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C & S In The News
Apr 19, 2024

MPL Association Names Brent Cooper as Recipient of 2024 MPL Industry Defender Award

Defender Award

(Rockville, MD, April 19, 2024)—The Medical Professional Liability (MPL) Association has awarded its 2024 MPL Industry Defender Award to John D. Cassidy, Tamura D. Coffey, R. Brent Cooper, Louis “Duke” DeHaas, and Selina Hunt. This award is presented annually to defense attorneys in recognition of their exceptional and outstanding lifelong contributions to defending physicians, other healthcare professionals, and institutions while supporting medical professional liability insurers.

John D. Cassidy
Cassidy is the managing partner in the Boston law firm of Ficksman & Conley, LLP. He has represented healthcare providers since 1980 and has successfully tried more than 200 major medical malpractice cases. He also represents physicians and dentists before the Boards of Registration in Medicine and Dentistry on disciplinary and licensing matters. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. In addition, Cassidy has been invited to lecture to healthcare providers throughout Massachusetts, has served as a faculty member in programs designed to educate attorneys regarding malpractice actions, and has appeared on national public television to discuss malpractice cases.

Tamura D. Coffey
Coffey is the founder of the law firm of Coffey Law PLLC in North Carolina and is an experienced trial lawyer, specializing in the defense of complex medical malpractice litigation for more than 30 years, including birth trauma lawsuits that represent significant financial and reputational exposure. Additionally, she provides representation for matters of corporate negligence, both medical professional and physician liability, and licensing board matters. To date, Coffey has obtained a defense verdict in every case that she has litigated on behalf of Novant Health. This record has helped maintain North Carolina’s reputation as a reasonable venue for professional liability litigation. In addition, Coffey is an outstanding educator for the organizations she represents as well as the North Carolina Chapter of the American Society for Health Care Risk Managers.

R. Brent Cooper
Cooper is a shareholder with Cooper Scully in Dallas and focuses his practice on commercial litigation, insurance litigation, and appellate practice. He has more than 100 trials in state and federal courts and has argued more than 250 appeals in the intermediate and supreme courts of various states. In his 44 years of practice, he has been at the forefront of appellate law. Perhaps the biggest impact Cooper has had on healthcare professionals has been through his work with Texas Alliance for Patient Access, which was instrumental in passing comprehensive tort reform in Texas in 2003. Cooper helped draft the legislation, assisted in getting it passed, and has continued working tirelessly to preserve the legislative reforms.

Louis “Duke” DeHaas
DeHass is president and senior trial attorney at La Follette, Johnson, DeHaas, Fesler & Ames in Los Angeles. He has defended physicians, allied health specialists, and hospitals. Specifically, DeHaas has tried in excess of 350 jury trials, including over 175 medical malpractice cases. He has also tried multiple administrative hearings representing physicians before the California Medical Board. His litigation exposure consists of jury trials, arbitration, and cases venued both in state and federal courts. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers.

Selina Hunt
Hunt is the head of practice, Legal for Avant Law Pty Ltd in Queensland and South Australia. She has specialized in defendant insurance litigation throughout her career of over two decades and, since joining Avant more than 14 years ago, her area of expertise has been in health law—solely representing medical practitioners and their practices. She leads a team of experienced solicitors and administration staff to provide outstanding legal defence and support to Avant members throughout Queensland and South Australia. As well as personally representing members in civil claims, coronial investigations and inquests, and professional conduct matters, Hunt provides advice to Avant members as part of Avant’s Medico-legal Advisory Service.

“We are pleased to honor these outstanding defense attorneys who have served as important partners with medical professional liability organizations,” said Eric R. Anderson, interim president and CEO, MPL Association. “Their successful representation of healthcare professionals and institutions embodies excellence in the claims defense field. On behalf of our members and those they insure, the MPL Association thanks these individuals for their years of dedicated work.”


The MPL Association is the leading international association representing medical professional liability insurance companies, risk retention groups, captives, trusts, and other entities with a commitment to the quality delivery of healthcare. MPL Association members insure nearly 2.5 million healthcare professionals around the world—doctors, dentists, oral surgeons, nurses and nurse practitioners, podiatrists, and other healthcare providers. MPL Association members also insure more than 3,000 hospitals and 50,000 medical facilities and group practices globally.