Robert K. Renner
Robert Renner is a senior litigation partner in the firm’s Newport Beach office. He has been with the firm for more than 20 years, originally working as a summer associate during law school and then joining as an associate.
His expertise includes all aspects of business litigation - with a particular emphasis on insurance coverage work - in both state and federal courts, from the initiation of the lawsuit through any appeal.
Mr. Renner’s insurance-related practice primarily involves individual and group insurance contract disputes, but he has handled cases arising in virtually all areas of life, disability and pension law. In particular, he has developed substantial experience in handling ERISA-governed litigation.
In addition to handling countless cases in the United States District Courts in the Central, Southern and Northern Districts of California, Mr. Renner has litigated several cases in the state and federal courts of Nevada and in the federal court of Arizona. Admitted to practice in all courts within the state of California, he is also admitted to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
During law school, Mr. Renner was a judicial extern for the Honorable John Davies, United States District Judge for the Central District of California.
Having obtained his undergraduate degree in journalism, Mr. Renner’s background has both influenced and enhanced his practice of law, particularly with respect to his writing style and overall work product, earning him an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell (its highest possible ranking).
- University of California, Los Angeles, J.D., 1991
- University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, B.S., Journalism, 1988
Articles & Publications
- SCOTUS Unlikely to Reject Three-Year Limit for Filing Lawsuit in ERISA Disability Claim
Summary of U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Ins. Co. (Barger & Wolen's Life, Health & Disability Insurance Law Blog, October 15, 2013)
- Accrual of Statute of Limitations for ERISA Disability Claim to be heard by SCOTUS
Summary of the underlying District Court and Second Circuit decisions in Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Ins. Co. (Barger & Wolen's Life, Health & Disability Insurance Law Blog, October 14, 2013)
- Title Insurance
California Insurance Law and Practice - Chapter 39 (revised) (LexisNexis California Insurance Law & Practice, August 01, 2013)
- Attorneys’ Fees Reduce ERISA Plan’s Recovery From Common Fund
Summary of U.S. Supreme Court's decision in U.S. Airways, Inc. v. McCutchen (Barger & Wolen's Life, Health & Disability Insurance Law Blog, April 16, 2013)
- Nature and Types of Disability Insurance
California Insurance Law and Practice - Chapter 25 (revised) (LexisNexis Matthew Bender, August 01, 2011)
- Group Life and Disability Insurance
California Insurance Law and Practice - Chapter 30 (Revised) (LexisNexis Matthew Bender, December 01, 2010)
- Dismissal of Action Filed After Expiration of ERISA Plan’s One-Year Contractual Limitations Upheld
Summary of Ninth Circuit's ruling in Scharff v. Raytheon Company Short Term Disability Plan (Barger & Wolen's Life, Health & Disability Insurance Law Blog, September 23, 2009)
Notable Decisions and Reported Opinions
- Faamai v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 490 Fed. Appx. 69, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 259 (9th Cir. 2013) (affirming District Court’s trial ruling that MetLife’s decision to deny accidental death benefits based upon plan’s exclusion for deaths “caused or contributed to by an infection” was not an abuse of discretion)
- Hoffman v. Am. Soc’y for Technion-Israel Inst. of Tech., Inc., et al., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24149 (S.D. Cal. 2013) (granting summary judgment in favor of MetLife based upon plaintiff’s failure to exhaust administrative remedies)
- Langlois v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72779 (N.D. Cal. 2012) (granting MetLife’s motion for judgment and finding – under a de novo standard of judicial review – that plaintiff was not disabled from psychological illness)
- Koloff v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., et al., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22398 (E.D. Cal. 2012) (dismissing case based upon plaintiff’s failure to exhaust administrative remedies, rejecting futility claim and remand request)
- Gordon v. Deloitte & Touche, LLP Group Long Term Disability Plan, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150371 (C.D. Cal. 2011) (granting summary judgment to plan, finding that plaintiff’s lawsuit was time-barred in light of both the four-year statute of limitation and the three-year contractual limitation, and rejecting argument that MetLife’s voluntary reconsideration of claim reset those deadlines)
- Walker v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55741 (C.D. Cal. 2010) (entering judgment after trial, rejecting plaintiff’s assertions of conflict of interest, and finding no abuse of discretion in MetLife’s claim denial decision)
- Winz-Byone v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., et al., 357 Fed. Appx. 949, 2009 U.S. App. LEXIS 27587 (9th Cir. 2009) (affirming summary judgment based upon plan’s “neuromusculoskeletal and soft-tissue disorder” limitation); see also, District Court decision at 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109824 (C.D. Cal. 2008)
- Scharff v. Raytheon Company Short Term Disability Plan, et al., 581 F.3d 899, 2009 U.S. App. LEXIS 20130 (9th Cir. 2009) (affirming dismissal of case as time-barred based upon plan’s one-year contractual limitation), cert. denied, 2010 U.S. LEXIS 5438 (June 28, 2010); see also, District Court decision at 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73844 (C.D. Cal. 2007)
- Daic v. Hawaii Pacific Health Group Plan, 291 Fed. Appx. 19, 2008 U.S. App. LEXIS 17336 (9th Cir. 2008) (affirming summary judgment, and rejecting plaintiff’s arguments regarding named fiduciary, conflict of interest and co-morbidity)
- Bussell v. General American Life Ins. Co., 126 Fed. Appx. 813, 2005 U.S. App. LEXIS 4244 (9th Cir. 2005) (affirming summary judgment based upon policy’s lapse due to non-payment of premiums)
- Helus v. Equitable Life Assurance Soc’y of the United States, 309 F. Supp. 2d 1170, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4360 (N.D. Cal. 2004) (summary judgment granted upon plaintiff’s bad faith and punitive damage claims)
- Lodha v. Paul Revere Life Ins. Co., 8 Fed. Appx. 797, 2001 U.S. App. LEXIS 8751 (9th Cir. 2001) (affirming summary judgment upon plaintiff’s claims for breach of contract, bad faith, intentional infliction of emotional distress and punitive damages)
- Bussell v. Provident / John Hancock / Paul Revere, 1999 U.S. App. LEXIS 30615 (9th Cir. 1999) (affirming jury verdict, following six-week trial, finding plaintiff not totally disabled), cert. denied, 2000 U.S. LEXIS 3816 (June 5, 2000)
- The State Bar of California
- American Bar Association
- ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section
- Orange County Bar Association
- Defense Research Institute
- Martindale-Hubbell - AV Peer Review Rating (highest possible rating)