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9/17/2014 » 9/19/2014
2014 Annual Meeting and CLE/CEU Presentation

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Drake A. HoodBrisbee and Stockton, LLC, Hillsboro, OR
Peter DurneyCornell & Gollub, Boston, MA




The Professional Liability Defense Federation™ is a not-for-profit organization designed to bring together attorneys, claims professionals and risk management specialists to share expertise and information helpful to the successful defense of professional liability claims.

Malpractice claims affecting different professions often present common procedural rule and substantive law elements. Although standard of care evidence differs among the professions, skills learned in the defense of one profession are often transferable to others.  PLDF’s goal is to harness this expertise in one organization devoted solely to improving the management and defense of professional liability claims. To accomplish its mission PLDF publishes the journal Professional Liability Defense Quarterly, sponsors an annual meeting offering valuable law development seminars and member connection opportunities, offers amicus support in important appellate proceedings, produces news summaries of national malpractice case developments, and facilitates confidential communications among members. 


Professional Liability Defense Federation Member Barton Ridley's firm, Touchstone Bernays in Texas, was named a 2014 "Best Law Firm" by U.S. News and Best Lawyers.

PLDF Construction Design Claims Committee Vice Chair John Stuckey has changed firms.  The new firm is DeFur • Voran, 8409 Fishers Center Drive, Fishers, IN 46038.  John can be reached at 317-585-8085 or

PLDF member Sharon M. Woods of Barris Sott Denn Driker PLLC, in Detroit was voted Best Lawyer in Detroit for Legal Malpractice Defense for 2014.  This follows her Best Lawyer designation in 2012 for construction litigation and in 2013 for real estate litigation.

PLDF member Anna-Katherine Bowman is now practicing with the Jones Walker firm, One Federal Place, Suite 1100, 1819 5th Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35203.  She can be reached at 205-244-5216 or

The Winter 2014 issue of Professional Liability Defense Quarterly is uploaded and available under "Resources" on the menu bar above.  PLDF member Gregg Viola's article  is titled "Check Scam Continues to Plague Attorneys", member John Minett co-authored an article on the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act, and member Andrew Countryman's article is titled "The Assignment of Legal Malpractice Claims".

Professional Liability Defense Federation's Board of Directors met February 6-7 in Scottsdale, Arizona, to plan for the Fifth Annual Meeting, to focus on our member value proposition, to explore ways to enhance our member recruitment and committee experience, and to update our Bylaws.  In attendance were PLDF President Peter Akmajian, Vice President Jonathan Ziss, Treasurer Erik Crep, Secretary Sheila Burke, and Directors Christine Jensen, Timothy Gephart, Will Elkner, Jennifer Saunders, Barry Montgomery, and Tom Jensen.  Also appearing was Jeffrey M. Baill, Esq., of Yost & Baill, LLP, who co-founded the National Association of Subrogation Professionals (  Jeff spoke on the topic "Association Growth and Success."  It was a successful meeting - stay tuned!

PLDF member Ed Hatten of Dukes, Dukes, Keating & Faneca, P.A. in Gulfport, Mississippi received the Martindale-Hubbell Client Distinction Award.  With this award, Ed was "recognized for excellence" in the categories of Quality of Service, Overall Value, Responsiveness, and Communication Ability based on client ratings.  Ed can be reached at or 228-679-1565.

PLDF member A. Michael Furman of Furman Kornfeld & Brennan, LLP was named Chair of the New York State Bar's Trial Lawyers Section.  Michael can be reached at or 212-867-4100.  

We congratulate PLDF member Anthony J. Novak of Larson · King, LLP in St. Paul, Minnesota, who was named a partner.  Tony can be reached at 651-312-6571 (

We also congratulate PLDF member Donald "Pat" Eckler who was made partner at Pretzel & Stouffer, Chartered, One South Wacker Drive, Suite 2500, Chicago, IL  60606.  Pat can be reached at 312-578-7653 (  

We further congratulate our member Andrew W. Countryman who was made partner at Carlock, Copeland & Stair, 40 Calhoun Street, Suite 400, Charleston, SC  29401.  Andy can be reached at 843-266-8225 (  

Will Elkner, Director of Professional Liability Claims for Sedgwick in the Long Beach, California office, has joined the Board of Directors of PLDF.  Will can be reached at

Michelle Klein is Assistant Vice President of Claims for Berkley Professional Liability in New York, New York.  Michelle can be reached at

Timothy J. Gephart, CPCU, Vice President - Claims for Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company, has become a member of PLDF's Board of Directors.  Tim can be reached at



Seminar details and registration information will be available in the spring.



Click on "Sponsor Opportunities" under "About" on the menu bar above.




Click on "Amicus Support" under "Resources" on the menu bar above.











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