E&O Perspectives on Coronavirus

This latest recording for our PL Perspectives on Coronavirus series delves into E&O lines. Mike Mooney, Brett Scher, and Barbara Serafini provide E&O perspectives with a focus on Lawyers, Accountants, and Insurance Professionals. Listen to their discussion below, and stay tuned for more recordings on how coronavirus is affecting the industry.

Listen to E&O Perspectives on Coronavirus:

Mike_Mooney_(USI_Affinity)Mike Mooney, Senior Vice President, Professional Liability Practice Leader at USI Affinity

Mike’s responsibility is to drive growth and provide strategic leadership in the area of professional liability.  Mike’s key focus is the management and development of existing programs, new programs, business development and marketing planning.   Mike oversees the underwriting, operations, and sales departments that support the professional liability programs.

Mike is also responsible for coordinating the program management for USI Affinity’s endorsed insurance programs, including The New York State Bar Association, The New Jersey State Bar Association, Pennsylvania Bar Association, DC Bar, Boston Bar, and Delaware State Bar Association.  With more than 15 years of industry experience, Mike has worked extensively on many facets of insurance programs for professional service firms. Prior to joining USI Affinity, Mike spent over 8 years with Aon in a variety of management roles. Most notably, Mike was the Assistant Vice President and National Sales Manager for Aon Affinity’s Healthcare Division, and spent time as the National Sales Manager for the AICPA Accountant’s Professional Liability Program.

Mike currently sits on the NYSBA Cyber Subcommittee and NJSBA Cyber Security Task Force.  Mike spent 3 years on the NJ Supreme Court AD Hoc Committee on Attorney Malpractice Insurance.  Mike served 3 terms on the Law Practice Management Services Committee of the DC Bar. In 2019, Mike testified in front of the NJ Assembly Judiciary Committee in favor of the passing of A-4880 which would provide legal malpractice reform in NJ.  Mike is a regular speaker and panelist for the Law Practice Sections of the NYSBA, NJSBA, and NJICLE regarding Insurance and Risk Management topics relative to the legal industry.

Brett_Scher_webBrett Scher, Partner at Kaufman Dolowich & Voluk, LLP.

Brett’s practice includes litigation in the fields of professional and cyber liability, class action defense, insurance coverage disputes, and commercial matters. Mr. Scher’s practice addresses litigation on the trial and appellate levels throughout the United States in both state and federal courts. In the area of professional liability, his practice includes complex attorney malpractice claims arising from underlying commercial litigation, securities law, real estate, personal injury, corporate governance, entertainment law, and patent/trademark issues. He also represents several companies with respect to the defense of individual and class action claims under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.  With respect to cyber liability, Mr. Scher handles data security incident responses for law firms and small to medium enterprise companies, including the use of digital forensics, crisis management, consumer notification and regulatory compliance, as well as securing credit monitoring and identity protection services for affected individuals.  In addition, Mr. Scher has successfully defended and resolved multiple data breach-related lawsuits and demands.

Mr. Scher also represents insurance brokers/agents, accountants, actuaries and third party administrators on errors and omissions claims. He also focuses on claims involving real estate issues, including the defense of home appraisers, surveyors, home inspectors, real estate agents, lenders, building management companies, co-op and condo boards, and real estate brokers.

His insurance coverage practice focuses on policy drafting and coverage services with respect to professional liability policies, technology policies, investment management policies and commercial general liability policies.

Barbara_SBarbara Serafini, Senior Vice President of Claims at Western Litigation/GB Specialty – a Gallagher Bassett company

In this role, Barbara manages a complex caseload of professional liability claims against lawyers, insurance agents and brokers and title agents on behalf of several different carriers.  Barbara  has over fifteen years of experience in the insurance industry. Prior to joining Western Litigation, Barbara handled claims for other third-party administrators and insurance carriers including the Plus Companies and Liberty International Underwriters, Inc. Barbara is a licensed attorney who began her career at Wilson Elser, LLP in New York City. She is a graduate of University of Delaware and Brooklyn Law School.

2018 PLUS Conference Preview: Insurance Agents & Brokers E&O 2019

As the week before conference is winding down, we have one of our last exclusive looks at an education session happening at the conference.

This panel will take place on Thursday, November 9, and will be moderated by Tom Jensen. Focused on insurance agents and broker professional liability, this session will feature discussion on liability, claims, and ways to decrease exposures in the coming year. Panelists for this session include J. Patrick Carley, III, Michelle Girardin Freimuth, Javier Gonzalez, and Kiera Goral.

Below is a summary of the panel, white papers, and the powerpoint to be shown during the session. Be sure to register for the conference and attend this and other topical education sessions. Claim your spot today and we’ll see you in San Diego very soon!

Thursday, November 8, 3:00 pm – Insurance Agents & Brokers E&O 2019

This panel will discuss the current claim trends in insurance agents and broker professional liability, the use of innovative risk mitigation technics and adjusting practices and their impact on the underwriting of the product as well as claims handling and outcome strategies. Further the panel will discuss the vicarious liability of the carrier through the captive agent model and discuss additional measures that can and should be employed to decrease exposure.

Moderator: Tom Jensen, Esq., Attorney, Lind Jensen Sullivan & Peterson, P.A.


J. Patrick Carley, III, Partner, Traub Lieberman Strauss & Shrewsberry LLP

Michelle Girardin Freimuth, Vice President, E&O Division; IAE&O Practice Leader, Allied World

Javier Gonzalez, Partner/Exec VP of Sales, Axis Insurance Services, LLC/PL Risk Advisors, Inc.

Kiera Goral, AVP, Specialty Claims, QBE

White papers: The Impact of M&A on Insurance Agents & Brokers Professional Liability

Insurance Agent/Broker Errors and Omissions Claims: 2018 Case Law Update 

Session PowerPoint Slides

SoCal Chapter Discusses Real Estate E&O

The PLUS Southern California Chapter met recently (March 13 to be exact) for a morning of networking and learning. Specifically, the group held a session on “What is the New Realm of Real Estate? Trends, Claims & Coverage” at the Jonathan Club in Los Angeles.

By all accounts the session was tremendous, as evidenced by the fact that we only received 3 photos – everyone was too busy learning to snap a lot of pictures. Thanks to 65+ professionals who attended, and of course to our panel of industry experts.