Gordon & Rees has more than 100 attorneys in offices around the country representing many of the largest domestic and foreign insurers doing business in the United States, assisting them in a variety of matters in state and federal courts, including litigation of coverage disputes; declaratory relief actions; interpleaders; "bad faith" claims; rescission and reformation; sales practices; health and disability disputes; life insurance and annuity matters; ERISA benefits and fiduciary duty; fidelity and surety bonds; and FINRA arbitrations. National counsel and monitoring counsel roles are also a part of the Group's experience. The Group also provides a broad spectrum of non-litigation services, including product development, policy drafting, claims review and coverage advice, claims management solutions, and statutory compliance and legal ethics training.
The Group regularly handles precedent-setting cases involving high exposure claims and novel legal theories, including class actions, insurer liquidations, suits based on California Business & Professions Code section 17200, excess insurer issues, environmental and toxic exposures, and claims relating to life, health and disability insurance including ERISA. The Group has success in defeating claims against their insurance company clients in the summary judgment stage and in alternative dispute resolution, where most cases with these financial stakes are determined, and in trying cases in state and federal court. The complex legal issues and amounts at stake require a focused approach with efficient and effective strategies and skills in evaluating options and decisions that meet not only short-term litigation goals but clients' long-term business goals.
The Group has significant appellate experience, including recent cases involving property and duty to defend issues, class actions, workers compensation insurance, limitations on the scope of conduct for which bad faith damages may be recovered, and punitive damages recoveries.
The Insurance Group has significant experience and success with jury and bench trials in a practice area where few cases are tried. In a recent bench trial, the Group's lawyers obtained a favorable ruling finding an excess insurer had no duty to defend because of the existence of other umbrella insurance, which had not previously been disclosed by the policyholder. Another trial victory included a defense verdict and judgment awarding "Buss" recovery of past-paid defense costs. The Group obtained a defense jury verdict in an environmental coverage and bad faith case for an insurer sued by a property management company for millions in defense costs, "Brandt" fees, and punitive damages. The Daily Journal ranked this result as a Top 10 Defense Verdict. The Group also obtained a multi-million dollar verdict for an insurer against an insured based on fraud, with a criminal restitution order against the insured. Bench trial results also include favorable policy interpretations on issues of attachment of excess policies, and application of self-insured retentions and deductibles.
*Connecticut Rules of Professional Conduct 7.4 and 7.4A prohibit a lawyer admitted to practice in Connecticut from stating or implying that he or she is a specialist in a particular field of law unless that lawyer is currently certified as a specialist in that particular field of law by a board or other entity which is approved by the Rules Committee of the Connecticut Superior Court. Therefore, to the extent that any content of this page states or implies that any of Gordon & Rees LLP's Connecticut lawyers have certain "expertise," unless a particular lawyer's biography indicates a particular certification, that word shall mean only that the lawyer has extensive experience in that area and/or focuses or concentrates his or her practice in that area.