September 02, 2020 Profile

Editorial Board Member: Peter Biging

Peter Biging is a partner in the New York City office of Goldberg Segalla, LLP, where he heads up the firm’s New York metro area management and professional liability (M&PL) practice, while serving as the vice-chair of the M&PL practice nationally. He is a member of both TIPS and the ABA’s Litigation Section, for which he has spoken at a number of conferences. “But TIPS is my ABA home,” he says. Peter has been a member of the editorial board of The Brief for the past year, after completing a two-year stint as the chair of the Professional Liability Insurance Committee (PLIC) in August 2019. In addition to chairing PLIC, he has served and continues to serve as a vice-chair of the Employment and Labor Law Committee and was recently appointed chair-elect of the Media, Privacy and Advertising Law Committee. He also serves on the TIPS Standing Committee on Content Management and Member Services, and the General Committee Board Standing Committee. “I joined the ABA out of law school because I understood it to provide incredibly high-level content relevant to whatever practice specialty I might find myself drawn to, and because of the invaluable networking opportunities afforded to lawyers who become actively involved in the organization,” reflects Peter. “I have become an increasingly active member of TIPS because I have come to appreciate beyond words the incredibly talented people who have led and continue to lead TIPS—and I have been frankly awed by their generosity of spirit.”

A significant focus of Peter’s practice involves representation of insurance agents and brokers, large and small, in all manner of disputes, in cases ranging from disputes involving mom-and-pop insurance brokerages alleged to have failed to properly insure a commercial vehicle for collision to $50 million disputes alleging broker involvement in a massive loan fraud. With the principal focus of his practice being the defense of professionals, Peter has become involved in several additional organizations devoted to this area of practice, including the Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS), the Professional Liability Defense Federation (PLDF), DRI, and the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM). At PLDF, he is currently serving the second year of a three-year term as a member of the board of directors, after chairing several committees. Peter has written and lectured extensively, including in publications and at conferences hosted by each of these organizations on multiple occasions.

“When I was told I was going to be profiled in The Brief, I was advised that I should be prepared to talk not just about what I’m doing now, but also about how I came to be a lawyer, and how and why I came to be active in TIPS. It’s an interesting question, and one I assume yields a different answer from every lawyer involved in TIPS.” One of Peter’s best friends wanted to be a lawyer since he was 11 years old. Both of his parents were lawyers, and that was what he was going to be. “Not me,” says Peter. “Neither of my parents had gone to college or had professional careers, and their only guiding advice to me was to focus on doing well in school, with the confident assertion that if I did that, my future career would work itself out. They were right, of course, but I still feel I stumbled into this lawyering thing. And all these years later, I can’t believe how fortunate I am to be doing the thing I believe plays to the very short list of things I am pretty good at: analytical thinking, framing of issues, and telling a story in a coherent and compelling way.” These skills led Peter to a career as a litigator with a focus on high-stakes litigation involving alleged negligence, breach of fiduciary duties, and other malfeasance by all manner of professionals; employment discrimination; and all manner of commercial disputes. “It is a career I cherish, because it engages my mind, it engages my heart, and it engages my soul. It also engages my fierce competitive nature, while challenging me to find the result that best serves my client, in whatever form that resolution can take that will creatively, definitively, and finally put the issue to bed.”

Peter advises that litigators don’t get retained just to win disputes at all costs: “We have to win, but in a game that has specific rules, where a judge or jury will make an independent assessment of the cases presented; we have to win, but where winning may be defined as resolving a client’s problem in an efficient and cost-effective way long before a jury can render a verdict, and sometimes even after that has occurred; and we have to win in a battle in which our professional ethics must always remain at the core of everything we do, and where the end goal must always be a just result.” Peter shares that there is nothing sweeter than helping his clients move past the issue or dispute that brought them to his doorstep, with a positive step forward in their lives and professional careers. “If that’s a big win, so be it. But it is the opportunity to help people find their way to a successful resolution of what is often a huge challenge in their lives and careers that drives everything I do. And I have devoted my time as a member of TIPS to try to instill this belief about what we do as lawyers and why we do it to the next generation of lawyers who will be carrying on the fight behind me.”

Peter is “a kid from the Bronx” who is a lifelong New York Mets fan. “No 27-time world champion Yankees for me,” he declares. “I’m also 5’7”, can’t jump, shoot, or dribble, and yet love basketball with a passion bordering on obsession. Go figure.” Peter lives on Long Island, New York, with his wife of 34 years, also a lawyer, whom he met on the first day of class at Fordham Law School. They have three grown daughters but thus far only a couple of “granddogs.” He is a lifelong runner and has run a few marathons, including the New York City Marathon and the Marine Corps Marathon. When he can, he escapes to Cape Cod, where he enjoys hiking, biking, swimming, kayaking, and occasionally (well, maybe a bit more than occasionally) eating ice cream.

Peter can be reached at pbiging@goldbergsegalla.com. “I look forward to working with my fellow editors of The Brief again this year and helping to continue to put out the strong, in-depth, timely, and thought-provoking articles the magazine is known for.”

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