Speaking Engagement

ABA TIPS 30th Annual Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee Mid-Year Program

American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section

Arizona Biltmore
2400 East Missouri Ave
Phoenix, AZ

The Heat Is On: Hot Topics in the World of Insurance

Blank Rome is pleased to be a Gold Sponsor of the American Bar Association (“ABA”) Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section (“TIPS”) 30th Annual Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee Mid-Year Program, being held February 24 through 26, 2022, at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix, Arizona.

Blank Rome Partner Seth D. Lamden, TIPS Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee Chair, will present opening remarks on the first two days of the program, and Partners Helen K. Michael and Linda Kornfeld will serve as panelists.

The program will include 13 exciting and informative panels, along with 12 interesting topics for discussion during the Toolbox luncheon after Friday’s morning session. The presentations cover cutting-edge insurance issues concerning D&O, cyber, property, EPL, claim trends, horizontal & vertical exhaustion, COVID-related claims, and more. The experienced group of panelists consist of not only attorneys who represent policyholders and insurers, but also industry members such as adjusters and brokers who provide a unique and invaluable perspective to their panel.

On Friday, February 25, Helen will act as panel moderator for the “Horizontal vs. Vertical Exhaustion” session from 8:45 to 9:45 a.m.


The California Supreme Court’s decision in Montrose III allowed vertical exhaustion among excess insurers in a case where all primary policies had been exhausted. Then a Court of Appeal in California in Santa Fe Braun International allowed an insured to choose vertical exhaustion from the primary to the excess layer. What is the status of this horizontal-vertical exhaustion debate in the United States? And how do these rules apply with different policy language. The Montrose III court reasoned that other insurance clauses do not apply to successive insurance policies because the language does not specifically address insurance in successive policies. What is the result if a policy contains language that does address successive insurance like prior insurance clauses, non-cumulation clauses and the known loss language found in CGL forms since 2001 and first introduced with the CG 00 57 mandatory endorsement in 1999. The panel will explore some scenarios in which these issues commonly arise and discuss strategies for addressing them in high stakes coverage disputes.

Linda’s session, “Winning with Experts: Lessons from Shakespeare,” will take place immediately after Helen’s, from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m.


“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” [As You Like it, Act V Scene I] Four hundred years ago, nary a single insurance lawyer nor expert witness walked the earth. Yet, William Shakespeare sprinkled his plays with much wise advice about how we can best use expert witnesses to evaluate, prepare, present, and win insurance cases. Working with some of literature’s greatest lines, this experienced Panel will share ideas that will benefit claims professionals, lawyers, and experts.

To register or for more information, please visit the event webpage.