Dennis G. Rolstad


Dennis G. Rolstad

Overview Overview Experience Credentials

Dennis Rolstad concentrates his practice in healthcare, insurance, and ERISA litigation, trials and counseling, advising and defending insurance companies, fiduciaries, and their vendors and consultants. Dennis has extensive experience in bad faith and coverage litigation, healthcare litigation including defending provider claims, ERISA including both welfare benefits and pension, fiduciary duty litigation, and  construction coverage and defect litigation. For more than twenty-five years, Dennis has represented, counseled and defended insurers, fiduciaries, and others before state and federal courts in states including California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, and Alaska, and consults on cases throughout the country. 

Dennis also litigates class actions and other complex litigation, business suits, and various media and intellectual property matters. He has successfully argued multiple times before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and other appellate courts. In addition to his trial and litigation work, Dennis is a proponent of alternative dispute resolution and is adept at creatively resolving matters of all sizes. While in law school, he was an extern for the Honorable William J. Rea of the U.S. District Court, Central District of California.

Presentations and Publications

  • Contributing author, Managed Care Litigation, Second Edition, ABA Health Law Section (2017).
  • Co-editor for insurance chapters, California Practice Guide: Insurance Litigation, published by The Rutter Group (2016).
  • “California Allows Contractors Formed as LLCs to Access Surplus Lines Carriers,” Sedgwick’s Insurance Law Blog (August 2013). 
  • “Insurers May Be Sued Directly Under ERISA,” Sedgwick’s Healthcare Law Alert (June 2011). 
  • “California Department of Insurance to Introduce Bill Seeking to Bar Discretionary Clauses in Life, Health and Disability Insurance Policies,” Sedgwick’s Life, Health & Disability Alert (February 2011).
  • Co-author, “ERISA Party’s Achievement of ‘Some Degree of Success on Merits’ Does Not Automatically Permit Award of Attorneys’ Fees,” Sedgwick’s Healthcare Law Newsletter (Fall 2010).
  • “Supreme Court Bolsters Continued Application of ERISA Discretion,” Sedgwick’s Healthcare Law Alert (April 2010).
  • “The Death of the Discretionary Clause?” Sedgwick’s Healthcare Law Alert (November 2009).
  • “Spinner Court Holds No Breach of ERISA Fiduciary Liability Over Notifications of Optional Coverage,” Sedgwick’s Healthcare Law Newsletter (Winter 2009).
  • Co-author, “Supreme Court Decision: Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. v. Glenn, _ S.Ct. _ , 2008 WL 2444796 (June 19, 2008) (U.S. Supreme Court Docket No. 06-923),” The Voice, Defense Research Institute (June 2008).
  • “Supreme Court Advances Totality of Circumstances Test for Discretionary Review of ERISA Decisions Made by Conflicted Fiduciaries,” Sedgwick’s Healthcare Law Alert (June 2008).
  • Co-author, “Change in the Landscape: ERISA Fiduciary Claims in the Wake of La Rue,” RLI Executive Products Group News website (June 2008).
  • “9th Cir. Requires More From ERISA Claims Administrators and Reviewing Physicians,” Sedgwick’s Healthcare Law Newsletter (Spring 2008).
  • Co-author, “Supreme Court Holds 401(k) Participant Can Sue for Breach of Fiduciary Duty Under ERISA,” Sedgwick’s Healthcare News Flash (February 2008). 
  • Co-author, “Ninth Circuit Courts More Likely To Allow Discovery in ERISA Actions Following Abatie,” Sedgwick’s Healthcare Law Newsletter (Winter 2007). 
  • Co-author, “ERISA Alert: State Interference With ERISA Decision-Making,” Sedgwick’s Healthcare Law Newsletter (Winter 2006).
  • “Ninth Circuit Effects Sea Change in ERISA Discretionary Review,” Employment Law360 (December 2006).
  • “ERISA Alert: Technical Procedural Violations Do Not Change the Standard of Review,” Sedgwick’s Healthcare Law Newsletter (Summer 2005).
  • “ERISA Alert: Consideration of Evidence From Outside the Administrative Record on De Novo Review,” Sedgwick’s Healthcare Law Newsletter (Spring 2005).
  • “ERISA Alert: Conflict Preemption of State Statutes,” Sedgwick’s Healthcare Law Newsletter (Fall 2004).
  • Co-author, “Additional Insured Coverage,” Daily Journal (February 2001).
  • Co-author, “CGL Coverage for After-Acquired Properties,” Daily Journal (November 2000).
  • Co-author, “Design Build Construction Contracting,” Construction Management (July 1999).

Mr. Rolstad makes frequent presentations on insurance, construction, ERISA and healthcare topics to clients and industry professionals, including: 

  • Co-presenter, “Construction Defect Coverage,” Client Presentation (July 1, 2014). 
  • “Spotlight on ERISA: Fiduciary Litigation and the Erosion of Discretionary Review,” Sedgwick Health Law Seminar Series, Los Angeles and San Francisco, CA (June 8-9, 2011) and Hartford, CT 
    (October 6, 2011). 
  • “The Continuing Battle Over ERISA Discretionary Clauses and Streamlined Procedures,” Sedgwick Health Law Seminar Series, Los Angeles, Orange County and San Francisco, CA (May 24-25, 2010) and Hartford, CT (September 22, 2010). 
  • Co-presenter, “Protecting Yourself From Legal Problems: Audits, Lawsuits and Insurance Issues,” National Center for Employee Ownership, Meeting on Fiduciary Issues for Internal ESOP Trustees, San Francisco, CA (June, 2009). 
  • “Selected Developments in ERISA and Bad Faith Liability,” Sedgwick Health Law Seminar, Hartford, CT (October, 2008). 
  • Co-presenter, “Insurance Bad Faith Claims Seminar,” Lorman Education Services, San Francisco, CA (May 2008 and May 2007).


  • California
  • 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • 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.)


  • J.D. (1990) University of California, Los Angeles School of Law
  • — articles editor of the Federal Communications Law Review
  • B.A. (1987) Stanford University

Memberships and Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Bar Association of San Francisco