Daniel R. Bentson

Shareholder, Seattle Office

Direct Dial: 206.521.6420
Fax: 206.386.5130

Practice Areas


Bar Admissions

  • Oregon
  • Washington

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of Oregon
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

Peer Recognition


  • University of Washington, School of Law - J.D., 2005
  • Biola University - B.A., 2002

Practice Experience

Dan Bentson is a shareholder in Bullivant Houser Bailey's Seattle office. His practice focuses on complex commercial disputes, including insurance coverage, bad faith litigation, admiralty and maritime litigation, and appeals. Dan frequently publishes and presents on topics relevant to in-house counsel, defense counsel, and insurers. For the last six years, Washington Super Lawyers has recognized Dan as a "Rising Star."

As an insurance coverage lawyer, Dan has represented and advised primary and excess insurers in disputes involving first-party property and various lines of third-party liability insurance (e.g., commercial, errors and omissions). He currently serves as a Vice Chair for the American Bar Association's Trial Tort & Insurance Practice (TIPS) Property Insurance Law Committee. Dan's defense experience further extends to representing insurers in coverage disputes involving life, disability, and accidental death policies. Dan also has experience defending insurers against claims under group policies governed by ERISA.

Dan has defended insurers in numerous lawsuits that involve claims of bad faith and extra-contractual liability. And he has successfully defended insurers in coverage disputes all the way through trial. For example, Dan recently defended a commercial property insurer against claims for damage caused by long-term water intrusion at a condominium complex. Following a three-week trial in federal court, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Dan's client. The jury awarded no damages to the plaintiff homeowner's association.

Dan also has significant admiralty and maritime litigation experience. He has represented and advised marine underwriters in disputes involving hull and machinery, protection and indemnity, and cargo policies. And Dan has successfully defended maritime clients against seaman's personal injury claims, including claims brought under the Jones Act and general maritime law. Dan has also represented vessel owners in a variety of business disputes, including maritime lien litigation.

In addition, Dan has a successful appellate practice. Before joining Bullivant, Dan served as a law clerk to Justice James Johnson of the Washington State Supreme Court. Dan has continued his appellate-related work at Bullivant representing clients before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth and Sixth Circuits, the Washington Court of Appeals, and the Washington Supreme Court. For example, Dan recently argued and prevailed on behalf of one his clients before the Washington Supreme Court. In that case, the court held that the Washington Insurance Commissioner is the exclusive agent to accept service on behalf of an authorized foreign insurer.

Prior to joining Bullivant, Dan was a prosecutor and successful trial lawyer in the United States Army JAG Corps. While in the Army, Dan handled numerous felony prosecutions and served as lead counsel in a capital murder case. He deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and received the Bronze Star Medal for his service. Dan is also a recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal and the Army Commendation Medal.

Professional and Civic Involvement

  • American Bar Association (Vice Chair, Property Insurance Law Committee)

Awards and Honors

  • Named as a "Rising Star" in Washington Super Lawyers (2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015 — Insurance Coverage)
  • Recipient of the United States Army's Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, and Army Commendation Medal

Advisories and Insights

Publications and Presentations

  • Co-Speaker & Author, "Extra-Contractual Issues and Exposures," The Seminar Group Northwest Insurance Law (2020)
  • Co-Speaker & Author, "Understanding 'Occurrences' in Liability Policies in the Context of Construction Litigation," The Seminar Group Comprehensive Insurance Law Summit (2017)
  • Co-Author, "The Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011 and Contingent Business Interruption Coverage," Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Law Journal Fall 2016 (52:1)
  • Speaker, "Case Law and Regulatory Update: Washington State," The Seminar Group Comprehensive Insurance Law Summit (2016)
  • Co-Speaker & Author, "Change is in the Air: Recent Changes in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure," Western States Surety Conference (2016)
  • Co-Speaker & Author, "Japanese Tsunami and Contingent Business Interruption Losses," American Bar Association (ABA) Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) Property Insurance Law Committee Annual Spring CLE Meeting (2016)
  • Speaker, "Case Law and Regulatory Update: Washington State," The Seminar Group Comprehensive Insurance Law Conference (2015)
  • Co-Speaker, "Intermodal Transportation and Risks," Marine Insurance Association of Seattle (MIAS) Day of Education (2015)
  • Speaker, "Case Law and Regulatory Update: Washington State" The Seminar Group Comprehensive Insurance Law Conference (2014)
  • Co-Speaker, "Words Matter: Drafting and Interpreting Insurance Policies," Association of Marine Underwriters of San Francisco (2014)
  • Co-Author, "Binding Arbitration Clauses No Longer Bind Policyholders in Washington," American Bar Association (ABA) Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS), Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee Newsletter (2013)
  • Co-Speaker, "Introduction to Extra-Contractual Insurance Claims in Washington State," Western States Surety Conference (2013)
  • Co-Author, "Fringe Science Put to the Test in 'Collapse' Case," King County Bar Association, Bar Bulletin (2013)
  • Chapter Author, "Professional Liability Insurance: A Compendium of State Law," Defense Research Institute (DRI) (2012)
  • Co-Speaker, "Surety Law Updates – Western States (Except California)," Western States Surety Conference (2012)