Lawrence D. Mason

Shareholder

312.645.7909
312.645.7711 (fax)
lmason@smsm.com
233 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 5500
Chicago, IL 60606
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Listen to Mr. Mason's recent podcast, "Climate Change Litigation"

Mr. Mason is a senior shareholder of the national civil litigation law firm of Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney. Mr. Mason's trial and appellate practice is focused on assisting businesses in achieving successful, cost-effective solutions for their litigation problems. His complex commercial litigation experience includes a concentration in insurance and reinsurance coverage, product liability, contract, environmental, toxic tort, construction, and professional liability issues. In addition to Mr. Mason's trial and appellate work, he also is retained as an expert witness, mediator, arbitrator and appraiser.

Mr. Mason is regularly called upon to protect the interests of insurers and reinsurers in complex insurance coverage disputes and to defend their insureds concerning a variety of third-party liability issues. Mr. Mason has extensive experience in the effective handling of large catastrophe losses and the complex cross-discipline problems that arise from these claims. His practice encompasses a broad spectrum of first-party and third-party coverage, reinsurance, and defense issues including environmental, construction, law enforcement/municipal liability, contract, employment, transportation, civil rights, A&E, D&O, E&O, and product liability.

Mr. Mason has successfully defended manufacturers against claims of negligent product design, failure to warn, and breach of warranties. Mr. Mason has additionally counseled clients in litigation liability prevention, product recall campaigns, and the development of product package warnings and owner/operator manuals. Mr. Mason also has represented architects, engineers, contractors, and owners in a number of complex cases including breach of contract, failure of duty, environmental, and building design issues.


Mr. Mason is a frequent speaker at CLE functions, industry trade conferences and client training seminars.

Mr. Mason received his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Illinois College of Law.  He is admitted to practice in Illinois, New York, Wisconsin, the U.S. Supreme Court, various federal district courts and courts of appeals, and on a pro hac vice basis in various state court jurisdictions throughout the United States.

Among his many professional and civic activities, Mr. Mason serves on the Board of Directors of Ashmere Insurance Company (f/k/a American Fuji Fire and Marine Insurance Company) and on the Board of Directors of Woodridge Insurance Company (f/k/a American General Indemnity Company).

REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS

  • Lead defense trial counsel in defense of Argonne National Laboratory in multiple actions including contract disputes, alleged toxic exposure, construction negligence, and premises liability cases.
  • Secured a $13 million-plus settlement for damages and lost profits as trial counsel for a global asset management unit of a Fortune 250 corporation in a loss recovery action arising out of a commercial contract dispute following a hotel fire.
  • Obtained a $2.3 million settlement from a global franchisor as trial counsel for a franchisee in a breach of franchise agreement dispute involving unfair competitive practices and fraud.
  • Trial counsel in multi-party insurance coverage declaratory judgment dispute arising out of 2500 pending and unresolved actions in which the underlying plaintiffs claimed their bodily injury was caused by exposure to asbestos allegedly contained in industrial talc.
  • Expert witness in federal court legal malpractice cases arising out of allegedly flawed insurance coverage opinions and litigation advice.
  • Trial and appellate counsel in multi-party insurance coverage declaratory judgment action involving NCR's liability claim pertaining to PCB contamination of the Lower Fox River in Wisconsin.
  • Lead trial counsel for major U.S. insurer in successful defense against Wells Fargo Bank's Uniform Commercial Code claim for insurance benefits previously paid to bankrupt insured.
  • Lead defense trial counsel in products liability actions against major international bus manufacturer in multiple jurisdictions, including allegations of faulty design.
  • Successfully defended world-wide engineering and tunneling contractor against multiple claims of property damage to historically landmarked buildings located in immediate vicinity of subterranean municipal sewer project.
  • Lead coverage counsel for major national property and casualty insurer for all claims arising out of the April 2010 BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
  • Lead trial counsel in multi-jurisdiction declaratory judgment actions to reform historic commercial general liability policies to reflect intent to include Asbestos Exclusions.
  • Lead coverage and trial counsel for law enforcement/municipal liability insurer concerning civil rights violations/wrongful imprisonment claims throughout the United States.
  • Lead reinsurance counsel in representation of fronting captive insurer's ceded claims to multiple foreign and domestic reinsurers following settlement of complex multi-occurrence declaratory judgment action.
  • Trial and appellate counsel representing 12 insurers in the multi-site environmental coverage action involving claims in excess of $700 million brought by Alcoa against its historic property and liability carriers.
  • Trial and appellate counsel representing 11 insurers in PPG Industries' in excess of $500 million environmental coverage lawsuit, which resulted in favorable summary judgment rulings and/or settlements for less than the costs of defense.
  • Trial and appellate counsel representing six insurers in the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's $1 billion lawsuit to remove asbestos from all of its buildings, resulting in the Third Circuit Court of Appeal's landmark ruling affirming summary judgment in clients' favor.

EDUCATION

University of Illinois, B.A. (Economics and Political Science), 1986
University of Illinois College of Law, J.D., 1989

BAR ADMISSIONS

Illinois, 1989
New York, 1996
Wisconsin, 2004
U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana
U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
U.S. Supreme Court
Admitted Pro hac vice in various jurisdictions throughout the United States

SPEECHES AND PUBLICATIONS

Author

Co-Author

  • "Global Warming Has Not Inspired Wave of Lawsuits," Business Insurance (April 30, 2012).
  • "Common Exclusions in the First-Party Property Insurance Policy and Their Application to Environmental Claims," Tort and Insurance Practice Journal (Spring 1995).

Speaker

  • Upcoming - 2015 Property Loss Research Bureau Claims Conference,"Catastrophic Products Liability Claims Adjusting" Anaheim, California (March 29-31, 2015).
  • Upcoming - Property Loss Research Bureau 2014 Eastern Regional Adjusters Conference, Providence, RI, “Concurrent Causation in Personal Auto and Homeowners Liability Coverage” (November 18-19, 2014).
  • Upcoming - American Council of Independent Laboratories Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, “Proactive Strategies for Reducing Laboratory Litigation Risks” (October 5-8, 2014).
  • Upcoming - Property Loss Research Bureau 2014 Central Regional Adjusters Conference, Minneapolis, MN, “Concurrent Causation in Personal Auto and Homeowners Liability Coverage” (September 16-17, 2014).
  • Property Loss Research Bureau 2014 Western Regional Adjusters Conference, Bellevue, WA, “Concurrent Causation in Personal Auto and Homeowners Liability Coverage” (June 10-11, 2014).
  • PLRB Claims Conference, Indianapolis, IN, "Catastrophic Products Liability Claims Adjusting" (March 16-19, 2014).
  • Segal McCambridge firmwide presentation, "In Search of a Healthier Approach to Nutrition & Exercise: A Litigator's Personal Journey" (July 17, 2013).
  • Property Loss Research Bureau PLRB/LIRB Claims Conference, Boston, MA, "Concurrent Causation in Liability Cases" (March 17-20, 2013).
  • Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section (YLS) Insurance Coverage Committee Seminar, Chicago, IL, "Climate Change Litigation: Liability & Coverage" (November 29, 2012).
  • Segal McCambridge firmwide CLE, "Insurance Coverage: What Every Insurance Defense Attorney Should Know" (October 16, 2012).
  • Property Loss Research Bureau PLRB/LIRB Claims Conference, Orlando, FL, "Climate Change: Liability & Coverage" (April 15-18, 2012).
  • Property Loss Research Bureau PLRB/LIRB Claims Conference, Nashville, TN, "Environmental Catastrophes: Liability & Coverage" (April 4-6, 2011).
  • Property Loss Research Bureau PLRB/LIRB Claims Conference, San Antonio, TX, "Complex Environmental Liability Claims" (March 22-23, 2010).
  • Property Loss Research Bureau PLRB/LIRB Claims Conference, Seattle, WA, "Effective Communication Strategies for Claims Adjusters: Working With Defense Counsel" (March 23-25, 2009).
  • On The Coverage Campaign Trail CLE Seminar, Chicago Bar Association, Chicago, IL, "Lines Of Communication: The Importance Of Continued Communication Between Insurer And Insured" (November 5, 2008).
  • Nationwide Indemnity Environmental Claims Unit, "Exclusions Relevant to Construction Defect Claims" (October 28, 2008).
  • Property Loss Research Bureau PLRB/LIRB Claims Conference, Boston, MA, "Duty to Cooperate Under Third-Party Liability Policies" (April 13-16, 2008).
  • 2007 SMSM "Extended" Warranty Seminar - Influencing & Shaping the Law, Dearborn, MI, "Insurance Coverage Issues Impacting Product Liability Claims" (October 18-19, 2007).
  • Nationwide Indemnity Environmental Claim Unit, "Third Party 'Economic Loss' Issues" and "'Personal Injury' Coverage and the TPE" (September 17, 2007).
  • Sompo Japan Insurance Company of America, "Duty to Cooperate Under Third-Party Liability Policies" (April 2007).
  • Property Loss Research Bureau PLRB/LIRB Claims Conference, "Duty to Cooperate Under Third-Party Liability Policies" (March 2007).
  • Alumni-Student Career Conference, University of Illinois College of Law, Moderator: "The Insider's Perspective on Summer Associate Evaluations" and Panelist: "Litigation v. Transactional" and "Large Firms v. Small Firms" (January 27, 2007).
  • Product Liability Advisory Council's Fall Insurance Coverage Disputes Conference, Colorado Springs, CO, "Understanding the Insured's Rights and Obligations" (October 2006).
  • Chicago Bar Association's Spring Seminar, Chicago, IL, "Emerging Issues in Insurance Coverage" (May 24, 2006).
  • Nationwide Indemnity Environmental Claim Unit, "Duty to Cooperate Under Third-Party Liability Policies: A Proactive Approach to Dealing With the Difficult Insured" (December 2005).
  • Mealey's Insurance 101, Philadelphia, PA, "Understanding the Anatomy of the Insurance Market, The Players & Their Interactions--An Overview" (February 28, 2005).
  • Nationwide Indemnity Environmental Claim Unit, "Working With Defense Counsel: Effective Communication Strategies for Claims Adjusters" (August 2004).
  • Commonwealth Insurance Company "Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Duty to Defend" (May 2004).
  • Commonwealth Insurance Company, "Liability Insurance Coverage Issues and Analysis: An Overview of Wisconsin Law" (May 2004).
  • Property Loss Research Bureau PLRB/LIRB Claims Conference, "Property Claims Adjusting: Communication Interplay Between Insurer and Insured Representatives--Dealing with the Difficult Insured" (March 2003).

PROFESSIONAL AND CIVIC INVOLVEMENT

American Bar Association
Chicago Bar Association
Defense Research Institute
Federal Trial Bar
Illinois State Bar Association
Loss Executives Association
Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM)
New York State Bar Association
Professional Liability Underwriting Society
Wisconsin State Bar Association
Ashmere Insurance Company (f/k/a American Fuji Fire & Marine Insurance Company), Board of Directors
Woodridge Insurance Company (f/k/a American General Indemnity Company), Board of Directors
North Trail Homeowners Association, Board of Directors, Treasurer (Deerfield, IL)
Congregation Solel, Immediate Past President (Highland Park, IL)

OTHER HONORS

PLRB/LIRB Claims Conference & Insurance Services Expo Outstanding Presentations Award (March 2013).

Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois Mandatory Arbitration Program, Past Arbitrator/Chairman

Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent­® Peer Review Rated

Recognized as an Illinois Leading Lawyer (a designation limited to less than 5% of all lawyers licensed to practice law in Illinois) in the areas of Insurance, Insurance Coverage, and Reinsurance Law and in Products Liability Defense Law, nominated and selected by peers in the legal community

Selected for inclusion in the Illinois Super Lawyers list (no more than 5% of lawyers in the state are selected), nominated and selected by peers in the legal community (2005-2014)

Recognized as a 2014 Top Rated Lawyer in Insurance Law by American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell®

Recognized as a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in Energy/Environmental by American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell®

Practice Areas

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