Michelle R. Bernard is a partner at Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani LLP and co-chair of the Insurance practice group in the San Diego office. She specializes in insurance coverage advice and extra-contractual litigation and also has extensive experience in the areas of professional liability defense litigation. Ms. Bernard represents both domestic and London market insurers in connection with complex insurance disputes involving property and casualty (primary/excess), professional liability (D & O, E & O, EPLI) and life, health and disability matters.
Lisa Fontana Brennan is an Executive Claims Examiner for Markel Corp. She handles claims in all states for a variety of professional lines including architects and engineers, accountants, dentists, directors and officers, employment practices liability, homeowners associations, miscellaneous errors and omissions, and technology. Lisa is a licensed attorney in Illinois, Michigan and Indiana and practiced law at an insurance defense firm prior to joining Markel. Lisa is a member of DRI's Insurance Law Committee.
Charles (Chuck) W. Browning is a partner at Plunkett Cooney, PC, where he oversees the firm's nationwide practice as coverage counsel for numerous insurance companies. He is annually listed in the publication The Best Lawyers in America, and is a Super Lawyer and Leading Lawyer. Mr. Browning is a Fellow in the American College of Coverage and Extra Contractual Counsel. He is a longtime member of the Steering Committee of DRI's Insurance Law Committee.
W. Edward Carlton is a shareholder in the Dallas, TX law firm of Quilling Selander Lownds Winslett & Moser PC. Mr. Carlton represents business clients in complex civil litigation. During the last fifteen years, his practice has focused on defending insurers and third-party administrators against claims of insurance bad faith, deceptive trade practices and insurance code violations. Mr. Carlton provides consultation and representation in numerous areas of insurance coverage, including commercial general liability, professional liability, property, environmental, workers' compensation and employers' liability, environmental, directors' and officers' liability, uninsured/underinsured motorist liability and umbrella liability policies. He also provides representation of insureds in litigation, including products liability, non-subscriber, catastrophic injury, and first party property claims; and maintains a commercial liability practice representing construction companies, self-insured employers and other business entities. Mr. Carlton has served in leadership positions with the Dallas Bar Association, the Texas Association of Defense Counsel and the Insurance Law Committee of the Defense Research Institute. He has spoken extensively and has authored numerous articles on insurance issues, and particularly on appropriate "good faith" claims handling and common miscues that can result in bad faith allegations.
Ernesto A. Castillo is counsel at The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., in Hartford, Connecticut where he focuses on coverage advice and litigation management arising from third-party liability claims. Prior to joining The Hartford, he practiced at Saxe, Doernberger & Vita P.C. representing large construction clients in litigation arising from first and third party liability claims.
Wen-Shin Cheng is a partner at Nicolaides Fink Thorpe Michaelides Sullivan LLP, in Chicago, Illinois. Wen represents insurance companies in litigation and on appeal in disputes involving policy interpretation, primary/excess disputes, and claims handling obligations for a wide variety of claims, including construction defect, pollution liability, product defect, personal and advertising injury, auto, and municipal liability. Wen is active in the DRI's Insurance Law Committee and a frequent author and lecturer on issues affecting the insurance industry.
Annette C. Clark is a shareholder in the San Diego firm of Duckor Spradling Metzger & Wynne. Before switching careers to become an attorney, she worked for 14 years in insurance management. Ms. Clark has litigated and arbitrated class actions in the areas of consumer, healthcare and employment law including wage/hour disputes, misclassification, and FLSA actions. In addition to litigation, she handles a wide variety of insurance coverage matters including offering coverage opinions and advice to both insurance carriers and institutional clients.
Max J. Cohen is a partner at Lowe Stein Hoffman Allweiss & Hauver LLP in New Orleans. He has extensive experience in state and federal courts defending insurers in coverage disputes; businesses and individuals in personal injury, premises liability, and property damage cases; and insurance agents and brokers, whose conduct has been questioned. Mr. Cohen is very involved in DRI. He was a speaker at ICCI in 2014, Program Vice Chair of ICCI in 2015 Program Chair of ICCI in 2016, and is currently Co-Chair of the Sub-Committee for Customized Industry Training of the ILC Industry Outreach Committee.
John D. Cole is a partner in the Insurance practice of the Washington, D.C. firm of Wiley Rein LLP. His practice has concentrated in service as an arbitrator or umpire in arbitrations between large insurers and reinsurers on more than 180 occasions. Additionally, Mr. Cole regularly serves as a consulting/testifying expert witness regarding generally accepted insurance standards and practices, where he has testified in both state and federal courts. Prior to joining Wiley Rein in 2002, Mr. Cole served as Executive Vice President and Chief Claims Officer for two major U.S. insurance groups, Zurich North America and Maryland Casualty Company, in addition to which, he held a number of claim and legal officer positions, including General Counsel of Maryland Casualty. In addition to those roles, Mr. Cole served as an Alternate Director of the American Insurance Association and as the founding chairman of the Complex Insurance Claims Litigation Association.
Andrew D. Deutsch is Senior Counsel at OneBeacon Insurance Group. He is part of the product development team, focusing on products for OneBeacon Technology Insurance including professional liability, cyber liability, excess liability, and other coverages for technology and medical technology risks. Andrew also manages OneBeacon's state filing team, which is responsible for all regulatory filings for admitted products.
Christopher P. Featherstun has been handling claims for Hiscox USA out of Atlanta, Georgia since September 2010. Chris initially handled a variety of claim across Hiscox's technology and media book of business before moving on to handle a wide range of claims including allied healthcare, miscellaneous E&O, architects, engineers, and general liability. Chris is currently Specialist Claims Counsel handling EPLI and D&O claims arising on Hiscox's Private Company and Not for Profit books of business. Chris graduated from James Madison University in 2004 and Mercer University's Walter F. George School of Law, where he was active in the moot court program, in 2009.
F. Lane Finch, Jr., provides insurance coverage advice, defends bad faith claims, and litigates first and third-party claims throughout Alabama. Those matters range from smaller claims to coverage disputes involving up to $500 million. He is very active in DRI programming and has chaired many of DRI's top seminars. Additionally, Lane has written extensively on insurance law, including "Automobile Liability Insurance" for New Appleman on Insurance Law Library Edition, and he edited numerous publications, such as DRI's Insurance Bad Faith and Professional Liability Coverage Compendia.
Matthew S. Foy is a partner in the San Francisco office of Gordon & Rees LLP and serves as the national practice group leader for the firm's property and casualty insurance practice. Mr. Foy represents insurers nationally in connection with coverage litigation and advice involving primary and excess liability policies with an emphasis on complex Coverage B, mass tort, directors and officers, professional liability, and environmental matters. Mr. Foy serves as Chair of DRI's Insurance Law Committee.
Dawn M. Gonzalez is with CNA Coverage Litigation in Chicago, IL. Dawn is a Senior Litigation Attorney in the CNA Coverage Litigation Group within CNA Insurance. She joined this in-house captive firm in May 2015, after 20+ years of private practice in established Chicago law firms. Her coverage practice has included various types of liability policies and various categories of claims. She has also served as defense counsel litigating cases on behalf of policyholders. She is a frequent speaker on coverage issues at events hosted by the DRI, ABA, PRLB and other organizations. She served as President of the Women's Bar Association of Illinois, 2005-2006, and has been active with other bar associations and community groups. She was recognized in the 2004 Chicago Law Bulletin's list of "40 Illinois Attorneys Under 40 to Watch" and recognized in the 2008 to 2016 "Illinois Super Lawyers". She graduated from DePaul University, College of Law in 1994 and the University of Michigan in 1991.
William (Bill) T. Graden is Associate General Counsel in the Corporate Law Department at State Farm Insurance. He leads the Auto Claim Counsel section that supports State Farm Auto in all 50 States. Mr. Graden is licensed in Indiana (85) and Illinois (97). He began his career in private practice primarily as insurance defense trial and appellate counsel. He managed Extra Contractual suits against State Farm early in his tenure, then led the Life-Health section prior to his current assignment. He is the chair of the DRI Insurance Law Personal Lines subcommittee.
Daniel I. Graham, Jr. is a partner at Nicolaides Fink Thorpe Michaelides Sullivan LLP, where he concentrates his practice in the areas of insurance coverage and appeals. His practice is focused on advising and representing insurance companies in coverage disputes, with a particular emphasis on intellectual property infringement, cyber-tort, and unfair business practice claims. He has litigated insurance-related disputes before state and federal courts throughout the country and is an active member of the Defense Research Institute.
Matthew M. Haar is a litigation attorney in Saul Ewing's Harrisburg office and is a member of the firm's Insurance Practice Group. He focuses his practice on corporate and commercial litigation with an emphasis on complex coverage and bad faith disputes, as well as administrative proceedings and rehabilitations and liquidations. Mr. Haar also routinely handles extra-contractual liability cases for other clients in the financial services industry, such as banks, trust companies, producers and credit card companies, as well as agents and brokers in the real estate industry. A frequent speaker on the law of bad faith, Mr. Haar is an active member of DRI's Insurance Law Committee, chair of its Bad Faith Subcommittee and previously served as co-editor of the committee's monthly e-newsletter, Covered Events
Hillary C. Jarvis joined Markel in Richmond, Virginia in March 2015 as Claims Counsel, focusing on Markel's first-party lines of business (Property/Marine/Transportation). Prior to joining Markel, Hillary was the Virginia/District of Columbia General Counselor for Travelers. Before joining Travelers, Hillary was Of Counsel at Steptoe and Johnson LLP, in Washington, D.C. While at Steptoe, Hillary represented insurers and reinsurers in disputes throughout the U.S., providing coverage and litigation/arbitration advice regarding their contractual and extra-contractual exposures across most first- and third-party commercial and personal lines of business. Hillary earned her J.D., cum laude, from Washington and Lee University School of Law and her B.A., magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Washington and Lee University. She is admitted to the Virginia and District of Columbia bars.
James H. Kallianis, Jr. is a partner at Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP. He has represented corporations and individuals in matters ranging from employment disputes to multimillion dollar securities and consumer fraud class actions. Mr. Kallianis also has represented insurers in matters involving directors and officers, cyber, employment practices, general liability and professional liability policies. In addition, he has defended various professionals, including lawyers, real estate brokers, accountants and insurance brokers.
Peter J. Marcus, is a partner with Berkes Crane Robinson & Seal LLP, in Los Angeles. His practice focuses on business litigation, including intellectual property, entertainment, insurance law, business torts, and appellate practice. He is admitted to practice in California, New York and Connecticut, the U.S. District Courts for the Central, Northern and Southern Districts of California and Southern District of New York, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and has litigated before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and the International Trade Commission. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts and his law degree from Quinnipiac University School of Law. In addition to DRI, he is also a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association and the Intellectual Property Law Section of the State Bar of California. He is a frequent writer and speaker on issues concerning federal practice, intellectual property and insurance coverage. He also writes the respected blog www.trademarcus.com. He has served as national president for the United States of the World Jurist Association, a non-governmental organization with special consultative status with the U.N. Economic and Social Council, consisting of judges, lawyers, supreme court justices and law professors from around the world engaging to further the rule of law and the administration of international law. He has served on the boards of Temple Israel of Hollywood and several nonprofits, and has spearheaded efforts as a leader in the fight against genocide and mass atrocities in Darfur, Sudan and elsewhere around the world. He is also an advisor to Panzi Foundation USA, which engages in strategic advocacy and investment to help provide aid to victims and prevent violence against women in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Peter previously worked as an editor with St. Martin's Press and the West Publishing Company, and authored the script for the award winning documentary, The Nixon-Kennedy Debates. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Zoe, and their two boys, Eli and Charlie.
Michael M. Marick is a partner of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, a DRI National Director, and a former Chair of the DRI Insurance Law Committee. For over thirty-four years, he has represented insurers nationally in coverage and bad faith litigation. He taught insurance law at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, which presented him with its Professional Achievement Award (2008), and where he serves on the Board of Overseers. The Best Lawyers in America recently honored Mr. Marick as the 2015 Chicago Insurance Law "Lawyer of the Year", and he is recognized in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Euromoney's World's Leading Insurance and Reinsurance Lawyers, among various other publications.
Christopher W. Martin is one of the leading insurance trial lawyers in the country having successfully tried bad faith and coverage cases in 15 different states and has handled cases in 38 states. He is the founding partner of the Texas law firm of Martin Disiere Jefferson & Wisdom and he lives in Houston. He is the author of 4 treatises on Texas Insurance Law and a regular speaker and writer on trial techniques and litigation strategies in insurance coverage and bad faith cases for state and national conferences. He taught Insurance Law at the University of Houston Law School for a decade. For the past 15 consecutive years, Chambers USA has named him the top insurance trial lawyer in Texas.
Michelle Marie Meyers is a Deputy City Attorney with the Office of the City Attorney in Oakland, CA. She is responsible for a significant litigation caseload which touches upon numerous legal theories, including insurance coverage. Prior to joining the City of Oakland, Michelle was trial Partner in Burnham Brown's Bay Area and Nevada offices. Her practice focused on insurance coverage litigation and advice. Michelle has successfully tried numerous bad faith lawsuits. She is a past Chair of the DRI's Insurance Coverage and Claims Institute and is honored to have served on the Steering Committee for the Insurance section of the DRI.
Cody S. Moon is a partner at Nicolaides Fink Thorpe Michaelides Sullivan LLP, in Chicago, Illinois. Cody is a seasoned litigator who focuses his practice on the representation of insurance companies. Throughout his career, he has conducted more than 20 trials, effectively litigated issues of first impression, and argued before state and federal courts across the country. Cody frequently advises his clients regarding complex coverage issues, bad faith claims handling, and how to avoid pitfalls in unfriendly jurisdictions. His litigation and insurance coverage experience encompasses a number of subject areas involving domestic and international policies, including: bad faith, primary-excess disputes, additional insureds and indemnification, product defect, food contamination commercial trucking and auto, environmental, appeals, and general commercial litigation. In addition to his litigation practice, Cody frequently presents seminars for insurance industry professionals and clients. Cody is a 2003 graduate of Washington University School of Law, and a 2000 graduate of Washington University in St. Louis. For the last six years, Super Lawyers Magazine has included Cody as a Rising Star among insurance coverage attorneys in Illinois, and the Leading Lawyers Network recognized him as an Emerging Lawyer in the fields of insurance, insurance coverage, reinsurance law, and commercial litigation. In May 2015, Cody co-authored an article for DRI relating to risks insurers face from covenants not to execute and consent judgments.
Frances M. O'Meara, a partner at Thompson Coe Cousins & Irons LLP, in Los Angeles, is a nationally recognized professional malpractice attorney who concentrates her practice in errors and omissions defense for attorneys, accountants, architects, insurance agents, real estate brokers, and appraisers. Frances is certified by the California State Bar as a Certified Legal Malpractice Specialist. She advises professionals and law firms on legal professional and ethical issues, and issues relating to risk management and loss control. Frances works directly with major insurance carriers throughout the United States, non-insured attorneys, large corporations, and financial institutions. She has extensive experience in D&O claims, commercial litigation, with an emphasis on fidelity, fiduciary and surety claims investigation and litigation. Frances also focuses her practice on defending general liability matters arising from premises liability, trucking, automobile, and accident claims involving property damage, personal injury, and wrongful death. Her clients include bars, restaurants, property owners, general contractors, subcontractors, architects, engineers, and trucking companies. Frances also has experience in the area of employment litigation, including discrimination claims, employment contracts, and retaliation and sexual harassment claims.
Jessica A. Ommen is a claims attorney at SECURA Insurance Co. in Appleton, WI. She manages litigated files in wide variety of fields, including automobile bodily injury, premises liability, employment practices liability, and construction defect. She has been a member of DRI for over three years. She presented at the 2015 Insurance Coverage and Claims Conference and was a contributing author of DRI's 2014 publication, Women Rainmakers – Roadmap to Success.
Ji Sun (Katie) Pak is Senior Counsel within Travelers Claim Legal General Liability Major Case Group, focusing on complex claim counseling and coverage litigation management. Prior to joining Travelers, Katie practiced at Mendes & Mount, LLP and specialized in insurance coverage issues arising from asbestos, pollution and other toxicants. Katie holds a B.A. in History, cum laude, from Binghamton University, a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School and is admitted to the bar in New York and Connecticut.
Elaine M. Pohl is a shareholder with Plunkett Cooney PC in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. She maintains a national practice counseling insurers in complex property and casualty insurance coverage disputes. Ms. Pohl is active in DRI's Insurance Law Committee, presently serving as an editor of DRI's Covered Events publication. She is also the chair of the Insurance and Indemnity Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan.
Alexander E. Potente is a partner with Sedgwick LLP in San Francisco, CA. Alex is an experienced trial lawyer who represents insurers in complex commercial insurance litigation matters including disputes pertaining to general liability and professional liability policies, with an emphasis on environmental and other long-tail insurance coverage disputes, as well as coverage issues arising from claims involving class actions, product defects, and public sector liability. In connection with his coverage work on privacy and cyber issues, Mr. Potente serves as co-chair of the DRI Data Breach Subcommittee. He served as a law clerk for the Honorable James B. Zagel of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois from 1997-1999. Mr. Potente was previously an editor of Sedgwick's Insurance Law Blog and Sedgwick's Insurance Law Update newsletter.
E. Todd Presnell is a partner in Bradley's Nashville office where he practices in the areas of business and employment litigation. Mr. Presnell also counsels and advises in-house legal departments on the attorney-client and other privileges, and authors the popular legal blog Presnell on Privileges. Mr. Presnell is a former chair of DRI's Young Lawyers Committee, former Chair of the DRI Annual Meeting, and currently serves on the DRI Law Institute.
Douglas R. Richmond is Managing Director of the Professional Services Group of Aon Risk Solutions. Before joining Aon, he was a partner with Armstrong Teasdale LLP in Kansas City, Missouri. Doug is a co-author of Understanding Insurance Law (5th ed. 2012) and the lead author of Professional Responsibility in Litigation (2d ed. 2016). He teaches Legal Ethics at the Northwestern University School of Law and Insurance Law at the University of Florida College of Law.
Robert L. Sallander, Jr. is the managing partner of Greenan Peffer Sallander & Lally LLP, with offices in the San Francisco Bay Area and New York. For more than 30 years, he has represented the interests and protected the rights of the insurance industry against catastrophic losses, expenses, and unfounded claims. He is currently the chair of the DRI Insurance Committee's substantive subcommittee on reinsurance.
Paul S. White is a partner is the Los Angeles office of Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP. Paul focuses his insurance practice on advising and defending insurers in complex insurance coverage disputes and also represents insurers and insurance agents and brokers in professional liability matters involving the procurement of insurance policies. Paul's insurance coverage practice includes advising and representing insurers in bad faith litigation, declaratory relief actions, and insurance policy disputes—including first-party property policies, general liability coverage, errors and omissions insurance, cyber-liability, and media liability insurance. He also advises and represents insurers in subrogation actions on property losses. In addition, Paul has litigated and arbitrated disputes throughout the United States involving domestic and foreign insurance agents and brokers in all lines of coverage. He has broad experience in the business practices of all types of insurance intermediaries, including brokers at every level in the broking process, from producers to managing general agents to London Market brokers.