey / Partner, GRSM

This ethics program will provide guidance on ethical approaches to responding to allegations of fraudulent billing practices to government payers, including complaints submitted by whistleblowers and self-reporting recommendations. Our panel will provide an overview on government civil remedies used to combat fraud and the ethical hurdles that face in-house and retained counsel when responding to fraud investigations. Topics will include:

  • 2010 amendments which strengthened the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act;
  • Ethical obligations and best practices for conducting an internal investigation;
  • Attorneys as whistleblowers: Tension between an attorney’s ethical duty of confidentiality and the federal interest in encouraging whistleblowers to disclose unlawful conduct that harms the government.

Speakers:
Thomas Quinn / Partner, GRSM
Leslie Eason / Partner, GRSM

4:30 PM - 6:00 PM

Cocktail Reception