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Understanding Coverage Issues, Ethical Concerns and Remote Proceedings in Response to COVID-19 and More (2021 Insurance Law Section CLE)

8:55        Welcome and Introductions

9:00        Top 10 Insurance Law Decisions of 2020

Joshua D. Davey, Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP, Charlotte
Jason D. Evans, 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.

9:45        Break

9:55        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.

10:43      Break

10:50      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).

11:34      Break

11:45      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.

12:30      Lunch Break

1:00        Remote/Virtual Proceeding from the Judge’s Perspective: Advice, Suggestions and Observations

Susan H. Boyles, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, Winston-Salem (Moderator)
Judge Richard D. Dietz, North Carolina Court of Appeals, Raleigh
Judge Paul C. Ridgeway, North Carolina Superior Court, Raleigh

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.

1:44        Break

1:55        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.

2:53        Break

3:00        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.

4:02        Break

4:10        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.

5:10        Adjourn

* Indicates portion providing Ethics/Professional Responsibility credit
† Indicates portion providing Substance Abuse/Mental Health credit
‡ Indicates portion providing Technology Training credit

Thank you

Thank you for joining us for the rebroadcast of Understanding Coverage Issues, Ethical Concerns and Remote Proceedings in Response to COVID-19 and More.


  • Deborah J. Bowers

    Deborah J. Bowers graduated from the University of Texas in 1974 and received her J.D. degree, cum laude, from the University of Houston, Bates College of Law in 1980.

    After law school, Deb engaged in a civil litigation practice in New Jersey for several years, specializing in fidelity and surety work, construction defects litigation and commercial litigation. Since moving to North Carolina in 1997, Deb has focused her practice primarily on insurance coverage disputes and construction defects litigation. Deb served as Chair of the NCBA Insurance Law section (2018-2019) and has been named a North Carolina SuperLawyer in the field of insurance law for the past several years. She is a certified superior court mediator and has served on the board of directors for the North Carolina Association of Defense Lawyers as well as having chaired the Construction Law practice group for that organization.

    Deb is an Assistant Editor of the Lexis Nexis Practice Guide - "New Appleman North Carolina Insurance Litigation" and authored three chapters in that publication, which is updated annually.

    Click here for more information about Deb.

  • Susan H. Boyles

    Susan H. Boyles focuses her practice on business litigation and insurance coverage disputes. She regularly represents clients in state and federal courts throughout North Carolina, on both the trial and appellate court levels. She is also a certified mediator for North Carolina Superior Court cases by the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission.

    Ms. Boyles takes ownership of her client's problems and works to find the most cost-effective way to solve them. She analyzes the legal issues alongside the practical and business implications and partners with clients to accomplish their goals. She was recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® for Commercial Litigation, Insurance Law, Banking & Finance Litigation, Insurance Litigation, and Personal Injury Litigation in 2021 and the 14 years immediately preceding. Ms. Boyles was also named a 2016 and 2018 "Greensboro Lawyer of the Year" in the area of Insurance Litigation and in 2017 for Insurance Law, a 2020 "Triad Lawyer of the Year" for Insurance Law, and a 2021 "Triad Lawyer of the Year" for Insurance Litigation by The Best Lawyers in America®. In 2014, 2016 and 2017, she was recommended by Legal 500 US in the area of Trade Secrets Litigation.

    Ms. Boyles regularly provides pro bono legal services focused on the needs of children through the Children's Law Center of Central North Carolina and the Legal Aid of North Carolina.

    Click here for more information about Susan.

  • Joshua D. Davey

    Joshua D. Davey has devoted a substantial portion of his career to representation of banks, mortgage companies, auto and credit card lenders, and other financial industry clients in a variety of contentious litigation matters ranging from sophisticated business disputes to consumer class actions. He has also represented clients in a variety of governmental investigations and enforcement proceedings, including before the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Department of Justice, and state attorneys general. Josh's clients have also called on him to lead internal investigations, assist with responding to MRAs, help develop and implement remediation plans, and to advise them on compliance issues. Josh also has broad experience handling other types of trial and appellate matters across a range of industries, including insurance litigation, business tort and trade secret disputes, antitrust disputes, shareholder derivative and class action suits, real property and construction litigation, government contracting disputes, media and First Amendment litigation, and litigation under state and federal freedom of information acts. His expertise includes advising religious organizations in constitutional law matters. Josh maintains an active appellate practice and has argued multiple appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit and North Carolina Court of Appeals.

    Josh is active in the community and has served as a board member of several local nonprofit organizations. Josh also is committed to pro bono work and he has represented clients in immigration matters, landlord-tenant disputes, custody and guardian ad litem proceedings, Criminal Justice Act appointments, and as amicus curiae in the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Prior to joining Troutman Pepper, Josh clerked for the Hon. Dennis W. Shedd of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

    Click here for more information about Josh.

  • R. Steven DeGeorge

    R. Steven DeGeorge is a partner at Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson PA in Charlotte. He handles insurance, product liability, toxic tort and environmental disputes, and he counsels clients in transactions presenting these issues.

    Steve represents policyholders, exclusively, in courts across the country. He is co-chair of the firm's Insurance Coverage Practice Group and co-author of "New Appleman North Carolina Insurance Litigation (2020 ed.)" the definitive treatise on North Carolina insurance litigation. He also counsels businesses relative to their coverage needs and negotiates with insurers for the most favorable coverage terms available.

    Steve has represented property owners and alleged "arrangers" at several EPA National Priority List sites. He represents a public chemical company in a series of interrelated state and federal lawsuits, including class actions and MDL litigation, arising from discharges of PFAS and other "emerging compounds."

    Steve serves as U.S. coordinating counsel for product liability and toxic tort litigation brought against three international product manufacturers.

    Click here for more information about Steve.

  • Judge Richard D. Dietz

    Judge Richard D. Dietz grew up in a small Pennsylvania Dutch family with roots in the mountains of north central Pennsylvania. He is a Lutheran. He comes from a family of railroad and telephone workers and was the first in his family to attend college.

    Before joining the Court, Judge Dietz was a partner on the Appellate & Supreme Court team at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, a 650-lawyer international law firm with its roots in North Carolina.

    In his legal practice, Judge Dietz argued in the U.S. Supreme Court in Abramski v. United States, 134 S.Ct. 2259 (2014), and handled dozens of appeals in other state and federal courts around the country. He argued cases in a wide range of legal areas, including constitutional law, complex business law, criminal law, family law, and tort law. He has also represented a broad array of clients, from Fortune 500 companies to low-income families and indigent criminal defendants.

    Judge Dietz is a North Carolina board certified specialist in Appellate Practice. He previously served as a vice president of the North Carolina Bar Association, as vice chair of the Appellate Practice Section and on the Appellate Practice Section Council. He has also served for more than ten years on the Bar Association's Appellate Rules Committee, a group of lawyers and judges who review the state's appellate rules and draft proposed changes.

    Judge Dietz has served on a number of court-related boards and commissions, including the North Carolina Courts Commission, a group of judges, lawyers, legislators, and private citizens who study and recommend changes to the court system. He currently serves on the North Carolina Equal Access to Justice Commission and chaired the Commission's strategic planning committee.

    Click here for more information about Judge Dietz.

  • Jason D. Evans

    Jason D. Evans represents business clients in complex litigation and class action disputes, including a significant focus on banking and financial services matters; antitrust litigation, investigations, and compliance; and other government enforcement and regulatory matters, including compliance with federal and state laws governing banks and their consumer lending activities.

    In addition to financial services, Jason has experience in the energy, chemical, food and beverage, manufacturing, automotive, and retail. He has handled high-stakes disputes in trial and appellate courts, both federal and state, throughout the country as well as in commercial arbitrations.

    In his financial services practice, Jason has represented banks and other financial institutions in matters involving parallel regulatory and civil litigation, including the resolution of significant matters with the OCC, the CFPB, and the Attorneys General in all 50 states, as well as with private litigants, including class action plaintiffs and commercial counterparties. He has significant experience in the auto lending, residential mortgage, and deposit banking businesses. He has represented banks and lenders in disputes involving complex financial products and instruments, residential mortgage securitizations, data privacy, consumer class actions, investor claims, aiding-and-abetting fraud claims, Ponzi schemes, software and technology disputes, supply chain matters, and other complex litigation matters.

    In the energy sector, Jason has represented electric utilities and other energy companies in complex commercial litigation, contract and supply chain disputes, antitrust litigation, and antitrust compliance, with a focus on the renewable energy industry, including matters involving both solar and wind power.

    Jason regularly counsels companies on antitrust compliance and has handled antitrust litigation or investigations in the chemical, agriculture, energy, financial services, transportation, and retail industries.

    Jason's diverse litigation experience additionally includes data privacy and security matters – he received the Certified Information Privacy Professional (U.S.) certification – as well as matters involving insurance coverage, software and technology implementation, supply chain, distribution, construction, and eminent domain.

    Among other activities, Jason is the past Chair of the North Carolina Bar Association Antitrust & Complex Business Disputes Section and is an Adjunct Professor at Wake Forest School of Law teaching antitrust.

    Click here for more information about Jason.

  • Lenneka H. "Nikki" Feliciano

    Lenneka H. "Nikki" Feliciano is an Associate of Pinto Coates Kyre & Bowers PLLC in Greensboro. Her principal areas of practice are insurance defense, insurance coverage, personal injury litigation, subrogation and construction litigation matters. Nikki has handled cases throughout the State of North Carolina, including cases in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, and the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina.

    Nikki is a member of the Greensboro and North Carolina Bar Associations and the Guilford County Association of Black Lawyers. She received her B.A. degree, cum laude, from North Carolina State University in 2004 and her J.D. degree from Elon University School of Law in 2011.

    Click here for more information about Nikki.

  • Daniel J. Knight

    Daniel J. Knight is an associate attorney with Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP in Raleigh. Daniel focuses his practice in the area of construction litigation representing owners, contractors, and design professionals in construction disputes. In addition to his construction practice, Daniel has represented and advised clients in connection with product liability claims, personal injury claims, and consumer complaints.

    Daniel has frequently spoken to industry groups on a range of construction topics including changes to standard form AIA contracts, delay claims, and commercial general liability insurance in the context of construction claims. Daniel currently serves as a co-chair for the Construction Law Section's CLE Committee. In addition to his commitment to the Construction Law Section, Daniel is actively involved in the NCBA's Insurance Law Section serving as a Council Member, the Section's YLD Liaison, and serving as a co-chair for both the Section's CLE Committee and Blog Committee.

    Daniel is originally from Wake Forest, North Carolina and received his B.A. degrees in History and Political Science from North Carolina State University in 2010 and his J.D. degree from Campbell University School of Law in 2014. In law school, Daniel was a member and officer of the Delta Theta Phi law fraternity, which was actively involved with the Food Bank of Central, and Eastern North Carolina, the Campbell Law Innocence Project and the Military Law Student Association.

    Click here for more information about Daniel.

  • R. Hugh Lumpkin

    R. Hugh Lumpkin is a partner at the Miami, Florida office of Reed Smith, LLP. Prior to joining Reed Smith, Mr. Lumpkin was a shareholder with Ver Ploeg & Lumpkin, P.A. for over 20 years. His principal area of practice for more than three decades is litigation, trial and appeals of cases presenting insurance coverage and bad faith issues. He is admitted to the Florida Bar; U.S. District Courts, Southern, Middle and Northern Districts of Florida; U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth, Seventh and Eleventh Circuits; and the U.S. Supreme Court. He has also been admitted pro hac in many other courts to service the needs of the firm's clients.

    Mr. Lumpkin has written extensively on insurance issues and has appeared as a frequent lecturer for the American Bar Association, and other organizations that provide educational and business opportunities to professionals. He is a member of the American College of Coverage Counsel, the American Bar Association (where he is a life fellow), Florida Bar and Dade County Bar Association. He received his A.B. degree from Duke University in 1977 and his J.D. degree from the University of Miami School of Law in 1980.

    Click here for more information about Hugh.

  • Robynn E. Moraites

    Robynn E. Moraites is the Executive Director of the NC LAP. She obtained her undergraduate degree in education from Florida State and her law degree from UNC at Chapel Hill. Prior to attending law school, she ran a public health program at the University of Miami where she developed continuing medical education programs for healthcare professionals working in the field of geriatric medicine.

    Prior to joining the LAP, Robynn practiced law in North Carolina in large firm, small firm, and in-house settings. She has an extensive background and knowledge in helping lawyers in recovery.

    Click here for more information about Robynn.

  • Judge Paul C. Ridgeway

    Judge Paul C. Ridgeway is Senior Resident Superior Court Judge of the 10th Judicial District (Wake County), North Carolina.

    Judge Ridgeway received his B.S. ('82) and M.P.A. ('90) from N.C. State University, and his J.D. from Campbell School of Law ('86), where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the law review. Following law school, Judge Ridgeway received a post-graduate degree from the University of Amsterdam in the law of the European Community.

    Prior to becoming a judge in 2007, Judge Ridgeway was engaged in the private practice of law for 20 years, primarily in the fields of commercial litigation and transactions. Judge Ridgeway has served as President of the Wake County Bar Association and as a Vice President of the NCBA.

    For 25 years, Judge Ridgeway has also been an adjunct professor of law at Campbell School of Law, where he teaches seminars in International Litigation and Law & Public Policy.

    Click here for more information about Judge Ridgeway.

  • David C. Roberts

    David C. Roberts has been immersed in the court reporting field his entire life. He joined AWR 20 years ago as the company's In-house Legal Videographer and went on to graduate cum laude from Northwood University with a Bachelor of Business Management and Court Reporting degree. David earned the National Court Reporters Association's Certified Manager of Reporting Services certification in 2002 and is currently a Certified Realtime Reporter and Certified Legal Videography Specialist.

    After over a decade in the legal industry, David saw a need for lawyers to create visually compelling cases for judges and juries that included graphics and trial technology. He established AWR's sister company, AWR Trial Solutions, to assist lawyers with their mediation and trial presentation needs – from courtroom setup to sophisticated and compelling legal presentations. With over 130 jury trials conducted and hundreds of mediations, AWR Trial Solutions remains in the forefront of emerging trial technology and legal graphics.

    Click here for more information about David.

  • Alan M. Ruley

    Alan M. Ruley is a member of Bell Davis & Pitt PA in Winston-Salem. He is a seasoned civil trial and appellate lawyer. He represents clients in a wide variety of disputes in federal and state court, focusing primarily on business litigation, intellectual property, insurance, banking and employment. Alan handles all aspects of civil litigation in both state and federal courts, from the pre-lawsuit investigation through the appeals process. In recent years, his focus has been on business disputes and torts (fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, tortious interference with contract, trade secret misappropriation, unfair trade practices), insurance coverage matters, and employment matters.

    Alan is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Forsyth County, North Carolina and West Virginia Bar Associations and the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys. He received his A.B. degree, summa cum laude, from Duke University in 1982 and his J.D. degree from Stanford University in 1986.

    Click here for more information about Alan.

  • Mark A. Scruggs

    Mark A. Scruggs is a Senior Claims Counsel with Lawyers Mutual. He joined Lawyers Mutual in 2001, after practicing law in Durham for 14 years. Mark has served North Carolina lawyers in various capacities with the North Carolina Bar Association and the North Carolina State Bar. In 2019, Mark received the North Carolina State Bar’s John B. McMillan Distinguished Service Award for his service to our profession. 

    Click here for more information about Mark.

  • Tom Towey

    Tom Towey joined Veritext Legal Solutions in March 2018 and serves as the Director of Sales for the South Region, which includes Georgia, Alabama and North Carolina. In addition to overseeing the dayto-day sales operations, Tom travels throughout the Southeast educating clients and leading product demonstrations on new deposition technology. His background includes over 25 years of experience in the legal industry supporting clients with both document management and discovery needs.

    Tom grew up in Mobile, AL and graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Management.

    Click here for more information about Tom.

  • Richard C. Worf Jr.

    Richard C. Worf Jr. is the co-chair of Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson PAs Insurance Coverage Practice Group in Charlotte. He represents policyholders, exclusively, in insurance coverage disputes and counsels clients with respect to their coverage needs.

    Rich also practices in the areas of mass tort litigation and asbestos-related bankruptcy. He helped lead the trial team that prevailed in the Garlock case in the Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of North Carolina, in which the court accepted his client's liability estimate of $125 million and rejected the estimate of asbestos claimants that exceeded $1.2 billion. Rich also advises businesses on mass tort issues when purchasing or investing in distressed assets or conducting corporate restructurings.

    Rich earned his A.B., summa cum laude, from Harvard College and his J.D. from Yale University.

    Click here for more information about Rich.

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May 3, 2021
Mon 8:55 AM EDT

Duration 8H 15M

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