Defendants commonly neglect to consider their insurance policies as a source to fund expensive litigation. When they do seek coverage, insurers may try to avoid fulfilling their obligations for compensation. At Lurie, Zepeda, Schmalz, Hogan & Martin, we research your insurance coverage when developing a strategy for your litigation. We analyze the often complex wording of insurance policies to determine whether your coverage can offset the costs of defense and assist in the claim process. Our experience representing major insurance companies on coverage-related matters means we are familiar with their handling and denial of claims, including refusal to pay a reasonable settlement.
Our strategies related to insurance coverage and litigation include:
Defended TIG Insurance Company (formerly Transamerica Insurance Company) in a one-month jury trial over a bad faith claim against Talbot Partners. Claim resulted from a breach of performance and payment bond issued by client to Cates Construction, a real estate developer. Established strategy for appeal wherein the California Supreme Court reversed the trial court’s $28 million decision in a landmark published decision in TIG’s favor. The court found that the developer and the bank could not recover in tort for the surety’s alleged breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing implied in the performance bond as a matter of law. The court held that contract remedies provide adequate compensation for breach of a construction bond and a surety cannot be liable for insurance bad faith.
Achieved a settlement and the dismissal of a breach of contract case for National Home Life Assurance Co., National Home Life Assurance Co. of New York and National Liberty Marketing, Inc. At issue was the performance of an agreement to telemarket mortgage insurance to recent home purchasers. The plaintiff, Ampac Insurance Marketing, Inc., alleged that client had misrepresented its experience, resources and capabilities for telemarketing mortgage insurance, fraudulently induced it to enter into the agreement and breached the contract.
Successfully reversed insurance company’s denial of client’s claim under a directors and officers liability insurance policy. Client had been sued for breaches of fiduciary duty as a corporate executive of the company he had founded, legally entitling him to receive reimbursement from the insurer for attorney’s fees at market rates during the time that coverage had been denied. However, the insurer failed to remit any reimbursement to client for such attorney’s fees. Client settled claim with insurer in his favor.
“Steve Hogan and I have shared a nice reciprocal relationship for over 10 years. He is everything you want in a litigator – innovative, smart, personable and relentless.”
“When my trust and estate planning clients need a litigator, I refer them Lurie, Zepeda, Schmalz, Hogan & Martin. The attorneys are experienced, focused and personable, and reduce my clients’ stress levels. Also, the staff is polite and the environment is highly professional.”
“I call Kurt Schmalz when one of my clients is facing litigation in California. Since he tries a lot of cases, he knows the judges, unique characteristics of various jurisdictions, and the art of picking a jury. He leverages these skills to settle cases when possible, and always is prepared to go to trial if needed.”
"Victoria Tsylina handled a real estate dispute on my behalf.
Her expertise and strategy were excellent – she obtained a desired result by making a strong pre-litigation demand, saving thousands of dollars in litigation fees and costs."
“The partners and associates at Lurie, Zepeda, Schmalz, Hogan & Martin are amazing attorneys and very down-to-earth. They patiently kept me informed of my options in fighting an employee’s wrongful termination case, and we got a great outcome.”
“Resolving a complex trust and estate litigation in California from our home in London was challenging. Retaining Steve Hogan to represent us based on a friend’s strong recommendation turned out to be the right decision.”
“Kurt Schmalz is a wonderful lawyer. He is meticulous in his legal work and applied his outstanding abilities to win our civil case, write the appeal and then give an extraordinary argument before the court.”
“Over the years, I’ve used a lot of lawyers for different matters. I like Lurie, Zepeda, Schmalz, Hogan & Martin’s high quality service. They are quick and professional and provide excellent value for their rates.
“I experienced a surprisingly positive outcome from very a complex estate situation. All my concerns were addressed. Resolving our communication challenges were accomplished while navigating a California case from my home in New Mexico.”
“Steve Hogan is my go-to choice when a client needs a Trusts and Estates litigator. He does a tremendous job representing clients and keeps me informed throughout the process.”
“Since the start of ETONIEN in 2008 we have used Steve Hogan for our business legal affairs and have been extremely happy with the results. However, during 2021 due to some timing issues, Steve suggested that we use M. Damien Holcomb to directly handle a very sensitive and complicated client issue. Damien did a great job in providing legal and business options for us to pursue and in working with the legal counsel of our client arrived at a very favorable outcome for our Company. We were very happy not only with Damien’s legal and business acumen—but also with his outstanding client service attitude.”
“I gained a lot of confidence in Troy Martin from co-litigating a case with him. He is easy to work with and has a great demeanor for handling trust, estate and probate litigation.”
“Whenever my firm has a conflict, I confidently refer clients to Steve Hogan because he cares as much about them as I do. He is very tenacious and gets great results. Practicing law is not just a job for Steve, it is his passion.”
“It is important for us to work with down-to-earth, honest, respectful attorneys. The attorneys at Lurie, Zepeda, Schmalz, Hogan & Martin are all of those things and more.”
"Victoria Tsylina was lead counsel on my Estate, Trust, Probate and Employment Litigation during an exceptionally trying time in my life.
Her unwavering support, her perseverance and sensitivity saved my sanity. Her skillful ability to decipher and argue complex legal concepts, along with her expertise to analyze and balance delicate family matters, produced a positive outcome.
Victoria executed my case expeditiously and fairly.
I would highly recommend her professional services and of her team's at Lurie, Zepeda, Schmalz, Hogan & Martin.
Kudos to Victoria and many thanks to Steve Hogan for your interaction."
“Kurt Schmalz is one of the best litigators in Southern California. He is intelligent, careful, results-oriented, and practical in his approach. Kurt is a phenomenal choice for any client.”
“The Hogan team were dedicated, informed, all the while encouraging positive forward thinking to ensure the best outcome on my behalf. Steve offered up his associate attorney to work closely with us while also keeping our litigation fees to a minimum. The entire firm treated me as I were family.”
“Troy Martin is a very diligent attorney. Probate litigation is a complicated process and Troy does a good job of explaining things to my clients, making it much easier for me.”
“Troy Martin has successfully resolved real estate and trust litigation for my clients. He is very responsive and strategically considers potential outcomes versus potential costs when planning the best path to pursue.”
“Extremely valuable real estate divided our family after my father passed away. I needed the best attorney in town, and fortunately was referred to Troy Martin. Troy took a personal interest in my case and patiently pursued a successful settlement strategy rather than high-billing litigation.”
“When I need co-counsel in California, I call Kurt Schmalz. He is smart, knowledgeable and very experienced trying cases in the local courts, which is of great value to me and my clients. Kurt takes the time to understand a case and provides insightful input during every step of the process.”
“When a trusted employee embezzled from me and stole trade secrets, Troy Martin kept me sane. He is patient, kind and very knowledgeable. Troy’s exceptionally clear lawsuit was so easy for the jury to follow that we won the case with a seven figure verdict.”
“I originally met Steve Hogan when we were opposing counsel. We developed a trusting relationship and I confidently refer clients with trusts and estate disputes to Steve.”
“I quickly gained confidence in Troy Martin. He listens carefully, is rational in his approach, and thoughtfully explains the calculations behind his communications with the opposing side. Troy achieved our desired outcome by patiently negotiating a settlement, saving us a lot of money in the long run.”
“I seriously like Steve Hogan and refer clients who have Trust and Estate litigation issues to him. Steve gets great results and has a reasonable approach to meeting with clients and billing.”
“Thank you Kurt and Victoria! Your resolve and creativity steered this case straight to victory. Your steady hand on the wheel kept me sane in a matter of enormous personal and financial consequence. Litigation is never fun but winning sure is. Calling you was an inspired moment.” Raymond J. Tittmann, Esq. (Continental Casualty Co. v. Tittmann, et al, LASC Case No. 18STCV04963).
“I confidently refer Trust and Estate litigation matters to Steve Hogan for his specific experience in this area. He skillfully pursues the desired outcome, overcoming the challenge of difficult opponents, is timely, and a great communicator.”
“I have spent a lot of time working side-by-side with Lurie, Zepeda, Schmalz, Hogan & Martin’s attorneys as an expert witness for their cases. They are fantastic litigators, hardworking and fun to be around.”
“I was unsure about pursuing litigation to resolve a long-standing dispute with family members over property. Steve Hogan made me comfortable with the decision to move forward, and we won our case. Steve is very personable and was in-tune with the many issues I was facing throughout the process.”
"The Hogan-Holcomb team of Lurie, Zepeda, Schmalz, Hogan & Martin, A.P.C. stuck with me through a hard-fought 3-year case involving a very complicated estate with a myriad of twists and turns unimaginable! They got it to a settlement where my Life Concerns were more-than met enabling me a future lifetime of security and prosperity. The many twists and turns were met with their immediate knowledge, instinct and creativity resulting in a true success! They stuck with me through thick and thin and I'd recommend them to anyone dealing with an estate matter where winning matters! I was up against a very well-manned team and I called-in the BEST! Needless to say using Steve Hogan and Damien Holcomb was one of the wisest choices in my life!"
"Truth be told I had concerns about using a $695 / hour power attorney for a relatively smaller probate issue. However I am so pleased to see Mr. Hogan achieve the best possible outcome for us without breaking the bank. Mr. Hogan skillfully stayed in command while empowering a younger but very capable attorney Mr. Magana to do much of the work for us. In the end, the court of appeal’s opinion virtually tracked our briefs. Order (00620669) Thank you for a job well done!"