Murchison & Cumming LLP

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, a Senior Partner at Murchison & Cumming, LLP, serves as Co-Chair of the firm's Directors & Officers, Management Protection, Hospitality, Employment Law and Class Action & Consumer Litigation practice groups. Mr. Naeve is "AV" rated by Martindale Hubbell and focuses his practice in the areas of hospitality, healthcare, employment, professional liability, general liability, insurance coverage, and first and third party bad faith, defense of business contracting, employment termination and discrimination, ERISA, wage & hour, and life & disability bad faith claims, breaches of fiduciary duties, D&O and litigation. Nationally recognized brands entrust Mr. Naeve to defend their interest in claims ranging from food borne illness and premises liability to employment discrimination and consumer affairs claims.

Mr. Naeve was lead counsel for the defense in Singh v. Lancaster Community Hospital, 140 Cal.App.4th 387 (May 2006). Singh involved a wage & hour class action in which the court affirmed Mr. Naeve's client's manner of paying overtime wages to its employees.

Additionally, Mr. Naeve presented oral argument before (1) the California Supreme Court in Kimmel v. Goland, which examined the nature and scope of California’s statutory litigation privilege; and (2) before the Nevada Supreme Court in Benchmark Insurance v. Sparks, which examined the nature and extent of the duty to defend.

He also successfully litigated the California Supreme Court case King v. CompPartners, Inc. (S232197)and the following reported California Court of Appeal cases: Smith v. Superior Court; 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 is licensed to practice law in California and Nevada and works out of the firm’s Irvine and Las Vegas offices.

Mr. Naeve has served as a Judge Pro Tem for the Orange County Superior Court and as a Moot Court Judge for the UCLA School of Law Moot Court competition.

Representative Clients

  • Farmer's Group, Incorporated
  • Canadian Insurance Co. of California
  • Universal Health Services, Incorporated
  • Ford Aerospace Corporation

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


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