We have long been preeminent in the field of insurance appeals. We have represented insurers and leading insurance trade associations as parties and amici curiae in the appellate courts of California, in federal courts of appeals, and in many other jurisdictions. Our attorneys have handled literally hundreds of appeals involving cutting-edge issues of first-party and third-party coverage, excess and umbrella coverage, insurer defense obligations, bad faith, compensatory and punitive damages against insurers, and related issues.
Many of our appeals have resulted in groundbreaking and frequently-cited court opinions that have shaped the course of insurance law. In the California Supreme Court in particular, we have represented insurers as parties or amici curiae in the major insurance cases of the last two decades, including Wilson v. 21st Century Ins. Co. (2007) 42 Cal.4th 713; Jonathan Neil & Associates, Inc. v. Jones (2004) 33 Cal.4th 917; Hameid v. National Fire Ins. of Hartford (2003) 31 Cal.4th 16; Hamilton v. Maryland Cas. Co. (2002) 27 Cal.4th 718; Blue Ridge Ins. Co. v. Jacobsen (2001) 25 Cal.4th 489; Kazi v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co. (2001) 24 Cal.4th 871; Kransco v. American Empire Surplus Lines, Ins. Co. (2000) 23 Cal.4th 390; Palmer v. Truck Ins. Exchange (1999) 21 Cal.4th 1109; Cates Construction, Inc. v. Talbot Partners (1999) 21 Cal.4th 28; Aerojet-General Corp. v. Transport. Indem. Co. (1997) 17 Cal.4th 38; Waller v. Truck Ins. Exchange, Inc. (1995) 11 Cal.4th 1; Montrose Chemical Corp. v. Admiral Ins. Co. (1995) 10 Cal.4th 645; J.C. Penney Casualty Ins. Co. v. M. K. (1991) 52 Cal.3d 1009; Prudential-LMI Insurance v. Superior Court (1990) 51 Cal.3d 674; and Moradi-Shalal v. Fireman’s Fund Ins. Companies (1988) 46 Cal.3d 287.
Our partners have served on the Insurance Law Committee of the Business Law Section of the State Bar of California and, since 2006, we have provided that committee with regular summaries of California appellate decisions on insurance law.
Contact Peter Abrahams or Mitchell C. Tilner for more information about our Insurance Law practice.
Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company v. Sabal Insurance Group
Eleventh Circuit affirms summary judgment for insurer in coverage claim for amounts paid to resolve criminal grand theft chargesRead More
Insurance Co. of the State of Pennsylvania v. County of San Bernardino
Ninth Circuit affirms favorable judgment for insurer in high-stakes coverage dispute over the stacking of policy limits.Read More
McDonold v. Superior Court
Court of Appeal affirms that counsel for an excess insurer did not represent its insureds as joint clients in a tripartite relationship when attempting to negotiate a settlement on their behalf.Read More
TIG Insurance v. Culpepper
Qui tam action against perpetrator of insurance fraud reinstated.Read More
PSM Holding Corp. v. Nat'l Farm Fin. Corp.
Ninth Circuit rules on consequences of enforcing a money judgment pending appeal.Read More
Victaulic v. American Home Assurance Company
Court of Appeal reverses $52 million Brandt fee and punitive damages award in insurance bad faith case.Read More
Bamberger v. National Union Fire Ins. Co., et al.
Ninth Circuit rules for insurer in bad faith and coverage action.Read More
ProBuilders Specialty Insurance Company, RRG v. Valley Corp B.
Ninth Circuit affirms partial district court judgment in favor of Insurer based on proper jury instructions.Read More
Sarkisyan v. Newport Insurance Company
Court of Appeal affirms denial of class certification in favor of insurance company based on plaintiff’s failure to prove existence of ascertainable class and sufficient community of interest.Read More
Olympic and Georgia Partners v. Arch Specialty Insurance Co.
California Court of Appeal rules for H&L clients in insurance coverage dispute over major repairs to Ritz-Carlton residences.Read More
Fireman's Fund Insurance Co. v. Heller
California Court of Appeal affirms summary judgment for insurer in rescission action.Read More
Milhouse v. Travelers Commercial Ins. Co.
Ninth Circuit rules in favor of insurer in dispute over payment of benefits for home destroyed in wildfire.Read More
Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp. v. Zurich American Insurance Co. and Hartford Fire Insurance Co.
Ninth Circuit holds that insurer owes no duty to defend policyholder against consumer class actions.Read More
Hartford Casualty Insurance Company v. J.R. Marketing, L.L.C.
California Supreme Court permits insurers to seek reimbursement directly from Cumis counsel for objectively unreasonable billings.Read More
Cromer v. Bristol West Insurance Group/Coast National Insurance Co.
Nevada Supreme Court affirms judgment for insurance company after jury trial in insurance bad faith case.Read More
Albert v. Mid-Century Insurance Co.
California Court of Appeal holds that trespass to trees is not covered by a general liability policy.Read More
Intransit, Inc. v. Travelers Property & Casualty Co.
Ninth Circuit reverses judgment against insurer, finding that district court misapplied Oregon principles of policy interpretation.Read More
Kmart Corporation v. Hartford Fire Insurance
California Court of Appeal affirms judgment for insurer on duty-to-defend issue and reinstates insurer’s claim for reimbursement.Read More
Morrison v. Fire Insurance Exchange
Nevada Supreme Court holds that homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover policyholder for intentionally punching someone in the face.Read More
American States Ins. Co. v. Ramirez
California Court of Appeal reverses $6 million judgment in insurance coverage dispute and orders entry of judgment for the defendant.Read More
State Farm General Insurance Co. v. Frake
California Court of Appeal holds insured’s deliberate act is not an ‘accident,’ and thus does not trigger liability insurer’s duty to defend, even if resulting injury was unintentional.Read More
Behnke v. State Farm General Insurance Co.
California Court of Appeal affirms pre-trial dismissal of policyholder's claims for breach of contract, misrepresentation, and bad faith in dispute over Cumis fees.Read More
Fire Insurance Exchange v. Superior Court
California Court of Appeal issues writ of mandate, directing trial court to grant summary judgment in favor of insurer in coverage dispute.Read More
Mnatsakanyan v. CalFarm Insurance Company
Court of Appeal reverses $4.6 million judgment on arbitration award.Read More
Baker v. National Interstate Insurance Company
California Court of Appeal reverses $12 million judgment in insurance coverage dispute and orders entry of judgment for the defendant.Read More
Griffin Dewatering Corp. v. Northern Ins. Co. of New York
California Court of Appeal reverses an $11 million judgment, including $10 million in punitive damages, and orders entry of judgment for the defendant in insurance bad faith case.Read More
Northrop Grumman Corp. v. Factory Mut. Ins. Co.
Ninth Circuit rules for insurer in dispute over insurance coverage for $1 billion in storm surge flood damage caused by Hurricane Katrina.Read More
Madrigal v. Allstate Indemnity Company
Amicus curiae brief on behalf of insurance trade associations addressing whether an insurer can be held liable for bad faith under a "duty to settle" theory when the insurer offers policy limits within a reasonable period of time, even if shortly after an artificial deadline imposed by a third-party claimant.Read More
Farmers Insurance Co. of Washington v. Moratti
United States Supreme Court amicus brief arguing that "covenant judgments" between insurance policyholders and third-party tort claimants are inherently collusive, and that Washington courts violate due process by conclusively presuming that the amounts of such judgments are the measure of damages in subsequent bad faith actions against insurers.Read More
Ballester v. Superior Court
Petition for review asking the California Supreme Court to overrule Colonial Life & Accident Ins. Co. v. Superior Court (1982) 31 Cal.3d 785 to the extent it permits discovery of private non-party information that is not directly relevant to pending litigation.Read More
Jonathan Neil & Associates, Inc. v. Jones
California Supreme Court amicus brief arguing against the proposition that tort remedies should be available when insurer has in bad faith retroactively billed an insured for an excessive premium.Read More
Hameid v. National Fire Ins. of Hartford
California Supreme Court amicus brief arguing that covered "advertising injury" under CGL policy required widespread promotion to the public; insurer had no duty to defend insured against competitor's action alleging misappropriation of secret customer list and one-on-one solicitation of a few customers.Read More
Hamilton v. Maryland Cas. Co.
California Supreme Court amicus brief arguing that insurer that defends insured but refuses policy limits settlement offer is not bound by stipulated judgment entered pursuant to settlement agreement between insured and third party not approved by insurer, and insurer is not liable for breach of duty to settle based on stipulated judgment.Read More