Paul K. Schrieffer
E-Mail: [email protected]
Founding Partner, Member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA); AV Rated Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5 by Martindale Hubble; recognized as a California Super Lawyer by the Los Angeles Magazine (2014 – 2018)
Summary of experience
Paul K. Schrieffer is the founding partner of the firm. He is an active trial lawyer in courts throughout California and has litigated cases in states throughout the U.S., including Pennsylvania, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Kentucky and Hawaii. Mr. Schrieffer acts as national monitoring counsel for Underwriters at Lloyds and London companies in multi-district federal court litigation, as well as in state courts. Mr. Schrieffer has tried complex, high exposure cases for many clients during his 25-year career, ranging from insurance bad faith and broker E&O to wrongful termination and catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death and construction. He has also represented event cancellation and contingency insurers nationally and internationally, including legal matters arising from such tours as Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” concerts in London, England, Foo Fighters World Tour, Taylor Swift, Madonna, Christina Aguilera, Kings of Leon, Nicki Minaj, The Beastie Boys, YES LLC, and Live Earth Concerts. Mr. Schrieffer represents Tech and Cyber insurers in the London market and regularly represents NBC and Universal Studios in litigated matters, among others, in the entertainment industry.
Notable Verdicts and Cases:
- Edward Lauter v. Major Studio: Successful nuisance value settlement of asbestos lawsuit brought against major studio by actor whose estate claimed he was subjected to asbestos and/or asbestos containing materials on movie and television sets between 1959 and 1979. Motion for summary judgment filed based upon workers’ compensation exclusivity. Case settled the day before Plaintiffs’ opposition was due.
- Godber v. Major Studio: Successful nuisance value settlement of asbestos lawsuit brought against major studio by set lighting technician who claims he developed lung cancer and asbestosis from lighting materials on movie and television sets between 1959 and 1980.
- Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s v. AEG Live, Michael Jackson Company LLC – rescission litigation in Los Angeles against AEG Live and Michael Jackson Company LLC following death of Michael Jackson for Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London under a contingency cancellation policy for the This Is It concerts in London, England. Action based upon material misrepresentations and non-disclosures regarding Jackson’s prior drug use. After over one year of litigation, AEG drops its $17.5 million insurance claim for a waiver of costs. Litigation continued and resolved with the Estate of Michael Jackson for the LLC the morning of Underwriters’ motion for summary judgment on rescission and other policy defences. Read More
- The Foo Fighters v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s: Represented Underwriters in litigation in Federal Court in the Central District in Los Angeles.
- Very Good Touring (Kanye West) v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s: Represented Underwriters in litigation in Federal Court in the Central District in Los Angeles.
- Nickelback v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s: Represented Underwriters in rescission litigation in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
- Plaintiffs drop all claims against Rancho Simi Insurance Agency for Unruh Act violations, Civil Code §51, and Elder Abuse Claims pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code section 15610.30 following Rancho Simi’s demurrer.
- Plaintiff dismisses all claims in Federal District Court after FRCP 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss filed against insurance agency which allegedly failed to advise plaintiff about lapse in coverage relating to group errors and omission coverage for securities brokers.
- Court grants motion for summary judgment against insurance brokers accused of failing to procure coverage for family of victim of auto v. pedestrian accident causing millions of dollars in damages.
- Celebrity Dentist drops her $6.0 million insurance claim – Celebrity Orange County Dentist Sherri Worth-Nourse brought a lawsuit against her disability insurers, claiming $6.0 million due to a tennis elbow. Dr. Worth-Nourse is the cosmetic dentist who appeared on a number of television shows including The Swan and boasts a list of celebrity clients. The firm represented Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s in the coverage litigation in Orange County where it obtained a dismissal for a waiver of costs.
- Doe Plaintiff v. Doe Defendants – Defense verdict on all causes of action after 5 week jury trial in Los Angeles County Superior arising from claims of negligence, breach of contract, trespass, intentional infliction of emotional distress, nuisance and punitive damages. Plaintiff’s counsel seeks over $9 million in closing argument plus punitive damages.
- The Firm defended national Washington D.C. based cable trade association in a federal trade libel case brought in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Plaintiff corporation sought over $5 million damages. After moving for summary judgment on behalf of the trade association and for sanctions under Rule 11, plaintiff corporation dismissed the entire action with prejudice for a waiver of costs prior to the hearing on summary judgment and sanctions motions.
- Connie Stevens Fisher v. Safeco Insurance Company of America –prevailed on summary judgment against actress Connie Stevens Fisher arising from alleged wrongful denial of her claim involving her Wyoming estate. Trial court’s ruling upheld on appeal.
- Bustamante v. Universal Studios, et al. – Two week wrongful death trial in Burbank arising from death of patron at Citywalk. The family demanded $8,000,000 in closing arguments and a defense award was achieved for Universal Studios on all causes of action.
- Motion for summary judgment for Underwriters at Lloyd’s in $100,000,000 insurance dispute in Health Net v. AISLIC/Certain Underwriters at Lloyds, et al. Health Net made a claim for insurance benefits under managed care E&O tower arising from the alleged improper use of doctor and patient reimbursements. The case was initially won on summary judgment, was then appealed by Health Net and was remanded by the court of appeal in a published opinion holding that contractual benefits are uninsurable under California law, even absent a contract exclusion. Case pending and set for trial in January 2019. Read More
- Doe Hotel v. Doe Insurance Brokerage – Resolved $1.8 million broker malpractice case after one week in trial in Santa Monica, California following cross examination of plaintiff’s President on the witness stand. Hotel argued that 20 EEOC complaints and a sexual harassment lawsuit were not timely tendered to the hotel’s EPLI insurer by the broker. Case resolved for less than 15% of claimed damages.
- Carpenter v. NBC Universal – 3 week jury trial arising from catastrophic personal injuries to a grip on a television set, resulting in a defense verdict. The jury found that although the plaintiff was injured by a defectively designed 2 ton ‘elephant’ door on a back lot sound stage, he was not entitled to recovery because the special employer/borrowed servant rule and application of a multi-factor control test, barred his recovery. The verdict was upheld on appeal the Second District Court of Appeal in California in an unpublished opinion and by the California Supreme Court.
- $19 million lawsuit filed against an insurance broker by client who suffered an uncovered judgment. Motion for summary judgment granted in Orange County Superior Court in favor of an insurance broker, which was affirmed on appeal.
- Girls Gone Wild – Daytona Beach and Miami, Florida – represented Certain Underwriters at Lloyds regarding claims for coverage for invasion of privacy and child pornography arising from use of underage girls in Spring Break reality videos.
- Kilpatrick v. Universal Studios / City of Burbank – Represented Universal Studios at trial of a Metrolink train derailment case – phase 1 – arising from first victim paraplegic plaintiff. Demand of $65 million; verdict $11.9 million.
- Doe Artist v. Doe Insurance Brokerage – Resolved a case after weeks in trial on the eve of closing arguments in a broker malpractice case arising from $3.5 million in claimed uncovered fine arts losses. The case settled for less than 3% of claimed damages after cross-examination of plaintiff’s standard of care expert.
- Trial of a wrongful termination whistleblower case in Orange County Superior Court wherein Plaintiff sought recovery for allegedly reporting fraud and illegal payments to outsiders. After a week in trial, the jury deliberated for half a day returning a 12-0 defense verdict. This case was featured in DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar.
- Vanderhyde v. Pacific Specialty Insurance Company – 6 week jury trial in San Diego Superior Court in downtown San Diego defending an insurance broker accused of fraud, negligent misrepresentation and professional negligence. The jury returned a defense verdict in favor of the firm’s client on all causes of action. This case was featured in DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar.
- Johnson v. Universal Studios – 2 week jury trial in Glendale California arising from a severely fractured hip and resultant hip replacement to an 80 year old woman who claimed that a blowing fountain water created a dangerous condition. The jury returned a unanimous defense verdict for Universal Studios after 37 minutes of deliberations.
- Espinoza v. VMS, Inc. – Defense verdict at trial in Beverly Hills defending a Professional Employer Organization in a catastrophic personal injury case.
- Tabib v. Blank, CPA – 3 week accounting malpractice jury trial in downtown Los Angeles resulting in a unanimous defense verdict. CPA accused of failing to adequately advise and plan plaintiffs’ retirement plans, including a defined benefit plan.
- 2 week broker negligence jury trial in Rancho Cucamonga, California resulting in a unanimous defense verdict. Plaintiffs alleged the defendant failed to adequately insure their business for its structure and contents as well as for business interruption and lost profits exposures.
- Mintz v. Universal Studios – 2 week severe injury case with stipulated liability and multiple level spinal fusion. The jury awarded less than the pretrial offer and less than 6 figures.
- Certain Underwriters at Lloyds, London v. The Vreeken Family –Honolulu, Hawaii – motion for summary judgment granted in a favor of Underwriters at Lloyds arising from the total collapse of an island resident’s home and subsequent denial of coverage. On motion, the court found material misrepresentations in the application by the local residents, granting judgment in Underwriters’ favor.
- Represented Certain Underwriters at Lloyds against San Diego Padres Baseball Club in litigation venued in San Diego, California.
- Health Net v. AISLIC/Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, noted above.
- Fisher v. Safeco Insurance Company of America – Second District Court of Appeal upholds trial court’s grant of summary judgment in breach of contract and bad faith case regarding actress Connie Stevens Fisher.
- Carpenter v. Universal Studios – appeal of catastrophic personal injury defense verdict – affirmed.
- Sands v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s – appeal of summary judgment under for profit D&O policy – affirmed.
- Shack v. NBC Universal – appeal of anti-slapp ruling – affirmed.
- Lia v. Domaine Mumm, Inc. – appeal of products liability verdict.
- Hervatin v Knickerbocker – appeal of privacy and eavesdropping torts.
- Baldwin v. Dimensional Insurance Agency – appeal of broker E&O case.
- Randall v. S.C. (Estate of Sinatra) – appeal of trial court ruling.
- Knack v. Knack – appeal of motion for summary judgment in $19 million E&O case – affirmed.
- Mr. Schrieffer is admitted to practice before the California Supreme Court, as well as the Central, Eastern and Southern California Federal District Courts, in addition to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Federal Circuit for Copyright and Trademark Disputes in Washington D.C. He has successfully argued before the California Court of Appeal, including the Second District in First Pacific Bank v. Underwriters at Lloyds and Carpenter v. NBC Universal.
Affiliations past and present:
- American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA).
- Council On Litigation Management (CLM) – Current Member of the Professional Liability and Insurance Bad Faith Committees.
- North American Contingency Association (NACA).
- American Bar Association.
- Insurance Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar.
- Los Angeles County Bar Association.
- Association of Southern California Defense Counsel.
- Judge Pro Tem – Los Angeles County Superior Court.
- CRASH Settlement Program Officer.
- Court Appointed and Party Arbitrator.
Publications and Symposia:
- 19th Annual IACP London Conference – speaker regarding Contingency and Non-Appearance claims and litigation, London, England.
- Paul Schrieffer presents seminar to Lloyd’s Under 35’s on U.S. Litigation issues.
- Paul Schrieffer presents seminar to London companies and Lloyd’s Syndicates regarding defense and outside counsel.
- Paul Schrieffer speaks at the Lloyd’s Library in London, England on Cyber Risks – the U.S. and the U.K. Perspectives.
- Spoke on recovery of attorneys’ fees as the prevailing party in broker litigation, Seattle Washington.
- Presented seminar on the Reptile Theory, defenses and litigation strategy, Atlanta, Georgia
- Presented seminar on wrongful death and survival action litigation at Liberty Mutual in Ontario, California.
- Presented California Fair Claims Practices Act seminar and training for QBE Canada.
- Atlanta, Georgia – presented California Fair Claims Practices Act seminar and training for Catlin, USA.
- London, England – presented California Fair Claims Practices Act seminar and training for Liberty Syndicates.
- Presented seminar at Liberty Mutual in Glendale, California on wage and hour and employee benefits litigation and defenses.
- Presented seminar on current issues and trends in agents and brokers litigation and liability at Safeco in Seattle, Washington.
- California Fair Claims Practices Act – Underwriters at Lloyds, London, England.
- Presentation on U.S. litigation to Underwriters at Lloyds, London and London Companies in London, England.
- Presented the “Meat and Potatoes of Broker E&O Claims” in Irvine, California.
- Presented a seminar at Safeco in Seattle on recent trends in California Agents and Broker E&O law.
- Speaker at an Accident and Health seminar in London, England on trends in the A&H insurance market and claims.
- Presented a seminar on cutting edge trends in professional errors and omissions for accountants in San Diego, California.
- Bachelor’s of Arts Degree, University of California at Santa Barbara
- Juris Doctorate, Southwestern University School of Law
Lord, let me be able in argument, accurate in analysis, correct in conclusion, candid with my clients, and honest with my adversaries. Stand beside me in Court so that I will not, in order to win a point, lose my soul.
— Sir Thomas More