Emerging Technologies and Torts of the Future

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Thought leaders at the Emerging Technologies and Torts of the Future event explored emerging technologies, such as the Internet of Things, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Autonomous Vehicles, and others, and considered how to prevent liability issues from threatening innovation. The Honorable Sean D. Reyes, Attorney General of Utah, delivered the keynote remarks.

In addition to an engaging dialogue with experts, a new national Google Consumer Survey conducted by ILR was released and found that:

  • A strong majority of U.S. consumers (82%) disagree with the notion that “lawsuits and lawyers are the best way to regulate emerging technologies, such as cars that operate without a driver.

  • “More than two-thirds of U.S. consumers (77%) believe lawsuits against emerging technologies, such as cars that operate without drivers, will impede innovation, with almost half (46%) saying it will “greatly impede” innovation.

New technologies will undoubtedly improve lives but they also come with new risks. New research titled, Torts of the Future: Addressing the Liability and Regulatory Implications of Emerging Technologies was released at the event and explores 5 key emerging technologies and the existing regulatory and litigation environments and future liability trends, and also examines how courts and policymakers can address legitimate safety and privacy concerns around emerging technologies without derailing or delaying progress.

Torts of the Future


Emerging Technologies and Torts of the Future

Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel
2825 Sand Hill Road
Menlo Park, California, 94025

Opening Remarks

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  • Lisa A. Rickard, President, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform


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  • Michael Steep, Adjunct Professor and Executive Director of the Stanford Global Projects Center’s Digital Cities Program, Stanford University

Tech & Torts: In Cyberspace

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The Internet of Things connects us with our devices and shares information among everyday items, resulting in greater efficiency and convenience for businesses and consumers. This panel dove into the question of liability as interconnectedness increases points of attack.

  • Megan Brown, Partner, Wiley Rein LLP
  • Laurie Hane, Deputy General Counsel, VMware, Inc.
  • Jim Kaput, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Zebra
  • Vikram Phatak, CEO & Chairman of the Board, NSS Labs, Inc.
  • Moderated by: John Doherty, President & CEO, Civil Justice Association of California

Tech & Torts: In the Sky

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As the uses for drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), grow, so do the questions of safety, privacy and risk to established infrastructure. This panel explored the evolving liability challenges that may impede the commercial use of this revolutionary technology.

  • Katherine Butler, General Counsel, GE Digital
  • Kevin Frederick, Vice President and Counsel, State Farm
  • Fatema Hamdani, Co-Founder, Kraus Aerospace
  • Roger Nober, Executive Vice President, Law and Corporate Affairs, BNSF
  • Moderated by: Shelly Kapoor Collins, Managing Partner: Shatter Fund, Propeller Venture Capital

Tech & Torts: The Sharing Economy

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  • Morgan Wallace, Counsel, Lyft

Keynote Luncheon

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  • The Honorable Sean D. Reyes, Attorney General, State of Utah

Tech & Torts: On the Road

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Autonomous vehicles (AV) aren’t just a technology that provides convenience; they have the capacity to change lives. However, litigation could derail these advancements. This panel discussed ways to prevent the impediments of excessive liability and allow the technology to achieve its full potential.

  • Ian Adams, Senior Fellow, R Street Institute
  • Emily Frascaroli, Counsel, Ford Motor Company
  • Peter Leroe-Munoz, Vice-President of Technology & Innovation Policy, Silicon Valley Leadership Group
  • Steven Sheffey, Corporate Counsel, Allstate Insurance Company
  • Moderated by: Elliot Katz, Associate, DLA Piper

Closing Remarks

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  • Tim Day, Senior Vice President, U.S. Chamber Technology Engagement Center