11/12/2020 & 11/13/2020

Virtual via Zoom

Program Schedule

All times are based in the central time zone.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Friday, November 13

1:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.
Welcoming Remarks
John F. Wilcox Jr., Shareholder/Director, Dysart Taylor Cotter McMonigle & Montemore, P.C., Kansas City, MO, TLA President
G. Clark Monroe II, Member, DunbarMonroe, P.A., Jackson, MS, 2020 TLI Program Co-Chair
Charles E. Riley IV, Partner, Simon, Peragine, Smith, & Redfearn, L.L.P., New Orleans, LA, 2020 TLI Program Co-Chair
1:15 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.
“You Could Almost See Other Dimensions”: A Post-Pandemic International Transportation Tell-All
International trade has faced unprecedented challenges in the wake of COVID-19, and the “past doesn’t pass away so quickly here.”  While trade routes may never be the same, one thing is certain – we can all benefit from “lessons learned” as transportation users and service providers emerge from global trade disruption.  From demurrage recovery to cargo abandonment, storing containers in third-party yards while having to divert shipments to Canada (or elsewhere), cries of “force majeure” met with blank sailings, deliveries amidst stay-in-place orders, and vessels unable to call to port.  “Around the corner, there’s a promise of something daring and ideal and things are just getting going.”  Each panelist will address emerging international legal issues affecting the transportation industry post-pandemic, including best practices, e.g., in drafting contracts and shipping document terms and conditions, insurance coverage and litigation considerations, and what the global supply chain will look like post-COVID-19.  (Quotations from Bob Dylan’s “Chronicles, Volume One” about the time he spent in New Orleans in the late 1980s).
Moderator: Stephanie S. Penninger, Senior Director, Legal Counsel, XPO Logistics, Charlotte, NC
Presenter(s): Sarah Sweet, Associate, Borden Ladner Gervais, Toronto, ON, Canada
Pamela A. Palmer, Member, Clark Hill LLP, Los Angeles, CA
Derek H. Goodman, Corporate Counsel, Expeditors, Seattle, WA
Mark Newcomb, Counsel and Vice President – Claims & Insurance, Americas, Canada and Caribbean Home Office, ZIM American Integrated Shipping Services Co. LLC, Norfolk, VA
2:15 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Cross-Border Trade
The cross-border trade panel will consider the shipment of goods between the United States and Canada along with the conflicts of law that apply to contract negotiations, cargo claims, and unpaid freight.
Moderator: M. Gordon Hearn, Partner, Fernandes Hearn LLP, Toronto, ON, Canada
Presenter(s): Marc Blubaugh, Partner, Co-Chair, Transportation & Logistics Practice Group, Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff, LLP, Columbus, OH
Heather C. Devine, Partner, Alexander Holburn Beaudin + Lang LLP, Toronto, ON, Canada
Jeffrey R. Simmons, Chief Legal Officer, GlobalTranz Enterprises, Inc., Phoenix, AZ
3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
The Impact of California’s AB5 and Its Progeny on Transportation Entities and Providers in a Post-COVID-19 World
The passage of AB5, a now notorious and progressive law passed in California which changes the dynamic of worker classification for the ground transportation sector, the transportation industry generally, and many other industries, was already slated to have a profound impact on the transportation industry.  This was especially true for the bus, trucking, TNC, taxi, and for-hire vehicle industries – even before the COVID-19 pandemic.  Now, the future application of this expansive law, and the desire of other states, such as New York, to follow California’s lead, may change. This session will track the history of AB5, its application to different transportation business models, and the various legal and political challenges in California to this sweeping law.  Similarly, New York State was fast tracking various AB5-like versions of legislation for swift passage.  Like many things, the COVID-19 pandemic placed these efforts on hold.  Because the for-hire industry in New York City is very different from California, the debate in New York was shaping up to be a battle between highly regulated downstate interests versus less regulated upstate interests.  Also, different viewpoints among driver groups that are pro-union and pro-independent contractor have emerged to frame the debate.  COVID-19 had immediate and tragic public health impacts on our nation, and it will continue to have lasting economic impacts on the transportation industry.  So too will many of the laws that were passed in hopes of mitigating the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.  Some of the laws, including the CARES Act, have provisions that may continue to confuse classification issues as certain of its unemployment enhancements are being provided to independent contractor drivers.  The panelists will also explore and debate whether laws like the CARES Act will change or impact the outcome of the AB5 debate for other states contemplating the protection of gig workers.  Speakers will also discuss the future direction of such laws and the potential litigation that may follow.  
Presenter(s): Matthew W. Daus, Partner, Windels Marx, LLP, New York, NY
Paul B. Mello, Partner, Hanson Bridgett LLP, Walnut Creek, CA
1:00 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.
TLA Awards
Join Jeff Simmons, Immediate Past President of TLA, to celebrate the 2020 TLA Award Winners as he presents the Distinguished Service and Lifetime Achievement Awards.
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
A Collaboration of Competitors Exposing Fraud Claims
The panelists will review the efforts of four law firms that compete for business but came together to share knowledge, information, and strategy which ultimately led to the exposure of a large fraud ring setting up accidents with commercial vehicles.  They will also discuss the efforts to defeat the medical funding companies that inflated the special damages resulting in far greater damages being paid by carriers and insurers on the claims. In addition, the panelists will also explore the benefits of collaboration with lawyers/firms from other countries.  For example, and in particular, in fraud cases, if a Canadian aspect can be identified, its laws (based on the English common law) offer extraordinary and very effective remedies not generally available in the United States – specifically with respect to the gathering of evidence and the freezing of assets. Attendees will be exposed to the methods utilized in identifying the fraud claims as well as the benefit of the collaborative efforts to both the industry and the firms involved.  A change in attitude toward working with competitive firms for the betterment of the industry is not just a lofty goal but a real bottom line benefit. 
Presenter(s): James M. Dill, Partner, The Dill Firm PLC, Lafayette, LA
Douglas F. Best, Partner, Miller Thomson LLP, Toronto, ON, Canada
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Ethical Considerations of AI and Emerging Technologies for Transportation Professionals and Attorneys
The presenter will address the ethical considerations associated with the exponential increase in computing power and artificial intelligence being adopted by the transportation industry, including but not limited to, privacy concerns, retention of data, preemptive terminations of drivers, and the use of predictive analytics as a means to reduce accident frequency and severity.
Presenter(s): James A. Wescoe, Partner, Weber Gallagher Simpson Stapleton Fires & Newby LLP, Philadelphia, PA
4:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.
4:15 p.m. - 5:15 p.m.
Assessing Your Client’s Corporate Structure and Ways to Mitigate Risk of Loss in an Uncertain World
After attending this session, participants should be able to properly evaluate their client’s corporate structure through the lens of risk mitigation. In addition, once participants have identified their client’s risk exposures, they should be able to advise and implement proper methods to reduce these risks.
Moderator: Kevin Brejcha, Associate, Blitch Westley Barrette, S.C., Oak Brook, IL
Presenter(s): Brian Mathis, Managing Member, Mathis Law Group, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Christine Weingart, Of Counsel, Zimmerman Kiser Sutcliffe, Orlando, FL
Bridgette Blitch, Shareholder, Blitch Westley Barrette, S.C., Windermere, FL