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Jean M. Lawler Attorney at Law
Los Angeles Office
Senior Partner
213-630-1019
213-623-6336 fax
jlawler@murchisonlaw.com
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Bar Admissions

  • California, 1979
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California, 1986
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California, 1987
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California, 1986
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California, 1986
  • Oregon, 1981

Education

  • Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, California (J.D., Jessup International Honors Moot Court Team and Board, 1979)
  • Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, California (B.B.A. in Finance, 1976)
  • Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University School of Law (Mediating the Litigated Case, 2006)

Jean M. Lawler

Jean M. Lawler is a Senior Partner and serves as Co-Chair of the firm's International Law practice group. She is the immediate past Managing Partner of the firm, having served in that capacity from 2008 through 2013, and founded the firm's Insurance Law Practice Group more than 25 years ago. She previously also served as Chair of the firm's Business & Real Estate Transactions practice group.

Ms. Lawler's practice includes representing insurers in complex insurance and bad faith litigation, at trial and on appeal; providing insurers with coverage, underwriting and risk management advice; defending professionals (including agents, brokers and other non-medical professionals) against professional liability litigation; and defending businesses in commercial litigation, handling contract matters, disputes and negotiations and providing risk management evaluations. She is a certified mediator and has served as an arbitrator.

Her insurance practice and experience encompasses most types and lines of insurance (including professional liability, D&O, personal and commercial lines, life, health and disability, environmental, first-party property, marine, non-marine, fine art & specie, financial institutions, trucking/transportation, agri-business and equine, cyber-security and data breach, program and specialty insurance) and most industries, at all levels of insurance (i.e. primary, excess, umbrella and reinsurance) for domestic and international insurers, including the surplus lines, Bermuda and London markets. She has served as an expert witness in matters involving insurance law.

Reflective of her involvement with cutting-edge issues and developing areas of coverage law, published appellate decisions in her cases include Mitchell v. Scott Wetzel Services (1991) 227 Cal. App. 3rd 1474, Hartford Fire Ins. Co. v. Irene Macri (1992) 4 Cal.4th 318, In Re Circuit Breaker Litigation (C.D. Cal. 1997) 984 F. Supp. 1267, A-H Plating v. American Nat’l Fire Ins. (1997) 57 Cal. App. 4th 427, St. Mary Medical Center v. Cristiano (C.D. Cal. 1989) 724 F. Supp. 732, and Century Surety Co. v. Crosby Ins., Inc. (2004) 124 Cal. App. 4th 116 and Essex Ins. Co. v. Five Star Dye House (2006) 38 Cal. 4th 1252, in addition to many other non-published decisions.

Ms. Lawler is a Regent of the American College of Coverage & Extra-Contractual Counsel, is rated “Preeminent AV” by Martindale-Hubbell and has been recognized as a preeminent woman attorney in Southern California. She has also been a "Southern California Super Lawyer" for many years.

She is a member and Past President of the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (FDCC) and has served on the Board of Directors for the Defense Research Institute (DRI), Lawyers for Civil Justice (LCJ), the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (ASCDC) and the FDCC Foundation. She co-founded the inaugural “National Summit on the Right to Trial by Jury,” which was jointly sponsored by FDCC and ABOTA and held in Las Vegas in April 2005. Ms. Lawler is also a member of the Association of Defense Trial Attorneys (ADTA), Professional Liability Defense Federation (PLDF), Loss Executives Association (LEA) and Council for Litigation Management (CLM), and is active in the Insuralex and USLAW networks.
A frequent author and speaker, Ms. Lawler has been a presenter at educational seminars sponsored by many legal and insurance industry organizations. She regularly provides in-house seminars for clients, including certification for insurers on the California Fair Claims Settlement Regulations.

Ms. Lawler is admitted to practice before the courts of California and Oregon and the United States District Courts for Northern, Eastern, Southern and Central Districts of California.

A graduate of Loyola Marymount University (BBA, 1976), where she earned a Business degree with an emphasis in Finance, and Loyola Law School, Los Angeles (JD, 1979), where she was a member of the Jessup International Honors Moot Court Team and served on its Advisory Board, Ms. Lawler was recognized by Loyola Law School in 2004 as an honored alumni.

Representative Published Decisions

Published appellate decisions in Ms. Lawler's cases include St. Mary Medical Center v. Cristiano (C.D. Cal. 1989) 724 F. Supp. 732, Mitchell v. Scott Wetzel Services (1991) 227 Cal. App. 3rd 1474, Hartford Fire Ins. Co. v. Irene Macri (1992) 4 Cal.4th 318, In Re Circuit Breaker Litigation (C.D. Cal. 1997) 984 F. Supp. 1267, A-H Plating v. American Nat'l Fire Ins. (1997) 57 Cal. App. 4th 427,  Century Surety Co. v. Crosby Ins., Inc. (2004) 124 Cal. App. 4th 116 and Essex Ins. Co. v. Five Star Dye House (2006) 38 Cal. 4th 1252.  She also has many non-published decisions.

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American College of Coverage & Extracontractual Counsel - Regent
  • Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel, Board Chair 2005 - 2006, President 2004-2005, Board of Directors 1996-2006. 
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI), Board of Directors 2003 - 2006
  • Lawyers for Civil Justice (LCJ), Board of Directors 2003 - 2006
  • Association of Defense Trial Attorneys (ADTA)
  • Loss Executives Association (LEA)
  • USLAW Network
  • Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel Foundation, Secretary-Treasurer
  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance
  • Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, Board of Directors 1994 - 2000
  • Professional Liability Defense Federation

Honors and Awards

  • Defense Research Institute Service Award, 2006
  • Lawyers for Civil Justice Recognition for Service Rendered, 2006
  • Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel Recognition for Service Rendered, 2005
  • Loyola Law School – Distinguished Alumni, 2004

Published Works

  • "No Assurances, Insurance Coverage for the Events of September 11 Will Hinge Upon the Interpretation of Often Ambiguous Policy Language", Los Angeles Lawyer Magazine, Vol. 25 No. 6, September, 2002
  • "Managing Exposure in the New Age of Terrorism", Declarations Magazine, Excess/Surplus Lines Claims Association, February, 2002
  • "Indemnity Agreements and Additional Insured Endorsements", Declarations Magazine, Excess/Surplus Lines Claims Association
  • "Finding A Threshold: When Conflicts of Interest Give Rise to the Duty to Provide Independent Counsel" with "Survey of Jurisdictions Mandating Appointment of Independent Counsel", Defense Research Institute, 1999
  • "Finding A Threshold: When Conflicts of Interest Give Rise to the Duty to Provide Independent Counsel" with "Survey of Jurisdictions Mandating Appointment of Independent Counsel", Federation of Insurance & Corporate Counsel, 2000
  • "Sexual Harassment: What It Is, What It Isn't, and Who Signs the Check for Defense or Indemnity", Federation of Insurance & Corporate Counsel Quarterly, Summer, 1996
  • "The Tripartite Relationship: A Guidebook for Defense Lawyers", Federation of Insurance & Corporate Counsel, 1996
  • "Coverage Issues Raised By Employment Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Claims", Defense Research Institute, 1992
  • Environmental Claims and Coverage Issues, Federation of Insurance & Corporate Counsel
  • "Advertising Injury Coverage", Federation of Insurance & Corporate Counsel
  • "Lost Policy Issues", Federation of Insurance & Corporate Counsel
  • "Right of Insurers to Withdraw from State in Spite of Proposition 103", The Broker Magazine, Western Association of Insurance Brokers, Spring, 1990

Classes/Seminars Taught

  • “Developing the Next Generation of Lawyers–Ethical Issues in Law Firm Management,” ADTA 72nd Annual Meeting, April 17-21, 2013, White Sulfur Springs, WV
  • “Tackling Tenders – Who’s On First? Priorities of Coverage and Tools for Responding to Tenders of Defense and Indemnity,” CLM 2012 Insurance Bad Faith and Coverage Conference, September 14, 2012, Boston, MA
  • “The Power of Persuasion,” USLAW Network Women’s Collection Meeting, Austin, TX, April 27-28, 2012
  • “Primary Exhaustion of Limits in Construction Defect Litigation,” Claims and Litigation Management Alliance Webinar, April 11, 2012
  • "Technology For Lawyers - Best iPad Apps," Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel Winter Meeting, Phoenix, AZ, March 7, 2012
  • "Mediation Strategies and Effective Negotiation," Fall 2011 USLAW Network Client Conference, Chicago, IL, September 24, 2011
  • "Protecting Client Assets: Indemnity and Other Contract Terms - The Short List", USLAW Network Client Conference, Colorado Springs, CO, 2010
  • "Litigation and Bankruptcy: Removal, Remand, Jury Trials and Everything in Between", USLAW Network Client Conference, San Francisco, CA, 2009
  • "Hot Topics in Excess Insurance: A Survey of Underwriting, Claims Handling and Legal Developments" , PLRB/FDCC Critical Issues for Senior Insurance Executives and In-House Counsel Seminar, Chicago, IL, 2007
  • "Handle with Care: Discovery of Sensitive Information in the Coverage Action", DRI Insurance Coverage and Claims Institute, 2007
  • "Insurance, Indemnity and Construction Defect Claims", U.S. Law Network Annual Meeting, 2007
  • "What’s Hot and What’s Not in the USA – Trends and Latest Cases", DRI International Liability Program, Sydney and Melbourne, Australia, November 8 and 10, 2004
  • "Insurance Coverage for Employment Discrimination and Harassment Claims: Who Pays for Defense or Indemnity?", DRI/FDCC/IADC and ATDA Joint International Conference, Barcelona, Spain, May 11, 2004
  • "Construction Defects: Coverage Under Third Party Liability Policies", Property Loss Research Bureau Meeting, Chicago, 2004
  • "Policy Provisions, Endorsements and Exclusions", National Association of Independent Insurance Adjusters, 2003
  • "Policy Provisions, Endorsements and Exclusions - An Ever Changing Face in Construction Coverage", West Coast Casualty Seminar, 2002
  • "Fundamentals of Insurance", California Continuing Education of the Bar
  • "The Right to Independent Counsel", Defense Research Institute
  • "Litigation Avoidance Techniques", Federation of Insurance & Corporate Counsel Litigation Management College, Northwestern University, Kellogg Graduate School of Management
  • "Building and Developing a Relationship of Trust: Tools for evaluating and Establishing Performance", Federation of Insurance & Corporate Counsel Litigation Management College, Northwestern University, Kellogg Graduate School of Management
  • "Good Faith and Bad Faith Issues Involving Primary, Excess and Reinsurance Carriers: Who Draws the Short Straw", Federation of Insurance & Corporate Counsel
  • "Resolution of Ethical Dilemmas - An Introduction to ‘The Tripartite Relationships: A Guidebook for Defense Lawyers", Federation of Insurance & Corporate Counsel
  • "Recent Developments in Excess Insurance Coverage", Federation of Insurance & Corporate Counsel
  • "The Anatomy of Advertising Injury Claim", Federation of Insurance & Corporate Counsel
  • "The Excess Insurer: At the Mercy of the Primary Carrier", Federation of Insurance & Corporate Counsel
  • "Developments in Environmental Coverage Issues", Federation of Insurance & Corporate Counsel
  • "Coverage Issues Under Employers’ Liability Policies", Association of Southern California Defense Counsel
  • "Insurance Litigation", National Business Institute
  • "Emerging Coverage Issues", Association of Southern California Defense Counsel