Robinson & Cole LLP
Wystan Ackerman represents insurance companies in complex insurance coverage litigation, including class action suits and appeals. His practice focuses heavily on brief writing. He has successfully authored briefs on behalf of a group of insurance companies, at both the trial and appellate levels, in several high-profile insurance cases. He has also been involved in amicus briefing and preparation for oral argument in high-profile insurance cases. He also maintains an active caseload of medium-size to large cases involving commercial property insurance coverage, liability insurance coverage, and subrogation. Mr. Ackerman was a principal author of appellate briefs in a case resulting in a unanimous decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit holding that the water damage exclusion was unambiguous, overturning a federal district court ruling that could have required homeowners and commercial property insurers to pay for the flood damage arising from Hurricane Katrina. (In re Katrina Canal Breaches Litigation, __ F.3d __, 2007 WL 2200004 (5th Cir. Aug. 2, 2007).) He was also a principal author of trial and appellate briefs resulting in dismissal of class action lawsuits claiming that the Louisiana Valued Policy Law requires payment of the policy limit for a total loss even where only a small portion of the damage to a home is covered. (Chauvin v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 450 F. Supp. 2d 660 (E.D. La. 2006), aff'd, 2007 WL 223074 (5th Cir. Aug. 6, 2007).) He also successfully obtained dismissal of a putative class action concerning homeowners' coverage for trees, shrubs, and plants. (Creel v. Hartford Ins. Co. of the Midwest, 2007 WL 1537620 (E.D. La. May 22, 2007).) Prior to joining Robinson & Cole LLP, Mr. Ackerman was associated with the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, where his practice focused on complex business litigation, including insurance and securities class actions and litigation involving commercial contracts and corporate governance. Mr. Ackerman received his B.A., summa cum laude, in government, with a minor in mathematics, from Bowdoin College. He received his J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he was a James Kent Scholar and a member of the Columbia Law Review.