Risk and Insurance Management Society, Inc.
Los Angeles Chapter


 The newsletter for Risk and Insurance Management Professionals

L.A. RIMS News November 2003

President's Message


Thanksgiving is just around the corner and we have a lot to be thankful for despite the high cost of insurance and the current economy.  We can be thankful for the nation’s recovery albeit slow to some and not to the liking of all.  Some of us can be thankful that we are seeing a slightly softened property market, although it may never be as soft as we would like it to be.  There are some that are hopeful, and not necessarily thankful yet, that our new governor will have a positive effect on workers’ comp reform.  Some of us are thankful we not only have jobs but also have health coverage and are not on the picket lines.  We are all thankful for the roofs over our heads, health, and families.

This Thanksgiving season our Chapter wants to provide something to those who have much less than we do but have more than their fair share of worries…the homeless.  We will be coordinating a canned food drive at our November luncheon meeting for the L.A. Mission.  Please remember all that you are thankful for but remember those in need.  Your participation in our canned food drive is a gesture our Chapter would be thankful for and, more importantly, those who will benefit from your donation.

Happy Thanksgiving,                    

Kathy Merkovsky
President, RIMS L.A. Chapter


 L.A. RIMS Links

 L.A. RIMS Website
 Board Officers 

 Monthly Meetings
 Executive Referrals
Membership Info
List of Members


 Related Links

Calendar of Events

November 19, 2003
- Annual Meeting/Canned Food Drive

December 10, 2003
- Holiday Party
- The Jonathan Club/Toys for Tots

January 21, 2004
-L.A. RIMS Luncheon

February 18, 2004
-L.A. RIMS Luncheon

March 17, 2004
-L.A. RIMS Luncheon

November 19th Meeting

 click here:

Welcome New Members

Chris Gallanes
Riverside Transit Agency

 Laura Murillo
Riverside Transit Agency

James Spencer
21st Century Insurance


If you would like to submit articles for the monthly newsletter, please note that  articles must be received by  the 15th of each month.   Submit articles to RIMS@emaoffice.com

Copyright 2003,
Risk and Insurance
Management Society,
Los Angeles Chapter

Annual Meeting November 19th

Please note that the Chapter's Annual Meeting will be held at the November 19th luncheon meeting, at noon, at the New Otani Hotel.  Our speaker's presentation will be held after the Annual Meeting.

This presentation will provide you with an overview of security and privacy requirements and how they affect you.  You will be given a better understanding of your information about employees, customers, website users and others.  Risk management best practices and insurance options will be discussed.

Emily Q. Freeman is a Vice President-Western Region and Executive Director of Consulting for AIG eBusiness Risk Solutions.  She has been a principal drafter of cyberspace insurance products and senior consultant for e-business risk management.  She participates as the lead facilitator for risk analysis workshops for major corporations with infrastructure and commerce applications utilizing computer networks and the internet.

Thanksgiving Canned Food Drive

Please join with the L.A. Chapter in donating canned foods to one of the Missions who feed the homeless for Thanksgiving.  Canned food items such as corn, yams, string beans would be greatly appreciated.  Large sizes can be obtained easily from Smart & Final, Costco and Sam's Club, et al. This is the time of year when it is important to help others less fortunate than you.  Please bring your canned food items to the Annual Meeting, November 19.  All contributors will be given a raffle ticket as part of our Thanksgiving Given Food Drive raffle to be held at the Holiday Dinner and installation gathering at the Jonathan Club, December 10, 2003.  The winner of the raffle will receive a very special gift.  Thanks again for supporting the L.A. Chapter and this worthy cause.  See you November 19th! 

Toys For Tots Donation


Millions of children in the United States will NOT have a single gift to open this Holiday Season!! This year RIMS is aiming to change that and make sure EVERY child has at least one present.  The Toys for Tots Program is here to put a BIG smile on the face of a Needy Child in your community.  Please support this cause by bringing a toy to the November 19, 2003 RIMS luncheon and to the RIMS Holiday Party on December 10, 2003.  A representative from Toys for Tots will be present at the RIMS Holiday Party to collect the toys.  We thank you for supporting this cause.

For each toy donated you will receive a raffle ticket for a special drawing to be held at the December 10, 2003, RIMS Holiday Party.


When was the last time you visited the RIMS website?  If you would like to join RIMS, or are looking for a job, upcoming courses, risk management publications, or a book on Case Studies in Risk Management, they can all be found on the RIMS website at www.rims.org.

Do you want to know what is a Risk Manager?  Click on About RIMS, and then click on What’s a Risk Manager?  Lo and behold, the answer to that persistent question is provided.

Interested in attending the 2004 conference in San Diego?  The annual conference details can be found on the website.  Click on Conferences for up to date information.

Need a refresher course before then?  Click on Education and click on Professional Dev Courses.  There you will find the topics being offered as well as the location of the course.  Drill deeper by clicking on the course you are interested in for more details.

Are you interested in legislation?  Would you like to attend “RIMS on the Hill” in 2004?  Go to the website, click on Gov’t Affairs, and then click on RIMS Advocacy where you will find information about this opportunity to meet with your legislative representatives.

Remember the hard copy RIMSCOPE magazine you would find in your in box?  How come you haven’t gotten one lately?  It’s online!  Click on Publications and the RIMSCOPE for the latest edition.

Would you like to nominate someone for Risk Manager of the year?  Click on Resources, and then click on Awards.  Not only are the guidelines for this award provided but also for other awards RIMS offers.

Need an answer to a burning question?  Do you belong to one of RIMS E-Groups?  Click on E-Groups.  Select the e-group you are interested in and then click on Info.  You’ll be provided with more info about this e-group and steps you need to take to participate.

Want to check out what is happening in other Chapters?  Click on Chapters, then Chapter Events.  (Looks like there’s a good conference offered by the Bay Area Chapter on November 21st.   Lance Ewing and Steve Wilder are speaking.  Check it out.)

Take a few minutes and visit www.rims.org.  You don’t know what you’re missing!

Legislative Updates
By Ruth Lindstrom
Legislation & Compliance Director


Unfortunately, the U.S. Senate was unable to obtain the 60 votes required to bring the bill to the Senate floor.  “The Class Action Fairness Act of 2003” (S. 1751)—a moderate solution to the lawsuit abuse that is clogging state courts, hindering product innovation, denying real benefits to harmed consumers, and leading to judgments that contradict the laws of other states.     A summary of S. 1751 is noted below:

S. 1751:  Real reform that restores fairness and balance to the legal system

   Alleviates state court gridlock, and addresses the unfair practice of “forum shopping” by moving large class actions, involving litigants from multiple states, to federal court.  Keeps matters of primarily local concern in state courts.

   Reduces frivolous and duplicate lawsuits by applying consistent national standards (not the standards of the most “plaintiff friendly” state court) to large, multi-state cases

    Protects consumers from unfair settlements (such as those that pay more to people from certain states, or provide only coupons) through a “Plaintiff’s Bill of Rights.”

California Senator Dianne Feinstein showed enormous leadership on the subject of Class Action Reform by voting in favor of “cloture,” on a “motion to proceed” with consideration of S.1751, the Class Action Fairness Act.  She was one of eight Democrats who voted with Republicans in favor of cloture.

Despite this turn of events, Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican whip, indicated that the bill would be revisited.  In the meantime, it is important to thank Senator Feinstein for her vote is support of the bill.


Please Write, Call, Fax and E-mail Senator Feinstein, thanking her for her support of “cloture” on the motion to proceed with S. 1751. 


Los Angeles
Guillermo Gonzalez, Deputy State Director
(310) 914-73400
(310) 914-7318 FAX

Washington, D.C.
Tom Oscherwitz, Judiciary Committee Counsel
(202) 224-3841
(202) 228-3954 FAX

OSHA Backs off Changes in Process Safety Standard
Good news from the feds:  While OSHA might be considering suggestions on Process Safety Management, changing the standard is not on the agency's to-do list.

Until OSHA reconciles differing opinions on how to deal with potential problems with reactive chemicals, the agency will fall back on the general duty clause to address reactive hazards.