Christine Cusick Ross is a trial lawyer who focuses on insurance coverage, including commercial general liability and professional liability. She has experience representing insurers in high-stake coverage litigation involving disputes arising from construction, intellectual property, environmental, toxic tort and product liability claims. Christine also has experience with complex contract claims, including representing individuals and businesses in trade secret claims and general business disputes. Christine has represented clients in both state and federal courts, and the trial level and on appeal.
Christine is a 2011 graduate of Santa Clara University School of Law, where she was an articles editor and an associate editor of the Santa Clara Law Review, and a 2006 graduate of the University of California, Berkeley.
Areas of Practice
- Insurance Coverage Litigation
- Prepared California state court appeal and U.S. Supreme Court petition regarding denial of a motion to compel arbitration.
- Prepared state court appeals regarding the prevailing party’s right to contractual attorneys’ fees under Civil Code section 1717.
- Renewable Resources Coalition, Inc. v. Pebble Mines Corp., 218 Cal.App.4th 384 (2013) – Successful reversal of anit-SLAPP ruling on appeal. Obtained ruling that a non-profit’s claims for tortious interference based on mining companies’ purchase of nonprofit’s confidential documents from a third-party fundraising consultant were not subject to special motion to strike under anti-SLAPP statute.
- Advised corporate client as to their obligations under various proposed contractual arbitration provisions.
- Defended company and employees in trade secret action resolved on terms the client found highly favorable.
- Represent victims of domestic violence to obtain restraining orders in San Mateo County.
- Prepared successful writ of habeas corpus petition on behalf of the Northern California Innocence Project in support of defendant’s petition to vacate conviction in sexual molestation case where faulty expert testimony and ineffective assistance of counsel led to life sentence.
- Nieves v. Travelers Cas. Ins. Co. of Am., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95774 (C.D. Cal., July 20, 2015) – Briefed and argued successful motion to enforce an order to compel arbitration on behalf of insurer.
- Nieves v. Travelers Cas. Ins. Co. of Am., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174941 (C.D. Cal. Sept. 29, 2014) - Briefed and argued successful motion to compel arbitration, and defeated motion to remand, in insurance bad-faith suit.
- Phila. Indem. Ins. Co. v. Lakeside Heights Homeowners Ass'n , 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80033 (N.D. Cal. June 18, 2015) – Briefed and argued successful motion for summary judgment on behalf of insurer regarding application of the policy’s subsidence exclusion.
Camp Richardson Resort, Inc. v. Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company (E.D. Cal., Dec. 9, 2015) 150 F.Supp.3d 1186, 2015 WL 8328529 – Successful motion to dismiss insurance coverage suit because insured resort operator's alleged interference with adjoining landowners' property interest in roadway did not fall within personal injury coverage.
General Commercial Litigation
Insurance Coverage Litigation
- U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
- Supreme Court of the United States
- Santa Clara University School of Law, J.D., 2011
- Articles Editor and Associate Editor, Santa Clara Law Review
- University of California, Berkeley, B.A., 2006
- Duane Morris LLP
- Associate, 2015-present
- Nielsen, Haley & Abbott LLP
- Associate, 2011-2015
California Court of Appeal for the Sixth Appellate District
- Judicial Extern, 2009
Co-Chair of Insurance Practice Section of the Barristers Club, Bar Association of San Francisco, 2019-2020
Graduate, International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC) Trial Academy, Stanford Law School, 2019
- Association of Defense Counsel of Northern California and Nevada
Honors and Awards
- Listed in Northern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2021
- Author, "Menu-Labeling Laws: A Move from Local to National Regulations," 51 Santa Clara L. Rev. 989, 2011
Selected Speaking Engagements
- Speaker, "…And Three’s A Crowd: Joint Mediation of Plaintiff, Policyholder, and Insurer Disputes," ABA 2020 Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee CLE Seminar Roundtable, Tucson, Arizona, March 6, 2020.
- Panel Speaker, "Insurance 101: Litigating a Bad Faith Claim," Bar Association of San Francisco CLE, San Francisco, California, December 10, 2019
- Panel Speaker, "Insurance Coverage In The #metoo World," Bar Association of San Francisco CLE, San Francisco, California, October 16, 2019
Panel Speaker, "How Could That (Not) Be Covered? Truthiness And Coverage For False Claims Act Liability," ABA 2019 Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee CLE Seminar, Tucson, Arizona, March 1, 2019
Panel Speaker, “Mad Skillz: Professional Services Coverage & Exclusions in the High-Tech Era,” ABA Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee CLE Seminar, March 1, 2018