Susan E. Firtch

Partner

Direct Dial (510) 835-6709

sfirtch@burnhambrown.com

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Education

  • University of California School of Law (J.D., 1991)
  • San Diego State University (B.A.)

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • Nevada

Susan E. Firtch

Practice Expertise

  • Ms. Firtch has been advising and representing insurance companies since 1991
  • Practice encompasses insurance coverage analysis and advice on a variety of issues, including construction defect, personal and advertising injury, commercial auto, additional insured/indemnity, professional liability, personal auto, and homeowners' claims.
  • Ms. Firtch has researched and analyzed all types of coverage matters under commercial general liability and first party policies, as well as business and commercial auto, farm, directors' and officers', accountants' and public entity liability policies
  • Specializes in factually complex, high exposure matters and has significant experience in commercial auto/trucking, habitability, construction defect, and advertising injury claims
  • Ms. Firtch is licensed to practice in both California and Nevada

Litigation

  • Ms. Firtch represents insurers in insurance litigation, bad faith, and declaratory relief actions in state and federal court, at the trial and appellate level
  • Prevailed on summary judgments for insurers on personal injury and advertising issues at the trial court level and on appeal
  • Briefed, argued and prevailed before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in a case involving personal and advertising injury coverage for violation of artist rights' statutes, preserving on appeal a summary judgment in favor of the insurer

Advice & Counsel

  • Ms. Firtch is experienced in interpreting and analyzing insurance policy language
  • Provides advice to the insurance industry on a wide range of insurance coverage issues including bed bugs and dog bites, construction defects, sexual harassment, personal and advertising injury issues, uninsured motorists, and cargo loss
  • Also provides advice concerning Buss reservations, and regularly audits independent counsel invoices
  • Presents in-house education programs to insurers on construction defect and other issues

Professional Associations

  • Member of State Bar of California
  • Alameda County Bar Association
  • Member of the Board of Directors of Legal Assistance for Seniors, where she serves on the planning committee for the Annual Elder Abuse Conference and Chair of the Fundraising Committee

Publications

  • Ms. Firtch has contributed updates to several Matthew Bender publications
  • Participated in revising Chapter 23a of California Forms of Jury Instruction concerning insurance litigation
  • Authored article on the history of Advertising Injury Coverage, which was published in the New Appleman in Insurance, Current Critical Issues in Insurance Law

Special Recognition

  • Ms. Firtch founded the Burnham Brown "Adopt A Preschooler" program, which just completed its 15th year of providing toys at Christmas to disadvantaged Oakland preschoolers