AU Wash College of Law Exterior

ACCC's 5th Annual Law School Symposium

What's in a Name? An Examination of "Named" Legal Doctrines in Insurance Coverage

*This event is open to all attorneys and law students, not just ACCC Fellows*

Click here for Sympoisum papers and presentations.

Symposium Co-chairs:

Scott Godes
Bob Kelly
Helen Michael

Date and Location

Friday, October 26, 2018

American University Washington College of Law
4300 Nebraska Avenue, NW
Yuma Building, Grossman Hall
Washington, DC 20016


ACCC Fellows and Other Attorneys:

  • $250 on or before September 25, 2018
  • $275 September 26 and after

AU Washington College of Law Alumni and Young Attorneys (less than 5 years in practice):

  • $195 on or before September 25, 2018
  • $220 September 26 and after

AU Washington College of Law Faculty: 
FREE (but registration is required)

ALL Law Students: 
FREE (but registration is required)

The final registration deadline is Friday, October 19, 2018. Space is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.  If a cancellation is received by 5:00 p.m. ET Friday, October 19, 2018, a refund of 75% of the registration fee will be issued. There are no refunds for cancellations received after that date.


Our group is staying at the Marriott Courtyard Chevy Chase. The ACCC Symposium group rate deadline was September 25, 2018, but you can contact Greg Battle, Sales and Reservations Coordinator (301-656-1500 ext. 7000, [email protected]) for help in booking a room, as available.

** Note: Neither ACCC staff or the conference hotel will contact you to make your hotel reservations.**


8:00 - 8:30 am   Registration and Coffee

8:30 - 8:45 am   Welcoming Remarks and Introductions


        • Mary McCutcheon, Farella, Braun + Martel LLP; President, American College of Coverage Counsel
        • Robert Kelly, Jackson & Campbell, P.C.; Co-chair, Law School Symposium Committee
        • Helen Michael, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP; Co-chair, Law School Symposium Committee
        • Scott Godes, Barnes & Thornburg LLP; Co-chair, Law School Symposium Committee

8:45 - 9:45 am   Estoppel by Any Other Name: The Meaning of this Doctrine in Insurance Law

The term “estoppel” has been employed by courts in two very distinct circumstances: (1) where an insurer controls the defense of a policyholder without providing a reservation of rights, the insurer may be “estopped” from refusing to pay a judgment or settlement if it tries to raise a coverage defense too late; and (2) where an insurer does not defend a policyholder or promptly file a declaratory judgment action to establish defenses to coverage, the insurer may be “estopped” from raising any defenses to coverage or suffer some other penalty if it is later found to have owed a duty to defend. Courts and the recent American Law Institute Restatement of the Law, Liability Insurance take varying approaches to how these two distinct “estoppel” doctrines should be applied, and in what circumstances. This presentation explores the complexities underlying this insurance law doctrine.


        • Laura Foggan, Crowell & Moring LLP
        • Jodi McDougall, Cozen O'Connor
        • John Vishneski III, Reed Smith LLP (moderator)

9:45 - 10:45 am   "Stowers" and the Art of Turning the Table on an Insurer with a Policy Limits Settlement Demand

Called the Stowers doctrine in Texas, the concept of an insurer’s potential liability in excess of its policy limits for failing to settle a case within policy limits is universal, although the legal standards and theories differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The panel will explore and discuss the history, development, strategy, and practice involved in an insurer’s duty to settle a claim against an insured within the policy limits.


        • Robert Allen, The Allen Law Group (moderator)
        • Julia Molander, Cozen O'Connor
        • Vince Morgan, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

10:45 - 11:45 am   The Art of the Deal Doctrines: So Many Doctrines in So Little Time

This panel will conduct an examination of named doctrines for working with “deals” used to extricate an insured from a potential or actual excess judgment, including discussion of Gandy, Damron, Coblenz, Miller-Schugart, Crist/Johansson Arrangements.  The discussion will cover practical, ethical and legal issues presented by such arrangements and the attacks made on them by carriers.


        • Michael Huddleston, Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr, PC (moderator)
        • Meghan Magruder, King & Spalding LLP
        • Charles Spevacek, Meagher & Geer, P.L.L.P.

12:00 - 1:30 pm   Lunch

12:15 - 1:15 pm    Lunch Panel: How Will the ALI's New Restatement of the Law, Liability Insurance Shape the Future of Coverage Disputes?

On May 22, after eight years of work, the American Law Institute approved the Restatement of Law, Liability Insurance, the first Restatement devoted specifically to a single industry.  A panel of four ALI members who were active in the development and debate concerning this Restatement will discuss its most important and controversial provisions and forecast its implications for shaping the future of insurance coverage litigation.  


        • Michael Aylward, Morrison Mahoney LLP (moderator)
        • John Buchanan, III, Covington & Burling LLP
        • Harold Kim, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
        • Lorelie Masters, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
        • William Shelley, Gordon & Rees

1:35 - 2:35 pm   From Keene to Carter-Wallace, from Boston Gas to Owens-Illinois: The Clear Winner in the "Named Doctrine" Contest

So-called "long tail" claims potentially trigger multiple years of coverage, and within each year multiple layers of insurance. The panel will describe the main themes of competing allocation doctrines, along with issues such as the impact of "prior insurance" and "other insurance" clauses, the mechanism for exhaustion of underlying layers of coverage, the differences between allocation of defense costs and allocation of indemnity payments, and responsibility for uninsured/underinsured periods.


        • Georgia Kazakis, Covington & Burling LLP
        • Stephen Pate, Cozen O'Connor (moderator)
        • Scott Seaman, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

2:35 - 3:35 pm   Independent Counsel and the Tripartite Relationship: The Cumis Doctrine and Others Entitling Insureds to Pick Their Own Lawyers and Control Their Defense

This presentation will examine the tripartite relationship that is created between the policyholder, its insurer, and defense counsel when an insurer retains defense counsel to defend its policyholder.  The panel will discuss various circumstances that can create conflicts of interest for defense counsel that entitle the policyholder to select independent defense counsel with no ties to the insurer and how the states of Illinois, Florida, California, and Arizona address the respective rights and duties of the parties in this context.      


        • David Anderson, Anderson Coverage Group (moderator)
        • Troy Froderman, FR Law Group PLLC
        • Susan Harwood, Kaplan Zena LLP
        • Mary McCurdy, McCurdy & Fuller LLP

3:35 - 3:50pm   Break

3:50 - 4:50 pm   Jurisdictional and Venue Considerations in Insurance Coverage Litigation: The "Colorado River" Runs Through It

Increasingly, jurisdictional and venue considerations play a large role in determining what court will resolve (or get the first crack at resolving) insurance coverage disputes. The panel will examine the application of judicial abstention doctrines, forum non conveniens and related venue principles, and personal jurisdiction requirements in the context of competing insurance coverage actions in state and federal courts.


        • John Heintz, Blank Rome LLP (moderator)
        • Edward Parks, Shipman & Goodwin LLP
        • Caroline Spangenberg, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
        • Koorosh Talieh, Perkins Coie LLP

4:50 - 5:00 pm   Closing Remarks

5:00 - 7:00 pm   Networking Reception 

A beer and wine reception will be held in the Atrium following the Symposium. All are welcome to attend, including any local attorneys and students  who were unable to attend the full-day Symposium.