Robert C. Heist is President of R. Connor & Associates, P.C., in Chicago, where he concentrates his practice in commercial litigation, insurance defense, and civil litigation. He has been the Principal at R. Connor & Associates, P.C., for the last eight years with offices in Boston, MA, as well as Chicago. He is a coauthor of Constitutional Arguments Against the Imposition of Punitive Damages in Illinois, IDC Monograph (Third Quarter 1993), and author of The Tripartite Relationship and the Insured’s Duty To Defend Contrasted with Its Desire To Manage and Control Litigation Through the Legal Audit, published in INSURANCE LAW (Practicing Law Institute, 1999). He has been a member of the Federal, American, Illinois State, Lake County, and Chicago Bar Associations. He is also a member of the bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He serves as a Director/Manager of the Hershey Trust Co. and the Milton Hershey School (2011 – present) in Hershey, PA, and is Chairman of the Board for both entities. Mr. Heist received his B.A. from the University of Illinois; his J.D. from The John Marshall Law School where he was a justice on the Moot Court Council and a member of the Software Law Journal; and his M.B.A. from the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management.
Thomas R. Pender is a Partner with Cremer Law, LLC, in Chicago, where he focuses his practice on the defense of personal injury and products liability cases. His experience also includes a strong background in the defense of foreign companies in the United States, in a broad range of commercial and contractual matters. He has conducted continuing legal education programs for attorneys, corporations, and claims and risk management personnel. He is AV Rated — Preeminent for Highest Level of Professional Excellence and for Legal Ethics. In 2021, he received the Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Services for the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Illinois. Mr. Pender received his B.A. from Miami University and his J.D. from the Washington and Lee University School of Law.
David E. Rapoport is a Founding Partner at Rapoport, Weisberg & Sims P.C. in Chicago, where he focuses his practice on plaintiffs’ personal injury and wrongful-death trial advocacy and appeals. In his many years of trial practice, he has won numerous multimillion-dollar jury verdicts and settlements for plaintiffs in wrongful-death cases. Mr. Rapoport is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA); the Trial Advocacy Special Program Commission Chair for the National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA) and a member of the NBTA Executive Board of Directors; and a member of the President’s Club of the American Association for Justice. Mr. Rapoport earned his B.S. from Northern Illinois University, where he was on the Dean’s List, and his J.D. with high honors from Chicago-Kent College of Law, where he served on the Law Review.
Scott M. Seaman is a Partner at Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in Chicago, where he is Cochair of the firm’s Global Insurance Services Practice Group. He concentrates his practice in complex commercial law and litigation, including insurance and reinsurance. He has successfully represented companies in trial courts, appellate courts, and arbitrations across the country in a variety of high stakes matters, including cases and cession involving general liability coverage (primary, umbrella, and excess), professional liability coverage, first-party property coverage, bad-faith and extra-contractual matters, fee disputes, and facultative and treaty reinsurance contracts. Mr. Seaman has served as a national coverage counsel as well as trial and appellate counsel, and his advice has been sought on emerging coverage issues and a wide range of case-specific and portfolio issues. He has drafted contract language, trained insurance and reinsurance professionals, and assisted companies in evaluating and resolving issues in the claims stage. He also has handled a variety of international, professional liability, tort and products liability, and business and commercial cases. Mr. Seaman is a prolific author and frequent speaker; for example, his treatise, ALLOCATION OF LOSSES IN COMPLEX INSURANCE CLAIMS (11th ed. 2022 – 2023), addresses many of the important issues driving contemporary insurance claims and coverage litigation and reinsurance cessions and arbitrations. He has been recognized by Martindale & Hubbell, Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA, Illinois Super Lawyers, Leading Lawyers, America’s Most Honored Professionals, JD Supra Readers’ Choice Awards, Euromoney’s World’s Leading Insurance and Reinsurance Lawyers, and the International Who’s Who of Legal Thought Leaders — Insurance and Reinsurance. Mr. Seaman is a Founding Fellow of the American College of Coverage Counsel and was selected Insurance & Reinsurance Lawyer of the Year – USA (2018) by Monthly Finance. He earned his J.D. magna cum laude from Loyola University Chicago School of Law, where he graduated first in his class; received numerous scholarship, leadership, and service awards; and served as an editor of the law journal.