Biography

Jennifer M. Kearns devotes much of her practice to the representation of insurance carriers against allegations of breach of contract, "bad faith", insurance code violations and deceptive trade practices.  Her representation includes both commercial and personal lines policies, as well as third-party disputes involving coverage.

She also handles casualty claims stemming from allegations of premises liability, products liability, or personal injury, and commercial litigation.

Representative Experience

  • Managed defense of and resolved over 500 residential and commercial lawsuits resulting from recent weather catastrophes occurring throughout the state on behalf of multiple insurance carriers.
  • Obtained and acted as liaison counsel for six MDL ("Multi-District Litigation) dockets for the consolidation and coordinated handling of hundreds of residential and commercial lawsuits against multiple insurance carriers stemming from Hurricanes Rita, Ike, Dolly and Hidalgo County hailstorms, resulting in more cost-effective defense.
  • Conducted and obtained favorable rulings in over 50 administrative hearings before the Texas Department of Insurance concerning issues involving windstorm damage, underwriting issues, and most notably, "slab" cases on Bolivar Peninsula following Hurricane Ike.

Education

  • Pepperdine University School of Law  (1997)
  • Our Lady of Lake University  (B.A., 1994)

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1998
  • Texas, 2005

Court Admissions

  • United States District Court, Eastern, Central and Southern Districts of California
  • United States District Court, Western and Southern Districts of Texas

Professional and Community Activities

  • Member, Council for Litigation Management (Bad Faith and Construction Defect Committees)
  • Member, Texas Association of Defense Counsel
  • Member, DRI The Voice of the Defense Bar
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Austin Bar Association (Litigation and Construction Sections)
  • Athletic Ambassador for Colin's Hope, a non-profit organization devoted to water safety and preventing childhood drownings

Speeches and Presentations

  • Texas Property Claims: An Overview, March 18, 2015, AIG/Lexington Personal Lines Claims, San Diego, California.
  • The Impact of Appraisal on Litigation in Texas, Farmers Claims Division, May 13, 2016 (Los Angeles, California) and June 14, 2016 (Houston, Texas).
  • To Appraise or Not to Appraise,RJMW Annual Conference, Destin, Florida, CE presentation, February 24-25, 2015
  • Update on Appraisal Issues in Texas, Thompson Coe webinar, November 13, 2012
  • Texas Property Claims Following Hurricane Ike,Lexington Insurance Company, CE presentation, September 13, 2012
  • Best Claims Handling Practices,RJMW Annual Conference in Puerto Rico, CE presentation, March 4, 2013
  • Update on Appraisal Issues in Texas, June 12, 2018, Thompson Coe monthly webinar series.
  • Best Practices for Handling Claims in Appraisal, July 26, 2018, Dallas Claims Association, Dallas, Texas.
  • Managing Your Claim File to Avoid Bad Faith, July 26, 2018, Dallas Claims Association, Dallas, Texas.
  • Best Practices and Strategies for Handling Complicated Property Claims to Avoid Bad Faith, October 18, 2018, Dallas Claims Association, Dallas, Texas.