8:25 Welcome and Introductions
8:30 Top 10 Insurance Law Decisions of 2020
Joshua D. Davey, Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP, Charlotte
The always-popular "Top 10" session returns for 2021. Review the 10 or so most significant insurance law decisions from the preceding year, in North Carolina and nationwide.
9:25 Bad Faith Cases: Preparation and Trial
R. Hugh Lumpkin, Reed Smith LLP, Miami, FL
Discuss the common and key issues in the preparation for and trial of an insurance bad faith case, including litigation immunity, common discovery problems like general business practice proof and other claims evidence, proving intent, industry standards and their sources, and damages, including punitive damages. While the presentation focuses on North Carolina law, significant developments in national trends are also addressed.
10:20 Insurance Claims Arising from COVID-19 Related Losses
Deborah J. Bowers, Pinto Coates Kyre & Bowers PLLC, Greensboro
Richard C. Worf, Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson PA, Charlotte
COVID-19 interrupted a lot of businesses: restaurants, theater, fitness centers, sports arenas, hair and nail salons, spas, and more. The list is long and varied. The financial losses to business — big, small and in between — promises to be a hot topic for years to come. The proverbial $64,000 question is: "Is there insurance coverage for that?" Hear a discussion from both the insurer's perspective (Bowers) and the policyholder/insured's perspective (Worf).
11:15 Choice of Law Issues in Insurance Cases
R. Steven DeGeorge, Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson PA, Charlotte
Choice of law can be outcome-determinative in many coverage actions because states resolve coverage actions based on widely differing rules. Examples include trigger of coverage, extra-contractual recovery, bad faith elements, late notice requirement for insurer prejudice, and "all sums"coverage for long-tail claims. Because most insurers cover interests in all 50 states, attorneys contemplating litigation typically have venue options, with choice of law governed by the forum state. This session discusses strategies to take advantage of these options, including consideration of N.C.G.S. § 58-3-1, which effectively requires application of North Carolina law to policies covering "property, lives, or interests" in North Carolina.
12:00 Lunch Break
12:30 Remote/Virtual Proceeding from the Judge’s Perspective: Advice, Suggestions and Observations
Judge Richard D. Dietz, North Carolina Court of Appeals, Raleigh
Judge Paul C. Ridgeway, North Carolina Superior Court, Raleigh
Susan H. Boyles, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, Winston-Salem (Moderator)
We are now having hearings and arguments remotely, via Zoom and other internet video services, at both the trial-court level and the appellate-court level. In this segment, two highly respected judges — one from the trial court (Judge Ridgeway) and one from the Court of Appeals (Judge Dietz) — share their advice, suggestions and observations to help practitioners with these new developments.
1:25 Remote/Virtual Proceedings: Technical Aspects, Tips and Best Practices‡
David C. Roberts, Veritext Legal Solutions, Charleston, SC
Tom Towey, Veritext Legal Solutions, Atlanta, GA
In July 2020, the NC Legislature extended the deadline on remote oaths to be effective until March 1, 2021. Although remote depositions and remote mediations are not a new frontier, for many, they present a new way of practicing law. During this session, attendees learn how to take proceedings from the physical, in-person world to the virtual world. Explore best practices and key considerations for your virtual proceedings, including demonstrations in remote and exhibit-sharing tools, discussions on how to keep your remote proceedings secure, and more.
2:35 Ethics in the Coronavirus Age: The More Things Change, the More They Remain the Same*
Mark A. Scruggs, Lawyers Mutual Liability Insurance Company of North Carolina, Cary
As of the date of this program, we will be nearly one year past the onset of the coronavirus. Our practices have changed dramatically — working from home, Zoom meetings and hearings, remote depositions, and more — but the ethical requirements remain constant. Mark Scruggs of Lawyers Mutual provides a timely update.
3:45 Psychology of Transitions†
Robynn E. Moraites, North Carolina Lawyer Assistance Program, Charlotte
Transition appears in myriad forms throughout our lives and careers: getting married, getting divorced, having children, children leaving for college, moving to a new town, leaving a law firm, changing practice areas, retiring ... the list goes on. Add to that, many of us spend our days counseling and advising clients who face major change arising from insurance coverage disputes, starting a new business, selling a business, business breakups, personal injuries and the like. This session examines the unspoken "elephants in the living room" that directly impact and influence our ability (or seeming inability) to welcome or embrace transition and change. Transition is never easy, but with increased awareness of the invisible forces within us that fight transition, it need not be so difficult.
*Indicates portion providing Ethics/Professional Responsibility credit
†Indicates portion providing Substance Abuse/Mental Health credit
‡ Indicates portion providing Technology Training credit