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In a career spanning nearly three decades, he has successfully represented Fortune 500 corporations, numerous energy companies, and a host of other clients in disputes over environmental, asbestos, mass tort, as well as numerous other claims, has won eight of nine trials and has argued precedent-setting appeals before the highest state courts in New York and Massachusetts as well as the First and Second Circuits.
In recent years, Dave's practice has focused largely on insurance coverage claims for environmental liabilities and mass torts, which are among the most complex of coverage claims.
Dave has a talent for giving juries the deep historical context they need to how disputed insurance policy language should be interpreted -- for example, how to distinguish willful acts from legal and customary business activities. He also aggressively pursues favorable settlement opportunities at all times, regardless of the status of litigation.
In addition to his insurance coverage work, Dave has successfully tried a libel action and two CERCLA contribution actions, one of which earned him Law360's Environmental MVP award. Both verdicts were affirmed by the Second Circuit.
Dave frequently lectures on coverage issues before various industry audiences and has been a visiting lecturer at Yale University Law School. He has published articles and book chapters on insurance topics ranging from how to obtain insurance coverage for environmental claims to trial strategies for insurance coverage actions.
Recognized by The Best Lawyers in America since 2010
Recognized by Super Lawyers for Insurance Law since 2011
Nooter Corporation v. Allianz Underwriters Insurance Co.: Lead trial counsel for the policyholder in an action in which the jury found coverage for asbestos claims under excess liability insurance policies, awarding the policyholder compensatory and punitive damages. The court also issued rulings that entitle Nooter to obtain hundreds of millions of dollars for future asbestos claims.
Boston Gas Co. d/b/a KeySpan Energy Delivery New England v. Century Indemnity Co.: Lead trial counsel for the policyholder in two separate trials in which a unanimous jury twice found that Boston Gas Company was entitled to insurance coverage for former manufactured gas plant sites.
Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. v. Allstate Insurance Co.: Lead trial and appellate counsel for the policyholder concerning insurance coverage for environmental claims.
Keene Corp. v. Columbia Casualty Co.: Assisted in the trial of an asbestos insurance coverage action in which the court found that, under New York law, asbestos-related personal injury claims cause insurance policies to respond throughout the continuous injury process.
New York State Electric & Gas Corporation v. FirstEnergy Corporation: Served as lead trial counsel in New York State Electric & Gas Corporation v. FirstEnergy Corporation, in which the court pierced the corporate veil and held FirstEnergy responsible to pay a significant portion of NYSEG's liabilities at numerous environmental sites. Successfully argued the appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which unanimously affirmed the veil piercing holding of the district court.
Rochester Gas and Electric Corp. v. GPU Inc.: Lead trial counsel in which the court pierced the corporate veil to find FirstEnergy Corporation responsible to pay a portion of Rochester Gas' liabilities at two environmental sites. That decision was unanimously affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit 11 days after oral argument.
Century Indemnity Co. v. Brooklyn Union Gas Co.: Established pro-policyholder standard under New York law for late notice claims involving excess insurance coverage.
R.T. Vanderbilt v. Continental Casualty Co.: Wrote successful brief resulting in decision by Connecticut Supreme Court that a "PRP" letter for an environmental agency constitutes a "suit" implicating the insurer's duty to defend.
Anderson Kill's 22nd Annual Policyholder Advisor Conference 'Maximizing Your Insurance Recovery'
Speakers: Stephen D. Palley
| New York, NY
Speakers: Bruce A. Cholst, Karol S. Robinson
| New York, NY
Stephen D. Palley
Robert M. Horkovich | Raymond A. Mascia Jr. | Vivian Costandy Michael
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