AMY ELIZABETH STEWART

Managing Principal

Amy Elizabeth Stewart is an experienced, AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated* lawyer, who represents policyholders in commercial insurance coverage disputes, including insurance coverage litigation and arbitration, bad faith litigation, pre-suit advice and negotiations, and other complex insurance litigation matters. Amy has achieved outstanding results for clients in complicated, high-stakes cases through diligent preparation, meticulous attention to detail, and tenacious advocacy.

When an insurance company has denied coverage, refused to defend, failed to pay, or reserved the right to deny a claim, Amy assists her clients in maximizing the coverage provided by their insurance policies. She represents policyholders exclusively in disputes involving the existence and scope of insurance coverage, the applicability of exclusions, insurance policy interpretation, the insurer's claim handling, timely payment of claims and defense costs, policy procurement and fortuity issues, violations of state insurance regulations and consumer protection statutes, bad faith, and claim resolution. She also advises her clients regarding insurance procurement and renewal issues, consulting with insureds and their brokers regarding particular exposures, potential gaps in coverage, exclusions and limitations, and other client-specific issues. Having spent many years representing insurance companies in coverage litigation, Amy has unique insight into the perspectives of both the insurer and the insured. Her substantial experience with the insurance industry and understanding of the applicable law make her an invaluable resource for her clients facing an insurance dispute or negotiating the procurement of insurance.

Amy has significant experience with executive and professional liability policies, including directors and officers liability, fiduciary liability, errors and omissions, securities broker/dealers liability, employment practices liability, and other professional liability policies. In addition, she regularly handles disputes involving commercial general liability, commercial property, excess, and umbrella policies. Amy also handles high-exposure disputes arising under homeowners and other personal lines policies.

REPRESENTATIVE CASES

Results matter. As demonstrated by the outcomes she has achieved on behalf of clients, Amy is an effective advocate. She is able to master the facts, sort through the complexities, streamline the evidence, and leverage the strengths of the case to achieve the best possible outcome. Here are a few of the results Amy has obtained for her clients:

  • Secured payment of all defense costs, indemnity for a significant settlement and 18% interest for late payment of claim on behalf an architect sued for copyright infringement; insurer denied coverage based on copyright infringement exclusion in a professional liability policy, but an endorsement confused the issue and created coverage for the lawsuit; matter fully resolved without litigation
  • Won summary judgment on behalf of a college sued for tortious interference with business opportunities, breach of contract and defamation (inter alia) by establishing that the lawsuit against the insured alleged an "advertising injury" covered by its commercial general liability policy—KD Studio, Inc. v. Maryland Casualty, Civil Action No. 3:10-cv-01110-L, in the US District Court, Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division (under seal)
  • In connection with litigation against insured directors and officers alleging a Ponzi scheme and related SEC and DOJ investigations, negotiated a creative settlement on behalf of insureds where D&O policy proceeds were insufficient to cover anticipated liability exposure and expected defense costs
  • Obtained settlement for 100% of unpaid claim for theft on high-net-worth homeowners policy; filed lawsuit against insurance company and settled before an answer was filed
  • Before limiting her practice to representation of policyholders exclusively, won summary judgment on behalf of fiduciary liability insurer in a case involving alleged damages in excess of $30 million—Mary Kay v. Federal, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88583 (N.D. Tex., August 14, 2007); preserved district court's judgment on appeal in the Fifth Circuit
  • Won summary judgment on behalf of excess D&O insurer; underlying plaintiff sought to recover from nonprofit D&Os more than $150 million in alleged damages ($20 million in combined policy limits)—In re Fort Worth Osteopathic Hospital, Inc., 387 B.R. 706 (Bankr. N.D. Tex. 2008)
  • Won jury trial on behalf of plaintiff in breach of contract case alleging that defendant overstaffed nursing home facilities with unnecessary temporary workers and billed for unnecessary services that were not reimbursable under applicable guidelines
  • Represented CIGNA in federal district court and before the Fifth Circuit in the landmark ERISA preemption case decided by the United States Supreme Court in 2004, CIGNA Healthcare of Texas, Inc. v. Ruby Calad, 542 U.S. 200 (2004)
  • Won construction arbitration representing specialty concrete contractor who was alleged to have performed faulty work, involving breach of contract and deceptive trade practice claims; arbitrator denied plaintiff's claim in its entirety
  • Represented property insurer in large, multi-party lawsuit against city transit authority and its construction contractors, asserting claims for breach of contract, violations of the Texas Water Code, and inverse condemnation arising from flooding of downtown streets and a high-rise office building and damages caused by an electrical fire that ensued; case settled after being called to trial
  • Defeated opposing party's petition for review in Texas Supreme Court by handling briefing on the merits in case presenting the issue of whether the fortuity doctrine (no insurance coverage for known or in-progress losses) precludes the duty to defend in Texas—Warrantech Corp. v. Steadfast Ins. Co., 210 S.W.3d 760 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2006, pet. denied)
  • Substantially reduced client's liability based on careful analysis of coverage issues and close monitoring of defense costs when governmental investigations commenced against a major international supermarket and foodservice operator in connection with alleged securities fraud and the impact of the alleged fraud on employer stock held by employee benefit plans
  • Represented leading accounting firm in litigation initiated by professional golfer, who alleged errors and omissions in provision of tax planning services; reduced both potential exposure and defense costs through voluntary discovery and an early mediation facilitated by experts, which resulted in an advantageous settlement

BOOKS

Texas Insurance Coverage Litigation, the Litigator's Practice Guide (Amy Elizabeth Stewart, ed. 2013 and 2014), a desk reference published by Texas Lawyer, an ALM Publication

PUBLICATIONS | PRESENTATIONS

  • April 2014 “A Practical Guide to Common Ethical Dilemmas for Coverage Lawyers and Defense Counsel” presentation at State Bar of Texas, Advanced Insurance Law Course, Houston, Texas
  • April 2014 “How to Launch a Successful Boutique Firm” article in Texas Lawyer, an ALM Publication
  • September 2013 “Insurance Coverage for Business Disputes” presentation at State Bar of Texas, Business Disputes 2013, Dallas, Texas
  • July/Aug 2013 “Insurance 101 : Recent Cases Resolving Ambiguities in Insurance Contracts” article for Coverage, the American Bar Association’s journal on insurance coverage litigation
  • May 2013 “Insurance 101 :: Fundamentals for In-House Counsel” presentation to Collin County Bar Association, Frisco, Texas
  • April 2013 “Insurance 101 :: Fundamentals for In-House Counsel” presentation at CSI & Counsel On Call’s Spring CLE, Irving, Texas
  • March 2013 “A Breach is a Breach—Or Is It? Perspectives on National Union v. Seagate Technology” article for Coverage
  • November 2012 "Downhole Navigator | The Right to Independent Counsel" article in Headnotes, a publication of the Dallas Bar Association
  • November 2012 “Insurance 101 :: Fundamentals of Liability Insurance for In-House Counsel” presentation to the Corporate Counsel section of the Dallas Bar Association, Dallas, Texas
  • October 2012 "Jury Speak :: What Matters to Jurors in Insurance Cases," co-presenter with Kacy Miller of CourtroomLogic at University of Texas 2012 Insurance Law Institute, Austin, Texas
  • Sept/Oct 2012 "Fiduciary Liability Policies May Not Cover All Your Liability under ERISA" article for Coverage
  • September 2012 "Insurance Coverage Issues" presentation at State Bar of Texas, Business Torts Institute 2012, Dallas, Texas
  • July 2012 "Understanding General Liability and Professional Liability Insurance Coverage" presentation Minimizing Engineering Liability Exposure, Arlington, Texas
  • June 2012 "Jumpstart Your Law Practice," co-presenter at LawReviewCle, Las Vegas, Nevada
  • June 2012 "Ethical Issues in the Tripartite Relationship" presentation at Counsel on Call Summer CLE, Dallas, Texas
  • Spring 2012 "Dodd-Frank, Revisited :: Analyzing the Act's Impact on the Insurance Industry" article in Texas Insurance Law Journal, a publication of the State Bar of Texas
  • January 2012 "Effective Mediation Strategies to Save Capital and Keep Projects Moving Forward," moderated panel discussion for Insurance and Construction Mediations, Dallas, Texas
  • December 2011 "Navigating Insurance Coverage Issues :: What Business Litigators Need to Know" article in Headnotes
  • November 2011 "Unintended Consequences :: An Update on the Impact of the Financial Crisis on Your Coverage Practice" presentation at University of Texas 2011 Insurance Law Institute, Austin, Texas
  • October 2011 "What Every Business Tort Lawyer Should Know About Insurance" (moderator), State Bar of Texas, Business Torts 2011, Houston, Texas
  • June 2011 "Social Media 2011" presentation to North Texas Association of Insurance Counsel, Dallas, Texas
  • June 2011 "Insurance Coverage for Litigators :: The Nuts & Bolts" presentation to the Dallas Bar Association, Dallas, Texas
  • March 2011 "Insurance for Lawyers and Law Firms" presentation to the Collin County Bar Association for the Annual Making Your Practice Work seminar, Plano, Texas
  • February 2011 "Does Social Media Demand Legal Ethics?" (moderator), Texas Forum XXVIII, Dallas, Texas
  • December 2010 "Reservation of Rights" presentation to Swingle Collins and Associates, Dallas, Texas
  • Sept/Oct 2010 "Insurance 101: Insights for Young Lawyers :: Ponzi Schemes, and Money Laundering, and Defense Costs! Oh My!" co-authored article for Coverage, the American Bar Association's journal on insurance coverage litigation
  • July 2010 "Judicial Profile: Honorable Staci G.C. Jernigan" article in Headnotes
  • July 2010 "Navigating the Ethical Current :: The Tripartite Relationship" presentation to the Dallas Bar Association, Dallas, Texas
  • Summer 2010 "Finding Your Passion in the Profession" article in The Woman Advocate, a publication of the American Bar Association
  • March 2010 "Arbitration in the Insurance Context :: Trends, Strategies & Appellate Review" panel roundtable discussion at the American Bar Association Section of Litigation, Annual Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee Conference, Tucson, Arizona

HONORS | ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Named one of the Best Lawyers in Dallas 2014 (Insurance Litigation) by D Magazine
  • Rated AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5 (Peer Review Rating) by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • Elected to the American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel, 2013
  • Selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2013 and 2014 in the field of insurance law (Copyright 2013 by Woodward/White, Inc. of Aiken, SC)
  • Named one of the Best Lawyers in Dallas 2013 (Insurance Litigation) by D Magazine
  • Selected as a Super Lawyer® (2009 - 2013) in the area of insurance coverage by Thomson Reuters, a listing of outstanding attorneys who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement
  • Selected for inclusion in Martinadale-Hubbell®'s Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers for 2012
  • Named one of the Best Lawyers in Dallas 2012 (Insurance Litigation) by D Magazine
  • Selected for the Super Lawyer® list of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas by Thomson Reuters, 2011
  • Honored as one of Top 25 Women in Business 2011 by the Dallas Business Journal
  • Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Recognized as a Texas Rising Star by Thomson Reuters in insurance coverage, business litigation and construction litigation, 2007

PROFESSIONAL | COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

Outside the office and the courtroom, Amy is actively involved in both professional and community organizations. She is a member of the litigation and insurance sections of State Bar of Texas, the American Bar Association, and the Dallas Bar Association. Amy is also a member of the Professional Liability Underwriting Society. For many years, Amy has been a sustaining member of Attorneys Serving the Community, frequently serving as co-chair of various committees. She was honored to serve as the luncheon co-chair for 2011-13 and has become a Leadership member with the group. She also serves on the board of directors of the nonprofit, Heart House Dallas. In 2008, Amy founded the Dallas women's networking group, ConnectHer.

EMPLOYMENT

Before forming Amy Stewart PC, Amy was a partner with the New York-based law firm, Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP, representing insurance companies in coverage and bad faith litigation. Amy began her legal career in 1992 with the Dallas firm now known as Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP, practicing commercial litigation.

EDUCATION

  • J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1992
  • B.S., Liberty University, Political Science, 1989, magna cum laude

BAR | COURT ADMISSIONS

  • State Bar of Texas
  • Dallas Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court of the Northern, Southern, and Eastern Districts of Texas
  • U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Michigan

*AV® Preeminent™ and BV® Distinguished™ are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell® certification procedures, standards and policies.

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