Jordan Altura is a partner at Gordon & Rees and a member of the firm’s Insurance and Commercial Litigation practice groups. His practice focuses on complex insurance coverage and litigation, and other sophisticated business and contractual disputes. His extensive insurance coverage and litigation experience includes claims involving primary and excess policies, ERISA, life, health and disability matters, annuities, property and construction defect claims, and disputes involving insurance agents and brokers.
David M. Axelrad joined Horvitz & Levy LLP in 1982 and became a partner in 1986. He is a California State Bar Certified Appellate Specialist, and is admitted to practice before California state courts, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court. He has handled hundreds of civil appeals in state and federal courts. Major cases in which he has appeared include J.C. Penney Casualty Ins. v. M.K., Advanced Bionics v. Medtronic, Lockheed Litigation Cases, and Mycogen v. Monsanto.
Carey S. Barney, of Locke Lord Bissel & Liddell LLP, has devoted his practice to counseling clients on a variety of corporate and transactional matters, with a particular emphasis on insurance industry issues. He has represented publicly and privately held U.S. and international insurers, reinsurers and intermediaries in both the life/health and property/casualty fields in connection with a wide range of regulatory and transactional issues, including corporate organization and restructuring, licensing, privacy compliance, corporate governance, product development, marketing, mergers and acquisitions, and market conduct and compliance.
Kara Baysinger is a partner at SNR Denton US LLP and heads its Insurance sector team and Insurance Regulation practice. She is a member of the firm’s leadership team, serving on both its Global Advisory Committee and U.S. Policy and Planning Board. She is also actively involved in leading the firm’s Women’s Network. Baysinger began her career by spending almost ten years working in-house for insurance companies, responsible for product and contract development, regulatory compliance, agent licensing and contracting, reinsurance, corporate contracting, marketconduct practices and examinations, insurance department complaints and government relations for 50 states.
Leon Buck is assistant vice president, federal government relations, for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI). He has responsibility for issues relating to flood insurance, natural catastrophe insurance, credit scoring and legal reform. Prior to joining PCI, he was legislative director and then eventually joined the staff of the House Judiciary Committee where he was named minority counsel to the Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims.
Ramon M. Calderon is director, International Policy for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). He is active in international insurance matters and works closely with the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS). He also currently chairs the IAIS Solvency Subcommittee and is active with the IAIS Supervisory Forum. As part of this work, he devotes time to the development of the IAIS Common Framework for the Supervision of Internationally Active Insurance Groups.
Robert J. Cerny is a corporate and regulatory partner in the Los Angeles office of Barger & Wolen LLP. Since joining the firm in 1992, his practice focuses on insurance regulation, transactions, financial analysis, disciplinary matters, and market conduct examinations. Cerny represents insurance companies, producers and other entities in all aspect of insurance regulation and related matters, including the handling of market conduct examinations, the formation or acquisition of insurers and producers, as well as the establishment of insurance captive and debt cancellation programs.
The Honorable Ming W. Chin has been an associate justice of the California Supreme Court since his appointment by Governor Pete Wilson in 1996. Justice Chin is the first Chinese American to serve on the court. He previously served on the First District Court of Appeal, Division Three, in San Francisco — as an associate justice beginning in 1990 and as the Presiding Justice starting in 1994. Before his appointment to the Court of Appeal, he served two years as a judge of the Alameda County Superior Court.
Norris W. Clark is a regulatory and financial specialist in the Los Angeles office of the firm of Locke Lord Bissell and Liddell LLP. He focuses on insurance and insurer-related financial transactions, regulatory compliance, mergers and acquisitions, statutory accounting, reinsurance risk transfer, restructuring and corrective action plans. Clark has 31 years of experience in the California Department of Insurance, where he last served as deputy commissioner of Financial Surveillance until his retirement in 2004. In that position, he was responsible for all aspects of insurer financial regulation and monitoring.
Adam M. Cole spent 18 years representing policyholders in California and throughout the United States in coverage litigation prior to being appointed general counsel of the California Department of Insurance in November 2007. The two law firms he worked at, Heller Ehrman and Covington & Burling, were among the leading policyholder-side insurance coverage practices in the U.S. He has also taught insurance law at the University of California at Berkeley (Boalt Hall) and the University of California Hastings College of the Law.
Curt Cutting is a partner at Horvitz & Levy LLP, where he has been practicing since 1997. He has been lead appellate counsel in cases involving virtually every major substantive legal area that arises in commercial litigation. He has particular expertise in cases involving punitive damages, and has handled a number of appeals in which multi-million dollar punitive damage awards were reversed or sharply reduced. He is the primary contributor to the firm’s blog on punitive damages litigation, www.calpunitives.com.
Thomas L. Forsyth is executive vice president and general counsel of Partner Reinsurance Company of the U.S. Prior to joining PartnerRe, he had been general counsel and secretary of OneBeacon Insurance Group and, previous to that, general counsel of Swiss Reinsurance America Corporation and chief general counsel of the Americas Division of Swiss Re’s Property and Casualty Business Group. Forsyth was a member of the Law Department of the Travelers Insurance Companies before joining Swiss Re.
Rex Frazier serves as president of the Personal Insurance Federation of California (PIFC), and previously served as general counsel. Prior to joining PIFC, Frazier was an attorney with the law firm of Pillsbury Madison & Sutro LLP, focusing on insurance and banking issues. He also held positions with the California Department of Insurance (CDI), including serving as Deputy Insurance Commissioner. At the CDI, he supervised the Department's legislative, statistical and policy development bureaus.
Laura Leigh Geist is a partner and practice group leader of the Commercial Litigation practice group in the San Francisco office of Gordon & Rees. She specializes in class action defense, defense of Unfair Competition and Unfair Business Practices, and is active in life insurance and financial services litigation including market conduct and annuity sales practices, FINRA (formally NASD) arbitrations, broker-dealer disputes and defense of corporate directors and officers.
Mona Hanna is the managing partner at Michelman & Robinson's Orange County office and the founding chair, and a member, of the Firm’s Commercial and Business Litigation Department. She is a versatile litigator who specializes in complex business issues in the insurance and commercial industries. She offers her clients the highest caliber representations in matters involving all aspects of the Insurance and commercial business. Her innovative approach to the law results in clients seeking her out on unique or cutting-edge theories of law.
The Honorable Rex Heeseman has been on the Superior Court since 2005, currently presiding over an “unlimited” civil litigation department in downtown Los Angeles. Commencing in 1974, he practiced as a business litigator at private law firms and acted as an arbitrator and an expert witness, principally with reference to insurance matters. He co-authors The Rutter Group’s “California Practice Guide: Insurance Litigation.” As an adjunct professor, he currently teaches courses on “California Business Torts” and on “Insurance Law” at Loyola Law School.
Robert Hoffman is counsel at the San Francisco office of SNR Denton US LLP. He is a member of the firm’s insurance regulatory practice group. He is a former deputy commissioner of Insurance with the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner, where he directed the implementation of the insurance portion of Washington’s Healthcare Reform and had oversight over the review of health insurance rates. He currently specializes in matters related to insurance company rate filings, market conduct exams, and other insurance regulatory matters.
Robert W. Hogeboom is a senior insurance regulatory attorney in the Los Angeles office of Barger & Wolen LLP. He has been an insurance regulatory attorney for more than 30 years, dealing exclusively with insurance regulatory, corporate and administrative matters before the California Department of Insurance (CDI). Hogeboom’s practice involves all aspects of insurance law including regulation, corporate, legislation and administrative law. He represents numerous insurer and producer clients on regulatory and administrative matters.
Christina J. Imre is a partner at Sedgwick LLP. She chairs the firm’s national appellate group and specializes in civil appeals, writs and post-trial motions in business torts, insurance, and significant institutional matters. During her 30-year career, she has handled or consulted on more than 1,500 appeals and writs (many after lengthy trials), in Arizona, Alaska, California, Illinois, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Ohio, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania and Utah.
Scott Kipper was reappointed Nevada commissioner of Insurance on October 24, 2011. He previously served as Nevada’s insurance commissioner from December 2008 to June 2010. After leaving Nevada in 2010, he served as the deputy commissioner in charge of the Office of Health Insurance for the Louisiana Department of Insurance and as CEO of the State of Louisiana Office of Group Benefits. He previously served as the Oregon Insurance administrator from December 2007 to 2008.
Peter H. Klee is a partner at McKenna, Long & Aldridge LLP. Klee’s focus is defending insurance companies and their affiliates that are sued in individual actions and class actions for bad faith, fraud, unfair competition and other torts. He has handled over 1,000 such cases over the past two decades. His client list includes most of the major insurance carriers doing business in California, including the Allstate group of insurance companies, the State Farm group of insurance companies, St. Paul-Travelers Ins. Co., and the Automobile Club of Southern California.
Dana A. Kravetz is the firm managing partner of Michelman & Robinson, LLP, and he previously served as the Firm’s administrative partner from 2005-2009. Kravetz specializes in both employment counseling and litigation with an emphasis in the commercial, regulatory, insurance, and financing industries. He has successfully represented businesses within an array of industries, as well as insurance carriers and brokers, in various employment litigation matters including discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful termination, wage and hour class action, FEHA, EEOC, and DLSE claims and other employment related claims.
Gene Livingston is a lawyer-lobbyist who has represented the insurance industry in litigation, regulation, and legislation issues for over twenty years. He was appointed as the first director of California’s Office of Administrative Law during the first Brown administration where he was charged with reviewing all state agency regulations to reduce their number and improve their quality, and continues to maintain a professional relationship with the Governor.
Sean McEneaney is a partner in the Insurance Regulatory Group of SNR Denton US LLP’s San Francisco office. He regularly advises insurance clients regarding a variety of regulatory issues, including those related to workers’ compensation, insolvency, market conduct examinations, rating, statutory deposits and the use of social media. He appears before and negotiates with insurance regulators regarding transaction approvals, proposed regulations, implementation of insurance laws and adverse actions against regulated entities.
Sanford L. Michelman is a partner of Michelman & Robinson, LLP. He serves as the chair of the Firm's Regulatory & Administrative Department as well as its Executive Committee. Michelman is a uniquely versatile attorney who is skilled at both transaction matters as well as litigation. He specializes in complex business issues in the commercial, regulatory, insurance, and financing industries, regularly representing numerous multi-national institutional clients and small to mid-size companies.
John Nadolenco joined Mayer Brown LLP in 1995 and became a partner in 2004. His practice is focused on class-action defense, including defending consumer class actions, employment class actions, and securities and derivative cases. Additionally, he has experience advising clients on privacy issues and defending clients in privacy-related cases. He also served as co-editor of Mayer Brown’s The Social Media Revolution: A Legal Handbook.
Frank Pagliaro is a partner at Ropers, Majeski, Kohn & Bentley PC. He is an expert in the area of construction litigation. He is the third generation to have worked in the family construction business which produced, both as subcontractors and general contractors, some of the best known structures in the country, including: the United Nations Building, the Chrysler Building, Shea Stadium in New York City, the CIA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., the San Francisco Federal Building and the Engineering Testing Laboratory at U.C. Berkeley and other buildings in Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Memphis.
Lisa Perrochet is a partner of Horvitz & Levy LLP. After more than two decades specializing in civil appeals, she has built a reputation for creativity and success in high stakes appellate litigation. She is a certified appellate specialist whose name appears on more than 80 published opinions and dozens of unpublished opinions. In addition to her frequent representation of insurers in coverage and bad-faith litigation, Perrochet’s practice areas include defending business interests in toxic tort and product liability cases, defending against class actions and claims under unfair competition statutes and handling cases concerning professional ethics and liability.
Robert W. Peterson is a professor of Law and the University of Santa Clara School of Law. He teaches Torts, Insurance Law and Regulation, Evidence and Products Liability, among other courses. He is a member and past chair of the California State Bar Standing Committee on Insurance Law. He clerked for United States District Court Judge Robert. F. Peckham. Prior to joining the faculty at Santa Clara in 1970 he also taught at the University of Illinois and Wayne State University in Detroit.
Susan M. Popik is a founding partner of Chapman, Popik & White LLP in San Francisco and specializes in appeals, complex insurance coverage and claims disputes and insurance bad faith litigation. In over 35 years of practice, she has handled hundreds of insurance coverage and bad faith lawsuits, and routinely advises insurers on coverage issues arising under a wide variety of first- and third-party policies. She also serves as an ADR neutral and expert witness in insurance coverage and bad faith actions.
Mark Sektnan serves as president of ACIC and western regional manager for PCI. He was named president of ACIC in March 2011. He joined ACIC in January 2009 and has led key advocacy efforts to address personal and commercial lines issues. During his tenure with ACIC, Sektnan has managed the association’s activities on legislative proposals related to auto repair and homeowner disclosure. Sektnan continues to defend the historic workers’ compensation reforms that have saved $50 billion for California employers.
Robert F. Tyson, Jr. is a partner at Tyson & Mendes, LLP. He has primarily litigated cases in the areas of products liability, personal injury, commercial and general civil litigation, professional malpractice, environmental and employment law. He has represented individuals, corporations, partnerships, professionals and many other different types of businesses. Tyson was admitted to the California Bar June 1990 and to the District of Columbia Bar October 1993. Through the firm’s offices in Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, and San Francisco, he has tried lawsuits throughout California.
Steven Weinstein is a partner in Barger & Wolen’s Los Angeles office, and serves as chairman of the firm’s executive committee. He has been with the firm since 1979, and has handled a wide-range of regulatory matters and complex business litigation. On the regulatory front, he specializes in administrative law and represents insurers in matters before Departments of Insurance, including matters involving insurance rates and products, market conduct examinations, noncompliance orders, orders to show cause, enforcement actions, the development of regulations, and administrative hearings.
Vanessa O. Wells is a partner in the Silicon Valley office of Hogan Lovells, and is a member of the firm’s litigation department. Her practice focuses on complex business litigation involving insurance pricing matters, regulation, and unfair practices. She represents health and property casualty insurers in non-coverage litigation, including the regulation of insurance rates, challenges to pricing and underwriting practices, operations and policy form issues, corporate governance, and deceptive practices claims. She defends these claims before administrative tribunals and at all levels of state and federal court.
Theona Zhordania is counsel at the Los Angeles office of McKenna, Long & Aldridge LLP, specializing in business and insurance litigation. She regularly represents insurance companies in bad faith litigation, and has established an unblemished record of defense verdicts for these clients, primarily through law and motion practice. Her client list also includes companies in the high-tech, retail distribution, Internet service, and entertainment industries. She has represented these clients in securities fraud litigation, RICO claims, first amendment cases, employment and real estate disputes and anti-SLAPP litigation.
Michael J. Zukerman became the general counsel for the AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah Insurance Exchange in November 2011. The AAA Insurance Exchange is the 15th largest personal lines insurance company in the U.S. with more than $2.6 billion in annual revenue offering insurance products to over 17 million AAA members in 24 states across the U.S. In his role as senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary, Zukerman is responsible for corporate legal matters affecting the AAA Insurance Exchange, and he acts as chief legal and governance advisor to the board of directors, the CEO and other senior executives.