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William D. Naeve Attorney at Law
Irvine Office
Senior Partner
714-972-1404 fax

Las Vegas Office
(702) 360-3956
(702) 360-3957 fax

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Bar Admissions

  • California, 1980
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California, 1982
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California, 2011
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 1983
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1985
  • Nevada, 2001
  • U.S. District Court District of Nevada, 2001


  • Western State University College of Law, Fullerton, California (J.D., With Scholastic Merit, 1979)
    • Recipient, Corpus Juris Secundum Award
    • Law Review: Western State University Law Review, Member, 1978 - 1979
  • University of California, Los Angeles, California (B.A., 1976)

William D. Naeve

William D. Naeve is a Senior Partner at Murchison & Cumming, LLP and practices out the firm’s Orange County and Las Vegas offices. The focus of Mr. Naeve’s practice is concentrated on the defense of Medical Liability and Managed Healthcare Care claims, Insurance Coverage and Bad-Faith defense and Retail Hospitality Liability claims. Medical Liability and Managed Care Organization Defense.

Mr. Naeve’s expertise in Healthcare Industry litigation includes extensive experience representing and defending a wide array of both insured and self-insured Healthcare entities including acute care and rehabilitation hospitals, skilled nursing and assisted living facilities against (1) Medical Liability and Elder Abuse; (2) Managed Care Organization (MCO); (3) Staff Privilege; (4) Healthcare related Employment Practices Liability; and (5) General Liability claims.

1.  Mr. Naeve has defended and/or tried hundreds of Medical Liability assignments advanced against hospitals, SNFs and ALF’s throughout the States of California and Nevada. From straightforward medical malpractice to sophisticated failure to diagnose medical malpractice cases and Elder Abuse allegations, Mr. Naeve combines his defense litigation experience with a fundamental knowledge of medicine as augmented by the use of top tier and leading edge Medical Experts to initially evaluate and then recommend resolution strategies to his clients

2. Building on his medical liability experience, Mr. Naeve also specializes in the defense of Managed Care Organization ("MCO") and Healthcare related Employment Practices liability claims. With regard to MCO, Mr. Naeve's experience includes the defense of:

  • Provider Disputes involving Medicare and Medical Fee for Service (FFS) claims, usual, customary and reasonable (“UCR”) Commercial Health Plan payment claims ; physician grievance, fraud and abuse and contract termination claims, fair hearings, wrongful termination and retaliation claims;
  • Negligent Credentialing and Vicarious Liability involving contentions that a managed care organization improperly credentialed a provider whose performance medical services is alleged to have resulted in injuries to the subscriber;
  • Wrongful Denial, Delay or Modification of necessary healthcare services by Health Care Service Plans filed under California Civil Code Section 3428;
  • D&O Claims arising out of disputes by and between Officers and Directors of Healthcare Entities involving allegations of Breach of Fiduciary Duties, Unfair Competition, and allegations of individual liability for obligations existing within Organizational Documents such as Operating Agreements.

Mr. Naeve recently served as lead defense counsel in Kirk King vs. CompPartners, Inc. (2018) ____Cal.5th____ in which the California Supreme Court affirmed an Order of Dismissal of an action Mr. Naeve secured in favor of an Utilization Review (“UR”) Company and an UR physician sued by an Injured Employee for medical malpractice and general common law negligence. The Supreme Court’s opinion in King stands for the proposition that a Workers’ Compensation Applicant’s claims against UR entities and the UR physicians--involved in the medical management of Applicants’ Workers’ Compensation claims--are pre-empted as a matter of law by the Exclusive Remedy Rule codified in the Workers’ Compensation Statutes.

  • Healthcare Employment Practices Claims advanced against Healthcare entities by allied health professionals. Mr. Naeve regularly defends single plaintiff Healthcare related Wrongful Termination, Discrimination, Disability, Harassment and Retaliation and wage and hour class actions. In this regard, Mr. Naeve represented a Community Hospital in the reported opinion entitled Singh v. The Superior Court (Lancaster Community Hospital) (2010) 140 Cal.App.4th 387. The court in Singh affirmed a summary judgment Mr. Naeve secured in a wage and hour class action which approved the manner in which the Community Hospital paid premium overtime to its non-exempt employees who worked 3/12 shifts pursuant to an Alternative Workweek Schedule (AWS).

A. Insurance Coverage and Bad-Faith Defense Experience

In addition to his Healthcare expertise, Mr. Naeve is a recognized Insurance Coverage and Bad-Faith defense lawyer. In this regard, Mr. Naeve serves as California and Nevada coverage Counsel for Seneca Insurance Company the carriers owned and operated by Catalina Insurance Company. He provides coverage advice to other carriers including Life, AD&D and disability carriers such as Legal & General Group, Banner Life Insurance Company and Farmers New World Life. In this regard, Mr. Naeve was the lead attorney representing various carriers in a number of reported California Court of Appeal opinions including Malcolm v. Farmers New World Life Ins., Co.; Coe v. Farmers New World Life Ins. Co.; Canadian Ins. Co. of California v. Ehrlich; Blumberg v. Guarantee Ins. Co.; and Hartford Fire Ins. Co. v. Superior Court.

Mr. Naeve also represented a defendant in the Nevada Supreme Court case entitled, Sparks vs. Benchmark Ins. Co. (2011) 127 Nev. Adv. Op. 33, 254 P.3d 617, which examined the question of whether an auto liability carrier could be relieved of its duty to defend by interpleading its minimum statutory limits into court.

B. Hospitality Defense

Finally, Mr. Naeve is privileged to represent national fast-food restaurants and retail establishments in liability, food borne disease class actions and commercial contract litigation.

References available upon request.

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Bar Association, Tort and Insurance Practice Section
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • Clark County Bar Association
  • Association of Southern California Defense Counsel
  • Defense Research Institute, Employment, Nursing Home and Life, Health, Disability & ERISA Sections
  • National Health Lawyers
  • California Society for Healthcare Attorneys, Insurance Law Committee
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers of Orange County
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Claims & Litigation Management Alliance

Representative Cases

Published Works

  • "Buying a Business? Don't Get Bitten by the Hidden Risk of Successor Liability," German American Chamber of Commerce Legal & Tax Newsletter, Vol. 3 2011
  • "The Supreme Court Administers Another Body-Blow to Employers: Sullivan vs. Oracle," Murchison & Cumming, LLP, Employment Brief, Summer 2011
  • "The Mixed-Motive Jury Instruction is Reincarnated in California Pregnancy Discrimination Cases," Murchison & Cumming, LLP, Employment Brief, Spring 2010
  • "Court Limits Scope of Disability Claims," Orange County Business Journal, April, 1994;
  • "Malpractice Cap Limits Injury Compensation," Orange County Business Journal, Special Healthcare Report, February, 1994;
  • "Limits on Litigation Privilege Could Portend Wider Liability," Los Angeles Daily Journal, August, 1992;
  • "Claims of Unfair Competition Are Striking the Workplace with Increasing Regularity," Orange County Business Journal, May, 1992;
  • Contributing Editor, "Responding to Document Requests," Matthew Bender Federal Litigation Guide, 1989;
  • Insurance Handbook for Business Litigators (Co-Author), 1989.


Classes/Seminars Taught

  • "Arbitration Agreements in Employment Contracts...Are employee class actions a thing of the past?," USLAW Network/Murchison & Cumming, LLP 2013 CLE Program & Summer Beach Bash, June 25, 2013, Santa Monica, CA
  • "Sunshine and Hot Topics," USLAW Network/Murchison & Cumming, LLP 2013 CLE Program & Summer Beach Bash, June 25, 2013, Santa Monica, CA
  • "Plaintiffs’ Use of Stray Remarks  as Proof of Management Discrimination, Harassment or Retaliation," ACCA -SoCal Employment CLE, May 25, 2011, Costa Mesa, CA, May 26, 2011, Los Angeles, CA
  • “The Stray Remarks Doctrine: Free Speech Is Not Necessarily Free,” USLAW Network Five City Tour, March 3, 2011, Los Angeles, CA
  • "Minimizing Coverage Risks Arising from an Insured’s Merger or Acquisition,” Lloyds Underwriter Boot Camp, February 9, 2011, London, England
  • "Defense of Legal Malpractice", Orange County Bar Association Seminar, 1993, Lanai, Hawaii



  • Pi Alpha Delta