Year in Review

January 2020

Representing business, commercial and real estate clients, as well as insurers and 
                                                                their policyholders                                                       
                                              YEAR IN REVIEW                  
Gary Gray
From all of us at Gray·Duffy, we hope your 2020 is off to a prosperous start. The firm is privileged to be celebrating our 34th year in practice, which we couldn’t have achieved without you, our clients and colleagues. We are grateful for the opportunity to work with you and recognize that your trust in the firm has been vital to our long-term growth.
Last year, our dedication to client service and expertise in a range of practice areas was recognized with top awards and rankings, including:
  • Named a Tier 1 firm in Los Angeles for Insurance Law by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” for the fifth consecutive year.
  • Numerous attorneys received a Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ Rating, the organization’s highest peer rating standard. This rating signifies that a large number of the lawyer’s peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence for their legal knowledge, communication skills and ethical standards.
  • Selected by our peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2020 for Insurance Law.
  • Named to the list of Northern and Southern California Super Lawyers in multiple practice areas. 
We aim to build on this success and continually look for ways to enhance our service to clients. In 2019, we bolstered our litigation practice with the addition of an attorney:
Jane Volfson joined as an Associate in the Encino office where she works on litigation matters in the areas of premises liability, property damage, construction defect and personal injury. 
Another essential part of our relationships with clients and colleagues is providing educational tools to keep you abreast of issues impacting your livelihood. Below are a few representative articles our attorneys authored in the areas of insurance, consumer privacy and real estate.  Click here to view all of our articles.



Most importantly, our lawyers are focused on obtaining positive outcomes for clients through strategic counsel, excellent communication and relentless advocacy. The following are just a few of the successful results we achieved last year:


Thank you again for your ongoing relationship with Gray·Duffy. We wish you success and good health in 2020 and beyond.

Gary Gray
Managing Partner, Gray·Duffy, LLP
Tim Thornton
Syzygy Insurance – Another Microcaptive Does Not Meet the Test

Published: American Bar Association,Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section Newsletter

In Syzygy Ins. Co. v. Comm’r of Internal Revenue, 117 T.C.M. (CCH) 1165 (T.C. 2019), Syzygy was a microcaptive insurance company established by the Highland Tank companies. Highland was closely held by the Jacob family. The court ruled on whether Syzygy engaged in insurance transactions, which would make the microcaptive election valid or invalid, and determine if the premiums received were taxable income. 

So you think you know the law
So You Think You Know the Law

True or False?

If small insurance companies have net written premiums or direct written premiums that do not exceed $2.2 million, they will be taxed on earned premiums.

True or False?

An average rate-on-line is an insurance policy’s premium divided by the occurrence limit.

True or False?

In an arm’s-length contract, an insurance purchaser would want to negotiate lower premiums instead of higher premiums.

Bonus Question!

What does syzygy mean?

Michelle MacDonald GD
Michelle MacDonald
Employment Law attorney Michelle MacDonald will kick off our 2020 “Risk Management” webinar series on Wednesday, March 18 at 11 am PST discussing updates on sexual harassment laws, trends and risks as well as best practices for policies, training, investigations and accountability. 

Mark your calendar! Registration details to follow soon.

Gray·Duffy Ranked on the 2020 Best Law Firms List by U.S. News – Best Lawyers®

For the fifth consecutive year, Gray·Duffy has been named a Tier 1 firm in Los Angeles for Insurance Law by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” in 2020.

U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that involves the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their field and review of additional information provided by firms.

Please Note: These articles are necessarily general in nature and do not substitute for legal advice with respect to any particular case. Readers should consult with an attorney before taking any action affecting their interests.
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Please Note: This article is necessarily general in nature and is not a substitute for legal advice with respect to any particular case. Readers should consult with an attorney before taking any action affecting their interests.