Matt is an experienced insurance coverage attorney who focuses his practice on matters involving directors & officers liability, professional liability, and employment practices liability. He acts as coverage and monitoring counsel for primary and excess insurers in complex coverage matters involving, among other things, shareholder litigation, investigations and actions by various governmental agencies, professional services, and claims against financial institutions. Matt has extensive experience providing coverage analysis, counseling clients and handling all aspects of claims in connection with non-litigated coverage matters. In addition, Matt represents insurers in coverage and bad faith litigation in jurisdictions throughout the United States. 

 

While in law school, Matt served as a judicial intern for District Judge Sandra J. Feuerstein and Magistrate Judge A. Kathleen Tomlinson of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.  In addition, his note, titled Uncertainty at the Outer Boundaries of the First Amendment: Extending the Arm of School Authority Beyond the Schoolhouse Gate Into Cyberspace, was published in the Summer 2010 edition of the St. John’s Journal of Legal Commentary

 

NOTABLE CASES

Obtained summary judgment for a D&O insurer in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, sustaining declination of coverage for an underlying federal criminal action based on its relationship to a demand letter from a state regulatory agency that pre-dated the inception of the policy at issue.  

 

Settled breach of contract claim brought against a professional liability insurer by a former director of a failed bank for a nominal sum after securing win on motion for dismissal, with prejudice, of bad faith and other extra-contractual claims against the insurer.  

 

 

PUBLICATIONS 

Third Circuit: FI Professional Liability Policy Does Not Cover Settlement of Class Action Seeking Return of Overdraft Fees, Client Advisory (May 4, 2016) (discussing decision by the Third Circuit finding that a carve-back from loss for fees for professional services precluded coverage for the entirety of the settlement of a class action seeking the return of overdraft fees, including the award of attorneys’ fees and costs to class counsel)

 

New York Federal Court Rules in Favor of D&O Insurer on Issue of Interrelatedness of Claims Arising from Alleged Fraudulent Business Opportunity Scheme, Client Advisory (November 3, 2014) (discussing decision holding that a criminal action was a claim deemed "first made" prior to the inception of the policy period because it was interrelated with a prior demand letter from a state regulatory agency, which the court found qualified as a "claim" under the policy)

 

Two Courts Add to Growing Body of Cases Holding that Excess Policy Not Triggered by Insured's Below-Limits Settlement with Underlying Insurer, Client Advisory (September 19, 2012) (discussing decisions by the Sixth Circuit and New York State Supreme Court holding that coverage did not attach under an excess D&O policy where an insured’s below-limits settlement with an underlying insurer precluded the insured from satisfying the excess policy’s “exhaustion” requirement)

 

Central District of California Rules in Favor of D&O Insurers on Issue of Interrelatedness of Claims Arising from Collapse of IndyMac, Client Advisory (July 2, 2012) (discussing decision by the United States District Court for the Central District of California holding that several lawsuits arising out of the failure of a bank – filed during the second of two consecutive claims-made D&O policy periods – were interrelated with a prior claim made during the first policy period and, therefore, constituted claims deemed first-made during the first policy period)

 

Dismissal of Prior Case on Demand Futility Grounds Does Not Mandate Dismissal of Parallel Shareholder Derivative Action, Client Advisory (June 29, 2012) (discussing decision by the Delaware Court of Chancery holding that a California federal court's prior dismissal of a shareholder derivative action for failure to adequately plead demand futility did not have a preclusive effect on the issue of demand futility in a parallel shareholder derivative action under the doctrine of collateral estoppel)

 

Sixth Circuit Finds ERISA Fiduciaries Not Entitled to "Moench Presumption" at Motion to Dismiss Stage, Client Advisory (March 9, 2012) (discussing decision by the Sixth Circuit holding that the Moench presumption does not apply at the motion to dismiss stage)

 

Highlights of a Record-Setting Year: Securities Litigation Activity in 2011 and its Impact on the D&O Insurance Landscape, Client Advisory (February 3, 2012) (providing a summary of the highlights with respect to securities litigation activity in 2011 and its impact on the D&O insurance market as reported in the Advisen Securities Litigation Year-End Review Webinar)

 

Southern District of California Finds Ambiguity in D&O Liability Policy’s E&O Exclusion Endorsement, Client Advisory (January 19, 2012) (discussing decision by the United States District Court for the Southern District of California holding that an endorsement to a D&O policy excluding E&O claims was ambiguous since it was unclear as to whether the term “services,” as used in the endorsement, was meant to include the “wrongful acts” specifically identified in policy’s coverage section)

 

Southern District of California Finds Insurer Entitled to Rescission Based on Insured's Concealment of Material Adverse Information, Client Advisory (December 31, 2011) (discussing decision holding that under California law, an insurer was entitled to rescind two errors & omissions liability policies because the insured concealed material information in connection with the procurement of the policies)

 

New York Appellate Court Finds that Disgorgement Payment to SEC under Settlement Agreement was not an Insurable Loss, Client Advisory (December 14, 2011) (discussing decision holding that under New York law, a disgorgement payment to the SEC in settlement of charges that a mutual fund broker willfully facilitated illegal mutual fund trading practices did not constitute an insurable loss under a professional liability policy)

 

Eastern District of California Finds that Insurer Properly Allocated Defense Costs and Set Reasonable Rates for Independent Counsel Selected by Insureds, Client Advisory (November 22, 2011) (discussing a decision addressing an insurer's right under a duty to defend policy to set reasonable rates for independent defense counsel and to allocate defense costs where defense counsel represents both insureds and a non-insured)

 

Eleventh Circuit Finds No Coverage under D&O Policy for Informal SEC Investigation, Client Advisory (October 18, 2011) (discussing decision holding that under Florida law, coverage was not available under a D&O policy for more than $20 million in legal fees incurred by Office Depot, Inc. in responding to an informal investigation by the SEC)

 

Southern District of California Finds Coverage under D&O Policy for Legal Fees Paid on Behalf of Non-Party Employees Subpoenaed in Securities Fraud Lawsuit, Client Advisory (September 1, 2011) (discussing decision finding an entity insured's employees constituted "Directors and Officers" under the policy at issue and that Insuring Clause B provided coverage of the employees' legal fees)

 

District of Arizona Finds Coverage under D&O Policy for Securities Fraud Lawsuit/Stipulated Judgment Arising out of Merger Agreement, Client Advisory (April 29, 2011) (discussing decision holding that insured v. insured and fraud exclusions did not bar coverage for the underlying securities fraud action, and that an $8 million stipulated settlement in the underlying action constituted insurable “loss”)

Practice Areas

Insurance Coverage

-Directors and Officers Liability

-E&O and Professional Liability

-Employment Practices Liability

-ERISA and Fiduciary Liability

-Financial Institutions

Coverage Litigation and Arbitration 

 

Education
St. John’s University School of Law, J.D., 2009

State University of New York at Buffalo, B.A., summa cum laude, 2006

Bar and Court Admissions
New York

New Jersey

U.S. Courts of Appeals – Second and Sixth Circuits

U.S. District Court – District of New Jersey

 

Other Professional Affiliations

Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS)