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John Bennett is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. He has tried cases for more than 35 years in Oregon and Washington, both states in which he is licensed to practice. He has also handled cases in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, California and Tennessee by means of pro hac vice admission. John's career started in the Multnomah County District Attorney's office, the largest prosecuting office in the state of Oregon, where he tried every type of criminal case, including murders, and was the Chief Deputy District Attorney when he moved to private practice.
John's current practice predominantly involves first party insurance coverage and defense of claims for extra-contractual damages, so-called "bad faith." John has tried to verdict multiple lawsuits involving insurance coverage and/or bad faith issues. Most cases settle; John is adept and experienced in all forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR).
1) Property Insurance Coverage:
2) Liability Coverage:
3) SIU / Fraud Claims
4) Extra-Contractual Defense: Defending insurers against allegations of Consumer Protection Act (CPA) violations, Washington Insurance Fair Conduct Act violations, common law "bad faith" claims handling, torts of intentional interference with business relations, and outrageous conduct.
5) Insurance Regulatory: Representation of insurers regarding policy forms in non-standard lines and allegations of noncompliance with regulatory statutes.
6) Commercial Disputes:
7) Celebrity Law: Represented the United States Figure Skating Assoc. in its administrative proceeding against Tonya Harding.
8) Class Actions: Represented certain of the Safeco Insurance Companies in alleged class action regarding interpretation of "adverse action" in Fair Credit Reporting Act; currently representing auto carrier in two separate putative class actions in State of Washington.
Though John has made a living trying cases, he recognizes that most lawsuits are resolved without trial. A trial can be expensive, disruptive to an organization, and subject to the vagaries of the jury system. Sometimes, however, a trial is the only way to resolve a case, and counsel needs to be able and willing to see the matter through to verdict. John has used every means of ADR to resolve cases short of trial, including old-fashioned direct negotiation with opposing counsel, mediation, arbitration, and mini-trials. John's goal is to find the most effective and efficient way to solve the client's legal problem.