Gary J. Valeriano

Gary J. Valeriano

Partner

Email: gjv@amclaw.com
Los Angeles
Telephone: (213) 236-1658

Gary Valeriano is a  Partner and has practiced in the financial lines and specialty insurance business for over 30 years. His emphasis is in Commercial Crime and Financial Institution insurance. Gary has handled complex claims for clients and has defended insurers in litigation. He has been a vice chair of the Fidelity and Surety Law Committee of the Tort & Insurance Practice Section of the American Bar Association for several years and Gary recently served as Chair of the Committee, a group which includes over 1,200 Fidelity and Surety practitioners in the United States. Gary is also on the advisory committee for the Fidelity Law Association comprised of the leading fidelity insurers in the country. Gary is licensed to practice in California, but has appeared pro hac vice in a number of jurisdictions in the western United States. Gary served as an adjunct professor of law at Loyola University Law School Los Angeles, teaching a class in Fidelity and Surety Law.

Gary’s representative experience includes the following:

  • Kurtz v Liberty Mutual Ins. Co, et al., 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. September 1, 2016 2016 WL 4547366, — Fed. Appx–, Case No. 14-55931.  Successfully defended an employee theft fidelity claim based upon misrepresentations in the application for insurance.
  • Aqua Star (USA) Corp. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America, United States District Court, W.D. Washington, at Seattle. July 08, 2016 Slip Copy 2016 WL 3655265 C14-1368RSL.  Received a judgment on a computer fraud/wire fraud loss wherein the court held that the insured’s loss was excluded under the electronic data exclusion of the fidelity coverage.
  • Taylor and Lieberman v. Federal Ins. Co., United States District Court, C.D. California, June 18, 2015.  Not Reported in F.Supp.3d 2015 WL 3824130 CV 14-3608 RSWL SHX.  Judgment for the insurer on a wire fraud transfer where the insured was authorized to send the money on behalf of its client.  The court found no coverage under the Forgery, Computer Fraud or Funds Transfer Fraud coverages of the insurers fidelity bond.
  • First Nat. Bank of Northern California v. St. Paul Mercury Ins. Co., United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit. May 13, 2015 603 Fed.Appx. 597 2015 WL 2225044 13-15587.  Successfully defended the insurer on a claim involving a wire fraud loss from an insured’s client account.  The court agreed that the insured’s client was not a “customer” as that term was defined in the bond.
  • Pestmaster Services, Inc. v. Travelers Cas. and Sur. Co. of America, United States District Court, C.D. California.  July 17, 2014 Not Reported in F.Supp.2d 2014 WL 3844627 CV 13-5039-JFW MRWX, affirmed in part, remanded in part, 2016 WL 4056068 (July 29, 2016). Secured a Motion for Summary Judgment on behalf of an insurer limiting coverage for computer fraud, and successfully defended that judgment on appeal,  having an industry-wide impact.
  • Kubota Credit Corp., U.S.A. v. Federal Ins. Co., United States District Court, C.D. California, April 02, 2012 Not Reported in F.Supp.2d 2012 WL 10716044 CV 10-2521-GHK PJWX.  The court issued a summary judgment on behalf of the insurer on a forgery claim involving the insured’s dealer on the basis of the “authorized representative “ exclusion in the insurer’s bond.
  • Superstition Crushing, LLC v. Travelers Cas. and Sur. Co. of America, United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit. December 29, 2009 360 Fed.Appx. 844 2009 WL 5196076 08-1645.  A landmark ruling in Arizona law whereby the fidelity insurer is limited to one bond limit of liability in claims involving loss over a continuous and uninterrupted period.
  • Kendall v Hartford Fire Insurance Company, United States District Court, N.D. California. March 19, 2008 Not Reported in F. Supp. 2d 2008 WL 753718 C 07-3713 CW.  Successfully sought and received “withdrawal of reference” of a fidelity bond matter in bankruptcy court.
  • Hartford Fire Ins. Co. v. Cameron, United States District Court, N.D. California. December 12, 2006 Not Reported in F.Supp.2d 2006 WL 3646941 05-4818 SC.  Received a default judgment against a principal on subrogation rights involving a massive fidelity loss incurred under the employee theft provision.
  • Humboldt Bank v. Gulf Ins. Co., United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.  July 12, 2006 189 Fed.Appx. 645 2006 WL 1933092 04-16424.  Received, and successfully defended on appeal, a judgment precluding the insured bank from coverage for a large ATM loss.  The court held that the loan exclusion to the Financial Institution Bond applied.
  • F.D.I.C. v. Fidelity and Deposit Co. of Maryland, United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit. May 18, 2005 132 Fed.Appx. 139 2005 WL 1163108 03-55752.  With other insurers, successfully defended an insurer from claims made by the FDIC arising out of the activities of an admittedly dishonest claim officer due to lack of discovery of the loss during the relevant period and based upon prejudice to subrogation rights.
  • Stanford University Hosp. v. Federal Ins. Co., United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit. April 28, 1999 174 F.3d 1077 1999 WL 246502 97-16487, CV-93-0563CW, 97-16488, CV-93-1877CW, 97-16489, CV-93-2653CW.  Overturned a ruling on a Motion for Summary Judgment against an insurer on a fidelity bond.  The court of appeal held that the “authorized representative” exclusion precluded coverage for a loss sustained by various insureds due to the theft by their payroll service.
  • Williams v Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit. February 16, 1996 77 F.3d 491 1996 WL 68234, Judgment for the insurer based upon the failure of the insured to provide material information in the procurement of its fidelity bond.
  • A.B.S. Clothing Collection, Inc. v. Home Ins. Co., Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 7, California. May 19, 1995 34 Cal.App.4th 1470 41 Cal.Rptr.2d 166 B077598.  Received a summary judgment, later overturned by a 2 to 1 decision, but still allowing for minimal stacking of limits of liability under a fidelity bond.

Practice Areas

Education

  • Loyola Law School, J.D., 1979, Law Review
  • California State University, Northridge, B.A., 1974, Magna cum Laude

Bar Admissions

  • California

Representative Published Works (as author or co-author)

  • Appleman on Insurance Law, 2016 Edition, Contributor.
  • Financial Institution Bonds, 4th Edition: Chapter, Litigating the Financial Institution Bond Claim, (ABA Publishing 2016).
  • Fidelity and Surety Law Committee:  The Right Place To Be,  45 Brief 6 (Spring 2016).
  • Commercial Crime Insurance Coverage: Chapter, Direct Loss in Fidelity Bonds, (ABA Publishing 2015).
  • Strategic and Logistical Issues in Litigating Fidelity Bond Claims, XX Fidelity Law Journal 193 (2014).
  • Stacking Takes a Turn, Fidelity and Surety Committee Newsletter, June 2010.
  • Handling Fidelity Bond Claims, 2d Edition: Chapter 8, Handling Forgery Claims and Articles 3 and 4 of the Uniform Commercial Code (ABA Publishing, 2005).
  • The Interpretations of Direct Loss, 33 The Brief 32 (2004).
  • A Look at Revised Articles 3 and 4 of the Uniform Commercial Code, I Fidelity Law Journal 53 (1995).
  • Pitfalls in Insurance Coverage for “Computer Crimes” Defense Counsel Journal October, 59 Defense Counsel Journal 511 (1992).

Representative Speeches and Presentations

  • 2016 – Chair of the Committee and responsible for putting on 5 national CLE programs.
  • 2014 – Presenter at the Annual Fidelity Law Association Meeting- Litigating the Fidelity Claim.
  • 2014 – FSLC Program Co-Chair for the Fall Fidelity Program entitled “Expansion and Contraction: Adding to and Subtracting from the Standard Bond.”
  • 2010 – FSLC  Program Co-Chair for the Fall Fidelity Program entitled “Profiles in Greed: A Study of Common Fidelity Loss Scenarios.
  • 2005- Fidelity Law Association Chair for the Annual Program.
  • 2004 – Presenter at the Mid-Winter Meeting of the FSLC- The UCC and Fidelity Bonds.
  • 2002- FSLC Program Co-Chair and Presenter for the Fall Fidelity Program entitled “Keeping Pace with Fidelity: Age Old Crime with a New Age Face.”
  • 1995 – Presenter at the Annual Fidelity Law Association Meeting-The UCC and Fidelity Claims.
  • 1986- Presenter at the Mid-Winter Meeting of the FSLC- Statutory Bonds.

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association, Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section
  • Fidelity & Surety Law Committee of TIPS
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association