John R. Riddle
John R. Riddle represents and counsels insurers in complex coverage matters, including those involving financial institution bonds, commercial crime policies, D&O policies, and commercial general liability policies.
During the claim assessment stage, he acts as coverage counsel and identifies and provides analysis of the coverage issues unique to the matter. He assists his clients in arriving at the correct answers to the coverage issues, keeping in mind the insurers’ duty of good faith and fair dealing owed to its insureds. An experienced litigator in state and federal courts, John also represents insurers in coverage litigation, including cases in which the insurer files suit to resolve the relevant issues, such as whether the insurer can rescind the policy for misrepresentation or whether the insurer owes a duty to defend or indemnify the insured.
John has obtained many favorable dispositive rulings for insurers in coverage litigation involving complex, high-dollar claims. He has authored many articles concerning insurance law and the effective handling of claims by insureds. John has also made many presentations and participated on several panels involving insurance law, including at conferences conducted by the ABA Fidelity and Surety Law Committee, the Surety and Claims Institute, the Northeast Surety and Claims Institute, and the Gulfcoast Surety and Fidelity Institute.
American Bar Association, Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section – Fidelity & Surety Law Committee, Vice-Chair, Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section – Excess, Surplus Lines
State Bar Licenses
- Represented an excess insurer in litigation in Texas involving claim for computer fraud and funds transfer fraud coverage under a Commercial Crime Policy; obtained summary judgment for the excess insurer: RealPage, Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company and Beazley Insurance Company, Inc., No. 3-19-cv-01350-B (N.D. Tex., Feb. 24, 2021).
- Represented an insurer on claim and in related coverage litigation in Tennessee involving employee dishonesty claim under a Financial Institution Bond for Credit Unions; obtained summary judgment for the insurer affirming rescission of the bond: Berkley Regional Insurance Company v. Greater Eastern Credit Union, No. 2:18-CV-00077-DCLS, 2020 WL 869734 (E.D. Tenn. Feb. 21, 2020).
- Represented an insurer in litigation in Oklahoma involving claim brought by financial services firm under a Blanket Fidelity Bond for Securities Dealers; obtained summary judgment for the insurer: Wilbanks Secs., Inc. v. National Union Fire Ins. Co., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19278 (W.D. Okla., Feb. 2, 2018).
- Represented an insurer in litigation in Nevada involving claim for employee theft under a Commercial Crime Policy; obtained summary judgment for the insurer on coverage and bad faith claims: CP Food & Beverage, Inc. v. United States Fire Insurance Company, 324 F. Supp. 3d 1172 (D. Nev. 2018).
- Represented an insurer on claims and in related coverage litigation in New York involving claims by victims of the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme under Financial Institution Bond; obtained judgment on appeal for the insurer on coverage issues and bad faith claim: United States Fire Ins. Co. v Nine Thirty FEF Investments, LLC, 132 A.D.3d 413 (N.Y. App. Div. 2015).
- Represented an excess insurer on claim and in related coverage litigation in Florida by Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp. in Florida for alleged losses arising out of fraudulent scheme involving Lee Farkas; obtained summary judgment against the policyholder: Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s v. Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortg. Corp. (In re Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortg. Corp.), 2015 Bankr. LEXIS 624 (M.D. Fla. Feb. 19, 2015). Also defeated claim by the insured’s creditors who sought recovery on the insurance policies as third-party beneficiaries.
- Represented insurers on claim and in related coverage litigation in Minnesota involving multi-million dollar Louis Pearlman bank fraud scheme; obtained summary judgment against numerous banks, which was affirmed by the Minnesota Court of Appeals: Alerus Financial N.A. v. St. Paul Mercury Ins. Co., No. A1 1-680, 2012 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 100 (Minn. App. Jan. 30, 2012), review denied, 2012 Minn. LEXIS 157 (Minn. April 17, 2012).
- Represented a CGL insurer on a claim for environmental costs related to a fire and chemical release on a drilling pad in Ohio; obtained reversal of adverse judgment on appeal: Zurich American Insurance Company v. Certain Underwriters, No. 01-19-00184-CV, 2020 WL 5048141 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] August 20, 2020).
- Represented an excess insurer on claim and in related coverage lawsuits in federal and state courts in Tennessee involving a massive Ponzi scheme using fraudulent mortgage loans; obtained summary judgments which were affirmed by Sixth Circuit and by Tennessee Court of Appeals: Union Planters Bank, N.A. v. Continental Cas. Co., 478 F.3d 759 (6th Cir. 2007); Regions Fin. Corp. v. Marsh USA, Inc., 310 S.W.3d 382 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2008).
- Represented an insurer in coverage litigation in California involving commercial general liability policy involving identity theft and Ponzi scheme; obtained summary judgment on both duty to defend and duty to indemnify, which was affirmed by the court of appeals. Relief granted included judgment in favor of the insurer for several million dollars of defense costs previously advanced under a reservation of rights. Affirmed by California Court of Appeals: Chicago Title Ins. Co. v. St. Paul Mercury Ins. Co., No. B221 489 (Cal. App. 2011).
- Represented an insurance agent in litigation in Texas involving entitlement to life insurance proceeds and claim for damages; obtained summary judgment which was affirmed by the Fort Worth Court of Appeals: Allen v. United of Omaha Life Ins. Co., 236 S.W.3d 315 (Tex. App. Forth Worth 2007, pet. denied).
- Represented an insurer on claim and in subsequent coverage litigation involving technology errors and omissions policy; obtained summary judgment which was affirmed by Fifth Circuit: SingleEntry.com, Inc. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 330 F. Supp. 2d 827 (W.D. Tex. 2003), aff’d, 117 Fed. Appx. 933 (5th Cir. 2004).
- Represented an insurer on claim and in related coverage litigation by Enron Corp. in Texas for alleged losses relating to transactions with former Enron CFO Andrew Fastow.
- Represented a D&O insurer in connection with claims by the FDIC, by ERISA claimants, and by the Department of Justice arising out of the failure of a large bank in Florida.
- Represented a D&O insurer in connection with claims arising out of the failure of a charitable organization in Texas.
- Represented an insurer on claims and in related coverage litigation arising out of major mortgage fraud scheme in Virginia.
- Represented insurers on claims and in related coverage litigation arising out of numerous fraudulent loans by officers at two different banks in Georgia.
- Represented an insurer on claims arising out of major bond fraud scheme in Arkansas.
- Represented an insurer on claim and in related coverage litigation arising out of numerous fraudulent loans by loan officer in New York at a major international bank.
- Represented a life insurance company in several lawsuits in Texas involving sale of life insurance related to alleged abusive tax shelter schemes.
- Represented an insurer on claim for employee theft by a major financial services firm.
- Represented insurers on several claims and related coverage litigation involving alleged employee theft losses.
- Represented insurers on claims and resulting litigation involving significant losses involving thefts from ATMs.
- Dishonest Acts of the Insured as a Defense to Coverage Under a Commercial Crime Policy, Fidelity & Surety Law Committee
- The Role of the Director in a Fidelity Claim, Fidelity & Surety Law Committee
- Whose Law Is It Anyway? Choice of Law Issues in Insurance Coverage Litigation, Gulfcoast Fidelity & Surety Institute Annual Program (June 2016)
- If It’s A Tie, You Lose – The Limits of the Contra Proferentem Doctrine in Construing Insurance Policies, Gulfcoast Fidelity & Surety Institute Annual Program (June 2015)
- Mock Trial Participant, ABA Fidelity & Surety Law Committee Mid-Winter Meeting (January 2014)
- Coverage Issues Presented by Loan Participations and Sales of Loans, Gulfcoast Fidelity & Surety Institute Annual Program (May 2013)
- Defense Cost Coverage Under Financial Institution Bonds and the Interplay between Fidelity Bonds and D&O and E&O Policies, Surety & Fidelity Claims Institute Annual Meeting (June 2011)
- It’s Not Supposed to Be That Way: Use of Reformation or Rules of Construction to Correct Mistakes in an Insurance Policy, Surety & Fidelity Claims Institute Annual Meeting (June 2010)
- It’s Not Supposed to Be That Way: Use of Reformation or Rules of Construction to Correct Mistakes in an Insurance Policy, Gulfcoast Fidelity & Surety Institute Annual Program (June 2010)