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Faculty

Matthew J. Smith, Esq.

Mr. Smith is President of Smith, Rolfes & Skavdahl (skav-doll) Company, LPA. He founded the firm in 1989 after beginning practice as an insurance defense attorney in Florida. From starting as a one-attorney office, the firm has grown to eight offices and now provides insurance law services throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.

Originally from Dayton, Ohio, Mr. Smith attended the University of Cincinnati
College Conservatory of Music graduating with a degree in Radio, TV and Film.
While working his way through college and law school he served as Director
of Marketing Communications for the Kings Island Theme Park Complex in Ohio and founded Smith-Kaufman Public Relations representing such companies as Wendy’s International, Hyatt Hotels and The Cincinnati Reds.  Mr. Smith graduated from the Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern
Kentucky University. He is admitted to practice in both federal and state courts in Ohio, Florida, Kentucky, Michigan and Washington, D.C. as well as the United States Supreme Court.

He serves as legal counsel to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, is a past President of the National Society of Professional Insurance Investigators, chairs the Insurance Committee of the International Association of Arson Investigators, and is a member of the Defense Research Institute, Claims and Litigation Management Alliance and numerous other insurance law related organizations. Mr. Smith is a frequent lecturer on insurance law matters throughout the United States.

John Lentini

Mr. Lentini is one of a handful of people certified to conduct both fire scene investigations and fire debris analysis. He has personally conducted more than 2,000 fire scene inspections and has appeared as an expert witness on more than 200 occasions. He is a frequent invited speaker on fire investigation science, and an active proponent of standards for fire and other forensic investigations. He is a member of the NFPA Technical Committee on Fire Investigations (921), the Technical Committee on Fire Investigator Professional Qualifications (1033) and has served three terms as chair of ASTM Committee E30 on Forensic Science.

John is the current Chairman of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) Criminalistics Section. He also serves on the NIST/OSAC Subcommittee on Fire and Explosion Investigations. He received the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) 2015 “Person of the Year Award” in recognition of his work in moving the fire investigation profession forward and in helping to prevent or reverse miscarriages of justice in arson cases. So far, he has helped ten wrongly convicted citizens win their release from prison.

He is now an independent consultant living in the Florida Keys and doing business as Scientific Fire Analysis. His book, Scientific Protocols for Fire Investigation, now in its second edition, was published by CRC Press in 2013. His website is www.firescientist.com.

 

John McCoy, Esq.

Mr. McCoy is the managing partner of McCoy Leavitt Laskey LLC and has a national practice involving catastrophic and complex lawsuits involving fires and explosions and products liability claims. He has also represented clients in a $200 million dollar securities lawsuit arising out of the mortgage crisis of 2008. He has served as lead trial counsel in 37 states and counting. He serves as National Trial Counsel and National Coordinating Counsel for several companies and carriers for their catastrophic fire and explosion cases. He has served as Chairperson of the ORI Fire & Casualty Committee and has been a member of the Attorney Advisory Committee of the IAAI. He is a past President and a founding member of the Propane Gas Defense Association.  He is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell. He has been recognized with a Top Ten Defense Verdict for catastrophic explosion cases by The National Law Journal in 2004. He has been selected as a Wisconsin Super Lawyer ever since the award was initiated in 2005 in Wisconsin. The award is only given to the top 2.5% of lawyers in the state. In 2008 he was recognized as one of 25 “Leaders in the Law” by the Wisconsin Law Journal.  He has been selected to the 22nd edition of The Best Lawyers in America.  He writes several legal columns monthly on fire and explosion related topics that arc published in industry magazines.  He served as member of Anny JAGC from 1984-1988 and was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal and was Airborne.  He graduated from Drake Law School in 1984 and presently serves as a member of its Advisory Board. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin- Oshkosh in 1980 and was voted Outstanding Senior. Graduation Speaker and Distinguished Military Graduate.

Specialties: catastrophic and complex claims and litigation. products liability. fires. explosions. arson. wildfires. industrial fires. scene examinations. products. trucking. mass torts. coordinating counsel for national programs, recall programs. construction defect, A&E claims. E&O Claims. D&O claims.