Catching the White Whale — Proving Insurance Bad Faith and Recovering Punitive Damages at Trial in the United States

Allen Brandt, Senior Associate, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Colin Kemp, Partner, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Jean Joseph, Partner, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Mark Van de Voorde , Chief Legal and Administrative Officer, Worldwide General Counsel, Victaulic Company of America (inc)

On the heels of their $55.3 million insurance litigation victory in Victaulic Co. v. American Home Assurance Co. et al., Victaulic Company’s Chief Legal and Administrative Officer Mark Van De Voorde and Victaulic’s outside trial counsel Joseph D. Jean, Colin T. Kemp and G. Allen Brandt of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, review strategies for taking an “insurance bad faith” case to trial before a jury in the United States. The article broadly outlines the importance of appropriate liability insurance to multi-national corporations, and the means by which in-house counsel can manage business risk through insurance and by working with their insurers. If and when, however, the relationship with an insurer breaks down, in-house counsel must lead their clients in preparing for trial. That takes planning and preparation, however. Based in part on their experience in the Victaulic litigation, the authors explain how to get ready for trial, outlining strategies for success, including utilizing the jury instructions and applicable law as guides, using the discovery process to marshal the evidence, and advancing themes and theories to tell a good, compelling story to the jury. Along the way, the authors provide a primer on U.S. insurance jurisprudence, highlight useful resources and identify pitfalls to avoid.

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Litigation Industry July 2016 Vol. 9, No. 36, Summer 2016

Allen Brandt


G. Allen Brandt ( is a senior associate in Pillsbury’s San Francisco office and a member of the firm’s Litigation practice. His practice has an emphasis on insurance, securities, and corporate matters. He also concentrates on tribal law and federal Indian Law and has worked with tribes to develop tribal court systems. He holds a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and a J.D., , from the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law.

Colin Kemp


Colin Kemp ( is a partner in the Litigation group at Pillsbury and is based in the firm’s San Francisco office. An experienced trial lawyer who brings pragmatism, charisma, dedication and focus to his clients and their legal matters, his practice is split between representing insurance policyholders in coverage disputes and advising life sciences, biotechnology and medical device companies in intellectual property litigation. He holds a B.S. in Biology and Philosophy from Lewis & Clark College and a J.D., cum laude, from Santa Clara University School of Law.

Jean Joseph


Joseph Jean ( is a partner in Pillsbury’s Insurance Recovery & Advisory practice and is located in the New York office. He focuses on property and business interruption insurance for commercial property owners in various industries and has represented clients on some of the nation’s largest and most important catastrophic property losses, including the attacks on the World Trade Center and natural disasters such as Superstorm Sandy, hurricanes, tornados, floods and earthquakes. Over the past 5 years, Joe has helped policyholders recover more than $2 billion in damages. He also advises clients on insurance coverage for matters involving product liability, construction defects, directors’ and officers’ liability, employment liability, and governmental investigations.

Mark Van de Voorde


Mark Van De Voorde is the Chief Legal and Administrative Officer and CorpMark Van De Voorde is the Chief Legal and Administrative Officer and Corporate Secretary of Victaulic Company, Victaulic LLC and Victaulic International Sarl (“Victaulic”). In this role, Mark deals with a wide array of legal and compliance issues around the world including but not limited to commercial law, litigation and dispute resolution, import-export, antitrust and fair trade, environmental, health and safety, SRO and regulatory approvals, anti-corruption and anti-money laundering as well as corporate development projects. Mark holds a B.B.S. in Finance from the University of Iowa, a J.D. with high distinction from the University Of Iowa College Of Law, and an M.B.A. with honors from the University of Chicago.

Litigation Industry July 2016 Vol. 9, No. 36, Summer 2016