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Overview

Recognized as a New York Metro Super Lawyer for the last nine years and a "Local Litigation Star" by Benchmark Litigation, Elizabeth A. Sherwin focuses her practice on the representation of policyholders in all types of insurance coverage litigation, including comprehensive liability insurance, products liability coverage, and first-party property coverage. Liz represents her clients—Fortune 500 firms, small privately owned companies, and individuals—in state and federal courts throughout the country, as well as in numerous arbitration proceedings. Liz successfully has tried several insurance coverage cases to verdict and has represented clients in numerous successful appeals involving issues of first impression defining the rights of policyholders. Liz also has obtained substantial settlements for clients/policyholders in insurance coverage disputes. 

Experience

Representative Matters

  • Representation of Warren Pumps LLC in a case seeking coverage from more than a dozen insurance companies for thousands of asbestos-related claims. The firm’s lawyers have secured several high-profile courtroom victories for Warren, including a decisive jury verdict worth hundreds of millions of dollars as well as landmark decisions from the New York Court of Appeals on the allocation of long-tail claims and the Delaware Supreme Court on critical issues, including assignment of policy rights and the trigger of coverage, which have allowed Warren to access more than $500 million dollars in asbestos insurance coverage limits.

Prior to joining the firm:

  • Representation of Visa Inc. in its insurance coverage action against its primary professional liability, technology, and multimedia insurer, Certain Underwriters at Lloyds, including successfully briefing before the San Francisco Superior Court a summary adjudication motion striking one of the carrier's primary defenses and helping obtain a ruling that fixed, minimum statutory damages available under California's Invasion of Privacy and similar statutes are not excluded under the policies.
  • Representation of a major manufacturer with respect to claims for insurance coverage for asbestos liabilities, including successfully briefing and arguing before the Michigan Court of Appeals for the policyholder’s right to immediate payment of its defense costs under decades-old CGL policies despite disputes as to whether those policies had been voided.
  • Working with a team representing a leading manufacturer in New Jersey state court against its former parent and more than 50 insurance companies in connection with insurance coverage for underlying asbestos liabilities, insurer bad faith, and breach of fiduciary duty claims.
  • A favorable jury verdict on all counts in an action involving insurance for damages arising out of product liability claims in J.R. Simplot v. Federal Insurance Co. (D. Idaho 2004).
  • Obtaining a policyholder verdict on all counts in a bench trial in New Jersey State court on behalf of a major pharmaceutical manufacturer in connection with claims for insurance coverage for underlying environmental liabilities at two New Jersey waste sites.

Reported decisions:

  • Metex Corp. v. Federal Insurance Co., 290 N.J. Super. 95 (App. Div. 1996), in which the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court held for the first time that a policyholder is entitled to coverage under its comprehensive general policies for the costs of compliance with the strict liability provisions of the New Jersey Spill Act, regardless of whether the state sues the policyholder to enforce the act.
  • Sarhank Group v. Oracle Corp., 404 F.3d 657 (2d Cir. 2005), in which the Second Circuit reversed the enforcement of an international arbitration award under the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards on the ground that there had been no agreement to arbitrate that was enforceable under United States law.
  • Clendennin Brothers, Inc. v. United States Fire Ins. Co., 390 Md. 449, 889 A.2d 387 (2006), in which the Maryland Supreme Court held, as a matter of first impression, that comprehensive general liability policy pollution exclusions do not bar coverage for welding fume-related liabilities.

Recognition

Rankings & Honors

  • Recognized as one of the "Top 250 Women in Litigation" by Benchmark Litigation, 2016-2017
  • Recognized as a New York litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation, 2015-2018
  • Recognized as a New York Super Lawyer, 2006-2017

News & Events

Articles

Education

J.D., cum laude, New York University School of Law, 1984

  • Order of the Coif
  • Senior note and comment editor, The Review of Law and Social Change

B.A., cum laude, Rutgers University, 1981

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 1985
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, 1985
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, 1986
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 1994
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, 1998

Bar Associations

  • New York, 1985
  • New Jersey, 1986
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