Insurance Coverage

Experienced in every aspect of insurance coverage, our attorneys and litigators achieve favorable outcomes in high-demand, highly contentious and complex matters throughout California and wherever our clients need us. We manage interpretation and litigation cases involving every type of insurance policy, including commercial general liability, directors & officers, errors & omissions and homeowners policies.

Covering the Risks of Coverage Disputes

Archer Norris attorneys help insurers mitigate, and when possible, avoid, the risks inherent in coverage disputes, including protracted litigation, reputation management and a diversion of business resources. We provide guidance on compliance with state regulations and manage insurance related unfair competition claims. Our complete litigation services include arbitration, mediation, jury trial, bench trials and appeals.

Focusing on Practical Results for Global, National and California Insurers

We have obtained favorable coverage dispute outcomes in complex cases involving construction defects, food contamination, environmental remediation, additional insured endorsements and allocation of defense and indemnity payments among multiple insurers.

Providing Comprehensive Coverage Counsel

From a bad faith claim involving The Beatles and Apple Computer, to mold exposure coverage disputes, our experience is extensive.  We counsel on claims-handling strategies and endorsements, issues of bad faith and contribution, duty to defend, duty to settle, breach of contract, third-party claims under reservation of rights, and good faith claims-handling practices.

Offering On-the-Ground Coverage Knowledge

Archer Norris attorneys focused on insurance coverage draft manuscript policies, provide coverage analysis and opinions, and train clients on coverage issues and claims handling. Other areas in our practice scope include examinations under oath, indemnity and subrogation, primary and excess carriers, reinsurers, agents, brokers and risk managers, and insurance agency and brokerage issues. 

Sharing What We Know with Whom We Know

Recognized for our industry knowledge, and the engaging way we share it, our attorneys frequently speak on topical insurance issues, including before the Defense Research Institute, Continuing Education of the Bar, American Bar Association and Risk Insurance Management Society.

California Insurance Law

California Insurance Law provides a basic framework about insurance law and major cases in California. Succinct, yet powerful, it travels well and makes a wonderful desktop companion for the issues insurance professionals and those in related industries confront every day. It is authored by Archer Norris coverage lawyers GailAnn Y. Stargardter, Rand L. Chritton, Andrew J. King and Erin M. Gallagher.

Name Title Phone Email V-card
Blumhardt, W. Eric Partner 925.952.5408 vcard
Carmody, Brett Associate 925.930.6600 vcard
Diaz, Charles Partner 213.437.4000 vcard
Gallagher, Erin Senior Associate 925.930.6600 vcard
King, Andrew Partner 925.952.5508 vcard
Latham III, Robert Partner 213.437.4000 vcard
Thames, Jonathan Partner 415.653.1480 vcard
Ward, Kenneth Partner 925.952.5425 vcard

Advertising Injury

  • Advertising Injury - FRCP 12(b) (6) motion granted in federal court finding no duty to defend under an advertising injury policy and the decision was later affirmed on appeal.

Bad Faith, including Business and Employment

  • Bad Faith - Summary judgment granted in a bad faith action in a situation in which no Insured Person had been sued, and no "entity coverage" had been purchased. The insured organization contended that defense and/or indemnity obligations existed, based on the possibility that insured persons could become parties to the underlying action.
  • Bad Faith/The Beatles - Obtained favorable appellate opinion regarding a $100 million bad faith claim brought by Apple Computer arising out of a failure to defend a trademark infringement action prosecuted by The Beatles. The case was particularly difficult as it involved underlying litigation in Britain and numerous foreign jurisdictions. Judgment was rendered for the defense.


  • Contribution/Subrogation - West Coast Fire v. Financial Pacific Ins. Co. (2006) 2006 WL 1076756: This unpublished opinion addressed the doctrines of contribution and subrogation (and their differences) in the context of a dispute between co-insurers.

Crime Policy

  • Crime Policy - Achieved a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Los Angeles holding that "direct loss" under a crime policy does not include loss of business reputation, good will or value.

D & O, E & O

  • D&O - Achieved a unanimous defense verdict in a federal court jury trial of a bad faith claim under a D&O policy. Critical issue was whether an insured person was acting within his insured capacity, as defined in the policy. Jury verdict was upheld on appeal.
  • Outside Directorship Coverage/D&O - Successfully defended against a $50 million claim for coverage arising out of the demise and bankruptcy of At Home, on the ground the Insured Corporation did not qualify as a Minority Held Corporation under the Outside Directorship endorsement.

Duty to Defend

  • Duty to Defend/Wage and Hour Class - Secured a favorable AAA arbitration decision that neither carrier had a duty to defend in a multimillion-dollar bad faith claim. The claim was brought under two separate insurance policies for a wage and hour class action involving managers of a retail restaurant chain. More than 20 different legal issues were involved, including the choice of law between Canada and California.

Excess Carriers

  • Excess Carries/Home Builder - Achieved favorable settlements on behalf of a Northern California home builder from four excess carriers in a complex, contentious case, which began with construction defect claims and was valued by the media at more than $100 million.


  • Home Demolition - Demurrer sustained in the Superior Court of California County of Orange finding no coverage under a homeowner's policy for the city's demolition of the insured home.

Inter-related Wrongful Act

  • Inter-related Wrongful Act - Obtained a decision from the Washington state appellate court upholding a summary judgment granted at the trial court level. These courts agreed that under a claim made policy, the Inter-related Wrongful Act definition did not require an insurer to pay defense and indemnity for a prior lawsuit which did not assert a "Claim" as defined.

Non-profit Liability

  • Nonprofit/D&O - Defended insurer and obtained successful binding arbitration award holding that $13 million in charitable donations insolvent nonprofit insured failed to distribute to various designated charities did not constitute "Loss" under the policy and insurer had no duty to indemnify the insured.