MINUTES INSURANCE STAFF COUNSEL COMMITTEE September 20, 2007 OSBA Office, Columbus Ohio The Insurance Staff Counsel Committee met on September 20, 2007 at 11:00 a.m. at the OSBA Office in Columbus, Ohio. In attendance were Patrick Corrigan, Craig Cobb, Dan Whitehead, Jan Sauerman, Tina Pecuzsik, Ted Mohler, Steve Kelley, Tom Downs, Ken Brown, Amy Mass, and Tony Damelio, Chair of the Committee. The first item on the agenda was to discuss the purpose of the committee as it was conceived several years ago, and our ongoing mission over the next 2007 -- 2008 year, and into the future. We discussed the fact that the original mission of the committee was to provide CLE, networking opportunities for Staff Counsel, and to serve as a resource for issues unique to Staff Counsel around the state. It was also discussed that while the urgency of the issues originally giving rise to the need for the committee have somewhat dissipated, we still need to be active within the OSBA, and we need to have a presence for our own members, as well as for the general Bar Association. It was mentioned that the American Bar Association has a section devoted to Staff Counsel, nationwide, and we might look to that model for ideas to supplement our CLE planning for our members. One idea that was also thrown out was a topic discussing the duties and responsibilities of managing attorneys and Staff Counsel offices. Another thought was that perhaps we can devote some resources, in connection with the OSBA silent partner program, to serve as a resource to help attorneys protect our role as attorneys within the broader organization of insurance companies. Kalpana, from the OSBA, also discussed the OSBA strategic planning efforts over the last several months. She stated that the OSBA is focusing on how to transform committees and sections to add more value to their members’ professional lives. She stated that an operational plan has been put in place and has appointed a task force on committees and sections which will be making recommendations to the board regarding some specific initiatives for improvement in the committee structure over the next several months. The OSBA is also conducting an audit of the website, and we will look to be using the website to its fullest capacity to serve our members. For instance, we do have the capacity to use our technology to present webinars and other types of programs. The committee also discussed that one important part of its mission in the next few months is to undertake recruiting efforts, in connection with OSBA staff that will also help us recruit. While we believe that most Staff Counsel attorneys across the state are already members of the OSBA, the OSBA certainly can help us identify nonmembers and make contact with those nonmembers to inform them of the committee and the benefits it might bring to their professional lives. In addition, Jan Sauerman will undertake an effort to update the list of Staff Counsel attorneys around the state that we had generated back in 2005. He will enlist the committee members to make personal contact with these folks to update their contact information and ensure that Staff Counsel attorneys around the state are participating in the committee to the greatest possible extent. The committee also discussed upcoming CLE efforts that we would like to make over the 2007 -- 2008 year period we discussed whether to present a CLE as a stand alone program to our members or to have the committee make a presentation at the annual convention on a topic that would be of general appeal to general practitioners. A subcommittee was formed to address these issues, and to undertake these substantive planning of any CLE that we would like to offer over the next that year. Patrick Corrigan will be chairing that committee, and will be assisted by Steve Kelley, Amy Mass, and Tina Pecuszik. The committee also discussed efforts to plan either lunch meetings or after work receptions to present networking opportunities as well as to create energy around the committee's initiatives. Tony Damelio stated his goal is to have one meeting in each of the major cities (Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati/Dayton, and Toledo) over the next year. Whether these take the shape of lunch meetings with a speaker or after-hours receptions, we will make an effort to plan one meeting in each of those cities. Additionally, we were given some information about two OSBA initiatives. The paralegal program has been underway for approximately 1 year, and we were asked to encourage our staff to participate, and to discuss the program with our peers and managers to generate interest and enthusiasm about the paralegal search certificate program for our staffs. Additionally, the “Least Understood Branch” program was explained by Ken Brown. This program arises from an ABA program devoted to educating the general public about the legal system, and lawyers and judges’ roles within that system. Mr. Brown announced that they have used a DVD created about the justice system to train speakers (lawyers and judges) to educate the public about the legal system. He would like our assistance in identifying groups within the public sector that would benefit from this topic and discussions around these presentations. He also made it known that there is another training session planned for early January, so if any of our members or any of our attorneys or professional staff members would like to be trained to make presentations in the Least Understood Branch program, that opportunity is available. The meeting was adjourned at approximately 12:25, and the members were invited to lunch provided by the Ohio State Bar Association. Our next meeting will be scheduled for January 11 at 10 a.m. Details will follow.
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