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James J. Moak
James J. Moak
Partner
 
Los Angeles, California Office
Tel: (213) 576-1470
Fax: (213) 625-1930
Email: jmoak@mmhllp.com
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Practice Areas
Litigation, Insurance, Life, Health, Disability - ERISA
Education
Juris Doctor, University of California School of Law at Los Angeles.
B.A., Loyola Marymount University.
 

James J. Moak is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Meserve, Mumper & Hughes LLP. Mr. Moak’s practice emphasizes defense at trial and on appeal of first-party bad faith actions (both individual and class actions) and ERISA actions brought on life, health or disability contracts, as well as employment matters, such as wrongful termination and sexual harassment lawsuits.

Mr. Moak has significant experience before state and federal trial and appellate courts, and has also arbitrated major cases before the American Arbitration Association.

Mr. Moak is a member of the California State Bar and is admitted to practice before all of the Federal District Courts in California, as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Mr. Moak is a 1978 graduate of the UCLA School of Law. He received his undergraduate degree from Loyola University of Los Angeles in 1975.

Significant cases include:

Richter v. Mutual of Omaha, (9th Cir. 2008). Obtained summary judgment in the District Court in a class action brought against an insurer relating to medical coverage. Affirmed on appeal.

Saeger v. Pacific Life , (9th Cir. 2008) Defense of a securities fraud class action in the District Court. Summary judgment affirmed on appeal.

Barton v. Alexander Life Ins. Co., 110 Cal. App. 4th 1460 (2003). Appeal after a six week jury trial. Made new law on the burden of proof in punitive damage cases.

General American v. IT Corporation, 107 F. 3d 1415 (9th Cir. 1997). Appeal involving the effect of language stating that an insurer was not an ERISA fiduciary.

United Fidelity Life Ins. Co. v. Emert, 49 Cal. App. 4th 941 (1996). An attempt to expand insurance law in case involving the incontestable clause and fraud by the insured.

John Fraker v. Sentry Life Insurance Company, 19 Cal. App. 4th 276 (1993). Counsel for the defendant/insurer in the trial court and on appeal. The appellate court held that there was no vesting of medical insurance benefits, refusing to follow Fields v. Blue Shield.

Sovereign Life Insurance Company v. Ronald S. Fishbach, M.D. Obtained a judgment against a physician, after a seven-day jury trial. The physician had failed to disclose adverse medical history in an attending physician’s statement when the insured applied for life insurance.

Maha S. Ajami, et al. v. Garden State Life Insurance Company, etc., et al. Represented the insurer in a bad faith action on two life insurance policies. The defense on one policy was lapse, the defense to the other was suicide. Defense verdict after a three-week jury trial.

American National Insurance Company v. Harry Low, 84 Cal. App. 4th 914 (2000). Counsel for an insurer seeking priority from the California Insurance Guaranty Association on a significant claim against an insolvent insurer. The insurer prevailed, in a case of first impression.

Mardirosian v. Lincoln National Life Ins. Co., 739 F.2d 474 (9th Cir. 1984). Trial of a bad faith action on a life policy, with a lapse defense. Jury verdict for the insurer affirmed on appeal.

 
Bar Admissions
State Bar of California, 1978
U.S. District Court, Central District of California
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
 
Professional Affiliations
Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association
Member, DRI Life, Health and Disability Committee
Member, California Minority Counsel Program ("CMCP")
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