L. Kimberly Steele

Counsel

L. Kimberly Steele

Counsel
Overview Overview Experience Credentials

Kim Steele has more than 25 years of experience resolving and litigating complex commercial insurance disputes, including matters relating to insurance coverage disputes, extra-contractual claims, disputes between excess and primary carriers and disputes between insurance and reinsurance companies. She has provided coverage advice, litigated and/or appealed matters arising out of a wide variety of insurance policies, including general liability, commercial property, homeowners, automobile, specialty lines, workers’ compensation, directors’ and officers’ liability, and reinsurance. Kim has successfully defended and prosecuted many insurance coverage and bad faith lawsuits, having achieved a number of summary judgment victories in cases involving first- and third-party claims. She also counsels insurers and reinsurers on policy drafting and interpretation, appraisal issues and the avoidance of bad faith. Kim is AV® rated by Martindale-Hubbell and is consistently recognized as being one of the top lawyers in insurance law.

Kim currently serves as chair of the Insurance Law Section of the State Bar of Texas. As chair of the Section, Kim will govern with the other Insurance Law Section officers and council members while working toward the future growth and improvement of the Section. The State Bar of Texas Insurance Law Section is an official, sanctioned section of the State Bar of Texas, consisting of approximately 2000 members. The Section promotes the understanding and development of Texas insurance law by providing high quality educational resources to the bench, bar and public and by promoting collegiality among those with an interest in insurance law. Kim was elected to the executive board of the Insurance Law Section’s Council — the section’s governing body — in 2013, serving as treasurer. She then served as secretary and chair-elect of the Section.  

Prior to being elected as an officer for the Section in 2013, Kim served for several years as the editor-in-chief of the Section’s Journal of Texas Insurance Law. In this capacity, she was responsible for the content, editing and publication of the Section’s quarterly Journal, as well as the other publications of the Section.  

Steele is regularly published on Sedgwick’s Insurance Law Blog, has authored a number of insurance-related articles for the Journal of Texas Insurance Law and other publications, and has lectured at numerous continuing legal education seminars. She has served on the planning committees for the “Insurance Law Institute,” and the “Advanced Insurance Law Course,” annual conferences sponsored by the Insurance Law Section of the Texas State Bar, and the University of Texas School of Law and/or TexasBarCLE.

 

Representative Matters

  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a carrier in a bad faith lawsuit seeking coverage for foundation movement resulting from a pipe break.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of carrier in a bad faith lawsuit seeking coverage for hail damage under a commercial property policy.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of carrier in a declaratory judgment action regarding coverage under a homeowners’ insurance policy for an underlying lawsuit alleging defamation.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of carrier in a bad faith lawsuit seeking coverage under a commercial general liability policy for an underlying lawsuit alleging defective construction of a condominium.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of carrier in a declaratory judgment action seeking coverage as an additional insured under a commercial general liability policy.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of carrier in a declaratory judgment action by a municipality seeking coverage under a public entity liability policy.
  • Obtained summary judgment and an award of costs on behalf of carrier in a bad faith lawsuit seeking coverage under a commercial general liability policy for an underlying lawsuit alleging commercial property damage due to Hurricane Ike.
  • Member of successful trial team representing large national personal and commercial property carriers in bad faith suits involving coverage for catastrophic storm damage.

Presentations and Publications

  • “Straight Talking in Texas: The Contractual Liability Exclusion Means What It Says and Says What It Means,” Sedgwick’s Insurance Law Blog (January 2014).
  • “Appraisal in the New World Order,” Journal of Texas Insurance Law, Spring 2013.
  • “Texas Court — Appraisal Award Insufficient to Defeat Insured’s Breach of Contract Claim,” Sedgwick’s Insurance Law Blog, February 2013.
  • “Litigating Appraisal, Beyond Hurricane Ike, Appraisal Has a Life of its Own,” presenter/panelist at the 17th Annual Insurance Law Institute, presented by the Insurance Law Section of the State Bar of Texas and the University of Texas, Austin, Texas, October 18-19, 2012.
  • “What Does That Sign Say? No Coverage for Defective Street Signs,” Sedgwick’s Insurance Law Update, March 2011.
  • “Auto Exclusion Applied to All Claims of Negligence, Including Antecedent Negligence and Negligent Entrustment and Hiring,” Sedgwick’s Insurance Law Update, November 2010.
  • “Coverage Opinions: the Strategies Behind Them and the Characteristics of Thoughtfully Drafted Opinion Letters,” presented at the 15th Annual Insurance Law Institute, held by the State Bar of Texas, Austin, October 14, 2010.
  • “Insured Can’t Duck Cost to Repair Its Own Duct Work,” Sedgwick’s Insurance Law Update, June 2010.
  • “Texas Affirms Statute of Limitations Ruling Barring Homeowner’s Subsequent Damage Claim,” Sedgwick’s Insurance Law Update, November 2009.
  • “Emerging Issues Not Yet at the Supreme Court,” author and presenter, Advanced Insurance Law Course, Sponsored by Texas Bar CLE and the Insurance Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, April 2-3, 2009.
  • Co-author, “Texas Supreme Court Again Refuses to Consider Extrinsic Evidence in Evaluating a Carrier’s Duty to Defend,” Sedgwick’s Insurance Law Flash, February 18, 2009.
  • “Texas Supreme Court: No Underinsured Motorist Coverage for ‘Good Samaritan’ Injured While Assisting Motorist,” Sedgwick’s Insurance Law Update, January 2009.
  • Co-author, “Texas Supreme Court Upholds Insurers’ Use of Staff Counsel to Represent Insureds Absent Conflict of Interest,” Sedgwick’s Insurance Law Flash, April 4, 2008.
  • Co-author, paper on “Outside Events Affecting Policies and Coverage,” presented by Sedgwick partner Mark Tillman at the April 22 Lorman Education Seminar, “Update on Insurance Issues in Texas.
  • “Contractual Indemnity and Additional Insureds,” panelist at the State Bar of Texas — 5th Annual Advanced Insurance Law Course, March 2008.
  • “Texas Supreme Court: Insurers Have No Duty to Notify Additional Insureds of Available Coverage,” Sedgwick’s Insurance Law Update, March 2008.
  • “Court Holds ‘Surface Water’ Exclusion Applies to Runoff Flowing onto Raised Patio,” Sedgwick’s Insurance Law Update, February 2007.
  • “Policy Buy Backs: The Perks and the Pitfalls,” white paper co-authored with Sedgwick attorney Lisa Henderson, presented by Sedgwick attorney Neil Rambin at UTCLE Insurance Law Institute, October 2007.
  • “Texas Supreme Court Receives Certified Questions on Late Notice, Duty Owed to Additional Insureds,” Sedgwick’s Insurance Law Update, October 2006.
  • “Texas Appellate Court Finds Employer Not Liable for Pre-1972 Household Asbestos Exposure,” Sedgwick’s Sidebar Legal Bulletin, August 2006.
  • “Texas Supreme Court Affirms Extrinsic Evidence May Not Be Used to Assess Duty to Defend,” Sedgwick’s Insurance Law Update, July 2006.
  • “Texas Supreme Court Rejects Extracontractual Damages for Delay in Paying Death Benefits,” Sedgwick’s Insurance Law Update, May 2006.
  • “Texas Supreme Court Enforces Arbitration Provision Against Corporate Non-Signatories,” Sedgwick’s Insurance Law Update, April 2006.
  • “Texas Supreme Court to Address Coverage for Faulty Workmanship and Scope of ‘Prompt Pay Statute’,” Sedgwick’s Insurance Law Update, November 2005.
  • “California Limits Bad Faith Damages to Claims Handling,” Sedgwick’s Insurance Law Update, September 2004.
  • “Insurer Right to Recover Defense Costs Affirmed,” Sedgwick’s Insurance Law Update, August 2004.
  • “ERISA Preemption Confirmed, and More,” Sedgwick’s Insurance Law Update, July 2004.
  • Co-author,  paper on “CGL, EIL and MTBE: Show Me the Money,” presented by Sedgwick partner W. Neil Rambin, during the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel 2004 Annual Meeting.
  • “Extra-Contractual Claims In Duty To Defend Cases In Texas,” Sedgwick’s Insurance Law Update, May 2004.
  • “Evidence in Insurance Coverage Litigation,” Sedgwick’s Insurance Law Update, April 2004.
  • “UM/UIM Arbitration,” Sedgwick’s Insurance Law Update, February 2004.
  • “California Appellate Courts Interpret Law on Punitive Damages,” Sedgwick’s Insurance Law Update, December 2003.
  • Co-author and speaker, “Comprehensive General Liability Manual,” presented to Zurich Insurance Company, January, 2002.
  • Co-author and speaker, “Aggressive Good Faith in Claims Handling: The Legal Dimensions,” presented to Kemper Insurance Companies, March and September, 1998.
  • Co-author, “Insurance Coverage Opinions,” 36 S. Texas Law Review 479 (1995).

Admissions

  • Texas
  • U.S. District Court (E.D. Tex.)
  • U.S. District Court (N.D. Tex.)
  • U.S. District Court (S.D. Tex.)
  • U.S. District Court (W.D. Tex.)

Education

  • J.D. (1990) Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law
  • B.S. (1986) Southern Methodist University, magna cum laude

Awards

  • AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Chair, Insurance Law Section, State Bar of Texas (2016-2017)
  • Dallas Bar Association
  • College of the State Bar of Texas
  • Served on the planning committees for the “Insurance Law Institute,” and the “Advanced Insurance Law Course,” annual conferences sponsored by the Insurance Law Section of the Texas State Bar, and the University of Texas School of Law and/or Texas Bar CLE