8:10 Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:40 Welcome and Introductions
8:45 Top 10 Insurance Law Decisions of 2021
Adam White, Pinto Coates Kyre & Bowers PLLC, Greensboro
In the past year, North Carolina courts have continued to issue opinions and rulings pertaining to interesting — or at least relevant — aspects of insurance law. This segment reviews, analyzes and discusses the most significant decisions from the past year in both North Carolina state and federal courts. Additionally, we look at other cases and opinions to gain insight into the practice beyond North Carolina and a possible preview of the trends or decisions that may impact North Carolina insurance law in the future.
9:40 Insurance Claims: Continuing Issues Arising From COVID-Related Losses
Gagan Gupta, Paynter Law, Hillsborough Richard C. Worf Jr., Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson PA, Charlotte
Business interruption and other claims relating to COVID-19 continue to be prominent in court and in the news. It seems as if a new decision is rendered just about every day. This panel discusses trends in the litigation, including filings, key decisions and unanswered questions.
10:35 Insurer ( "But, Your Honor, There Is No Coverage for That") vs. Policyholder ( "Yes, There Is, Your Honor")
Elizabeth A. Martineau, Martineau King PLLC, Charlotte Michael T. Medford, Manning Fulton & Skinner PA, Raleigh
Explore insurance litigation strategies in concerning bad faith claims and claims under the Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act (UDTPA). From the insurer's perspective, we discuss how to navigate rough waters to avoid and/or minimize fishing expeditions by the plaintiff during litigation. Additionally, we also look at the policyholder's perspective in prosecuting these types of claims.
11:30 The Economic Loss Doctrine
David S. Coats, Bailey & Dixon LLP, Raleigh
Crescent University v. Trussway decision has caused lawyers to (re)consider current implications of this old rule, including its definition, scope and exceptions. Walk through what this decision means for claims against subcontractors and the design professional exception. Also discuss how it impacts insurance for subcontractors.
12:15 Insurance Law Section Annual Meeting
Alan M. Ruley, Bell Davis & Pitt PA, Winston-Salem, 2021-2022 Section Chair, Presiding
12:30 Lunch Break
1:15 Emerging Ethics *
Warren T. Savage, Lawyers Mutual Liability Insurance Company of North Carolina, Cary
New technologies and digital communications are pushing the limits of the Rules of Professional Conduct. Can we apply the rules designed for old-school law practice to the internet, email, blogging and social media? In this presentation, we discuss: (1) how ethics opinions are issued from the NC State Bar; (2) new and pending NC State Bar ethics opinions; and (3) updates on technology, advertising, and social media ethics opinions.
2:25 eCourts ‡
Brad Fowler, North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts, Raleigh Sarvani Jami, North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts, Raleigh Kristina Soeder, North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts, Raleigh
North Carolina is moving to an electronic filing system. Gain an understanding of the background information from members of the Administrative Office of the Courts and receive a demonstration of eFiling.
3:35 The Tripartite Relationship in Insurance Defense *
David L. Brown, Goldberg Segalla, Greensboro (Moderator) William A. Bulfer, Teague Campbell Dennis & Gorham LLP, Asheville C. Douglas Maynard Jr., Law Offices of C. Douglas Maynard Jr. PLLC, Winston-Salem Michael T. Medford, Manning Fulton & Skinner PA, Raleigh Khrystyne Rasmussen, Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig LLP, Charlotte Theodore "Ted" Smyth, Cranfill Sumner LLP, Raleigh (Moderator) O. Craig Tierney Jr., Brown Crump Vanore & Tierney PLLC, Raleigh Amy H. Wooten, Ward and Smith PA, Raleigh
Gain insight from a hypothetical scenario involving an explosion at a hotel, with both a first-party property loss and a third-party tort action arising out of the explosion. A group of participants role-play as counsel for various parties involved in the aftermath of the explosion — including representation of the policyholder, first-party coverage counsel, the insurance agent, plaintiff and defense counsel in the tort action, and coverage counsel for the defendant. While strategically representing their respective interests, the participants encounter a number of contentious points and address ethical issues that arise as they navigate to the conclusion of the hypothetical. Audience participation is encouraged!
This session qualifies for 1.00 hour of Ethics/Professional Responsibility credit
5:05 Adjourn * Indicates portion providing Ethics/Professional Responsibility credit ‡ Indicates portion providing Technology Training credit
A lot has happened over the past year that impacts our practice of insurance law: North Carolina courts have continued to issue opinions and rulings pertaining to interesting — or at least relevant — aspects of insurance law.
David L. Brown
David L. Brown is a partner at Goldberg Segalla in Greensboro. He serves as co-chair of the Global Insurance Services practice group. He represents insurers and insurance brokers in complex disputes throughout the country in matters involving environmental claims, construction defect claims, broker/agent issues, and directors' and officers' liability coverage. He has also handled very large and complex property coverage matters involving fires and other catastrophic losses, as well as product liability claims for clients in multiple industries.
David is regularly called upon to represent insurers and brokers with respect to their most sensitive matters involving their business practices and their institutional interests. He is also a certified mediator and maintains an active mediation practice.
In addition to being nationally recognized as an insurance expert, David has been consistently recognized by his peers and by judges as a preeminent trial and appellate lawyer. David has tried more than 75 cases to verdict, and has been lead counsel in over 50 appeals to state and federal appellate courts. Highly regarded among his colleagues, he is rated AV Preeminent—the highest possible rating—by Martindale-Hubbell.
David earned his B.A. in Economics from UNC Greensboro and his J.D. from UNC School of Law.
Click here for more information about David.
William A. Bulfer
William A. Bulfer co-chairs Teague Campbell"s Insurance Coverage Services group from the vistas of Asheville. His practice focuses on complex insurance coverage and municipal law matters and, when necessary, litigation regarding the same. Throughout Bill's career he has litigated a variety of liability claims and, in doing so, has gained a practical understanding of the underlying matters associated with the applicable coverage. He is a creative problem solver with a core understanding of the insurance industry that benefits his clients on a daily basis.
Known for his prompt and thorough responses, Bill provides coverage opinions, prosecutes and defends declaratory judgment actions, and provides legal advice and input with regard to the creation and modification of manuscript insuring agreements. He is regularly called upon to review the applicability of coverage in litigated claims involving contractual and extra-contractual risk. Additionally, Bill has been on the cutting edge of municipal coverage and the issues that directly affect those who protect municipalities for over 15 years.
Bill is an active member of the Defense Research Institute, where he is currently serving as the Vice Chair of the Transportation Substantive Law Group under the Insurance Law Committee, and the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys. He serves as an elected council member for the North Carolina Bar Association's Insurance Law Committee and has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America©, for Insurance Law and Litigation – Insurance, since 2016. He has also been recognized as a Super Lawyer by
North Carolina Super Lawyers, and has earned the highest (AV-Rated) ranking awarded by Martindale-Hubbell.
Bill earned his B.A. from Purdue University and his J.D. from Wake Forest University School of Law.
Click here for more information about Bill.
David S. Coats
David S. Coats is the co-managing partner and senior litigation partner for Bailey & Dixon LLP in Raleigh. In 2022, (as well as in 2019, 2020, and 2021), North Carolina Super Lawyers named David as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in North Carolina. They also named him in 2022 (and in 2021) as one of the Top 25 Lawyers in Raleigh. He has been recognized and peer selected for each of the past 15 years for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America; Business North Carolina Magazine's Legal Elite; and North Carolina Super Lawyers – and in a variety of areas including litigation, construction law, and insurance law. Since 1997, Martindale Hubbell has recognized David with its highest "AV" peer rating and has also recognized him with the highest rating as voted on by the Judiciary. In 2015, Best Lawyers in America selected David as Lawyer of the Year and the best lawyer in insurance law in the Raleigh metropolitan market.
David focuses his practice on commercial litigation, construction defect litigation, and insurance coverage litigation. He is the attorney of record in over 35 published opinions from the North Carolina Court of Appeals, the North Carolina Supreme Court, Federal District Courts in North Carolina and South Carolina, and the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and he has tried a large number of cases to verdict both in state and federal court. David is also a certified mediator and has mediated and arbitrated a variety of cases.
Click here for more information about David.
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.
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.
Brad D. Fowler
Brad D. Fowler joined the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts in 2001. From 2001 – 2009, Brad was the Assistant Administrator of the Guardian ad Litem Program. In 2009, Brad moved to the Research and Planning Division. In that division, Brad has been responsible for developing and updating staffing resource allocation models across the Judicial Branch.
In 2018, Brad's role expanded to include managing the eCourts Program Management Office as well as leading a team of system analysts as they configure a vendor-provided integrated case management system for North Carolina trial courts. This team provides training and support of legacy applications as well as the suite of vendor products. Management of the eCourts Program Management Office includes working with a governance process that includes an eCourts Advisory Committee and eCourts Steering Committee.
Brad holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Tennessee.
Click here for more information about Brad.
Gagan Gupta is a North Carolina native practicing law in Durham, where he heads up Paynter Law Firm's insurance disputes division. Presently, he is helping businesses navigate their insurance policies to secure coverage due to pandemic-related business losses. His lead case – captioned North State Deli, LLC et al. v. The Cincinnati Insurance Company, et al., No. 20-cvs-02569 (Durham County, North Carolina) – was the first among thousands across the nation to achieve a final judgment in favor of policyholders. This landmark victory was a powerful win for policyholders during an era of economic devastation for small businesses everywhere.
Prior to joining Paynter Law, Gagan graduated from Stanford Law School and then clerked for the Honorable Pierre N. Leval of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan. Thereafter, he joined a large national law firm where he handled litigation on behalf of Fortune 500 clients with a focus on technology disputes and federal appeals.
Click here for more information about Gagan.
Sarvani Jami is a Senior Systems Analyst at North Carolina Administrative Office of Courts (NCAOC) with expertise in Guide & File and File & Serve TM (eFiling) product areas of the larger eCourts ecosystem.
Before eCourts, Sarvani worked as a lead on NCAOC's Online Services and NC Bar attorney data integrations in addition to garnering several years of experience on legacy criminal web applications. Sarvani provides an overview of Registering and setting up accounts in File & Serve
TM and provides a demo of filing documents using File & Serve TM.
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.
Elizabeth A. Martineau
Elizabeth A. Martineau is a managing attorney at Martineau King PLLC in Charlotte. She ;has been a North Carolina licensed attorney since 1999. She holds an AV Preeminent Martindale Hubbell rating and is a founding member of Martineau King PLLC with offices in North and South Carolina. She specializes in complex litigation matters, including insurance coverage disputes.
Elizabeth started her professional career as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps, where she eventually graduated from Naval Justice School and became a Captain Judge Advocate and a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
Elizabethe earnerd her B.S.,
cum laude, from University of New Hampshire and her J.D. from Western New England College School of Law.
Click here for more information about Elizabeth.
C. Douglas Maynard Jr.
C. Douglas Maynard Jr. is the owner of the Law Offices of C. Douglas Maynard Jr PLLC in Winston-Salem. His practice focuses on representing injured persons and policyholders, insureds, and/or beneficiaries against insurance companies pre-suit, at the trial level, and all the way to the N.C. Supreme Court. Over the past 25 years, it has evolved into three primary areas: 1) personal injury claims, 2) workers' compensation claims, and 3) direct claims against insurance carriers for failure to pay a claim, denied coverage, or bad fath.
Doug worked as an insurance adjuster for several years prior to beginning the practice of law representing people against insurance companies. His insider's view of the insurance industry enables him to decipher a policy to determine the rights, to anticipate how the claim will be handled, and to hold insurers accountable for unfair and deceptive claims practices. He has resolved multiple cases in excess of one million dollars ($1,000,000) including denied life insurance, liquor liability / motor vehicle collision, and workers' compensation claims.
Doug is also editor of one of the definitive legal treatises (book) on uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in North Carolina.
Doug has lived in Winston-Salem for more than 50 years, having moved there when he was just three months old. As the son of a local physician and having handled personal injury and workers' compensation cases for over 25 years, Doug is very familiar with many of the healthcare providers in the area.
Doug earned his B.A. in History from Duke University and his J.D. from Wake Forest University School of Law.
Click here for more information about Doug.
Michael T. Medford
Michael T. Medford is a partner at Manning Fulton & Skinner PA in Raleigh. Mike's practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, insurance coverage and bad faith disputes and non-medical professional liability litigation. He represents clients in all three federal districts in North Carolina, state trial courts throughout North Carolina, the North Carolina Business Court, the North Carolina Property Tax Commission, FINRA and other arbitration panels, the North Carolina Court of Appeals and Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He has significant experience in litigating complex claims under the federal and North Carolina securities laws, shareholder and partnership disputes, property tax issues, multi-party cases, class actions, insurance declaratory judgment actions, ERISA litigation and professional liability claims.
Mike joined Manning Fulton in 1977 after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and receiving his law degree from Columbia Law School in New York where he was a member of the Board of Editors of the Columbia Law Review.
Mike has been active in the North Carolina Bar Association and the North Carolina Bar Foundation. He has served on the Bar Association's Litigation Section Council, he was a founding member of the Association's Insurance Law Section Council and he has been a member of the Bar Foundation's Development Committee since 2009. He is a former member of the Federal Bar Advisory Council.
Mike is a native of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Western North Carolina. He and his wife of 45 years are proud of their two children and four grandchildren.
Click here for more information about Mike.
Khrystyne Rasmussen is an attorney at Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig LLP in Charlotte, practicing in First-Party and Third-Party Property Coverage.
Prior to joining Butler, she handled several complex matters with both clients and discovery counsel to construct efficient workflows and prepare discovery for timely productions.
Khrystyne obtained her J.D. from North Carolina Central University School of Law. While at NCCU, she was an active member of the Trial Advocacy Board, competing in trial competitions within North Carolina. She also served on the board of the Animal Law Organization, which worked closely with other local law schools in supporting the Animal Legal Defense Fund.
Click here for more information about Khrystyne.
Warren T. Savage
Warren T. Savage is Senior Claims Counsel at Lawyers Mutual Liability Insurance Company of North Carolina in Cary. Warren joined Lawyers Mutual as claims counsel in 2005 and was named Senior Claims Counsel in May 2018. He focuses on litigation, insurance law, appellate advocacy, criminal matters and professional responsibility in his work with Lawyers Mutual.
A former partner with the law firm of Bailey & Dixon, Warren graduated from the University of Virginia and earned a Master of Arts in Teaching at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before graduating,
magna cum laude, from Campbell University School of Law.
Warren spent several years as a high school English teacher and junior varsity basketball coach before entering the legal profession. Warren currently serves as NC State Bar Councilor for District 10 and speaks frequently at CLEs around the state about professional responsibility and malpractice claims avoidance.
Click here for more information about Warren.
Theodore "Ted" Smyth
Theodore "Ted" Smyth is of counsel at Cranfill Sumner LLP in Raleigh. He has been a litigation attorney since 1981 and has been involved in a wide variety of cases involving commercial, insurance, and tort-related issues.
In 2020, Ted was accepted as a Fellow of the American College of Coverage Counsel (ACCC). He is named in The Best Lawyers in America© for Commercial Litigation, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Insurance Law, Personal Injury Litigation-Plaintiffs and Personal Injury Litigation-Defendants. His interest in insurance law has led him to be named Best Lawyers® 2011 and 2019 Raleigh Insurance Law "Lawyer of the Year" in addition to being included in the 2022 Raleigh "Lawyer of the Year" list for Bet-The-Company Litigation. In 2013, he was selected to be the founding Chair of the newly formed Insurance Law Section for the North Carolina Bar Association. He has litigated many cases involving tort, insurance-related, and commercial issues, and spoken to professional organizations and written extensively on these topics.
In 2012, Ted served as the President of the Tenth Judicial District Bar Association, the largest local bar in the state. He is past Chair of the Insurance Law Section for the North Carolina Bar Association.
Ted earned his B.A. in History and American Studies at Colby College and his J.D. from Wake Forest University School of Law.
Ted and his wife, Melissa, are residents of Raleigh and have three daughters – Elizabeth, Anne, and Margaret. Ted has spent much of his spare time devoted to local non-profit organizations. He served as President of Hospice of Wake County in 2002 and 2003. He served as President of the North Carolina Triangle to the Coast Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation from 2011 to 2012. He enjoys spending any leftover time hiking with his family in the mountains of Western North Carolina.
Click here for more information about Ted.
Kristina P. Soeder is a Systems Analyst with the NC Administrative Office of the Courts (NCAOC) and supports Guide & File and File & Serve (eFiling) products in preparation for the eCourts rollout. TM
Kristina has a breadth of court process knowledge, having worked both in the courts and at the Administrative Office of the Courts in Washington and North Carolina and worked on previous implementations of Odyssey
Case Manager in Washington. TM
O. Craig Tierney Jr.
O. Craig Tierney Jr. is a partner at Brown Crump Vanore & Tierney PLLC in Raleigh. His area of practices include: insurance defense, litigation, insurance coverage litigation, construction litigation, bad faith and unfair and deceptive trade litigation, arson and insurance fraud, automobile liability and premises liability. Craig is also a NCDRC certified mediator.
Craig has practiced insurance defense and coverage litigation for 30 years across the state. A significant part of his practice is assisting carriers with first party property claims and suits. He has taken over a thousand examinations under oath involving fraud, fires, thefts, and storm claims.
Craig earned his B.S. from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his J.D. from Wake Forest University School of Law.
Click here for more information about Craig.
Adam White is a partner at Pinto Coates Kyre & Bowers PLLC in Greensboro practicing in insurance defense, construction litigation, insurance coverage and personal injury litigation.
Adam has been named a North Carolina Rising Star the past several years and authored two chapters in the Lexis Nexis Practice Guide
New Appleman North Carolina Insurance Litigation; one on disability insurance and the other on life insurance.
Adam graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and received his J.D.,
cum laude, from Wake Forest University School of Law, where he was an Executive Editor of the Wake Forest Law Review.
Click here for more information about Adam.
Amy H. Wooten
Amy H. Wooten is a litigation attorney at Ward and Smith PA in Raleigh. Her litigation practice focuses on complex commercial disputes, fiduciary duty claims, unfair and deceptive trade practices claims, and community association matters. Amy also has experience handling federal Housing and Urban Development claims, and she litigates disputes of all flavors that arise in the agribusiness and hemp industries. In addition, Amy has significant experience representing policyholders in a broad range of first- and third-party coverage litigation with their insurance carriers. That experience includes litigating coverage disputes pertaining to commercial property insurance, directors and officers ("D&O") insurance, errors and omissions ("E&O") insurance, disability insurance, and commercial general liability ("CGL") insurance.
While a litigator at heart, Amy also enjoys advising clients outside of litigation. She is particularly passionate about defending licensed professionals before North Carolina's many professional and occupational licensing boards, and she co-leads the Firm's Professional Licensing Practice Group. She also devotes a portion of her practice to advising community association clients on a broad range of legal matters. She is licensed in both North and South Carolina.
Amy earned her B.A.,
magna cum laude, in Political Science and History from Wake Forest University and her J.D. from Wake Forest University School of Law.
Click here for more information about Amy.
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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