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The Fidelity Law Association 29th Annual Conference

Wednesday, October 4, 2023, 7:30 AM until 4:45 PM Eastern Time (US & Canada) (UTC-05:00)
Revere Hotel Boston Common
Revere Boston Common
200 Stuart Street
Boston, MA  02116
Additional Info:
Event Contact(s):
Robert Briganti
9088748676 (p)
Registration is required
Payment In Full In Advance Only
Cancellation Policy:
Cancellation and a registration fee refund may be requested if made by September 19, 2023. Please send your notice of cancellation to Registrants who notify the FLA after September 19, 2023, that they are unable to attend may send a substitute or receive course materials in lieu of a refund. Registrations made after September 19, 2023, are not refundable.

All registrations must be made online and paid by credit/debit card.



Ted Landsdale
Travelers Insurance Company

Patrick T. Ryan
Clyde &Co US LLP

8:45 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. WELCOME

Robert M. Flowers, President, The Fidelity Law Association
9:00 a.m. – 9:50 a.m.

Enforceable Electronic Signatures Versus Unenforceable Electronic Communications

Reflecting society’s continued adoption of virtual transactions, electronic communications continue to replace in-person meetings in all facets of life, including lending. The lack of in-person meeting to ensure identities of signors and the proper execution of the loan documents provides fraudsters an opportunity to take advantage of digital lending and induce lenders to extend credit by impersonating borrowers and misrepresenting authority to execute loan documents.  Because negotiations over loan agreements are commonly discussed in casual communications via email, text and other electronic communications, lenders can readily fall prey to fraud and mistakenly assume the proper approval of loans and execution of loan documents. This presentation will focus on the recent guidance on the enforceability of electronic signatures, explore the current state of digital transactions, focusing on federal and state law governing digital transactions and their potential impact on financial institution bonds, and highlight the potential pitfalls of conducting transactions electronically.

Courtney A. Nichol,
Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani, LLP

Iga W. Todd, Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani, LLP

9:50 a.m. – 10:40 a.m.

Can’t Ask, Don’t Know: Termination Provisions and Ban the Box Laws        

This presentation analyzes “prior dishonesty” provisions which terminate or otherwise bar coverage as to a certain employee when their employer learns of a past act of fraud or dishonesty by that employee.  It also addresses the impact of the trend in “ban the box” laws that restrict an employer’s ability to ask job applicants about prior criminal history or the extent to which employers may consider an applicant’s criminal history as part of the hiring process.  The presenters will provide an overview of the law regarding prior dishonesty provisions and how courts have enforced these provisions.  They will then discuss the spread of ban the box laws in the last few decades—including “clean slate” laws and New York’s “fair chance” law.  Lastly, the presenters explore the tension between ban the box laws and prior dishonesty provisions including the implications from underwriting and claim handling perspectives.

Claudine R. English,
Zurich North America

Susan Koehler Sullivan, Clyde & Co US LLP
10:40 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. MORNING BREAK
11:00 a.m. – 11:50 a.m. Who Bears the Loss — Which Parties Should Be Held Responsible for Losses Ensuing from Emerging Cyber Threats?
While more advanced technology has been developed to prevent cybercrimes, criminals have also adopted more sophisticated ways to commit their crimes. This presentation will focus on which parties should bear the loss ensuing from cybersecurity crimes by examining recent case law, relevant provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), and potential future legislation. Those parties may include consumers, vendors, insurers, banks, or IT service providers, depending on the case and the types of parties involved.

Ashley Belleau, 
Lugenbuhl Wheaton Peck Rankin & Hubbard

Carl Grant, Travelers

1150 a.m. – 12:50 p.m. LUNCH BREAK (ON YOUR OWN)
12:50 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. WELCOME BACK & ANNOUNCEMENTS
1:00 p.m. – 1:50 p.m. KEYNOTE SPEAKER
Assistant Inspector in Charge David M. Reardon of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service will address some developing trends in fraud and security threats and mitigation steps to reduce these risks.  These will include the increase in fraud schemes involving checks, collusive employees, and look-a-like communications, as well as the increase in criminal activity targeting Postal Service carriers and the U.S. Mail which can pose security risks to businesses and consumers.  

David M. Reardon, U.S. Postal Inspection Service

 1:50 p.m. – 2:40 p.m. The Infinite Frontier: Cyber Crimes and How they are Testing Traditional Policy Provisions
Technological advancements are changing the landscape of crime, affecting the way fraudsters operate and blurring the traditional line between information and assets. As a result, coverage provisions that have historically garnered little attention now require closer scrutiny. This presentation will discuss three issues at the frontier of crime coverage: (1) the nature of digital assets as covered property, (2) when multiple attacks by anonymous actors will be a Single Loss, and (3) how the confidential information exclusion applies to frauds like social engineering..

Anne Juntunen, Coalition, Inc.
Paul Emerson, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance
2:40 p.m. – 2:55 p.m. AFTERNOON BREAK
2:55 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Who Is the Insured?

This purpose of this article is to review the policy and bond provisions concerning who is an insured under the crime policy, as well as who, in today’s world of mergers, acquisitions, and consolidation of tasks and personnel, is an employee for purposes of coverage. The article discusses the progression of the development of the policy language, the cases relevant to the evolution of the policy, the interpretation of policy language, and the documentation and information that assist claim handlers and underwriters in understanding and validating the contentions presented for underwriting and the related determinations of the subsidiary(s) and employees for purposes of the claim. The first section of the article addresses the concept of identifying who is an insured. The second section considers factors to consider when determining who is an employee.

James A. Knox, Jr., Hiscox USA

Dolores Parr, SDC CPAs, LLC

Dee Studler, SDC CPAs, LLC


3:45 p.m. – 4:35 p.m. Fidelity Law Update
This presentation will provide an overview of the most significant fidelity cases decided between June 1, 2022, and June 1, 2023. The presenters will discuss important opinions addressing what may be taken for coverage to obtain under the employee theft insuring agreement, what constitutes loss under the computer fraud insuring agreement, and the limits of the forgery or alteration insuring agreement.

P. Austin Brakebill, Clark Hill PLC
Amanda M. Gatti, ABA Insurance Services Inc.
4:35 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. CLOSING REMARKS

Robert M. Flowers, President, The Fidelity Law Association

5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. JOINT RECEPTION — FLA & FSLC
All registrants for the FLA and/or FSLC conferences are invited.

Location —  Silver Ballroom



ASHLEY L. BELLEAU is a shareholder in the New Orleans office of Lugenbuhl, Wheaton, Peck, Rankin & Hubbard. She has more than 30 years of experience as a commercial litigator and an arbitrator and mediator, and handles insurance disputes under fidelity, professional liability, and general liability policies. Ashley has been recognized on numerous award lists, including the 2023 Top 50 Louisiana Super Lawyers and Top 25 Women Louisiana Super Lawyers lists, Best Lawyers in America© and a Recognized Practitioner by Chambers and Partners USA in its Commercial Litigation category. Past National President of the Federal Bar Association, she currently serves as the American Counsel Association's President and a Vice-Chair of the ABA's Fidelity and Surety Law Committee.

P. AUSTIN BRAKEBILL is an associate in the Dallas, Texas office of Clark Hill PLC. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Baylor University and earned his law degree, cum laude, from the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law. He was the Editor-in-Chief of the SMU Law Review Texas Survey.

PAUL EMERSON is an attorney with over 20 years of experience handling financial lines and professional lines claims. He has represented a wide range of domestic and international carriers as coverage, monitoring and defense counsel. Paul is now in his ninth year at Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance, where he leads the Third-Party Claims team in Canada.

CLAUDINE ENGLISH is Zurich North America’s Employment Practices Liability, Crime and Fidelity Product Officer. She’s been practicing law for over 25 years and has 17 years of experience in the insurance industry.  She is a subject matter expert in EPL, D&O, Fiduciary, Crime, Kidnap/Ransom & Extortion, Workplace Violence, and Financial Fidelity lines of business.  Claudine has drafted several industry leading insurance policies for all lines of management liability business, including ERISA and financial institution bonds, both at Zurich and in her prior role as the Public and Financial Institutions Product Counsel at Chubb. She routinely lectures on all aspects of ERISA, fidelity and management liability insurance, and labor and employment law.

ROBERT M. FLOWERS is Vice President, Management Liability First Party Claim for Travelers in Hartford, Connecticut. He is a graduate of the University of Nevada-Reno. Bob’s team is responsible for a variety of First Party Management Liability products, including Commercial Crime, FI Bond, First Party Cyber, ID Fraud and Kidnap and Ransom claims.

AMANDA M. GATTI is a Senior Claims Attorney at ABA Insurance Services Inc. She helps insured financial institutions navigate claims and coverages under Director and Officer Liability, Employer Practices Liability and Cyber Liability policies, as well as Financial Institution Bond. Prior to joining ABA Insurance Services Inc., Amanda was a civil litigation attorney with a focus on professional liability defense. She was recognized as an Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2018, 2019 and 2020. Amanda graduated from Ohio University with a Bachelor of Arts and she received her Juris Doctorate from Case Western Reserve School of Law.

CARL M. GRANT is a Senior Claim Counsel at Travelers assigned to the First Party Claims team handling claims under Commercial Crime policies, Cyber policies, Financial Institution Bonds, and Kidnap & Ransom policies. He joined Travelers in July of 2014.  Prior to joining Travelers, Carl worked for AIG in the Fidelity Bond Department handling fidelity claims involving commercial companies and financial institutions for 14 years. Carl is a graduate of the University of Rochester with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and a graduate of the Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law School with a Juris Doctorate.

ANNE A. JUNTUNEN is a Claims Team Lead with Coalition Inc., based in San Diego. Anne has spent her career advising clients on specialty coverage matters in the United States and Canada, with a focus on crime and cyber insurance policies.

JAMES A. KNOX, JR. handles cyber, technology, media and crime claims for Hiscox USA.  Jim was an associate, partner and equity partner in major Chicago law firms. He represented domestic and international insurers in coverage investigations, dispute resolutions and litigation, with many successful outcomes in both trial and appellate practice. He represented sureties facing and prosecuting claims and litigation on bonds issued for construction contractors. He also handled many other types of bond claims.

TED LANSDALE is Senior Claim Counsel at Travelers where he handles a variety of first-party claims under the Commercial Crime, Cyber, Kidnap & Ransom policies as well as the Financial Institution Bond.  Previously, he was associated with a Boston law firm where he handled professional liability matters.  He holds a B.A. in economics from Colgate University and a J.D. cum laude from New England School of Law. 

COURTNEY A. NICHOL is a partner in the Michigan office of Gordon & Rees. Her practice focuses primarily on complex commercial litigation, insurance coverage and cyber security matters. Ms. Nichol regularly counsels and represents clients on insurance coverage issues, with an emphasis on fidelity bond, cyber and commercial crime policy claims. She also has extensive experience representing insurers across the nation in all aspects of complex litigation involving coverage disputes, product liability, defective technology, data breaches, cybercrime and commercial contract disputes. Ms. Nichol earned her J.D., cum laude, from Wayne State University Law School and her Bachelor of Science degree in Brain Behavior and Cognitive Science from the University of Michigan.

DOLORES PARR has over forty-two years’ experience handling claims under Financial Institution Bonds, Commercial Crime Policies, Directors and Officers Liability and other business risk policies and performance and payment bonds.  She recently retired from Zurich American Insurance Company where for the past seventeen years she managed the team that handled all fidelity and crime claims for Zurich.  She currently is working for SDC CPAs, LLC.  A member of the Maryland Bar since 1977, Ms. Parr is a graduate of Towson University (B.A. magna cum laude 1974) and the University of Baltimore Law School (J.D. 1977).  She also has a Master of Liberal Arts degree from Johns Hopkins University (MLA 2005) and an Associate in Fidelity and Surety Bonding from the Insurance Institute of America. 

DAVID M. REARDON currently serves as the Assistant Inspector in Charge for the Boston Division, which includes a geographic area spanning seven states.  Inspector Reardon manages four investigate squads, responsible for the full gamut of law enforcement and security operations, a Postal Police unit responsible for security and law enforcement response at critical Postal Service facilities and oversees critical division wide programs, including evidence and threat management training.  Inspector Reardon attended Suffolk University and Suffolk University Law School, both in Boston, Massachusetts, and is admitted to practice in Massachusetts, before both state and Federal courts, and before the U.S. Supreme Court.

PATRICK T. RYAN is a Senior Associate of Clyde & Co US LLP in Boston, Massachusetts. He concentrates his practice in the areas of insurance law, insurance coverage, surety law and fidelity law, construction and commercial litigation.  Patrick received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of the Holy Cross and received his Juris Doctorate from Suffolk University Law School. Patrick has extensive experience representing insurers in coverage investigations, the evaluation of complex coverage disputes and bad faith claims in connection with fidelity and crime insurance policies, financial institution bonds, and cyber liability policies.

DEE STUDLER is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified in Financial Forensics, and the founding and managing member of SDC CPAs, LLC, a global investigation and forensic accounting firm specializing in handling crime claims, fidelity (including employee dishonesty and employee theft), lack of faithful performance and cyber claims for the insurance adjusting and insurance defense industry. Dee is a Member of The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, an associate of The American Bar Association and a past vice chair of TIPS Fidelity and Surety Law.  Dee received her Masters in Accountancy from the University of Texas, graduating Summa Cum Laude. She completed her undergraduate work at Indiana University, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Accounting.

SUSAN KOEHLER SULLIVAN is a Partner with Clyde & Co US LLP. She has more than 30 years of experience as a commercial litigator, focusing her practice on corporate insurance matters. She handles insurance coverage investigations and disputes (including through trial or arbitration) under numerous types of policies, including fidelity, directors and officers, employment, professional, property, excess and general liability policies. Susan has been identified as one of the “Best Lawyers in America” in the area of Insurance.

IGA W. TODD is a partner in the Chicago office of Gordon & Rees. Ms. Todd’s practice focuses on insurance coverage and cyber security. Ms. Todd represents domestic and international insurers in claims under fidelity and financial institution bonds, commercial crime policies, computer crime policies, cyber security policies, data breach policies, and professional liability policies. Ms. Todd frequently counsels insurers on coverage issues relating to employee dishonesty and theft, forgery, cybercrime, cyber security, data breaches, and loan losses. Ms. Todd earned her Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School and her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Registration Fees

Registration fees include attendance at the October 4, 2023, Annual Conference, a copy of the Fidelity Law Journal Volume XXIX, and attendance at the joint reception with attendees of the ABA FSLC meeting, which will be held after the FLA Conference.

All registrations must be made online and paid by credit/debit card.  Registrations are may not be cancelled, but you may send a substitute.  Registrants who do not attend the Conference will receive the course materials, including the Fidelity Law Journal Vol. XXIX.

On-site registrants must register online at the conference and pay the registration fee by credit or debit card.


Hotel Information

Hotel reservations can be made with the Revere Hotel Boston Common by calling the hotel at (617) 482-1800 and mentioning the Block Code, “ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section FSLC and FLA Fall Meeting” or online at the Revere Hotel website


A limited number of rooms have been blocked for Tuesday, October 3, through Friday, October 6, 2023. The negotiated hotel room rate is $299.00 per night plus 16.45% tax. The room block will be held until Tuesday, September 12, 2023 (5:00 p.m. CST) or until exhausted. After that date, reservations will be confirmed based on availability.


Hotel check-in is 4:00 p.m. and check-out is 11:00 a.m. All reservations must be guaranteed by credit card. Individuals with guaranteed reservations must cancel their reservations no later than 72 hours before the scheduled day of arrival to avoid a one-night cancellation charge.

Persons with Disabilities

If you require special arrangements, please call the Revere Hotel Boston Common at (617)482-1800 Reasonable advance notice is requested.