(949) 226-7040 (Main Office, Newport Beach)

Gail Stargardter


Gail Stargardter has 29 years of experience working with the insurance industry. Following five years of employment with a major insurer, for the past 24 years Gail’s practice has involved providing insurers with coverage and claims advice and representing them in coverage and bad faith litigation involving a variety of issues arising under property and casualty policies. In addition to California, Gail is licensed to practice and has significant experience with insurance issues in the states of Washington and Oregon.

In 2015 Gail co-authored California Insurance Law, an insurance law handbook organized by types of personal lines and commercial policies. She provides training to clients on claims handling and other emerging issues that impact carriers.

Gail has achieved an A.V. rating from Martindale Hubbell and has been recognized as one of San Francisco’s Top Rated Lawyers.

Gail also serves as an expert witness on claims handling

Representative Cases

  • Seymour et al. v. State Farm General Insurance Company—Summary Judgment in favor of State Farm on breach of contract, bad faith and agent negligence claims. U.S. District Court, Eastern District Case No. CV-15-1252-DSF, January 2017.
  • Crown Tree Service, Inc. v. Atain Specialty Insurance Company—Summary Judgment in favor of Atain, no duty to defend/indemnify based on lack of occurrence (tree cutting). U.S. District Court, Northern District, Case No. 3:16-01125-VC, 2016.
  • Atain Specialty Insurance v. Sierra Pacific Management Company—Summary Judgment in favor of Atain, no duty to defend/indemnify based on Real Estate Property Managed Endorsement in CGL policy issued to real estate property management company. U.S. District Court, Eastern District, Case No. 2:14-CV-00609-TLN, 2016.
  • Grimberg v. American Alternative Ins. Co.— Summary Judgment for AAIC—Breach of contract/bad faith—excess carrier’s failure to drop down and defend/indemnify. Los Angeles County Superior Court Case No. —April 2016.
  • Oregon Mutual Ins. Co. v. Victorville Speedwash, Inc.—Summary Judgment in favor of OMI—Rescission of policy. U.S. District Court, Central District of California, Case No. CV 14-07909-AB (SHx), July 2015.
  • American Alternative Ins. Co. v. Coyne—Summary Judgment for AAIC—Declaration of no coverage, no duty to defend—loss does not fall within excess carrier’s insuring agreement due to lack of exhaustion of primary limits and loss otherwise excluded from coverage. (U.S. District Court, Northern District of California Case No. 4:14-CV-01483-JSW—March 2016.
  • Atain Specialty Ins. Co. v. N. Bay Waterproofing, Inc.—Declaratory Relief Action—No duty to defend additional insured—default judgment entered against AI, subsequent entry of order denying AI’s attempt to set aside default judgment. U.S. District Court, Northern District of California Case No. 14-CV-04056-RMW, 2015 WL 427818. Appeal dismissed, June 10, 2015.
  • Jones v. State Farm General Ins. Co.—Summary Judgment for State Farm—Breach of Contract/Bad Faith denial of First Party Claim/Rescission—San Bernardino County Superior Court Case No. CIVVS1201533, August 2014.
  • Harris v. Sequoia Ins. Co.—Motion for Directed Verdict for Sequoia—Breach of contract/bad faith. Ventura County Superior Court Case No. 56-2012-00410577-CU-BC-VTA. Affirmed on appeal—Second Appellate District, Division Six, 2014 WL 220785.
  • Atain Specialty Ins. Co. v. Parklyn Bay Co., LLC—Summary Judgment for Atain—Declaratory Relief/Breach of Contract/Bad Faith Action—duty to defend. Each of the 10 claims asserted against Atain’s insured fell outside policy coverage. U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, CV 12-05665 CRB, 2013 WL 3856387.
  • Lena Humber v. Sequoia Ins. Co.—Summary Judgment in favor of Sequoia—duty to indemnify first party/business interruption claim. Sonoma County Superior Court Case No. SCV-252642. Judgment entered August 2013.
  • Sequoia v. H.C. Makabe—Summary Judgment for Sequoia—No duty to appoint Cumis counsel; no bad faith failure to defend. Los Angeles County Superior Court –Van Nuys—Case No. LC085202. Affirmed on appeal Second Appellate Division, Division 7, 2013 WL 22422323.
  • Atain Specialty Ins. Co. v. N. Bay Waterproofing, Inc.—Summary Judgment for Atain—Declaratory Relief Action—no duty to defend based on Residential Construction Exclusion. U.S. District Court, Northern District of California Case No. 12-CV-03339-JST, 2013 WL 1819609.
  • Seahaus v. Sequoia Insurance Co.—Defense Verdict for Sequoia—First Party—damage to condominium, $60 million demand, one of three trial counsel (separate firms). San Diego County Superior Court Case No. 37-2010-00105664-CU-IC-CTL—verdict entered 2012
  • Farmers ins. Exch. v. Timothy Schucker—Summary Judgment for Mid-Century—Declaratory relief action—stacking of UIM limits under California or Colorado law. Sonoma County Superior Court Case No. SCV 247742. Judgment entered 2011.
  • Art Deck, Inc. v. Sequoia Ins. Co. –Summary Judgment for Sequoia—Breach of Contract/Bad Faith—refusal to pay first party claim—was faulty remodel by tenant vandalism or faulty work. Los Angeles County Superior Court Case No. BC464955. Judgment entered 2011.
  • Farmers Ins. Exch. v. Julie Veveiros—Summary Judgment for Farmers—Declaratory relief/ breach of contract/bad faith—stacking of UIM Limits under Arizona law. Sonoma County Superior Court Case No. SW 244993. Affirmed on appeal—1st District, Division 5, 2011 WL 1535404.
  • Premium Assignment Corp. v. ACE USA, et al (Sequoia)—Summary Judgment in favor of Sequoia—No obligation to reimburse premium finance company for sums stolen by insurance broker. Orange County Superior Court Case NO. BC 30-200900120681. Judgment entered 2010.
  • Sequoia Ins. Co. v. PHD Insurance Services—Settlement—Recovery of in excess of $1,000,000 paid under WC policy based on insurance broker’s misrepresentations on insurance application. (2009)
  • Oregon Mutual v. Safeco Insurance Company—Arbitration award in favor of OMI—application of Motorized Vehicle Exclusion in Homeowners policy when the liability of the insured is predicated the use of a motor vehicle. OMI recovered $225,000 it paid toward the underlying settlement. Award entered 2008.
  • Sequoia Ins. Co. v. LBD Investments—Summary Judgment in favor of Sequoia—Declaratory Relief Action/Breach of Contract/Bad Faith—failure to pay first party claim—faulty work/maintenance exclusion. Sacramento County Superior Court Case No. 34-20008-00005556 CU-IC-GDS. Judgment entered 2008.


BA Muhlenberg College 1979

MA Boston College 1981

JD Suffok University, Cum Laude 1988


California 2007

Washington 1988

Oregon 2003

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