Brian Roof is the Chair of Sutter O’Connell’s Insurance Coverage practice with over 17 years of experience working in insurance coverage and commercial litigation. His insurance coverage practice is devoted to first-party and third-party coverage disputes involving property, casualty, personal lines and liability insurance, including CGL, professional liability, D&O and E&O policies. Known for his ability to work with corporate leadership, Brian has obtained favorable outcomes in insurance coverage disputes, business disputes and fiduciary litigation.

Admissions

  • Ohio
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  • United States District Courts
  • Northern District of Ohio
  • Southern District of Ohio
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  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Education

  • University of Notre Dame, B.A., cum laude, 1994
  • University of Notre Dame, J.D., cum laude, 1999

Involvement

  • President of the Board of Directors of the non-profit LEAP (Linking Employment Ability and Potential)
  • Member of the Board of Directors of Citizens Academy and Citizens Academy East – Breakthrough Charter Schools
  • Vice President of the Notre Dame Lawyer Alumni Committee

Representative Matters

  • Represented an insurer in a declaratory judgment action as to whether the insurer had a duty under the CGL policy to defends and indemnify the insured in an underlying class action alleging violations of the Junk Fax Prevention Act of 2005. Obtained summary judgment in favor of the insured. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed.
  • Represented an insurer against the policyholder in a coverage dispute regarding whether multiple lawsuits and claims are multiple occurrences or are just one occurrence under CGL policy.
  • Represented a manufacturer in a lawsuit in which its co-defendant sought defense and indemnification under an asset purchase agreement for a products liability lawsuit.
  • Represented an insurer in a coverage dispute with the policyholder regarding an exclusion to a lawyer professional liability policy.
  • Represented an insurer in a multi-million dollar first-party claim under a credit insurance policy covering home mortgages.
  • Represented an excess insurer in a multi-million dollar coverage claim arising out of lead paint litigation.
  • Represented an insurer in litigating claims against a medical provider suspected in engaging in fraudulent conduct.
  • Represented a pharmaceutical manufacturer and its parent company in a multi-million dollar coverage litigation arising out of a nationwide products liability class action. Issues litigated included proper notice, discharge in bankruptcy defense and the expected or intended exclusion. Underlying class action settled with the manufacturer not contributing to the settlement.
  • Represented a telecommunications company in its multi-million dollar claim for coverage for damage to its facilities because of Hurricane Katrina and other weather-related incidents. This case involved the interpretation of the business interruption provision of the insurance policy.
  • Counseled financial institution on insurance coverage issues under D&O and E&O policies.
  • Successful defense of an insurance company in federal court against a post-settlement discovery action seeking a basis for contribution and indemnification. Court found in favor of defense legal arguments limiting plaintiff’s expansive request for pre-suit discovery, ultimately resulting in dismissal.

Publications

  • Author, “The Rights and Remedies of the Forgotten Additional Insured”, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s Bar Journal Magazine (February 2015)
  • Co-author, “Full Coverage? Insurer’s Claims Files and the Attorney-Client Privilege”, Ohio Lawyer (July/August 2012)
  • Author, “Recouping Defense Costs Paid on Behalf of the Insureds”, For the Defense (DRI) (May 2012)
  • Co-author, “Insurer Beware: Policy Renewals May Not Change Coverage as Intended”, Covered Events (DRI) (May 2011)
  • Co-author, “Counseling the Corporate Counsel: The Impact of Choice of Law Issues on the Attorney-Client Privilege”, The Business Suite (DRI) (June 30, 2009)
  • Author of Ohio case summaries on insurance law for DRI’s Covered Events publication

Presentations

  • Presenter: "When Claims go Sideways - What an Agent Needs to Know to Protect the Client and Agency E&O", Insurance Board of Nothern Ohio (February 9, 2016)
  • Presenter: "Changes to ISO's CGL Forms in Light of Cyber Claims", Presentation at the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Insurance Coverage Committee's Cyber Insurance Seminar (November 19, 2015)
  • Panel Member, “JEOPARDY: Bad Faith Grab Bag of Fun Facts and Issues,” Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s Insurance Law Committee Seminar (May 29, 2015)
  • Co-presenter, “The Inner Workings of Insurance”, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (May 2014)

Community

  • When Brian isn’t working with his commercial clients, you can find him at home with his wife and three daughters, watching his girls play soccer, playing golf, or skiing.

Associations

  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Litigation Counsel of America
  • Cleveland Bridge Builders
  • Arbitrator, American Arbitration Association, Expedited Commercial Panel
  • Selected to Serve on the Advisory Group of the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • Professional Liability Underwriting Society
  • Delegate to the Eighth District Judicial Conference

Awards & Recognition

  • Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2009 - 2011
  • Super Lawyers, 2013 - 2015
  • Rated AV/Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell