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Summary Judgment in Bad Faith Cases: Strategies and Countermeasures, Current Case Law

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will provide critical insight to counsel for insurers facing tag-along bad faith claims on how to position a case for summary judgment. Our panel will discuss essential factors to consider during the claims investigation and discovery phases of litigation along with evidentiary proffers to support summary disposition of bad faith allegations, notwithstanding unresolved factual issues.


Bad faith cases present counsel for insurers with myriad challenges. The litigation is often protracted and convoluted and can result in awards that are less predictable and far more costly than their breach of contract counterparts. Practitioners representing insurers shoulder the responsibility for reducing their clients' exposure to these risks and often employ summary judgment as the primary tool for accomplishing this goal.

In bad faith litigation, however, positioning a case for summary disposition requires a deep understanding of how courts have addressed the issue, as well as how to leverage common scenarios giving rise to allegations of bad faith to demonstrate to a court that judgment as a matter of law is warranted. Counsel for the insurer must employ strategic investigative and discovery methods to bolster legal arguments that unmask a plaintiff's deficiencies in the individual elements of their claims and take full advantage of their burden to produce evidence showing that a reasonable jury could find against the defendant.

Listen as our panel of seasoned insurance defense attorneys provides deep insight into the most effective strategies for obtaining summary judgment for allegations of bad faith. The panel will explore techniques for capitalizing on evidentiary deficiencies during discovery and marshaling those circumstances into winning arguments based on current case law.



  1. Overview of bad faith claims
    1. Essential elements
    2. Burden of proof
    3. Common defense strategies
  2. Summary judgment
    1. Current case law
    2. Burden of proof
    3. Jurisdictional considerations


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • How can insurers leverage their clear right to challenge coverage in support of summary disposition of bad faith claims?
  • How can counsel use admissions and information submitted in support of a claim to bolster arguments supporting summary judgment?
  • What kinds of evidentiary deficiencies identified during discovery can help strengthen counsel's argument for summary judgment?


Goleaner, Kenneth
Kenneth Goleaner

Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard

Focusing his legal practice on insurance coverage and bad faith matters, Mr. Goleaner is experienced in all aspects of...  |  Read More

Needleman, Michael
Michael J. Needleman

Reger Rizzo & Darnall

Mr. Needleman is a Partner in the Firm’s litigation section, and handles insurance defense, insurance coverage,...  |  Read More

Susolik, Edward
Edward Susolik

Callahan & Blaine

Mr. Susolik is known and respected as one of the top insurance bad faith and coverage lawyers in the Western United...  |  Read More

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