Law School/Year: University of Chicago Law School 1989
College/Year: Dartmouth College, magna cum laude, 1986
Insurance Coverage; Business Litigation; Intellectual Property; Land Use; White Collar Criminal Defense
I have successfully represented policyholders in several landmark insurance cases before the California Supreme Court and the California Courts of Appeal. Perhaps most notably, I represented Montrose Chemical Corporation of California in a case that led to the California Supreme Court’s adoption of a so-called “continuous trigger” of damage for third party liability policies. I have also represented Chris-Craft Industries, Pacific Coast Communities and Staefa Control Systems in other significant decisions that have helped to protect and expand policyholders’ rights to receive a full and timely defense from their insurance carriers. I have also served as an expert witness on insurance coverage matters, and have spearheaded numerous amicus curiae efforts on behalf of interested policyholders. I have also presented insurance seminars and written numerous articles on insurance coverage. My current insurance clients include individual, corporate, and governmental policyholders, as well as insurance brokers. I do not represent insurance companies. Some of my other more significant cases have included (1) the successful closure of the San Marcos Landfill due to widespread environmental violations, and (2) securing the dismissal of all charges against a public utility’s environmental specialist for alleged environmental crimes. Finally, during my tenure as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, I secured criminal convictions in all 20 of my jury trials and was never overturned on appeal.
My firm specializes in business litigation and white collar criminal defense, with particular emphasis on representing policyholders in insurance coverage disputes. I am an experienced trial attorney who is committed to vigorous client advocacy. Following my graduation from law school in 1989, I clerked for the Honorable Jay C. Waldman, a federal district court judge in Philadelphia. I moved to San Diego in 1990. For the next 10 years, I worked at Latham & Watkins where I rose to the level of partner and headed the San Diego office’s insurance practice group. I left Latham & Watkins in 2001 in order to serve as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of California. I was a federal criminal prosecutor for three years. I started my own firm in 2004. My goal is to provide all my clients with attentive legal service of the highest quality. I am AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell for the highest standards in professional performance and ethical standards.
From 1999 to 2001, I served as chair of the Insurance/Bad Faith Section of the San Diego County Bar Association. I am a member of the State and County Bar Associations. I am also a member of the San Diego Association of Business Trial Lawyers and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
I was raised in a very small town in the Adirondack mountains of upstate New York (population 400, counting beaver and trout). It was there that I learned how to play bridge. Then, when my parents took me on a tour of Afghanistan, Iran, India, and Nepal in 1976, I learned how to play backgammon. Since that time, I have won several national and regional contract bridge titles. And for a brief time in 2010, I was ranked the number one backgammon player in America by the United States Backgammon Federation. I am most proud, though, of my two sons: Graham, 17, and Miles, 14. They are good boys who know enough not to waste their time on games like bridge and backgammon.