About the Editor

ABOUT THE EDITOR

            The principle authors of the materials found in this website are the California courts, statutes, and regulations, which the editor has selected and organized. Readers may verify authorities found here on Google, Google Scholar, and the Rutter Group treatise on Insurance Litigation. Some personal and professional background about the editor follows:

____________________________________________________

STEPHEN L. THOMAS

12400 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 400

Los Angeles, California 90025

(310) 480-1690

PERSONAL

Born: Fresno, California, March 26, 1948

Married with two sons

EDUCATION

Brown University                      (A.B., 1970), Dean’s List

Washington University           (J.D., 1974), Editor, Washington U. Law Quarterly, 1973-74

PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE

Principal fields of study include: duty to defend, conflicts of interest, reservations of rights, Cumis counsel, lawyers’ ethical obligations, reasonableness of attorney fees, insurer reimbursement claims, good faith reliance on counsel, insurer good or bad faith, insurance coverage in construction defect, professional liability, personal injury, many business and personal torts, products liability, malicious prosecution, false imprisonment, libel, slander, wrongful eviction, invasion of privacy, discrimination, sexual harassment, and pollution claims. Represented insurance companies or policyholders in coverage disputes. Defended policyholders for insurers in a wide variety of liability suits.

PUBLICATIONS

House Counsel: (10/98) The Insurer’s Duty to Defend

California Law Business: (9/97) The Advisor, Cash Crop

ABA – TIPS: (2/96) Reservations of Rights and Conflicts of Interest: The Policyholder’s Perspective

Consulting Editor: California Continuing Education of the Bar, (1991) California Liability Insurance Practice: Claims & Litigation

California Lawyer: (2/89) Insurance and Sex Crimes: Legislation Is Needed To Assure Compensation To Sex Crime Victims

California Lawyer: (12/88) Third Parties Against Insurers: After “Moradi-Shalal,” Claimants Will Have To Revive The Old Remedies

CTLA Forum: (10/88) Black Friday: Third Party Remedies Against Insurers After “Moradi-Shalal” and “Blough

SELECTED REPORTED OPINIONS

Barnett v. American-Cal Medical Services, No. 1, Inc. (1984) 156 Cal App 3d 260 (Discovery)

Buss v. Superior Court (Transamerica Ins. Co.) (1997) 16 Cal.4th 35 (Liability insurer reimbursement of defense costs)

C.L. Peck Contractors v. Superior Court (1984) 159 Cal. App. 3d 828 (Contractual indemnity not extinguished by good faith settlement)

County of San Bernardino v. Pacific Indemnity Co. (1997) 56 Cal.App.4th 666 (No allocation of defense costs for self-insured period)

Macomber v. Red Robin International, Inc. (2002 Cal. App. LEXIS 4887) (Victorious sexual harassment plaintiff properly denied attorneys fees)

Myers v. Allstate (C.D.Cal. 1997) 989 F.Supp. 1250 (Replacement Cost is payable when damaged property is rebuilt or replaced)

Olinger v. City of Palm Springs (1977) 425 F.Supp. 174 (U.S.A. not liable for inverse condemnation claim by native American)

Previews, Inc. v. California Union Ins. Co. (1981, 9th Cir.) 640 F.2d 1026 (Coverage conflict requires liability insurer to defend through independent counsel)

Sheldon Appel Co. v. Albert & Oliker (1989) 47 Cal.3d 863 (Redefines probable cause in malicious prosecution)

Valentino v. Elliott Sav-On Gas, Inc. (1988) 201 Cal. App. 3d 692 (CCP §998 settlement offer)

Waller v. Truck Ins. Exchange, Inc. (1995) 11 Cal.4th 1 (No automatic waiver of coverage defenses)

Woodliff v. CIGA (2003) 110 Cal App 4th 1690 (CIGA liable for judgment against insurer for costs of defense)

 

TRIAL RECORD

Jury

Inverse condemnation, Olinger v. Palm Springs – directed verdict (Fed Ct)

Insurance Agent malpractice, (Pomona) – nonsuit at close of plaintiff’s case

Fraud, RE malpractice and defamation, Fowler v. Coldwell Banker – verdict/judgment

Malicious prosecution, Sheldon Appel v. Albert & Oliker – verdict/judgment

Slip & Fall, Darensberg v. Shell – verdict/judgment

Slip & Fall, Valentino v. Elliott Sav-On – verdict/judgment

Auto accident, Garfield v. Hodenfeld – verdict/judgment

Attorney Malpractice, Jones v. Howard – verdict/judgment

Bad Faith, Jenkins v. Calif. Casualty – verdict/judgment

Bad Faith, Schwaber v. Hartford – verdict/judgment (Fed Ct)

Breach of lease, Lackey v. Maidy – verdict/judgment

Bad Faith, Isselhard v. USAA – verdict/judgment

Bad Faith, Stephan v. INA – verdict/judgment

Wrongful eviction, Klein – verdict/judgment

Condemnation, MWD v. Johnson – verdict/judgment

Bad Faith, Liquiditems v. First Oakbrook – verdict/judgment

Insurance Agent Malpractice, Exclusive Auto v. General Insurance – verdict/judgment

Insurance Agent Malpractice, Lampone v. Manley Gordon – verdict/judgment

Sexual Harassment and False Imprisonment Macomber v. Red Robin – verdict/judgment

Bad Faith, Anderson v. Allstate – verdict/judgment

Property damage, Spatz v. Izumi – settled prior to verdict

Bad Faith, ROC Development v. Century Surety – verdict/judgment

Non-Jury

Accountant Malpractice, Smith v. Gross – judgment

Building contractor negligence, Auto Club v. Advanced Home Comfort – judgment

Breach of Sales Contract, Universal Waste v. Blackburn – judgment

Product liability, Townsend v. Apt – judgment

Corporate dissolution, Japanese Antiques – judgment

Breach of lease, Thomas v. Branner – judgment

Bad Faith, Howard v. National Union – judgment

Partnership dissolution and defamation, Maidy v. Lederman – judgment

Breach of contract, Jenkins v. State Farm – judgment

Unlawful detainer, Silva – judgment

Breach of contract, SaltMine v. Swerdloff – judgment

Breach of contract, Esquire Suites v. Perez – judgment

Breach of contract, Thomas v. Signal Securities – judgment

Breach of contract, Waite v. Reliance Insurance Company – judgment

Bad faith, Ultramet v. Scottsdale Insurance Company – judgment

Arbitrations

Cumis fee dispute Sarkissian v. State Farm – award

Cumis fee dispute Barker v. Ins Co.– award

Cumis fee dispute Methodist Church v. Ins. Co. – award

Cumis fee dispute Etessami v. State Farm – award

Arbitration award petition Myers v. Allstate – judgment

Breach of contract KC Ins. v. Eskenazie & Davis – 2 awards

Breach of lease Thomas v. Hopkins – award

Breach of contract Advanced Home Comfort – award

Partnership dissolution, Barry v. Kiyohara – award

Breach of contract, Esquire Suites v. Bagby – award

Equitable Indemnity, Gunnufson v. Franklin – award

Breach of contract, construction defect, Hakimfar v. ROC Design, Inc. – award

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