Nate’s practice focuses on insurance bad faith and coverage litigation, commercial litigation, general liability litigation, and professional liability litigation. He represents insurance companies, insurance adjusters, global corporations, contractors, business owners, insurance agents, and professionals. He handles all aspects of insurance-related litigation, including advising and defending insurers in bad faith litigation, drafting coverage opinions, advising and defending insurers in UM/UIM litigation, litigating declaratory judgment actions, defending liability claims, and advising/defending insurers when policy holders enter million dollar Damron, Morris, or Helme Agreements.
Nate works with clients that insist on doing things “the right way.” He believes that early case analysis, accurate estimation of litigation costs, frequent client communication, and honest recommendations are critical to effective legal representation and client satisfaction. A client must be provided information early and updated often to determine whether to litigate a matter through mediation, arbitration, dispositive motions or trial—or whether to make a merit-based or business decision to settle a case early for a fraction of litigation costs.
Nate also keeps his clients abreast of the latest developments in Arizona insurance bad faith, coverage and UM/UIM law by providing timely articles and blog posts regarding recent cases.
- Winning a Unanimous Defense Verdict in a Bad Faith Jury Trial. Nate and his Partners Tom Moring and Micalann Pepe recently tried a two-week, breach of contract and insurance bad faith case arising from a homeowner’s claim that Plaintiffs made after wind and rain storms to a jury in Arizona and won a unanimous defense verdict for a national insurer. Other than an early offer of judgment served with the complaint, until two weeks before trial, Plaintiffs did not demand less than $800,000. Then, over the two weeks before trial, Plaintiffs’ demand dropped to $127,000. During closing arguments, Plaintiffs asked the jury to award $441,000 to $807,000 for the remediation and repair of the property, as well as emotional distress. The jury returned a unanimous defense verdict after only 90 minutes of deliberation.
- Ninth Circuit Oral Argument in Bad Faith Case. After persuading the Arizona District Court that Arizona’s survival statute applies to breach of contract and bad faith claims against his insurer client, and obtaining a summary judgment on both claims, Nate recently defended his insurer client from the plaintiff’s appeal and argued the case to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Expertise Regarding Arizona’s Unique Damron, Morris, and Helme Agreements. Nate recently represented an insurer in a dispute regarding a $1 million Damron Agreement and settled the case for less than the estimated costs of a declaratory judgment action. He persuaded plaintiff that, despite denying coverage, the insurer neither breached nor owed any duties to the insured because the insurer never expressly refused to defend and the insured failed to notify the insurer of either the tender or exhaustion of underlying insurance.
- Successfully Defending Catastrophic Personal Injury Claims. Nate recently defended and settled claims against a global corporation in a quadriplegia personal injury case in which plaintiffs demanded more than $30 million. Despite clear liability, he settled the case for less than plaintiff’s own estimate of future medical expenses by creating a scope of employment issue and arguing plaintiff assumed the risk of his catastrophic spinal injury by failing to wear a neck protector used by motocross riders.