With a multi-faceted career spanning work as a casualty and coverage attorney, insurance claims person, underwriter, and executive,
Rachel brings a well-rounded perspective to all of her mediations. She has worn many hats in the dispute resolution process including serving
as: decision-maker, mediator, counsel of record, party representative, plaintiff, and insurance executive with final settlement authority. This breadth
gives her a deep understanding of the factors that motivate the parties involved to settle their cases. In the mediator role, Rachel is adept at building
rapport with both sides through candid communications. Her expertise in property, liability, automobile coverage, regulatory compliance, and good faith
claim handling has been particularly beneficial in working through insurance-related matters.
A defense attorney stated, “Ms. Ehrlich was respectful of the emotional sensitivities of the other side, without losing her neutrality. She was
extremely flexible about the physical and logistical challenges of the mediation and understood the effect of cultural differences on the parties,
and how it affected negotiations.”
She was able to listen to all sides.
- Attorney on a Warranty of Habitability Dispute
Rachel was retained by the parties to mediate a contentious coverage and bad faith dispute arising out of what was essentially a condominium
conversion construction defect case. The case involved somewhat obscure but critical issues of Illinois and Florida substantive law, and each party was hard set in
its position. The amount in controversy was very large, and neither party acknowledged significant risk of a bad outcome heading into mediation. Nevertheless, drawing
on her insurance industry experience and legal knowledge, Rachel managed to move the parties toward compromise by credibly framing the risk and confronting the attorneys
on each side with the holes in their case. She was perceived by both parties as a credible, good faith broker, which is very hard to do when the decision makers on one
side are volunteer board members with no legal or insurance background, and the decision makers on the other side are experienced insurance industry executives Rachel
is one of the very few mediators I have encountered in 20 years of multi-jurisdictional construction defect, property damage and insurance recovery litigation who has
the substantive knowledge and dispute resolution skills to solve a case like this. She made a tremendous effort to learn the case during the pre-mediation phase,
and worked to become familiar with the decision-makers on each side. Further, when the settlement process hit a roadblock post-mediation, and needed some fine tuning,
Rachel was responsive and worked to preserve the deal. I will not hesitate to recommend and use Rachel to resolve even my most contentious and challenging disputes.
- Attorney in a Coverage and Bad Faith Dispute.
Rachel's ability to understand both sides and diplomatically push the parties toward a resolution is great. She was also tenacious in following up after the face-to-face session in continuing the negotiation to reach a resolution.
- Attorney on an Insurance Bad Faith Dispute
Rachel was our mediator for a serious injury construction case involving multiple parties with cross claims for indemnity. Following a challenging day long session, the mediation ended in an impasse. Rachel stayed at it for several weeks following the mediation with several individual and group phone calls. Due to her persistence and ability to sort through the various liability and AI coverage issues, the case settled. I am certain that our case would not have settled without Rachel's tremendous effort.
- Counsel in catastrophic injury matter with multiple defendants
Rachel did a stellar job in getting a case of mine resolved even though it took several months. It was a complicated case of liability and included difficult issues concerning various indemnity claims among the defendants. Rachel mastered the legal and factual issues of the case and kept the dialogue going until the matter could be resolved. I wish that she lived in Arizona so I could use her all the time! I recommend Rachel without hesitation.
- Attorney in a Catastrophic Injury Matter
Rachel Ehrlich was extremely detailed in understanding the facts of our case.
- Attorney on a personal injury auto dispute
Rachel has been a pleasure to work with. I would recommend her as a mediator in any type of matter. She is knowledgeable and quick to learn the nuances
and dynamics of the case before her. But, most important, Rachel demonstrated to me a willingness to go the extra mile to get the case resolved.
- Attorney on an insurance matter
Senior Vice President, US Casualty Claims, Navigators Management Company (2009-2013, other positions held were Vice President Specialty Claims 2009-2012)
Claim Legal Coverage, Managing Counsel, The Travelers Indemnity Company (1997-2009, other positions held were National Team Leader for Regulatory Compliance 2004-2006, Claim Legal Coverage Counsel 1998-2005, Staff Attorney 1997-1998)
Associate, Robinson & Wood, Inc. (1996-1997)
Judicial Extern to the Honorable Judge Sandra Marguiles, Alameda County Superior Court, Law & Motion Department (1996)
Mediated multi-party matter in which a commercial lease, property damage, and future profits were at issue. Negotiations were complicated by first and third party insurance coverage issues and an insurance subrogation claim.
Mediated contractual indemnification matter complicated by direct CGL coverage issues and additional insured coverage issues.
Mediated product liability matter. Plaintiff, a food server, sustained third degree burns when splashed with hot liquid. Plaintiff alleged defective design of a commercial hot beverage brewing appliance.
Mediated complex real estate dispute involving trust deeds, reconveyances, rescission and voiding of conveyances, subordination of secured mortgages, and alleged breach of marital settlement agreement.
Mediated commercial litigation relating to sale of a business, assignment of leases, and assumptions of liabilities. Liabilities at issue included performance
by seller and buyer under purchase agreement, funding pension liabilities, and environmental clean-up.
Mediated non-litigated dispute involving damage to a commercial leased retail premises. Issues included first party property and third party liability insurance coverage issues, indemnification agreements, subrogation waivers, lease modifications, rent abatement, and lost business opportunities.
Mediated residential multi-home construction defect matter. Two mediation sessions were held and total time from when mediation commenced until settlement with all defendants and plaintiffs was five months. Telephonic, e-mail, and text communications were instrumental in bringing the matter to resolution.
Mediated residential multi-home construction defect matter. One mediation session was held and total time from when mediation commenced until settlement with all defendants and plaintiffs was six months. Telephonic, e-mail, and text communications were instrumental in bringing the matter to resolution.
Mediated residential multi-home construction defect matter. Mediation commenced before homeowners initiated action against developer. Cross-defendants settled out continuously throughout.
Mediated residential single-family home construction defect matter against developer-general contractor who
built the house “on spec.” Parties were highly contentious, emotional, and entrenched. There was no insurance coverage for
developer-GC due to applicable exclusions which needed to be explained to plaintiff-homeowners. In five hours, matter settled
in mediation session and final agreement was drafted and executed.
Mediated construction defect matter involving single family homes. Alleged defects included soils, concrete, stucco, framing, windows, flashing, roofing, and interior systems. Parties to the mediation included homeowners, developer, subcontractors, and insurers for defendant developer and cross-defendant subcontractors.
Wage and Hour
Mediated appeal of Labor Commissioner award in a wage and hour dispute. Employer had posted bond for full amount of the award. Agreement
reached and final agreement drafted and executed in eight hours.
Mediated coverage and bad faith matter under cyber liability policy. Government investigation into insured’s practices.
Mediated coverage and bad faith matter regarding Employment Practices Liability policy. Underlying matter involved wage and hour violations, misclassification, and discrimination on the basis of national origin and race.
Mediated first party property commercial insurance coverage and bad faith dispute that was not in suit. The loss at issue implicated affirmative coverage grant for earth movement, the definition of earth movement, cause of loss, and choice of law.
Mediated insurance bad faith dispute under D&O policies. Underlying action against the directors and officers concerned misappropriation of trade secrets
and duties of loyalty to a former employer. Alleged bad faith included the insurer's failure to communicate about settlement opportunities, eroding policy limit, and litigation strategy.
Mediated personal lines first party property coverage and bad faith action. Issues included ordinance and law, underwriting, policy notices, and claims handling.
Mediated coverage matter under commercial first party property policy. Fire loss to multiple insured structures. Valuation under various coverage parts was at issue.
Mediated coverage matter regarding allocation between various professional liability policies. Different medical professionals/entities were defendants in multiple
underlying actions each insured by the carriers involved in the coverage action.
Mediated coverage matter regarding allocation of indemnity and defense between CGL and D&O policies insuring same entity on a named insured and additional insured basis.
Mediated insurance coverage dispute under Commercial General Liability insurance policy for mass tort for personal injury, property damage, and
nuisance. Multiple underlying suits brought by persons whose residences were in the neighborhood of an industrial shredder operated by a metal scrapyard.
Mediated dispute between marine insurance companies that insured the same entity. Coverage dispute was whether the injured party in the underlying suit was covered as a longshoreman or a Jones Act seaman.
Early Neutral Evaluation of personal lines insurance coverage and bad faith matter in which insurer had denied the claim on the basis of fraud.
Mediated product liability coverage dispute under general liability policies. Plaintiff in underlying action had suffered a catastrophic injury and if there
was no coverage under one set of policies the available insurance was insufficient to cover incurred and future damages.
Mediated dispute over Errors & Omissions coverage for settlement of a suit against a managed care entity by a provider entity.
Mediated additional insured coverage dispute between developer and additional insured carrier. The developer was not sued by the underlying claimants,
the developer handled the thousands of claims presented as it would warranty claims by paying for repairs and sought coverage as an additional insured under the allegedly
responsible subcontractor's policy.
Mediated insurance coverage dispute between developer and additional insured carriers regarding payment for defense fees and costs and related disputes
amongst the putative additional insurers. Underlying case was a construction defect matter. Issues presented included assertions by the insurers that there was no
occurrence and no property damage, that additional insured coverage was afforded for ongoing operations only, and various other defenses based upon the policies. The
insurers also disputed the sufficiency of the original tender for coverage by the additional insured and whether all fees sought related to defense of the underlying matter.
Served as Neutral Evaluator of insurance coverage dispute between primary and excess insurers in which excess insurer contended primary should have paid double. Issues presented included standards of insurance policy interpretation and construction.
Mediated case brought by excess insurer against primary insurer. Primary insurer paid its limit and excess insurer also paid to settle suit against
mutual policyholder. Excess insurer contended that the primary had opportunities to settle within the primary limit and, having failed to do so, owed the excess insurer what it contributed to settle the underlying matter.
Mediated landlord-tenant matter in which landlord alleged nuisance caused by tenants and tenants alleged habitability, retaliatory and constructive eviction, discrimination, and harassment.
Mediated multiple unlawful detainer matters involving non-payment of rent, nuisance, breach of lease conditions, owner-move in, and Ellis Act.
Mold exposure and contamination claim by residential tenant against landlord and property manager. Case resolved through extensive and substantive mediated telephonic negotiations in advance of scheduled mediation session.
Mediated neighbor tree dispute. View homeowner sued tree homeowner to restore view that had become impaired by a tree and to address smaller trees that had not yet but could grow to impair the view.
Mediated eviction case of a holdover owner post mortgage foreclosure auction. Reverse mortgage complicated by state subsidies for insurance and HOA dues.
Warranty of Habitability
Mediated landlord-tenant matter. Tenant plaintiffs asserted landlord breached warranty of habitability, discriminated,
retaliated, and violated local tenant protection ordinance. Three out of five plaintiffs settled during a mediation session.
Mediated landlord-tenant dispute that was in litigation. Current owner and prior owners of property
were defendants to the action brought by multiple former tenants for wrongful eviction, discrimination, and habitability issues.
Mediated wrongful death construction site accident matter – fall from scaffolding. Negotiations were complicated by competing claims by decedent’s surviving spouse and minor child, and criminal action against employer as serious and willful violations were found.
Mediated traumatic brain injury matter with multiple defendants, including a state agency. Issues included road construction signage design and execution, contractual risk transfer, additional insured obligations, and allocation amongst defendants.
Mediated acquaintance sexual assault and battery in a public location. Injury to Plaintiff's person caused permanent
nerve damage and necessitated surgery. Associated criminal action had concluded and defendant was on probation at the time of
the mediation. High net worth defendant, no insurance involvement in settlement.
PI Assault and Battery
Mediated personal injury case against nightclub by patron who was injured when ejected from the establishment. Injuries sustained were to the head and face.
Mediated personal injury auto accident matter in which rotator cuff repair was at issue along with soft-tissue injuries. Plaintiff’s Medicare status became sticking point in finalizing settlement.
Mediated Uninsured Motorist matter involving a hit and run vehicle. The injured policyholder suffered soft tissue injuries and missed six weeks of work. Matter settled during follow-up after initial mediation session.
Mediated personal injury action matter involving a big box home improvement store. Claimant suffered a cut to the leg requiring stitches and resulting in permanent scarring. Settled during mediation session.
Personal injury matter. Dog attack at a commercial premises, multiple bites to arm and plaintiff's dog. There were three defendants
consisting of the dog owner, dog owner's nominal employer, and premises owner. Pivotal issues amongst defendants included independent contractor status
of the dog owner, whether the dog owner was in course and scope of retention at the time of the attack, premises owner's responsibility to invitees
relative to dogs of other invitees, and insurance coverage for dog owner. Matter settled during mediation session.
Mediated slip and fall in a retail establishment. Disputed was whether the condition that caused the fall was in existence for sufficient time for the business to have notice. Extent of injury and treatment was undisputed.
Mediated slip and fall at a retail establishment. Fall was recorded on security video that also showed creation of the condition by an employee of the
business. Disputed was whether the warning signage was sufficient and appropriately placed. Undisputed was that the fall necessitated replacement of existing hardware in
plaintiff's back, disputed was whether any future medical specials could be attributed to the injury sustained in the fall.
Mediated trip and fall in which plaintiff struck leg and head. Plaintiff was a retiree so there was no wage loss. Prior to the injury plaintiff was able to garden and walk dogs, after the injury these activities were no longer possible.
Mediated wrongful death product liability matter. Negotiations were complicated by causation issues and incorporation doctrine defenses.
Early neutral evaluation of product liability matter that resulted in personal injury. Matter required further development before negotiated resolution would be achieved.
Mediated wrongful death product liability case. Mediation presented challenging issues relating to family dynamics and grief. Negotiation was further complicated by doctrines for product liability and causation. Case itself was expert driven.