Full Schedule

Tuesday, March 5, 2019


6:00–8:00 p.m.

Welcome Reception

Astor Ballroom, Westin Chicago River North

Wednesday, March 6, 2019


7:30–8:30 a.m.

Breakfast

8:30–8:45 a.m.

Welcome Remarks

Thomas P. McGarry, Partner, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

8:40–9:35 a.m.

Year in Review — Significant Developments in Legal Malpractice Claims

Moderator: Noah D. Fiedler, Partner, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

Panelists: Eileen Garczynski, Senior Vice President & Equity Partner, Ames & Gough; Marian C. Rice, Partner, L'Abbate, Balkan Colavita & Contini, L.L.P.

Are firms seeing bad claims outcomes? What can recent trends can tell us about the future claims environment? Experienced malpractice defense counsel and an officer of a leading malpractice insurance broker will lead the audience in an interactive examination of current legal malpractice claim trends and will exchange their predictions as to what those trends can tell us about the future claims environment. Also, the panel will take the audience on a year-in-review look at some noteworthy legal malpractice developments ranging from the viability of engagement letter arbitration provisions to judicial error and causation. Audience participation will be encouraged.

9:35–10:30 a.m.

Informal Opinions: Quick Questions, Enduring Troubles

Moderator: Matthew R. Henderson, Partner, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

Panelists: Michele A. Coffey, General Counsel, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP; John K. Villa, Partner, Williams & Connolly LLP

Answers to quick questions from clients and other "off-the-cuff" legal advice without the benefit of complete facts, research, or the caveats and conditions associated with formal legal opinions pose an emerging risk for attorneys. This panel will explore the circumstances that give rise to liability for informal opinions, potential defenses, jurisdictional differences, and how to manage client expectations from the outset of the representation. It will also offer formulations that lawyers should adopt to fairly protect themselves from such claims and identify other potential problems in giving or not giving "little 'o' opinions."
10:30–10:50 a.m.

Networking Break

10:50–11:45 a.m.

Claim Repair: If It’s Broken, Can You Fix It?

Moderator: Peter D. Sullivan, Partner, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

Panelists: Zandra E. Foley, Partner, Thompson, Coe, Cousins & Irons, LLP; Ted Ewing, Assistant Vice President, CNA

Claim repair is a strategy of early proactive steps to change history, to mitigate a loss and maybe save the day. Tools include use of tolling agreements, defending motions to prevent preclusive findings, compromising an underlying judgment, funding an underlying appeal, fixing mistakes by use of special remedies, for example, to construe or modify faulty will or trust. These just are some of the creative strategies and options that can be considered to repair or mitigate or even avoid a claim. This panel of two veteran defense counsel and a senior claims representative will share experiences and ideas on early, proactive intervention to shape desired outcomes.

11:45 a.m.–12:40 p.m.

Fee Counter-Claims: Pouring Gasoline on the Fire

Moderator: Desmond J. Hinds, Jr., Partner, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

Panelists: Edith R. Matthai, Founding Partner, Robie & Matthai; Reed Millsaps, President, DWF Claims

Client fee actions paired with legal malpractice actions make for risky bedfellows for the insured, the insurer and appointed defense counsel. How to manage and balance the insured's rights to recover a legal fee within the tripartite relationship creates a dilemma. For defense counsel the decision has ramifications from the intake and retention agreements to settlement and trial. A panel of defense attorneys and an experienced legal malpractice carrier representative will discuss the thorny issues that arise when defense counsel takes on prosecuting the fee action. The panel will offer practical advice on conflicts of interest, intake, retention agreements, billing, reporting, discovery, settlement and trial.

12:40–1:30 p.m.

Networking Lunch

1:30–2:25 p.m.

Membership has its Privileges: Evolving Defenses for Lawyers

Moderator: Kendra L. Basner, Partner, O'Rielly & Roche LLP

Panelists: Pamela A. Bresnahan, Partner, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP; Kevin S. Rosen, Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Attorney liability and the defenses used to combat it are always evolving and differ from state to state. This panel of veteran defense counsel will explore recent defensive tactics and trends concerning attorney and law firm liability with particular focus on the use of privileges and immunities defenses asserted on behalf of attorneys in civil litigation in an effort to determine whether membership in the legal profession really does have its privileges.

2:25–2:45 p.m.

Networking Break
Sponsored by: Willis Towers Watson

2:45–3:40 p.m.

Three Does Not Have to be a Crowd: How Defense Counsel Can Serve Two Masters Well

Moderator: David A. Grossbaum, Partner, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

Panelists: Carole J. Buckner, Partner & General Counsel, Procopio, Cory Hargreaves & Savitch LLP; Jeffrey (Jeff) Wactlar, Assistant Vice President, AXIS Capital

This program will explore the tripartite relationship between the insurer, the insured, and the law firm client. An experienced claims professional will discuss what insurers expect from defense counsel and what they typically get. He will explain the needs of the insurers in claims handling and how claims professionals are evaluated by their superiors. From the insured's perspective, a law firm risk manager and experienced insurance defense counsel will discuss how she selects defense counsel, and how she manages claims involving her firm. The panel and the written materials will address legal issues that govern these relationships, such counsel's obligations to the insured and the insurer, the impact of coverage issues, confidentiality, and rates and imposing litigation guidelines for counsel selected by the insured.

3:40–4:30 p.m.

State of the Insurance Market

Moderator: Edward F. Donohue III, Partner, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

Panelists: Kim Noble, Senior Vice President - Lawyers' and Accountants' Professional Liability, Argo Pro; Laura Zaroski, Senior Vice President - Law Firms Practice, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

Insurance professionals specializing in placing lawyers' insurance products will provide insights on purchasing insurance in the current market. An overview of current capacity and the diverse participation level of carriers in the current market will be provided. Strategies for selecting among brokers and insurers to obtain reasonably priced, cost-effective and adequate coverage will be discussed. This includes selecting an adequate mix among professional liability and other coverages based on firm size and practice area. The impact of claims trends and areas of specialization on insurance availability and pricing will be covered. Strategies on renewals will be discussed including the balance between adequate due diligence and overkill in seeking renewal quotes and changes in coverage.

4:30–5:00 p.m.

What’s Keeping General Counsel up at Night? Session I

Moderator: Janis M. Meyer, Partner, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

From conflicts to cannabis, claims assessment to multi-jurisdictional practice, confidentiality to departing partners, law firm general counsel see it all. This is the first of two sessions in which law firm general counsel and risk managers will share some of the issues that are keeping them busy. Audience participation will be welcomed and encouraged.

5:00–6:00 p.m.

Women's Networking Reception

Sponsored by: LexisNexis

6:30 p.m.

Conference Dinner

STK, 9 W. Kinzie Street, Chicago, IL

Thursday, March 7, 2019


7:30–8:30 a.m.

Breakfast

First-Time Attendee Breakfast

8:30–9:25 a.m.

Cryptocurrency: Show Me the Money

Moderator: J. Richard Supple Jr., Partner, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

Panelists: Matthew K. Roskoski, Deputy General Counsel, Latham & Watkins LLP; Joseph V. DeMarco, Partner, DeVore & DeMarco LLP

Cryptocurrencies present thorny questions for law firms. Should they be accepted for fees? Can they be accepted? Are there specific areas of concern if your firm represents a client for an Initial Coin Offering? And if your firm does accept or deal in cryptocurrencies, is it buying new (and potentially scary) security problems? Our panel, consisting of experienced general counsel and an outside privacy and white collar partner, will help you stay abreast of this ever-changing and confusing area of law while giving you the tools you need to navigate these and other pertinent questions.

9:25–10:20 a.m.

Alternative Legal Service Providers – Who’s Eating Your Lunch and How Are They Getting Away With It?

Moderator: Anthony E. Davis, Partner, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

Panelists: Michael Mills, Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, Neota Logic Inc.; Ed A. Friedland, General Counsel, Thomson Reuters; Lori D. Thompson, Member & General Counsel, LeClairRyan


The legal spend by U.S. corporations on their outside counsel has remained essentially flat since 2008, while their spend on non-legal service providers has exploded. This panel will look at how non-legal service vendors are assisting law firms to deliver their services more cheaply, faster and better, and will explore the ways in which these non-law firm service providers are meeting the legal service needs of corporations while bypassing law firms entirely.

10:20–10:40 a.m.

Networking Break

10:40–11:35 a.m.

Lateral Hiring: Trick or Treat?

Moderator: Philip Touitou, Partner, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

Panelists: Michael A. Ellenhorn, Co-Founder & General Counsel, Decipher; Shauna Reeder, Senior Claim Counsel, CNA

Tepid growth in the demand for legal services in recent years has fueled a dramatic increase in law firm lateral partner recruitment. Recent surveys confirm that a staggering percentage of partners – in some markets over 50% of them – are making lateral moves to new firms.  Despite the volume of activity, many of those moves will not be successful, resulting in buyer’s remorse or worse.  How can firms improve the odds of success?  The focus of the Panel’s discussion will be on identifying the risks of lateral recruiting and implementing strategies to mitigate them.

11:35 a.m.–12:05 p.m.

What’s Keeping General Counsel up at Night? Session II

Moderator: Janis M. Meyer, Partner, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

From conflicts to cannabis, claims assessment to multi-jurisdictional practice, confidentiality to departing partners, law firm general counsel see it all. This is the second of two sessions in which law firm general counsel and risk managers will share some of the issues that are keeping them busy. Audience participation will be welcomed and encouraged.

12:05–1:15 p.m.

Keynote Lunch
#MeToo and the Legal Profession: A Look Back and a Look Forward

Guest Speaker: Gwen Mellor, Partner, Zeughauser Group

It has been hard to pick up a newspaper, read an on-line journal or blog, or watch television news without seeing some reference to the complex movement with the simple title of #MeToo. Although triggered by revelations in the film industry, the movement has spread throughout the workplace, touching on many industries, including the legal profession. This presentation, by an experienced consultant to the legal industry, will focus on what #MeToo means for individual lawyers, law firms and the profession, including how firms are handling issues of harassment, discrimination, equal pay, and gender equality and what we can expect in the months and years to come.


1:15–2:10 p.m.

Breakout Panel I:
The Sky is Not Falling: How to Handle a Law Firm Crisis
Moderator:
 Janis M. Meyer, Partner, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP
Panelists: Risa B. Heller, CEO, Risa Heller Communications; Martin I. Kaminski, General Counsel, Greenberg Traurig

It may have taken years, if not decades, for a law firm to develop its reputation for great work, solid judgment, and dependability. One crisis, whether it be a serious malpractice case, a harassment claim, or rumors of financial difficulties, can damage or destroy that reputation in the blink of an eye. An experienced law firm general counsel and a leading crisis manager will discuss the steps a firm needs to take to prevent a crisis from destroying or weakening the organization.

Breakout Panel II:
Small Firms, Big Problems
Moderator:
 Cassidy E. Chivers, Partner, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP
Panelists: Renee Levitt, AVP, AmTrust Financial Services, Inc.; Gawain Charlton-Perrin, Director of Risk Management, The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc.

Most small firms do not have a general counsel's office to establish and enforce the firm's risk management structure and policies. Indeed, solo practitioners must act as their own general counsel. This panel will identify the most common risks faced by small firms and how to mitigate them without expending significant time and resources. Topics will include: best practices in preventing and responding to a cyber breach; navigating conflicts; succession planning; mitigating mistakes (and ethically handling them) during the representation; and much more.

2:10–3:00 p.m.

What You Can Learn from Winston Churchill About Cybersecurity

Moderator: Steven M. Puiszis, General Counsel – Privacy Security & Compliance, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

Panelists: William (Bill) Kyrouz, Information Security Detection & Response

It's 2019: How confident are you in your firm's information security program? If NotPetya or WannaCry were to strike again, would you be safe? Do you know what you can do to limit lateral movement in your network, prevent a hacker from taking control of privileged accounts or identify the phishing scams that are working against your peers? How to handle these and other lurking disasters will be addressed. As Winston Churchill reputedly said: Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it. As usual, this presentation is not for the faint of heart.