TAC Risk Management Pool Defense Counsel Symposium

October 18, 2019

Texas Association of Counties
Events Center, 4th Floor
1210 San Antonio
Austin, TX 78701

For additional information, please contact Jennifer Kolbasinski.

This symposium brings together TAC Risk Management Pool's (TAC RMP) defense counsel and Risk Management Services staff for a day of training and networking.

This event is by invitation only and includes 6.5 hours continuing legal education credit. Peer speakers will provide updates and insight into events shaping today's legal risk management landscape.

A networking reception the evening of Oct. 17, and breakfast and lunch on Oct. 18 are included.

Please forward this information to colleagues in your firm who may wish to attend.

PLEASE NOTE: Seating is limited. Early registration is encouraged.


Complimentary parking is available at the TAC garage. Entrance is on 13th St. between San Antonio and Nueces streets.

Room blocks are available with the following hotels. Rooms at discounted rates are limited – so book soon!

Courtyard by Marriott Austin Downtown|Convention Center
300 E. 4th Street | Austin, Texas 78701
Phone: (512) 236-8008
Reserve online:
Courtyard by Marriott TAC RMP Defense Counsel Symposium

DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Austin
303 West 15th Street | Austin, TX 78701
Phone: (512) 478-7000
Group Code: TXA
Reserve by phone or online:
(800) 222-8733
DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Austin TAC RMP Defense Counsel Symposium

Thursday, October 17  
5-7 p.m. Reception – President's Room at The Austin Club, 110 E. 9th St., Austin
(Complimentary parking at the adjacent 823 Park garage on E. 9th Street)
Friday, October 18  
8 a.m. Breakfast
8:30-8:45 a.m. Welcome
Michael Shannon, Director, TAC Risk Management Services
8:45-9:15 a.m. TAC RMP Expectations and Defense Counsel Guidelines
Mike Thompson, TAC General Counsel
Stacy Corluccio, TAC Risk Management Services Claims Manager

Introduction and discussion of the new attorney guidelines and TAC Risk Management Pool expectations.
9:15-9:45 a.m. Attacking, Defending and Asserting Qualified Immunity
Tom Brandt, Fanning Harper Martinson Brandt & Kutchin

The defense of qualified immunity is under attack. This presentation will (1) explore the nature of the attacks against qualified immunity; (2) review the reasons why we have and need qualified immunity; and (3) discuss how the attacks on qualified immunity and the justifications for it are relevant to the assertion of qualified immunity.
9:45-10:15 a.m. Update on Defending Wrongful Arrest Cases
Michael Shaunessy, McGinnis Lochridge

The presentation will address the required elements of a constitutionally valid wrongful arrest and/or false imprisonment under Federal and State law. In particular, the presentation will discuss what is required for a plaintiff to plead and prove a section 1983 wrongful arrest and/or false imprisonment as well as the critical factual distinctions to establishing qualified immunity for the officers who are named as defendants. The Fifth-Circuit’s most recent decisions on false imprisonment and wrongful arrest will be discussed in detail. The presentation will also discuss whether, and under, what set of facts a state law wrongful arrest and/or false imprisonment claims can be maintained.
10:15-10:30 a.m. Break
10:30-11 a.m. Recent Developments in Defending Excess Force Claims
Cass Weiland, Squire Patton Boggs

Excessive force claims are on the rise and the public expects courts to scrutinize police actions more closely. What might the future hold for these claims in the Fifth Circuit?
11-11:30 a.m. Investigating, Evaluating & Defending In-Custody Death Claims
Robert Davis, Flowers Davis
Mike Starkey, ICS Jail Supplies

The segment will first cover the State requirements following an in custody death and the initial investigation process. The presenters will then discuss handling Open Records Requests and dealing with the news media. And last, we will discuss preparation of an early liability evaluation and damage model for TAC Risk Management Pool, which will include a discussion of early retention of expert witnesses if needed. Finally, the presenters will discuss a plan of action for the Defense of the Case.
11:30 a.m.-noon Employment Law Case Update and Trends
Joanna Salinas, Fletcher, Farley, Shipman & Salinas

An overview of the employment-related case law coming out of the State and Federal courts from the past year and a look ahead at where things appear to be going.
Noon-1:15 p.m. Lunch

Panel Talk - First Amendment Retaliation - Managing and Disciplining Employees Who Engage in Political and other Protected Activities

Larry Simmons, Germer
Eric Magee, Allison, Bass & Magee

Employment and Human Resources issues from the County perspective. Video presentation of Fired – An HR Nightmare from the April 2019 County Management & Risk Conference. What happens in Lone Star County when a newly elected official fires a long-time county employee shortly after taking office? He says she was running a side business at work. She say she was unjustly terminated for supporting his political opponent. Encourage Texas Counties to learn how TAC RMP can help its members every step of the way during such situations. Discussions concerning the elected officials and county representatives’ reactions and potential exposure in employment lawsuits.
1:15-1:45 p.m. Strategies for Investigating, Evaluating and Defending Damages Claims
David Iglesias, Iglesias Law Firm

One of the most important aspects of successfully litigating a claim against a county or public servant is developing a strong, workable defense strategy as early as possible. This presentation will discuss the information you will need to gather and the first steps you must take to develop successful litigation strategies which will help ensure the best possible result for your clients.
1:45-2:15 p.m. Strategy of Rule 68 Offers of Judgements
Norman Giles, Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard, & Smith

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 68 can be an effective tool for obtaining reasonable settlement agreements. Rule 68’s unremarkable history need not define its utility. A litigant who determines the rule’s possible advantages are worth its potential risks, may present an offer of judgment and, with few exceptions, dictate the terms of the offer. This procedure may provide a litigant with greater control over litigation costs and the duration of litigation activities.
2:15-2:45 p.m. A Good Wind-Up — Managing Minors and Liens in Settlement Agreements
John-Michael W. Hayward, Associate Attorney with Denton Navarro Rocha Bernal & Zech

This topic will not only discuss tying up loose ends in a settlement i.e. issues specifically pertaining to minor plaintiffs, medical liens, workers’ compensation liens, and other such 3rd party claims, but also a discussion of common law and statutory duties of care by assigned defense counsel as well as the underlying Risk Pool to 3rd parties in providing notice of settlement, addressing possible claims, and other such potential liability exposure to assigned defense counsel and the Risk Pool. This topic will also involve a discussion of the nature of the relationship between the assigned defense counsel, the TAC Risk Management Pool, and the insured.
2:45-3 p.m. Break
3-3:30 p.m. Litigation Strategies in Defending Governmental Entities in Vehicular Accident Cases
Casey Cullen, Cullen, Seerden & Cullen
Edward Hernandez III, Cullen, Carsner, Seerden & Cullen LLP

The session will cover the use of the Texas Tort Claims Act cap on damages to the governmental entities’ benefit. It will also address strategies in addressing a claimant’s outrageous medical expenses.
3:30-4 p.m. Recent State Cases of Interest to Governmental Entities
Matt Matzner, Crenshaw, Dupree & Milam

This topic will cover Texas state cases within the last year that affect governmental entities, e.g., counties and cities. It will include cases addressing the applicability of the Texas Tort Claims Act and immunities.
4-4:30 p.m. Recent Federal Cases of Interest to Governmental Entities
Jon Mark Hogg, Jackson Walker

Recent developments in Federal case law of interest to counties and local governments. It will include review of recent Supreme Court and Federal Appellate decisions affecting Federal civil rights, employment law and developments in qualified immunity.

For additional information, please contact Jennifer Kolbasinski.

Continuing Education Type Hours
Legal 6.5

Please email your cancellation to Lee Bell-Hovland.

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