Member News

Posted July 16, 2020
Virtual Arbitrations and Mediations Are Here to Stay
By Steve Gilford of JAMS 

Posted June 22, 2020
GOING VIRAL:  Will Regulatory Estoppel Arguments Undermine the Virus Exclusion?
By Michael Aylward

Posted June 16, 2020

Andy Lundberg named to Global 100 Leaders in Litigation Finance
ACCC Fellow Andy Lundberg, a Managing Director at Burford Capital, was named to Lawdragon’s inaugural Global 100 Leaders in Legal Finance.  The complete list, published on June 4, 2020, can be found here

Posted June 10, 2020

Robinson+Cole Lawyer Named to Hartford Business Journal’s 2020 “Women in Business” Class
Rhonda Tobin among honorees recognized for making a significant difference within their organization and the community

R Tobin

Robinson+Cole Litigation Section co-chair Rhonda J. Tobin was selected by the Hartford Business Journal for inclusion in its 2020 “Women in Business” recognition. Ms. Tobin is among 15 honorees who demonstrate business success, confidence in themselves and their organizations, and a strong track record of professional leadership. The honorees were each profiled in a special section published in the April 6, 2020 edition of the Hartford Business Journal. 

Ms. Tobin has represented insurance companies for almost 30 years in litigation of disputes involving insurance and reinsurance coverage, insurance bad faith and extracontractual liability, and professional liability. In addition to serving as co-chair of Robinson+Cole’s Litigation Section, she is a member of the firm's Managing Committee. Ms. Tobin is the only woman, and one of five Connecticut attorneys, named as a fellow in the American College of Coverage Counsel, the preeminent association of lawyers who represent the interests of insurers and policyholders. She has also been listed as one of the Top 250 Women Litigators in the United States and a Local Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation.

The Hartford Business Journal's 2020 “Women in Business” class features 15 remarkable women, selected from a record-breaking 116 nominations, who are being recognized for making a significant difference within their organization and the community. In lieu of a recognition event, which was canceled as a result of the current social distancing guidelines in effect, honorees were celebrated during a special two-part webinar series titled “Women in Business Leaders Power Hour Webinars: Leading, Inspiring & Motivating Through Change” hosted on June 2 and June 9. During the webinars, 2020 Women in Business honorees discussed their leadership roles as well as inspiring and motivating through change and growth.

About Robinson+Cole
Robinson+Cole, an AmLaw 200 law firm established 175 years ago in Connecticut, has more than 200 lawyers in eleven offices throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Florida and California. We serve regional, national, and international clients, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. Robinson+Cole is a service mark of Robinson & Cole LLP. For more information, please visit www.rc.com


Posted May 28, 2020

Kramon & Graham rankings increase in 2020 Chambers USA legal guide
ACCC Fellow Lee Ogburn, identified as "preeminent practitioner in the coverage area" and receives top tier ranking again this year.

Kramon & Graham, a leading law firm providing litigation, real estate, and transactional services, announced today that twelve firm attorneys have been recognized for legal excellence and client service in the 2020 Chambers USA legal ranking guide.

Kramon & Graham's Commercial Litigation practice holds its Band 1 ranking for the sixteenth consecutive year and is one of only four firms in the state recognized at this level. The group is co-led by Phil Andrews and Jean Lewis.

The firm's Insurance Coverage practice group also maintains its Band 1 ranking. Only one other firm in the state is recognized at this level. Lee Ogburn, whom Chambers identifies as a "preeminent practitioner in the coverage area" and who also receives top tier ranking again this year, leads the group which represents national property and casualty insurers in disputes involving more than $1 billion.  

Also ranked is the firm's Real Estate practice, which Chambers describes as offering "experience across all stages of commercial property development, including the purchase, financing, leasing and sale of assets."

In this year's guide, Kramon & Graham founding principal Andrew Jay Graham earns his fifth "Star Individual" ranking, a designation reserved for attorneys garnering exceptional recommendations from clients and peers.

The newly released publication again ranks Natalie McSherry in Band 1 for her successful representation of clients in medical malpractice matters.

The complete list of Kramon & Graham attorneys recognized in the 2020 Chambers USA legal guide are:

Amy E. Askew, Litigation, Medical Malpractice Defense
Cynthia Berman, Real Estate
John A. Bourgeois, Litigation
Geoffrey H. Genth, Litigation
Ezra S. Gollogly, Insurance
Andrew Jay Graham, Litigation
Jean Lewis, Litigation
Steven M. Klepper, Insurance
M. Natalie McSherry, Medical Malpractice Defense
Lee H. Ogburn, Insurance
Stuart M.G. Seraina, Insurance
James P. Ulwick, Litigation

Comments about the firm and individual lawyers include:

  • "The firm is highly responsive, thorough in its analysis of issues and strives to provide practical solutions to complex disputes."
  • "Every lawyer we have worked with in litigation or appellate work has a great courtroom presence."
  • "When something requires sensitivity and smarts, [Andrew Jay Graham] is a go-to lawyer…."
  • "Excellent: tenacious, smart, well prepared and very involved."

Chambers USA is one of the most prestigious legal ranking guides in publication. Updated annually, the guide's thorough vetting process ranks attorneys based on technical legal skills, client service, astuteness, diligence, commitment, professional conduct, and other qualities.

Chambers USA is published by Chambers & Partners. A description of the selection methodology can be found at https://chambers.com/research/methodology.


Posted May 27, 2020

Mike Huddleston honored by the State Bar of Texas.

The Insurance Section of the State Bar of Texas has presented Michael W. Huddleston with the “Russell H. McMains Legends of Texas Insurance Law Award.” The Insurance Law Section from time to time presents the Russell H. McMains Legends of Texas Insurance Law Award to recognize a senior Texas insurance lawyer who represents the highest levels of accomplishment, competence, professionalism, and ethics in the practice of insurance law, and who inspires others to do likewise. The award is the most significant recognition for Texas insurance law practitioners.

The award is named for the late Russell H. (“Rusty”) McMains, who was a Chair of the Section and one of its founders, and who epitomized the type of practitioner the award is designed to honor. Huddleston is a past-Chair of the Insurance Section, one of the original four officers and a founder of the Section. Huddleston was recently elected Secretary/Treasurer of the American College of Coverage Counsel. He is Chair of the Insurance Recovery Practice Group at Munsch, Hardt, Kopf & Harr, LLC.

The award was presented on Zoom by Section Chair William Chriss, a close friend of Rusty McMains. On receiving the award, Huddleston observed: “To receive an award named after Rusty McMains is an incredible honor. I had the challenge of defending cases against Rusty and combining forces in other matters. He was a great, creative lawyer and great friend.” Huddleston gave credit to his mentors, R. Brent Cooper and Jim E. Cowles, and his long-time partners and colleagues, including fellow Munsch Hardt Senior Counsel Steve Gibson, and the support of his current firm Munsch, Hardt, Kopf & Harr.


Posted April 17, 2020

Andy Lundberg's Law360 Article
Click here to read Andy's article dealing with the subject of coverage issues flowing out of the new Coronavirus, "A Call To Action For The Coming Insurance Litigation Siege".


Posted March 26, 2020

Dominica Anderson's Co-authored Article

Click here to read the DuaneMorris blog article, "Heating Up: New Orleans-Based Oceana Grill Seeks Insurance Coverage for Coronavirus-Caused Business Interruption"


Posted March 24, 2020

Laurie Dugoniths Busbee's Co-authored Article
Click here to read the Aprio piece on business interruption due to COVID-19.


Posted March 12, 2020

The Coronavirus’ Impact on Business Interruption Coverage Is “Direct Physical Loss” Being Redefined?
By Rick Hammond, Partner of HeplerBroom, LLC. Click here to read the article. 


Posted March 10, 2020

Laura Foggan quoted in Business Insurance on business disruption insurance due to COVID-19.

Many commercial policyholders will likely file claims for supply chain related losses resulting from the coronavirus outbreak. Laura Foggan of Crowell & Moring LLP comments in this Business Insurance article. Click here to access.


Posted February 5, 2020

Clifford Shapiro's latest article on
 the “occurrence” issue, published by the Illinois State Bar Association

You should also be aware that on December 18, 2019 the Illinois Appellate Court (1st Dist.) issued another “occurrence” decision (Lloyd's v. Metropolitan Builders - copy attached).  Incredibly, the introduction to the decision states:  “And as we will see below, much of our analysis in those cases has been driven less by the literal contextual construction and more by considering the overall purpose of CGL policies.”  Thus, we now have an admission by our Appellate Court that the legal analysis used in Illinois does not apply the actual terms of the modern day CGL insurance contract, but instead applies a legal gloss based on the court’s own view of the “overall purpose” of the CGL insurance policy.  Unfortunately, the court’s view of the “overall purpose” of the CGL policy is outdated and completely incorrect.  Among other things, it fails to discuss or to recognize that the insurance industry itself specifically and intentionally changed the “overall purpose” of the CGL policy in the construction claim context when the terms of the insurance contract were changed back in 1986.

Construction Law January 2020  |  2019 IL App (1st) 190517 


Posted December 2, 2019


DBusiness
names Browning among Top Lawyers

DBusiness magazine recently named 20 metro Detroit attorneys from Plunkett Cooney, one of the Midwest’s oldest and largest law firms, to its 2020 list of “Top Lawyers.” The DBusiness Top Lawyers list was compiled based on a peer-review survey open to all metro Detroit lawyers. The publication polled 19,000 attorneys in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw and Livingston counties to nominate lawyers among 50 practice areas. The list was published in the November/December edition and included ACCC Fellow Charles Browning.


Posted November 12, 2019

Six ACCC Fellows quoted by Jeff Sistrunk in Law360 on key insurance rulings

College Fellows Michael A. HamiltonSeth LamdenMichael ManireJohn VishneskiBryan Weiss, and Franklin Cordell, were quoted in "3 Key Insurance Rulings Attorneys Should Know This Fall." Click here to read the piece. 


Posted November 1, 2019

The new Bermuda Triangle: Arbitration of Coverage Disputes Under the Bermuda Form
By Lorelie S. Masters, Michael S. Levine, and Latosha M. Ellis


The commercial insurance programs of many multinational and US businesses include “Bermuda Form” policies, a unique policy form developed in Bermuda in the mid-1980s that provides for arbitration of disputes, usually in London under the substantive law of New York. Click here for the full article.  


Posted October 7, 2019

Zale Files it Appellant’s Brief in its Dallas D&O Coverage Action Involving Delaware Securities Appraisal Action.

Between the Zale action in Dallas (which the insurers won on summary judgment) and the Solera Holdings action in Delaware (which the policyholder won the first ruling), a number of Fellows are involved in this high-stakes litigation involving significant money. 

As widely reported in the blogs, the parties in Solera Holdings are seeking an interlocutory appeal of the district ruling in favor of the policyholder to the Delaware Supreme Court; however, the Delaware Supreme Court has not yet decided whether to accept the interlocutory appeal.

So, these all or nothing coverage disputes with completely opposite district court rulings are taking very interesting parallel tracks.

Also interesting is the fact that the Dallas Court of Appeals had significant turnover in the 2018 election in which all incumbent Republican judges were defeated (Texas elects their judges in contested political elections). Currently, the Dallas Court of Appeals, which has been solidly and totally Republican for decades, is now comprised of 8 Democrats and 5 Republicans. An initial analysis of the significant state-wide transformation from Republican to Democrat Judges by Haynes & Boone indicates the beginning of a pro-plaintiff trend.

Unless there are extensions, the insurers Appellee’s Briefs will be due on November 4.  

Zale Appellant Brief


Posted September 11, 2019

Fifth Circuit certifies 8-Corner/Extrinsic Evidence Case to the Texas Supreme Court 
Regent Mike Huddleston to Play Significant Role

On September 9, 2019, a two-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit issued an unpublished Per Curium opinion that certifies a very interesting extrinsic evidence duty to defend case to the Texas Supreme Court.

A key issue is whether there is a policy-language exception to the 8-corner rule when the policy requires the insurer to provide a defense “[i]f a claim is made or a suit is brought against an insured for damages because of bodily injury … to which this insurance applies;” as opposed to the traditional policy language requiring the insurer to defend “even if the allegations of the suit are groundless, false or fraudulent.”

In this case, the district court allowed State Farm to rely on extrinsic evidence to invoke exclusions to deny a defense. The two-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit in an unpublished Per Curium opinion, which is attached, certified the following question to the Texas Supreme Court: 

  1. Is the policy-language exception to the eight-corners rule articulated in B. Hall Contracting, Inc. v. Evanston Ins. Co., 447 F. Supp. 2d 634 (N.D. Tex.), a permissible exception under Texas law?

Mike is involved as the lead appellate attorney for the claimants.

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