Anatomy of a Program Default

Sureties routinely administer claims as part of their business.  Even a principal that has done everything “right” is subject to improper claims or unanticipated circumstances. What is not routine, however, is when a principal with open bonds on several projects in various stages of completion finds itself in a position where it is on the precipice of, or actually in, default on several or all of its pending projects. This is colloquially referred to as a “program default.”

During this virtual seminar we will discuss some of the practical and legal issues a surety may have to consider and address when faced with a program default.  This program is not intended to provide a one-size-fits-all approach or set forth best practices for program defaults generally. It is intended to prepare and assist sureties to analyze and address potential areas of concern in the event an account experiences a full-blown program default.

Amy Bernadas

Senior Claims Professional

Zurich North America

Amy Bernadas is a Senior Claims Professional for Zurich North America where she has worked since 2018.  Prior to joining Zurich, she was in private practice for 15 years, primarily handling contract surety bond matters.  Amy obtained her JD from Tulane University School of Law and a BA in History from Baylor University.  

Jonathan Bondy


Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC

Jonathan Bondy is a member of Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC, with offices in New York City and West Orange, New Jersey. He received a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania in 1988, and a J.D. degree in 1991 from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University. A former Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn, New York, he concentrates his practice in surety law and construction litigation, and has spoken on surety and construction law issues before the Fidelity and Surety Law Committee of the ABA, the Surety & Fidelity Claims Institute, and the Northeast Surety & Fidelity Claims Conference.

Brian Kantar


Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC

Brian Kantar is a member in the New York and New Jersey firm of Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC, where he regularly represents surety companies, contractors and developers in a wide variety of contract disputes, performance and payment bond claims, affirmative claims, loss recovery, bankruptcy issues and contractor workouts. He frequently writes and speaks on issues affecting the surety industry and serves as Managing Editor of the Surety Claims Institute Newsletter. Brian also serves on committees in the ABA Fidelity and Surety Law Committee and the Philadelphia Surety Claims Association. He can be reached at or 973.530.2112.

​Rachel Walsh

Senior Surety Counsel

Liberty Mutual Insurance Company

Rachel Walsh is Regional Vice President – Northeast Claims for Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. Before joining Liberty Mutual, she practiced at Krebs, Farley & Pelleteri, PLLC in New Orleans, Louisiana, where she focused on surety and fidelity law and construction litigation. Ms. Walsh received her Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from Loyola University New Orleans in 2007 and a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, from Tulane University in 2004. She serves as an Assistant Bar Examiner for the State of Louisiana, routinely speaks at American Bar Association and industry events regarding various aspects of surety law, and additionally serves as a Vice President of the Philadelphia Surety Claims Association. 

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Virtual Seminar Recording
Recorded 03/16/2022
Recorded 03/16/2022
2 Questions
Certificate of Attendance
No credits available  |  Certificate available
No credits available  |  Certificate available