2012 RIMS Annual Conference April 15-18: Why Workers’ Comp Defense Attorneys Should Attend the Lollapalooza of the Risk Management Industry

2012 RIMS Annual Conference April 15-18: Why Workers’ Comp Defense Attorneys Should Attend the Lollapalooza of the Risk Management Industry

The 2012 RIMS Annual Conference & Exhibition April 15-18 in Philadelphia is the lollapalooza of the risk management industry, what with its high energy, dynamic speakers, 120+ sessions, 10,000 attendees from 50 different countries, 400 exhibitors, and numerous networking opportunities. Find out why workers’ comp defense attorneys and other attorneys can benefit by attending this event where they can get to know their clients better and learn how to be more valuable to them. To be sure, there are numerous takeaways for attorneys to be had at this jam-packed event. And don’t miss the brilliant keynote speakers: Billy Beane, the Oakland A’s General Manager and subject of the bestselling book, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game - currently a major motion picture, and Walter Isaacson, the author of the authorized biography, Steve Jobs, and the President and CEO of the Aspen Institute, and past Chairman and CEO of CNN and the editor of TIME magazine.

In a recent LexisNexis Podcast, we interviewed Scott Beckman, Vice President of Claims for ISMIE Mutual Insurance Company and Chair of RIMS Conference Program Committee, to discuss the upcoming conference.


Listen to the 15-minute podcast.

Highlights of the podcast are excerpted below.

A Unique Opportunity for Attorneys, Including Workers’ Comp Defense Attorneys

According to Beckman, the RIMS Conference is a unique opportunity for attorneys, including workers’ compensation defense attorneys, to be around 3,000-4,000 clients and potential clients from all different types of businesses: insurance carriers, captives, claims, risk management, loss control, and finance. The commonality of all the people from a variety of fields is risk management and excellence within the profession.

Bridging the Gap Between Risk Management and Attorneys

Scott sees the lawyers’ value in cases. “We hire them at the end of an event. So an event occurs and . . . the lawyers are brought in … to help us manage this situation – clean up any messes that are there, and get us through the litigation at the least amount of cost from an indemnity and defense basis.”

According to Scott, “I think by having the attorneys together with the risk managers in a forum where they are able to discuss these issues…the value will‑‑ almost like a light bulb goes on in the attorney's mind…you know what? I can help these folks out. I can maybe help them develop strategies so they may be sued less. Of course, it means lower litigation business for the attorneys, but ultimately it serves the goals and the needs of the client and I think the attorneys become more valuable to the client that way.”

Conference Programs: Takeaways for Attorneys

Beckman points out that there are 11 programs in the fields of claims management, finance, insurance, legal legislation, loss control, risk management, strategic risk management, et cetera. And these sessions are focused on some of the unique learnings of how to protect oneself, and also about what is going on in the trenches.

“I think the takeaways for the attorneys are, getting to know a client's and potential client's business better. Look at those risks, and what are those issues that are facing them that are so important which will hopefully lead to information to allow the attorneys to represent their clients more effectively,” explained Beckman.

120 Different Sessions, Many of Which Involve Workers’ Comp Issues

The RIMS Conference will hold 120 different sessions. Beckman points out that there quite a few that would be tremendous for any attorney to attend, and even if you practice in one field, you can expand your interest into other fields.

“Claims Triage, Identifying and Settling Big Ticket Claims" This session is focused almost solely on settling high exposure workers' comp claims. It talks about the perspective of the employer and the excess carriers, and identifying all these excess exposure claims and trying to minimize the impact before they escalate.

"The Top Ten Things an Employer Can Do to Mess Up a Workers Compensation Claim." The panel includes an attorney, a risk manager and a director of sales and marketing for a large health group. They’ll go through specifically about the trials and tribulations of workers’ comp programs in an interactive and fun format.

"The Unthinkable‑ When a Workplace Becomes Violent." This session is focused on what happens when your employees become violent to your other employees? This has many ramifications on a workers' comp program: defensibility, notice, duration of injuries, et cetera.

"An Overview of Workers Compensation Basics." This session talks about what are the workers' comp reforms within the entire United States, and how do they affect each one of these jurisdictions and workers' comp programs.

"How to Avoid Being the Last One Standing in a Products Liability Lawsuit." There are products liability lawsuits that will have general liability components, and sometimes they will have some construction components or workers' comp components to it.

Other interesting and highly beneficial sessions include cyber liability and privacy, worst case scenario, claims handling techniques for high exposure cases, sexual harassment, Medicare Secondary Payer reporting and Medicare Set-Asides.

Two Dynamic Keynote Speakers

Billy Beane, General Session, Monday, April 16, 8am-10am

Beane, the Oakland A’s General Manager and subject of the bestselling book, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game - currently a major motion picture starring Brad Pitt, will be addressing his book, talking about the movie Moneyball, his experiences in baseball and more.

Walter Isaacson, Keynote Leadership Luncheon, Wednesday, April 18, 12 noon-1:30 pm

Isaacson, Author, Steve Jobs, and President and CEO of the Aspen Institute. He has been the Chairman and CEO of CNN and the editor of TIME magazine. He is the author of Einstein: His Life and Universe, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life and Kissinger: A Biography. He coauthored The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made. Most recently Isaacson published the highly anticipated and only authorized biography of Steve Jobs.

Over 400 Exhibitors and Many Networking Opportunities

The RIMS Conference is a huge venue at the conference center with over 400 exhibitors. A number of those are attorneys and firms that work on various matters with their clients.

“I would encourage any attendee to spend a lot of time in the exhibit area because there are resources and solutions for problems that people have not even considered or ever considered,” says Beckman. “There are numerous opportunities at the conference…from the first day to the last day….to have invaluable networking opportunities.”

To that end, RIMS has set up specific times where people can get together, including pub crawls – food and beverages, featuring local breweries – newcomer orientation, luncheons, receptions, and a battle of the bands – something new they are trying this year.