Kent R. Keller is a litigator who focuses his practice in insurance services, with particular emphasis in trial and appellate work on behalf of property & casualty insurers, life and annuity insurers, reinsurers and other financial institutions. Mr. Keller has substantial experience in insurance law claims and disputes stemming from California Proposition 103.
The “outstanding” Kent Keller offers a wealth of experience in insurance litigation and regulatory matters. He routinely acts for property and casualty, life and annuity insurers and reinsurers. Sources highlight him as “one of the preeminent lawyers in the field.” (2017)
Mr. Keller became a partner at Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in October 2014 as a result of the merger of Hinshaw and the Los Angeles-based firm of Barger & Wolen LLP.
Professional Affiliations :
- The State Bar of California
- American Bar Association
- American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow
- Los Angeles County Bar Association
- Association of Business Trial Lawyers
Representative Matters :
- In 1988 California adopted Proposition 103, an initiate that brought prior approval rate regulation to California for many property & casualty lines of insurance. Mr. Keller was retained to represent Travelers concurrently with the adoption of Proposition 103 for the purpose of withdrawing five Travelers personal lines companies from California. The California Department of Insurance (CDI) refused to permit the withdrawal but the California Supreme Court ruled in Travelers favor. Travelers Indemnity Co. v. Gillespie, 50 Cal. 3d 82 (1990).
- Wolfe v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Ins. Co., 46 Cal. App. 4th 554 (1996) in which the Court ruled that it was permissible for insurers to temporarily cease writing fire insurance following a large California fire storm.
- Mr. Keller has successfully handled property casualty cases as diverse as whether the use of replacement cost less depreciation valuation of property losses was an unfair business practice (CARE v. Aegis Security Ins. Co., 92 Cal. App. 4th 886 (2001)), whether piecemeal waivers of uninsured motorist coverage was permissible (Smith v. State Farm Ins. Group, 93 Cal. App. 700 (2001)) and the meaning of the “owned or acquired” provision of a property/casualty policy (GE Engine Services v. Century Indemnity Co. 250 F. Supp. 2d 1237 (C.D. Cal. 2001)).
- Throughout his practice, Mr. Keller has handled cases for life & annuity insurers, including American Investors Life, American General, Fremont Life, Principal and others. In Clark v. Superior Court (National Western Life Ins. Co.), 50 Cal. 4th 605 (2010) the Court ruled in National Western’ favor holding that restitution awards under California’s Business and Professions Code, section 17200 cannot be trebled.
- Many of the decisions listed above (Walker, MacKay, Smith, and Clark) were class action cases. In addition to those and other unreported class action cases, is Basurco v. 21st Century Ins. Co., 108 Cal. App. 4th 110 (2003) which held the Northridge Earthquake Fire cases could not proceed as a class action.
- J.D., Washington University School of Law, 1968
- B.A., Missouri State University, 1965
Admissions : California
Rate : $$$