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Thomas R. Beer

Tom Beer is a litigation partner in Barger & Wolen’s San Francisco office.  He joined the firm in 1992 and has nearly 22 years of experience as an attorney in California. His practice is concentrated on complex insurance coverage and business litigation, including bad faith claims, environmental contamination actions, intellectual property disputes, product defect actions, employment matters and construction defect claims. 

Mr. Beer also has extensive experience in admiralty and maritime matters, including marine insurance and governmental immunity issues.  For many years, he has represented an international marine terminal operator in casualty, property and cargo actions.  His clients also include marine underwriters, P&I Clubs and longshore workers’ compensation insurers. 

A native of Cologne, Germany, Mr. Beer represents some of Germany’s largest insurance carriers in business and litigation matters in the United States.

REPRESENTATIVE CASES

  • Successfully defended marine terminal operator and municipality in wrongful death action through assertion of governmental immunity statutes.
  • Obtained summary judgment for international express air cargo carrier in employment case arising out of mandatory drug testing program. Following the plaintiff’s unsuccessful appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari.
  • Prosecuted declaratory relief actions arising out of construction defect claims on behalf of multiple carriers in California and Hawaii.
  • Served as liaison counsel for defending insurers in the largest dry cleaner environmental contamination and cleanup dispute in the United States.
  • Obtained $8 million in settlement of insurance premium embezzlement case on behalf of carrier.
  • Obtained dismissal of product liability claim against manufacturer of DVD production equipment.
  • Handled coverage disputes involving medical devices, trademarks, copyrights, apparel, construction defects and architects,’ engineers’ and contractors’ professional malpractice claims.

Education

  • University of San Francisco School of Law, J.D., 1990
    Editor, USF Maritime Law Journal
  • California State University, San Francisco, B.A., Political Science, summa cum laude, 1987

Articles & Publications

  • Established Federal Admiralty Rules in Marine Insurance Contracts and the Wilburn Boat Case, U.S.F. Maritime Law Journal (1989)
  • Controlling the Electronic Discovery Risk, German American Trade (2003)

Notable Decisions and Reported Opinions

  • Carroll v. Federal Express, 113 F.3d 163 (9th Cir. 1997), cert. denied 522 U.S. 1076 (1998)
  • Foulk v. Donjon Marine Company, 144 F.3d 252 (3rd Cir. 1998)

Professional Memberships

  • The State Bar of California
  • The Bar Association of San Francisco
  • American Bar Association
  • German American Chamber of Commerce
  • The European American Chamber of Commerce
  • German American Business Association
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States
  • San Francisco Marine Claims Association
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