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Lisa Tulk
2019-2020 PLDF President
Kessler Collins PC
2100 Ross Avenue, #750, Dallas, TX 75201
214-378-0737, ltulk@kesslercollins.com

Third Quarter 2020

Greetings, fellow members of PLDF! I hope this edition of the Quarterly finds each of you safe and well.

I have given a lot of thought over the past few months to the proverbial curse, “may you live in interesting times.” Well, this year – for better or worse – has certainly been an interesting one for us all. Many of us are adapting to continued long-term remote work for the first time in our careers (while for others it is old hat) and drastically changing everyday routines which we have taken for granted in the past. Many of us are examining our organizations, firms, offices and panel lists with a new eye as to what diversity should look like among renewed and overdue discussions about what equality truly means. Many of us have been spending considerable time discussing what the current state of the country means with respect to risks borne, risks covered, best practices to limit liability exposure, and how our clients and insureds are faring in the current economic climate of uncertainty. Interesting times, indeed, but presenting challenges I am confident each one of us can meet.

I would like to remind our members, however, that taking time to care for your own well-being is an important part of being able to serve the professions we all represent. The Quarterly has long included a wellness column (by the incomparable Patty Beck, Minnesota Lawyers Mutual) aimed at our membership for this very reason. Though there is very real pressure on claims professionals and counsel to appear “invincible”, the fact remains that each of us is human and that times of great disruption can also be times of great stress. In such times it is important to remember that our personal well-being cannot be wholly separated from our professional responsibilities, and that we may be doing our insureds and clients a disservice by insisting on “powering through” such stress rather than addressing it in the context of our own well-being. I truly hope each of you is navigating these uncertain times well, but also hope that those who are struggling ask for help if it is needed. 

While I remain disappointed that we will not be able to gather together this year for the annual meeting, I hope to “see” everyone at this year’s Virtual Annual Meeting on October 2nd! This virtual meeting will include the annual meeting of the membership to update everyone on the state of the PLDF and provide the opportunity to all members to review the organization’s performance over the last year, as well as attend two excellent panel presentations: “Past is Prologue: the Coming COVID-19 Investor Claims Tsunami” (Michelle Arbitrio, Wood Smith Henning Berman, J. Peter Glaws, IV, Carr Maloney, PC, Alexandra Gulledge, QBE North America, and Gary Kessler, Kessler Collins, P.C.) and “Exploring Pre-Suit Settlement in a High Stakes/Media Legal Malpractice Claim” (Jennifer Groszek, ProQuest, Christopher Vlasich, Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, and Jennifer W. Wolak, Fields Howell LLP). It promises to be an enlightening and informative meeting!

I am also pleased to announce that we are in full planning mode for a roaring comeback with the 2021 Annual Meeting. Though we typically return to our “home base” of Chicago in odd-numbered years, we’re going to break with tradition for 2021. With the enthusiasm for heading to Nashville, the PLDF Board decided that another two years was too long to wait for another opportunity to gather in such a charming and fun location. Please mark your calendars now for October 6-8, 2021 and plan to join us in Nashville for the excellent in-person professional development and networking events which make attending a PLDF Annual Meeting such a valuable experience. If you will be unable to attend, we urge you to consider sending one of your partners or associates – it is truly a conference not to be missed!

I would also like to congratulate and thank our new members of the PLDF Publications Committee who have taken the mantle of leading the Quarterly and upholding its high standards. Alice M. Sherren, Minnesota Lawyers Mutual, and Rick Perr, Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck LLP, have agreed to serve as Co-Editors in Chief, joined by Executive Editor Gregg E. Viola, Eccleston & Wolf PC. Together with our extraordinary columnists and guest writers, I know that the Quarterly is in excellent hands with Alice, Rick and Gregg at the helm.

Finally, this will be my last letter in the Quarterly to you all as the President of the PLDF. As my term comes to an end with the Annual Meeting, President-Elect Pat Eckler, Pretzel & Stouffer, will be taking the reins into his most capable hands. While this year has been an interesting one for us all, it has truly been an honor for me to be entrusted with the PLDF’s leadership and to work with everyone who contributes to the organization – the committee leaders, the writers, the presenters, the directors, and the many others whose devote time and talents to making this organization a professional “home” for those who defend a diverse range of professionals. The PLDF plays an important and growing role to give voice and community to our area of insurance defense and the professionals we all serve – long may it thrive.

But like all communities and organizations, the PLDF depends largely on the involvement and passion of its members. If I have one parting wish as I leave office, it is that each of you consider how you would like to be involved to maximize the value of your membership and enrich the organization/profession in the coming year. It may be attending committee presentations throughout the year or writing articles for the Quarterly. It may be stepping into a leadership role either at the committee level or as a member of the Board of Directors. It may be getting another member of your firm or company involved in the PLDF as a member or panelist for a presentation. It may be taking advantage of any one of the dozens of other opportunities presented by the organization throughout the year. Though I will be standing down from my watch with the transfer of leadership, I plan to continue to serve the PLDF and our profession as an involved member. I hope each of you will join me.


About the Author

Lisa Tulk of Kessler Collins, P.C. in Dallas is the current President of PLDF. Her practice focuses on the counseling and defense of architects, engineers, financial advisory firms and accountants. She may be reached at ltulk@kesslercollins.com.

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