Streaming Insight: Q&A With Jonathan L. Schwartz

Streaming Insight: Q&A With Jonathan L. Schwartz

July 3, 2018

Goldberg Segalla marked spring 2018 with the launch of Timely Notice, our podcast that addresses in an engaging and easily digestible way many of the critical and cutting-edge issues facing insurance industry professionals as well as in-house and outside legal counsel.

We sat down with Jonathan L. Schwartz, partner in Goldberg Segalla’s Global Insurance Services Practice Group, to discuss what inspired him to create the podcast, what listeners will learn, and what the future holds.

What sparked the idea for Timely Notice, and what are some of the unique benefits of a podcast?

What really sparked my interest in the podcast was the thought that we could reach our audience — our own clients, as well as the broader insurance industry, plus the business and professional communities — in a different way.

I’d started to ask questions of people in the insurance industry, clients in particular, about what they are reading to stay current. My goal has always been to be on the same “page” as them, so I understand the trends and developments impacting the industry. From the feedback I was getting, one idea really struck home: Everyone consumes information and learns differently. There are some people who prefer to read it, others who prefer to take it in visually, and others who prefer audio.

I’ve always been a fan of the podcast medium. I listen to a lot of them. So, I thought a podcast would make an excellent complement to the extensive and excellent resources we were already putting out there — newsletters, blogs, seminars, webinars, and email alerts. I think that when our industry friends are looking for insight on a particular question or issue, listening to a Timely Notice episode would deliver that desired insight in a new and convenient way, and add to or solidify the understanding they may have already begun to develop from what they’re reading. Plus, the podcast medium is terrific for people who always seem to be on-the-go.

Another benefit is the conversational format of the podcast, which gives the guest an opportunity to showcase his/her knowledge and offer different perspectives, both practical and with a local flavor that may not easily come across through the written word.

Who is the audience for Timely Notice?

Anyone with interest in tort, contracts, or the world of insurance — anybody whose practice or whose business touches upon insurance — would find this interesting.

Our plan has always been to make sure the podcast has something for everybody in the insurance industry. We’re not limiting it to bread-and-butter insurance coverage topics, for example. We want to be a one-stop shop for all salient and cutting-edge issues affecting the insurance industry.

Another facet of our plan is to share all the knowledge bases our firm has to offer. In addition to our Global Insurance Services team, I’ve collaborated with my partners from the Management and Professional Liability and Employment and Labor groups, and from the Workers’ Compensation team. We’re also planning several episodes for the summer with the Toxic Tort and Environmental groups. There are so many different areas we plan to cover that are relevant to the insurance industry, as the industry truly does make the world go ’round.

So I think that anybody who is directly in the insurance industry, claims professionals, underwriters, agents, brokers, as well as anybody who is in corporate or enterprise risk management, will find Timely Notice incredibly valuable as their twice-weekly source of news and commentary on subjects relevant to their businesses and their careers.

Can listeners suggest topics?

Absolutely. At the end of every podcast, we encourage listeners to contact us and let us know if you have any comments or suggestions. We strongly encourage our listeners to contact us if they have any ideas or particular topics they would like to hear more from us about.

Podcasting allows us to have a dynamic relationship with our audience. There’s give-and-take. We care deeply that our listeners hear our take on what is important to them. So, if they share their ideas, we’ll do our very best to create episodes based on those ideas.

What differentiates Timely Notice from other podcasts out there?

Of course, by no means will Timely Notice take the place of your podcasts about the National Football League, Hollywood, politics, or true crime. What we’re hoping to accomplish is to supplement your podcast rotation and give you an option to work a bit of professional development and industry education into the mix, at a comfortable pace and in a more relaxed setting.

But as far as the way we differentiate ourselves from other podcasts — number one is that there are few, if any, podcasts out there that cover the insurance industry and publish frequently. We come out twice a week, and we try very hard to make sure that our podcasts are easily digestible, with episodes that are about 20 minutes long.

Number two is the topics we cover, because they are not only interesting and professionally important to our audience, but also invoke many of the most important news stories of our day. We’ve discussed the opioid addiction crisis and its impact on insurance coverage. We have a two-part podcast series that just came out on cyber insurance and cyber security. We also have a great episode on the #MeToo movement and its impact on the civil justice system.

What does the future hold for Timely Notice?

We’re hoping our audience is excited for Tuesdays and Thursdays and the release of a new episode. We know that based on the quality content we offer, our audience will grow by word of mouth. So we are going to continue to publish our episodes “timely,” and we’re going to be bringing in guests on plenty of different subjects, both from Goldberg Segalla and from the outside. We’re hoping that ultimately our audience will look at Timely Notice as essential commentary on recent developments in the insurance industry. We also will continue to provide our audience regularly with deep dives on narrow subjects so they end each episode with a fully formed understanding of certain problems facing the insurance industry, why those problems persist, what’s on the horizon, and what steps they can take to minimize or completely eliminate the problems.

If someone has a new take on a particular subject or a new case comes out, we would love if you would share that with us. Plus, we’re open to guests from both sides of the aisle; we’re certainly not limited to just defense lawyers, and if plaintiff lawyers want to come and talk to us, I would love to have them, too. We take all comers!

Again, we’re experimenting, we’re nimble, and as time goes by, we are going to continue to develop and to keep improving.

Check out the entire Timely Notice episode library here.