Law & Stuff

Insurance Litigation

Royal Oakes specializes in insurance litigation, and has successfully represented insurance companies for over 27 years. In addition to litigating literally hundreds of cases, Royal has published extensive writings on insurance law, and is a much sought-after lecturer for organizations including the Association of California Insurance Companies, the Stanford Bar Institute and the Hastings Center for Trial and Appellate Advocacy.

Royal was lead counsel in:

Farmers Ins. Exchange v. Superior Court, 2 Cal. 4th 377 (1992), in which the California Supreme Court established the doctrine of primary jurisdiction.
Taft v. Equitable Life Assurance Society, 9 F.3d 1469 (9th Cir 1993), in which the Ninth Circuit held a court must limit its review of evidence at trial to the administrative record in an ERISA action.
The Farmers and Taft cases have been cited as binding authority in roughly 400 subsequent decisions.

His recent victories include:
A bench trial involving a $1.5 million life insurance claim submitted by the heirs of an insured murder victim. Outcome: Judgment for the defense.
A jury trial involving a putative class action that alleged an automobile insurer’s “direct repair program” violated the rights of policyholders. Outcome: Jury verdict for the defense.
An action based on California’s “Consumer Legal Remedies Act,” alleging illegal conduct by a property-casualty insurer. Outcome: Case dismissed on demurrer.