Christian A. Cavallo

Christian A. Cavallo

Partner

Office

Practice Groups

Christian Cavallo, a leader of the GIS New Jersey team, is an experienced insurance coverage litigator who regularly represents insurance industry clients in connection with complex, high-exposure matters. Chris’s litigation experience includes handling a broad range of matters involving claims presented under both first-party products, such as personal and commercial property and automobile policies, and under third-party insurance products, such as personal, commercial, and professional liability policies. Chris has both successfully defended insurers in matters involving claims for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, extracontractual or "bad faith" claims, and alleged violations of consumer protection and consumer fraud statutes, and he has also represented insurers who have filed lawsuits to obtain a declaration of their rights and obligations under their policies.

A representative sampling of Chris's litigation accomplishments include:
  • Obtained dismissal on behalf of liability insurer of a complaint seeking damages in excess of $172 million for alleged violations of state consumer fraud statute and multiple common law causes of action involving a supposed "gap" in policyholder's insurance coverage program; dismissal affirmed by Third Circuit on appeal
  • Negotiated favorable settlement on behalf of commercial auto insurer of a pre-suit wrongful death claim brought by the estate of the deceased driver of the insured's rental vehicle
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of commercial property insurer of a lawsuit arising out of Superstorm Sandy claim, based on the policyholder's failure to present competent evidence to support its claims against the insurer
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of an excess liability insurer in a matter involving underlying personal injury claims based on the insured's failure to provide timely notice of the underlying accident and related lawsuit
  • Obtained dismissal with prejudice on behalf of a commercial auto insurer of underinsured motorist claims arising from an auto accident involving the insured's limousine
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of an auto liability insurer in a declaratory judgment action brought by a general liability insurer arising out of a multi-million dollar tort liability lawsuit involving damage to a Garden State Parkway overpass
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a general liability insurer in a declaratory judgment action brought by a putative additional insured arising from a multi-million dollar tort liability lawsuit involving the collapse of a commercial pier
  • Defeated an order to show cause filed by an insured to compel an auto insurer to participate in the appraisal process permitted by the insurer's policy, where the first-party dispute between the parties exceeded the scope of the appraisal process
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a general liability insurer in a declaratory judgment action brought against an auto liability insurer arising from a high-value personal injury lawsuit
  • Obtained dismissal on behalf of an auto liability insurer of a lawsuit seeking uninsured and underinsured motorist benefits as a result of a motor vehicle accident
  • Obtained a favorable settlement on behalf of a property insurer of litigation involving a multi-million dollar water damage claim asserted by the owner of a high-end fashion boutique

Chris's practice also includes providing his clients with general insurance counseling, including drafting coverage opinions and memoranda analyzing insurers' rights and obligations under complex insurance contracts, assisting with internal investigations, and providing advice concerning regulatory issues, underwriting, and policy drafting. 

Chris regularly presents on emergent insurance industry topics, and has authored and co-authored articles on issues affecting the insurance industry. He is also an editor and regular contributor to the firm's insurance blog, The Insurance & Reinsurance ReportWhile attending Georgetown University Law Center, Chris served as a member of the Georgetown Journal on Poverty & Law Policy. Prior to graduation, he was a law clerk at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. 

Honors
  • New Jersey Super Lawyers, Rising Star 2015–18 (Thomson Reuters)
  • Association of the Bar of the City of New York’s Thurgood Marshall Award For Representation of a Prisoner Under Sentence of Death
  • View peer-review methodologies at superlawyers.com. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. 
Achievements
  • American Board of Trial Advocates, Trial College, Yale Law School, 2018
Professional Affiliations
  • Defense Research Institute: Volunteer Coordinator, Insurance Law Committee 
Admitted to Practice
  • New York 
  • New Jersey 
  • U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey 
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Community Involvement
  • Volunteer Lawyers For Justice
  • New Jersey Law Student Mentorship Program, Mentor
  • Americorps National Civil Community Corps, Team Leader
Education
  • Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., 2007 (Robert J. Fiske, Jr. Fellowship Award)
  • Providence College, B.A., 2003
Publications
  • Presenter, "Issues Arising Under Claims-Made Policies," Webinar, November 21, 2017
  • Presenter, "Additional Insured Coverage: Navigating Scope, AI Rights, Insurer Duties, AI Status vs. Contractual Indemnification," Strafford CLE Webinar, October 2016
  • Presenter, "Ride and House Sharing: Liability Coverage," PLRB Regional Adjusters Conference, St. Louis, MO, September 2016
  • Co-Presenter, "Interplay of Allocation Issues in the D&O Space," ACI's National Forum on Insurance Allocation, June 23, 2016
  • Presenter, "Disputes Between Primary And Excess Insurers," Claims & Litigation Management Alliance, May 2016
  • Co-Author, “Surprise! 'Soft' Insurance Fraud Is Punishable by Prison,” Law360, March 16, 2016
  • Presenter, "Insurance Bad Faith Claims: Expanding Scope of Insurers Liability From Policyholder and Insurer Perspectives," February 2, 2016