John Bennett has defended and tried cases on behalf of insurance companies for almost 40 years in Oregon, Washington, and other western states. He speaks their language, understands their protocols and pressures they face, and what they need to resolve claims. His practice predominantly involves insurance coverage and defense of claims for extra-contractual, or bad faith, damages. Clients seek his guidance on what a claim is worth, what jurisdictions are like, and their chances of success.
Though John has made a living trying cases, he recognizes that most lawsuits are resolved without trial and settlement. A trial can be expensive and disruptive to an organization. John has used all forms of ADR to resolve cases short of trial, including direct negotiation with opposing counsel, mediation, arbitration, and mini-trials. His goal is to find the most effective and efficient way to solve the client’s legal problem.
- Oregon, 1975
- Washington, 2002
- U.S. District Court, District of Oregon
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Washington
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington
- Northwestern School of Law, Lewis & Clark College – J.D., 1975 (Member, Law Review)
- University of Oregon – B.A., 1972
Representative Published Decisions
- Campbell Global et al v. American States Ins. Co. et al, 784 Fed. Appx.543 (Mem 2019) (upholding trial court decision that no duty to indemnify existed for the underlying arbitration award).
- Safeco Ins. Co. of Oregon v. Masood, 264 Or. App. 173, 330 P.3d 61 (2014) (enforcing insurer’s right to cooperation from insured and rejection of attempt to impose conditions on cooperation).
- Safeco Ins. Co. of America v. Burr, Geico General Ins. Co. v. Edo, 551 US ______, 127 S Ct. 2201 167 LEd 2nd 1045 (2007), (reversing 9th Cir., 435 F.3d 1081 (2006) (finding that client’s interpretation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, though incorrect, was objectively reasonable, and thus not willful).
- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Gulf Ins. Co., 250 Fed. Appx. 221, 207007 WL 2915603, CA9 (OR) October 4, 2007 (faulty workmanship exclusion enforced in first party damage action).
- Harrington v. American Economy Ins. Co., 131 Fed. Appx. 573, 2005 WL (1140488) C.A. 9 (OR) (claim under crime coverage provision of insurance contract for loss from employee theft; court upheld assertion of contractual period of limitation for all claims beyond those acknowledged by carrier).
- Strader v. Grange Mutual Ins. Co., 179 Or. App. 329, 39 P.3d 903 (2002) (establishing that there is no “special relationship” between insured and the first party insurer to support a tort claim, thus limiting claims for relief to breach of contract).
- Lewis-Williamson v. Grange Mutual Ins. Co., 179 Or. App. 491, 39 P.2d 947 (2002) (establishing that a captive agent is the agent only of the insurer, not the insured, foreclosing a claim for failure to procure insurance).
ENJOYING TIME WITH THE FAMILY
John grew up in eastern Oregon in the town of Condon where he played in all school sports. Today, he has fun spending time with his grandchildren and his beloved miniature schnauzer, Tony, who has worked by his side through the pandemic.