Hon. Bruce R. Geernaert (Ret.)

T: 213-620-1133
F: 213-620-0100
Insurance
Judge Geernaert has extensive experience in insurance coverage and bad faith cases as a trial judge and mediator/arbitrator. Many mediations involved underlying insurance coverage issues, which must be resolved in order to arrive at a settlement of the case in chief. Also, independent declaratory relief actions are often referred to Judge Geernaert for resolution. He has closely followed the development of the law as it relates to insurance coverage in connection with various types of claims.

In the private sector, he served as Executive Vice President of Avis Rent-a-Car licensee and Grey Line Sightseeing (covering Southern California, Las Vegas and Washington, D.C.) overseeing operations, sales, finance and personnel. He dealt with financial statements, balance sheets, profit and loss statements and related schedules.

As a private mediator/arbitrator in business, commercial and financial disputes involving accounting questions, he utilizes a tripartite approach modified to suit the particular case. First, he facilitates as full a communication as possible between the parties through their attorneys and experts (accountants or CPAs). Second, he utilizes his extensive experience in business, commercial and financial matters to separately evaluate the prospects of each party if no settlement were to be reached. Third, he assists in negotiations utilizing his experience and knowledge of successful bargaining techniques and avoiding pitfalls that might prevent a settlement that would otherwise be possible.

Note: Generic information is disclosed below in recognition of the confidential nature of mediations and arbitrations.

Representative Matters

  • A bad faith insurance claim based upon wrongful death involving application of out-of-state law.
  • Several cases involving insurance coverage questions in business tort situations.
  • Several mediations of disputes between multiple insurance carriers concerning their coverage or their exposure to coverage in a large construction defect case. This resulted in an extensive separate mediation of insurance issues which ultimately led to a resolution of the insurance issues which made it possible to settle the case in chief.

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Member of many committees of the court, including the Executive Committee and Personnel and Budget Committee
  • Former Member, BAJI Committee on Civil Jury Instruction
  • Editorial consultant, Mathew Bender's California Forms and Practice, 1996
  • Contributing Editor to Bancroft -Whitney on California Civil Protocol-Business Litigation, 1993

Background and Education

  • Judge, Los Angeles Superior Court, 1980-1996; (Supervising Judge, Law and Motions/Discovery and Writs and Receivers, 1984-1987)
  • Private practice litigating personal injury, public utilities and regulatory matters in state and federal courts and regulatory agencies
  • LL.B., Hastings College of Law of the University of California, 1953
  • B.S., University of California, 1949

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