Michael Coffey is a Partner and member of the national Complex Trial team in Tyson & Mendes’ New York and Connecticut offices. He has handled many of the largest insurance related claims and litigated matters in New York State over the past 25 years. The world’s largest companies routinely parachute in Mr. Coffey to handle complex high exposure liability and damages matters. He is also an ABOTA attorney who has personally tried over 125 jury trials for companies and syndicates in state and federal courts throughout the U.S. in cases involving all types of high-stakes insurance related and commercial matters. He has also arbitrated and mediated over 300 matters to successful conclusion. Mr. Coffey and his bespoke litigation team deliver legal services that ensure excellent results in mitigating exposure and containing litigation costs, either through ADR or trial by jury, if necessary.
Mr. Coffey’s legal practice includes direct litigation, excess litigation, AFA’s, reinsurance litigation, primary and excess monitoring, coverage, and oversight of national programs for companies, insurance companies, syndicates, captive insurance companies, and MGA’s located in the U.S, London, Dublin, and Bermuda. He has extensive experience defending insurance clients in all lines of business, including casualty, E&O, D&O, and property matters. His specialties include construction litigation, construction defect, miscellaneous professional liability, contingency, legal malpractice, cyber, public entity, allied health, habitation, dram shop and premises liability, transportation, A&E, EPL, London Market, energy, excess liability and casualty. Mr. Coffey also assists the London market insuring and reinsuring syndicates and companies with coverholder, third-party-administrator and cedant audits, ranging from single, high exposure claim audits to portfolio audits, investigative audits, comfort audits, pre-commutation audits and more. He also regularly handles a range of marine/admiralty matters internationally.
Mr. Coffey serves as national coordinating counsel, providing claims and litigation management services. In this critical role as the single point of contact for claims professionals, he helps to determine the specific scope of services they require and the Tyson & Mendes attorneys who can best serve each carrier’s needs. In this role, Mr. Coffey also oversees all aspects of claims management, including responsibility for the Tyson & Mendes team and implementation of the firm’s processes and protocols that drive the efficient and cost-effective delivery of these services. Mr. Coffey also makes himself available to clients at all times for risk management inquiries that come in over the firm-designated hotlines, always on an expedited basis. He works with claims professionals, clients, or directors to rectify problems and work toward an efficient outcome.
Mr. Coffey graduated from Connecticut College in 1989 and St. John’s University School of Law in 1994, where he was selected for a prestigious legal research assistant position working directly for Edward Fagan, the Dean of the School of Law. He started his career as an Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn, New York, where he honed his initial trial skills under the legendary Brooklyn District Attorney Charles “Joe” Hynes, prior to his embarking on a career litigating civil matters. Additionally, Mr. Coffey has served as an elected two term City Council President for the Norwalk City Council and three terms as the City of Norwalk Fire Commissioner. He also served for six years on U.S. Senator Joseph I. Lieberman United States Service Academy Selection Committee.
Mr. Coffey is a member of several exclusive, “invitation only” professional organizations, including the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM) and the prestigious American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). A thought leader in the insurance industry, he is frequently called upon to provide lectures and training on best practices for claims handling, jury trends, trial advocacy, and New York Labor Law matters to insurance companies, corporations and trade associations, including the American Bar Association, The CLM, Execusummit, IRMI, and the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He has been published numerous times in many esteemed publications, including the CLM Construction Magazine, and he is often consulted and quoted as an expert in construction, trial advocacy, insurance and claims publications. Mr. Coffey has also received several prestigious awards recognizing his exceptional legal talents, including the Irish Legal 100, awarded by the Irish Voice Newspaper to the most distinguished Irish legal professionals in the United States, The Corporate Achiever Award from the Connecticut branch of the National MS Society, Superlawyer Award for Construction from New York Superlawyer’s Magazine, Fairfield County Building Trades Person of the Year, and 40 Under 40 Award from the Fairfield County Business Journal.
Mr. Coffey enjoys spending time with his family including his wife, four children, and two dogs.
The pandemic has indisputably and substantially affected all aspects of our lives. It is not surprising the effects of the pandemic in our everyday lives have also impacted jurors and their perceptions during litigation and trial. The psychological effects of the pandemic, along with the new tools used for remote litigation, have the ability to affect juror perceptions. Attorneys and parties planning for a trial during the pandemic must consider these changes…
On September 14, 2020, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit limited an excess insurers’ ability to second-guess lower-level carriers’ coverage payment decisions, absent evidence of fraud, bad faith, or a contractual provision reserving the right to challenge such decisions. This matter was an issue of first impression for the Ninth Circuit panel.
Claims Magazine – September, 2020
New York has experienced an explosion of nuclear verdicts in Labor Law jury trials in the last few years. In 2015, the average payout of a neck/back injury came in just under $3.8 million, while a traumatic brain injury received around $5 million, according to VerdictSearch. Skip ahead just a few short years, and by 2019, the average neck/back injury was awarded $6.8 million at trial, while brain injuries skyrocketed to over $27 million. What is happening out there?
The state of New York is on the brink of making a costly mistake in regard to their unfair claim settlement practices. Following the lead of Florida and California, there is currently legislation that is on the fast-track to being passed in New York that would make it far easier to sue insurance companies for alleged “bad faith”. Additionally, Assembly Bill 5623 would also extend standing to third parties, which would allow them to bring direct causes of action against insurers. Looking at the big picture here, the passage…