Friday, April 10, 2009

LMK Psychological -- What Now? Webinooner Report

Yesterday at noon, with Dave Barshay of Baker, Sanders, Barshay, Grossman, Fass, Muhlstock & Neuwirth, LLC, sitting in his Jamaica, Queens offices, and I sitting in my Buffalo, New York offices, 127 time- and effort-vested members of the New York no-fault insurance and legal community participated in an open webinar discussion of the background, holding and impact of the New York Court of Appeals' then one-week-old decision in LMK Psychological Servs., P.C. v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. How did all 127 of us hear each other over the fire engine noise in Queens? GoToWebinar®.

I think it was last Saturday morning that I got an email from the good folks over at Citrix Online, who own/operate GoToWebinar, reminding me that my 30-day free trial would expire today, April 10th. Frankly, I had forgotten about signing up on March 10th, and other than printing out the 95-page GoToWebinar user guide, had done nothing to plan or present a first webinar.

I didn't come out of my den much last weekend. Not wanting to waste free, I started exploring the service and soon had created my firm's first webinar at noon, or "webinooner", on New York's new direct DJ/late notice/coverage disclosure rules that went into effect back on January 17th of this year. See this blog's Direct DJ/Late Notice label for more information about those new rules. We ran that webinooner on Wednesday, April 8th, and it went well. Its PowerPoint and recording are available for downloading, free of charge, here and here.

Two free are better than one free, so I decided to create another webinar before the end of my free trial period. The New York Court of Appeals had just issued its decision in the closely watched LMK case two days earlier, and the record number of visits/page views to my blog's post about that decision suggested that it would make a good topic. On Saturday I DM'd (direct messaged) Dave Gottlieb of No-Fault Paradise via Twitter to ask whether he would be interested in co-presenting a webinar on LMK, and he put me in touch with partner Dave Barshay. A few emails, instant messages, tweets and cell phone calls later, we had a program. At 12:23 a.m. Sunday morning, I threw an invitation onto this blog and went to bed. Our first attendee registered at 2:21 that morning.

By show time, we had 164 people registered, not including Dave and me. The scheduled 45-minute program ran just over an hour, with nearly all of the 127 attendees remaining in the room for the entire webinar. We received 28 written questions and used three, interactive polls during the program:

Whom do you work for or represent?
65% insurer
35% claimant

Honestly now, what did you really think the Court of Appeals was going to do with the Third Department's decision in LMK?
18% Affirm with little or no memorandum decision
26% Affirm with an opinion
27% Modify by ruling for and against State Farm on the 2 issues
29% Reverse with an opinion

Of the four possible interpretations of LMK's impact on future cases, which one do you think the courts ultimately will choose?
12% Per cause of action
62% Per accident/injured person/provider/action
21% Per accident/injured person/provider
3% Per accident/injured person
2% None of the above. I have something else in mind.

At the conclusion of the webinooner, approximately 30 people headed over to a reserved TinyChat room to continue the dialogue. Good Q&A exchange in there.

The hyperlink-clickable PowerPoint presentation I created and we used during the presentation is available for downloading free of charge here. The case law, statutes, regulations, and administrative materials we discussed yesterday are hyperlinked through that PowerPoint. GoToWebinar also enables the audio/video recording of its programs, and the recording of yesterday's LMK webinooner, for those who may not have been able to attend or wish to hear Dave's and my voices again and again, can be downloaded here. The recording is approximately 44.5 MB large and is playable in Windows Media Player versions 9.0 or higher. As of this moment, even before posting this, 108 of you had already downloaded the recording. Yikes.

From the comments and evaluations we received during and after the program, this was a very worthwhile exercise, and one that I am likely to repeat. Announcements of future webinooners will be posted to this blog, and I hope you will be able to join us for several or all of them.

And, by the way, in case you're wondering, it was a draw. Barshay 9, Mura 9 on the "Who has the better goatee -- Barshay or Mura?: (a) Barshay definitely does. It matches his surly countenance. -or- (b) Mura for sure. It's reddish. Like his face." post-webinar survey question. The associate of mine who voted for Barshay knows who she is. I'd like to see you in my office later today.

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