California Supreme Court Adopts a Vertical Exhaustion Approach

June 2020

Representing business, commercial and real estate clients, as well as insurers and 
                                                                their policyholders                                                       
June 2020
Gary Gray
Clients and Colleagues:

We hope you are staying safe and healthy. The past few months have been challenging for everyone and we appreciate your flexibility while our office has worked remotely. Our firm is thankful for our dedicated attorneys and staff who have kept things moving for clients, while taking the necessary precautions to protect themselves and others. 

We are working on plans to physically reopen later this month and will be sharing updates soon. In the interim, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Encino: (818) 907-4000

Redwood City: (650) 365-7343


Gary Gray
Managing Partner

Tim Thornton
California Supreme Court Adopts a Vertical Exhaustion Approach

Published: American Bar Association,Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section – Excess, Surplus Lines And Reinsurance Newsletter

In Montrose Chemical Corp. v. Superior Court, the California Supreme Court addressed the issue of horizontal exhaustion among excess insurers. This article examines the third decision by the California Supreme Court from this environmental contamination coverage lawsuit.

Nathan Lee
Following Form: Deductibles vs. SIRs

Published: American Bar Association,Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section – Excess, Surplus Lines And Reinsurance Newsletter

For insurance coverage purposes, how many self-insured retentions (SIRs) or deductibles must be paid by an insured before excess coverage is triggered is an ongoing issue addressed by the courts. This articles examines outcomes in Deere & Co. v. Allstate Insurance Co. and In re Silicone Implant Ins. Coverage Litigation.

Erin Tenner
Erin Tenner Featured in LexisNexis Spotlight Series on Finding a Niche

LexisNexis recently interviewed Partner Erin Tenner about how she found her niche representing auto dealers when they are buying or selling a dealership or related real property, buying into a dealership, or selling a minority interest to a general manager. 

Tim Thornton
Tim Thornton Selected as a 2020 Southern California Super Lawyer

Partner Tim Thornton has been selected for inclusion on the 2020 
Southern California Super Lawyers list for his work in the area of Insurance Coverage. Tim has been named a Super Lawyer for eight consecutive years. Super Lawyers is a rating service of the top five percent of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. 

Gray·Duffy Joins Claims and Litigation Management Alliance
The CLM, a member of The Institutes, is dedicated to meeting the professional development needs of the claims and litigation management industries. Through a variety of in-person and online programs and resources, the CLM provides its membership of approximately 45,000 professionals a wide range of opportunities throughout the year to expand their knowledge and further their careers. 

Our Redwood City Office Has Moved!

Gray·Duffy’s Redwood City office relocated to: 555 Twin Dolphin Dr., Suite 300, Redwood City, CA 94065

Our phone number and fax number remain the same: Phone: (650) 365-7343; Fax: (650) 365-6225

We look forward to continuing to serve you from our new location.

For three decades, Partner Mike Eisenbaum has successfully represented hundreds of individuals and businesses in the areas of premises liability, contract liability and enforcement, construction defect, product liability, professional liability, personal injury and property damage litigation. His expertise includes issues related to the duties of landowners, business owners, heavy equipment operators, private security companies and insurance brokers. Having taken several cases to verdict in jury trials over the years, Mike takes pride in providing zealous representation to his clients to achieve a favorable outcome.

Recent Successes
Most recently, Mike successfully obtained summary judgment in favor of the firm’s property owner and property manager clients in a premises liability lawsuit. The plaintiff then filed an appeal of the judgment. Following the full briefing and oral argument with the Court of Appeal, the appellate court issued its opinion that the Motion for Summary Judgment was properly granted. All costs were awarded to the prevailing defendants.
Additionally, Mike obtained a full dismissal on behalf of a grading company in a construction defect lawsuit. The case went to mediation, at which time Mike’s client received a demand from the developer for more than $50,000. Mike offered a nominal sum at mediation and put a 30-day time limit for the amount to be accepted. Months later, developer’s counsel made multiple lower demands which Gray·Duffy rejected. Ultimately, the developer’s counsel dismissed Mike’s client, demonstrating that when Gray·Duffy says an offer is off the table, we mean it, establishing our credibility and toughness for the next case against the same firm.

Professional Activities
A frequent author on litigation and issues impacting business owners, Mike has published numerous articles, including Making It Clear: There is confusion with California’s Right to Repair Act published in Construction Today and Corporate Protections: Are they Illusory for the Small Business Owner? published in California CEO. He was also nominated this year to become  a member of The Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM)

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.