On The Pulse…Other Notable Achievements

Colleen Bannon (Philadelphia, PA), shareholder and director of Legal Information Resources, has been appointed a Vice-Chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Federal Courts Committee. The committee serves as an informational liaison between the federal courts covering the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and members of the bar and organizes the federal Bench/Bar conference held each spring. Colleen’s term on the committee is effective January 1, 2016.

We are pleased to announce that the firm received the 2015 “Vision Award” from the Young Lawyers Division (YLD) of the Philadelphia Bar Association, presented annually to a law firm that supports the professional development of young lawyers, as well as the YLD in its philanthropic mission and public service works. Throughout 2015, our associates participated in various Philadelphia Bar Association and YLD initiatives, including Law Week activities, the YLD school supply drive, “Legal Line” coordination, “Harvest for the Homeless” and the Guest Chef program supporting Ronald McDonald House. “We are very proud of our associates and the commitment they have made to the great works of the Young Lawyers Division,” said Butler Buchanan, III, managing attorney of our Philadelphia office. “Their enthusiasm and dedication to the leadership and wide scope of YLD volunteer activities is inspiring and very much encouraged and appreciated by our firm.”

Niki Ingram (Philadelphia, PA), director of the Workers’ Compensation Department, Eric Fitzgerald (Philadelphia, PA), assistant director of the Professional Liability Department, and Claudia Costa (Roseland, NJ), a member of the Professional Liability Department, are speaking at the 2016 CLM Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida. Niki joins a panel of distinguished workers’ compensation professionals in “The First 48 Hours: CSI,” which focuses on the essential information to be gathered through an incident report from both the claims and litigation perspectives, as well as how this information affects the path of a claim. Claudia is a member of the panel discussing “Are You Ready for Ms. Cox? Transgender Individuals and the EPL Issues Facing Employers.” This session examines potential EPL issues likely to face employers of transgender individuals, including common pitfalls and their potential ramifications. In “Quicksand! Eroding Limits Professional Liability Policies,” Eric joins a panel to discuss the ethical pitfalls that claims professionals and defense attorneys can encounter when defending claims under eroding limits professional liability policies.

Niki Ingram (Philadelphia, PA) will be a featured speaker at the 13th Annual National Workers’ Compensation Insurance ExecuSummit. In her presentation, “Exploring the Rising Use and Costs of Compounded Medications in Workers’ Compensation,” Niki will address the recent trend of utilizing compounded medication as a reasonable alternative to traditional prescription care. This ala carte drug preparation is being billed as the treatment du jour for injured workers nationwide. But for those footing that bill, the result is often not what the doctor ordered, with otherwise manageable claims seeing swift and steep increases in exposure to medical expenses. With many unanswered questions surrounding the efficacy, regulation, consistency, and overall utilization of compounded medication, what is the payers’ remedy for cost control? Discussion topics will include what compounded medications are and how they are impacting the workers’ compensation system, best practices in identifying compounded medications claims exposures, how the legislature and judiciary are responding to such claims, and how the Affordable Care Act is impacting pharmacy and compounded medication costs. The Worker’s Compensation Insurance ExecuSummit is specifically designed for worker’s compensation insurance professionals. The summit producers are at the forefront of the workers’ compensation insurance industry, monitoring and researching emerging issues and trends and conveying this strategic intelligence as it is developing.

Robin Romano (Philadelphia, PA) and Jacqui Canter (Philadelphia, PA) are speaking at the National Retail and Restaurant Defense Association 2016 Annual Conference in Florida. Robin is part of the panel discussion “Employers, Carriers and Workers’ Comp Defense Counsel – Winning as a Team,” which brings together defense counsel, claim administrators and employers to discuss winning strategies for handling workers’ compensation cases. Jacqui is a member of the panel discussion “Use Your Sunscreen – Avoid Getting Burned: Assessing the Pros and Pitfalls of Conflict Waivers,” in which industry professionals and attorneys will address the pros and pitfalls of conflict waivers in retail and restaurant litigation.

At the firm’s annual shareholders’ meeting on December 6th, the following attorneys were elected as shareholders of the firm. From the Casualty Department: Kimberly Abeel, Wilmington, DE; Christopher Block, Roseland, NJ; Joanna Buchanico, Philadelphia, PA; Ryan Burns, Fort Lauderdale, FL; John Heilman, Tampa, FL; Joshua Scheets, Philadelphia, PA; Rachel Snyder von Rhine, Cherry Hill, NJ. From the Health Care Department: Jason Bialker, Philadelphia, PA; Wendy O’Connor, Allentown, PA. From the Professional Liability Department: Lee Durivage, Philadelphia, PA; Maureen Fitzgerald, King of Prussia, PA; Ronald Metcho, Philadelphia, PA; Charlene Seibert, Pittsburgh, PA; Timothy Ventura, Philadelphia, PA.

Ronda O’Donnell and Lee Durivage (Philadelphia, PA) presented a live webinar, “Best Practices in Handling Employment Issues,” to members of the Motor Carrier Insurance Education Foundation. This webinar was attended by insurance representatives and brokers who specialize in insuring the trucking industry and was a part of the Foundation’s multi-course continuing education program entitled, “Employer Practices Concerns Unique to Motor Carriers--Balancing Safety and Employee Selection and Discipline.”

Buck Buchanan (Philadelphia, PA) spoke at the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group’s Diversity & Inclusion Symposium. Held in conjunction with the Philadelphia Bar Association, the symposium theme was “Best Practices for Retaining & Promoting Diverse Talent.” Buck addressed an audience of senior associates, new partners/shareholders and in-house counsel on the topic of achieving success as a diverse attorney.

Vicky Scanlon (Scranton, PA) presented at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) 62nd Annual Meeting. Vicky, along with attorneys from Boston and Denver, a vice president of risk management at Allied World and several psychiatrists, presented a three-hour risk management seminar to the AACAP membership concerning the deposition and trial of a psychiatrist arising out of the suicide of an adolescent patient. Vicky represented the defendant psychiatrist for both deposition and trial. Following the mock trial, the membership found in favor of the defendant and against the plaintiff-mother.

David Shannon (Philadelphia, PA) presented at the Defense Research Institute’s Data Breach and Privacy Law Conference. David’s presentation, “A Legislative Update from the Front Lines,” addressed the 47 differing state data breach regulations and statutes, and the anticipation of federal legislation that would allow for a uniform federal solution.

Candace Embry (Philadelphia, PA) has been selected as a regular contributor of legal content to the Society for Human Resource Management’s website. Her first federal “Court Report” article, “University Professor’s Reverse Discrimination Claim Fails,” was published on November 12, 2015. 


Defense Digest, Vol 22, No. 1, March 2016

Defense Digest is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent legal developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific situation or to create an attorney-client relationship. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING pursuant to New York RPC 7.1. © 2016 Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be reprinted without the express written permission of our firm. For reprints, contact tamontemuro@mdwcg.com.