It is my pleasure to invite you to attend the 2018 Mid-Winter Conference of the ABA TIPS Fidelity and Surety Law Committee. For the first time, we are hosting the Mid-Winter Conference in Washington D.C. It’s a new opportunity for us to gather on the East Coast, but at a more Southern point. Maybe there will even be spring temperatures and early blossoms.
Join us from January 24-26, 2018, at the JW Marriott Hotel, for three national CLE programs involving fidelity, construction, and surety topics, as well as for the very important committee meetings, the vice chair business meeting, and various planning sessions that will occur.
Plan to arrive on Wednesday, January 24, if you can, to attend the various committee meetings that day, and to become more involved. A schedule of meetings will be provided in advance of the conference. You are invited to attend all planning sessions and division meetings. If you are a Vice Chair, don’t miss that business meeting.
On Thursday, there will be a full-day construction program with an eye toward the surety professional. On Friday, there will be a full-day surety program focusing on the impact of arbitration on the surety. On Thursday and Friday, there will be a fidelity program addressing modern hazards and modern coverages, with a focus on the cyber world and cyber loss. Read on for more details:
Construction – A Marvelous Mediation of Heroic Proportions: Insurance Coverages in Complex Construction Litigation
Tune in for an in-depth and entertaining (really!) exploration of standard insurance coverages through the mediation of a multi-party, multi-carrier dispute arising out of two construction projects contracted by Wayne Enterprises with Stark Industries and a host of vaguely-recognizable but not copyright-infringing subcontractors and consultants. See which carriers—if any—can escape the blows (BIFF! BAM! ZOWIE!) thrown at them by the other parties. High jinx, impending catastrophe, miraculous escapes, and improbable redemptions await!
With that introduction, how can you resist? The Construction program has been crafted by Co-Chairs Darrell Leonard ( Zurich), Carol Smith (Gilliland & Hayes), and Thomas Vollbrecht (Fabyanske, Westra, Hart & Thomson) for your education and entertainment, and will focus on the types of insurance coverage for a construction project that are of most interest to the surety practitioner. At the end of the day, who will pay? Stay tuned to see how the disputes are resolved.
Surety – Arbitration and the Surety
Arbitration has been used as a dispute resolution tool for thousands of years, and has emerged as a prevalent requirement in all types of business contracts, including construction contracts. While arbitration was sold in these contracts as a quicker and cheaper alternative to litigation, there are many reasons to now question whether those attributes hold true. The surety program will focus on the impact of arbitration on the rights of the surety (whether the surety is an actual party or not), enforceability of an arbitration requirement against a surety, the legal effect of arbitration judgments, possible pitfalls, and proactive steps to benefit the surety. Co-Chairs Laurence P. Jortner (CNA), Lee Brewer (Bryan & Brewer), and Ashley Belleau (Lugenbuhl) are planning a very in-depth analysis of arbitration that is sure to raise new questions for you, make you think about different issues, and give you some pragmatic solutions to employ in your practice.
Fidelity – Cyber and Technology Rises for the 21st Century: Modern Hazards and Modern Coverages
This year’s fidelity program is a real treat, because it will focus on the most cutting edge issues and concerns for insureds and insurers: cyber loss. The fidelity program will be an educational departure for us as well, because it will focus on cyber coverages in other types of policies and insuring agreements, to broaden our understanding of the full scope of coverages that exist and are developing, and how those interact with the traditional crime coverage provisions. Co-Chairs Hilary R. Hoffman (Chubb) and Jeffrey S. Price (Manier & Herod) have included presentations on mitigating risks of the insured, the criminal prosecution side of cybercrime, underwriting of developing products, terms and coverages of the various products, substantive issues and legal developments, and a client panel to discuss the challenges and changes for the industry. This is a wide-ranging program that will present many new concepts, as well as a view of the insurance market in these areas. As an extra treat, we are joined in this program by the new TIPS Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Committee, chaired by Kathleen Strickland, as a contributor and presenter. This program will be cutting edge, and will also feature a number of professionals from Washington, D.C., representing the DOJ, Homeland Security, FBI, and other agencies.
For those of you looking forward to the evening activities, there will be plenty to do. On Wednesday night, the famous (or infamous) Young Professionals Subcommittee will host the “Dutch Treat” dinner, followed by the Annual Poker Tournament. On Thursday evening, there will be a social hour for all conference attendees on site at the hotel, featuring some conversation-worthy offerings. If you choose not to dine out on the town, there will be a supper buffet at the end of the social hour.
The FSLC and TIPS are grateful to the important sponsors who exhibit at the Mid-Winter Conference and support our activities year-round. Please stop by to visit with the exhibitors on site to check out their services.
Please plan to attend now and register early. As important, please book your room as soon as possible. You do not want to miss out on the room block and favorable rate.
See you in our Nation’s Capital!
Toni Scott Reed
FSLC Committee Chair
Strasburger & Price, LLP