Ehrlich Law Firm wins landmark insurance decision in California Supreme Court

California Writs and Appeals Attorney

Ehrlich Law Firm wins landmark insurance decision in California Supreme Court

California Supreme Court SealA unanimous California Supreme Court held that a “severability of insurance” clause made a homeowner’s liability policy ambiguous where the insurer sought to rely on an exclusion that withdrew coverage for all insureds under the policy based on the intentional acts of one insured. Plaintiff Scott Minkler holds a $5 million judgment against David Schwartz, who molested him, and against David’s mother, Betty, for negligently failing to stop the wrongful conduct. Betty’s insurer rejected coverage, arguing that the intentional-acts exclusion in the policy, which withdrew coverage for any claim arising from the intentional acts of “an” insured, applied to the claims against Betty because David’s conduct was intentional.

The Supreme Court adopted the approach advanced by the Ehrlich Law Firm, finding that the policy’s severability provision, which states that “this insurance applies separately to each insured” would lead a reasonable insured to conclude that he or she would be treated as the only insured under the policy. Because most liability policies have severability clauses, the Minkler case may substantially broaden coverage in California for failure-to-supervise claims. Minkler v. Safeco (2010) __ Cal.4th __.)


A lawyer’s lawyer

Our principal attorney is Jeffrey I. Ehrlich, a certified appellate specialist by the State Bar of California’s Committee on Legal Specialization. Few attorneys can match Mr. Ehrlich’s appellate experience.  His skill is in analyzing complex legal and factual issues, and presenting them to the court in a clear, persuasive manner. We can help plaintiff’s attorneys with any appellate matter in either the state or the federal appellate courts.

We can defend favorable verdicts and attack unfavorable ones. We can draft writ petitions to seek appellate review of a devastating – but unappealable – trial court ruling, or respond to petitions filed by an opponent. We are experienced in seeking reversals in cases where the defendant has prevailed on summary judgment.

Benefits of hiring The Ehrlich Law Firm to handle your appeal

When large corporate defendants win or lose a jury verdict, or any type of major case at the trial level, they often bring in appellate specialists to handle the post-trial briefing. Why?

Sophisticated clients understand that the skills that win trials are not necessarily the skills that win appeals, and that appellate specialists are often best prepared to defend or attack a verdict on appeal.

Our Legal Services