Beth Culp has represented insurance companies for more than 25 years. She has litigated coverage disputes in 32 states and has had the opportunity to work with both insurers and reinsurers in handling the difficult coverage issues that arise in complex cases and mass tort litigation, including asbestos, anti-trust, breast implants, contaminated blood products, hearing loss, pedicle screws, sex discrimination and sexual abuse.
Ms. Culp has drafted fronting policies, facultative certificates and assisted in the drafting negotiation or reinsurance treaties. She has also been involved in the representation of ceding carriers in disputes with reinsurers regarding the trigger of coverage and the application of the "follow the fortunes" doctrine.
Ms. Culp focuses on avoiding the expense and risk of coverage litigation whenever it is in her client’s interest. Where litigation is necessary, she looks for ways to achieve an early resolution and minimize expense. Ms. Culp has designed and implemented litigation management systems and databases with an eye toward cost-effective resolution of litigation.
In addition to her substantial background in first party and liability coverage, Ms. Culp has extensive experience with agent and broker liability.
Ms. Culp has and continues to serve as national coverage counsel for major insurers requiring coordination with Hinshaw lawyers in multiple offices and extensive interaction with local counsel. She has designed and implemented coverage opinion and litigation databases. Ms. Culp has also created a system for measuring the quality of each team member’s performance.
Throughout her career Ms. Culp has been involved in significant litigation for her clients. A selection of her representative cases includes:
- Recovery of a multimillion dollar payment from a non-contributing carrier.
- Successful resolution of a coverage dispute arising out of a disastrous construction accident.
- Determination that a professional liability insurer had no obligation to defend or indemnify an insured because the “claims made” requirements had not been met.
- Representation of excess umbrella carrier in a $25 million coverage dispute involving professional liability coverage and bad faith failure to settle on the part of the primary.
- Representation of an excess carrier in a dispute with the self-insured.
Ms. Culp joined Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in 2000. She is the Leader of the firm’s Specialty Litigation & Insurance Coverage Department and a former co-leader if its Insurance Services Practice Group.
Ms. Culp is a past chair of the American Bar Association’s Professional, Officers and Directors Liability Law Standing Committee. She is a member of the Minnesota Bar Association.
Ms. Culp was named to Benchmark Litigation
's inaugural edition of the “Top 250 Women in Litigation" in America. She has been repeatedly named to the Super Lawyers
list in the area of Insurance Coverage by Minnesota Super Lawyers
magazine. She has been included in the magazine’s “The Top 100 Lawyers,” and in 2010 was included in “The Top 50 Women Lawyers.”
In addition, Ms. Culp holds the AV® Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, its highest rating for ethics and legal ability.
Ms. Culp is a co-author of Fifty State Survey of the Law of Punitive Damages
, a Hinshaw publication that surveys the law regulating the insurability of punitive damages, including the standard that will be applied by the court to determine whether or not punitive damages are warranted. She also wrote, Handling Sexual Misconduct – A Manua
l, another Hinshaw publication written in July 2003.
Ms. Culp frequently prepares and delivers seminars and lectures to business and professional audiences on insurance coverage and liability issues. Her presentations include:
- “Between a Rock and Hard Place: The Risks and Rewards of Broker Involvement in Coverage Disputes,” Hinshaw’s Annual Insurance Services Symposium, Chicago, Illinois, October 2010.
- "The Underwriters Options: To Re-Draft or Not to Re-Draft,” Hinshaw’s 2009 Insurance Services Symposium, Chicago, Illinois, October 2009.
- “Recognizing and Avoiding the Enhanced Risk of Extra-Contractual Exposure,” Hinshaw’s 2008 Insurance Services Symposium “The Industry Responds to the Economic Storm,” Chicago, Illinois, October 2008.
- “Vioxx, Bextra and Insurance Issues for Pharmaceutical Cases,” HarrisMartin Publishing’s conference, “Litigation, Settling and Insuring Mass Tort Claims,” Las Vegas, Nevada, April 2006.
- “Handling the Explosive Claim,” Hinshaw’s 2006 Insurance Services Symposium, “Creative Management of Claims and Coverage Disputes in a High-Risk Environment,” Chicago, Illinois, February 2006.
- “Litigating Insurance Coverage,” Clarion Legal’s seminar, “Insurance Law 2005,” August 2005.
- "Rules of Construction, Minnesota Insurance Law Deskbook," seminar and publication, Minnesota Bar Association Continuing Legal Education, June 2003 and May 2005.
- “Mandatory Insurance, Registration Disclosure and Client Disclosure – The New and Evolving Rules,” Hinshaw’s Legal Malpractice and Risk Management Conference, February 2005.
- “Structure of a Reservation of Rights Letter,” seminar, Fireman’s Fund Insurance, September 2004.
- "Emerging Issues in Liability Insurance," Minnesota Institute of Legal Education, May 2002.
- "Heeding the Voice of Reason," Insurance Coverage Institute, Minnesota Institute of Legal Education, October 2001.
- "Are the Rules Really New? Selection of Counsel; Billing Guidelines; and Insurer Audits," Minnesota Institute of Legal Education, October 2000.
- "Allocation: Can This Gordian Knot Be Cut," Minnesota Institute of Legal Education, October 1999.
- Symposium, "Recent Developments in CGL Case Law," March 1996.
- Symposium, "Sexual Abuse Claims, Defense and Coverage," November 1995.
- Symposium, "Sexual Abuse Claims, Defense and Coverage," October 1995.
- "Issues Involving the Defense and Resolution of Litigation Against the Insured," Minnesota Institute of Legal Education, February 1995.
- "The Role of Monitoring Counsel in the Defense of an Insured Professional," 23 The Brief 20, 1994.
- Symposium, "The Role of Monitoring Counsel in the Defense of an Insured Professional, August 2002.
- "The Right Coverage: When an Insurance Agent or Broker Fails to Produce Adequate Insurance," 21 The Brief 14, 1991.
- "Special Duties of the Insurance Agent and Broker," "Insurance Agent and Broker Liability: Current Litigation and Emerging Case Law," ABA, Section on Tort and Insurance Practice, August 1990.
- Symposium, "Special Duties of the Insurance Agent and Broker," August 1990.