October 17, 2019 - Effectively Telling Your Story Through Your Witnesses
In all litigation, you have a story to tell, and that one story will be told through the many voices of your witnesses. Preparing your witnesses, both lay and expert, is critical to effectively communicating that story to the decisision makers. In this roundtable, outside and in-house counsel looked at tactics for turing witnesses into effective communicators, and presented examples of when things go right and when things go wrong. They also learned about properly preparing utility employees who are called upon to be desposed and testify at trial.
June 6, 2019 - Litigation Involving Catastrophic Injuries
Utility companies are frequently faced with litigation arising from catastrophic injuries. These injuries result from events such as electrical contacts and gas explosions. Resultant injuries, including severe burns, brain damges, paraplegia, quadriplegia and loss of limbs, can serve as a difficult backdrop for the defense. In catastrophic injury cases, there is often an overwhelming empathy factor. Yet such injury cases are defensible, and damages can be mitigated, if properly investigated, defended and negotiated to a reasonable settlement. Our panel will address the issues surrounding the successful defense of such cases. Attendees will gain a better understanding of major injury claim managment and defense tactics.
March 21, 2019 – The Governance of Risk: Loss Control as the First Line of Defense in Claims Litigation
A loss control program governs the internal means, methods and daily safety operations followed by utility company employees. Consequently, a sound loss control program frequently stands as the first line of defense in preventing claims and litigation. This Roundtable focused on building and following sound loss control practices and procedures for utility companies. AEGIS’ Loss Control ?Division studies and analyzes the internal procedures of utilities and discussed the mitigation assessment process, as well as comprehensive recommendations for best daily practices on topics such as call center operations, protocols for technical personnel and general field safety training. We also discussed the role of loss control in public safety and consumer awareness. Finally, we engaged a case study comparison of litigation results with differing qualities of loss control programs.
June 14, 2018 – Cessation of Service: Risks and Liabilities That Start When Service Ends
The termination of gas or electric service does not terminate the utility’s exposure to personal injury, property damage or business loss claims. The way in which terminations are accomplished or how interruptions are handled can actually increase the risk of legal liability and adversely impact regulatory compliance programs. These concerns are particularly acute as utilities consider threats of terrorist and cyber attacks. The panel will present case studies and address these and other issues that arise when service is disconnected or major failures occur.
March 8, 2018 - Who's the Boss? Operational Command and Crisis Response at the Scene of a Catastrophic Event
The span of time immediately before and after a catastrophic event can afford all parties the greatest opportunity to investigate, collect evidence and develop understanding. This roundtable will focus on authority and decision making at the scene of an event during that small, but critical, window of time. Our discussion will encompass three aspects of on-site crisis response. First, we will examine cooperating with local and federal authorities, coordinating with government agencies, documenting interactions and similar issues. Next, we will consider the management of experts at the scene, including logistics and coordination, and the timeliness of expert retention and investigation. Finally, we will address issues surrounding the battle of public opinion, such as media statements, community relations and public outreach. Panelists will offer case studies and best practices in tandem during the course of the discussion..
October 12, 2017 - Investigating and Evaluating TBI Claims
Claims for brain injuries, whether for a mild injury or for a significant objective brain injury, often involves damages for changes in lifestyles, personalities and employment. Recent published studies involving athletes and other classes of individuals have only served to increase public awareness of such injuries – and jurors frequently sympathize and can be easily persuaded to consider substantial verdicts of compensatory and possibly punitive awards.
The questions have to be answered during this presentation include: What can you do to properly and accurately evaluate claims for traumatic brain injuries? What are the best tools and strategies for defending these potentially very costly cases? What investigation and discovery are appropriate? How can you expose exaggeration and fraud? What types of witnesses are appropriate?
The panel will share their experiences in investigating, defending, evaluating and resolving brain injury cases. You will hear from energy industry claims professionals, in-house litigators, outside counsel and a brain injury consultant who has worked with many energy companies.
June 8, 2017 - Managing Today's Claims and Litigation Techniques
The modern development of claims and litigation has forced companies and the courts to take a more proactive approach to managing the size, complexity, exposure and expense associated with today’s matters. This presentation will include a discussion of the various investigative practices useful in development of a case, as well as third-party indemnification procedures. Through the use of various case studies involving gas explosions and electrical contacts claims, the panel will examine the unique risks and challenges presented by this new claim and litigation environment, and will share techniques and tactics to help energy companies achieve cost-effective and favorable outcomes.
March 23, 2017 - Cyber Liability and Other Emerging Technology-Related Claims
This roundtable will examine the ever-evolving world of technology-related claims and its growing effect on business. The panel will discuss current events and emerging risks, best practices for cyber risk management programs, the principles of a good data breach response plan, and the true cyber liability that every business faces today. Additionally, the panel will discuss the business risk and potential legal exposure under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) following the U.S. Supreme Court decision to Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, as well as emerging trends in litigation over “website accessibility” and the question of whether websites are places of public accommodation subject to the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
June 9, 2016 - Settlement and Negotiation Techniques
How can you achieve the best settlement resolution for your company? Many times cases settle for higher values than expected. Skillful negotiation strategies and techniques will save your company time and money. Hone your negotiation skills by hearing from our faculty of experienced in-house and outside litigation counsel, who will share their experience in using a variety of negotiation techniques to achieve the best results. The discussion will include the importance of creativity and flexibility, keeping the focus on key issues, setting the groundwork for successful negotiation, and problem solving to reach a reasonable settlement.
March 10, 2016 - Demystifying the Workers' Compensation Claims
Utility companies are frequently faced with litigation/claims arising from catastrophic injuries suffered by company employees. Said injuries often arise out of electrical contacts, gas explosions and/or exposure to toxic substances such as asbestos. The Workers’ Compensation claim requires a unique approach. The learned panel, consisting of experienced counsel and workers’ compensation professionals, will take the audience through a Workers’ Compensation matter. Traumatic brain injury and asbestos-related claims will be addressed. A jurisdictional analysis of Workers’ Compensation benefits will be presented as well as a discussion surrounding the most easily recognizable indicators of fraud. The mysteries of the Workers’ Compensation claim will be demystified.
October 8, 2015 - Litigating Catastrophic Injury Cases
Utility companies are frequently faced with litigation arising from catastrophic injuries suffered by members of the public and company employees. These injuries can result from events such as electrical contacts, malfunctioning equipment, gas explosions and exposure to toxic substances. Resulting injuries, including multiple fatalities, major burns, brain damage, carbon monoxide poisoning, paraplegia, quadriplegia and dismemberment, can serve as a difficult backdrop for the defense. In a catastrophic injury case, there often is an overwhelming empathy factor. Yet such cases are defensible and can be mitigated if properly investigated, prepared, negotiated and presented to a jury. This panel will address issues surrounding the successful defense of punitive damages; the use of social media to question claimed damages; the effective use of structured settlements in negotiating life care plans and medical liens; and questioning the mild traumatic bran injury claim. Attendees will gain a better understanding of major injury claim management and defense tactics.
June 4, 2015 - Evaluating and Managing Litigation
A panel of staff counsel, claims professionals and outside defense attorneys will explore the various aspects of effectively evaluating and managing litigation. By recognizing dangerous and high-stakes lawsuits early in the process, litigation can be managed more effectively and the potential exposure can be mitigated. The discussion will also explore how pursuing settlement in the early stages of some cases can reduce the ultimate loss, and how effective and timely communication between the utility, insurer and counsel can result in successful coordination of the litigation.
February 5, 2015 - The Art of Recovery and The Transfer of Risk
A panel of esteemed experts will discuss the benefits, importance and practical applications of the transfer of risk and the recovery of funds in claims and litigation management. The panel will address the effective utilization of contractual hold harmless and indemnification language; the pursuit of subrogation and against third parties; and the contribution action. The strategy surrounding when and/or whether each of the aforementioned theories should be employed will be considered and debated.
March 6, 2014 - Ethics In 2014 - Across The Board
This program will address many of the ethical issues presented in today’s overall business environment, most of which are shared by the legal community and the utility industry. This exceptional panel will debate, consider and offer guidance on a wide range of topics, including:
In-house Counsel – The role of, and the pressures faced by, in-house counsel; Social Media – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, E-Discovery; Material False Statements – Obligation to disclose, triggers and how to disclose; Rule 1.6 Confidentiality; Legal/Business Writing; Billing; Negotiation; Joint Representation
Attendees will gain a better understanding of how to manage these challenging and increasingly frequent ethical issues.