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July 08, 2020 TIPS Notes

Update on the Latest Programs and Events in Your Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section

ABA 2020 Midyear Meeting Recap

TIPS participated in the 2020 ABA Midyear Meeting in February in Austin, Texas, with over 30 business meetings, Council meetings, and a reception held on Saturday, February 15, where the prestigious Robert B. McKay Law Professor Award was presented to Professor Robert H. Jerry II, the Floyd R. Gibson Missouri Endowed Professor Emeritus at the University of Missouri School of Law. The Robert B. McKay Award recognizes law professors who have shown commitment to the advancement of justice, scholarship, and the legal profession, demonstrated by outstanding contributions to the fields of tort, trial practice, or insurance law.

“Nearly 40 years ago, Bob McKay visited for a semester at KU Law while I was a first-year law professor there,” Jerry said. “He was a wonderful example for me of a great teacher and scholar, and I am deeply honored and moved to receive this award bearing his name.”

Jerry’s teaching and research interests are in insurance law, health-care finance and access, negotiation, dispute resolution, contracts, and lawyering. Jerry returned to the Missouri Law School faculty in 2015, having previously held the Floyd R. Gibson Missouri Endowed Professorship at the school from 1998 to 2003. From 2003 to 2014, he served as dean of the University of Florida Levin College of Law. He also held the Levin, Mabie and Levin Professorship at the Levin College of Law from 2003 to 2015. Prior to his appointments at Missouri and Florida, he held the Herbert Herff Chair of Excellence at the University of Memphis from 1994 to 1998, and he was a law professor at the University of Kansas from 1981 to 1994, where he also served as dean from 1989 to 1994.

Stonewall Award

We were delighted to witness TIPS’s very own Jim Holmes receive the celebrated Stonewall Award at the Stonewall Award Reception on Saturday, February 15, at the JW Marriott. The Stonewall Award recognizes lawyers and members of the judiciary and legal academia who have effected real change to remove barriers on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in the legal profession and the world, nation, state, and/or locale, and who have championed diversity for the LGBT community. Holmes is a senior equity partner at Clyde & Co, as well as a current member of the American Bar Association’s (ABA’s) Board of Governors. Holmes previously served on the TIPS Council and in many leadership roles over the years.

Resolutions and Reports

The ABA House of Delegates adopted four resolutions sponsored by TIPS at the Midyear Meeting in Austin and a fifth resolution cosponsored by TIPS. Under Resolution 103B, the ABA will lobby Congress for changes to federal laws so that lawyers do not face the threat of criminal charges when they represent clients in states that have legalized marijuana. Resolution 103D calls for the ABA to urge Congress to clarify and mandate federal laws to ensure that banks and other financial institutions can do business with marijuana businesses and attorneys in places where they are complying with state and local laws.

Resolution 103C urges state, territorial, and federal courts to apply the modern incorporation doctrine standards to the Seventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and make its formulation of the fundamental right to trial by jury in civil cases applicable to all states of the union.

Resolution 103A, the Police Animal Encounter Training Resolution, urges all federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal legislative bodies to enact laws, and governmental agencies to adopt policies, that provide law enforcement officers with comprehensive animal encounter training on the reasonable use of force necessary to better secure the safety of such officers, protect public health, reduce legal liability, and ensure the humane treatment of the animals encountered. The Military Working Dog Resolution 104B, which the TIPS Animal Law Committee cosponsored with the International Animal Law Committee of the ABA’s International Section, urges the U.S. federal government and other national governments, as well as multinational and international organizations, to amend existing laws or enact new enforceable laws, policies, and procedures that protect and provide for the health and well-being of military working dogs. Many thanks to all those involved for their hard work in the development and passage of these resolutions.

Section Leadership Nominated for FY 2020–2021 

The following slate of officers for fiscal year 2020–2021 was nominated by the TIPS Council during the 2020 ABA Midyear Meeting in Austin, Texas:

  • Chair-Elect (one-year term; then will automatically become Section Chair for 2021–2022): Gary Gassman, Chicago, IL
  • Vice-Chair (one-year term): Loren Podwill, Portland, OR
  • Secretary: Christopher Nolan, New York, NY
  • Finance Officer-Elect: Kermit Kendrick, Birmingham, AL
  • HOD Representatives: Kay H. Hodge, Boston, MA (term expiring in 2023); and Robert S. Peck, Washington, DC (term expiring in 2021)
  • Council Members, Class of 2023 (five to be elected, each to serve a three-year term): Gail Vaughn Ashworth, Andy Cao, Fredrick H.L. McClure, Catherine Tanaka Surbeck, and Tamara Tomomitsu

Nominees will be officially elected by TIPS members at the Section business meeting to be held during the ABA Virtual Annual Meeting on Saturday, August 1, 2020, from 10:30–11:00 a.m. (CST). Terms of each office will begin immediately, which for the Section will effectively begin at the close of the ABA Annual Meeting.

Procedures for additional nominations. According to Section bylaws, at any time prior to July 1, additional nominations may be submitted for one or more of the elected offices to be filled at the Annual Meeting. Not fewer than 50 Section members in good standing, of whom not more than 24 are residents of any one state, may file a nominating petition (which may be in multiple parts), signed, with names and addresses. All such petitions must be accompanied by the written consent of persons so nominated. Petitions may be sent by regular mail to the Section Chair at: Thea M. Capone, Chair, c/o Theresa Livingston, Section Director, Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association, 321 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654-4746.

Managing Risk at the Intersection of Cybersecurity, Data Privacy and Business

What a success! This inaugural conference was held March 5–6, 2020, at Georgia State University College of Law and had over 90 registrants in attendance. Sponsored by TIPS’s Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Committee, this conference brought together experts in the areas of risk management, insurance, law enforcement, and technology to discuss the identification and mitigation of cyber exposures across myriad legal landscapes. Tony Scott, former CIO of Microsoft and Disney and appointed to help the U.S. government with its cybersecurity response in early 2016, was the keynote speaker and lived up to his billing! Thank you to the program planning committee, speakers, and sponsors who made this amazing conference possible.

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