Each participant will receive a conference Syllabus which contains pertinent reference material, exhibits and an attendee directory.
Joseph G. Astleford Tip Goodwin Mark Rasmussen
David Bona Alan J. Jang Eric Schmidt
David Buckley Tom Grisham Kirk W. Schmitt
Tim Chavez Darlene Harris Joe H. Scott
Alex Cheng, Esq. John A. Harris Lindsey Slatter
Craig G. Clements, Ph.D. Brian J. Heffernan Hon. Scott Snowden (Ret.)
Janice L. Coen, Ph.D. Allan Kanner Kurt Stranne
Christopher B. Curtis Greg Liddicoat Paul T. Way
William A. Daniels Gregory S. Lighty Brenda Wells, Ph.D.
Dirk H. Duffner Mike Murray James H. Wilkins
Jerome Fishkin Jan Null  
Randy Gimple Ken Roye  

JOSEPH G. ASTLEFORD is a partner with the Law Office of Kenneth P. Roye in Chico, California, who focuses on wildland fire litigation. He was admitted to the California State Bar in 2004. Mr. Astleford received a B.A. in Finance from the University of Texas at Austin and received his J.D. from John F. Kennedy School of Law while working full time as an insurance adjuster. Mr. Astleford has handled a number of large catastrophic subrogation cases, including claims arising out of wildland fires, construction fires, electrical fires, gas explosions, product defects and landslides. He has managed the presentation, organization and gathering of insurance subrogation claims for several catastrophic losses. He now focuses on damages sustained as a result of wildland fires

DAVID BONA is a partner at Carlson, Calladine & Peterson LLP, a law firm with offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles. David is an experienced trial attorney who has devoted the majority of his career to defending his clients in high-exposure, complex litigation, including cases involving wildland fire, such as the Copper Canyon Fire of 2002, Freds Fire of 2004, and the Santa Catalina Island Fire, Guejito Fire and Rice Fire in 2007. David obtained his Bachelor's of Science degree from University of Utah and his Juris Doctor degree from the UCLA School of Law. He is admitted to the State Bar of California and the U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Eastern Districts of California and is the author of "Reliability and Relevance of Expert Testimony in Federal Court.
DAVID BUCKLEY is the Vice-President of Technosylva, a company that provides advanced wildland fire protection planning and modeling products and services (www.Technosylva.com). David has more than 30 years of experience in forestry with a specialty in crafting analytical software solutions for wildfire management. He has significant experience as the technical lead on wildfire risk assessments conducted for 30 state agencies, county governments, military facilities and private companies. This includes collaborating closely with Joe Scott (Pyrologix) to develop advanced modeling and simulation software applications for the electric utility industry and government agencies. David is also the inventor of the Wildfire Risk Assessment Portal concept that encapsulates wildfire risk assessment results into interactive web mapping applications for mitigation and prevention planning. This has been implemented for 14 states by Mr. Buckley and his team. He frequently works with wildfire management agency leadership and industry executives as a senior advisor providing guidance and suggestions for designing advanced modeling solutions and implementing these to meet specific business requirements. David has a M.A. In Geography from the University of Alberta.
TIM CHAVEZ Tim Chavez is a fire Battalion Chief with CAL FIRE. He has over 38 fire seasons of wildland fire control experience. He is also the CAL FIRE state cadre leader for Advanced and Intermediate Wildland Fire Behavior training. Tim is Currently a Fire Behavior Analyst on CAL FIRE Incident Management Team 4 and has been deployed on over 20 major fires. His interests include extreme fire behavior, fire meteorology, wildland fire tactics and strategy and Initial attack fire management.
ALEX CHENG bio to come.
DR. CRAIG CLEMENTS is an Associate Professor of Meteorology at San Jose State University and Director of the Fire Weather Research Laboratory. He leads research on fire weather, extreme fire behavior, fire-atmosphere interactions, and conducting wildland fire field experiments. Dr. Clements teaches courses in Fire Weather, Mountain Meteorology, Climate Change, and Meteorological Instrumentation. He received his PhD in Geophysics from the University of Houston in 2007, his MS in Meteorology from the University of Utah, and a BS degree in Geography from the University of Nevada, Reno. In 2012, Dr. Clements received the National Science Foundation’s CAREER Award for his research on wildfire dynamics and obtaining meteorological measurements at active wildfires using a state-of-the-art Mobile Atmospheric Profiling System.
DR. JANICE COEN is a Project Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. She received a B.S. in Engineering Physics from Grove City College and an M.S. and Ph.D. from the Department of Geophysical Sciences at the University of Chicago. She has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Wildland Fire and is currently an Associate Editor for the International Journal of Wildland Fire and a Member of the Editorial Board of Environmental Modelling & Software. She investigates wildland fire behavior and its interaction with weather using coupled weather-wildland fire computer simulation models and by analyzing infrared imagery of wildland fires. Her current work investigates the unfolding of large wildland fire events, drought and fuel accumulation impacts on fire behavior, assimilation of satellite active fire detection data, and the use of coupled weather-fire models as forecasting tools.
As a geomatics engineer with more than 20 years of experience, MR. CURTIS has provided project delivery support (GPS control, conventional surveying, photogrammetric mapping, raster imaging, and GIS) on projects domestically and abroad. Over the past 10 years, Mr. Curtis has been retained to provide professional surveying and mapping, expert witness, and litigative consultation services on over fifty wildland fire cause and origin investigations, explosion sites, highway sight distance analyses, catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases.
WILLIAM A. DANIELS is a trial lawyer and shareholder with the law firm of DANIELS LAW in Sherman Oaks, CA, where his practice focuses on injury, insurance and employment, all for the plaintiff. He was active in the San Diego County Witch Fire litigation and is currently consulting on insurance matters arising out of the Valley Fire in Lake County, CA.

A graduate of Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, Bill Daniels is a former member of the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles Board of Governors and a founding member of the Civil Justice Program and the Advocacy Institute at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. He regularly lectures before various professional groups on personal injury, insurance bad faith, employment and legal ethics. He is currently a trustee of the San Fernando Valley Bar Association and is a past president of both the Encino Lawyers Association and the Cowboy Lawyers Association.
Mr. Dirk H. Duffner, P.E. is the owner of Duffner Engineering based in Emerald Hills, California. He specializes in the practice of failure analysis including mechanical engineering, materials science, and metallurgy. He holds two academic degrees: a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles, which he received in 1985, and a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University which he received in 1998. He is a Registered Professional Mechanical Engineer, by examination, and licensed by the California and Nevada Boards of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors. He has been practicing in the field of failure analysis for over 30 years.

Mr. Duffner was a founder and owner of Principia Engineering Services in San Francisco, California from 2005 to 2008, Managing Engineer at Exponent, Inc. (formerly Failure Analysis Associates) in Menlo Park, California from 1985 to 2005, and a cooperative education student at the Space Systems Division of the Lockheed Missiles and Space Company, now Lockheed Martin Company in Sunnyvale, California from 1982 to 1985.
JEROME FISHKIN began as a general practitioner in1971, worked several years as a research attorney for the State Bar, then spent 9 years as a discipline prosecutor, before resuming private practice in 1992. He is a Professional Responsibility specialist who advises and represents attorneys . He has defended attorneys in the State Bar Court, Bankruptcy Court, U S District Courts, the Ninth Circuit, U. S Patent & Trademark Office. He won the quantum meruit case Huskinson & Brown v Wolf (2004) 32 Cal 4th 453 as amicus curiae counsel. He and his partner Lindsay Slatter won the first case in the nation admitting an unregistered immigrant to the practice of law -- In Re Garcia (2014) 58 Cal 4th 440 – as pro bono counsel.

Mr. Fishkin counsels attorneys on issues involving attorney ethics, law practice management, dealing with toxic clients, coping with legal bullies, sanction hearings, disqualification motions, contempt hearings, client legal mental capacity and undue influence. He has written and spoken extensively on those topics.

The Fishkin & Slatter LLP website posts updates on new attorney ethics cases every month, and has an extensive description of the attorney disciplinary process at www.FishkinLaw.com
RANDY GIMPLE is a partner and founding member of Carlson, Calladine & Peterson LLP, a law firm with offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Randy has represented plaintiffs and defendants in cases involving catastrophic losses such as floods and fires for over 20 years. He typically represents defendants in wildland fire cases, such as the Poe Fire of 2001, the Freds Fire of 2004 and the Island, Guejito and Rice Fires of 2007. Randy is a member of the California Conference of Arson Investigators, International Association of Arson Investigators and National Fire Protection Association. He is also a well-known contributor to the wildland fire community's study of catastrophic loss investigations, fire scene investigation, evidence preservation, forensic investigation techniques, admissibility of expert evidence, property damage evaluation and statutory and common-law duties arising as a result of negligently caused fires.
TIP GOODWIN retired in 2015 as a consulting engineer within Oncor’s Transmission Standards Group. He has over 42 years of experience in design, construction, operation, maintenance, and research associated with electric transmission and distribution facilities gained through practical experience with three major electric utilities, consulting firms, as a contract manager of the Electric Power Research Institute's (EPRI) Transmission Line Mechanical Research Center (TLMRC), and as an industry advisor to numerous EPRI research programs. Mr. Goodwin has been active for many years on ANSI Standards committees, International Council on Large Electric Systems (CIGRÉ) technical working groups and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

Tip has a BSEE from Stevens Institute of Technology but has a broad background in all design and construction facets of foundations, structures, insulators, conductors and accessories. He has been involved in many equipment failure assessments and writing of standards for utilities and the industry.
TOM is President and Owner of GRISCUT, Ltd. He has operated a consulting business for the past seventeen years that provides manufacturing support, system analysis, and process improvements for manufacturers of distribution and transmission class insulators. During his career of more than forty years, he has worked with several manufacturing firms and electric utilities to improve their operations, implement quality control programs, and develop unique solutions in many areas.

Over the past five years, he has focused on company mergers, preparation of specifications at electrical utilities, training of personnel, and performing supplier audits. In addition, Tom has performed failure analysis on electrical insulators, installation hardware, and laboratory forensics of specimens that were used in liability cases of bodily injury and property damage.

For the past ten years, Tom has served as the Chairman of the IEEE Delegation to ANSI C29. This group is responsible for establishing test standards for the qualification of all insulator designs in the USA. Previously, Tom held positions in IEEE as Chairman of the Lightning and Insulator Subcommittee and the Insulator Performance Working Group. He is the author (co-author) of seven technical papers.
DARLENE HARRIS bio to come
JOHN HARRIS is the Principal of LANDSCAPE ECONOMICS LLC, an expert company for assessing and valuing landscapes and land improvements for conditions, maintenance, damages or current values. He is also President of EARTH ADVISORS, INC., an independent Green Industry consulting, education, and project management company doing environmental, arboricultural and landscape projects. John’s work experience reaches across the United States and Canada, through the Caribbean, and in Brazil.

His qualifications as an expert include being: An ASCA Registered Consulting Arborist, SAF Certified Forester, ISA Certified Arborist, ISA-Florida Registered Nursery Tree Grader, Certified Landscape Inspector, Registered Professional Mangrove Trimmer, Certified Xeriscape Contractor, and trained Tree and Landscape Appraiser. He was inducted into Lambda Alpha International Honorary Land Economics Society in 1997 for his dedicated work determining and defending tree and landscape values.
BRIAN HEFFERNAN is an attorney with Engstrom, Lipscomb & Lack in Los Angeles and has been with the firm since 1985. Dating back to the 1994 Northridge earthquake, he has handled numerous mass tort catastrophe cases and continues to actively handle major wildland fire cases today. A member of Super Lawyers since 2010, he has secured recoveries in excess of $250,000,000 for deserving catastrophe and tort victims.
ALAN JANG of Jang & Associates, LLP in Walnut Creek, California, focuses on subrogation law, insurance law, wildland fire litigation and inverse condemnation. He was admitted to the California State Bar on November 29, 1978. Mr. Jang received a B.A. in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley in 1975. He received his J.D. in 1978 from Golden Gate University School of Law.

Mr. Jang has handled a number of large catastrophic subrogation cases, including claims arising out of wildland fires, construction fires, electrical fires, gas explosions, sinkholes, flooding and landslides. He has received an "AV" Preeminent rating by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards.

Mr. Jang has been involved in several important appellate decisions, resulting in the following published opinions: California State Automobile Association v. City of Palo Alto, (subrogation/inverse condemnation action); State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. v. East Bay Municipal Utilities District, (subrogation/inverse condemnation action); Delfino v. Sloan, (premises liability/negligence per se).
ALLAN KANNER graduated from Harvard Law School in 1979, and then clerked for the late Judge Robert S. Vance of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. He founded the firm in 1981 and has since acquired a national reputation in the fields of complex litigation, environmental law, and consumer fraud. Many of his cases have become leading precedents or led to legislative and regulatory changes to better protect the public or the environment. He is frequently sought out as a teacher, lecturer, and author. He has taught law courses at Tulane Law School, Duke University, Yale University, and the University of Texas. He has authored/co-authored two books and published over sixty scholarly articles, many of which have been relied upon by courts. He is a member of the American Law Institute. Allan is a frequent speaker and lecturer on a variety of topics, and has testified numerous times before the Louisiana legislature. In addition, he has testified before the U.S. Senate regarding frauds uncovered by K&W during a lawsuit against long-term care insurance providers.

Allan currently represents the State of Louisiana in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill litigation, as well as the State of New Jersey against ExxonMobil in a major natural resource damages case. He also serves as Lead Plaintiffs’ counsel in a national MDL class action against the manufacturers of a generic formulation of Wellbutrin XL®, In re: Budeprion XL Marketing and Products Litigation Litigation, MDL No. 2107 (E.D.Pa.) and is co-lead counsel in In re: Cox Enterprises, Inc. Set-Top Cable Television Box Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 2048 (W.D.Okla.)

Allan is a member of the bars of California, the District of Columbia, Louisiana, New Jersey, Oklahoma, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico (Federal), and Texas.
GREG LIDDICOAT - My career began in 1977 as a firefighter on a USFS hand crew. In 1978, I was hired as a firefighter/EMT by a small fire protection district in El Dorado County. During that time, I advanced up through the ranks to Engineer, Paramedic, Lieutenant, and Captain. I became a CA State Fire Marshal Certified Fire Investigator 1 in 1983. In 1988, my wife, son and I moved to Nevada where I worked for the NV Dept. of Corrections for 1 year before transferring to the NV State Fire Marshal Division. For the next 19 years, I conducted fire investigations and fire/life safety inspections, advancing to the rank of DSFM III, Senior Investigator. I was the Division accelerant detection K-9 handler for 9 years, until she was retired. While with the NV State Fire Marshal Div., I was the lead fire investigator for the Humboldt/Toiyabe National Forest and the Bureau of land Management, Elko District and Carson City Districts. I was the team leader on 6 interagency fire investigation team’s/task forces for state and federal agencies. Since retiring in 2007, I have continued to work for the BLM, Carson City District as a fire investigator, STAM, EQIP, GMEC.

Have investigated over 1200 fires, including 560 structure, 144 vehicles, 635 wildland, 1 plane and 1 train and 25 fatal fires. I have testified in state and federal court 32 times and been Daulbert challenged 6 times and certified as an origin and cause expert witness 5 times. I have taught 3 college fire investigation classes, developed and taught 3 POST certified classes and 16 FI210 wildland fire investigation courses, including 1 in Turkmenistan. Certified as a Certified Fire Investigator & Certified Evidence Collection Tech through the IAAI, Certified Fire/Explosive Investigator through the NAFI, qualified INVF & INTM through NWCG, qualified NV college instructor, qualified Fire service instructor through both the CA SFM and NV SFM offices.
GREGORY S. LIGHTY is a partner with the law firm of Abeyta Nelson in Yakima, Washington. He received a B.A. in Mathematics from the University of Washington and is also a graduate of the University of Washington School of Law. Greg was admitted to the Washington State Bar in 1991 and is admitted to practice before all State and Federal courts in Washington as well as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Greg is an experienced trial attorney. He began his private practice at Halverson Northwest, where he was the Managing Partner before joining the personal injury law firm of Abeyta Nelson in 2006. His practice now focuses exclusively on representing individuals who have been injured or damaged by the negligence of others. His practice includes representing property owners that incur damages in wildland fire cases. Greg has successfully resolved wildland fire damage claims for more than 250 clients and is currently representing individuals who suffered damages in the St. Mary’s Mission Road Fire and the Blue Creek Fire in Washington.
MIKE MURRAY s the Director of Client Solutions for Veritext Legal Solutions. His technical expertise includes proficiency in legal applications such as LawStudio, LiveNote, Summation, Trial Director, TextMap and more. In addition to foreseeing litigation technology trends, Mr. Murray travels throughout the nation providing informative and entertaining, CLE’s, educational instruction and product demonstrations to legal professionals.
JAN NULL, CCM, has forty-two years of experience as a professional meteorologist. He has a BS in Atmospheric Science from the University of California, Davis, and a Masters in Geography (Climate) from San Jose State University. He is certified by the American Meteorological Society as a Certified Consulting Meteorologist (CCM #564).

After over a distinguished career of 23 years with the US National Weather Service he founded Golden Gate Weather Services in 1998. As a Certified Consulting Meteorologist he is often called on as an expert witness for a wide variety of litigation matters encompassing a full array of meteorological elements including storms, winds, temperatures and hyperthermia.

He also serves as a consultant on meteorological topics for engineering firms, architects, environmental groups and the media. Mr. Null has worked on a broad range of projects for organizations such as the American Museum of Natural History and the Bay Area Sports Organizing Committee.

He has been an Adjunct Professor of Meteorology and Lecturer at San Francisco State and San Jose State Universities since 1987. His research on the topic of Hyperthermia Deaths of Children in Vehicles began in 2001, has been published in Pediatrics and is used world-wide by child safety groups and other organizations. Mr. Null has done over 400 television interviews including CNN, the Weather Channel, Good Morning America, CBS Evening News and the McNeil Lehrer News Hour.
MARK RASMUSSEN is a principal at Mason, Bruce & Girard, Inc. MB&G is a natural resource consulting firm headquartered in Portland Oregon, and founded in 1921. MB&G’s 55 employees provide a full range of services to public, private and Tribal land owners and managers, ranging from property management, inventory cruising, valuation and appraisal, long term planning, acquisition and disposition, etc. MB&G also provides a full set of environmental consulting services including environmental permitting, compliance monitoring and project design. MB&G’s geospatial group collects, maintains and analyzes spatial datasets of all kinds to help clients meet analytical and management needs.

Mark is a Forest Economist and heads MB&G’s Forest Planning and Economics Group which focuses on forest planning, forest valuation, forest policy and market analysis. In addition, Mark has provided expert testimony on timber damages for the defense on the Moonlight Fire, Sims Fire, Calpine Fire and Pendola Fire in California, as well as some other fires in other states. He has provided expert testimony for plaintiffs and defendants in a number of other timber related cases regarding anti-trust issues, international trade disputes, trust land management and contract disputes.
KEN ROYE is a California trial lawyer with over 100 civil jury trials to verdict in twelve California counties including Los Angeles, San Diego and Sacramento. He exclusively litigates wildland fire cases. He is presently litigating the Powerhouse Fire (Los Angeles County), the Round Fire (Mono and Inyo Counties), the Butte Fire (Calaveras and Amador Counties), the Way Fire (Kern County), the Sheep Fire (Idaho County, Idaho), and the Las Conchas Fire (Sandoval County, New Mexico). He represents private landowners and limits his practice to mass tort catastrophic loss cases. Ken is the founder and host of the Wildland Fire Litigation Conference, now in its 10th year. Ken has previously worked in the Legal Services program and thereafter followed a career as a criminal defense lawyer for 10 years with over 250 criminal jury trials. He is a continuing education provider for the State Bar of California, is the author of “California Consumer Protection” (1994) (Fullcourt Press) and has taught law school at California Western University, School of Law. He was a speaker at the November 2009 Annual Conference of the National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP) (Broadmoor Hotel, Colorado Springs) and at the 2009 Spring meeting of the Western Chapter in Costa Mesa, California. He has been a contributor to the Western Chapter newsletter of the Utility Arborists Association and has lectured at several California State Bar Association seminars.
ERIC SCHMIDT, GISP has 25 years in a progression of mapping professions. He began as a pen and ink cartographer and has migrated into the digital world of GIS, GPS, and other modern geo-spatial solutions. Eric holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and a Master’s Degree from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. He is a certified GIS Professional (GISP) through the international GIS Certification Institute (GISCI), and is a licensed GIS Surveyor (GIS-S) by the South Carolina Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors.

Over the years he has gained experience in a wide array of hazard mapping including fire mapping. This includes wildland preplanning, initial attack, cost share analysis, value at risk analysis, WUI mapping, as well as other aspects of mapping and analysis before, during, and after wildland fires. Eric Currently Serves as the GIS Manager for Douglas County, NV and under contract the GIS Manager for three surrounding jurisdictions. He also is a Managing Partner of EMgis Partners LLC, a consulting group that specializes in the mapping and GIS needs of the Fire and Emergency Management communities.
KIRK SCHMITT, IAAI-CFI has over 30 years of experience in the fire service, 20 assigned to fire/arson investigations. He was a POST certified peace officer, and has investigated over 1,500 fire scenes involving wildland fires, structures, and vehicles/equipment. He has investigated homicides, multiple fatalities, arsons, fraud, and large losses in both the public and private sectors. He has qualified as an expert witness in structure fire and wildland fire origin and cause determination, and in wildland suppression tactics in District, State and Federal courts. He is an IAAI Wildland Fire Investigation board member. After spending the last 40 years in the Colorado Rockies, Kirk now works out of Unified Investigations & Sciences Southwest Service Center in Phoenix, AZ and no longer owns a snow blower.
JOE SCOTT has more than 20 years’ experience in wildland fire science research, development and application. He has led projects related to surface and canopy fuel characteristics, wildfire behavior modeling, crown fire hazard assessment, and, most recently, wildfire risk assessment. Mr. Scott is the lead developer of NEXUS, a computer system for assessing crown fire potential; lead developer of a set of standard fire behavior fuel models for international application; and lead author of a wildfire risk assessment framework for land and resource management planning. Mr. Scott's current work focuses on the application of Monte Carlo and related wildfire simulations to wildfire risk assessment for private enterprises as well as local, state and federal government agencies. Mr. Scott earned a B.S. in Forestry and Resource Management from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.S. in Forestry from the University of Montana. He is a Certified Forester™ as recognized by the Society of American Foresters.
LINDSAY SLATTER began as a civil litigator in the 1970s, expanded her practice to adoptions in the 1980’s, and has specialized in attorney defense and ethics advice since the late 1980’s. She also advises law students in moral character matters. She was on the trial team in Mary M v City of LA (1991) 54 Cal 3rd 202, which held the City of L.A. civilly liable for a police officer’s rape of a detainee.

FISHKIN & SLATTER, LLP specializes in Attorney Professional Responsibility and Conduct. In addition to State Bar defense, they advise attorneys on ethics and law practice management, everything from joint client consents to disqualification motions to resolving disputes with clients before they get out of hand. They recently won the first case in the nation admitting an undocumented immigrant to the practice of law -- In Re Garcia (2014) 58 Cal 4th 440.

The Fishkin & Slatter LLP website posts updates on new attorney ethics cases every month, and has an extensive description of the attorney disciplinary process at www.FishkinLaw.com
HON. SCOTT SNOWDEN (Ret.) has been a trailblazing leader for over 25 years in case management, modern court administration, and early resolution. Exceptionally creative, sensitive, and skilled at resolving complex litigation matters, the Napa Superior Court was under Judge Snowden’s guidance for over 15 years, during which he settled and tried hundreds of widely varied civil cases. He has unparalleled professional experience in the wildland fire industry and is especially adept at handling the often complicated insurance coverage issues that arise with these types of cases. He mediated over $700 million in fire related claims including direct claims by individuals with fire losses, inventory claims by groups of plaintiffs with fire losses, coverage claims between defendants and insurance carriers, and cross-complaints among defendants alleged to have caused wildland fires. Judge Snowden has also arbitrated a case involving 125 +/- victims of wildland fire and the distribution of a multimillion dollar settlement of claims brought by uninsured and under-insured homeowners and businesses. The case had numerous complicated issues of land-diminution appraisal, valuation of destroyed personality, valuation of emotional distress claims, as well as business costs from timber loss. A pioneer of court-based mediation, Judge Snowden brings decades of skills as an extraordinarily effective settlement specialist.
KURT STRANNE is a registered Professional Engineer and a Certified Safety Professional. Mr. Stranne is the President of Apex Safety, Inc., providing regulatory compliance consultation, OSHA and specialized safety training, accident investigation and recreation, and expert witness testimony. He is a course director and instructor at the OSHA Region X Education Center through the University of Washington since 1999. He has taught safety classes in twenty-five states and other countries. Kurt has extensive experience working on large heavy civil projects and served as the Safety Director for a large Union contractor. As a safety consultant and trainer, Kurt has worked in manufacturing, food production, power generation, construction and in the Canadian and Alaskan oil fields. Kurt retired from the United States Air Force Reserve in 2003. He has developed a passion for workplace safety and a strong desire to see each worker go home safely at the end of each workday.
PAUL WAY: Mr. Way is a Senior Electrical Engineer and Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator. He has extensive experience in both electrical and mechanical engineering, design and failure analysis. Casework experience includes product failure analysis, residential, commercial and industrial fire and explosion investigations, heavy equipment failures, electrocution and electric shock, and appliance failure investigations. Before pursuing an engineering career, Mr. Way worked as an appliance and furnace repair technician for his family’s business. As a result of this background, he is experienced with proper operation and repair of large appliances including clothes washers and dryers, dishwashers, and furnaces. In addition, Mr. Way has experience with hydroelectric power plants, gas turbine driven power plants, combined cycle power plants, electrical substations, petrochemical plants and pipelines, waste water treatment plants, potable water pumping systems, heavy manufacturing plants, and heavy construction. He is well versed in material selection for strength and corrosion resistance, mechanical design, failure analysis, and pressure drop studies.
DR. BRENDA WELLS is the Robert F. Bird Distinguished Scholar of Risk and Insurance at East Carolina University. During her carDeer she has taught insurance courses that includes commercial liability, commercial property, and insurer operations. Brenda has a long history of forming, supporting, and mentoring student organizations and has a wide range of experience in public relations, talent placement and fundraising. She has published articles in Journal of Insurance Regulation, CPCU Journal, and others. Her consulting firm offers a wide range of services to risk management and insurance professionals, including social media consulting, custom seminar delivery, and preparation of expert opinions and testimony. More information about her firm can be found at www.riskedstrategies.com
JAMES WILKINS is AV rated and has 30 years specialized experience in insurance coverage, bad faith, errors and omissions, and business litigation. Mr. Wilkins has also been named as one of the “Super Lawyers” for Northern California by Super Lawyers Magazine for the years 2006 - 2015. His experience includes providing detailed coverage analysis on all types of insurance policies including homeowners, automobile, commercial trucking, commercial general liability, excess and umbrella, workers’ compensation, professional errors and omissions, directors and officers, health and disability, crop insurance and life. Mr. Wilkins has represented many clients in insurance bad faith claims and other complex business litigation matters. In addition to providing written opinion and consulting advise, Mr. Wilkins has successfully tried numerous cases in both federal and state courts. This includes trying many jury trials to verdict. His litigation experience has involved representing numerous clients on a statewide basis. Due to his extensive trial experience, Mr. Wilkins has become a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA).

Mr. Wilkins has also been Adjunct Professor of Insurance Law at San Joaquin School of Law in Fresno, California.