I had the pleasure of both attending and speaking at the Perrin National Asbestos Conference at the end of September while KCIC was one of the conference sponsors. Under normal conditions, this conference is held in San Francisco and is always a wonderful opportunity to catch up with clients and other contacts in the industry. This year, due to COVID-19, the conference was held virtually on September 28-29. While I have participated in many webinars since the pandemic, this was my first experience with a conference that was completely virtual, and I was pleasantly surprised (and, selfishly, happy to have everything on east coast time this year).
As you might expect, the keys to a successful virtual conference are (1) modern and reliable technology and (2) relevant and exciting content. On the technology front, the platform allowed attendees to see presenters, as well as their presentations, supporting materials, and biographies all in one place. Further, attendees could post questions via chat to the panelists and conference chairs during each presentation – which led to more participation than when in person. This made it easier to ask a question by chatting it in real time, rather than saving the question until the end of a presentation and standing in front of an entire conference audience to ask. While I missed running into friends and colleagues in person, the conference did provide the opportunity for sponsors to host a virtual exhibit booth and provide informative materials and videos to anyone who “stopped in”.
Perrin kept up its high standard of providing great content and covering current trends in asbestos litigation. I was thrilled to be able to present on filing trends for 2020 and how this year compared to prior years as part of the opening panel. Then other panels went in depth on current topics concerning the litigation including recent bankruptcies, settlements, and verdict trends. Obviously, the pandemic and its effect on the litigation was a major topic as well. Panelists discussed how COVID-19 may affect trials, juries, values, and filings. These conferences are always interesting as they deliver points of view from all sides – defense, insurer, and plaintiff. I enjoyed hearing these different perspectives and was glad to be able to participate and provide context in terms of filing data in asbestos litigation.
While I hope we will be able to be together in person for future conferences, this virtual conference was a great way to stay on top of current events in asbestos litigation from home. If you have any addition questions or want more information on asbestos filings please feel free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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