ACC San Francisco Chapter Presents


Sponsored by

  Thursday, September 15, 2016

11:30AM - 1:30 PM
Networking reception & registration open at 11:30 a.m.
Program begins at noon.

Garden Court Hotel
520 Cowper Street
Palo Alto, CA 943023

  Valet Parking is free!

Program Summary:

Companies are staying private longer and purchasing private company directors’ and officers’ liability (D&O) insurance, sometimes known as “Management Liability” insurance.  When it comes to D&O coverage, most private companies focus on two things: obtaining it, and keeping the premium  low. When a company faces a claim, however,  it discovers there is much more complexity to private D&O insurance, and often broader coverage than a public company D&O policy. Accessing and maximizing the available coverage may require a concerted, strategic effort on the part of  the company,  its insurance broker, and  insurance coverage counsel.  This program will cover:

  • Key features of management liability policies
  • Common exclusions and limitations
  • The practical impact of certain clauses – and widely-available coverage enhancements that can mitigate these impacts
  • Implications of common pitfalls and mistakes in reporting and managing claims


Erica Villanueva
, Partner, Farella Braun + Martell LLP

Erica Villanueva is a partner in Farella Braun + Martel’s Insurance Coverage practice. She advises policyholders seeking to maximize coverage under their insurance policies, and litigates insurance coverage disputes.


Ms. Villanueva has extensive experience handling claims under a variety of insurance policies, including general liability, directors’ and officers’ liability, aviation, employment practices liability, property and business interruption policies.  She works with policyholders to ensure that their claims are properly presented to insurers, in order to obtain the maximum possible insurance recovery.  Ms. Villanueva advocates on behalf of her clients to resolve any coverage disputes that may arise during the course of a claim, taking a practical and proactive approach to negotiation with insurers.  In cases where a negotiated resolution is not possible, Ms. Villanueva litigates insurance coverage disputes.  She has substantial coverage litigation experience, both at the trial and appellate levels.


Some of her recent representative matters include:

  • Representing an owner of commercial aircraft in a lawsuit involving a $20 million claim for the loss of several aircraft and engines.  The matter settled favorably several months before trial.
  • Advising a major energy company facing shareholder litigation and other related lawsuits, seeking to maximize coverage under the company’s directors’ and officers’ liability insurance.
  • Representing a manufacturer of engineered sealing systems in a lawsuit seeking insurance coverage for asbestos judgments.  After taking over the matter from previous trial counsel and preparing extensive briefing on appeal, the appellate court reversed the trial court’s ruling in favor of the insurers and remanded the matter for a new trial.
  • Representing a property owner whose title insurer had denied coverage for an underlying easement dispute.  In the ensuing insurance coverage litigation, Ms. Villanueva obtained a ruling that a title insurer had breached its duties to defend and indemnify the insured.

Ms. Villanueva has spoken and published articles on various insurance-related topics, including “Understanding Commercial General Liability Coverage in California,” “General Counsel as Risk Manager,” “Tendering Your Claim,” and “How to Prepare for a Mediation Involving Coverage Issues.”  She is an active contributor to the firm’s insurance coverage blog, The Policyholder Perspective.

Tyler Gerking Partner, Farella Braun + Martell LLP

Mr. Gerking has successfully litigated insurance coverage and bad faith claims to recover what is due to his clients.  

  • He has extensively litigated issues relating to insurers’ duty to defend and bad faith.  He won summary judgment in U.S. District Court for a technology company against its insurer for breach of the duty to defend, also establishing that the breach prevented the insurer from compelling arbitration of a billing rate dispute under Cal. Civ. Code section 2860.  He also won a bench trial in California state court against a directors’ and officers’ liability insurer that it breached its duty to defend a securities class action lawsuit, a result he successfully defended in the California Court of Appeal.
  • He has recovered cyber-liability and data security breach losses under technology errors and omissions policies for technology clients.
  • He has pursued and obtained directors' and officers' liability insurance recoveries, including on behalf of several clients in connection with stock option backdating litigation.
  • He has advised clients, including a nationwide retailer, on insurance and insolvency issues arising out of the potential insolvency of Kemper Insurance Companies. 

While his practice primarily involves insurance coverage issues, Mr. Gerking has also litigated bankruptcy, contract, commercial real estate, and intellectual property disputes.  His clients have included Seagate Technology, Prosper Marketplace, Inc., McAfee, Inc., Electronic Arts Inc., McKesson Corp., Novartis Vaccines & Diagnostics, Central Garden & Pet Co., Centillium Communications, Inc., as well as the shareholder derivative plaintiffs in the Broadcom Corp. stock options backdating litigation.

Mr. Gerking is recognized by Chambers USA (2014-2016) as an “up and coming” attorney in California in the Insurance Policyholder practice area. He also has been recognized among the Northern California Super Lawyers - Rising Stars (2010–2015). Mr. Gerking was a judicial extern for Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco.


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