Ms. Stewart joined Gordon & Rees as an associate in 2002 from the Palo Alto office of Oppenheimer, Wolff & Donnelly, where she was a member of that firm’s intellectual property litigation group. Prior to that, she was a litigation associate in the commercial litigation group at Thelen, Reid & Priest.
At Gordon & Rees, Ms. Stewart advises insurers on coverage issues arising from first and third party commercial claims involving property and casualty matters, as well as intellectual property, environmental, employment, and unfair competition disputes, as well as alleged violations of housing codes and health and safety laws. Ms. Stewart litigates in federal and state courts nationwide.
A focus of Ms. Stewart’s practice in recent years has been coverage for costs incurred to investigate and remediate contaminated property pursuant to federal and state statutes and regulations under both pollution and commercial general liability policies. Ms. Stewart currently represents insurers in coverage matters arising out of ongoing investigation of deep groundwater contamination near and around the Port of Los Angeles, ongoing investigation and remediation of petroleum contamination of the Honolulu Harbor, and recently resolved a coverage dispute involving odor nuisance claims arising from large-scale pork producing facilities in the Midwest. Her coverage recommendations have withstood subsequent coverage actions and have been affirmed by the California Court of Appeal. Most recently, Ms. Stewart successfully opposed an appeal by a policyholder seeking to overturn a ruling by the Los Angeles County Superior Court of no coverage under a pollution liability policy for certain investigation costs incurred to comply with Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board directives.
In addition to her insurance coverage practice, Ms. Stewart continues to represent businesses on a variety of commercial disputes and litigation matters. Those matters involve claims of misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract arising out of real estate development and construction projects, as well as shareholder and Board of Director disputes.
Ms. Stewart earned a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. She attended the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), as well as Taiwan National Normal University. Ms. Stewart earned her J.D. from Pepperdine University School of Law. During law school, she was an extern for then-Justice Leah Sears of the Georgia Supreme Court.