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Steven Plitt

602-331-4600
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PRACTICE DESCRIPTION:

Mr. Plitt is the Chairperson of the Insurance Practice Group.   He has analyzed and litigated insurance coverage cases for 25 years. He is a former adjunct professor of law at Arizona State University's College of Law where he taught the insurance law curriculum. He has been a licensed insurance broker since 1974.  Mr. Plitt is listed as one of THE BEST LAWYERS IN AMERICA® in the field of insurance law. He was identified as one of PHOENIX'S TOP LAWYERS by PHOENIX MAGAZINE®. He was selected as a SOUTHWEST SUPERLAWYER® and chosen by SUPERLAWYER® and his peers as one of the TOP 50 LAWYERS in Arizona.

Currently, Mr. Plitt is the author of the widely recognized and authoritative insurance coverage treatise series titled Couch On Insurance 3d. This treatise series comprises 17 volumes of substantive texts covering all aspects of insurance. He is also the author of Arizona Liability Insurance Law which is a major hardbound treatise on Arizona insurance coverage. He is currently the managing author preparing for the Arizona State Bar Association the Arizona Tort Law Handbook. In addition to managing the development of that project, Mr. Plitt is authoring the chapters on insurance bad faith, legal malpractice, and insurance agent malpractice.  He is on the editorial board of the nationally recognized Insurance Litigation Reporter.

Unlike most coverage lawyers, Mr. Plitt is a veteran trial lawyer having tried to juries coverage and bad faith cases in both state and federal courts.  For many years, Mr. Plitt defended numerous tort claims before juries and, as such, he has significant experience regarding the underlying issues from which coverage cases arise in the third party liability coverage area.  Because of his trial experience, Mr. Plitt is often called upon to monitor complex high exposure cases and to independently advise the insurance company regarding strategy and exposure of the cases.  Most insurance coverage lawyers are "litigators" who do not actually try cases to juries. Mr. Plitt is the exception. He has advised clients regarding insurance coverage issues in 34 states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Mr. Plitt's insurance coverage practice involves both personal lines and commercial lines coverages. From time to time Mr. Plitt is asked to handle media sensitive and publicized claims and losses. These have included prominent murder, child physical abuse and sexual molestation cases and potential claims for insurance coverage arising therefrom.

Mr. Plitt's practice involves the analysis and litigation of complex insurance coverage claims in both the first-party property and third-party liability contexts. He has been involved in the litigation of complex environmental and construction defect coverage claims for both primary and excess coverage layers. His coverage experience includes the analysis of all types of policies including general liability, advertising injury, personal injury, professional malpractice, personal and commercial auto, excess/umbrella coverage, homeowners, fire, flood, premises liability, environmental, environmental impairment, directors and officers, employment practices liability, and surplus lines.

Examples of complex insurance matters Mr. Plitt has handled are:

  • fire explosion at waste reclamation plant resulting in $12 million property loss and catastrophic multi-million dollar bodily injury claims;
  • international product liability claims arising from chemical induced delamination of computer circuit boards resulting from Taiwanese manufacturing operation;
  • listeria infestation of national meat processing facility resulting in disputed total coverage claim alleged in excess of $30 million and ensuing bad faith litigation;
  • first and third-party coverage claims arising from major warehouse fire to FDA certified pharmaceutical warehouse involving toxic chemicals resulting in a toxic tort class action litigation and property loss claims with a disputed value ranging between $60 million to $100 million dollars;
  • a claim brought by a major national airline for business interruption coverage resulting from an electrical data glitch causing an electrical shut-out of the airline’s ability to perform reservations for flights for seven days resulting in a business interruption claim in the $10-$15 million range;
  • coverage litigation where the underlying claims involved one of the nation’s largest international hotel chains and claims asserted in four class action lawsuits, seeking in excess of $200 million alleging that the hotel chain systematically designated and charged its patrons fees improperly designated as taxes;
  • coverage claim in excess of $7 million and alleged bad faith as part of $32 million overall loss asserted by international mining company under an environmental impairment liability policy regarding a catastrophic tailings impoundment failure and resulting environmental damage;
  • multi-million dollar intellectual property/drug licensing coverage claim and alleged bad faith involving claims in excess of $200 million by major medical research and drug companies;
  • Arizona counsel for priest/clergy malpractice coverage regarding claims of sexual abuse perpetrated by Roman Catholic priests.
  • potential coverage claim alleging damages in excess of $30 million arising from manuscripted environmental remediation policy for reclamation project being remediated under the Brownfield’s Revitalization Act.
  • coverage dispute arising from class action litigation brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act where a $40+ million judgment was entered against the policyholder.
  • coverage litigation arising from sale of tainted/infected meat products which resulted in a $9 million judgment against the wholesaler/distributor policyholder.

Mr. Plitt is a leading authority on the effective management of cases where a Damron/Morris agreement becomes an issue.  He routinely counsels his clients on insurance claims handling practice and assists with the management of specific claims in order to avoid bad faith liability exposures. Mr. Plitt has provided expert consulting services in multiple states where issues regarding insurance company bad faith and insurance agent errors and omissions are involved. A significant part of Mr. Plitt's practice involves counseling insurance companies regarding claim handling, avoidance of bad faith claims and the defense of insurance bad faith claims. 

A significant part of Mr. Plitt's practice involves the analysis and litigation of insurance company bad faith claims.  He is frequently called upon by clients to review and analyze claim files while they are currently being processed by the client in order to assist with claim handling practices in order to avoid potential bad faith claims.  He is a frequent lecturer to insurance companies on how to effectively manage their claim handling processes in order to comply with regulatory requirements and principles of good faith and fair dealing.  Currently, Mr. Plitt is assisting a firm client in the organization and development of a claim committee organization where he will remain as an active participant for the insurance company as a member of the claim committee evaluating claims and claim adjusting practices.  As a litigator, he has litigated and tried to jury insurance bad faith cases in both state and federal court.

Mr. Plitt is an expert insurance consultant and witness regarding insurance company claim handling practice, bad faith, coverage issues, insurance agent malpractice, and attorney malpractice where the asserted claim of malpractice is directly or indirectly related to insurance coverage and insurance company procedure.

Mr. Plitt is an arbitrator with the American Arbitration Association and with the National Arbitration Forum where he is available to arbitrate complex insurance coverage and bad faith insurance cases.

As part of his complex litigation practice, Mr. Plitt has managed the investigation and litigation of complex employment claims.   He represents a diverse group of employers. In the public sector he has represented numerous cities and school districts throughout Arizona.   In the private sector he has represented small and large businesses both within the state of Arizona and in other states.   His employment practice involves the investigation and litigation of claims brought under Title VII, Arizona's Civil Rights Act, Arizona's Employment Protection Act, The American's with Disabilities Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act.   He has been involved in litigating these claims through the investigative process with the EEOC and the Arizona Attorney General's Office.   He has litigated employment claims in both state and federal courts successfully.   See biography under Insurance Coverage Practice Group.

Mr. Plitt’s practice includes complex civil litigation including the litigation of catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases arising in the context of accidents in the work place, resulting from trucking and automobile trafficking, product liability and premises liability. These cases involve a sophisticated level of practice regarding all fields of medicine, including but not limited to neurology, neuropsychology, orthopedics, and neurosurgery. These complex cases involve the routine use of economic testimony, analysis of life care plans, vocational rehabilitation issues and the management of significant numbers of coordinated experts.

TEACHING:

UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA, JAMES E. ROGERS COLLEGE OF LAW
(Adjunct Professor of Insurance Law, Fall 2010) (Class taught: Insurance Law)

ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY, SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR COLLEGE OF LAW
(former Adjunct Professor of Insurance Law, 2000-2005) (Classes taught: Insurance Law Regulation; Liability Insurance; Advanced Coverage Research and Analysis)

EDUCATION AND SCHOLASTIC ACTIVITIES:

EDITORIAL BOARD - INSURANCE LITIGATION REPORTER

ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY, COLLEGE OF LAW, (former Adjunct Professor of Insurance Law, 2000-2005)

  • Taught Insurance Law and Regulation; Insurance Coverage Research and Analysis; Liability Insurance Law

UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA (J.D. With Distinction, 1982)

  • Recipient, Best Oral Advocate Award, Second Year Moot Court Competition
  • Member, U of A National Moot Court Team
  • Editor, Second Year Moot Court Board
  • National Order of Barristers

ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY (B.S. Political Science, summa cum laude and “With Honors,” 1978)
Honors Thesis:  The Panama Canal:  A Question of Sovereignty

JUDICIAL LAW CLERKSHIPS and INTERNSHIPS:

  • Law Clerk to Judge Robert J. Corcoran, Arizona Court of Appeals, 1982-1983
  • Legislative Intern to the Chairman of the Committee on Banking and Insurance, House of Representatives, Arizona State Legislature, 1979

PUBLICATIONS:

Books

  • Senior Author, Couch on Insurance 3d. (re-writing entire treatise).
  • The Claim Adjuster’s Automobile Liability Handbook (West Publishing Fall 2009)
  • CAT Claims: Insurance Coverage for Natural and Man-Made Disasters. (ThomsonWest 2008)
  • Arizona Liability Insurance Law (705 pages, hard bound), the State Bar of Arizona (published 1998)
  • 2001 Supplement - Arizona Liability Insurance Law (115 pages)
  • 2006 Supplement - Arizona Liability Insurance Law (426 pages, hardbound)
  • Construction Defects: Claims and Coverage: "Progressive Losses -Triggers of Coverage, Numbering of Occurrences and Allocation Among Successive Policies," (DRI Defense Library Series) (Ch. 3, Part II)

Academic Journals And Law Reviews

  • Are State Court Garnishment Actions an Effectual Impediment to Federal Declaratory Judgment Jurisdictions: Is Timing Everything. CONN. INS. L.J., Vol. 15.1 (2008-2009)
  • Prohibiting De Facto Insurance Redlining: Will Hurricane Katrina Draw a Discriminatory Redline in the Gulf Coast Sands Prohibiting Access to Home Ownership? 14 WASH.& LEE J. CIVIL RTS. & SOC. JUST. 199 (Spring 2008)
  • The Practical Ramifications of Dual Sovereignty in Prosecuting Declaratory Judgment Actions Against State and Federal Governments. CONN. INS. L.J., Vol. 14.2, p. 445 (2007-2008)
  • Charting A Course For Federal Removal Through The Abstention Doctrine:  A Titanic Experience In The Sargasso Sea Of Jurisdictional Manipulation.  56 DePaul L. Rev. 107 (Fall 2006)
  • The Punitive Damages Lottery Chase Is Over: Is There A Regulatory Alternative To The Tort Of Common Law Bad Faith And Does It Provide An Alternative Deterrent?37 Ariz. St. L.J. 1221 (Vol. 4, February 2006)
  • Judicial Abstinence: Ninth Circuit Jurisdictional Celibacy for Claims Brought Under the Federal Declaratory Judgment. 27 Seattle U. L. Rev. 751 (Issue 3, Spring 2004)
  • The Evolving Boundaries of Damron/Morris Agreements: A Search for the Missing Link, A Judicial Determination of the Length of a Reasonable Person’s Arm, and other Progressive Issues,  35 Ariz. St. L.J. 1331 (Winter 2003)
  • The Elastic Contours Of Attorney-Client Privilege And Waiver In The Context Of Insurance Company Bad Faith: There’s A Chill In The Air, 34 Seton Hall L. Rev. 513 (Winter 2003)
  • Disability Under a Judicial Microscope: The Struggle to Define the Rights and Remedies for Claims Brought Under the Rehabilitation Act. 47N.Y.L. Sch. L. Rev. 269 (Fall 2003)
  • Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama vs. Garrett: Is Constitutional Authority for Sale and is State Sovereign Immunity the Purchase Price?13 Geo. Mason. U. Civ. Rts. L. J. 151 (Spring 2003)
  • The Changing Face of Global Terrorism and a New Look of War: An Analysis of the War-Risk Exclusion in the Wake of the Anniversary of September 11, and Beyond. 39 Willamette L. Rev. 31 (Winter 2003) 
  • The Changing Landscape of the Eleventh Amendment Immunity in the Context of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act after Garrett:Are Arizona School Districts Beyond Suit?34 Ariz. St. L. J. 873 (Fall 2002)   

Other Professional Publications

  • A Critical Review Of The Practice Of Setting Up Insurance Companies For Bad Faith. Ins. Lit. Rptr., Vol. 32, No. 10 (July 2010)
  • A Recent Challenge to UM/UIM Offering Requirements for Excess and Umbrella Coverage Has Revived an Old Debate. Ins. Lit. Rptr., Vol. 32, No. 7 (May 2010)
  • Splitting Claim Files: Managing The Concern For Conflicts Of Interest Through Use Of Insurance Company Conflict Screens. Ins. Lit. Rptr., Vol. 32, No. 6 (April 2010)
  • Mortgage Demands For Homeowner Coverage: When The Insured Property Has Been Stripped During Foreclosure. In-House Defense Quarterly (Winter 2010)
  • Wrap-Ups And Agent E&O Exposures. Claims Journal, Essentials (December 22, 2009)
  • Shifting Attorneys' Fees To The Losing Party: Is It Covered Under The Policy? Ins. Lit. Rptr., Vol. 31, No. 20 (November 2009)
  • Determining Permissive User Status In Automobile Liability. Claims Journal, Essentials (November 16, 2009)
  • A Basic Understanding Of Lloyd's Of London Which Every Insurance Lawyer Should Have. Common Defense (Fall 2009)
  • A Reminder On Managing Agency E&O Risk. Claims Journal, Essentials (November 10, 2009) and Ins. Journal, Essentials (November 11, 2009)
  • It's Time To Review Essential Procedures For Managing E&O: Systems, Checklists, Guidelines, Manuals Among Tools Useful In Reducing Agency Errors. Ins. Journal Magazine, Vol. 87, No. 21 (November 2, 2009)
  • Insuring The Emerging Markets In Bio And Nanotechnology. Ins. Lit. Rptr., Vol. 31, No. 17 (October 2009)
  • Timely Claims Reporting: A Serious Obligation For Agencies. Ins. Journal Magazine, Vol. 87, No. 18 (September 21, 2009)
  • Understanding Basic Principles Of Biomechanical Engineering In Low Speed Rear-End Collision Scenarios. Claims Journal (September 10, 2009)
  • Coverage Issues Associated With Federal Clean Water Act Violations For Discharging Land Fill Into Waterways. Ins. Lit. Rptr., Vol.. 31, No. 13 (August 2009) 
  • A Critical Analysis Support a Proportional Methodology for Determining Covered Damages Where Continuous and Progressive Injury is Involved. Ins. Lit. Rptr., Vol. 31, No. 11 (July 2009)
  • Compendium of References to Insurance Company Bad Faith Set Up Situations. Ins. Lit. Rptr., Vol. 31, No. 11 (July 2009)
  • The Fifth Amendment To The U.S. Constitution Is No Bully To A Carriers' Right To An Examination Under Oath. IASIU, SIU Today, Vol. 23, No. 2 (Summer 2009)
  • Counting the Number of “Occurrences” Where the Predicate Tort Involves a Pattern of Conduct or Interrelated Process. Ins. Lit. Rptr., Vol. 31, No. 7 (May 2009).
  • The Discoverability of Reserve Information in Bad Faith Cases. Ins. Lit. Rptr., Vol. 31, No. 3 (March 2009).
  • How to Avoid Agency Errors and Omission Claims: Advising Clients on Specific Dollar Values of Coverages They Need to Consider May Create Unnecessary Exposures. Ins. Journal, Vol. 87, No. 3 (February 2009).
  • A Jurisprudential Survey Regarding Submission of Coverage Questions to Appraisal in the Homeowner Policy Context.Ins. Lit. Rptr., Vol. 30, No. 21 (December 2008).
  • The Pedigree of USAA v. Morris: How to Answer Clients When They Call to See if the Morris Decision Can Be Challenged.e-Common Defense (November 2008).
  • Triggering Coverage in Construction Defect Cases.e-Common Defense (November 2008).
  • Strategic Planning for an Increasing Direct Writer Marketplace.Ins. Journal, Vol. 86, No. 22 (November 2008).
  • Claim Investigation When The Insured Raises The Fifth Amendment Privilege.Claims Journal (November 3, 2008).
  • The Inherent Tension Between the Fifth Amendment Right Against Self-Incrimination and the Insurance Company’s Contractual Right to Cooperation: Can a Jurisprudential Balance be Achieved?Ins. Lit. Rptr, Vol 30, No. 18 (October 2008).
  • A Survey Of Ingenix As An Evaluative Tool In Assessing Usual, Customary And Reasonable Medical Charges For Insurance Companies. Ins. Lit. Rptr., Vol. 30, No. 17 (October 2008)
  • The Modernization Of Arizona's UM/UIM Written Offer Requirement. e-Common Defense (September 2008)
  • Lennar Corp. v. Auto-Owners Insurance Co., Expanding Coverage For Faulty Workmanship Claims. e-Common Defense (September 2008)
  • The Impact Of Certificates Of Insurance in Determining The Availability Of Coverage For Additional Insureds. Ins. Lit. Rptr., Vol. 30, No. 14 (August 2008)
  • Advertising Injury Coverage for Fax Blasting and Lantham Act Claims. Ins. Lit. Rptr., Vol. 30, No. 13 (August 2008)
  • Effectively Using E-Sign to Underwrite UM/UIM Coverage. Claims Journal (July 1, 2008)
  • Analyzing the Innocent Co-Insured Exception to Intentional Acts in Community Property States. Claims Journal (June 10, 2008)
  • Limiting Bad-Faith Exposure: Blindly Accept Colossus Recommendations at Your Own Risk. Claims Magazine, Vol. 56, No. 6 (June 2008)
  • Is the Race Really On? Application of Racing Exclusions Within Standard Automobile Liability Policies. Ins. Lit. Rptr., Vol. 30, No. 9 (June 2008)
  • A Different Perspective on Payment of Profit and Overhead When Insureds Do Repairs. Claims Journal (May 5, 2008)
  • Federal Preemption of State Statutory Requirements: Written Offers/Rejections of UM/UIM Coverage in the Modern Age. DRI For The Defense, Vol. 50, No. 5 (May 2008)
  • Reasonable Expectations for Agents' E&O. Ins. Journal-National, West Region, Vol. 86, No. 6 (March 24, 2008)
  • The Justicability of Increased Insurance Premium Claims: A Uniformity Of Dismissal? Ins. Lit. Rptr., Vol. 30, No. 2 (March 2008)
  • Use Of Independent Medical Examinations: Analyzing Bad Faith Exposures Arising In First-Party Coverage Determinations. In-House Defense Quarterly, Vol. 3, No. 2 (Spring 2008)
  • Understanding Federal Bankruptcy Court Stays and How to Procedurally Reach Available Insurance Coverage of the Bankruptcy Debtor. Ins. Lit. Rptr., Vol. 29, No. 21 (December 2007)
  • Directors and Officers Entitlement to D&O Policy Benefits When the Corporation They Served Files Bankruptcy. Ins. Lit. Rptr. , Vol. 29, No. 20 (December 2007)
  • Attorney's Fees and Declaratory Judgment Actions in Arizona. DRI National State-by-State Compendium Regarding the Awardability of Attorney's Fees in Declaratory Judgment Actions (December 2007)
  • A Survey of Professional Liability Coverage for Claims Brought Under the Federal False Claims Act. Ins. Lit. Rptr., Vol. 29, No. 17 (October 2007) 
  • A Developing Body of Law: Daubert and the Insurance Bad Faith Expert. In-House Defense Quarterly, Vol. 2, No. 3 (Summer 2007)
  • Colossus Under Attack: The Legal Efficacy of Computerized Evaluation of Bodily Injury Claims. Ins. Lit. Rptr., Vol. 29, No. 8 (May 2007)
  • A General Overview of the Advice of Counsel Defense, In House Quarterly, Vol. 2, No. 2 (Spring 2007)
  • Claims for Embezzlement of Client Funds, DRI for the Defense, Vol. 49, No. 3 (March 2007)
  • Regulating Insurance Company Claim Handling Practices: Rethinking the Unthinkable (Abandonment of the Common Law Tort and Bad Faith).  Insurance Litigation Reporter, Vol. 29, No.1 (2007)
  • Discipline Without Assumptions? A Systematic Approach to Coverage Analysis.  In-House Defense Quarterly Vol. 2, No.1 (Winter 2007)
  • A Methodical Approach to Analyzing the Application of the Absolute Pollution Exclusion.  Insurance Litigation Reporter Vol. 28, No.19 (December 2006)
  • Medical Payments Coverage: A Policy Inside A Policy, Ins. Litigation Rptr, Vol.28, No. 14 (2006).
  • Building a General Understanding of Directors & Officers Insurance Policy Architecture, DRI for the Defense, Vol. 48, No. 5 (May 2006)
  • All Things Being Considered Equal:Third Party Bad Faith in Arizona, Arizona Attorney, Volume 27, Number 6 (1991)
  • Darner’s Neglected Tenant:Abandonment of Ambiguity Doctrine, Arizona Attorney, Volume 27, Number 4 (1990)
  • Does Your Insurance Stack Up?Multiple Coverage Problems and the Standard Automobile Liability Insurance Policy, Arizona Attorney, Volume 26, Number 5 (1990)
  • Guaranteeing Personal Injury Recoveries: A Practical Guide to Arizona’s Property and Casualty Insurance Guaranty Fund,Arizona Attorney, Volume 26, Number 2, (1989)
  • Insuring Against an Evil Mind:Punitive Damages Awards and the Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist, Arizona Attorney, Volume 25, Number 9 (1989)
  • Let’s Make a Deal:A Requiem for Reservation of Rights Defenses in Arizona, Arizona Bar Journal, Volume 23, Number 6 (1988)
  • When is a Standardized Insurance Contract Binding:The Development of the Reasonable Expectation Doctrine in Arizona,Arizona Bar Journal, Volume 23, Number 5 (1988)
  • The Mode of Operation Rule:A Slippery Issue for the Arizona Trial Bar, Arizona Bar Journal, Volume 21, Number 4 (1986) (republished by West Publishing Company, WestLaw National Text and Periodicals —Torts Database, 1986)

SPEAKER/PRESENTATIONS:

  • "Arizona Insurance Law" (January 22, 2010) (Topic: Automobile Liability Coverage) Sponsored by the State Bar of Arizona. 
  • "Insurance Coverage Litigation" (October 12, 2009) (Topic: Common Types of Insurance Coverage Disputes) Sponsored by the National Business Institute.  
  • “American Conference Institute’s 19th National Advanced Forum on Bad Faith Litigation,” Compendium Of References To Insurance Company Bad Faith Set Up Situations (San Francisco, April 29-30, 2009) (Topic: Manufactured Claims: Strategically Avoiding and Properly Defending Against “Bad Faith Set-Ups”) Sponsored by American Conference Institute.
  • “Arizona Insurance Law” (January 23, 2009) (Topic: Third-Party Bad Faith in Arizona) Sponsored by the State Bar of Arizona.
  • “Litigation Basics for the Civil Defense Associate” (December 2, 2008) (Topic: Fundamentals of Insurance Coverage Analysis) Sponsored by Arizona Association of Defense Counsel, Young Lawyers Division.
  • Guest Lecturer (March 6, 2008) (Topic: Discovery Issues in Bad Faith Litigation) Arizona State University College of Law (LAW 691).
  • "Arizona Insurance Coverage" (January 25, 2008) (Topic: Complex Coverage Analysis) Sponsored by the State Bar of Arizona. 
  • Insurance Coverage and Claims Institute (April 11-13, 2007, Chicago, IL) (Topic: Expert Witnesses and Insurance Coverage Litigation) Sponsored by DRI.
  • "Daubert and Use of Expert Witnesses in the Insurance Bad Faith Context" (April 4, 2007) Sponsored by Arizona Association of Defense Council.
  • "Arizona  Insurance  Coverage" (January 25, 2007) (Topics: Complex Insurance Coverage Analysis and Director & Officers Coverage) Sponsored by the State Bar of Arizona
  • "Insurance Coverage and Practice Symposium" (December 7-8, 2006, New York, NY) (Topic: Dirty Sox and Clean Directors: The Impact of Enron on D&O Issues) Sponsored by DRI.
  • "Effective use of 'Colosis' and Advice of Counsel to Avoid Bad Faith Liability Exposures". Presentation to Western Regional Claims Counsel Conference, Progressive Ins. Group (October 25, 2006, San Diego, CA)
  • "Complex Insurance Coverage Analysis" (September 20, 2006, Hartford, CT) Sponsored by Thomson/West Publishing.
  • "Federalizing Catastrophic Insurance Losses" and "The Evolution of Disclosure Obligations Regarding Disseminating Health Information to Applicants by Life, Health & Disability Insurance Companies" (September 20, 2006, Hartford, CT) Sponsored by Thomson/West Publishing.
  • “2005 NDDLA/SBAND Seminar” (September 23, 2005)(Topic:Discipline Without Assumptions, A Systematic Approach To Coverage Analysis)Sponsored by State Bar Association of North Dakota
  • “Insurance Coverage Topics” (February 9, 2005 )(Topic:Use of Demonstrative Exhibits for Bad Faith Trials)Sponsored by Arizona Associate of Defense Counsel
  • "Arizona Liability Insurance Coverage" (May 14, 2004) (Topic: Analyzing and Litigating Insurance Coverage Cases) Sponsored by the State Bar of Arizona
  • "Learn at Lunch"(January 14, 2004)(Topic:Waiver of Attorney Client Privilege and Advice of Counsel in the Context of Insurance Bad Faith)Sponsored by Arizona Association of Defense Counsel
  • “Tort Law” (December 5, 2003 ) (Topic:Insurance Bad Faith Analysis and Litigation)Sponsored by State Bar of Arizona
  • “The Nuts and Bolts of Litigating Insurance Coverage Questions” (January 8, 2003) (Topic:Discipline Without Assumptions, A Systemic Approach to Coverage Analysis) Sponsored by Arizona Association of Defense Counsel
  • “Arizona Liability Insurance Coverage” (September 20, 2001) (Topics: Damron/Morris Agreements and Third-Party Bad Faith) Sponsored by the State Bar of Arizona.
  • “Insurance Litigation in Arizona” (October 20, 2000) (Topic: Morris Agreements and Third-Party Bad Faith) Sponsored by Lorman Education Services.
  • “Advanced Litigation Techniques Seminar” (December 10, 1999) (Topic: Bad Faith and Coverage Issues) Sponsored by the Arizona Association of Defense Counsel.
  • “The Most Advanced Insurance Seminar of the Year” (October 1, 1999) (Topic: Morris/Damron Agreements – How to Avoid the Often Subtle and Serious Pitfalls) Sponsored by the Arizona Trial Lawyers Association.
  • “Arizona Liability Insurance Coverage” (April 30, 1999) (Topic: Insurance: Developments in Judicial Rulings on Reservation of Rights Defenses and Morris Agreements) Sponsored by the State Bar of Arizona.
  • "The Phoenix Mini-Bar" (June 19, 1998) (Topic: How to Understand and Litigate Insurance Coverage in Arizona) Sponsored by Continuing Legal Education Options (CLE-Ops).
  • "The Law of Insurance Bad Faith: A Balanced Perspective" (April 24, 1998-Tucson; May 1, 1998-Phoenix) (Topic: Third-Party Bad Faith) Sponsored by the State Bar of Arizona.
  • "Sing a Song of Six Torts" (April 18, 1997) (Topic: First Party Bad Faith) Sponsored by the State Bar of Arizona.
  • "Recent Developments in Insurance Coverage Litigation: Environmental Coverage, Common Negligence and Bad Faith" (June 13, 1996 ) (Topic: Bad Faith) Sponsored by the Arizona Association of Defense Counsel.
  • "Essentials in Insurance and Bad Faith" (March 31, 1995) (Topic: Insurance Bad Faith from the Defense Perspective) Presented at the Arizona Statewide Minority Lawyers Bar Convention.
  • "Law of Insurance Bad Faith: A Beginning, but Not the End" (March 10, 1995) (Topic: Third Party Bad Faith) Sponsored by the State Bar of Arizona.
  • "Tort Reform: The November 8 Vote, What's Law? What's Not" (November 10, 1994 ) (Topic: Insurance Bad Faith, the Defense Perspective) Sponsored by the Arizona Association of Defense Counsel.
  • “Insurance Coverage Issues” (March 1, 1994) (Topic: Reservation of Rights Defenses and Morris Agreements) Sponsored by the Arizona Association of Defense Counsel.
  • “Insurance Coverage Litigation: An Overview of Key Areas of Concern to Lawyers” (November 18, 1993) (Topic: The Concurrent Causation Doctrine and the Standard Automobile Liability Policy) Sponsored by the State Bar of Arizona.
  • “Auto Insurance” (November 15, 1991) (Topic: Arizona’s Property and Casualty Insurance Guaranty Fund) Sponsored by Arizona Trial Lawyers Association.
  • “Insurance Coverage Litigation: An Overview of Key Areas of Concern to Lawyers” (March 9, 1990—Phoenix; April 20, 1990—Tucson) (Topic: Multiple Coverage Problems and the Standard Automobile Liability Insurance Policy; Arizona’s Property and Casualty Insurance Guaranty Fund) Sponsored by the State Bar of Arizona.
  • “Arizona Bad Faith Insurance Law: What Every Practitioner Should Know” (December 14, 1990) (Topic: Third-Party Bad Faith) Sponsored by the State Bar of Arizona.
  • “Contemporary Problems in Insurance Related Litigation” (May 5, 1989) (Topic: Developments in the Law Regarding Uninsured and Underinsured Automobile Liability Insurance Policies) Sponsored by the State Bar of Arizona.
  • Provided in-house training seminars on claim handling, bad faith, insurance regulations, Unfair Claim Settlement Practices Act, and Advice of Counsel to the following insurance companies:
    • Aetna Casualty & Surety Co. (AZ and CO)
    • United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co. (AZ)
    • The Hartford (AZ & CT)
    • Metropolitan Property & Casualty Co. (MI)
    • MetLife Auto & Home (TX)
    • Guaranty National Insurance Co. (AZ & CO)
    • Colonial Insurance Company of California (CO)
    • Universal Underwriters (CO)
    • Industrial Indemnity Co. (AZ)
    • Orion Specialty (AZ, CO, UT)
    • American States Insurance Co. (AZ)
    • Royal & Sun Alliance/Royal Specialty (UT)
    • Legacy Insurance Services (AZ)
    • St. Paul Travelers (CT)
    • United National Group (PA)
    • Amerisure Insurance (AZ, MI, MO)

PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES:

  • Admitted to the State Bar of Arizona, 1982; U.S. District Court (Arizona), 1982; Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, 1983; U.S. Court of Appeals (D.C. Circuit), 1989; U.S. Supreme Court, 2002.
  • Licensed Insurance Broker, Arizona (1974-Present).
  • Chairman, CLE Committee, Young Lawyers Division, Arizona State Bar Association (1990-1992); Member, Arizona State Bar Association, CLE Committee (1990-1993); (2001-Present).
  • Member, Arizona State Bar Association, CLE Committee, 1990-1993; 2001-2004.
  • Recipient, Outstanding Contribution to Continuing Legal Education Award, Arizona State Bar Association, 1999.
  • Listed in “Who’s Who in American Law” (5th Edition).
  • Listed in “Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges”.
  • Listed in "PHOENIX MAGAZINE®" as one of Phoenix's Top Lawyers (November 2006)
  • Listed in "THE BEST LAWYERS IN AMERICA®" (2007* - 2011) *First year insurance law was considered for inclusion
  • Listed in "SOUTHWEST SUPERLAWYERS®"; (2007* - 2010; *inaugural year) selected as one of the top 50 lawyers in Arizona 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010
  • Listed in "CORPORATE COUNSEL ALMANAC" as one of the top lawyers in the field of insurance law in the United States (2006)
  • AV Rated with Martindale-Hubbell®

 

Kunz, Plitt, Hyland & Demlong is widely known as a trial law firm that has achieved outstanding results for its clients while maintaining the highest ethical standards.

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