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Scott Seaman is a commercial litigator and trial lawyer who has focused his practice in business litigation and insurance services for nearly three decades, with particular emphasis on representing insurers and reinsurers in complex insurance coverage disputes and reinsurance cessions. Mr. Seaman has a long track record of successfully representing companies before trial courts, appellate courts, and arbitration panels across the country in a variety of high stakes matters, including cases and cessions involving general liability coverage (primary, umbrella and excess), professional liability coverage, first-party property coverage, bad faith and extra-contractual matters, fee disputes and facultative and treaty reinsurance contracts. He has served as national coverage counsel, as well as trial and appellate counsel.

Mr. Seaman also advises companies on emerging issues and a wide range of case-specific and portfolio issues. He has drafted contract language, trained insurance and reinsurance professionals, and assisted companies in evaluating and resolving issues in the claims and cession stages. Mr. Seaman also handles international, professional liability, tort and product liability, and business and commercial matters.

According to Chambers USA:

"Scott Seaman has the 'uncanny ability to make the complex understandable,' according to commentators, who point to his superb knowledge in the insurance space. He is highly respected for his robust insurance and reinsurance litigation practice, with sources particularly highlighting that 'he's the expert when it comes to excess and umbrella policies.'" (2016)

"'Superior trial lawyer' Scott Seaman is experienced in all forms of insurance dispute. According to clients, 'he is a straight shooter who is experienced and knows the issues. We like the results that he gets us.'" (2015)

"Scott Seaman is well respected for his longtime experience as a litigator, and he has notable expertise in complex insurance and reinsurance coverage cases. He is also an expert in bad faith insurance matters. Sources describe him as a 'terrific lawyer' and as someone who has the respect of the market." (2014)

"Scott Seaman is respected for his expertise in bad faith and reinsurance matters as well as complex insurance coverage cases. He has recently been involved in a series of significant litigation matters and reinsurance arbitrations." (2013)

"Department head Scott Seaman has a fine reputation among clients and peers alike as 'a leading expert in complex insurance coverage issues.' He splits his practice between coverage litigation and reinsurance arbitration work, and earns particular praise from clients for his expertise in asbestos and environmental coverage issues." (2012)

"Scott Seaman is an eminent coverage lawyer with extensive experience in insurance and reinsurance, and besides practicing he writes prolifically on both topics." (2011)

Professional Background

Mr. Seaman Co-Chair of the firm's National Insurance Services Practice Group. He also serves on the firm's Executive Committee. Prior to joining Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, Mr. Seaman was a partner in a litigation firm headquartered in Chicago, where he served as chairman of that firm's national insurance coverage litigation and counseling practice. He began his legal career at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, and Flom and was a member of that firm's national products liability and insurance coverage practice group.

Mr. Seaman graduated first in his law school class and was a recipient of the Illinois Lawyers Auxiliary Scholarship, the Loyola Leadership and Service Award, the Chief Justice Roger B. Taney Award, the Judge John C. Hayes Award, the Thomas L. Owens Award, and the Judge John V. McCormack Award.

Professional Affiliations

  • ARIAS US, Member
  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance, Co-Chair, Reinsurance Runoff Advisory Board
  • American Bar Association, Member
    • Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, Member and past Vice Chair
    • Litigation Section, Member
    • Litigation Section Business Interruption Insurance Subcommittee, Co-Chair
  • DRI, Member
    • Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, Member
    • Insurance Committee, Member
    • Commercial Litigation Committee, Member
    • International Law Committee, Member
    • Climate Change Litigation Task Force, Member
    • Business Torts SLG, Member

Honors & Awards

  • AV® Preeminent 5.0/5.0 Peer Review Rating, Martindale-Hubbell, its highest rating for ethics and legal ability
  • Best Lawyers in America® (Insurance Law)
  • Leading Lawyers℠, Commercial Litigation, Insurance and Insurance Coverage & Reinsurance Law
  • American College of Coverage and Extra-contractual Counsel, Fellow 
  • Insurance & Reinsurance Litigator of 2013 – North America, InterContinental Finance Magazine Continent Awards
  • 2014–2016 Insurance Attorney of the Year in Illinois, Corporate Int'l Magazine
  • Illinois Lawyer of the Year 2014 and 2013 – Litigation, Corporate LiveWire
  • The International Who's Who of Insurance and Reinsurance Lawyers
  • America's Most Honored Professionals
  • Chambers USA
  • Insurance Law – Lawyer of the Year (Illinois), 2013 Corporate INTL Legal Awards 
  • Leading Lawyers Award (Insurance and Reinsurance North America), Lawyers World, 2012 and 2013
  • ICFM Leading Lawyers 500
  • Illinois Super Lawyers (insurance coverage, general litigation, and business litigation)
  • 2015 Premier 500, Lawyers World
  • 2014–2016 Insurance Attorney of the Year in Illinois, Global Law Expert Practice Awards

Representative Matters

Mr. Seaman has been involved in many high profile insurance coverage cases and also has been counsel in significant confidential reinsurance arbitrations. A selection of his representative matters includes:

  • An asbestos reinsurance case resulting in a landmark allocation ruling by the New Jersey Supreme Court.
  • An asbestos and environmental coverage action resulting in a key number of occurrences ruling by New York's highest court.
  • A Delaware Supreme Court decision enforcing tobacco exclusions.
  • Multiple non-products coverage and asbestos bankruptcy matters.
  • A Florida appellate court decision affirming a ruling that defective construction is not an "occurrence"
  • A reversal of an $11 million bad faith/punitive damages verdict in California.
  • An Illinois environmental coverage action resulting in a favorable late notice ruling and a Supreme Court decision finding that insurers' due process rights were violated.
  • Rights and obligations in connection with a multi-billion dollar reinsurance pooling arrangement.

Presentations

Mr. Seaman has been quoted in numerous publications ranging from The Wall Street Journal, to Crain's Chicago Business, to Law360, to Carrier Management. Mr. Seaman is a sought after speaker on insurance, reinsurance, business law and litigation issues. He has chaired and co-chair conferences for and has presented to and on behalf of many organizations, including: the American Bar Association, the DRI, the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education, ARIAS US, Claims and Litigation Management Alliance, the Illinois State Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Asociation, PLRB/LIRB, Lorman Education Services, the Bermuda Bar Association, Strafford, Perrin, the Claims Litigation Management Alliance, the American Conference Institute, and West Legalworks. He is the host of Hinshaw's Insurance Law Radio.

A selection of his recent presentations includes: 

  • "Fundamental & Emerging Issues In Umbrella & Excess Insurance," Strafford, 2016.
  • "The Latest Developments In Insurance Bad Faith Litigation," DRI, 2016
  • "The Impact of Industry Consolidation on the Arbitration Process," ARIAS US, 2015
  • "Current Reinsurance Trends, Issues, and Insights," Reuters/DRI, 2015
  • Co-Chair "Second National Forum on Insurance Allocation," American Law Institute, 2015
  • "Excess Insurance: Questions Raised by Qualcomm and Issues Relating to the Duty to Defend," American Law Institute, 2015
  • "The Fundamentals of Reinsurance," Claims and Litigation Management Alliance, 2015
  • "Duty to Defend: Analyzing Complex Issues," PLRB/LIRB, 2014
  • "Insurer's Duty to Defend: Resolving Defense Cost Issues Strategies for Cost Reimbursement and Allocation," Strafford, 2010 – 2014 
  • "Environmental Insurance Coverage: Latest Developments Climate Change, Natural Resource Damage Claims, Mold, and Fracking," Strafford, 2014 and 2015
  • "Excess Insurer's Duty to Defend and Indemnify: Navigating Critical Challenges: Absence of Underlying Exhaustion, Settlement With Primary, Claims Not Covered By Primary, and Reimbursement of Defense Costs," Strafford, 2012 – 2015
  • "Don’t Get Thrown Under The Buss: Insurers’ Duties and Rights in Mixed Claims," DRI, 2013
  • "Insurance Practice Business Development," Chicago Bar Association, 2013
  • "Follow the Fortunes & Utmost Good Faith: The 'Yin' and 'Yang' of the Reinsurance Relationship in the Context of Captive Insurance," ARIAS, 2013 
  • "Sharing the Fun Associated With Defective Construction Losses: Indemnity, Subrogation & Contribution," DRI, 2012
  • "Excess Insurer's Duty to Defend and Indemnify: Strategies to Limit the Scope of the Excess Insurer's Obligations," Strafford, 2010 – 2013
  • "Environmental Insurance Coverage: Latest Developments Identifying Coverage In Existing Policies, Navigating Pollution and Owned Property Exclusions, and Determining Scope of Damages," Strafford, 2011
  • "Impact of Unavailability of Insurance on Allocation, Insurance Bad Faith and Extra Contractual Exposure, and Hot Topics," Bermuda Bar Association, 2011
  • "Effective Claims Handling and Efficient Management of Coverage Litigation," Chicago Bar Association, 2011
  • "Where the Economics Hit the Road: Valuing Practical Settlement Options," Perrin, 2011
  • "Charting a Course Through the Grey Areas of Insurance Allocation," Perrin, 2011
  • "Global Warming and Insurance Claims and Coverage Issues," ISBA, 2011
  • "How Insurers Can Avoid Conflict or Begin Coverage Litigation With Proper Coverage Armaments," Chicago Bar Association, 2011
  • "Bad Faith Damages and Steps to Minimize Such Damages," DRI, 2010
  • "Nationwide Bad Faith Issues," Chicago Bar Association, 2010
  • "Insurance and Reinsurance Allocation — A Comprehensive Workshop," West Legalworks, 2007 – 2010
  • "Contemporary Reinsurance Arbitrations — Issues and Insights," West Legalworks
  • "Emerging Insurance Coverage Issues — Global Warming Claims and Coverage Issues," Chicago Bar Association
  • "Global Warming Litigation and Insurance Coverage Issues," West Legalworks
  • "Allocation Issues Presented By Reinsurance Cessions: Perspectives of Ceding Companies, Reinsurers, and Umpires," West Legalworks
  • "A Basic Overview of Issues Potentially Impacting Insurance Coverage Resulting From a Policyholder's Chapter 11 Bankruptcy," West Legalworks

Publications

Mr. Seaman writes extensively on substantive legal issues, and insurance and reinsurance topics, as well as litigation practice matters. His writings have been recognized by courts, parties and commentators, and they have been cited by the highest courts in Arizona, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, South Carolina and West Virginia, and by other state and federal appellate and trial courts across the country. A selection of his publications includes:

Books and Chapters (Authored or Co-Authored)

  • Allocation of Losses In Complex Insurance Claims (4th Ed. West Thomson Reuters 2015–2016) (supplemented annually)
  • Wrongful Death and Survival Actions (5th Ed. IICLE 2014) (prior editions 2011, 2007, 2003, and 1993) (General Editor and Contributing Author Chapters 1, 2, 5, and 7)
  • "Chapter 6 Pertinent Reinsurance Contract Provisions," Reinsurance Professional’s Deskbook - A Practical Guide (2015 – 2016 Ed. Thomson Reuters)
  • "Chapter 17 Excess Insurance Coverage," Environmental Liability & Insurance Recovery (ABA 2012)
  • "Reinsurance Law & Practice: A Primer on Basic Principles & Contemporary Issues in Illinois" (BRMA 1999)
  • "Reinsurance Law & Practice: An Overview of Principles and Contemporary Issues" (Glasser 1999)
  • "Reasonable Defense Costs, Legal Fees, and the Legal Audit" (Glasser 1999)
  • "Environmental Coverage: Law and Litigation," Liability Insurance (IICLE 1996, 1998 Supp.)
  • "Employing Discovery, Investigation, and Surprise to Capture Plaintiff's Expert," Defense Practice Notebook (DRI 1996)

Articles and Papers (Authored or Co-Authored)

  • "The Bellefonte Cap Returns," Best's Review, August 2016.
  • "The Latest Developments in Insurance Bad Faith Litigation," DRI 2016.
  • "The Tiring Terrain Of Insurance Contract Exhaustion," Law360, New York (June 12, 2015)
  • "Indiana Supreme Court Shows Limits of 'All Sums' Allocation," Law360, New York (May 28, 2015)
  • "Why Pro Rata Allocation Is the Majority Rule," Law360, New York (October 16, 2014)
  • "NJ Courts Continue to Grapple With Allocation Issues," Law360, New York (October 7, 2014)
  • "A Journey Through the Fundamental Requirement of Exhaustion," CPCU Reinsurance Encounters, Vol. 32, No. 1 (January 2014)
  • "Don't Get Thrown Under The Buss: Insurers' Duties and Rights in Mixed Claims" (DRI 2013)
  • "Contribution, Indemnity, Subrogation, and Allocation in Construction Defect Cases" (PLRB 2013)
  • "Sharing the Fun Associated With Defective Construction Losses: Indemnity, Subrogation, and Contribution" (DRI 2012)
  • "Number of Occurrences, Policy Periods, Exhaustion and Other Considerations Affecting Allocation of Losses," CPCU Reinsurance Encounters, Vol. 30, No. 1 (April 2012)
  • "Insurers Saddled With Disproportionate Share of Loss Seek Reallocation Through Contribution Claims and 'Other Insurance' Clauses," CPCU Reinsurance Encounters, Vol. 29, No. 3 (December 2011)
  • "A Primer on Allocation Methodologies — The 'All Sums' and Various 'Pro Rata' Approaches," CPCU Reinsurance Encounters, Vol. 29, No. 1 (March 2011)
  • "Triggering Occurrence-Based Contracts and Understanding Claims-Made Contract Requirements," CPCU Reinsurance Encounters, Vol. 28, No. 3 (December 2010)  
  • "Professional Liability and Global Warming Claims" Liability For Climate Change? Experts' Views on a Potential Emerging Risk (Munich Re 2010)
  • "Emerging Issues: Global Warming Claims and Coverage Issues," Defense Counsel Journal, Vol. 76 (January 2009)
  • "Global Warming Claims and Insurance Coverage Issues," Declarations (Winter 2008)
  • "The Illinois Supreme Court’s Decision In Kajima Limits Illinois' 'Targeted Tender' Rule and Establishes Illinois as a Pro Rata Allocation Jurisdiction," Mealey’s Litigation Report: Insurance, Vol. 22, No. 11 (January 17, 2008)
  • "Allocation Issues Presented By Reinsurance Cessions: Perspectives of Ceding Companies, Reinsurers, and Umpires," The Insurance and Reinsurance Allocation Party's National Convention (West Legalworks 2007)
  • "A Basic Overview of Issues Potentially Impacting Insurance Coverage Resulting From a Policyholder's Chapter 11 Bankruptcy," The Insurance and Reinsurance Allocation Superbowl (West Legalworks 2007)
  • "Insurance Settlements and Buy-Outs: You Can't Always Get What You Want, But If You Try, You Can Get What You Need," (ABA Insurance Coverage Committee March 2007)
  • "Recent Developments In Excess, Surplus Lines, and Reinsurance Law," Tort & Insurance Law Journal, Vol. 39, No. 2 (Winter 2004)
  • "Bankruptcy & Insurance Coverage Issues in the Context of Asbestos-Related Claims" (2003)
  • "An Overview of Allocation Methodologies for Defense and Indemnity Costs and Insurers' Rights of Recoupment" (DRI 2001)
  • "Defense Cost Allocations, Recoupment and Reasonable Attorney Fees" (West 2000)
  • "The Year 2000 Problem: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly," Mealey's Litigation Report: Insurance, Vol. 13, No. 33 (July 7, 1999)
  • "An Overview of the Firearms Industry Litigation" (March 1999)
  • "A Comprehensive Analysis of Allocation/Apportionment of Losses Involving Complex Insurance Coverage Claims," Focus On Excess Insurance (Lorman Education Services February 1999)
  • "The Good the Bad and the Ugly About Joint Defense," The Brief ABA Tort & Insurance Practice Section, Vol. 28, No. 1 (Fall 1998)
  • "All Counsel for Insurers that Participated in a Joint Defense are Disqualified," For The Defense Vol. 39, No. 8 (August 1997)
  • "Mounting the Joint Defense in Complex Insurance Coverage Litigation," For The Defense Vol. 39, No. 7 (July 1997)
  • "The Anatomy of a Joint Defense in Complex Insurance Coverage Litigation," For The Defense Vol. 39, No. 6 (June 1997)
  • "Excess Liability Insurance: Law and Litigation," Tort & Insurance Law Journal, Vol. 32, No. 3 (ABA, Spring 1997)
  • "Substantive Coverage Issues In 'Long Tail' Claims: Trigger, Pollution Exclusion, and Duty to Defend," Environmental Coverage Litigation — From Soup to Nuts (ISBA May 1997)
  • "Excess Liability Insurance Issues in an Era of Increased Exposure and Visibility," Sixth Annual Institute Contemporary Reinsurance and Excess Insurance Issues (Glasser 1996)
  • "Can Daubert Bar 'Witchcraft' From The Courtroom? Or Does the Case Only Heighten the Level of Judicial Scrutiny," Corporate Legal Times (May 1995)
  • "Think Proactively About Product Liability Management," Corporate Legal Times (September 1994)
  • "Using Surprise to Capture the Expert Witness," For The Defense, (April 1993)
  • "Achieving Case Objectives Through Deposition Strategy" (ABA TIPS, August 1990)
  • "When The Other Side Sends You a Subpoena," The Brief ABA Tort & Insurance Practice Section, Vol. 19, No.3, (Spring 1990)

Community/Civic Activities

  • National Board of Selectors Jefferson Awards for Public Service (Nobel Prize for public and community service), Member
  • Jefferson Awards Chicago, Co-Chair
  • Delegation presenting reports to the White House and the U.S. Senate on the state of volunteering in America, Member
  • Lymphoma Research Foundation, Inaugural Tribute Award Recipient
  • American Forum on Lymphoma in Los Angeles, Keynote speaker, North American Forum, 2006
  • Co-author of Battling and Beating Cancer – The Cancer Survival Book

Education

J.D., magna cum laude, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, 1987

  • Editor, Loyola University Chicago School of Law Journal

B.A., with honors, Barat College, 1984

Admissions