Member News

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.

Posted June 24, 2019

Kramon & Graham maintains top-tier ranking in prestigious Chambers USA ranking guide
ACCC Fellow Lee H. Ogburn joins firm's growing list of Chambers USA-ranked lawyers 

Kramon & Graham, a leading law firm providing litigation, real estate, and transactional services, announced today that ten firm attorneys are recognized for legal excellence and client service in the 2019 Chambers USA legal ranking guide. More than 40 percent of Kramon & Graham's principals are recognized in the directory.

Kramon & Graham's Commercial Litigation practice holds its top tier ranking for the fifteenth consecutive year. The firm's Insurance Coverage practice maintains a Band 1 ranking for its outstanding client results. Led by Lee Ogburn, the firm has represented national property and casualty insurers in disputes involving more than $1 billion.

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

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

Kramon & Graham attorneys earning top rankings in the 2019 Chambers USA legal guide are:

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

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 February 5, 2019

ACCC Fellow Robert Chesler Highlights Five Key NJ Coverage Decisions from 2018 

Click here for details.

Posted January 3, 2019

Coverage Opinions: 18th Annual "Top 10 Coverage Cases of the Year"

The January 3rd issue of Coverage Opinions is now available. 

Provided by ACCC Member, Randy Maniloff of White and Williams, LLP in Philadelphia, PA.

I hope you enjoy this issue of Coverage Opinions - the free bi-weekly newsletter that reports and provides commentary on just-issued decisions that concern numerous issues under commercial general liability and professional liability insurance policies.  Subscribe in seconds at http://www.coverageopinions.info/Subscribe.html


Posted January 2, 2019

Announcing the Launch of Adler Law Practice, LLC

Friends,

I am excited to announce a new chapter in my professional life with the opening of Adler Law Practice, LLC.  My areas of practice will be the same as they always have been: Commercial litigation and pre-suit dispute resolution.  As before, I will continue to represent businesses in pursuing insurance recoveries and resolving commercial coverage disputes.

I look forward to continuing to work with you and to stay in touch.  My updated contact information is:

Marion B. Adler
Adler Law Practice, LLC
530 Linden Ave.
Oak Park, Illinois  60302
Phone 708-948-7391
[email protected]
www.adlerlawpractice.com

Happy New Year and all the best in 2019,
Marion


Posted October 19, 2018

College Regent Stephen Pate interviewed on Bermuda Broadcasting's “The Breakdown”
discussing Canada's Official Legalization of Marijuana, the growing Marijuana Insurance market in the U.S. and the difficulties it faces.



Posted August 2018

Angela Elbert, Insurance Policyholder Practice Group Chair, Recognized as One of Chicago's Notable Women Lawyers 2018
Neal Gerber Eisenberg is pleased to announce that Angela R. Elbert, chair of the Insurance Policyholder practice group, has been named to Chicago’s Notable Women Lawyers 2018 presented by Crain’s Custom Media.

This year’s list honors 150 legal industry leaders selected by Crain’s Custom Media. According to Crain’s, the recognized women are well-regarded for their practice of law, serve as role models and mentors to other female attorneys, and hold leadership positions in both professional and community organizations.

“Angela’s professional success and reputation among her clients and in the community are representative of what it means to be a lawyer at Neal Gerber Eisenberg,” said Scott J. Fisher, Managing Partner. “Her constant pursuit of excellence in the practice of law and her power to make a difference in the lives of the others make her an inspiration to her colleagues and to the community.”

Posted March 2018
Fellows From Across The Country Participating at the ABA Section of Litigation Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee’s 30th Anniversary CLE Seminar
Twenty-eight ACCEC Fellows participated in presentations and served on panels at the American Bar Association Section of Litigation’s Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee Annual CLE Seminar. The seminar celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the ICLC’s meeting with three days of cutting-edge programming.  Fellows Walter Andrews, Mary Craig Calkins, John Mathias, Jerry Oshinsky and Ray Wong participated in a plenary session entitled “Insurance Coverage Litigation – 30 Years of Lessons Learned,” moderated by John Mumford. “Hot Topics for ICLC’s 40th – The Coverage Battles of 2028” was moderated by John Buchanan.   Dan Bailey addressed “What’s New in the Challenging World of D&O Insurance.”  Fellows David Goodwin, Lorelie Masters and JeffreyStemple gave an update on “Restatement of the Law, Liability Insurance: Is the Sky Falling?”  Mary Borja, James Cooper and Anthony Leuin presented “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off” Trends and Cutting-Edge Strategies for Pleading, Prosecuting and Defending Rescission Claims.”  John Bonnie and Laura Hanson participated in “Laugh Until You Cry: Obscure, Peculiar and Overlooked State Laws that Can Crater a Case Before It Gets Of The Ground.”  Vincent Morgan participated in “Harvey, Irma, and Maria – Coverage and Litigation Issues.”  Christine Haskett spoke on “The Power of the Unconscious: Of Course I’m Not Biased or Am I?”  David Schoenfeld participated in the panel “The ‘Next Asbestos’ Will Be … Asbestos: Why the Insurance Industry’s Biggest Problem Won’t Go away Anytime Soon.”  Marion Adler, Bill Barker and Neil Posner addressed ethics issues in “Conflicts Among Insurers, Insureds and Independent Counsel: Ethical Considerations.”  Helen Michael parachuted in to speak on “The Nuts & Bolts of Insurance Coverage Litigation: A Toolkit for Young Insurance Coverage Lawyers.”  Roundtable discussions were led by Fellows John Vishneski (“Sometimes Offense is the Best Defense”), Matthew Jacobs (Coverage for “Other Entities”), and David Attisani (“Reinsurance in a Material World”).  Established in 1988, the Section of Litigation’s ICLC Committee is currently co-chaired by two Fellows, Angela Elbert and John Mumford.  Fellow Ernest Martin is Vice Chair of the Committee. 

ACCC Fellows Appointed to Law360 Advisory Board
Law360 has formed its 2018 Insurance editorial advisory board, the purpose of which is to get feedback on Law360's coverage and gain insight from experts in the field on how best to shape future coverage. ACCEC Fellows Lorie MastersSheri Pastor, and Steve Pate have been appointed to serve on the Advisory Board. Click here to read more. 

Six Fellows From Texas Speaking at 15th Annual State Bar Advanced Insurance Law Seminar
Six ACCC fellows will be giving presentations and serving on panels at the 15th Annual State Bar of Texas Advanced Insurance Law Seminar in San Antonio, June 28-29, 2018. Mark Lawless and Brian Martin will be speaking on “Pollution Exclusion/Asbestos/Toxic Torts/Exhaustion.” Beth D. Bradley and Vince Morgan will be presenting on “Rescission, Reformation and Anti-Technicality Statutes.” Michael W. Huddleston will be on a luncheon panel discussing “Coverage for Sexual Harassment Claims and Other Bad Conduct.” Steve Pate will be on a panel as well discussing “Menchaca: Texas’s Bad Faith’s Return from the Ashes?”

 

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