Rina Carmel’s practice focuses on insurance coverage and business litigation. She represents insurers in coverage litigation, defends extracontractual suits, analyzes coverage for complex claims, and counsels insurers on claims handling and regulatory compliance. Rina has a wide-ranging insurance practice, and clients seek her out when facing challenging and unusual matters. Her extensive experience includes analysis of claims under commercial general liability (CGL), excess and umbrella, professional liability (including architects and engineers, directors and officers and employment practices liability), first-party property, personal lines, entertainment and media policies, on a national basis. She has successfully represented clients in business litigation in federal court.
Nationally recognized for her service to the industry, Rina is a frequent invited speaker and is widely published on bad faith and coverage topics. She is often quoted in news articles on current events in insurance law.
Rina’s representative experience includes the following:
Insurance Coverage and Litigation
- Won summary judgment ruling that client had no duty to defend underlying wage and hour actions under an EPLI policy.
- Won summary judgment ruling that professional liability and CGL insurer had no duty to defend or settle underlying action alleging wrongful death of a foreign exchange student.
- Won dispositive trial motion that CGL insurer had no duty to defend underlying action alleging that the insured rock band used copyrighted drawings without paying for them, as “entertainment industry” exclusion barred coverage.
- Successfully defended insurer in three-week arbitration hearing alleging bad faith. Won counterclaim against insured, and recovered nearly $500,000 in unpaid premiums for retrospectively rated policies.
- Settled bad faith action in exchange for waiver of costs, after filing motion for summary judgment arguing that first-party property insurer had no obligation to inspect insured hotel premises for benefit of the third-party claimants.
- Won demurrer, sustained without leave to amend, on agent’s cross-complaint against insurer for indemnity in bad faith action alleging failure to provide sufficiently high first-party property limits.
- Won summary judgment in direct bad faith action based on uncovered “advertising injury” claim, and collected over $5,000 in costs from plaintiff.
- Wrote successful motion to compel discovery, in a direct bad faith action, of plaintiff’s medical records. The Court of Appeal denied plaintiff’s writ, and the California Supreme Court denied review, based on motion papers, without requesting additional briefing. Subsequently won cross-motions for summary judgment ruling that insurer had no duty to defend or indemnify, as medical records showed that plaintiff had not sustained “bodily injury,” and that plaintiff and insured had colluded.
- Successfully requested publication of Rombe Corp. v. Allied Ins. Co., 128 Cal. App. 4th 482 (2005) (not otherwise involved in case itself).
- Won appeal on behalf of client seeking equitable contribution for underlying construction defect action. Century Sur. Co. v. United Pac. Ins. Co., 109 Cal. App. 4th 1246 (2003), review den., No. S117884 (Cal. 2003)
Business and Commercial Litigation
- Selected to defend national company in action alleging intentional interference with contractual relations, false advertising and unfair business practices.
- Counseled international client on language for contract to provide technology for toll road systems.
- Business and Commercial
- Directors and Officers
- Insurance Coverage and Litigation
- Professional Liability
- American Bar Association Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee, Service to Committee Award, March 2016
- Defense Research Institute, Tom Segalla Excellence in Education Award, October 2015
- Property and Liability Resource Bureau, Outstanding Presentations Award, March 2014
- American Bar Association Section of Litigation, Outstanding Subcommittee Chair Award, 2011-2012
- Bryn Mawr College, Hope Wearn Troxell Award, given for outstanding contribution to college community, May 1990
- University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, Michigan
- J.D. 1997
- Executive Editor and Associate Editor, Michigan Journal of International Law
- University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
- M.A. 1993
- Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
- A.B. cum laude and with departmental honors, French major, 1990
- Institut d’études françaises d’Avignon, France, Summer 1988
- All U.S. District Courts in California
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- U.S. Supreme Court
Recent Published Works
- Determining the Number of Occurrences and Its Effect on Coverage, Coverage magazine, 2016
- The Complexities of California Coverage Law and Its Ramifications Elsewhere, DRI’s Insurance Coverage and Practice Symposium, 2015
- The Tripartite Relationship: Critical Issues, PLRB Claims Conference, 2015
- Is There Any End to the Duty to Defend? Coverage, Claims, and Bad Faith Issues, ABA Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee’s Annual CLE Seminar, 2015
- Asserting the Genuine Dispute Doctrine as a Defense, For The Defense magazine, 2014
Recent Speeches and Presentations
- Torts in Cyberspace: Coverage Issues, Part 2, PLRB Claims Conference, 2017
- Insurance Bad Faith: New Case Law, Trends and Emerging Issues, National Business Institute™ Live Audio Webinar, 2017
- When Insurer and Insured Differ on Whether to Settle: Bad Faith Implications, ABA Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee’s Annual CLE Seminar, 2017
- Are Both Sides’ Coverage Privileges Disappearing?, ABA Women in Insurance Networking CLE Meeting, 2016
- Navigating Thorny Issues with Consent Judgments and Settlement of Coverage Claims, DRI webcast, 2016
- American Bar Association
- Section of Litigation Content Management Committee, Member
- Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee Publications Content Board, Founding Member
- Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee website, former Editor-in-Chief
- Defense Research Institute
- National Publications Board, Vice Chair
- Insurance Law Committee, Publications Subcommittee Chair
- Fellow of the American Bar Foundation
- Guardian Angels for Soldier’s Pet, foster home volunteer