Emerging Technologies & Torts of the Future

1 day
1 day


Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel
2825 Sand Hill Road
Menlo Park, CA 94025

Much of our nation’s future economic success, growth, and competitiveness will depend on a thriving and innovative technology sector that is changing all aspects of our daily lives. In the near future, an autonomous vehicle will get you to work, private companies will offer trips to Mars, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles will improve how we farm, inspect power lines, send packages, and much more.

This is the future, but a single reported accident tied to a new technology can lead to a rush for new, potentially harmful, regulations and litigation that can have serious negative impacts on our economy. For these emerging technologies, liability exposure threatens to impede the growth and benefits these technologies are having and will continue to have on our society.

Join the U.S. Chamber Technology Engagement Center (C_TEC) and the Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) as we explore these emerging technologies, such as the Internet of Things, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Autonomous Vehicles, and others, and discuss how to prevent liability issues from threatening innovation.  


8:30-9:00am:  Registration and Breakfast

9:00-9:15am:  Opening Remarks by Lisa Rickard, President, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform

9:15-9:30am:  Remarks by Michael Steep, Adjunct Professor and Executive Director of the Stanford Global Projects Center's Digital Cities Program, Stanford University

9:30-10:15am:  Tech & Torts: In Cyberspace

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 will dive into the question of liability as interconnectedness increases points of attack.

Panelists Include

  • Megan Brown, Partner, Wiley Rein, LLP
  • Laurie Hane, Deputy General Counsel, VMware, Inc.
  • Jim Kaput, SVP, GC 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

10:15-11am:  Tech & Torts: In the Sky

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 will explore the evolving liability challenges that may impede the commercial use of this revolutionary technology.

Panelists Include

  • 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

11:00-11:20am:  Tech & Torts: The Sharing Economy

Remarks by Morgan Wallace, Counsel, Lyft

11:20-12:00pm:  Networking Break

12:00-1:00pm:  Keynote Luncheon

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

1:00-1:20pm:  Networking Break

1:20-2:00pm:  Tech & Torts: On the Road

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 will discuss ways to prevent the impediments of excessive liability and allow the technology to achieve its full potential.

Panelists Include

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

2:00pm:  Closing Remarks by Tim Day, Senior Vice President, U.S. Chamber Technology Engagement Center