Robert J. McKennon

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Los Angeles and Orange County Insurance Bad Faith, ERISA and Long-Term Disability Insurance Claims Denial Attorney

Robert J. McKennon Attorney and Founding Shareholder
McKennon Law Group PC

20321 SW Birch Street, Suite 200
Newport Beach, California  92660
Phone: 949-387-9595
Fax: 949-385-5165
rm@mckennonlawgroup.com
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AV Peer Martindale

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Robert J. McKennon is a founding shareholder of McKennon Law Group PC. He represents individuals and small-to-large corporations in sophisticated litigation matters in state and federal court. He has recovered millions of dollars for our clients from such insurance companies as: Unum, Prudential, Lincoln National, Standard Life, Sun Life, Met Life, Hartford Life, Mass Mutual, Paul Revere, Provident, Trustmark and Aetna for all types of insurance claims, including:

Mr. McKennon is admitted to all federal and state courts in California, and regularly handles litigation matters in federal courts in the Western United States. He is a nationally recognized expert in insurance litigation matters and has tried, litigated, and resolved hundreds of insurance litigation matters, including ERISA/employee benefit, life, health and long-term disability and short-term disability insurance, insurance coverage, insurance bad faith, unfair trade practices, and insurance agent/broker litigation. Mr. McKennon has also handled numerous business litigation cases in the areas of general business and contract disputes and unfair competition.

Mr. McKennon frequently serves as a guest speaker at local and national conferences concerning life, health, long-term disability, short-term disability and ERISA issues, and has chaired numerous national conferences on these topics.

Mr. McKennon formerly represented numerous insurance companies in first-party insurance lawsuits involving life, health and short-term and long-term disability insurance disputes, insurance bad faith and punitive damages for over twenty-four years. He now represents insureds, claimants, businesses and other consumers who believe that their insurance companies have improperly denied their claims for insurance benefits.

Mr. McKennon was the founder and editor of the Life, Health & Disability Insurance Law Blog at lifehealthdisabilityinsurancelaw.com while he was a partner at Barger & Wolen LLP. He is currently the editor of the California Insurance Litigation Blog at californiainsurancelitigation.com. He is also a regular contributing author of insurance articles in the Los Angeles Daily Journal, the most read and respected legal newspaper in California. The nationally respected Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory and the nationwide Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers has awarded Mr. McKennon their highest possible rating, “AV.” This assessment is based on confidential recommendations received exclusively from lawyers and judges. The rating highlights an attorney’s competence, ethical conduct, professional ability, diligence and overall performance. Mr. McKennon has been also awarded AVVO’s rating of “Superb,” 10.0 out of a possible 10.0, which also highlights an attorney’s competence, ethical conduct, professional ability, diligence and overall performance. Mr. McKennon has also been recognized for numerous years as a Southern California “Super Lawyer,” a prestigious recognition given to only 5% of attorneys in the United States which recognizes him as one of California’s top attorneys in ERISA and insurance coverage matters. Mr. McKennon has been profiled in Forbes, American Lawyer, Coast magazine, Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register, Corporate Counsel, and National Law Journal as a top Southern California insurance and business litigation attorney. Mr. McKennon was named as one of Orange County Register Metro’s Top Southern California Attorneys for numerous years.  Mr, McKennon was also named as a Corporate Live Wire’s Global Awards Newport Beach, Orange County, California “Insurance & Reinsurance” Lawyer of the Year.  The American Society of Legal Advocates has recognized him as one of the top 100 Insurance lawyers in the State of California.  He won the Distinguished Lawyer Designation© from the Expert Network, which is only conferred upon the top 3% of lawyers in the United States.  Mr. McKennon’s law firm, McKennon Law Group PC, was selected as “Insurance Litigation Law Firm of the Year – United States in 2016” by Lawyers Worldwide Magazine.

Education

  • University of Southern California, Gould School of Law, J.D., 1985
  • California State University, Fullerton, with honors, B.A., 1982

Professional Memberships

  • The State Bar of California (1986)
  • American Bar Association
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • ABA’s Tort and Insurance Law Committee
  • Consumer Attorneys of California
  • Celtic Bar Association

Awards & Professional Recognitions

  • Named as Corporate LiveWire’s Global Awards 2017 “Insurance Litigation Law Firm of the Year – California, USA”  The 2017 Corporate LiveWire Global Awards are awarded to the most successful individuals, companies and organizations in the Americas, Europe, Asia & Australasia, Africa & the Middle East, over the past year. Award categories include a wide variety of specialist fields including insurance, intellectual property, company formations and family law. The Global Awards honor those who stand out for consistently showing best practice in every aspect of their work and who have excelled within their practice areas.
  • Rated AV Preeminent in Insurance Law by his peers, an achievement of Martindale Hubbell’s highest rating in legal ability and ethical standards.
  • Named as a Southern California “Super Lawyer” as one of California’s top attorneys. Fewer than 5% of attorneys nationwide are awarded this status. Mr. McKennon has received this Southern California Super Lawyer designation every year since 2011.  Mr. McKennon was recognized as a top insurance coverage lawyer in part for his experience in handling and litigating disability insurance, life insurance and health insurance cases for over 30 years.
  • Named in the Business Edition of Thomson Reuters/Super Lawyers annual list of the nation’s top attorneys in business practice areas.
  • Distinguished Lawyer Designation© from the Expert Network which is only conferred upon the Top 3% of Lawyers in the United States.
  • Selected as Insurance Litigation Law Firm of the Year – United States in 2016 and 2017 by Lawyers Worldwide Magazine.
  • Awarded the annual designation of “Top Rated Lawyer in Labor and Employment” and “Top Rated Lawyer in Insurance” by American Lawyer Media and Martindale Hubbell, leading providers of news and rating information to the legal industry. Mr. McKennon received this top award for his and his firm’s work representing ERISA plan participants/insureds in disability insurance, life insurance and health insurance litigation.
  • Awarded the designation of “Top Rated Lawyer in Commercial Litigation” by American Lawyer Media and Martindale Hubbell, leading providers of news and rating information to the legal industry.
  • Named as Corporate LiveWire’s Global Awards 2016 Newport Beach, California “Insurance & Reinsurance” Lawyer of the Year. The 2016 Corporate LiveWire Global Awards celebrate the achievements of the most successful individuals, companies and organizations in the Americas, Europe, Asia & Australasia, Africa & the Middle East, over the past year. Award categories include a wide variety of specialist fields including insurance, intellectual property, company formations and family law. The Global Awards honor those who stand out for consistently showing best practice in every aspect of their work and who have excelled within their practice areas.
  • Awarded AVVO’s highest rating of “Superb,” 10.0 out of a possible 10.0, which also highlights an attorney’s competence, ethical conduct, professional ability, diligence and overall performance.
  • Named by the American Society of Legal Advocates as one of the top 100 Insurance lawyers in the State of California every year since 2013.  The American Society of Legal Advocates is an invitation-only, nationwide organization of top lawyers in practice today who combine excellent legal credentials with a proven commitment to community engagement and the highest professional standards.
  • Named as Corporate LiveWire’s Global Awards 2015 Orange County, California Insurance & Risk Management Lawyer of the Year. The annual Global Awards Lawyer of the Year recognition honors the achievements of those individuals that have consistently shown best practice and demonstrated general excellence in every endeavor on a global and national level.
  • Named as one of Orange County Register Metro’s Top Attorneys.
  • Featured in the August 2012 and 2013 issues of Corporate Counsel magazine and The National Law Journal, both of which feature the 2012 and 2013 Top Rated Lawyers in Insurance Law.

Articles & Publications

  • Decision Marks the End of an Era for Employee Benefit Plans, Los Angeles Daily Journal (May 25, 2017)
  • Ruling Limits Who Can Bring Suit Under ERISA, Los Angeles Daily Journal (April 13, 2017)
  • New Regulations Will Benefit Claimants in Disability Insurance Cases, Los Angeles Daily Journal (January 12, 2017)
  • Insurers turn to drones, Los Angeles Daily Journal (October 18, 2016)
  • 9th: “Independent” Physicians may Favor Insurers, Los Angeles Daily Journal (September 9, 2016)
  • 9th Circuit OKs Multiple Claims for Relief under ERISALos Angeles Daily Journal (June 8, 2016)
  • When is Insurer’s Delay a Breach?, Los Angeles Daily Journal (November 27, 2015)
  • Supreme Court Ramps Up Interest in ERISA, Los Angeles Daily Journal (November 6, 2015)
  • Examine the “Reasonable Expectations of the Insured,” Los Angeles Daily Journal (September  22, 2015)
  • When Insurers Rescind, They Must Act Fast, Los Angeles Daily Journal (April 1, 2015)
  • Expanding Equitable Remedies in ERISA Cases, Los Angeles Daily Journal (January 8, 2015)
  • Case highlights importance of agent-broker distinction, Los Angeles Daily Journal (September 11, 2014)
  • New Liability For Claims Adjusters the Right Move, Los Angeles Daily Journal (April 21, 2014)
  • Policyholder Wins Handed Down In Insurance Decisions, Los Angeles Daily Journal (February 10, 2014)
  • Equitable Remedies Gain Favor in ERISA Cases, Los Angeles Daily Journal (November 21, 2013)
  • Clearing Up Murky Waters: Insurer’s Duty to Settle, Los Angeles Daily Journal (October 29, 2013)
  • Clear win for insureds, though scope uncertain, Los Angeles Daily Journal (August. 7, 2013)
  • Insurance Brokers’ Duties to Third Parties Continue to Shrink, Los Angeles Daily Journal (May 1, 2013)
  • Insurance Agents Key to Insurer Liability, Los Angeles Daily Journal (November 1, 2012)
  • Equitable Relief in the Ninth Circuit Just Got Better for Consumers, Los Angeles Daily Journal (July 11, 2012)
  • Boon or Bust for Employee Rights Under ERISA Plans, Los Angeles Daily Journal (June 3, 2011)
  • In ERISA Cases, The Standard of Review Really Does Matter, Los Angeles Daily Journal (December 6, 2010)
  • The Waiver Doctrine, Alive And Well in ERISA Cases, Los Angeles Daily Journal (August 11, 2010)
  • Differential Standard of Review in ERISA Cases Clarified, Los Angeles Daily Journal, (May 4, 2010)
  • ERISA Plan Administrators Take Heed, Los Angeles Daily Journal (February 10, 2010)
  • Accidental Injury vs. Sickness Provisions in Disability Policies, Defense Research Institute(2009).
  • Disability Cases: The Requirement for Regular and Appropriate Care, Defense, Defense Research Institute (2004)
  • Managing and Litigating Mental-Nervous Insurance Claims, American Conference Institute (2003)
  • Introduction to Disability Fraud, Western Claims Conference (2003)
  • The Requirement for Regular and Appropriate Care in Disability Cases, American Conference Institute (2002)
  • Recent Developments: The Contestable Clause, Bad Faith and Punitive Damages, Southern Claims Conference (2002)
  • Special Investigative Unit Training Manual (2002)
  • The Public Policy Defense: The New Frontier in Disability Insurance Litigation, American Conference Institute (2000)
  • Litigating the Bad Faith Case, American Conference Institute (2000)
  • Insurance Sales on the Internet: A Work in Progress, International Insurance Law Review (May 1998)
  • California Fair Claims Settlement Practices Regulations Manual (1997)
  • Contestable Life Claims, Southern Claims Conference (1997)
  • Unique and Emerging Issues in Insurance Litigation, Southern Claims Conference (1996)
  • Emerging Issues in Disability, Health and Life Claims, Midwest Claims Conference (1996)
  • Insurance Issues in Bankruptcy: An Insurer’s Perspective, Tort & Insurance Law Journal, American Bar Association (Fall 1994)
  • The Life Insurance Law of California, “Delinquency Proceedings” and “Formation and Issuance of Life Insurance Policies” Chapters, Association of Life Insurance Counsel (1990)
  • Insolvency of Insurers, California Insurance Law and Practice, Matthew Bender (1986-92)

Professional Notes & Events

  • August 27, 2014  – Panelist/Presenter: Life Insurance Law: Recent Developments and Interesting Issues
  • June 15 & 16, 2009 – Co-Chair: Litigating Disability and ERISA Claims, American Conference Institute – Boston, Ma.
  • May 23, 2007 – Panelist/Presenter: Bad Faith Insurance Law Update, 38th Annual Midwest Claim Conference – Chicago, Ill.
  • February 23, 2006 – Panelist/Presenter: Litigating Disability Insurance Claims Conference, American Conference Institute – Boston, Ma.
  • September 26, 2005 – Panelist/Presenter: Bad Faith Litigation Conference, Mealey’s – Philadelphia, Pa.
  • May 24, 2005 – Panelist/Presenter: Managing and Litigating Mental Illness Disability Insurance Claims, American Conference Institute
  • March 04, 2005 – Panelist/Presenter: Advanced Forum on Litigating Disability Insurance Claims, American Conference Institute – Coral Gables, Fl.
  • June 10, 2004 – Co-Chair: 7th National Advanced Forum on Litigating Disability Insurance Claims, American Conference Institute – Boston, Ma.
  • March 23, 2004 – Panelist/Presenter: Disability Fraud Issues Forum –Newport Beach, Ca.
  • December 09, 2003 – Panelist/Presenter: Managing and Litigating Depression Disability Insurance Claims, American Conference Institute – San Francisco, Ca.
  • June 09, 2003 – Panelist/Presenter: 19th Annual Western Claims Conference – Indian Wells, Ca.
  • June 22, 2000 – Panelist/Presenter: 3rd National Strategies for Success in Litigating Disability Insurance Claims, American Conference Institute – Boston, Ma.
  • March 30, 2000 – Panelist/Presenter: 6th National Conference on Bad Faith and Punitive Damages, American Conference Institute – San Francisco, Ca.
  • February 10, 2000 – Co-Chair: Strategies for Success in Litigating Disability Insurance Claims, American Conference Institute –San Diego, Ca.
  • June 4, 1998 Panelist/Presenter: Are You Really Complying With States’ Fair Claim Practices? Southwest Insurance Association Conference – San Antonio, Tx.
  • April 11, 1997- Panelist/Presenter: Contestable Life Claims, Southern Claims Conference – Panama City, Fla.
  • March 3, 1997 – Panelist/Presenter: Uncivilized Behavior in a Civilized System, Eastern Claims Conference – New York, NY.
  • January 10, 1997 – Panelist/Presenter: Insurance Bad Faith: Plaintiff & Defense Perspectives, Orange County Bar Association – Costa Mesa, Ca.
  • May 20, 1996 – Panelist/Presenter: Emerging Issues in Disability, Health and Life Insurance Litigation, Southern Claims Conference – Chicago, Ill. (1996)
  • May 7, 1996 – Panelist/Presenter: Unique and Emerging Issues in Insurance Litigation, Southern Claims Conference – New Orleans, La.