The Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Section fosters professional development through mentoring, top-notch CLE, and publications.
Mentoring for Diversity
Recognizing that mentoring is key to professional growth, particularly for minority and women attorneys, the section has continued its award-winning mentoring for diversity series this year with an interactive mentoring workshop at its Summer Meeting in Montreal in August 2012. Minority jurists and leaders of our cosponsoring organizationsthe Association of Black Women Attorneys, Nigerian Lawyers Association, Minority Bar Association of Western New York and Latino Lawyers Association of Queens Countymodeled mentoring techniques as they led participants through a series of real-life ethical scenarios. Further such events are in the works for 2013.
Social Media in Litigation; Due Process in Workers' Compensation Claims; International Torts. Substantively, the section has found itself at the forefront of the fast-developing field of social media law. Social media and e-discovery were featured topics at the section's summer meeting in Montreal. They will be highlighted again at the Annual Meeting on Jan. 24, with presentations titled "Evolution of Electronic Discovery" and "Electronic Record Keeping in the Digital and Social Media Age." The section further recognizes that torts and related insurance coverage claims in New York frequently have an international dimension. Accordingly, we recruited international panelists to speak about cross-border matters at our summer meeting in Montreal, and featured an article on international tort litigation in the section journal. The section also continues to monitor Workers' Compensation Board rule-making to ensure that due process is preserved. A primer and an update on workers' compensation law will be provided as part of the Jan. 24 proceedings.
Section members have made significant contributions to continuing legal education programs offered at various venues throughout the state this year. In addition to staging its unique "Law School for Insurance Professionals" program, the section worked with the NYSBA Committee on Continuing Legal Education to offer basic programs on depositions, torts and insurance law, and advanced programs on insurance coverage, handling tough issues in a plaintiff's personal injury case, construction site accidents, automobile/trucking issues (cosponsored by the Trial Lawyers Section) and medical malpractice (also cosponsored by the Trial Lawyers Section). Look for more topical offerings Jan. 24.
There is a pervasive feeling of community in the section's endeavors, and this was never more evident than when Superstorm Sandy hit New York. When the storm adjourned our open executive committee meeting, mentoring workshop and diversity reception that had been scheduled for Nov. 8 in Queens, the section's members immediately directed their energy to helping Sandy victims. Members of the section staffed the Association's pro bono hotline and personally attended various pro bono days of service in disaster areas. The section was further pleased to cosponsor and provide panelists for the NYSBA training seminar, titled "Providing Legal Assistance to Persons Affected by Superstorm Sandy," webcast on Nov. 15.
Jean F. Gerbini, Chair of the Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Section, is of counsel at Whiteman Osterman & Hanna.