Jean M. Lawler




- I know insurance policies and the insurance industry.

- My 37+ years as a coverage and trial lawyer allows me as a mediator to quickly understand and simplify the challenges of complex litigation, to facilitate resolutions that make sense to the parties.

- Mediation Day is a very important day for the parties and should be approached as such. My mediation approach adapts to the needs of each matter. I am a fan of pre-mediation conference calls, factual clarity, practicality and openness to creative solutions.


Based in Southern CA, I am available to mediate or arbitrate matters in California and across the world. I am pleased to serve as a panelist for NAM (National Arbitration and Mediation) and the Mediation & Conciliation Network (FICM-MCN) and to serve the Courts as a mediator with the ADR programs in the US District Court, Central District of California and the California Court of Appeals, 2d District.

Comments by Counsel after mediations include:

“Ms. Lawler was prepared and considerate.”

“You are a miracle worker!”

“Mediator had right disposition to deal with all parties.”

“Ms. Lawler understood all of the issues on appeal. She was very compassionate, dedicated and continued to follow-up even though we were at an impasse. I would strongly recommend her.”

“You were exceptional as a mediator.”

“Thank you, Jean. We truly appreciate your efforts.”

For other comments by counsel, please see my recent ADR profile published by the Los Angeles Daily Journal.

My experience has been diverse and international - ranging from insurance coverage/bad faith, tort, business, professional liability and complex civil and commercial litigation, to emerging risks such as data breach, cyber & privacy liability. I have a deep knowledge of the insurance industry, insurance policies and the various risks they insure against (primary, excess, reinsurance, program, surplus lines, London Market and international insurers).

When in private practice I represented North American, European, UK and Asian corporations, professionals, non-profits, individuals and insurers in a broad range of matters, at trial and on appeal. I have advised underwriters and drafted policy forms and endorsements. I served as Managing Partner of my former law firm and chaired the firm’s Insurance Law, Cyber & Privacy Law, International Law, and Business & Real Estate Transactions practice groups.

I am honored to be a Past President of the FDCC and the Insuralex Global Insurance Lawyers Group (Chambers-Band 1) and to be a Fellow and Founding Regent of the American College of Coverage Counsel.

As President of the FDCC, I co-founded the inaugural “National Summit on the Right to Trial by Jury” which was jointly sponsored by FDCC and ABOTA in 2005 and continues today by ABOTA as its 7th Amendment Summit. I am a member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) and serve on the Board of Directors of the Association of Attorney-Mediators.

Rated AV-Preeminent and recognized for many years on Martindale’s Bar List of Preeminent Women Lawyers, I have been honored to have been recognized on Super Lawyer’s annual lists of Top Southern CA Attorneys each year since 2006, originally for Insurance Coverage and now for ADR (2018 & 2019 - Alternative Dispute Resolution; 2006-2017 - Insurance Coverage) and on the list of Top Women Attorneys in Southern CA since its inception in 2011 (one of only 20 in 2016 for Insurance Coverage).

A California native, I am a graduate of Loyola Law School, Los Angeles and Loyola Marymount University (BBA, Finance). My formal mediation training was through the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University School of Law and Edwards Mediation Academy.

Over the years I have been a frequent speaker and author on many topics, including topics relating to negotiation, civil litigation, insurance, risk management, professional liability, law firms and emerging areas of liability and would be pleased to provide a CLE presentation at your office on a topic of your choosing.

I absolutely love what I do and would be honored to serve as your Mediator or Arbitrator.

Please contact me at 310-683-4332 or by email at

My mediation approach?

In advance of each session, I conduct conference calls with each counsel to discuss the case, legal and factual issues, their goals for the mediation and thoughts re settlement strategy, including whether or not the parties want to start with a joint session and what that session can look like. I always start with at least a “meet and greet” as a matter of general courtesy and respect before adjourning to separate rooms. The pre-mediation calls help everyone better prepare for a productive mediation session on many levels and in essence act as the start of the mediation, allowing the participants to be more “present” in the moment, if you will. As we do our work during the course of the day, I will bring counsel and/or parties together to talk and listen as needed. That said, each matter is unique and the approach taken will turn on the nature of the case and the pre-mediation discussions as to what will ideally work best to allow the parties to find CLOSURE. I am a fan of factual clarity, practicality and openness to creative solutions.”

areas of Specialization:

insurance COVERAGE + insurance LITIGATION

  • Complex Insurance Litigation

  • Declaratory Relief Actions

  • Insurance Coverage & Bad Faith

  • Insurer v. Insurer Disputes

  • Brokers, Agents, MGA's, TPA's and other insurance industry service providers

  • Underwriting

  • Examples of Types of Policies/Markets:

    • Primary, Excess, Surplus Lines, Reinsurance

    • Personal, General Liability, Commercial & Specialty Lines

    • Professional, D&O, LH&D, EPLI, Pollution, Agribusiness, Cyber & Financial Lines

    • Property, Marine & First Party Policies

    • Fine Art & Specie

    • London, Bermuda, European & Asian markets

COMMERCIAL litigation

  • ADA

  • Appeals

  • Commercial & Business Disputes

  • Construction Defect

  • Data Breach, Cyber & Privacy Liability

  • Directors & Officers

  • Emerging Risks

  • Environmental & Toxic Torts

  • Intellectual Property Litigation (“personal injury” and “advertising injury” disputes)

  • International/Cross-Border Disputes

  • Personal Injury

  • Professional Liability

  • Sexual Harassment/#MeToo

  • 2860 Cumis Counsel Fee Disputes

Representative Matters as mediator


  • Appeal from a judgment regarding the characterization of funds provided in connection with an IPO.

  • Appeal from a judgment re regulatory fees pertinent to material imported and disposed of in conjunction with surface mining operations at a municipal facility.

  • Appeal from a judgment in favor of a commercial service provider for unpaid invoices.

  • ADA suits regarding accessibility issues, alleging various architectural barriers at business establishments.

  • Breach of commercial contract in business v. business lawsuits.

  • “Lemon Law”, i.e. sale of allegedly defective automobile.

  • Enforceability of Arbitration Agreement in commercial contract.

  • Bodily injury arising from alleged product liability.

  • Fraud

Insurance/Bad Faith:

  • Insurance coverage issues and related claims for declaratory relief, breach of contract, bad faith and unfair business practices under various types of liability insurance policies regarding defense and indemnity of underlying lawsuits.

  • Claims for property damage and related coverage and alleged bad faith issues arising out of claims handling under 1st party insurance policies.

  • Rescission of various types of insurance policies for alleged misrepresentation in the application for insurance.

  • Dispute over ownership of a deceased’s life insurance policies and entitlement to life insurance proceeds, including the life insurer as a party.

  • Insurance coverage and bad faith dispute under multiple excess-level indemnity insurance policies regarding reimbursement of defense and settlement amounts paid by insured in connection with an adverse arbitration award.

  • Alleged obligation of a settling defendant’s insurer to pay insured’s attorney costs and interest attributable to a post-settlement attorney fee arbitration between the attorney and his client.

  • Declaratory relief regarding right of insurer to recover defense fees and settlement amounts paid pursuant to reservation of rights under Buss and Blue Ridge.

  • “Defense mediation” with multiple defendants and/or insurers re allocation and funding agreement in preparation for later mediation with plaintiff(s).

Personal Injury:

  • Various matters re personal injuries arising out of premises liability and other exposures.

  • Appeal from a multi-million $$ personal injury verdict for plaintiff.

Selected Presentations

  • Data Breach Litigation in the 2020 Landscape: Practical Tips and Strategies to Avoid the Pitfalls,

    Webcast, The Knowledge Group (January 2020)

  • Mediating Before and After Judgment, FDCC Annual Meeting, Sun Valley, ID (August 2019)

  • Legal Analytics, Big Data and You: The Future of Litigation Management, How We Practice Law & Evolving Ethical Considerations – Tomorrow’s Tools Today, ADTA Annual Meeting, Austin TX (April 2018)

  • Insurance Masters Series: Cyber Claims and Legal Trends (November 2016)

  • Insurance Roundtable: Disruptors - Technology and Product Liability Exposures (June/October 2016)

  • Cyber and Data Breach Losses: Recent US Court Decisions, Risk Management & Investigations, London, England (May 2016)

  • INSURALEX Talks: Disruptors and Their Risks-Tomorrow's "New Normal" is Here. What Some of These Exposures Look Like for Insureds, Insurers and Risk Managers, Insuralex Mid-Year Meeting, Los Angeles, CA (November 2015)

  • Insurance Roundtable: Defending Bad Faith Claims (September 2015)

  • Insurance Roundtable: The Advice of Counsel Defense and Waiver of the Attorney-Client Privilege in Coverage and Bad Faith Issues (May 2014)

  • Insurance Roundtable: Coverage Issues Related to Data Breach, Cyber Liability, and Privacy Claims (March 2014)

  • Insurance Roundtable: Coverage Issues Related to Directors & Officers and Professional Liability Policies (June 2013)

  • Developing the Next Generation of Lawyers–Ethical Issues in Law Firm Management, ADTA Annual Meeting, White Sulfur Springs, WV (April 2013)

  • Tackling Tenders – Who’s on First? Priorities of Coverage and Tools for Responding to Tenders of Defense and Indemnity, CLM Insurance Bad Faith and Coverage Conference, Boston, MA (September 2012)

  • The Power of Persuasion, USLAW Network Women’s Collection Meeting, Austin, TX (April 2012)

  • Primary Exhaustion of Limits in Construction Defect Litigation, CLM Webinar (April 2012)

  • Technology for Lawyers - Best iPad Apps, FDCC Winter Meeting, Phoenix, AZ (March 2012)

  • Mediation Strategies and Effective Negotiation, USLAW Network Client Conference, Chicago, IL (2011)

  • Protecting Client Assets: Indemnity and Other Contract Terms - The Short List, USLAW Network Client Conference, Colorado Springs, CO (2010)

  • Handling California Claims – The Right Way, USLAW Network Conference, NYC (2010)

  • Litigation and Bankruptcy: Removal, Remand, Jury Trials and Everything in Between, USLAW Network Client Conference, San Francisco, CA (2009)

  • Hot Topics in Excess Insurance: A Survey of Underwriting, Claims Handling and Legal Developments, PLRB/FDCC Critical Issues for Senior Insurance Executives and In-House Counsel, Chicago, IL (2007)

  • Handle with Care: Discovery of Sensitive Information in the Coverage Action, DRI Insurance Coverage and Claims Institute (2007)

  • Insurance, Indemnity and Construction Defect Claims, USLAW Network Client Meeting (2007)

  • What’s Hot and What’s Not in the USA – Trends and Latest Cases, DRI International Liability Program, Sydney and Melbourne, Australia (November 2004)

  • Insurance Coverage for Employment Discrimination and Harassment Claims: Who Pays for Defense or Indemnity? DRI/FDCC/IADC and ATDA Joint International Conference, Barcelona, Spain (May 2004)

  • Construction Defects: Coverage Under Third Party Liability Policies, PLRB Meeting, Chicago (2004)

  • Policy Provisions, Endorsements and Exclusions - An Ever Changing Face in Construction Coverage, West Coast Casualty Seminar (2002)

  • Fundamentals of Insurance, California Continuing Education of the Bar

  • The Right to Independent Counsel, DRI

  • Litigation Avoidance Techniques, FDCC Litigation Management College, Northwestern University, Kellogg Graduate School of Management

  • The Anatomy of an Advertising Injury Claim, FDCC

  • Developments in Environmental Coverage Issues, FDCC

  • Insurance Litigation, National Business Institute

Please visit our Scheduling page to Schedule your Mediation or Arbitration. Thank you!

finding SOLUTIONS = RESOLUTION + closure