Alexander E. Potente


Alexander E. Potente

Overview Overview Experience Credentials

Alex Potente is an experienced trial lawyer who represents insurers in complex commercial insurance litigation matters including disputes pertaining to general liability and professional liability policies, with an emphasis on bad faith litigation and coverage issues arising from claims involving class actions, product defects, public sector liability, and environmental and other long-tail insurance coverage disputes.

Alex is active in DRI and, in connection with his coverage work on privacy and cyber issues, he serves as co-chair of the DRI Data Breach Subcommittee. He served as a law clerk for the Honorable James B. Zagel of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois from 1997-1999. Alex was previously an editor of Sedgwick’s Insurance Law Blog and Sedgwick’s Insurance Law Update newsletter.

Representative Engagements

  • Represented insurance company in multi-state coverage litigation regarding claims for insurance coverage for over 2,000 allegedly defective medical devices.
  • Represented insurer as named defendant in putative federal class action regarding self-storage insurance program.
  • Litigated insurance coverage liability and bad faith claims arising from dry cleaner site; successfully arbitrated California Civil Code § 2860 fee dispute.
  • Litigated and favorably settled insurance coverage action pertaining to coverage for molestation claims, including bad faith claims.
  • Represents insurer in coverage dispute pertaining to Los Angeles area Superfund site on National Priorities List.
  • Currently representing insurer regarding the liabilities of its insured, a dissolving trust, for the Portland Harbor Superfund site.
  • Represents insurance company in federal coverage and bad faith litigation regarding insurance coverage claims in connection with a landslide which killed many people, injured others and caused massive property damage.
  • Currently representing insurer in coverage litigation regarding environmental liabilities arising from multiple sites in California, Washington, Utah, Indiana, and Colorado.
  • Lead counsel on two coverage matters involving D&O insurance. One resolved with successful summary adjudication motion; the other resolved via settlement.
  • Second-chaired trial regarding breach of employment contract involving multimillion-dollar claims.
  • First-chaired defense of Business and Professions Code § 17200 and fraud claims against bottled-water maker; won dismissal of fraud claims and convinced plaintiffs to drop suit at mediation.
  • Second-chaired patent infringement action. Secured successful settlement after successfully defeating jurisdictional challenges and winning all contested claim constructions.
  • Represented law firm in breach of partnership agreement; second-chaired trial; won multimillion-dollar victory against disassociating partner.
  • Represented clothing retailer in employment discrimination class action.
  • First-chaired breach-of-contract dispute; won dismissal at jurisdictional stage, resulting in plaintiff dropping claim.

Presentations and Publications

Alex has published in various insurance and legal publications. His recent publications and presentations include:

  • Moderator and co-panelist, “Insurance Coverage for Class Actions,” American Bar Association’s 2017 Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee CLE Seminar, Tucson, AZ, (March 1-4, 2017). 
  • Co-presenter, “The Ever Changing Duty to Defend and How It’s Currently Leading to Bad Faith,” American Conference Institute’s Insurance Coverage & Extra-Contractual Disputes Conference, Philadelphia, PA (November 30 – December 1, 2016).
  • Moderator, “Developing Case Law in Cyber Liability” and “Transferring Risk From a Practical Perspective: Steps,” DRI Data Management and Security Seminar, Atlanta, GA (September 22, 2016).
  • Co-presenter, “The Duty to Defend, Settlement Issues and Considerations,” Client Presentation (September 21, 2016).
  • “Habitability Claims and Coverage Issues,” Travelers Special Liability Group, Hartford, CT (September 1, 2016).
  • Co-presenter, “Recent Case Law Ruling Impacting Allocation,” American Conference Institute’s National Forum on Insurance Allocation, New York, NY (June 23, 2016).
  • “Habitability Claims and Coverage Issues,” Client Presentation (May 24, 2016).
  • Co-presenter, “Representations and Warranties Insurance: Is There Coverage and Will Claims Be Paid?” Insurance Coverage CLE Seminar Roundtable, Tucson, AZ (March 5, 2016).
  • DRI Vice-Chair Special Liability Group and Steering Committee Member, DRI Data Management and Security Seminar, Chicago, IL (November 5, 2015).
  • Co-presenter, “Recent Case Law Ruling Impacting Allocation,” American Conference Institute’s National Forum on Insurance Allocation, New York, NY (June 23, 2016).
  • Co-presenter, “Data Breach and Liability Insurance: Managing the Potential Risk and Addressing Claims,” Commercial Law Web Advisor webinar (March 17, 2015).


  • California
  • New York
  • Washington
  • U.S. District Court (C.D. Cal.)
  • U.S. District Court (E.D. Cal.)
  • U.S. District Court (N.D. Cal.)
  • U.S. District Court (S.D. Cal.)
  • U.S. District Court (W.D. Wash.)


  • J.D. (1997) Harvard Law School, cum laude
  • Supervising executive editor of the Journal on Legislation
  • B.A. (1993) The University of Chicago, Phi Beta Kappa

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Harvard Legal Aid Bureau — executive board member
  • Harvard Journal on Legislation

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