Dear ACCC Fellows:
A record number of College Fellows gathered May 8-10 at the Chicago Athletic Association for our Seventh Annual Meeting and what a meeting it was! Outstanding CLE, great food, a rooftop bar with amazing views of Lake Michigan, and hotel rooms equipped with pommel horses (would I make this up?). A special thanks to our sponsors and all the Fellows who spoke at the conference together with a warm kudos to Linda Bondi Morrison , Jim Cooper , Angela Elbert , and Rob Kole together with Executive Director Carol Montoya and her staff, for making this event such a fun and fantastic event. We look forward to returning to the CAA for our Eighth Annual Meeting on May 6-8, 2020. 

Annual Meetings are also a time for welcomes and farewells. We bade farewell to Clyde & Co’s Bruce Celebrezze , who stepped down as Immediate Past President after service as an Officer and Board member dating back to the original creation of the College in 2012. We also honored the service of Mary McCutcheon , who has led our College for the past year with grace, vision, and a sly sense of humor. At the same time, we elected Wayne Taylor to serve as our new Secretary-Treasurer. Wayne led the Membership Committee for years, has been honored in the past with the Thomas F. Segalla Award and is an outstanding addition to our College’s leadership.
Over 140 Fellows and Honorary Fellows gathered for the College’s 7th Annual Meeting in Chicago on May 8-10. This year’s meeting was at the newly renovated Chicago Athletic Association on Michigan Avenue which proved to be a wonderful but quirky mix of small rooms, delightful meeting venues and a sensational rooftop bar overlooking Lake Michigan.

Our program began Thursday morning with a provocative panel on sexual abuse claims and related demands for insurance coverage. Nancy Adams , Jim Murray, and Rebecca Weinreich explored the impact of the MeToo movement and, in particular, the growing liberalization of statute of limitations that is unleashing a host of new claims from abuse that occurred decades earlier.

Hugh Lumpkin , Tracy Saxe, and Rick Hammond proceeded with a panel on the issue of ensuing loss for commercial property losses that was followed by a panel on diverse scenarios impacting bad faith claims.

After our morning break, the “two Jeffs ” ( Stempel and Thomas ) teamed with Lorie Masters to consider the meaning of “plain meaning” in various hypothetical cases, using both case examples and audience survey software that allowed attendees to vote “yay” and “nay” in real time. This session was followed by You Gotta Have Faith! – Good Faith , featuring  Heather Sanderson and John Vishneski.

“The Art of Negotiation and Mediation: Are There Ethics In Poker” was the question addressed by Clifford Shapiro , Neil Posner, and John Bonnie . The panel discussed ethical considerations that apply to attorney communications before a tribunal and during formal and informal negotiations (including at mediation). It was apparent from the discussion (and the active input from the audience) that there are different rules and views of the ethical standards for attorneys engaged in settlement discussions and mediation than would apply to appearance before a tribunal.

One ethics commentator describes the resulting circumstances this way: “[W]ell told lies are highly effective. [T]he temptation to lie is great . . . also because the world in which most of us live . . . honors instrumental effectiveness above all other things. Most lawyers are paid not for their virtues but for the results they produce.” His point is that lawyers enrich themselves by developing reputations as powerful and effective - which in negotiation often involves deception and lies - while at the same time comfortably claiming a reputation for integrity and virtue. 

The panel also debated whether mediation is a dispute resolution process that includes ethically acceptable and mutually agreed to elements of deception.

There is debate whether the Model Rules’ requirements of truthfulness are robust enough in the context of lawyer negotiations, even accepting the adversarial nature of our work and the important role of lawyers as aggressive advocates. 

In practice, truth and moral judgment may not prevail over the arguably higher interest and expectation of zealous, effective advocacy. And notably, the Model Rules do not mandate that truth win out in the context of negotiation.

Mike Huddleston and Jodi McDougal followed with a reconsideration of the so-called “eight corners” rule and recent cases that are reconsidering whether insurers are free to reject allegations that they know to be without factual support if their policies lack the old language requiring a defense “even if the allegations are false, groundless or fraudulent.”

The presentation on “ ’Allocation—Is That a Thing?’—Navigating Disputes Over Allocation Between Covered and Uncovered Claims” by Jim Bryan, Suzan Charlton, Frank Cordell, Michael Hamilton was well received from both sides of the v. Strategic considerations about insurers seeking intervention in order to submit jury interrogatories to aid in allocation of covered and non-covered claims generated the most audience participation – the ire of policyholder counsel in particular. Hearing the steps for proving up allocation between covered and uncovered claims through expert testimony and evidence from the underlying action was also a high point – a key reminder of the challenges faced by policyholder counsel and the implications felt by insurer counsel when the burden of proof shifts to the insurer side.

Following all this CLE, we were all ready for a drink (or two) and a terrific dinner that was punctuated with a presentation of the Thomas F. Segalla Service Award to past presidents Mary Craig Calkins and Ned Currie , and recognition of three precocious law students that were the finalists in this year’s writing competition.

Friday morning began with the annual presentation of Ten Cases in 45 Minutes that was handled with speed and aplomb by Robert Chesler , Tony Leuin and Suzanne Midlige .

Andrew Downs, Susan Harwood, and John Shugrue followed with a thoughtful and provocative discussion of the legal, logistical and human issues that have been presented by California’s wildfires and other recent natural disasters.

How Great Minds Can Differ: Policyholder, Primary and Excess Insurer Interests in Multi-State Litigation” was the subject of a panel discussion by Marion Alder , Dominica Anderson , and Douglas McIntosh. Moderated by  Marcus Snowden , this session explored different issues presented by a hypothetical fact pattern involving a multi-vehicle accident and the interplay of the affected policyholder interests with potential exposure above its tower of insurance.

Fittingly, the 2019 Annual Meeting concluded with a peek into the future of coverage litigation as Mary Borja , John Buchanan , and Leo Martinez asked Alexa, Do I Have Coverage? The panel analyzed the emerging boundaries of technology claims and cyber-risk for both policyholders and insurers using hypothetical to illustrate the fundamentals of cyber-related risks, how policy language responds (or doesn’t) to these risks, and potential coverage gaps and trap presented by cyber-claims. Not surprisingly, the panel concluded that solutions are elusive, evolving. and dependent on policy language.

Many thanks to our event sponsors, KCIC , BDO , and JAMS . And hats off to our planning committee: co-chairs Linda Bondi Morrison and Jim Cooper and vice chairs Angela Elbert and Rob Kole for putting on such an excellent event. Angela and Rob will have their hands full meeting these high standards when we return to Chicago next year.

Ed Rudloff and Amy Samberg
Mary McCutcheon & our 2018-2019
New Fellows
Mary McCutcheon & Leslie Ahari
Brad Murlick, Lorie Masters &
John Shugrue

The Thomas F. Segalla Service Award , named in honor of the College’s first president, recognizes dedication and service to the College and is presented during the Annual Conference each year. Award recipients must demonstrate Creativity, Visibility, and Persistence, three characteristics that embody Tom Segalla’s approach to his practice, volunteerism, and leadership in the practice of law.

There are two recipients each year: one who represents insurance companies and one who represents policyholders or plaintiffs in insurance coverage and extracontractual matters.
This year’s recipients were Edward “Ned” Currie (insurer) and Mary Craig Calkins (policyholder).

While Currie was president (2015-2016), the college’s first Honorary members were inducted, we capitalized on the success of our initial law school symposium and instituted it as an annual event, and the College launched a new website and published its second First-Party Appraisal Compendium. While Calkins was president (2016-2017), she launched the regional meet up programs and worked to broaden the content on the website to highlight committees and members. The Fee Shifting Compendium was published and the Board of Directors undertook a strategic planning process that the College continues to use as a guide point.

Many thanks to the selection committee for this year’s award: Tom Segalla , Sheri Pastor , Meghan Magruder , Hugh Lumpkin and Steve Pate .

The College established a Law Student Practical Skills Writing Competition on Insurance Law Problem in 2007, under the leadership of then-president Bruce Celebrezze .

Law students from across the country were invited to submit an essay in response to a fact pattern that provided them with an overview of undisputed facts (with the significance of the facts is subject to argument) and assumptions of the case. The competition submissions are presented in the form of a memorandum of points and authorities in support of or in opposition to the motion for summary judgment and must total no more than 3,000 words. The submission must identify the entrant’s position as to each issue, and the insurance policy provisions and case and/or statutory authorities upon which they are relying.

The competition committee, comprised of Mary McCutcheon , Clayton Crawford , and Christine Haskett , evaluated submission based on the quality of the legal arguments, the persuasiveness of the writing, and the quality of the writing. Three winners were selected from the submissions. They each received a cash prize, along with a travel stipend to attend the Annual Meeting to meet and network with College Fellows.

Mary McCutcheon & Jennifer Bentley

First place winner Jennifer Bentley , of the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, was the valedictorian for the class of 2019. Prior to attending law school, she was a licensed Property & Casualty Agent servicing winery, construction, and manufacturing clients as an account manager at an insurance agency in Northern California.

In law school, Jennifer was a Senior Articles Editor for the Hastings Law Journal and published her student note on the topic of law enforcement’s use of drones in this year’s volume. As part of the Hastings Appellate Project, she argued and won a pro bono immigration case before the Ninth Circuit. After taking the California bar exam, she will clerk at the Supreme Court of Hawaii before returning to San Francisco to practice at Farella Braun + Martel, where she spent last summer. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, and searching for the perfect Pinot Noir in Sonoma County.

Mary McCutcheon & Ryan Maxwell

Ryan Maxwell of the University at Buffalo School of Law was the second place winner. For the last two years, Ryan has clerked at the law firm of Hurwitz & Fine, P.C., in Buffalo, New York, where he will continue his legal career as part of the firm’s Insurance Coverage Practice Group beginning September 2019.

Ryan served as an Articles Editor for the Buffalo Law Review . Ryan has also assisted with consumer debt related matters as an extern for the Western New York Law Center’s Civil Legal Advice and Resource Office. Ryan, his wife, Lorraine, and their two-year old son, Phillip, spend free time splashing in the pool during Phillip’s weekly swim lessons and exploring the neighborhood on walks with their dog, Colby.

Mary McCutcheon & Stuart Walker

The third place winner was Stuart George Walker of the University of Illinois College of Law. An Illinois native, Stuart worked in the insurance industry for five years with Humana, UnitedHealthCare and AmeriHealth before starting law school; he was licensed in 35 states. At the University of Illinois, Stuart edited the Illinois Business Law Journal , and wrote a published article on Internet service providers and privacy. He took insurance coverage and litigation coursework with Professor LaGory and interned with Aon, a federal judge, and an insurance defense firm.

Because of his experiences, Stuart is keenly interested in working with insurance in litigation, coverage, regulation and more. Stuart graduated with high honors and awards, including the American Law Institute Scholarship and Leadership Award.

Most of us know Rick Bryan as a fearless coverage lawyer who has for years tenaciously defended the interests of AIG and other liability insurers from his bastion at Jackson & Campbell. There’s another side of Rick Bryan that few of us know, however.

For each of the past ten years, Rick has left his practice in Washington, DC for a two week trip to Kenya with other members of the Tumaini (“hope”) Orphan Care Program , a joint venture between Rick’s Presbyterian church in Virginia and the Nairobi Central Presbytery that provides financial support and assistance for the care and schooling of 35 orphans of the sub-Saharan AIDS epidemic in Kibwezi, a small village midway between Nairobi and Mombasa.
Rick and Program participant Beatrice Nigenya

Rick left for Kibwezi a few days after the ACCC Annual Meeting in Chicago in May. During his visit, he kept a diary, including this entry from May 21:

We visited Mwikali’s [7 th grader in the Program] family today. Their prior house was swept away by rains recently. Her mom is living with 2 kids in an 8x10 room sleeping on the floor that’s chipped and pitted. No furniture. No blanket or mattress. Barely any clothes. Her little sister Vaati should be in preschool but the mom only does casual labor collecting stacks and branches for cooking and can’t afford the uniform cost and $5.25 per month preschool fee for the 9 months of school, so she’ll likely fall way behind or fail at 1st grade (50-60 kids per classroom) once she starts. An older brother is not in school for some reason. [It turns out that he couldn’t enroll because he didn’t have the $3 needed to obtain a birth certificate.] Mwikali will likely end up supporting the family once she finishes her schooling. Of course, this is very sad and our providing a small bit of help (by our standards) will be huge.

Here are some photos from Rick’s visit.

Vaati and other children before new uniforms
Vaati preparing for school
Vaati packing books for school
Vaati off to school
The Tumaini Orphan Care Program was added in 2004 to a pre-existing (since 1988) program and, over time, formed strong bonds with the people of Kibwezi. According to Rick, the program succeeds in large part because it is operated by Kenyans, with support from church groups in the U.S., rather than the other way around.

For Rick, the Tumaini Orphan Care Program provides an outlet for his energy and talents that is literally miles away from his daily labors in the world of the law. As he succinctly states, “Once you find something that gives you direction and meaning in your life, it is surprisingly easy, even for a busy lawyer, to make the time for and apply the energy to that endeavor.”

Interview Conducted by Michael Aylward, President, American College of Coverage Counsel

Our College is honored to have among its Fellows some of the most prominent professors of insurance law in the United States. College President Michael Aylward spoke with four of our Honorary Fellows to get their thoughts about the trials and tribulations of teaching insurance to young law students.
In Part One of this interview (March 2019), we explored how our Fellows got into insurance law and what their students think about it. In this concluding section, we explore their thoughts about how insurance law is changing.

Kenneth Abraham

University of Virginia: David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law

Teaching insurance law since 1977
Tom Baker

University of Pennsylvania: William Maul Measey Professor of Law and Health Sciences

Teaching insurance law since 1992

Leo Martinez

UC Hastings College of Law: Albert Abramson Professor of Law

Teaching insurance law since 1990
Jeff Stempel

University of Nevada-Las Vegas: Doris S. and Theodore B. Lee Professor of Law

Teaching insurance law since 1989

Q. Has the way that you teach insurance law changed over time?

Martinez:  Apart from technological tools like PowerPoint, not really. I still spend a lot of time explaining the background of insurance coverage disputes and emphasize how most insurance cases are about real people. State Farm v. Campbell is a great example of an important insurance case with a compelling underlying story.

Abraham:  The subject matter of my lectures has certainly changed over the years. When I first started teaching insurance in the late 1970s, there were no insurance coverage cases involving long-tail liability. Those cases have created a whole new body of insurance law doctrine that I teach now. As far as teaching technique, I don’t think I’ve changed much. The class is a mixture of inevitable information transmission and dialogue between me and the students.

Baker: I increasingly emphasize the practical implications of the class for litigation. In terms of coverage, I have expanded the time I spend on insurance regulation and reduced the time I spend on health insurance.

Stempel : This may reflect my pedagogical recalcitrance, but I still like a traditional Socratic method discussion, using a white board to diagram cases or relationships between the parties. Computer use is banned in class. Too many kids hide behind the screen or use extensive typed notes as a crutch. Class discussion is better without the distraction.

The emphasis in insurance classes has, of course, changed over time. While there’s always a need to cover the basic risk and insurance theory as well as legal doctrine, emphasis shifts to emerging areas or more controversial areas or current disputes. For example, I spent time in the Spring 2018 class discussing the ALI Restatement of the Law, Liability Insurance and the areas of friction between insurers and policyholders regarding the RLLI. It was not only something I couldn’t have taught in 1989 but something I could not have imagined in 1989.

Q. What are you working on now?

Abraham: I’m writing an article entitled “The Long-Tail Liability Revolution,” in which I examine the ways that long-tail liability has generated most of the cutting-edge issues in tort and insurance law over the last 50 years.

Baker:  I’m in the early stages of what I hope will be a long-term project analyzing the rise of runoff as a distinct aspect of the insurance business: What is the historical backdrop? How does runoff differs across lines of insurance? What does the rise of runoff mean for our understanding of the insurance relationship and how law should facilitate that relationship?

Martinez: I’ve been working a lot lately on international insurance issues. I have been collaborating with Professor Pierpaolo Marano of the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuoren in Milan on a paper tentatively titled The New EU Rules on Insurance Customer/Policyholder Protection Viewed Against the NAIC Model Acts. My chapter is entitled Cyber Losses and Cyber Liability: Three Basic Structural Issues to Resolve will appear as a chapter in a European Insurtech book that I expect from the editors any day now. I have nearly finished a paper on Variations on a Theme: Deductibles, Self-insured Retentions, Retained limits, and Fronting Policies ; and I’m about two-thirds finished with a piece titled The Uncertain Landscape of an Insurer’s Reservation of Rights and Insured/Claimant Settlements . Finally, I’m collaborating with Bob Jerry and Doug Richmond on an insurance/risk management text for undergraduates.
Stempel: I am working on three insurance projects right now: 1) a proposal for a single-volume summary of U.S. Insurance Law for Oxford University Press, 2) a comparison of first-part and third-party bad faith and administrative remedies in the U.S. and China for a conference in China later this year, and 3) an article analyzing plain meaning from a linguistic and experimental perspective.
Q. Are there ways in which the ACCC can help with legal education?

Abraham:  I think the ACCC is doing a good job. The annual conferences at law schools are terrific.

Martinez:  I also like the idea of the law school symposia. The January 2017 symposia at Hastings was quite successful (but more students would attend if you provided free food).

Stempel: Insurance is a bit different than many areas of law because so many of the leading coverage lawyers are also very active on the scholarly front – which provides very helpful secondary authority for professors preparing courses and both faculty and student scholarship that often builds upon scholarly writing by practitioners. My hope here is that ACCC members will keep doing what they’re doing, even if it produces influential scholarship with which I disagree.

Baker:  ACCC members would make great adjunct faculty. Most law schools don’t have a full-time faculty member who knows enough about insurance to teach the course. The hardest thing for many faculty is developing realistic, practical, and not-too-complicated problems and case studies that they can use to supplement their regular classroom teaching. If ACCC Fellows do teach a course, casebook authors (myself included) would be happy to give you tips and background materials to use and case studies that would bring the real world into the classroom.
Our College is sorrowed by the loss of Jim Sutterfield , a long-time and much-loved member of the Louisiana insurance bar, who passed away in late 2018.

Jim was a graduate of the University of Texas and the Tulane University Law School. In 1970, he was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives, becoming the first Republican to be elected to public office from New Orleans since Reconstruction. He also served as honorary consul general of St. Vincent and the Grenadines for the states of Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee and was honored as the Dean of the Louisiana Consular Corps in 2015.

Jim founded the firm of Sutterfield & Webb, LLC with a principal focus on maritime and insurance law. He was one of the earliest members of the ACCC, elected in 2013. In addition to our College, Jim was a member of the District of Columbia Bar, the Louisiana State Bar Association, the State Bar of Texas, the American Bar Association, the Maritime Law Association of the United States and the International Association of Defense Counsel.

Throughout his career, Jim published articles for legal journals and professional publications on maritime law, insurance, and other topics. He also served as an expert witness in many cases.
Jim was a gourmet cook and a passionate supporter of the arts in New Orleans, particularly ballet. He loved to be out on the water, sailing with the Southern Yacht Club and Bienville Club, and fishing the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and Lake Pontchartrain. He served as expert crewman on many a racing vessel in the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico.

We honor Jim’s memory and the traditions of civility, skill, and diligence that we all came to associate with him in his time as a Fellow of the College.

Tender is the Right: Are insurers required to reimburse insureds for defense costs incurred before they seek a defense from their insurers? While most courts say no, the reasons for declining coverage vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The College's CGL, Excess and Surplus Lines Committee has prepared an analysis of the issue and a compendium of the cases from the 50 United States and the provinces of Canada. Click here to download a copy of the compendium

This year’s Law School Symposium will be held on November 1, 2019 at Nova Southeastern University, Shepard Broad College of Law .

This event is open to ALL attorneys and law students, so share the opportunity with your network.

The planning committee of Doug McIntosh , Hugh Lumpkin , and Marialuisa Gallozzi have prepared a day of content under the theme of “Insurer Bad Faith: Best Practices and Litigation Trends.” Panel discussions will include:

  • Anatomy of a Bad Faith Claim

  • Case Law update: Harvey v Geico (FL S CT) and Other National Cases of Interest

  • Climate Change Litigation and the Insurance Issues It Generates

  • Best Practices: Mediating the Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith Claim

  • Privileges: Litigation Immunity, Waiver and Other Roadblocks

  • Experts and their Role in Bad Faith Litigation

The event will also feature lunch keynote remarks from the Honorable Robert M. Gross of the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal, a tour of the college’s facilities, and a networking reception.

The full agenda, accommodations, and registration information are available at
For more news about the College and its Fellows, visit our website at