Evaluating Litigation Risk in the 21st Century

Please join us for a first of its kind conference on measuring and managing litigation risk on Friday April 27, 2018 from 9 to 2 PM, sponsored by the University of Connecticut School of Law and the Insurance Law Center.  The conference will be held in Starr Hall, on the UConn Law School Campus.

Live Streaming: If you cannot attend in person you can live stream the first two panels at http://s.uconn.edu/litrisk  

Bringing together thought leaders in law, finance, insurance, and economics, from practice and academia, this conference will explore new approaches to evaluating litigation risk, including the latest tools available such as digital and data analytics, artificial intelligence, and game theory.  We will examine the methods for evaluating risk currently in use, explore new approaches, and consider what limitations constrain our ability to evaluate and quantify litigation risk.

Conference Agenda 

9:00 to 9:30    Continental Breakfast

9:30 to 9:45    Introduction: Dean Timothy Fisher

9:45 to 10:35  Panel 1: Current Methods: Perspectives from Law Firms, Finance, and Insurance

This panel will address the methods currently used by sophisticated legal practitioners and underwriters in insurance and finance to evaluate litigation risk. What is litigation risk? How is it evaluated in different industries? What works and what doesn’t?

  • William Narwold, Partner, Motley Rice (Moderator)
  • Selvyn Seidel, CEO, Fulbrook Capital Management
  • Elizabeth Sacksteder, Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
  • James Heavner, Senior Vice President, Director of Litigation, The Hartford

10 minute break

10:45 to 11:45  Panel 2: Innovations: Probability Theory and Data Analytics

This panel will consider the uses of data analytics to evaluate litigation risk. What are the possibilities, pitfalls and limitations of available technology and data? What emerging technologies are the most promising?

  • Alexandra Lahav (Moderator)
  • Andrew Cohen, Vice President, Burford Capital
  • Eric Falkenberry, Partner, DLA Piper
  • Daniel Martin Katz, Associate Professor,  Illinois Tech – Chicago Kent Law
  • Marc Victor, President,  Litigation Risk Analysis

15 minute break (snack)

12:00 to 12:50  Panel 3: New Directions and Possibilities    

This panel will reflect on what we have heard so far, and panelists will discuss whether litigation risk evaluation is more an art than a science and what role academic study might play in developing better ways to evaluate litigation risk.

  • David Abrams, Professor, University of Pennsylvania School of Law
  • Jonah Gelbach, Professor, University of Pennsylvania School of Law
  • Natalie Chairamonte, Vice President, Sovereign Insurance
  • Kathryn Spier, Professor, Harvard Law School

1:00 PM           Lunch


David Abrams

DAVID ABRAMS is Professor of Law, Business Economics, and Public Policy at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He is one of the leading young economists working in empirical law and economics. His work covers a range of topics, tied together by goal of understanding and measuring how individuals respond to incentives in various legal contexts. Criminal justice is one of his major areas of expertise, where Abrams has investigated a variety of questions, including whether longer sentences deter crime, how defendant race impact judicial decisions, to what extent attorney skill affects case outcomes, and how much individuals value freedom. Intellectual property is Abrams’s other major area of expertise, where he has investigated the expected impact of the America Invents Act, examined the effect of patent duration on innovation, and is using natural language processing to establish more reliable measures of patent value. He has additional interests in law and health economics, labor economics, and corporate finance. His work has appeared in a number of top peer-reviewed journals and law reviews including the Stanford Law Review, University of Chicago Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, and Journal of Legal Studies.

Natalie Chiaramonte

NATALIE (LUTHI) CHIARAMONTE is a Senior Vice President and Senior Underwriter at Sovereign Risk Insurance, Ltd., one of the world’s leading underwriters of political risk and sovereign credit insurance and reinsurance. In addition to underwriting for a number of Sovereign’s key clients, Natalie assists Sovereign’s President in all aspects of the company’s management which includes reinsurance strategies and procurement, strategic planning and forecasting, client and broker relationships, and the formulation and implementation of underwriting strategies. Prior to joining Sovereign, Natalie worked at the Bank of Bermuda (now HSBC) in Bermuda, Luxembourg, and New York where she managed top client relationships for the Global Fund Services Division. Natalie has a B.A. in History from Brown University in Rhode Island.

Andrew Cohen

ANDREW COHEN is a Vice President of Burford Capital, a leading global finance firm focused on law. Prior to joining Burford, Cohen was a litigator at Debevoise & Plimpton, where he specialized in litigation and regulatory matters involving financial institutions and complex financial products, as well as IP matters relating to trademark disputes. He regularly represented financial institutions and public companies before state Attorneys General, the SEC, and the DOJ in investigations into complex securities including auction rate securities and MBS, accounting issues and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations. Cohen graduated from Columbia Law School, where he was a Stone Scholar and an editor of the Columbia Law Review.

Eric Falkenberry

ERIC FALKENBERRY is the chair of DLA Piper’s Litigation Innovation Committee. He is an experienced litigator who has been lead counsel in thousands of product liability and commercial litigations for industry leading clients over his 21-year career. He has represented nearly every class of manufacturer in both litigation and transactions. Eric currently concentrates on the assessment, quantification, and transfer of litigation risk through predictive modeling, scenario testing, and litigation analytics with a particular emphasis on using these services to provide industry leading companies with strategic advice on how to avoid and manage risk throughout the world. He also represents leading private equity concerns which acquire and manufacturing operations and works to create arbitrage opportunities through the transfer of portfolio company litigation risk to third parties.

Jonah Gelbach

JONAH GELBACH is Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. His interests in law teaching and scholarship include civil procedure, evidence, statutory interpretation, law and economics, event study methodology, applied statistical methodology, and applied microeconomics. He has taught students in J.D., economics, business, and public policy programs, in courses at the J.D., PhD, MBA, and undergraduate levels. Gelbach is currently a Director of the American Law and Economics Association and is co-editor of the Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization. His published papers in the fields of law and economics include work in the Stanford Law Review, Yale Law Journal, University of Chicago Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, Review of Economics and Statistics, American Law and Economics Review, Journal of Labor Economics, and Journal of Public Economics, among many other journals. He joined the Penn faculty in 2013, having previously been on the permanent economics faculty at the University of Maryland for nine years (1998- 2007) and the University of Arizona for three (2007-2010)

JIM HEAVNER joined The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. in 2003. He currently manages the Law Department’s Litigation and Employment Law Group. Prior to joining The Hartford, Jim was a litigation partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Baker Botts, LLP, and before that he was a partner at Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin, LLP in Washington, D.C., a firm that specialized in white collar criminal defense, complex civil litigation, and regulatory investigations. Before joining Miller Cassidy, Jim did a one-year clerkship for the Honorable Paul V. Niemeyer, Circuit Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Jim served for six years as an officer in the United States Army. Jim received a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY, and his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C.

Daniel Martin Katz

DANIEL MARTIN KATZ is an Associate Professor of Law at Chicago- Kent College of Law and Director of the Law Lab. He is a scientist, technologist and law professor who applies an innovative polytechnic approach to teaching law – to help create lawyers for today’s biggest societal challenges. Both his scholarship and teaching integrate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Professor Katz’s forward-thinking ideas helped to earn him acknowledgement in the 2013 Fastcase 50, an award which “recognizes 50 of the smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries, and leaders in the law.” He was also named to the American Bar Association Journal’s 2013 Class of “Legal Rebels,” a prestigious group of change leaders in the legal profession. Professor Katz is actively involved in the rapidly growing legal technology industry. He is the Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer of LexPredict (a Legal Analytics company). He also serves as a formal and informal advisor to a large number of legal startups. In addition, he is a member of the advisory board of NextLaw Labs – a global collaborative innovation ecosystem organized with Dentons (the world’s largest law firm). Professor Katz received his Ph.D. in political science and public policy with a focus on complex adaptive systems from the University of Michigan. He graduated with a Juris Doctor cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School and simultaneously obtained a Master of Public Policy from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan.

Alexandra D. Lahav

ALEXANDRA D. LAHAV is the Ellen Ash Peters Professor of Law at the University of Connecticut School of Law. Her research primarily focuses on the justice system and on finding innovative solutions to the problems participants in that system face. Her book, In Praise of Litigation (Oxford 2017), which is a finalist for the ABA Silver Gavel Award, makes the case that litigation is a social good that promotes democracy. In recent work she has studied the changing win rate patterns in the federal courts, the effects of incentives on judicial decision-making, and the optimal design for procedural systems. She has also written on the limits of due process in aggregate and complex litigation, the use of statistical sampling in resolving complex cases such as mass torts, what role equality should play in interpreting procedural rules, and how courts can better manage multijurisdictional litigation. Her work has been influential, cited in judicial opinions in federal and state courts, treatises, and law review articles.

William Narwold

WILLIAM H. (BILL) NARWOLD is a managing member of Motley Rice LLC, one of the nation’s largest plaintiffs’ litigation firms, where he heads the firm’s securities, antitrust and consumer fraud practice group. Bill joined Motley Rice in January 2004, after spending 25 years at Cummings & Lockwood, including the last decade as managing partner. Having previously served for two years as a consultant to Motley Rice, he was drawn to the firm by its energy, excitement, and creativity, as well as the opportunity to work on litigation that impacts public policy and improves people’s lives. Bill represents consumers, governmental entities, unions, and others in class actions involving securities, antitrust, unfair trade practices, consumer fraud and related matters. He is also involved in qui tam and whistleblower matters. Bill has handled and tried cases in state and federal courts throughout the country and abroad. He is also active in the firm’s appellate practice. Bill has handled over 200 appeals in state and federal courts throughout the country. In addition, he frequently serves as an arbitrator and mediator, both through the American Arbitration Association and privately. Bill has served on the board of directors of numerous bar associations and non-profit organizations, including service as president of the Connecticut Bar Foundation. He was also a trustee of the University of Connecticut Law School Foundation. He was named one of eleven lawyers “who made a difference” by The Connecticut Law Tribune. He is also a recipient of the Connecticut Bar Foundation’s Legal Services Leadership Award. Bill is a 1974 graduate of Colby College. He earned his law degree cum laude from the University of Connecticut School of Law in 1979, where he served as managing editor of the Connecticut Law Review. After graduation, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Warren W. Eginton, United States District Judge for the District of Connecticut.

Elizabeth Sacksteder

ELIZABETH M. SACKSTEDER is a partner at Paul Weiss with a broad range of experience in both private practice and senior in-house roles, and a particular concentration in financial services. She has handled major class action litigation involving antitrust, securities, commodities, consumer fraud, unfair trade practices and other claims; commercial litigation of all kinds; regulatory investigations and hearings; insurance and reinsurance disputes, both litigated and arbitrated; and adversary proceedings in bankruptcy. She has extensive experience in federal and state courts at the trial level and on appeal, as well as in a variety of arbitration fora, and has mediated and settled many major disputes. She is the former Deputy General Counsel and Global Head of Litigation and Regulatory Investigations at Citigroup Inc. Prior to joining Citigroup, Liz was the Deputy General Counsel and Director of Litigation at The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. Liz is a recipient of the Arthur Liman Public Interest Award from the Legal Action Center (2012) and the Human Relations Award from the New York Lawyers Division of the Anti-Defamation League (2013). She serves as a member of the board of the Legal Action Center (2013-present), and she is a former court-appointed mediator for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. She was the Coordinating Articles Editor of the Yale Law Journal.

Selvyn Seidel

SELVYN SEIDEL is the Founder and CEO of Fulbrook Capital Management and a pioneer in litigation finance. Before Fulbrook, he founded and chaired Burford Advisors, an expert advisor in dispute finance. He chaired Burford Group, Ltd, an investment manager for Burford Capital, LLC, which was taken public on the U.K. Aim market of the London Exchange and is now the largest and most respected institutional financing providers in the industry. Mr. Seidel practiced as a litigation attorney for over 40 years in complex litigation and arbitrations with Latham & Watkins, and was the Chairman of the firm’s International Practice; the founder and Chairman of Latham’s International Litigation and Arbitration practice; and the Chairman of its New York Litigation practice. He has lectured on dispute finance at various law schools (including Harvard Law School, Columbia Law School, Oxford Law, New York University School of Law, and the University of Iowa Law School), and at various Institutes (such as the RAND Institute of Civil Justice, and at LEXIS NEXIS programs on litigation costing and funding). He has a B.A. in economics from the University of Chicago, a J.D. with honors from the Berkeley School of Law (University of California), and a Diploma of Law from the University of Oxford, England.

Kathryn Spier

KATHRYN E. SPIER is the Domenico De Sole Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and President Emeritus of the American Law and Economics Association. She received her Ph.D. from MIT in 1989, and her B.A. in mathematics and economics from Yale in 1985. Before joining the Harvard Law School in 2007, she was for 13 years a professor in the Management and Strategy department at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and served as the Richard M. Paget Distinguished Professor. Before that, she served as assistant and associate professor in the Harvard Economics Department. Professor Spier is currently serving as a co-editor of the RAND Journal of Economics, an associate editor of the American Economic Review, and is a Research Associate in the Law and Economics Group of the National Bureau of Economic Research. She has published extensively in the areas of law and economics and industrial organization. Her areas of interest include the economics of litigation, contracts, tort law, antitrust, and business organization. Professor Spier’s current research on contracts and bargaining is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation.

MARC VICTOR is the founder and president of Litigation Risk Analysis, Inc., and the nation’s leading expert in the application of decision tree analysis to the valuation of lawsuits and claims. His consulting retentions over the past 35 years have involved analyses of some of the largest and most complex products liability, environmental contamination, insurance coverage, breach of contract, foreign expropriation, patent infringement, antitrust, securities fraud, consumer fraud, corporate bankruptcy, employment discrimination, and other lawsuits and claims — many of which went on to settle for more than $1 billion. Since 1980 Mr. Victor has offered training in Litigation Risk Analysis™ through a series of one- and two-day seminars attended by over 10,000 senior legal decision-makers from corporate and government law departments, insurance claims staffs, and law firms. In 2003 he was presented with the Education Award of Excellence by the American College of Civil Trial Mediators. In addition, Mr. Victor was a Visiting Professor at Tulane Law School for many years, and has lectured at other law schools around the country and addressed many bar groups including the ABA sections of Litigation, Business Law, and Tort Trial and Insurance Practice (TIPS). He is the author of a number of articles on the use of decision tree analysis in litigation, which can be found at www.LitigationRisk.com. Mr. Victor graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. degree in economics from Dartmouth College. He received his J.D. degree from Stanford Law School and his M.B.A. degree from Stanford Graduate School of Business. He is a member of the State Bar of California.