L. Kimberly Steele

Counsel

L. Kimberly Steele

Counsel
Overview Overview Experience Credentials

Kim Steele has more than 25 years of experience effectively resolving and litigating complex insurance disputes and other commercial matters, 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 and successfully 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-party and third- party claims. She also counsels insurers and reinsurers on policy drafting and interpretation, appraisal issues and the avoidance of bad faith.

She also represents clients in a variety of commercial and contractual disputes, as well as various healthcare matters. Such matters include discrimination cases, breach of contract claims, commercial health plan network disputes and healthcare payor-provider disputes.

Kim is the immediate past chair of the Insurance Law Section of the State Bar of Texas. As chair of the Section, Kim governed 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 2,000 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.

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

Kim served for several years as the editor in-chief of The State Bar of Texas Insurance Law Section’s Journal of Texas Insurance Law and was responsible for the content, editing and publication of the Section’s quarterly Journal, as well as the other publications of the Section.

She is a regularly published author of numerous insurance-related articles and has lectured at continuing legal education seminars, including:

  • “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, “Outside Events Affecting Policies and Coverage,” presented by Sedgwick partner Mark Tillman at the Lorman Education Seminar, Update on Insurance Issues in Texas (April 22, 2008).
  • 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).
  • “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).
  • Co-author, “Policy Buy Backs: The Perks and the Pitfalls,” white paper, presented by Sedgwick attorney Neil Rambin, UTCLE Insurance Law Institute (October 2007). 
  • “Court Holds ‘Surface Water’ Exclusion Applies to Runoff Flowing onto Raised Patio,” Sedgwick’s Insurance Law Update (February 2007).

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

  • State Bar of Texas — Insurance Law Section
    • Immediate past chair (2016-2017)
    • Executive Board — past treasurer, secretary and chair-elect (2013-2015)
  • Dallas Bar Association
  • College of the State Bar of Texas
  • Served on the planning committees for the Insurance Law Institute, Advanced Insurance Law course and annual conferences sponsored by the Insurance Law Section of the Texas State Bar, University of Texas School of Law and Texas Bar CLE