Cassandra S. Franklin, Esq., joined JAMS with extensive experience on both the carrier and policyholder sides of complex insurance coverage disputes. She 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, Cassandra 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. Cassandra 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, Cassandra 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, Cassandra’s practice often focused on the special insurance coverage issues arising in the entertainment field. Cassandra 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, where appropriate, Cassandra worked to resolve her matters through negotiation and mediation thereby avoiding the expense and opportunity costs of protracted litigation.
Earlier in her career, Cassandra served as litigation counsel for clients involved in commercial and entertainment disputes. She also served as a member of UCLA Law School's clinical faculty for a number of years, teaching, among other courses, negotiation and mediation.
While at UCLA, Cassandra served on the University's Student Conduct Committee, chairing binding administrative proceedings pertaining to student life. These proceedings included matters involving first amendment issues, as well as sexual assault and other "MeToo" issues.
Cassandra 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 experience on both policyholder side and carrier side of complex insurance coverage issues, including issues involving corporate commercial general liability, aviation, errors and omissions, media liability, first party production, event cancellation and commercial and personal property policies
- Experience in claims and underwriting
- Served as a mediator in Los Angeles County Superior Court’s ADR program
- Chaired administrative proceedings for Student Conduct Committee at UCLA
- Taught clinical courses, including negotiation and mediation, at UCLA School of Law
Insurance Coverage - Disputes involving complex insurance coverage issues and strategic considerations including:
- Excess insurance coverage claims for injuries and deaths allegedly occurring because of 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
- Litigation regarding right to reimbursement of defense and settlement funds paid by commercial liability insurer for non-covered claims arising out of underlying habitability litigation
- Appeal regarding commercial general liability coverage for claims by major producers of canned tomato products regarding corrosion of cans and resulting oxidation of contents
- Appeal involving commercial general liability coverage for an archdiocese alleged to have allowed ongoing sexual abuse of minors
- Litigation concerning educational errors and omissions coverage for multiple underlying actions brought by students nationwide alleging matieral omissions and misrepresentations regarding programming and accreditation status
- Appeal involving genuine dispute doctrine as applied to first party bad faith claims
- Litigation concerning nonprofit directors and officers coverage for underlying criminal and civil allegations against doctors, and the hospital where the doctors worked, arising out of alleged misconduct and subsequent coverup in connection with improper acceptance of a liver for transplant
- Homeowners insurance coverage claims for water intrusion damage to multi-million-dollar homes
- Homeowners insurance claim for coverage of a lawsuit alleging invasion of privacy arising out of emailed nude photographs
Entertainment - Disputes involving both insurance and non-insurance entertainment issues, including:
- Litigation involving allegations of improper payment by a major studio of profit participation allegedly due writer/producers of a famous television series
- Copyright infringement claims involving allegations of unlicensed use of music at hospitality venues
- Appeal involving breach of contract and other claims arising out of alleged failure of a major studio to pay royalties allegedly due under contract with popular vocalist in connection with a film re-released in video format
- Litigation concerning alleged conflict of interest and other alleged breaches of ethical obligations arising out of a so-called entertainment "A-Deal"
- 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
- #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 in daytime dramas by major studios
- 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 allgegedly improper business tactics
- Appeal involving insurance coverage for underlying litigation between former band members alleging improper use of band's name
- 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
- Claims for tech liability coverage of claims by prominent musicians regarding use of avatars in video games
- Appeal involving amusement park's business interruption coverage claim arising out of earthquake damage in 1994
- Litigation regarding event cancellation coverage for a media event cancelled due to September 11, 2001 attacks
- Multiple claims involving independent counsel fees under California Civil Code section 2860, and other jurisdictions' reasonable rate rules, as well as related claims involving allegations of breach of the duty to cooperateBusiness/Commercial Disputes
- Diverse litigated and non-litigated disputes involving complex business law issues including:
- Co-mediation of multi-million-dollar claims for coverage of claims arising out of the sub-prime loan crisis
- Class action securities fraud litigation alleging motion picture and television studio omitted or misrepresented material factual information in initial public offering materials and 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 sale by charitable trust and major art house of impressionist masterpiece on "permanent loan" to museum
- Dispute regarding copyright infringement in design of a belt buckle alleged to be a "knock off" of famous designer's buckle
- Trademark infringement claims involving alleged unlicensed use of brand name in payroll services