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Murchison & Cumming’s Jean M. Lawler Retires as Senior Partner of the Firm

January 30, 2017

Dan L. Longo, Managing Partner of Murchison & Cumming, LLP has announced that, after more than 31 years at Murchison & Cumming, former Managing Partner Jean M. Lawler has retired as a Senior Partner of the firm and transitioned to Senior Counsel status. As she moves into the next phase of her legal career, Ms. Lawler, who became a trained mediator in 2007, will be focusing on building a mediation/ADR practice.

Ms. Lawler, who has been a lawyer for more than 37 years, started at the firm in 1985 as a part-time Senior Associate with four children under the age of seven, and progressed through the ranks, becoming a Senior Partner in January 1997, the first woman to sit at that table. Ms. Lawler was instrumental in implementing many changes at the firm over the years, encouraging and mentoring lawyers and building practice groups. A founder of the firm’s Insurance Law practice group, Ms. Lawler developed an international practice and reputation, representing insurers from the U.S., London, Bermuda, European and Asian insurance markets and their insureds in a myriad of litigated and non-litigated matters. She has also served as a Chair of the firm’s Cyber & Privacy Law, International Law and Business & Real Estate Transactions practice groups. From 2008-2013 Ms. Lawler served as firm-wide Managing Partner, growing the firm and leading it through the challenges of the Great Recession.

A leader of the defense bar on a local, national and international basis, Ms. Lawler presently serves as President of Insuralex, a global insurance lawyers group with members around the world. In 2011 she was honored to assist in founding the American College of Coverage & Extra-Contractual Counsel and thereafter serving for several years as a Regent of the College.

Ms. Lawler was the first woman to become President of the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (FDCC), an international professional association of defense counsel, corporate counsel and insurance executives founded in 1936, serving as its President for the 2004-2005 term. Her service included participating in the American Civil Trial Bar Roundtable in Washington, DC, whose focus that year included speaking out against violence against the judiciary and the need for increased safety in our country’s courthouses; speaking on American law in Australia and Spain; and implementing and overseeing several FDCC initiatives.

Those initiatives included the 2004 inaugural FDCC Corporate Counsel Symposium and co-founding the April 2005 inaugural “National Summit on the Right to Trial by Jury,” (also known as the 7th Amendment Summit), jointly developed by FDCC and ABOTA with the support and sponsorship of many other legal associations. Convened to consider the issue, “The American Jury Trial — Do We Allow Its Death or Lead Its Rebirth”, the Summit resulted in a call to action on the part of the bar and judiciary. Resolution #41 on the ABOTA website, the 7th Amendment Summit Resolution adopted on August 13, 2005, and its ensuing outgrowth is one action that resulted from that Summit.

She has also served as a Director of DRI, Lawyers for Civil Justice (LCJ) and the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (ASCDC).

“I am both delighted and saddened that Jean is retiring, as she has been a colleague, opposing counsel and friend for years,” said Mary Craig Calkins, a partner at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton in Los Angeles. “Jean is a Founding Fellow of the American College of Coverage & Extracontractual Counsel, a national organization of preeminent coverage and bad faith counsel, and has a tremendous background in the insurance issues affecting both sides. With her competence, skill and demeanor, I know Jean will excel as she opens her ADR practice.”

A graduate of Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, and Loyola Marymount University, Ms. Lawler is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell, listed in Who’s Who, rated as a Southern California Super Lawyer since 2006 and, since 2011, been included on Super Lawyers’ Annual List of Top Women Lawyers in Southern California. On the 2016 List, she was one of only 20 Southern California women recognized for Insurance Coverage.

“I have had the pleasure of working with Jean for more than 30 years,” said Managing Partner Dan L. Longo. “During that time she not only developed an international reputation as an excellent attorney, she also helped guide our firm through the troubled waters related to the 2008 financial meltdown. We wish Jean the best in her new role and are confident that she will bring the same expertise and hard work to her new career in ADR.”

A firm believer in the words “carpe diem”, Ms. Lawler looks forward with anticipation to the professional and personal experiences the future will bring and the people she will meet. She also very much looks forward to having time to use some of the frequent flyer miles she has accumulated and to being able to spend more time with family and her young grandchildren (other than working on science projects, that is).

About Murchison & Cumming, LLP
With a firm history dating to 1930, Murchison & Cumming, LLP is a premier, AV-rated civil litigation firm with five offices in California and Las Vegas, whose attorneys specialize in the defense of domestic and international businesses, insurers and individuals, at trial and on appeal. The firm's attorneys also handle employment matters and business transactions. The firm is a member of the USLAW and Insuralex Networks.