July 2014 - Issue 29

Annual Board of Directors Meeting

Celebrating Shared Success: 2014 Risk Management Awards

California JPIA 19th Annual Risk Management Forum: Capstone Award and Scholarship Opportunity

2014 California JPIA Liability Attorney Summit

Annual Workers’ Compensation Defense Symposium

Compliance with AB 218: California JPIA Model Form for Criminal Inquiries

Supreme Court Rules Police Cannot Search Smartphones Without Warrant

Insurance Renewals

Board of Directors

News: Worthy

Annual Board of Directors Meeting

The Annual Board of Directors meeting was held in La Palma on July 16, 2014 with a quorum of delegates in attendance, representing 65 member agencies.

Curt Morris welcomed the Board of Directors and member agency representatives. In his speech to the Board, Morris spoke about the history of the California JPIA, the evolution of public entity risk pools, and the emergence of the Authority as a leader in the pooling community. Morris shared the Authority’s work plan over the past year has included many projects both large and small. From the successful Annual Risk Management Educational Forum in Indian Wells to refining the regional risk manager service delivery model. 

Morris shared statistics to the Directors, serving to illustrate the importance of the Authority’s continued partnership with its members:

  • Delivered training to an estimated total of 25,537 member employees, including
    • 530 Instructor Led Training Sessions to 12,880 member employees
    • 10,687 Web Based Trainings
    • 197 DVD trainings to 1,970 member employees
  • Over 170 member employees attended five specialty training academies: Executive Academy, Public Works Academy, Leadership Academy, Management Academy, and Parks and Recreation Academy
  • 27 elected officials representing 22 member agencies attended the Newly Elected Officials Academy in June 2013
  • Held the 18th Annual Risk Management Educational Forum in Indian Wells, with 297 attendees representing 68 member agencies including 30 elected officials and 17 executive managers
  • Engaged with members regarding risk management issues with over 6,000 estimated interactions taking the form of site visits, meetings, conference calls and help desk inquiries and consultations
  • Delivered 41 LossCAP presentations and action plans
  • Developed new programs for property damage recovery and continuity of operations.
  • Implemented Cyber Liability coverage program (reinsurance with current liability program reinsurer)
  • Successfully defended three liability cases via court or jury trial. Glaser v. San Juan Capistrano (inverse condemnation), Chavez v. Santa Fe Springs (negligent supervision) and Turner v. Seal Beach(police).
  • Realized a savings of over $243,000 for liability claims administration expense in fiscal year 12/13, via more efficient claims handling, supervision and early case resolution.
  • Achieved reduction in combined indemnity and expense payments of $7,000,000 from fiscal year 2011/2012 to 2012/2013.
  • Conducted the 5th annual Workers’ Compensation Defense Attorney Symposium
  • Successfully completed the annual financial audit with no findings or problems
  • Published 12 editions of The Authority newsletter using the Constant Contact email marketing software; open rate (percentage of people who open the newsletter email) continues to hold steady at 32 – 35% of 1200+ distribution list
  • Wrote eight legislative position letters for distribution to the governor and members of the legislature; staff attended Workers’ Compensation Legislative Day in Sacramento and the CAJPA Legislative Action Day
  • Conducted a successful Board of Directors meeting with 105 participants representing 72 member agencies
  • Welcomed, Carol Chen, appointed to the Executive Committee on January 22, 2014

The Board of Directors unanimously elected John Rea as Vice President of the Executive Committee. John Addleman, David Spence, Mary Ann Reiss, and Daryl Hofmeyer were elected as members of the Executive Committee, each serving a two-year term. 

Jonathan Shull, Chief Executive Officer, presented a review of the Authority’s strategic plan, operational overview, and current initiatives including: the implementation of a Medical Provider Network for the workers’ compensation program; a Return-to-Work pilot program; hands-on ADA compliance assistance program; Rent-a-Risk Manager program; and a sidewalk inspection and maintenance solution. He also recognized the accomplishments of the training program over the past year including the successful risk management educational forum in Indian Wells. 

Wrapping up his presentation, Shull shared claims trends in the liability and workers’ compensation programs.

The meeting was adjourned to July 15, 2015.

Front Row (l to r): Lori Donchak, San Clemente; Secretary Margaret Finlay, Duarte; Mary Ann Reiss, Pismo Beach; Carol Chen, Cerritos.
Back Row (l to r): President Curtis Morris, San Dimas; John Addleman, Rolling Hills Estates; Vice President John Rea, Palos Verdes Estates; Daryl Hofmeyer, Paramount; Dave Spence, La Canada Flintridge.

News: Worthy

Celebrating Shared Success: 2014 Risk Management Awards

This year the California JPIA recognized six of its members for their achievements in risk management. The Authority’s Risk Management Awards program celebrates the members’ risk management successes while it highlights an important point: as a risk pooling organization, the success of each individual member’s risk management efforts benefits all members. The significant improvements in risk management that these members made came as a result of dedicated efforts, sometimes against opposition and under tight budgets. 

The winners of the 2014 Risk Management Awards for the General Liability and Workers’ Compensation Programs were recognized at the Annual Board of Directors meeting held on July 16, 2014. 

Members were divided into groups for which awards were presented. For the Liability Program the groups were Non-Municipal Members, Members without Police exposure, and Members with Police exposure. For the Workers’ Compensation Program the groups were Non-Municipal Members, Members without Public Safety exposure, and Members with Public Safety exposure. 

This award recognizes members that have demonstrated the best overall performance in each program. Authority staff evaluated both quantitative and qualitative factors that are reflective of a member’s risk management efforts. Factors included an agency’s five-year average cost of claims per $100 of payroll, its improvement in claims severity when comparing two, five-year coverage periods, and its progress toward completing LossCAP action items. 

For the Liability program, the Best Overall Performance Award winners were:

For non-municipal agencies:
• Southern California Association of Governments

For municipal agencies without police exposure: 
• City of Laguna Woods

For municipal agencies with police exposure:
• City of Bishop

For the Workers’ Compensation program, the Best Overall Performance Award winners were:

For non-municipal agencies: 
• Southeast Area Animal Control Authority

For municipal agencies without public safety exposure: 
• City of Dana Point

For municipal agencies with public safety exposure: 
• City of Belvedere

19th Annual California JPIA Risk Management Educational Forum

News: Worthy

California JPIA 19th Annual Risk Management Forum: Capstone Award and Scholarship Opportunity

Registration continues for the California JPIA's 19th Annual Risk Management Educational Forum: Ride the Wave of Risk Management, to be held October 29-31, 2014 at The Fess Parker Resort in Santa Barbara. 

2nd Annual California JPIA Capstone Award
In 2013, the Authority awarded its first ever Capstone Award to an individual who best exemplified the practice of risk management. This year, the Authority will again recognize another deserving person. He or she could work at any level of the organization, and thinks through the implications of risk in the carrying out of local government programs and services. Ideally, this would be someone who:

  • Works to support traditional or enterprise risk management efforts for the member agency
  • Develops, implements, and administers loss prevention and loss control programs to mitigate risk exposures for the member agency
  • Coordinates support systems that serve the member's risk management goals and needs
  • Mentors others in developing quality risk management programs for the member agency

If someone you know has these characteristics and you would like to submit a nomination for our 2nd Annual Capstone Award, please click here to complete the survey. You can even nominate yourself. Completed surveys must be received by Thursday, July 31, 2014. 

Nominees deemed most worthy of recognition will be invited to attend the Authority's Risk Management Educational Forum in October and will receive complimentary hotel and travel for the Forum. There, they will each be recognized for their accomplishments in front of their peers. This will be followed by awarding the California JPIA Capstone Award to the one professional who most demonstrates outstanding risk management efforts. 

Educational Forum Scholarship Opportunity
While there is no cost for member registration for the Risk Management Educational Forum, the California JPIA is awarding a limited number of scholarships for the Educational Forum toward accommodation costs at The Fess Parker Resort.

The purpose of the scholarship is to assist members who are unable to attend the Forum due to financial constraints at their agencies, with the Executive Committee authorizing them in the amount of $450 each. 

This is a competitive process, where those receiving scholarships will be deemed to be most deserving based on their stated desire to attend and their otherwise inability to attend. To be eligible to receive a scholarship, applicants must also:

  • Be an employee of a member agency of the California JPIA
  • Have supervisor or management approval to attend the Forum
  • Attend the Forum in its entirety
  • Be able to pay for any other travel related costs

Candidates are required to complete and submit the online Forum Scholarship Application. Completed online scholarship applications must be received by August 29, 2014. Chosen recipients will be notified by email on or before September18, 2014.

Hotel Accommodations
The block of rooms reserved at The Fess Parker Resort for the forum is just about sold out. Rooms may still be available at non-forum rates by calling 800-879-2929. We have also secured a room block at the Hyatt Santa Barbara located a short walk away. To reserve at the Hyatt, please click on this link: Hyatt Santa Barbara or call 805-882-1234.

News: Worthy

2014 California JPIA Liability Attorney Summit

by Paul Zeglovitch, Liability Program Manager

Once a year the Authority holds a one-day summit where our liability defense counsel panel, Carl Warren and Company and Authority staff meet to review the current status of the liability program, examine recent case law affecting public agencies and share other liability related information that is beneficial to the panel. This year’s Liability Attorney Summit will be held on August 19, 2014, at the Authority campus.

The Summit provides an opportunity for the defense counsel panel to share individual experiences and discuss legal trends and liability claim strategies with other panel attorneys. In doing so, the defense counsel panel is able to provide the Members with the most informed defenses on liability cases. 

This year’s Summit will address critical issues including: the use of human factors and forensic photography experts in litigation; pre-use of force tactics Hayes v. San Diego; an appellate law update; and new improvements from our document imaging partner designed to streamline complicated legal and medical records.

The Summit will serve to bolster the knowledge and commitment of the defense counsel panel to the California JPIA and your agencies.

News: Worthy

Annual Workers’ Compensation Defense Symposium

by Jeff Rush, Workers’ Compensation Program Manager

The California JPIA is pleased to announce that its sixth annual Workers’ Compensation Defense Attorney Symposium will be taking place on Wednesday, August 20 at the Authority campus in La Palma. The day will provide an opportunity for Members to meet with the Authority’s panel attorneys and learn of planned new services offered by the Authority.

The Symposium will begin at 10:00 a.m. and concludes at 2:00 p.m. Lunch will be served. The program is as follows:

  • Defending Presumption Claims 
    presented by Sean Monaghan - Laughlin, Falbo, Levy & Moresi

    What Happened to All of Those Liens? 
    presented by Giovanni Valencia - Hayford & Felchlin

    California JPIA Update: Medical Provider Network and Pilot Programs
    presented by Jeff Rush - California JPIA

    Should We Settle or Try This Case? 
    presented by Todd Sheehan – Siegal, Moreno & Stettler

    Case Law Update 
    presented by Elizabeth Gonia – Robin, Carmack & Gonia, 
    and Catherine Casper – Hayford & Felchlin

Registration is available via the Authority's Resource Center by clicking here. Note the access to the Authority's Resource Center requires a username and password.

If you have questions about the Symposium, please contact Jeff Rush, Workers’ Compensation Program Manager at jrush@cjpia.org or (562) 467-8707.

We hope to see you on August 20!

Legislative Update

Compliance with AB 218: California JPIA Model Form for Criminal Inquiries

by Kelly A. Trainer and Jaime L. Bodiford, Burke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP

California’s AB 218 added new Labor Code Section 432.9 to “Ban the Box” for state and local agency job applicants. Ban the Box refers to check the box questions asking about criminal history on job applications. 

Effective July 1, 2014, the new law prohibits the state or local agencies from asking job applicants about criminal convictions until after the agency has determined the applicant meets the minimum employment qualifications for the position. The prohibition applies to all applications for all positions, unless the position is one which a criminal background investigation is required by law, such as for positions within a criminal justice agency, or where the applicant will primarily work with children, the elderly, or the disabled. As such, all public employers should carefully review their employment applications and materials to determine if they should be modified to comply with the new law. 

To assist member agencies in complying with AB 218, the Authority has developed a model criminal history inquiry form. The form is designed to be used as part of each agency’s unique hiring process. In order to accomplish this, agencies wishing to use the form should carefully review internal recruitment processes and incorporate this model form into the application process after the agency has made the initial determination of which applicants meet the minimum employment qualifications for the position.

Agencies are encouraged to review the model form with internal human resources personnel and legal counsel to ensure appropriate compliance with internal procedures and this new legal obligation. The model form is available via the Authority's Resource Center by clicking here. Note the access to the Authority's Resource Center requires a username and password.

The Court Report

Supreme Court Rules Police Cannot Search Smartphones Without Warrant

(Reprinted from the Los Angeles Times, June 25, 2014)

The Supreme Court brought the constitutional right of personal privacy into the digital era Wednesday, ruling unanimously that police may not search a smartphone or similar device without a warrant from a judge.

The decision is the court’s most sweeping and surprising criminal law opinion in years, and it is likely to put a significant check on the government’s ability to routinely search other types of electronic devices, including laptops and tablets. Some parts of the opinion even cast doubt on the legality of the National Security Agency’s routine collection of millions of phone records.

“By recognizing that the digital revolution has transformed our expectations of privacy, today’s decision is itself revolutionary,” said Steven R. Shapiro, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union. “We have entered a new world. But our old values still apply and limit the government’s ability to rummage through intimate details of our private lives.”

Two years ago, in the court’s first direct ruling on new types of electronic search devices, the justices unanimously banned the FBI from attaching a GPS device to a car to track the daily travels of a suspected drug dealer. But the justices were divided among themselves and did not issue a single clear opinion.

On Wednesday, however, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. spoke for a unified court and said that because digital devices have transformed how people live, they must also transform the law on privacy.

“The term ‘cell phone’ is itself misleading shorthand; many of these devices are in fact minicomputers,” he continued. “They could just as easily be called cameras, video players, rolodexes, calendars, tape recorders, libraries, diaries, albums, televisions, maps or newspapers.”

Roberts said such devices can reveal “the sum of an individual’s private life [when] reconstructed through a thousand photographs labeled with dates, locations and descriptions.”

Until Wednesday, the court’s long-standing view was that police were free to search someone who was stopped on the street or in his car and put under arrest. Officers could check a suspect’s pockets and examine his possessions, including a wallet, purse and pockets.

The intention was to allow police to protect themselves by finding weapons. But they were also free to collect evidence, such as drugs, stolen goods or papers that might lead to other suspects.

This was known as the “search incident to arrest” rule, and it had been set out in 1973 by then-Justice William H. Rehnquist. A few years later, Roberts came to Washington to be a law clerk for Rehnquist, and in 2005, he succeeded him as chief justice.
In Wednesday’s opinion, Roberts said Rehnquist’s “categorical rule” for allowing the police to freely search “physical objects” did not make sense when those items were electronic devices.

“Cell phones place vast quantities of personal information literally in the hands of individuals. A search…of a cell phone bears little resemblance to the type of brief physical search” upheld in Rehnquist’s 1973 opinion, he wrote. “We therefore decline to extend (the older decision) to searches of data on cell phones and hold instead that officers must generally secure a warrant before conducting such a search.”

The unanimous decision came as a surprise to court watchers. During oral arguments in April, some conservative justices appeared unconvinced about making a distinction between searching a suspect’s wallet and a searching a smartphone. “I don’t see there’s much difference,” Justice Samuel Alito Jr. commented. Privacy advocates worried that some of the justices did not fully appreciate the breadth of personal data available on 21st century digital devices.

But in the 28-page decision, the court seemed eager to put such concerns to rest, referencing cloud storage technology, geo-fencing security software and apps. It mocked the government’s attorneys for arguing that there was no difference between searching a person’s pockets and their cellphone.

“That is like saying a ride on horseback is materially indistinguishable from a flight to the moon,” Roberts wrote.

Read the court's ruling on smartphone searches.

Coverage Matters

Insurance Renewals

by Jim Thyden, Insurance Programs Manager

The Authority provides members with a wide variety of optional coverages in addition to purchasing reinsurance and excess insurance to transfer the risk of loss from members and the Authority to insurance carriers. All of the insurance coverages renewed on July 1, except for Special Events and Vendors/Contractors, which will renew on January 1. The Authority’s brokers, Alliant and JLT TowersRe, successfully negotiated favorable renewal rates and terms across all lines of coverage.

The Liability Protection Program has a $5 million self-insured retention. The next $15 million is reinsured through several insurance carriers with $30 million in excess coverage purchased to provide a total of $50 million of coverage for each member for each occurrence. This year, the Authority reduced the $5 million self-insured retention by transferring 50% of the $3 million in excess of $2 million to reinsurers Markel and Brit. While overall premiums increased due to placing this new layer of coverage, existing layers of coverage were renewed with a 4% reduction in premium.

Workers’ Compensation
The Workers’ Compensation Program has a $2 million self-insured retention. The Authority purchases reinsurance up to the statutory requirements by the State, meaning the reinsurer will pay any covered workers’ compensation claims up to the amounts required by California statute. The Authority renewed coverage with insurance partner Safety National with a 1% reduction in premium.

The Property Program provides coverage for several types of property, including buildings and other structures, vehicles, and machinery. Covered perils include fires, floods, theft, collision, and earthquakes, if coverage is purchased. All rates remained flat for this renewal.

The Pollution and Remediation Legal Liability Program is written as a three-year term and XL Insurance has been the insurance carrier for several years. This year, it was determined that insurance carrier Philadelphia Insurance Companies provided the best terms and pricing, resulting in a decrease in premium of over 30% and with several enhancements to coverage.

Cyber Liability
In January 2014 the Authority introduced a new coverage program for cyber liability. This coverage was obtained through current partner Brit and, in order to coincide with other coverage terms, a 6-month term was purchased. The premium for this new coverage was flat for the new year.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please contact Jim Thyden, the Authority’s Insurance Programs Manager, at jthyden@cjpia.org or 562-467-8784.