Skip to main content
Nossaman LLP

Joan M. Cotkin

Partner

T 213.612.7828
F 213.612.7801
777 South Figueroa Street, 34th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017

Joan Cotkin is an insurance coverage specialist who has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in insurance benefits over the decades for her clients. She has litigated a wide variety of insurance claims under CGL policies, D&O, E&O and other forms of liability coverages, Property and other first party insurance recoveries, including disability and life claims, in state and federal courts. She has served as a qualified expert witness, since 1993, on all manner of insurance related issues including on related standards of care and has also arbitrated insurance related matters as a party arbitrator. In addition, she has assisted many private and private/public partnerships with setting up insurance programs appropriate to their needs. She also works with brokers including AON, A.J. Gallagher and many others to ensure appropriate insurance coverages are in place, which reduces the risks inherent in major construction projects and other business enterprises. Over the decades, Ms. Cotkin has also assisted commercial clients on renewals and has negotiated for manuscripted insurance policy endorsements to address the specific needs of her clients and ensure appropriate terms in the final insurance products purchased.

Ms. Cotkin is a commercial litigator with more than 40 years of experience, including taking many complex business disputes through trial in state and federal courts.

She is Chambers rated, a Super Lawyer continuously since 2006, a National Law Journal Trail Blazer in Litigation, and The Los Angeles Daily Journal twice named Ms. Cotkin one of “California’s Top Women Litigators.” She is AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

Representative Work

Insurance Coverage Work: 

  • Americana at Brand.  Counsel for the owner/builder negotiating coverage under the OCIP primary and excess insurer in connection with multiple claims.
  • J.D. Powers.  Provide advice and counseling on insurance programs for national company at renewal including negotiation for manuscripted forms.
  • Rock-It Cargo.  Provide advice and counseling on insurance program for international freight-forwarder including negotiation for manuscripted forms.
  • James Perse Enterprises.  Provide advice and counseling on insurance program in connection with various construction projects which include general contractors and related AI insurance issues.
  • Regency Skyport.  Provide advice and counseling on insurance program for major construction project.
  • Tiara at Northgate.  Provide advice and counseling on insurance program for major construction project including interplay between WRAP coverages and AI insurance.
  • State of California.  Counsel for the State in decades long multi-phase litigation assisting in recovery of hundreds of millions of dollars in insurance proceeds to defend and settle pollution liability claims arising from the Stringfellow Acid Pits litigation.  Established the right of policyholders to stack limits in the California Supreme Court opinion State of California v. Continental.
  • City of Pomona.  Recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend and settle pollution liability claims.
  • Stonewall v. PVE.  Recovered millions in 18 year long complex insurance coverage action relating to the loss of more than 20 homes due to underground landslide.
  • LA Gear.  Recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in insurance proceeds to defend and settle trademark and patent infringement, unfair competition, and securities violation claims.
  • Hyundai Motor America.  Recovered millions of dollars of insurance proceeds to defend and settle patent infringement claims.
  • Robbins Research International Inc.  Recovered millions of dollars of insurance proceeds to defend and settle copyright infringement and employment claims.
  • Britz Fertilizers Inc. v. Nationwide.  Lead counsel in major policyholder recovery action in regard to products liability and reformation claims under $10 million umbrella.
  • XL Specialty Ins. Et al v. Perry et al.  Assisting in the insurance recovery for the FDIC in relation to the settlements and verdicts arising out of the FDIC's claims against the directors and officers of Indymac.
  • Hawker et al v. BancInsure et al.  Assisting in the insurance recovery action for the FDIC in relation to the $48 million judgment against County Bank officers and directors.

Trials to Verdict:

  • Bergen Brunswig v. Continental.  Recovered almost $4 million in an insurance bad faith case for improperly canceling a three-year policy mid-term (including punitive damages).
  • Kanishiro v. Mercury Ins.  Recovered almost $5 million in an insurance bad faith case for failure to defend wrongful death case.
  • Kurowski v. Bernstein et al.  Obtained $5 million for wrongful cancellation of $3 million life policy.
  • Meadowbrook Ins. Co. v. Tressler.  Obtained more than $2 million in legal malpractice claim against coverage counsel.
  • Testmasters v. Blueprint.  Obtained a nominal defense verdict and defeated injunction effort for clients sued for $18 million in unfair competition claim.
  • Transport Ins v. TIG and Seaton.  Litigated $22 million reinsurance claim for cedent insurer.

Awards & Honors

Chosen for individual recognition for Insurance Law in California by Chambers USA, 2016 and 2017

Named to California’s “Top Women Attorneys” list in 2016 by The Daily Journal.

AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

Named a Southern California "Super Lawyer" for Insurance Coverage Law by Los Angeles magazine, 2006 - 2017.

Named a National Law Journal Trail Blazer in Litigation.

Named one of "California's Top Women Litigators" by the Los Angeles Daily Journal, twice.


 

Joan M. Cotkin
Joan M. Cotkin

Practices

Education

J.D., Villanova University School of Law, 1976

B.A., Mills College, 1972

Admissions

California

United States District Court, Central, Southern, and Eastern Districts of California

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

Professional Affiliations

American Bar Association,Torts and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS)

American Bar Association, Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee (ICLC) of the Torts and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS), Past Chair

Law360, 2015 Insurance Advisory Board

Los Angeles County Bar Association

Southern California Defense Counsel (ASDC)

Awards & Honors

Chosen for individual recognition for Insurance Law in California by Chambers USA, 2016 and 2017

Named to California’s “Top Women Attorneys” list in 2016 by The Daily Journal.

AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

Named a Southern California "Super Lawyer" for Insurance Coverage Law by Los Angeles magazine, 2006 - 2017.

Named a National Law Journal Trail Blazer in Litigation.

Named one of "California's Top Women Litigators" by the Los Angeles Daily Journal, twice.


 

  • Professionals
  • Practices
  • Success Stories
  • News
  • Events
  • Resources
  • Firm Pages