Jeffrey I. Ehrlich is one of the preeminent plaintiffs’ appellate lawyers in California. In his career Ehrlich has argued almost 200 appeals — appearing before the U.S. Supreme Court, 7 of the 13 federal circuits, and virtually every appellate court in California. Since establishing his solo practice in 2006 he has been lead counsel in 31 California appellate decisions, of which 17 were published. This includes three victories in the California Supreme Court, where he currently has two additional appeals pending.
In Wilson v. 21st Century Ins. Co. (2007) 42 Cal.4th 713, the Court limited the use of the “genuine issue” defense by insurers in insurance bad-faith cases. In Minkler v. Safeco Ins. Co. (2010) __ Cal.4th __, the Court held that the “severability” clause included in most liability policies introduces ambiguity where the policy contains exclusions that withdraw coverage for all insureds based on the acts of a single insured. And in Brown, Winfield & Canzoneri v. Superior Court (Great American Ins. Co.) (2010) 47 Cal.4th 1233, the Court held that it was not improper for appellate courts to issue a “suggestive” Palma notice in response to a writ petition.
Ehrlich’s pending matters in the Supreme Court are Cabral v. Ralph’s Grocery Co., and O’Neil v. Crane Co. Cabral examines issues of causation and duty under California negligence law. O’Neil considers whether manufacturers who supplied the U.S. Navy with asbestos-containing valves and pumps can be held liable to sailors injured by the asbestos within the equipment.
Since forming his own firm Ehrlich has also won important victories in the appellate courts. These include Mintz v. Blue Cross of Cal. (2009) 172 Cal.App.4th 1594 [third-party administrators who administer self-insured health plans owe a duty of care to the plan beneficiaries]; Amerigraphics v. Mercury Ins. Co. (2010) 182 Cal.App.4th 1538 [business-interruption coverage applies to business’s fixed costs, even if business was not making a profit]; Nazaryetan v. California Physician’s Service (2010) 182 Cal.App.4th 1601 [health insurer could not obtain summary judgment on the reasonableness of its underwriting process to support rescission]; Brehm v. 21st Century Ins. Co. (2008) 166 Cal.App.4th 1225 [insurers offering uninsured-motorist (“UM”) coverage were obligated to make good-faith attempts to settle their insured’s UM claims]; In re Estate of Prindle (2009) 173 Cal.App.4th 119 [insurer who failed to defend insured estate in wrongful-death action estopped to rely on plaintiff’s failure to submit timely claim to estate]; and Medeiros v. Superior Court (2007) 146 Cal.App.4th 1008 [insurer could not avoid statutory rules regarding disclosure of use of arbitration clauses by doing away with insurance application].
In 2009, without filing suit, Ehrlich convinced Blue Shield of California that California law required it to provide full coverage for insulin for all its diabetic insureds.
Ehrlich was a featured speaker for the Rutter Group seminar on Recent Developments in Insurance Bad-Faith in 2009, and will speak on Summary-Judgment Practice in 2010.
Ehrlich is a two-time winner of the Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles “Appellate Lawyer of the Year” award.
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