Future So Bright!

January 17th, 2023 By Catherine Hanna

Happy New Year! I love the new year feeling. I enjoy looking back on the year that was, but I especially love thinking about what the future brings. 2022 was a banner year for Hanna & Plaut and for me. For many years, I’ve had the honor of practicing law with some of the smartest insurance coverage lawyers in the business who also happen to be good friends. More recently, I’ve also had the pleasure of practicing with young lawyers just developing their expertise in this area. It is really satisfying to be a part of the development of these young practitioners.

In 2022, I was elected to the American College of Coverage Counsel. The ACCC, established in 2012, is an invitation-only organization of senior lawyers who have devoted most of their practice to insurance disputes for 15 years or more. The ACCC’s Fellows include many of the most prominent members of the insurance law bars of the United States and Canada. The ACCC’s mission is to advance the creative, ethical and efficient resolution of insurance coverage and extracontractual disputes; to enhance the civility and quality of the practice of insurance law; to provide peer-reviewed scholarship; and to improve the relationships among the members of our profession. I am excited to be a part of this impressive organization and especially excited to meet my fellow Fellows at the upcoming annual meeting in Chicago in May.  Travel is back, baby!

Speaking of travel, last year, in addition to trips to Raleigh and Denver to hang out with our daughters, Arthur and I took a bucket list dream vacation to Alaska and Katmai National Park. This coming year, Arthur and I will travel to Italy in June to celebrate our 40th (!) wedding anniversary. It is the Ruby Anniversary, so exploring the many varieties of Italian red wine seems like a fitting way to celebrate! Last year also brought increased business travel. I spoke at insurance seminars in San Antonio and Houston and had a quick trip to New Orleans in November to argue at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.  I’m also looking forward to speaking at this year’s Advanced Insurance Seminar scheduled to be held in June at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort. I will be moderating a panel discussion of tips for young lawyers! First tip, listen to your elders! Between now and then, I will be helping to draft the inaugural certification exam for the newly approved specialty in Texas Insurance Law. And somewhere during that time, we’ll be planning a party to celebrate Hanna & Plaut’s 25th anniversary as a firm. Our Silver Jubilee!

We’ll be celebrating some significant milestones in 2023, but we’re also thinking about what the next twenty-five years looks like. The Covid pandemic has changed the way we practice, as we learned how remote technology can help us be more productive. Will AI and Chat GPT bring the next big changes? It is hard to predict the future, but I can confidently say that the future of Hanna & Plaut is bright, indeed!