Speaking Engagement

2023 Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee CLE Seminar

American Bar Association Litigation Section

Loews Ventana Canyon
7000 North Resort Dr
Tucson, AZ

Blank Rome senior counsel John E. Heintz and partners Jared Zola, Linda Kornfeld, and Mary Craig Calkins will serve as speakers at the American Bar Association Litigation Section’s 2023 Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee CLE Seminar, being held March 1 through 4, 2023, in Tucson, Arizona.

This four-day seminar will feature presentations by leading lawyers and insurance professionals on the very latest developments in insurance law and will include cutting-edge and informative plenary, breakout, and roundtable programs; valuable networking events; and a variety of outdoor activities.

On Thursday, March 2, John will speak at the first Plenary Session, “Fifty Years of Insurance Coverage Litigation,” opening the program at 9:30 a.m.


The Litigation Section is turning 50 this year, and so is our insurance coverage practice! The Fifth Circuit issued its opinion in Borel v. Fibreboard Paper Products in 1973, and that appeal formed the basis of Armstrong and all that was to follow—coverage for asbestos after hearings in convention centers, multisite environmental contamination cases in the 1980s, Hurricane Andrew in 1992, 9/11 in 2001, and the myriad of coverage disputes that have followed. Hear from some of our esteemed ICLC members who were there from the beginning…or shortly thereafter.

  • Moderator: Lorelie S. Masters, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
  • John E. Heintz, Blank Rome LLP,
  • Theodore A. Howard, Wiley Rein LLP
  • George J. Kenny, Connell Foley
  • Barry S. Levin, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
  • Laura Foggan, Crowell & Moring

Jared will speak at the “The Windows are Open, Which Way is the Coverage Breeze Blowing?” breakout session, also taking place on March 2, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.


Several years and high-profile cases after the first “look-back” windows were opened for childhood sexual abuse claims, insurance coverage law is following. Decisions on sufficiency of evidence, number of occurrences, direct action claims, and numerous related bankruptcies set the stage for lively debate and are moving towards resolution, allowing for restitution for survivors. This panel will discuss key coverage issues and practical considerations to resolve abuse cases in the context of recent case law.

  • Moderator: Elizabeth Hanke, KCIC
  • Sarah G. Klein, Manly Stewart & Finaldi/Dalton & Associates PA
  • James P. Ruggeri, Ruggeri Parks Weinberg LLP
  • Jared Zola, Blank Rome LLP

Jared also prepared a whitepaper in connection with this session, which he co-authored with Blank Rome partner and Insurance Recovery co-chair Jim Murray. Read the paper here.

On Saturday, March 4, Linda will speak at the first Plenary Session of the day, “The Elephant in the Room: Why Diversity is Lacking in the Legal Profession and How to Embrace the “Uncomfortable” Conversations and Move Forward,” taking place from 8:00 to 9:10 a.m.


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (“DEI”) are critical to creating a space where everyone can thrive, and the question of how best to build a better profession is especially relevant for those in a leadership role. DEI can no longer be a sidebar conversation in the legal profession. It is time to take a deep look at the experiences of different groups and explore why people avoid engaging in discussions about race and other forms of diversity. This panel will discuss micro-aggressions, what it means to be an ally, how “white fragility” hinders DEI efforts, and the intersectionality and plight of double and triple minority attorneys.

  • Moderator: Robert Parrish, KCIC
  • Lacrecia Cade, What-If Collective Co.
  • Linda Kornfeld, Blank Rome LLP
  • William D. Purnell, Bowman and Brooke LLP

Mary, who serves as the Revenue Officer of the American Bar Association Litigation Section, will speak at the “What about Media Insurance? Do Not Enter This New Frontier Without It!” breakout session, also taking place on March 4, from 10:45 to 11:45 a.m.


Anyone viewing recent news has seen a panoply of media cases—and there are insurance issues lurking behind those expensive curtains. Sarah Palin is pursuing her appeal to overturn New York Times v. Sullivan. News services are being sued for reporting, and Justices Thomas and Gorsuch have telegraphed an interest in reexamining the Court’s “actual malice” standard. Miramax is pursuing Tarantino for copyright infringement via an NFT, whatever that is (which we will explain!). This panel will address the complicated issues at the intersection of insurance and the media, and the unique and specialized policies that will be in play.

  • Moderator: Cassandra S. Franklin, JAMS
  • Mary Craig Calkins, Blank Rome LLP
  • Robert S. Gutierrez, Ballard Spahr
  • Michelle Worrel Tilton, Zurich North America

Blank Rome is pleased to be a Gold Sponsor of this event.

To learn more or to register to attend, please visit the event webpage.