Robert J Mckennon

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Robert J. McKennon

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Practice Areas:

  • Bad Faith Insurance
  • Disability Insurance
  • Life Insurance and Annuities
  • ERISA/Employee Benefits
  • Accidental Death & Dismemberment
  • Health Insurance
  • Long-Term Care
  • Professional Liability Insurance

Biography

Robert J. McKennon is a founding shareholder of McKennon Law Group PC. He represents individuals and small-to-large corporations in sophisticated litigation matters in state and federal court. Mr. McKennon is admitted to all federal and state courts in California, and regularly handles litigation matters in federal courts throughout the United States. He is a nationally recognized expert in insurance litigation matters and has tried, litigated, and resolved thousands of insurance litigation matters, including life, health and short-term and long-term disability insurance, insurance coverage, insurance bad faith, unfair trade practices, ERISA/employee benefit, and insurance agent/broker litigation. Mr. McKennon has also handled numerous business litigation cases in the areas of general business and contract disputes, unfair competition and employment, and he has represented numerous individuals and institutional clients in FINRA (formerly called NASD) arbitrations, and has arbitrated numerous securities cases.

Mr. McKennon frequently serves as a guest speaker at local and national conferences concerning life, health, disability, and ERISA issues, and has chaired numerous national conferences on these topics.

Mr. McKennon formerly represented numerous insurance companies in first-party insurance lawsuits involving life, health and short-term and long-term disability insurance disputes, insurance bad faith and punitive damages for over twenty-four years. He now represents insureds, claimants, businesses and other consumers who believe that their insurance companies have improperly denied their claims for insurance benefits.

Mr. McKennon was the founder and editor of the Life, Health & Disability Insurance Law Blog at lifehealthdisabilityinsurancelaw.com while he was a partner at Barger & Wolen LLP. He is currently the editor of the California Insurance Litigation Blog at californiainsurancelitigation.com. He is also a regular contributing author of insurance articles in the Los Angeles Daily Journal, the most read and respected legal journal in California. The nationally respected Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory and the nationwide Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers has awarded Mr. McKennon their highest possible rating, "AV." This assessment is based on confidential recommendations received exclusively from lawyers and judges. The rating highlights an attorney's competence, ethical conduct, professional ability, diligence and overall performance. Mr. McKennon has been also awarded AVVO's rating of "Superb," 10.0 out of a possible 10.0, which also highlights an attorney's competence, ethical conduct, professional ability, diligence and overall performance.

Mr. McKennon has also been recognized as a Southern California "Super Lawyer" every year since 2011 and has acheived the prestigious and rare recognition of being awarded this designation for at least ten straight years. This recognizes him as one of California's top attorneys in ERISA and insurance litigation matters. Mr. McKennon was recently profiled in Forbes, American Lawyer, Coast magazine, Los Angeles Times, Corporate Counsel, and National Law Journal as a top Southern California insurance and business litigation attorney. Mr. McKennon was named as one of Orange County Register Metro's Top Southern California Attorneys for numerous years. Mr. McKennon was also named as Orange County, California "Insurance & Reinsurance" Lawyer of the Year. The American Society of Legal Advocates has recognized him as one of the top 100 Insurance lawyers in the State of California. Mr. McKennon has been recognized by numerous rating organizations as the top insurance attorney in California and in the USA.

Education

  • University of Southern California Law Center, Los Angeles, California
    • J.D. - 1985
    • Honors: Scott Moot Court Honors Program
  • California State University, Fullerton, California
    • B.A. - 1982

Bar Admissions

  • State Bar of California, 1986
  • U.S. Federal Courts: Central District of California, Northern District of California, Eastern District of California, Southern District of California, Southern District of New York.
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
  • Admitted Pro Hac Vice in numerous courts in the United States

Published Works

  • Editor of the California Insurance & ERISA Litigation Blog (Current)
  • Victory for Plan Beneficiaries in US Supreme Court Ruling, Los Angeles Daily Journal (March 6, 2020)
  • Leveling the Field Between Insurers and Disability Claimants, Los Angeles Daily Journal (November 19, 2019)
  • Court Says Insurer Can’t Dodge Coverage Through “Technical Escape Hatch,” Los Angeles Daily Journal (October 26, 2018)
  • Ruling Could Send Shock Waves Through ERISA Claims Industry, Los Angeles Daily Journal (August 28, 2019)
  • Insurers’ Intermediaries: The Implications of Actions Taken by Agents, Employers, and Third-Party Administrators, Orange County Lawyer (July 2018)
  • Preexisting Condition Doesn’t Preclude Coverage, Los Angeles Daily Journal (May 24, 2018)
  • Ruling Addresses When A Third-party Acts as ERISA Fiduciary, Los Angeles Daily Journal, (April 6. 2018)
  • Ruling Clears Up Attorney Fees in ERISA Cases, Los Angeles Daily Journal (Nov. 9, 2017)
  • An Agent of the Insurer, Los Angeles Daily Journal (Oct. 9, 2017)
  • Decision Marks the End of an Era for Employee Benefit Plans, Los Angeles Daily Journal (May 25, 2017)
  • Ruling Limits Who Can Bring Suit Under ERISA, Los Angeles Daily Journal (April 13, 2017)
  • New Regulations Will Benefit Claimants in Disability Insurance Cases, Los Angeles Daily Journal (January 12, 2017)
  • Insurers turn to drones, Los Angeles Daily Journal (October 18, 2016)
  • 9th: ‘Independent’ Physicians may Favor Insurers, Los Angeles Daily Journal (September 9, 2016)
  • 9th Circuit OKs Multiple Claims for Relief under ERISA, Los Angeles Daily Journal (June 8, 2016)
  • When is Insurer’s Delay a Breach?, Los Angeles Daily Journal (November 27, 2015)
  • Supreme Court Ramps Up Interest in ERISA, Los Angeles Daily Journal (November 6, 2015)
  • Examine the “Reasonable Expectations of the Insured,” Los Angeles Daily Journal (September 22, 2015)
  • When Insurers Rescind, They Must Act Fast, Los Angeles Daily Journal (April 1, 2015)
  • Expanding Equitable Remedies in ERISA Cases, Los Angeles Daily Journal (January 8, 2015)
  • Case highlights importance of agent-broker distinction, Los Angeles Daily Journal (September 11, 2014)
  • New Liability For Claims Adjusters the Right Move, Los Angeles Daily Journal (April 21, 2014)
  • Policyholder Wins Handed Down In Insurance Decisions, Los Angeles Daily Journal (February 10, 2014)
  • Equitable Remedies Gain Favor in ERISA Cases, Los Angeles Daily Journal (November 21, 2013)
  • Clearing Up Murky Waters: Insurer’s Duty to Settle, Los Angeles Daily Journal (October 29, 2013)
  • Clear win for insureds, though scope uncertain, Los Angeles Daily Journal (August. 7, 2013)
  • Insurance Brokers’ Duties to Third Parties Continue to Shrink, Los Angeles Daily Journal (May 1, 2013)
  • Insurance Agents Key to Insurer Liability, Los Angeles Daily Journal (November 1, 2012)
  • Equitable Relief in the Ninth Circuit Just Got Better for Consumers, Los Angeles Daily Journal (July 11, 2012)
  • Boon or Bust for Employee Rights Under ERISA Plans, Los Angeles Daily Journal (June 3, 2011)
  • In ERISA Cases, The Standard of Review Really Does Matter, Los Angeles Daily Journal (December 6, 2010)
  • The Waiver Doctrine, Alive And Well in ERISA Cases, Los Angeles Daily Journal (August 11, 2010)
  • Differential Standard of Review in ERISA Cases Clarified, Los Angeles Daily Journal, (May 4, 2010)
  • ERISA Plan Administrators Take Heed, Los Angeles Daily Journal (February 10, 2010)
  • Accidental Injury vs. Sickness Provisions in Disability Policies, Defense Research Institute (2009)
  • Founder and Editor of the Life, Health & Disability Insurance Law Blog (2008)
  • Disability Cases: The Requirement for Regular and Appropriate Care, Defense Research Institute (2004)
  • Managing and Litigating Mental-Nervous Insurance Claims, American Conference Institute (2003)
  • Introduction to Disability Fraud, Western Claims Conference (2003)
  • Recent Developments: The Contestable Clause, Bad Faith and Punitive Damages, Southern Claims Conference (2002)
  • The Requirement for Regular and Appropriate Care in Disability Cases, American Conference Institute (2002)
  • Special Investigative Unit Training Manual (2002)
  • Litigating the Bad Faith Case, American Conference Institute (2000)
  • The Public Policy Defense: The New Frontier in Disability Insurance Litigation, American Conference Institute (2000)
  • Insurance Sales on the Internet: A Work in Progress, International Insurance Law Review (May 1998)
  • Contestable Life Claims, Southern Claims Conference (1997)
  • California Fair Claims Settlement Practices Regulations Manual (1997)
  • Emerging Issues in Disability, Health and Life Claims, Midwest Claims Conference (1996)
  • Unique and Emerging Issues in Insurance Litigation, Southern Claims Conference (1996)
  • Insurance Issues in Bankruptcy: An Insurer’s Perspective, Tort & Insurance Law Journal, American Bar Association (Fall 1994)
  • The Life Insurance Law of California, “Delinquency Proceedings” and “Formation and Issuance of Life Insurance Policies” Chapters, Association of Life Insurance Counsel (1990)
  • Insolvency of Insurers, California Insurance Law and Practice, Matthew Bender (1986-92)

Honors & Recognitions

  • Named as a Southern California “Super Lawyer” every year since 2011 and received the prestigious and rare recognition for at least ten straight years. Fewer than 5% of attorneys nationwide are awarded this status.
  • Selected as Southern California’s “America’s Top 100 Bet-the-Company Litigators.” With this honor, limited to only 100 attorneys in Southern California, Mr. McKennon joins the ranks of California’s most esteemed Bet-the-Company Litigators, including: Joseph Cotchett, Skip Keesal, Thomas Girardi, Patricia Glaser, and Thomas Bienert. Fewer than one-half percent (0.5%) of attorneys in the United States receive this award, making it the premier achievement for High-Stakes Business/Insurance Litigators in the nation.
  • Selected by Worldwide Financial Advisor Awards Magazine as 2020 Insurance Litigation Law Firm of the Year in the United States.
  • Selected by ACQ5 Global Awards as Insurance Lawyer of the Year in the United States and in California.
  • Selected by Lawyer International Legal 100 as Best Insurance Litigation Law Firm of the Year in the United States and in California.
  • Selected by M&A Today Global Awards as Best Insurance Litigation Law Firm of the Year in the United States and in California.
  • Selected by Corporate LiveWire Global Awards as Best Insurance Lawyer of the Year.
  • Selected by Global 100 as Best Insurance Litigation Law Firm of the Year in the United States and in California.
  • Selected by Leading Advisor Awards as Insurance Lawyer of the Year in California.
  • Selected by Corporate Excellence Awards as Insurance Litigation Lawyer of the Year in the United States.
  • Selected by Lawyer International Legal 100 as Lawyer of the Year and Best Insurance Litigation Law Firm in the United States and California.
  • Selected as Corporate LiveWire’s Global Awards Newport Beach, California “Insurance & Reinsurance” Lawyer of the Year. McKennon Law Group PC was selected as Corporate LiveWire’s Global Awards “Insurance Litigation Law Firm of the Year – California, USA.” The Corporate LiveWire Global Awards celebrate the achievements of the most successful individuals, companies and organizations in the Americas, Europe, Asia & Australasia, Africa & the Middle East, over the past year. Award categories include a wide variety of specialist fields including insurance, intellectual property, company formations and family law. The Global Awards honor those who stand out for consistently showing best practice in every aspect of their work and who have excelled within their practice areas
  • Rated "AV Preeminent" in Insurance Law by his peers, an achievement of Martindale Hubbell’s highest rating in legal ability and ethical standards.
  • Named in the Business Edition of Thomson Reuters/Super Lawyers annual list of the nation’s top attorneys in business practice areas.
  • Distinguished Lawyer Designation© from the Expert Network which is only conferred upon the Top 3% of Lawyers in the United States.
  • Selected as “Insurance Litigation Law Firm of the Year – United States” by Lawyers Worldwide Magazine.
  • Selected as “Insurance Litigation Lawyer of the Year” in the United States by Lawyer’s Worldwide Magazine in their Global Awards.
  • Selected by Acquisition Finance Magazine as “USA – Insurance Litigation Law Firm of the Year."
  • Awarded the annual designation of “Top Rated Lawyer in Labor and Employment” and “Top Rated Lawyer in Insurance” by American Lawyer Media and Martindale Hubbell, leading providers of news and rating information to the legal industry. Mr. McKennon received this top award for his and his firm’s work representing ERISA plan participants/insureds in disability insurance, life insurance and health insurance litigation.
  • Awarded the designation of “Top Rated Lawyer in Commercial Litigation” by American Lawyer Media and Martindale Hubbell, leading providers of news and rating information to the legal industry.
  • Awarded AVVO’s highest rating of “Superb,” 10.0 out of a possible 10.0, which also highlights an attorney’s competence, ethical conduct, professional ability, diligence and overall performance.
  • Awarded Justia’s highest lawyer rating of 10.0 out of a possible 10.0, which is given by considering an attorney’s competence, ethical conduct, professionalism, legal analysis, and communication skills.
  • Named by the American Society of Legal Advocates as one of the top 100 Insurance lawyers in the State of California. The American Society of Legal Advocates is an invitation-only, nationwide organization of top lawyers in practice today who combine excellent legal credentials with a proven commitment to community engagement and the highest professional standards.
  • Named as Corporate LiveWire’s Global Awards Orange County, California Insurance & Risk Management Lawyer of the Year. The annual Global Awards Lawyer of the Year recognition honors the achievements of those individuals that have consistently shown best practice and demonstrated general excellence.
  • Named as Orange County Register Metro’s Top Attorneys.
  • Featured in the issues of Corporate Counsel magazine and The National Law Journal, both of which featured the Top Rated Lawyers in Insurance Law.

Seminars & Presentations

  • Panelist/Presenter for Orange County Bar Association: Hot Topics in ERISA and California Insurance Law June 13, 2019
  • Panelist/Presenter: Life Insurance Law: Recent Developments and Interesting Issues, August 27, 2014
  • Co-Chair: Litigating Disability and ERISA Claims, American Conference Institute – Boston, Ma., June 15 & 16, 2009
  • Panelist/Presenter: Bad Faith Insurance Law Update, 38th Annual Midwest Claim Conference – Chicago, Ill., May 23, 2007
  • Panelist/Presenter: Litigating Disability Insurance Claims Conference, American Conference Institute – Boston, Ma., February 23, 2006
  • Panelist/Presenter: Bad Faith Litigation Conference, Mealey’s – Philadelphia, Pa., September 26, 2005
  • Panelist/Presenter: Managing and Litigating Mental Illness Disability Insurance Claims, American Conference Institute, May 24, 2005
  • Panelist/Presenter: Advanced Forum on Litigating Disability Insurance Claims, American Conference Institute – Coral Gables, Fl., March 04, 2005
  • Co-Chair: 7th National Advanced Forum on Litigating Disability Insurance Claims, American Conference Institute – Boston, Ma., June 10, 2004
  • Panelist/Presenter: Disability Fraud Issues Forum –Newport Beach, Ca., March 23, 2004
  • Panelist/Presenter: Managing and Litigating Depression Disability Insurance Claims, American Conference Institute – San Francisco, Ca., December 09, 2003
  • Panelist/Presenter: 19th Annual Western Claims Conference – Indian Wells, Ca., June 09, 2003
  • Panelist/Presenter: 3rd National Strategies for Success in Litigating Disability Insurance Claims, American Conference Institute – Boston, Ma., June 22, 2000
  • Panelist/Presenter: 6th National Conference on Bad Faith and Punitive Damages, American Conference Institute – San Francisco, Ca., March 30, 2000
  • Co-Chair: Strategies for Success in Litigating Disability Insurance Claims, American Conference Institute –San Diego, Ca., February 10, 2000
  • Panelist/Presenter: Are You Really Complying With States’ Fair Claim Practices? Southwest Insurance Association Conference – San Antonio, Tx., June 4, 1998
  • Panelist/Presenter: Contestable Life Claims, Southern Claims Conference – Panama City, Fla., April 11, 1997
  • Panelist/Presenter: Uncivilized Behavior in a Civilized System, Eastern Claims Conference – New York, NY., March 3, 1997
  • Panelist/Presenter: Insurance Bad Faith: Plaintiff & Defense Perspectives, Orange County Bar Association – Costa Mesa, Ca., January 10, 1997
  • Panelist/Presenter: Emerging Issues in Disability, Health and Life Insurance Litigation, Southern Claims Conference – Chicago, Ill., May 20, 1996
  • Panelist/Presenter: Unique and Emerging Issues in Insurance Litigation, Southern Claims Conference – New Orleans, La., May 7, 1996

Past Positions

  • Barger & Wolen LLP, Partner

Professional Associations (Present and Past)

  • American Bar Association, Member
  • Orange County Bar Association, Member
  • ABA’s Tort and Insurance Law Committee, Member
  • Consumer Attorneys of California, Member
  • Celtic Bar Association, Member

Current Employment Position

  • President, Managing Shareholder, Attorney

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McKennon Law Group Logo

Address: 20321 SW Birch St. Suite 200
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Phone: 800-682-4137

We also have offices in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco.

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