Cassandra S. Franklin, Esq., joins JAMS with extensive experience on both the carrier and policyholder sides of complex insurance coverage disputes. Franklin served for almost six years as managing attorney of the Claims Coverage Counsel group at Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty and Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company. As managing attorney, she led a team of experienced coverage attorneys and ran her own matters. These matters involved a wide range of insurance products, from corporate commercial general liability and property policies to policies issued in specialty lines of coverage, such as entertainment and aviation. She also reviewed and provided strategic guidance on a number of policy drafting projects, thus garnering experience in the underwriting side of the insurance business as well as in claims.
Prior to joining Fireman’s Fund, Franklin spent over 13 years representing diverse policyholders in litigation and pre-litigation insurance coverage disputes. Her experience in this role ran the gamut of liability insurance products, from commercial general liability to errors and omissions and media liability insurance policies, as well as first party insurance products, including first party production, event cancellation, and commercial and personal property policies.
Both in her role as counsel to policyholders and in her in-house role, Franklin’s practice often focused on the special insurance coverage issues arising in the entertainment field. She developed a reputation for having an innate sense of fairness and a pragmatic ability to see her matters from multiple perspectives. In keeping with these qualities, she moved even her litigated matters toward successfully negotiated resolutions.
Earlier in her career, Franklin served as litigation counsel for clients involved in commercial and entertainment disputes. She also served as a member of the clinical faculty at the UCLA School of Law for a number of years, teaching, among other things, courses on mediation. In addition, she served on the university’s Student Conduct Committee, chairing legal proceedings pertaining to student life and conduct.
Franklin began her legal career as a law clerk to Otto M. Kaus and Edward A. Panelli, then associate justices on the California Supreme Court.
ADR Experience and Qualifications
- Comprehensive expertise on both policyholder side and carrier side of complex insurance coverage policies, including corporate commercial general liability, aviation, errors and omissions, media liability, first-party production, event cancellation and commercial and personal property policies
- Experience in policy underwriting and claims
- Mediator for Los Angeles County Superior Court’s ADR program
- Chaired administrative dispute resolution proceedings of Student Conduct Committee at UCLA
- Taught negotiation and mediation classes at the UCLA School of Law
Insurance Coverage: hundreds of litigated and non-litigated disputes involving complex insurance coverage issues and strategic considerations
- #MeToo claims involving entertainment industry individuals and entities and coverage under a range of liability insurance products, including commercial general liability, directors and officers, and employment practices liability insurance
- Media liability insurance claims and litigation involving underlying music licensing lawsuits alleging copyright infringement by major studios in daytime dramas
- Excess insurance coverage claims for injuries and deaths allegedly occurring because of the ingestion of a popular energy drink
- Primary and excess insurance coverage claims for underlying litigation alleging housing discrimination, including a lawsuit brought by the United States Department of Justice
- Litigated claims regarding right to reimbursement of defense and settlement funds paid by commercial liability insurer for non-covered claims arising out of underlying habitability litigation
- Litigation and appeal regarding major record label’s claims under media liability and commercial general liability policies for coverage of underlying litigation with competitor involving allegations of defamation and copyright infringement, as well as other allegedly improper business tactics
- Claims of breaches of the duty to cooperate and improper Cumis counsel fee rates under California Civil Code section 2860
- Appeal involving commercial general liability coverage for archdiocese alleged to have allowed ongoing sexual abuse of minors
- Appeal involving insurance coverage for underlying litigation between former band members alleging improper use of the band’s name
- Litigation concerning educational errors and omissions coverage for multiple underlying actions brought by students nationwide alleging material omissions and misrepresentations regarding programming and accreditation status
- Appeal involving the genuine dispute doctrine as applied to bad faith claims
- Dispute regarding media liability insurance coverage for underlying litigation against major record label for alleged copyright infringement in prominent rap musician’s song on platinum record
- Litigation concerning nonprofit directors and officers coverage for underlying criminal and civil allegations against doctors, and hospital where the doctors worked, arising out of alleged misconduct and a subsequent cover-up in connection with the acceptance of a liver for transplant
- Dispute regarding cast insurance coverage for changes to a movie in a popular franchise already in production when a key cast member became unavailable to complete the movie
- Homeowners’ insurance coverage claims for water intrusion damage to multi-million-dollar homes
- Appeal involving a business interruption coverage claim associated with an amusement park arising out of earthquake damage that occurred in 1994
- Litigation regarding event cancellation coverage for media event cancelled due to September 11, 2001, attacks
Business/Commercial Disputes: multiple and diverse litigated and non-litigated disputes involving complex business law issues
- Class action securities fraud litigation alleging a motion picture and television studio omitted or misrepresented material factual information in initial public offering materials as well as in later 10-K and 10-Q reporting
- ERISA breach of fiduciary duty litigation involving allegations of self-dealing and other improper conduct with regard to investments of major health and welfare and pension trust funds for construction unions
- Litigation regarding alleged conversion and other allegedly improper conduct arising out of a sale by a charitable trust and a major art house of an impressionist masterpiece on “permanent loan” to museum
- Litigation involving allegations of improper payment by a major studio of profit participation allegedly due writer/producers of a famous television series
- Dispute regarding copyright infringement in the design of a belt buckle alleged to be a knockoff of a famous designer’s buckle
- Trademark infringement claims involving an alleged unlicensed use of a brand name in payroll services
- Copyright infringement claims involving allegations of unlicensed use of music at hospitality venues
- Appeal involving a breach of contract and other claims arising out of an alleged failure of a major studio to pay royalties allegedly due under contract with a popular vocalist in connection with a film re-released in video format
- Litigation concerning an alleged conflict of interest and other alleged breaches of ethical obligations arising out of a so-called entertainment “A-Deal”