President’s Message

The American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel recognizes the preeminent leaders in the field of insurance coverage law. It unites policyholder and insurer-side counsel with academicians to achieve a common purpose: advancing the administration of justice while promoting the highest standards of advocacy of coverage and extracontractual (bad faith) disputes. The College calls on its almost 300 Fellows across the Country to exemplify the qualities of excellence, civility and professionalism in this critical area of the law. As we approach our fifth year, please review the information on our new website. It provides expanded materials that we hope will be of great interest to practitioners around the country, including articles from renowned practitioners with demonstrated skill and experience in this specialized area of insurance coverage law. To quote my predecessor, “view those who have been called to excellence.”


Best regards,
Mary Craig Calkins


December 2016 President's Message

Dear Fellows:

With the holidays and year end almost on us, I wanted to thank you for your involvement in the ACCEC’s many accomplishments during 2016. We are quickly approaching 300 members, with our first Emeritus Fellow and seven Honorary Fellows. Our website with our new logo has been redesigned, and boasts a variety of publications and photos reflecting our efforts during the year. In early 2017, continue to read our Articles of the Month, and the new “In the Spotlight” column, which will highlight many of our Fellows and provide member news.

Our Committees are actively involved in developing Committee web pages and adding content, with many excellent ideas percolating after our recent conferences with Committee co-chairs. For example, one Committee suggested that we consider creating a dispute resolution mechanism that will allow Fellows to arrange informal discussions – using the talent of other ACCEC fellows – to resolve issues before suit. We will follow up with the Fellows and our ADR Committee to see if that idea can be fleshed out.

Planning for our next Annual Meeting, celebrating our Fifth Anniversary, is well underway and we have two Law School Symposia in the works. We are addressing Strategic Planning for the next five years, to determine where and how we want to grow. We have conducted Regional Meet Ups in nine cities (Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Miami, San Francisco, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Philadelphia, and San Francisco) with additional Meet Ups scheduled in early 2017 in Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Washington DC. These Meet Ups provide a wonderful opportunity for Fellows to get to know each other better, and to discuss developments, our course of direction, common goals, and possible new members. All in all, a great year!

As we enter the New Year, please keep the following in mind:

  • Our ACCEC-UC Hastings Law School Symposium will take place on Friday, February 10, 2017 at the University of California, Hastings Law School Campus in downtown San Francisco. Chaired by Andy Downs and David Goodwin, the theme is “Old Risks Meet The New Economy: Insurance Issues for the 21st Century.” The morning sessions will address Technology and Insurance, including panels on trends in D&O coverage, navigating the Yates Memo, hot topics in cyber coverage, and the insurance consequences of the “Sharing Economy.” Tom Baker of the University of Pennsylvania Law School will present a keynote lunch address, followed by four sessions on ethics. The day will end with a networking reception at the Sky Room at 100 McAllister Street, 24th floor, overlooking San Francisco Bay. Please attend, and help us market by sending the brochure to your colleagues and contacts. Click here for the brochure. This event is not limited to ACCEC fellows. CLE credit is being requested.
  • Our Annual Meeting will be held on May 11-12, 2017 at the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago. Meeting Chairs Steve Pate and Bob Thavis, working with Vice Chairs Stacy Broman and Jason Mazer, are finalizing the agenda from the numerous committee submissions. The Annual Meeting will start on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 with off-site Board of Regents and Strategic Planning Meetings (hosted by Mike Marick at Hinshaw & Culbertson), followed by a Welcome Reception. Thursday will be a full day of programming, with a networking reception and dinner, with a half-day of programming on Friday. Please plan to attend the Committee Meetings that will take place at that meeting as well. 
  • Membership continues to grow, and the Membership Committee ably led by Jill Berkeley and Wayne Taylor needs your help. Thanks to the efforts of the Committee, which includes Bob Allen, Bruce Celebrezze, Gary Johnson, Helen Michael, Lisa Pake and Koorosh “KT” Talieh, we currently boast the highest caliber of Fellows in this specialized practice area. We want to maintain the balance between insurers and policyholder lawyers, and the diversity of our ranks. Take a moment to consider able adversaries, or individuals with whom you consulted or collaborated in the past, and send their names to the Committee for consideration.
  • After helping to launch our new Website, the Website Committee co-chairs Mike Huddleston, Steve Palley, and John Sinnott are embarking on the social media side of our efforts. We have a new Facebook page, which you can “like” at You can follow up on Twitter as well (@AmerCollegeCEC). Please submit website content to fulfill our mission of peer-provided scholarship and content, and improving the relationship and civility between and among our members. For example, our First Party Committee co-chaired by Bernie Bell, Hugh Lumpkin, and Neil Rambin, has partnered with the CGL/Excess Committee, co-chaired by Laura Foggan, Martin Pentz, and David Tartaglio, to prepare a survey of case law on recoverability of attorneys’ fees. Upcoming newsletters will announce Committee postings and new articles, to make Fellows aware of current content. We hope to increase our visibility and name recognition during the coming year, and will be addressing additional publicity efforts to ensure that the ACCEC becomes better known.
  • Save the Date for our Fall Symposium at the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor. Taking place on October 20, 2017 (before any “snowmageddon,” after our learning experience in Boston), the Symposium will again focus on cutting edge topics. We look forward to Committee and Fellow support. 

Best wishes to you and yours for a happy holiday season, and we look forward to addressing these and other issues as we continue well into 2017.

Mary Craig Calkins