Roundtable Presentations

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

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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.

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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 

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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.

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.

September 12 & 26, 2013 - Witness Selection and Preparation

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.

Trials are won and lost with the quality of work and preparation conducted prior to stepping foot into the court room. Witness selection and preparation are two of the most vital elements in achieving a favorable verdict at trial. Every fact witness, expert witness, rebuttal witness et al. needs to be appropriately selected and prepared in order to assist a judge or jury in rendering a decision. What are the criteria for selecting a specific type of witness? How does a witness present him/herself? How does a witness react to questioning? Experienced trial counsel, expert witnesses, and industry professionals answered these questions and discussed strategies for selecting and preparing witnesses for deposition and trial. 

June 6 & 13, 2013 - Litigation Involving Catastrophic Injuries

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, gas explosions and exposure to toxic substances.  Resulting injuries including major burns, brain damage, paraplegia, quadriplegia, and dismemberment can serve as a difficult backdrop for the defense.  In catastrophic injury cases there often is an overwhelming empathy factor.  Yet such injury cases are defensible, and can be mitigated, if properly investigated, prepared, negotiated and presented to a jury.  This panel addressed the issues surrounding the successful defense of such cases.  Attendees were able to gain a better understanding of major injury claim management and defense tactics.

March 7 & 21, 2013 - Managing Mass Tort Litigation

The phenomenon of mass tort litigation presents unique risks and challenges for the companies that must defend these complex and costly claims.  “Mass tort” is generally understood to mean tortuous conduct affecting large numbers of victims with recurring or similar injuries.  From catastrophic gas explosions to wildfires, mass tort litigation has challenged utility companies and court systems to manage the size, complexity, enormous exposures, and litigation expenses associated with such claims.

Companies facing mass tort litigation must adopt and implement effective strategies to address these complex, multiparty actions.  The panel of speakers will provide an overview on some current mass tort claims affecting utility companies, such as toxic emissions, and will discuss techniques and tactics to achieve cost-effective, favorable outcomes.  Subtopics will include litigation strategies, unique document management tools, co-defendant considerations, and effective settlement strategies.

May 3 & 10, 2012 – Negotiation Strategies and 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 negotiation techniques to achieve the best results. The discussion included 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.