Michael S. Gehrt is a partner in Pasich LLP’s Manhattan Beach office and a member of the firm’s insurance recovery practice. Michael focuses on representing insureds in a variety of complex insurance coverage matters, including coverage advice, pre-litigation disputes, international arbitrations, and coverage litigation. Michael also routinely advises clients on insurance policies and programs, helping clients identify and address potential gaps in their coverage.
Michael has been instrumental in collecting hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of insureds and is experienced in a wide range of matters. Michael has significant experience negotiating and litigating property and business interruption claims from around the world. He has handled issues involving anything from garment manufacturers in Indonesia to circuit board and laser product manufacturers in Thailand. For example, Michael represented DIRECTV in a lawsuit seeking insurance coverage for contingent business interruption losses suffered as a result of property damage to one of its hard disk drive suppliers during the 2011 Thailand floods. Arguing before the Ninth Circuit, Michael secured a crucial ruling in favor of DIRECTV that, in California, insurers are charged “with the duty of informing themselves as to the usages of the particular business insured, and a knowledge of such usage on the part of such company will be presumed” (DirecTV v. Factory Mutual Insurance Co., 2017 WL 2629134 (9th Cir. June 19, 2017)).
Michael also has substantial experience in political risk insurance coverage matters, including an arbitration in the London Court of International Arbitration against an insurer over political risk losses in Indonesia. In addition, Michael has extensive experience pursuing insurance coverage for California wage-hour class action lawsuits, often finding coverage where others have failed. His experience also includes seeking insurance coverage for advertising liabilities; cyber losses; directors and officers liability; errors and omissions and professional liability; fire, flood, and other natural disaster losses; marine insurance claims; rescission lawsuits; and subrogation claims. He has also represented insureds in insurance broker disputes and with general business litigation and contract disputes.
Michael also regularly speaks and writes on insurance law issues. He is also an editor and co-author of the New Appleman Sports and Entertainment Insurance Law & Practice Guide (LexisNexis, 2016), a book that addresses insurance law issues facing policyholders in the sports and entertainment industries.
Michael was named a 2020 Rising Star by Law360, which recognizes top litigators and dealmakers whose legal accomplishments transcend their age. Additionally, Southern California Super Lawyers named Michael a Rising Star in the area of insurance coverage.
RECENT PUBLICATIONS AND SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
- “Insurance Coverage for Losses and claims Associated with SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19,” RIMS, April 14, 2020
- Insurance Policies May Cover Coronavirus-related Losses, Los Angeles Daily Journal, March 16, 2020
- Trade Usage Overlooked in Insurance Policy Interpretation, Los Angeles Daily Journal, June 27, 2019
- Supply Chain Losses in the Wake of Natural Disasters, Lexology, April 25, 2019
- “Top Risks and Threats Facing Hotels Today,” 2018 CHOICE Hotel Annual Conference, May 3, 2018
- “Maximizing the Value of Your Insurance Coverage Assets,” 2018 CHOICE Hotel Annual Conference, May 2, 2018
- Bad faith liability for insurers arises before the duty to defend, Los Angeles Daily Journal, March 5, 2018
- Ruling Shows Breadth of an Insurer’s Duty to Defend Third-Party Claims, Los Angeles Daily Journal, January 25, 2018
- Insurance Law Implications of the Shared Economy, LexisNexis Quarterly, April 12, 2017
- “D&O Liability Insurance: Hot Buttons Every Firm Needs to Know,” The Knowledge Group, September 12, 2016
- Settlement Offers Might Not Preclude Bad Faith, Los Angeles Daily Journal, August 26, 2016
- Policy Benefits Should Be Included When Reviewing Damages, Law360, July 11, 2016
- Insurers Face Big Punitive Exposure for California Bad Faith Claims, Los Angeles Daily Journal, June 29, 2016
- “Complex Business Interruption Claims Following a Natural Disaster,” CalCPA Economic Damages Section Meeting, February 24, 2016
- “10 Things You Don’t Know About Insurance That Can Hurt You,” Association of Corporate Counsel Southern California Roundtable, June 26, 2014
- “10 Things You Don’t Know About Insurance That Can Hurt You,” Association of Corporate Counsel Southern California Roundtable, June 25, 2014
- The Exhaustion of Underlying Limits: Ali v. Federal Insurance Company and The Fictitious Death of Zeig, Mealey’s Emerging Insurance Disputes, August 1, 2013
- PERSPECTIVES: Marine Insurance Defined by Higher Disclosure Standards, Business Insurance, January 13, 2013
- Insurance Coverage for Concussion Lawsuits, Concussion Policy & the Law, August 4, 2012
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- U.S. District Court, Central District of California
University of California Hastings College of Law (J.D., cum laude, 2006)
University of California Los Angeles (B.A., 2003)