Jonathan C. Abel
Jonathan C. Abel is a partner with Conroy Simberg and practices in the firm’s Hollywood, Florida office. With more than 33 years of experience as a trial lawyer, he focuses his practice on the representation of hospitals, physicians, medical device manufacturers, and long term care facilities. Additionally, Mr. Abel subspecializes in the defense of psychiatric malpractice claims, and his article “Psychiatrists and Prevention of Patient Suicide: Legal Duties in Medical Negligence Claims,” was published in 2011 in PIAA’s Physician Insurer magazine. Mr. Abel is in charge of the firm’s medical malpractice and healthcare divisions.
He is a member of the Florida Bar and is admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the Northern, Middle, and Southern Districts of Florida. He is a member of the Litigation Counsel of America. Since 2004, he has been recognized annually as a Top Lawyer by the South Florida Legal Guide. He earned his Juris Doctorate and his undergraduate degree from the University Florida.
H. Kenneth Armstrong
H. Kenneth Armstrong, Esq. has a practice that involves the trial of complex civil matters, including medical and professional liability. In his 38 years of practice, Mr. Armstrong has tried more than 200 cases to jury verdict, arbitration award, or court decision. He has handled more than 1,000 MPL cases for various hospitals, physician insurers, and private healthcare provider companies and groups. He is regularly asked to serve on panels, demonstrate in mock trials, and lecture and present seminars in the areas of trial practice, medical malpractice, risk management and claims management, and other medical and legal issues. Mr. Armstrong has received a number of honors and awards including the prestigious election as a Fellow of the American College of Trials Lawyers. He has served as the Maryland State Chair of the American College, 2002-2004. Mr. Armstrong has been listed in Best Lawyers in America for more than 20 years and he was listed as the Best Lawyers’ 2014 Washington D.C. Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants “Lawyer of the Year” and the Best Lawyers’ 2014-15 Washington D.C. Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants “Lawyer of the Year.”
Melanie Blake, MD, MBA completed her medical training at the University of Alabama, Birmingham and has 15 years of experience in healthcare. Dr. Blake practices internal medicine and is focused on primary care practice transformation into patient-centered models of care.
She serves the medical community in a number of ways. She holds the office of Secretary of the Board of Medical Examiners in Tennessee and serves in the House of Delegates for the Tennessee Medical Association. She is a member of the Fellows Committee at SVMIC. She is an assistant professor at University of Tennessee College of Medicine. She is the Associate Chief Medical Officer at Erlanger Health System, the seventh largest public hospital in the nation.
F. Laurens Brock
F. Laurens “Larry” Brock, JD joined Adams and Reese in 2011, bringing an extensive background of jury trial experience. He is a partner in the Nashville office as well as the Chattanooga office. Mr. Brock has been practicing law for more than 35 years, including 15 years in South Florida, before moving to Tennessee in 1995. He received his undergraduate degree from Emory University and law degree from the Cumberland School of Law and has successfully defended numerous jury trials throughout the United States involving allegations of catastrophic injury, total disability, disfigurement, and wrongful death.
Mr. Brock is an accomplished trial lawyer and national speaker on medical malpractice and successful thematic strategies at trial. His law practice has also included coordinating counsel on pharmaceutical drug litigation and national counsel for various consumer safety products.
Lisa Calder, MD, MSc, FRCPC is an emergency physician who undertook her five-year residency at the University of Ottawa. She completed an emergency medicine research fellowship and obtained her Master of Science degree in epidemiology in 2007. Since finishing her training Dr. Calder has also completed two fellowships: patient safety fellowship in emergency medicine from the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine and the Emergency Medicine patient Safety Foundation, and the American Hospital Association’s fellowship in patient safety leadership.
Dr. Calder is also an Affiliate Investigator in the Emergency Medicine Research group of The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute’s Clinical Epidemiology Program. She is an associate professor at the University of Ottawa’s department of Emergency Medicine, and has received the University of Ottawa’s excellence in emergency medicine quality and safety award as well as the Canadian Association of Emergency physicians’ teacher of the year award. She joined the CMPA in 2015 as director of Medical Care Analytics.
Larry A. Ceppos
Larry A. Ceppos, Esq. is one of the founding partners of the firm of Armstrong, Donohue, Ceppos Vaughan & Rhoades, chartered, in Rockville, Maryland. Mr. Ceppos and his firm have been representing physicians and other providers in professional liability matters for more than three decades. He is a 1975 honors graduate of the National Law Center at George Washington University, and is admitted to practice in Maryland and the District of Columbia. He is a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, and is annually listed in the Best Lawyers in America. Mr. Ceppos has also been recognized annually as a Top Attorney in Maryland by Super Lawyers, as published in Baltimore magazine, as a Preeminent A-V rated lawyer by Martindale-Hubbell, and as a Top Lawyer for the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, as published in The Washingtonian magazine. He has lectured locally and nationally on a host of liability, risk management, and professional discipline issues.
J. Ric Gass
J. Ric Gass, JD is one of the five founding members of Gass Weber Mullins LLC. He serves as both national trial and supervising counsel for several insurers and self-insured corporations. While Mr. Gass has tried cases in virtually every civil substantive area, his specialty areas include catastrophic injuries, trucking, products liability, and bad faith. His practice is nationwide with cases pending from Miami to Hawaii. He has tried more than 300 cases to verdict, mostly defending corporations and insurers.
Mr. Gass is a Fellow and 2012 President of the Litigation Counsel of America and serves on the LCA Advisory Board. He is also Lifetime Dean of the LCA Trial Law Institute and creator of the LCA Renaissance Symposium series. He has been elected to the rank of Diplomat in the American Board of Trial Advocates and has been elected as a Fellow in both the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Society of Barristers. He has also been elected to membership in the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel and the International Association of Defense Counsel and is a member of the Defense Research Institute. He is a past president of both the Federation and Lawyers for Civil Justice.
Robert Hanscom, JD joined Coverys in August 2013 and is vice president of Business Analytics. In that role, he is responsible for oversight of enterprise-wide data quality, data governance, comparative benchmarking, and the advancement of analytics to support the business in delivering on its overall strategy.
Prior to joining Coverys, Mr. Hanscom was with CRICO for 14 years. At CRICO, he was senior vice president of Loss Prevention and Patient Safety and headed up CRICO’s external consulting division, CRICO Strategies. Previous to that, he was vice president of Clinical Services at Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Massachusetts for five years. Earlier in his career, he worked for both Massachusetts General Hospital and for a law practice in Maine.
Mr. Hanscom received his BA in history from Pacific Union College (California) and his Juris Doctorate from Pepperdine University School of Law.
Richard Henderson is a vice president with Transatlantic Reinsurance Company (TransRe). He has headed TransRe’s medical malpractice claims department for the past 18 years and has more than 35 years of medical malpractice claims experience. He is actively involved with TransRe’s reinsureds, defense firms, brokers, and third party administrators in refining their claims handling strategies and in providing meaningful input as to industry trends, claims handling tactics, and loss prevention resources, with the goal of helping insurers minimize and mitigate ultimate adverse financial exposure within the medical professional liability arena. This has most recently been exemplified by Mr. Henderson’s role in speaking to large and small groups regarding the impact of the Affordable Care Act with respect to MPL litigation, with an eye toward utilizing the ACA as a means to dramatically alter the financial impact of future medical damages in MPL claims.
Mr. Henderson graduated magna cum laude from John Jay College in 1984 and has continued his insurance industry education through completion of the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), Associate in Claims (AIC), Associate in Underwriting (AU), and Associate in Risk Management (ARM) programs.
Fran Hober, MBA, CPHQ has worked at the Cleveland Clinic for eight years, first as a regional hospital quality director and currently as the senior director of Quality Reform and Reporting. In her current role, her primary focus of work is on understanding and communicating the current and upcoming quality reporting and healthcare trends and their impact on the organization. Ms. Hober is also involved in the ambulatory initiatives impacted by commercial value-based contracting.
Her previous experience includes 30-plus years of healthcare quality experience as a manager and department director in quality as well as continuous improvement in both large and small hospitals. She also held a position in the Ohio Medicare QIO (Quality Improvement Organization) teaching hospital quality staff how to comply with the early CMS pay-for-reporting requirements.
Ms. Hober has completed an executive healthcare MBA program at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio and an undergraduate degree at College of St. Mary in Omaha, Nebraska.
Justin Joy, CIPP/US is a shareholder in the Memphis office of the law firm Lewis, Thomason, King, Krieg & Waldrop, P.C. In addition to a range of experience in litigation and business law matters, Mr. Joy heads up Lewis Thomason’s cybersecurity practice group. He provides counsel to clients in the area of information privacy and cybersecurity including incident investigation, development of security awareness programs, policy review and drafting, cyber risk management, and breach response management. Specifically in the area of healthcare, he counsels covered entities on a variety of matters pertaining to HIPAA Privacy Rule, Security Rule, and Breach Notification Rule compliance.
Mr. Joy is a Certified Information Privacy Professional/US (CIPP/US) through the International Association of Privacy Professionals. He speaks frequently to groups and organizations on the topic of information privacy and cybersecurity at a variety of events. He is a 2001 graduate of Wake Forest University and holds a law and MBA degree from the University of Memphis.
Robert C. Maynard
Robert C. Maynard, JD was born in Washington D.C. and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. He attended Georgetown University and The Ohio State University College of Law. Mr. Maynard has spent his entire 28-year legal career defending physicians and healthcare providers. He has handled complex cases in every specialty of medicine and has successfully tried cases in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Washington D.C. He also represents healthcare providers before professional licensing boards and is a frequent lecturer to physicians on litigation matters.
Timothy B. McDonald
Timothy B. McDonald, MD, JD is the director for the Center for Open and Honest Communication at the MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety in Washington D.C. and a Professor of Law at Loyola University – Chicago. He is a physician-attorney whose research has focused on the principled approach to patient harm with an emphasis on reporting and learning from patient safety events, the use of actor-based simulation, human factors engineering analysis of adverse events, and providing open and honest communication following harm. His federally funded research over the past 15 years has focused on these domains and their impact on improving the quality of care while mitigating medical liability and other legal-related issues.
William J. McDonough
William J. McDonough, RPLU is the president and chief executive officer of Constellation Group headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is also the CEO of Arkansas Mutual, MMIC Insurance Company, UMIA Insurance Company, and Health IT. Constellation is a mutual holding company comprised of medical liability insurers in the United States.
Mr. McDonough has worked in the insurance industry for more than 30 years, most of that focusing on medical professional liability insurance. He began his career as an underwriter and later became an independent agent before rejoining the company side of the business. Prior to joining MMIC, Mr. McDonough was president and chief executive officer of Princeton Insurance Company headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey.
He is a veteran of the United States Air Force and graduated from Temple University with a Bachelor’s degree in marketing and distributive education. He also earned an MBA in finance from University of Phoenix and holds the RPLU designation. Mr. McDonough sits on the Board of several profit and nonprofit boards including Constellation, MMIC, PIAA, and Temple University College of Education. Mr. McDonough is a speaker on the insurance industry at national conferences and is a faculty instructor at The University of Minnesota.
Jon T. Neumann
Jon T. Neumann is a litigation partner of Steptoe & Johnson LLP, where he maintains offices in both Los Angeles and Phoenix. Mr. Neumann’s practice focuses on complex litigation in federal and state courts throughout the country and in varied domestic and international arbitral forums. Mr. Neumann’s practice predominantly centers around litigation related to insurance coverage and bad faith, reinsurance, healthcare, and other complex commercial disputes. He is licensed to practice in Arizona, California, Nevada, and New Mexico, but has litigated bad faith and insurance-related matters in more than a dozen jurisdictions and has been consulted for behind-the-scenes advice in many more.
Mr. Neumann helps insurers to resolve declaratory judgment actions and other civil litigation involving breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, bad faith, coverage, and punitive damage claims. His practice includes representing insurers in complex coverage disputes; class actions involving institutional bad faith claims, national insurance claim-handling programs, and computerized evaluation tools; providing coordinating counsel services for the national defense of institutional claim-handling programs; offering counseling services to help insurers avoid litigation and minimize bad-faith exposure; and giving advice for managing an efficient and fair claim-handling operation.
Michael Stoeckert joined ProAssurance as group technology officer in 2013. In January 2014 he became CTO of ProAssurance. Prior to ProAssurance, Mr. Stoeckert spent much of his career in financial services. He was CTO for Sungard Asset management, a technology provider for global financial institutions. His diverse experience includes Fiserv, EPL, Macromedia, Ernst and Young, Fidelity Investments, and Electronic Data Systems.
A significant focus in his career has been operating large and complex systems, using numerous methodologies to assess the risk of business systems and create approaches to mitigate risk. All methods have been implemented and tested in numerous environments—including Electronic Data Systems Information Management Center. His consistent results: enhanced operational efficiency with lowered risk.
Mr. Stoeckert received a BAAS in training and development and an MBA in business finance from the University of North Texas. He also served for six years in the United States Marine Corps.
Tamara Wolfson, JD is a partner at Anderson & Kreiger LLP in Boston where she co-chairs the firm’s Insurance Practice Group. She represents insurers in complex coverage and bad faith litigation, and regularly advises insurers on coverage, claims handling, and regulatory matters. She has successfully defended insurers in numerous suits alleging bad faith claims handling and wrongful failure to settle. Her practice focuses on professional and commercial liability, as well as directors and officers, employment practices, and cyber liability and privacy coverage issues. Ms. Wolfson also works with insurers on product development and drafting policies and endorsements.
She has been named one of The Best Lawyers in America in the insurance field since 2009, has been named a Massachusetts Super Lawyer and was elected as a Fellow of the American College of Coverage and Extra-contractual Counsel. She co-chairs her firm’s pro bono committee. She served on the board of directors of the Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association (BBA) for more than 20 years, and is a former director of the Political Asylum and Immigration Representation Project and of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the BBA.
Ms. Wolfson is a graduate of Boston College Law School where she was an editor of the Boston College Law Review.