As one of the authors of the LexisNexis Matthew Bender Practice Guide: California Insurance Coverage and Litigation, Greg Newman focuses his practice on handling complex insurance coverage-related matters, with an emphasis on third party property-casualty issues in the construction, auto and environmental arenas. His practice includes the preparation of coverage opinions, reservations of rights and declination letters, as well as the litigation of insurance coverage matters, including declaratory relief, equitable contribution and bad faith claims, from inception through trial. Greg also has experience at the appellate level, including writ petitions and appeals.

A highly experienced attorney, Greg has served as regional counsel and national coordinating counsel for several insurance carriers. His experience includes the handling of critical issues such as determinations of the duty to defend and indemnify under both primary and excess / umbrella policies, additional insured issues, rights to independent counsel, agency issues, rescission, reformation, contractual liability claims, contribution claims and the multiple theories of allocation used therein, subrogation, tender issues, triggers of coverage, exhaustion, estoppel, waiver, duties of the insured, aggregate issues, occurrence theories, apportionment amongst carriers, exclusionary clauses of all types (i.e., earth movement, pollution, prior/continuing loss, completed operations), breach of the implied covenant, reimbursement rights of both carriers and insureds, notice issues, policy interpretation, "other insurance" disputes, mold issues and advertising and personal injury coverages.

Greg lectures on a variety of insurance coverage and related issues and has provided continuing legal education course instruction on important insurance topics. He also provides private seminars to insurers regarding claim handling issues and pre-litigation concerns, the drafting, interpretation and application of form and manuscript policies and endorsements, as well as current developments in the law that impact the insurance industry.

Representative Matters

  • Obtained outright dismissals of insurance company clients in multiple multi-million dollar construction defect, bad faith and contribution lawsuits throughout the United States without a penny being paid.
  • Recovered millions of dollars prosecuting equitable contribution claims for insurance company clients in multiple cases, without having to file a single lawsuit.
  • Successfully defended an insurance company client from a class action lawsuit for breach of contract and bad faith in Federal Court, by demonstrating to the court via simultaneous motions to strike and dismiss, that the claims were without merit and that a class action was unsustainable. (2015 WL 1266787)
  • Successfully defeated a contribution action by another insurer based upon "exclusive defense" language in the insuring agreement of the excess policy, when the Court of Appeal upheld the granting of a motion for summary judgment on behalf of the insurance company. This was an issue of first impression in California and remains the only Court of Appeal decision to date to address the issue.  Scottsdale Ins. Co. v. National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh (2002) 95 Cal.App.4th 891 / 116 Cal.Rptr. 2d 174 [depublished].
  • Successfully obtained a trial court order finding that an insurer was not obligated to defend a general contractor as an additional insured in an underlying construction defect suit under an additional insured endorsement that limited the coverage available to "liability arising out of [the named insured's] ongoing operations."
  • Successfully defended an insurance carrier client from an action for breach of contract and bad faith (by assignment), when the Court of Appeal affirmed a trial court decision that upheld an express requirement in the policy that the property damage “first take[] place during the policy period.” Plaintiff failed to make this showing. The court also rejected plaintiff's argument that the property damage might have continued into the policy period, upholding the policy language stating that “[a]ll ... property damage arising from an occurrence shall be deemed to first take place at the time of the first such ... property damage, regardless of the date of manifestation, ... even though the nature, type or extent of such ... property damage may be continuous, progressive, cumulative, changing or evolving.” The Court of Appeal also rejected the plaintiff's argument that the insurer was estopped from asserting its coverage defenses. (2014 WL 6783153)
  • Successfully defended insurer against a suit seeking contribution towards sums incurred in defense and indemnity of a mutual named insured and mutual additional insured in multiple underlying construction defect cases. Obtained an order following summary judgment upholding an express statement in the insuring agreement that limited the insurer's defense duty to the named insured and only if "no other insurance affording a defense against such a suit is available to"  it. Successfully argued that cases addressing the "other insurance provisions in the Conditions section of policies do not apply.  The court also agreed that no obligation to defend the additional insured existed, because an additional insured cannot be entitled to greater coverage than a named insured.
  • Successfully defended an insurance carrier client in a direct action by its named insured for bad faith over a denial based upon a Contractors Special Conditions endorsement that had never been tested in the United States. Non-suit was granted to client after plaintiff's close of evidence.
  • Successfully obtained summary judgment for an insurance carrier client in a direct action by an additional insured for bad faith in Federal Court over a denial based upon policy language that had never been tested in the United States (2008 WL 755823).
  • Instrumental in successfully negotiating to a conclusion the largest construction defect action in the history of Oregon on behalf of an insurance company client.

Insurance Seminars

  • Mixed Use Developments and Conversions
  • Independent Counsel Issues under California Civil Code 2860
  • Wins and Losses on the Additional Insured Front
  • Ongoing Operations v. Completed Operations – What is the Difference
  • Contractual Indemnity - The Subcontractor, G.C./Developer and Carrier Perspectives
  • When Do CGL or Homeowner Policies Respond to Worker's Compensation Claims?
  • Per Claim v Per Occurrence - Deductibles and Self-Insured Retentions 
  • Carrier Intervention and How Liability Issues Impact Coverage
  • Avoiding Trials through Intervention
  • Types of Coverage; CGL CCIP / OCIP, Claims Made; Additional Insured Issues
  • Covered Damage Assessments under CGL Policies
  • Claims Adjustment Training under CGL Policies
  • Wrap-Up Policies
  • Fair Claims Settlement Practices Act – Certifications
  • Understanding and Defending Mold Claims

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • American Bar Association (ABA)

Awards

  • Super Lawyers: 2014-2018
    • Super Lawyers Top 100 Southern California, 2017

"Thank you for your input in evaluation and, of course, acting as our voice in and out of mediation. It seems we can tell parties all day long that we have coverage issues with little to no effect, but your involvement brings results.  Clearly, your assistance brought about this economical resolution now versus some long costly litigation later." - M.Y. Supervisor Gallagher Bassett

"Of the hundreds of insurer-retained coverage lawyers I have opposed over the past 30 years, Greg Newman is, in my opinion, among the top five. He is smart, articulate and is willing to engage in off the record good faith discussions about coverage disputes. He also has a great sense of humor. He's no pushover, but he, like me, prefers to get to the bottom line of coverage disputes, by figuring out what's important and not waste time fighting over side shows." - Dennis Neil Jones, Esq., policy holder counsel and founding member of Myers, Widders, Gibson, Jones & Feingold, L.L.P.

 

Related Practices

Bar Admission

  • California, 1993
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit

Education

Southwestern University School of Law, J.D., 1993

Dean's List

University of California, Santa Barbara, B.A., 1989

Major: Law & Society

Major: Psychology