With approximately 2,500 members throughout the United States and Canada, the Insurance Law Committee is one of DRI’s largest and most active committees. The Committee has 20 formal Subcommittees addressing the practical and substantive aspects of insurance law, including: Advertising Injury Liability; Agents & Brokers; Asbestos/Silica; Automobile Liability; Bad Faith; Canadian; Commercial General Liability; Construction Law; Directors and Officers; Emerging Issues; Employment Law; Environmental Law; Excess and Umbrella; First Party Property; Homeowners Insurance; Insurance Company Relations; Products Coverage; Professional Liability Insurance; Reinsurance; and Workers’ Compensation Insurance. Additional ad hoc subcommittees regularly form, as discussed below, to address particular topics of interest.
The Insurance Law Committee’s principal purpose is to provide first-class educational and professional resources to our members in a topical, timely and affordable manner. In addition to organizing several national seminars throughout the year on diverse topics impacting insurance law, we are also involved in sponsoring teleconferences that focus on a single topic for a short period of time, permitting people to learn from the experts without having to leave their office. For example, after Hurricane Katrina, DRI’s Insurance Law Committee hosted a teleconference that explored the coverage issues and the legal actions against the insurance industry making national headlines. The Committee also publishes a monthly “e-zine” insurance law newsletter, Covered Events, in which we summarize new case developments and feature in-depth articles. We also publish a collection of articles in For The Defense every year.
The Committee is working on a number of 50-state or nationwide compendia that summarize certain key issues in insurance law. This year the Committee will publish a Compendium on Coverage for Construction Defect Claims, an Unfair Insurance Practices Compendium and a UM/UIM Compendium.
The Committee is dedicated to producing at least one webconference series this year. We anticipate that we will do a multi-part teleconference on Insurance Fundamentals. We hope to market this to law firms that would use the series to educate their young lawyers. We also believe that insurance professionals will find this informative on areas outside their scope of practice. We are also conducting a seminar on Bad Faith Liability and Litigation.
Our Committee is often called upon by DRI to address issues of specific concern to the world of insurance. For example, in past years we have prepared amicus briefs to be submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court by DRI. The Insurance Law Committee has also been instrumental in organizing and developing the Insurance Roundtable meetings between insurance claims executives and leading members of the defense bar. These Roundtables have provided a neutral forum to promote solutions to problems affecting the tripartite relationship, particularly legal and ethical issues resulting from the increased use by insurers of outside auditors and billing guidelines.
The Insurance Law Committee invites all attorneys involved in insurance claims and litigation to share our fellowship.