Dan is a seasoned trial attorney with extensive experience representing clients in complex commercial disputes. He has successfully tried multi-million-dollar insurance and bad faith cases and has argued appeals significant to the insurance industry at the Washington and Oregon Supreme Courts. Dan is also a sought-after mediator who helps parties resolve disputed claims and has been recognized multiple times as an insurance coverage “Super Lawyer.”
Dan’s experience extends to all types of personal and commercial lines of insurance, including builder’s risk, commercial property, marine, cyber, life, accidental death, disability and a variety of third-party liability coverages (e.g., commercial general liability, employer’s liability, errors and omissions, directors and officers). He has advised and represented domestic and international clients in high-stakes cases involving bad faith and extra-contractual liability and obtained successful results on summary judgment and at trial. In addition, Dan is an adjunct professor at Seattle University Law School where he teaches insurance law.
After more than a decade representing solely insurers in coverage disputes, Dan now helps policyholders recover proceeds and benefits owed under their insurance policies. His significant experience and in-depth knowledge of the industry help him prepare effective recovery strategies for his clients. Dan brings this same knowledge and experience to his mediation practice where he works with the parties and their insurers to achieve practical and cost-efficient results.
Dan also has a successful appellate practice. Prior to joining GTTC, Dan led the appellate practice group at a highly respected regional defense firm. Dan has represented clients at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth and Sixth Circuits, the Washington and Oregon Supreme Courts, and the Washington Court of Appeals. His appellate experience first began after law school when Dan clerked for Justice James Johnson of the Washington Supreme Court.
Before Dan entered private practice, he was a prosecutor and successful trial lawyer in the United States Army JAG Corps. Dan handled numerous felony prosecutions and served as lead counsel in a capital murder case. While on active duty, Dan deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and received the Bronze Star Medal for his service.
- Unanimous Victory at Oregon Supreme Court – a terminal operator alleged that he suffered injuries at work caused by exposure to diesel, gasoline, and ethanol fumes. He received compensation for some (but not all) of his alleged injuries under Oregon’s workers-compensation system. And, afterwards, the injured worker sued his employer, asserting tort claims to recover for his non-compensable damages. The trial court dismissed the plaintiff’s tort claims and the plaintiff appealed, arguing that an Oregon statute created a substantive exception to the exclusive-remedy bar set forth in Oregon’s workers-compensation statute. Dan successfully represented the defendant employer on appeal. Following oral argument, a unanimous Oregon Supreme Court held that the statute relied on by plaintiff did not create a substantive exception to the exclusive-remedy bar; and, therefore, the trial court properly dismissed plaintiff’s tort claims against his employer.
- Trial Victory in Multi-Million Dollar Commercial Property Loss – a condominium homeowners association sued its insurer and sought to recover over $7 million in contractual and extra-contractual damages. Dan successfully defended the insurer at trial and obtained a complete defense verdict on behalf of his client.
- Summary Judgment Victory in Large Loss at Green Energy Facilities – an energy company that harvests methane to produce electricity suffered an alleged loss at several concrete digesters spread throughout the Pacific Northwest. The insured asserted contractual and extra-contractual claim against its London-based insurers. And the insurers’ overall financial exposure exceeded $45 million. Dan successfully defended the insurers and prevailed on summary judgment against all of the insured’s contractual claims.
- Exclusion of Expert Leads to Summary Judgement Victory in Multi-Million Dollar Commercial Property Dispute – a homeowners association sued its past insurers for years of ongoing damage at its condominiums complex. The association asserted contractual and extra-contractual claims against the insurers and sought to recover approximately $30 million in damages. Dan successfully moved to exclude the opinion testimony of the association’s key expert and his client prevailed on summary judgment as a result.
- Trial Victory In Multi-Million Dollar Claim Involving “Collapse” – a condominium complex allegedly suffered years of physical damage caused by ongoing water intrusion. The homeowners association alleged that Dan’s client had wrongly denied coverage for portions of the damage and failed to pay a sufficient amount to cover the cost of repairing a “collapse” at the property. Dan successfully defended his client at trial and obtained a complete defense verdict. The jury found that Dan’s client paid the correct amount to cover the “collapse” repairs and rightly denied coverage for the remaining damage.
- Complete Dismissal of Complex Builder’s Risk Claim – a California building project suffered physical damage during construction and the contractor sued the project’s builder’s risk in insurers in Seattle. Dan obtained a complete dismissal of the lawsuit for his clients based upon the plaintiff’s failure to file in the appropriate forum.
- Summary Judgment Win in Complex Builder’s Risk Claim – following a water loss at a construction project in downtown Seattle, the general contractor sought to recover for general conditions and general requirements allegedly related to the repairs. Dan obtained partial summary judgment on behalf of the international builder’s risk market, which resulted in a reasonable settlement of all remaining claims.
- Favorable Settlement in Builder’s Risk Claim Involving Retaining Wall Failure – construction of a student housing project in Oregon was delayed due to the failure of retaining wall. Dan successfully defended the international builder’s risk market against the developer’s claims and helped his clients obtain a reasonable settlement.
- Unanimous Victory at Washington Supreme Court – a building in Tacoma suffered damage due to a snowstorm and a dispute arose between the landlord’s and the tenant’s property insurers regarding equitable contribution. Significant issues in the case turned on whether the landlord’s insurer properly served the tenant’s insurer, and the federal district court certified the procedural question to the Washington Supreme Court. Following Dan’s oral argument, all nine justices accepted the position of Dan’s client and held that the Washington Insurance Commissioner is the exclusive agent to accept service for an authorized foreign insurer.
- Asserting Extra-Contractual Claims in Oregon – the Oregon Court of Appeals recently permitted an insured to pursue an extra-contractual claim for negligence per se. The insurer involved in the lawsuit—the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurer—hired Dan to argue the case at the Oregon Supreme Court. The parties are still waiting for the court to issue its decision.
PROFESSIONAL & CIVIC INVOLVEMENT
- Assist indigent clients pursuing custody of their children under the Hague Abduction Convention
- Vice Chair, Trial Tort & Insurance Practice
(TIPS) Property Insurance Law Committee
- Adjunct Professor of Law, Seattle University Law School
- Mukilteo Little League, Assistant Coach
PUBLICATIONS & PRESENTATIONS
- Co-Speaker & Author, “Extra-Contractual Issues and Exposures,” The
Seminar Group Northwest Insurance Law (2020)
- Co-Speaker & Author, “Understanding ‘Occurrences’ in Liability
Policies in the Context of Construction Litigation,” The Seminar Group
Comprehensive Insurance Law Summit (2017)
- Co-Speaker & Author, “Change is in the Air: Recent Changes in the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,” Western States Surety Conference
- Co-Author, “The Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011 and
Contingent Business Interruption Coverage,” Tort Trial & Insurance
Practice Law Journal Fall 2016 (52:1)
- Co-Speaker & Author, “Japanese Tsunami and Contingent Business
Interruption Losses,” American Bar Association (ABA) Tort Trial and
Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) Property Insurance Law Committee
Annual Spring CLE Meeting (2016)
- Co-Author, “Binding Arbitration Clauses No Longer Bind Policyholders in
Washington,” American Bar Association (ABA) Tort Trial and Insurance
Practice Section (TIPS), Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee
- Co-Author, “Fringe Science Put to the Test in ‘Collapse’ Case,” King
County Bar Association, Bar Bulletin (2013)
- Chapter Author, “Professional Liability Insurance: A Compendium of State
Law,” Defense Research Institute (DRI) (2012)
- Speaker, “Case Law and Regulatory Update: Washington State,” The
Seminar Group Comprehensive Insurance Law Summit (2016)
- Speaker, “Case Law and Regulatory Update: Washington State,” The
Seminar Group Comprehensive Insurance Law Conference (2015)
- Co-Speaker, “Intermodal Transportation and Risks,” Marine Insurance
Association of Seattle (MIAS) Day of Education (2015)
- Speaker, “Case Law and Regulatory Update: Washington State” The
Seminar Group Comprehensive Insurance Law Conference (2014)
- Co-Speaker, “Words Matter: Drafting and Interpreting Insurance Policies,”
Association of Marine Underwriters of San Francisco (2014)
- Co-Speaker, “Introduction to Extra-Contractual Insurance Claims in
Washington State,” Western States Surety Conference (2013)
- Co-Speaker, “Surety Law Updates – Western States (Except California),”
Western States Surety Conference (2012)
- My wife and I have three boys who are actively involved in sports, school, and our community. I’m a lifelong Seattle sports fan and enjoy supporting the Huskies, Seahawks, and Mariners.