Elisa Alcabes is Senior Counsel in the Firm’s Litigation Department. Her practice focuses on insurance coverage disputes and bankruptcy litigation, with an emphasis on asbestos-related matters. She has successfully represented insurers and reinsurers that have been drawn into the bankruptcy process through the Chapter 11 filings of their policyholders.
In particular, she has secured favorable resolutions for insurance clients in numerous asbestos-driven bankruptcy cases, including Fuller-Austin, Armstrong World Industries, NARCO/Global Industrial Technologies, Babcock & Wilcox, Federal-Mogul, W.R. Grace and others. In addition, Elisa regularly litigates complex insurance coverage cases in state and federal court, focusing on a wide array of issues involving coverage for product liability, environmental and mass tort claims.
Complementing her litigation activities, Elisa counsels private equity, corporate and banking clients regarding insurance, asbestos and other mass tort issues in connection with mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, loans and securities offerings. She also regularly advises clients with respect to their directors’ and officers’ liability insurance coverage in the context of policy renewals, new insurance and claim-related issues.
Elisa is deeply committed to pro bono work on behalf of veterans through the Veterans Assistance Project of the City Bar Justice Center. For the last several years, she has represented veterans seeking benefits from the Veterans Administration and relief from military discharge review boards. She successfully appealed an army veteran’s denial of benefits for service-connected PTSD arising from a military sexual trauma, resulting in a significant award of retroactive compensation and future benefits.
In addition, she obtained a discharge upgrade from the Board for Correction of Naval Records for a Vietnam veteran suffering from PTSD and other service-connected disabilities, successfully concluding the veteran’s long, hard-fought battle to be recognized as a veteran. She received the 2014 Jeremy G. Epstein Award for Pro Bono Service from the City Bar Justice Center in recognition of her work.
For over a decade, Elisa has served as co-editor of The Handbook on Insurance Coverage Disputes by Barry R. Ostrager and Thomas Newman (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, 2015), a widely used, three-volume treatise currently in its seventeenth edition. Over the years, she has appeared as a panelist and speaker at several litigation conferences and frequently teaches client and firm-wide CLE’s on insurance-related topics.
Elisa received her B.A. in Philosophy from Vassar College, where she was elected Phi Beta Kappa, her Masters of Music from The Juilliard School, and her J.D. from Columbia Law School where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.
- Columbia Law School, 1988 J.D.
- Columbia Law Review; Phi Beta Kappa; Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar
- Juilliard School, 1983 M.M.
- Vassar College, 1981 B.A.
- Phi Beta Kappa
- New York 1989
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York 1990
- U.S. District Court Southern District of New York 1990
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