Ms. Bernard is the co-chair of the Insurance practice group in Gordon & Rees's San Diego office. She specializes in insurance coverage advice and bad faith litigation and also has extensive experience in the areas of commercial litigation and environmental defense litigation.
The primary focus of Ms. Bernard's insurance practice is handling complex coverage and bad faith litigation on behalf of insurers. Her experience is broad-based and ranges from handling all aspects of property and casualty insurance coverage litigation (including related bad faith actions) to professional liability (D & O, E & O, EPLI) and life, health and disability matters.
Ms. Bernard also has extensive trial experience defending officers, directors and corporations in cases involving claims for defamation, false advertising, trade libel, alter ego liability, intentional interference with contract, unfair competition and unfair business practices under Business & Professions Code Section 17200 et seq. Her experience in the area of business tort litigation includes successfully defending a corporate officer/director in a 7-month bench and jury trial (12-0 defense verdict) in a private consumer class action lawsuit seeking damages in excess of $30 million.
Ms. Bernard's environmental litigation background includes the defense of property damage and bodily injury claims involving soil and groundwater contamination with an emphasis on alleged violations of Proposition 65, CERCLA and RCRA. She also served as outside trial counsel for the Department of Natural Resources for the State of Alaska litigating complex oil and gas royalty claims.
National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA), member and Regional Instructor for NITA's intensive trial skills program and deposition workshops
Defense Research Institute, member of the Life, Health and Disability Insurance Committee
National Association of Insurance Women (NAIW), Southern California Chapter
J.D., Santa Clara University School of Law, 1989
B.A., Economics and Communication, Stanford University, 1986
Super Lawyers® distinction in the fields of Insurance Coverage and Business Litigation (2007-2012, Law & Politics)
Top 10 Attorneys for Insurance, The Daily Transcript