Carleton R. Burch

Carleton R. Burch


Los Angeles
Telephone: (213) 236-1649


Mr. Burch practices in the firm’s Los Angeles, California office as well as its Las Vegas, Nevada office.

Mr. Burch’s practice includes fidelity and insurance coverage and bad faith litigation, banking and bank operations litigation, ERISA benefits litigation, business and real estate litigation, and intellectual property litigation.  He has also handled employment matters for employers.  He has published extensively in the areas of fidelity insurance and insurance litigation.

Mr. Burch has handled complex insurance claims and litigation including class actions, in California and Nevada in state and federal courts for those states.  His banking, credit union and creditors’ practice also sees him before all courts in California and Nevada.

Carleton’s representative experience also includes the following:

  • Obtained grant of summary judgment in favor of insurers and a claim for reimbursement under a Directors and Officers liability insurance policy for alleged wage and hour violations.
  • Obtained grant of summary judgment in favor of defendant credit union in Federal Court in Nevada, affirmed on appeal, on claims of racial discrimination, harassment and retaliation in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Age Discrimination and Employment Act.
  • Obtained grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendant credit union in Nevada, affirmed on appeal by the Ninth Circuit, on quiet title and slander of title claims.
  • Obtained affirmance of grant of summary judgment in favor of ERISA plan fidelity insurer that the plan’s fidelity bond did not extend coverage to losses caused by a third party with whom the plan invested funds.
  • Successfully defended a fidelity insurer in a class action in Las Vegas arising out of a collapse of a tax deferred exchange company.
  • Obtained grant of summary judgment, affirmed by Ninth Circuit, in favor of fidelity insurer on computer fraud claim and under the policy’s authorized representative exclusion.
  • Obtained grant of summary judgment, affirmed on appeal before the Ninth Circuit, in favor of fidelity insurer holding that employee dishonesty coverage did not provide coverage for insurer’s vicarious liability and that “direct means direct” under such coverage.
  • Successfully defended construction lender in a mechanic’s lien case in bankruptcy court where eight figures worth of mechanic’s liens were asserted.
  • Successfully defended former directors and officers of a failed bank against claims by the FDIC for breach of fiduciary duty and gross negligence with respect to the making of loans.
  • Successfully defended an ERISA trust against claims by former trust fiduciary sounding in equitable contribution.
  • Successfully tried an alleged bad faith failure to settle case on behalf of an excess general liability carrier.
  • Successfully defended an EIRSA trustee in a class action alleging breach of fiduciary duty by the trustee.

Practice Areas


  • University of California, Hastings, J.D., 1987
  • Colorado College, B.A., 1984

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Nevada

Published Works

  • Co-Editor, Annotated Commercial Crime Insurance Policy, 3d. ed., American Bar Association (2015)
  • Co-Author, Chapter 2, Loss and Causation, Annotated Commercial Crime Insurance Policy, 3d. ed., American Bar Association (2015)
  • Co-Contributor to New Appleman on Insurance Law Library Edition, Volume 10, Financial Institution Bond, Insuring Agreement (E) – Securities, Chapter 16, with Gary J. Valeriano, and Mark J. Krone
  • American Bar Association, TTIPS Journal, Fidelity & Surety Update, Multiple Years
  • The ABC’s of Insuring Agreement (D) under the Financial Institution Bond, with David DiBiase and David Billings, The Fidelity Law Journal, Volume XVII, 2d ed., December, 2011
  • The Impact of an Insured’s Bankruptcy on Fidelity Claims and Litigation, presented on November 5, 2010 in Boston, MA and published in Profiles in Green, a Study of Common Fidelity Loss Scenarios, American Bar Association, Tort Trial and Insurance Practices Section, 2010
  • The Inventory and Profit and Loss Computation Exclusion – Practical Approaches to Issues Relating to the Exclusion, with D.M. Studler & Amy White, The Fidelity Law Journal, Volume XV, October, 2009
  • Annotated Commercial Crime Policy 2d Ed. Chapter 2 Loss and Causation, with David DiBiase, Contributor to Kain, Glovach, eds., ABA Publishing, 2006
  • Institutions Must Be Ready for Financial Elder Abuse Litigation, California Mortgage Finance News, Summer, 2006
  • A Year or So of Causation Analysis in Less than 2000 Words with David DiBiase, IADC Newsletter, October 2005
  • The Interpretation of a Direct Loss Under Fidelity Bonds with Gary Valeriano, The Brief, Summer, Vol. 33 No. 4, 2004
  • Direct Means Direct, The Practical Impact of Vons Companies, Inc. v. Federal Insurance Company, Fidelity & Surety Law Newsletter, Winter, 2002
  • The Lessons of Lustig, Liability Under The Civil False Claims Act, The Brief, Fall, Vol. 30, No. 1, p. 43, 2000

Speeches and Presentations

  • American Bar Association, Fidelity and Surety Law Committee, Mid-Winter Meeting, January, 2015, New York, NY, “Is This What I Meant? Strategies for Providing/Disproving Intent on Manuscripted/Heavily Endorsed Forms
  • American Bar Association, The Fidelity and Surety Law Committee Mid-Winter Meeting, January, 2014, New York, NY, “Statutory Public Official Bonds, Do they Still Mean What They Say?”
  • Presenter, Current Trends in Electronic Funds and Computer Crime Losses, presented with Dominique Sena-Di Donato and Robert Grennan, Eastern Bond Claims Review, May, 2013, Chatham, New Jersey
  • American Bar Association, The Fidelity and Surety Law Committee Fall Meeting, November, 2013, Boston, MA, Insuring Agreement (E) in Twelve Easy Questions
  • Presenter, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and other Collection Torts in Bankruptcy, Chief Bankruptcy Judges’ Conference Education Program, November 2009, Santa Barbara, California
  • Moderator, The Nuts & Bolts of Repurchase/Indemnification Litigation presented with Jacqueline Barend, Steven Dailey, Jesse Hernandez, Paul Levin and Vanessa Widener, California Mortgage Bankers Association, 12th Annual Western States Loan Servicing Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada, August 5, 2007 – August 7, 2007
  • Who’s Who? An update on the Alter Ego Defense, presented with Carl Grant and Guy Harrison, Tenth Annual Eastern Bond Claims Review, May 21, 2007, Chatham, New Jersey
  • Stacking Limits on Fidelity Claims, The Exception or the Norm?, 2002 ABA Mid-Winter Meeting, Tort & Insurance Practice Section with David DiBiase
  • Forgery Claims Against Stockbrokers and the UCC, Eastern Bond Claims Association – May, 2002
  • Direct Loss Under Common Fidelity Coverages — “Direct Means Direct”, 1999 Meeting of the ABA, Tort & Insurance Practice Section
  • The Use and Abuse of Evidentiary and Other Sanctions in Fidelity Litigation in Federal Court, Surety Claims Institute, June 1998 with Lisa Coplen
  • Third Party Losses, A Causational Approach to Resolving Claims on Fidelity Bonds and Other Common Crime Coverages Based Upon Losses to an Insured Arising Out of Claims Against the Insured by Third Parties, June 1997 Surety Claims Institute, with Joseph J. Brenstrom
  • Only The Hits! 20 Top Cases Relating to Fidelity and Crime Insurance, June 1997 Surety Claims Institute, with David T. DiBiase
  • Fidelity Claims and Bankruptcy, June 1995 Surety Claims Institute, with Gary J. Valeriano

Professional Associations

  • California Bar Association, Member
  • Nevada State Bar Association
  • Clark County Bar Association
  • Colorado Bar Association, Member
  • InterPacific Bar Association
  • California Mortgage Bankers Association
  • American Bar Association:  Fidelity & Surety Law Committee
  • Professionals/Liability Insurance Committee

Community Involvement

  • Panel Mediator, United States District Court, Central District of California
  • Mediator Education:  Completed Pepperdine University, Straus Institute of Disputed Resolution training course


  • Japanese
  • Spanish