As a member of the commercial civil litigation team at Brutzkus Gubner in Los Angeles, Joe’s core practice is representing policyholders when insurance company carriers deny claims. He has worked on virtually all lines of commercial and professional insurance (CGL, D&O, E&O, EPLI, property, crime, etc.), and has personally helped clients collectively recover over $400 million in insurance policy benefits throughout his career.
Joe has worked on numerous cases that have led to important, reported insurance coverage decisions, including:
- Orgill/Singer & Associates v. Federal Insurance Company, 943 F.Supp.1141 (D.Nev., 2013)
- SCI Ca. Funeral Services, Inc. v. Westchester Fire Ins. Co., 288 F.R.D. 450 (C.D. Cal, 2013)
- Classic Distributing and Beverage Group, Inc. v. Travelers Cas. And Sur. Co. of America, 2012 WL 3860597 (C.D. Cal., 2012) (vacated by settlement at 2012 WL 5834570 (C.D. Cal. 2012))
- Huckestein v. Blixseth, 2011 WL 164825 (C.D. Cal., 2011) (non-insurance matter)
- Pepperdine School of Law (J.D., 2006); Certificate from Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution
- UCSB (B.A., Film Studies and Political Science, 2003); Activities and Societies: Beta Theta Pi
- State Bar of California
- Brought a federal action against a national insurance company to enforce coverage under a commercial crime policy for a claim arising from an outside payroll provider’s embezzlement through forgery and alteration of Electronic Federal Tax Payment System payments to the IRS. The case settled after favorable summary judgment rulings.
- Obtained a favorable settlement at mediation from an employment practice liability insurance carrier and the client’s broker arising from failure to advise the client of material reductions in coverage without proper notice.
- Obtained a ruling on summary judgment that an errors and omissions policy issued to a banking institution covered claims alleging aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty arising from lower level bank employees’ involvement in Ponzi scheme.
- Successfully negotiated and attained numerous reversals of coverage denials by carriers without litigation.
- Thomson Reuters Southern California “Super Lawyers” (2017-Present)
- “Up-and-Coming 100: Southern California Rising Stars” (2015-2016)
- Thomson Reuters Southern California “Super Lawyers – Rising Stars” (2013-2016)
- Author, “Clarifying Wage and Hour Claim Coverage,” Risk Management Magazine (Oct. 2019)
- Author, “I Ain’t Saying He’s A Gold Digger: Kanye West Just Wants His Insurance Claim Paid,” Forbes (Aug. 2017)
- Author, “‘Walking Dead’ Stuntman John Bernecker’s Death Raises Liability, Insurance Questions,” Forbes (July 2017)
- Author, “How Insurance Companies Are Like Casinos,” California Lawyer (April 2017)
- Author, “An Insurance Beat From The Music Industry,” Forbes (June 2016)
- Author, “Recent Changes in Insurance Policy Forms Leaving Companies Exposed to Risk of Copyright Claims,” IP Watchdog (June 2016)
- Author, “Industry Voices: Sellers Beware: The Ever-Shrinking Copyright Coverage in Your Insurance Policy,” California Apparel News (May 2016)
- Presenter, “How to Read an Insurance Policy: Understanding Your Coverage Before a Loss Occurs,” Commercial Law WebAdvisor (Mar. 2016)
- Presenter, “Insurance Coverage Contract Clauses: Drafting and Enforcing Provisions to Manage Risk,” Commercial Law WebAdvisor (Nov. 2015)
- Presenter, “Drafting Insurance Requirement Provisions in Commercial Contracts Mitigating Risk and Maximizing Coverage for Losses, Navigating Interplay With Contractual Indemnification,” Strafford Publications, Inc. (June 2015)
- Author,”Enforcement is everything: The imperative to closely monitor compliance with contractual insurance requirements,” Inside Counsel (Jan. 2015)
- Presenter, “Insurance Coverage Contract Clauses: Drafting and Enforcing Provisions to Manage Risk,” Commercial Law WebAdvisor (Dec. 2014)
- Author, “Insurance required: Best practices for drafting insurance requirement provisions in contracts,” Inside Counsel (Oct. 2014)
- Author, “Must have insurance: The benefits of drafting tight contracts requiring insurance,” Inside Counsel (Sept. 2014)
- Co-author, “Another Arrow In The Chapter 11 Trustee’s Quiver,” Law360 (May 2014)
- Author, “Calif. Plaintiffs’ New Toy In Employment Litigation,” Law360 (Nov. 2013)
- Co-author, “Navigating Shakedown Street: Risk Management Options for Dealing With Patent Trolls,” Intellectual Property Today (Oct. 2013)
- Author, “Fantasy Football Insurance: Busted Coverage,” Law360 (Sept. 2013)