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Jean M. Lawler

Civil Litigation

Insurance Coverage + Litigation

Jean Lawler is a lawyer and mediator with a proven ability to resolve even the most complex of lawsuits. Based in Southern CA, she is available to mediate or arbitrate matters in CA and across the world.

Jean serves as a panelist for NAM (National Arbitration and Mediation) and the Mediation & Conciliation Network (FICM-MCN). She also pleased 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 re mediations with Jean 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.”

Well versed in insurance, tort, personal injury, business and contract related litigation, Jean is also experienced with cutting-edge legal issues presented by emerging risks such as cyber insurance, the IoT, AI, machine learning and privacy.

Jean is recognized internationally for her expertise in the field of Insurance, including for her knowledge of the insurance industry, insurance policies (primary, excess, reinsurance, program and surplus lines, London Market and international insurers), and the risks they insure against . She has advised underwriters and drafted policy forms and endorsements.

When in private practice, Jean represented North American, European, UK and Asian corporations, professionals, non-profits, individuals and insurers in a broad range of matters, including professional liability, insurance coverage & bad faith litigation, business litigation and complex civil litigation, at trial and on appeal. She served as Managing Partner of her former law firm and at various times chaired the firm’s Insurance Law, Cyber & Privacy Law, International Law, and Business & Real Estate Transactions practice groups.

A Past President of the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (FDCC) and the Insuralex Global Insurance Lawyers Group (ranked Band 1 for Insurance by Chambers), Jean was also a Founding Regent and Fellow of the American College of Coverage Counsel. As President of the FDCC, she 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. She is a member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) and serves 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, Jean has also been recognized on Super Lawyer’s annual lists of Top Southern CA Attorneys each year since 2006 (2018 & 2019 - Alternative Dispute Resolution; 2006-2017 - Insurance Coverage) and Top Women Attorneys in Southern CA since its inception in 2011 (one of only 20 in 2016 for Insurance Coverage).

A California native, she is a graduate of Loyola Law School, Los Angeles and Loyola Marymount University (BBA, Finance). She has received mediation training from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University School of Law and Edwards Mediation Academy.

A frequent speaker and author on topics relating to negotiation, civil litigation, insurance, risk management, professional liability, law firms and emerging areas of liability, Jean would be pleased to provide a CLE presentation at your office on a topic of your choosing.

Please contact Jean 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. This helps all of us better prepare for a productive mediation session. Unless the parties want a joint opening session, I prefer to start with a casual, short “meet and greet” as a matter of general courtesy and respect and move directly into separate rooms to start the work of the day, but coming together to talk as needed during the day. 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. I love what I do and am honored to be entrusted with the privilege of mediating your matter.

areas of experience:


  • Bad Faith, Declaratory Relief + Coverage Disputes

  • Primary, Excess, Surplus Lines, Reinsurance

  • Personal, Commercial & Specialty Lines

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

  • Property, Marine & First Party Claims

  • Fine Art & Specie

  • London, Bermuda, European & Asian markets

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

  • Underwriting

Civil litigation

  • Appeals

  • Breach of Contract

  • Business Torts

  • Climate Related Litigation

  • Commercial & Business Disputes

  • Construction Defect

  • Cyber, Privacy & Data Breach

  • Directors & Officers

  • Emerging Risks

  • Environmental/Toxic Torts

  • Financial Institutions

  • General Liability

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

  • International/Cross-Border Disputes

  • Personal Injury/Catastrophic

  • Premises Liability

  • Product Liability

  • Professional Liability (non-medical)

  • Property Damage

  • Technology

  • 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 architectural barriers at various business establishments.

  • Breaches of commercial contracts in business v. business lawsuits.

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.

  • Insurance coverage issues, breach of contract and bad faith claims arising out of 1st party claims.

  • 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 first attorney the costs of a post-settlement attorney fee arbitration between the attorney and his client, plus interest on amount of award.

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

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.

  • Injuries from the use of alleged defective product.

Selected Presentations

  • 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.

finding common ground = SOLUTIONS + closure