Cary Lerman has been a Munger, Tolles & Olson partner since 1976. Mr. Lerman’s practice includes representing policyholders in insurance coverage litigation, analyzing insurance issues for clients of the firm and advising clients on restructuring their corporate insurance programs. He also advises clients on the structuring and ethical obligations of insurance staff counsel offices. Mr. Lerman’s work in this area began with the Asbestos Insurance Coverage Litigation, where he was the principal trial lawyer from Munger Tolles. He has repeatedly been selected for inclusion in Chambers USA.
Since then, Mr. Lerman has represented and continues to represent nationally known companies in litigation and in counseling on insurance coverage issues. Those issues have involved general liability policies, officer and director liability policies, fidelity bond and crime policies, electronic errors and omissions policies, environmental impairment policies, engineering and architecture liability policies and first party property damage policies.
These matters involve insurance coverage for environmental contamination, construction defects, product liability, securities law violations, employee theft, mass tort personal injury claims, advertising, trademark copyright and privacy violations.
Mr. Lerman is a trial attorney whose practice includes litigating insurance coverage disputes and other claims in state and federal court. He has successfully tried general insurance coverage and bad faith claims. He won a multi-million dollar jury verdict against a national insurance company under a third party liability policy, obtaining a finding of bad faith and punitive damages, and won, on summary judgment, a bad faith finding against another national insurance company. He regularly represents clients in domestic and international arbitrations and represented one client in an international insurance arbitration that resulted in a unanimous award of over $85 million. He has counseled companies with respect to their rights under liability and property policies for many types of claims and has strategized with them on options for maximizing their coverage. He counsels companies on insurance related issues involved in mergers or demergers in order to insure that coverage is maximized -- or not lost -- in the process of reorganization. He also reviews clients’ insurance programs and advises on weaknesses or gaps in coverage. His work on behalf of his clients has resulted in recoveries well in excess of $2 billion.
Mr. Lerman’s practice also includes complex business litigation and arbitrations, including defending class action lawsuits, securities litigation, investment advisory claims, reinsurance transactions, legal malpractice claims, complex commercial disputes and consumer unfair trade practices actions.
Mr. Lerman has extensive experience representing clients in domestic and international arbitrations, successfully prosecuting arbitration claims in excess of $350 million and obtaining a defense award against claims in which the claimant sought in excess of $300 million from his client. He is a frequent lecturer and author of articles on domestic and international arbitration. He regularly teaches at law schools in Russia and elsewhere on international arbitration and the U.S. court system.
Mr. Lerman is also active in the arts and art law. He represents visual artists, art publishers, galleries, art representatives and cartoonists in negotiating contracts and in litigation. He also represents museums in litigation, arbitrations and negotiations. And he has taught museum law courses to graduate students studying to become museum directors, curators and registrars.
He graduated from UCLA School of Law (1972), where he served as notes and comments editor of the UCLA Law Review. He was the recipient of the Alumni Award for the highest academic achievement.
- An international oil company, in a series of related international arbitrations, resulting in combined recoveries of more than $285 million for alleged environmental liabilities.
- An investment partnership, in obtaining insurance coverage under an errors and omissions policy for investment advisory services claims, after the insurer denied coverage, arguing that the claim was made prior to the policy period.
- A petroleum refiner, in collecting more than $75 million in losses, including for business interruption, arising from a refinery fire.
- A reinsurer, in a series of related lawsuits (including receivership actions, class actions and individual actions) and government investigations alleging fraud in the issuance of reinsurance.
- An international pipe manufacturer, in a series of lawsuits and arbitrations, successfully obtaining coverage for asbestos and property damage claims.