5 Takeaways from CLM 2018 Annual Conference, March 14-16, 2018 in Houston, TX

I was fortunate to attend and speak on a panel at the CLM Annual Conference in Houston last week. I thought I would pass along a few takeaways from the professional liability sessions I attended.

  1. The increase in autonomy for “Physician Extenders” (CRNA, NP, PA, midwives) likely comes with increased liability risk to them. Analyzing contracts with the supervising physician, actual supervision of the physician extender, whether the extender’s liability insurance coverage matches the realities of their practice, and whether the extender will be held to the physician standard of care are all important considerations in advising and defending a physician extender.
  2. Lawyers must embrace Artificial Intelligence in analyzing cases and use it to their advantage. They must be prepared to discuss why the data is or is not accurate and how it can be applied to a specific case.
  3. Don’t forget about paper and unsaved emails in the “high-stakes” insurance broker case. The tendency may be to focus on ESI due to the vast amount of documentation in a multi-million dollar claim. But a hand-written note documenting a meeting or phone call, or an email that was not saved to the client file could be the key piece of evidence to support the broker’s position that a coverage was refused or a particular risk was discussed.
  4. High exposure does not necessarily translate to the existence of a special relationship with an insurance broker. Key factors to address in opposing a special relationship finding are:
    • Other brokers involved/seeking competing bids
    • Criticism or questioning of the broker by the client
    • The sophistication of the client and autonomy in decision-making
  5. Cyber-attacks and data breaches pose an increasing risk to professionals such as lawyers, accountants, insurance agents, and medical professionals, who possess a significant amount of potentially valuable data.
    • As the sophistication of the attacks has increased, so has the variety in available insurance coverages.
    • Make sure that your firm and your clients have adequate coverages to address the wide range of cyber risk to you and your clients.
    • The sooner you respond to a cyber-attack, the better, starting with reporting it to your insurance carrier who likely has the resources to assist with addressing the issue.
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I Don’t Have Much Elevation Left On My Jump Shot But That’s OK

Last Saturday I was, once again, Player Coach for the Lawyers in the Jawbones v. Sawbones Charity Basketball Game.  This is the 6th year of the Event and I have played, and Carlock Copeland has been a sponsor, every year. The event usually raises about $80,000 for the Side By Side Brain Injury Clubhouse and this year the Lawyers won again in a relatively close game.  While our team was once again stacked with some pretty good ex-college talent, that was not what I thought about while leaving the Mercer University gym.  The game started when a young woman was given a microphone in the middle of the Court and welcomed us all to the event.  She only spoke about 20 brave but halting words to the assembled multitude.  She had worked at the Clubhouse for five years trying to regain the powers of speech following a stroke. Her welcome was just a step along the way of recovery.  Other brain damage victims happily passed out towels or worked the concession stand.  After six years I have seen many of the same family members again and again.

Many of us are blessed to practice law or medicine or accounting.  The joy of counseling clients and handling sophisticated work is something that we hopefully grow to value more and more over the years.  I was reminded on Saturday night that many are not so blessed and we should appreciate all that we have.  Link to learn more or support The Clubhouse:  http://www.sidebysideclubhouse.org/giving-volunteering/donate/.

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