Colleen Murphy focuses her practice on regulatory and professional liability matters in the insurance and reinsurance industries and leads our insurance agents and brokers practice. She has nearly 20 years of experience counseling and defending clients that include major insurers and reinsurers, insurance agencies, and brokers through regulatory investigations, licensing matters, compliance and market conduct issues, and inquiries into consumer complaints.
She has represented and advised clients across the nation in their relations with regulatory authorities, including the state insurance departments of New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey, and California. Her victory in the landmark case of Lee v. State of New York Insurance Department, 222 AD.2d 1050 (4th Dept.1995) highlights her experience defending insurance agents before insurance regulatory authorities. In this case, Colleen successfully stopped the New York State Insurance Department from acting outside the scope of its investigational authority and prevented it from ordering the insurance agent to appear before it and to submit to questioning in the presence of a disgruntled agency customer with respect to a consumer complaint. She also represents broker-dealers and registered representatives in response to regulatory inquiries initiated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). In a recent matter, Colleen worked alongside Goldberg Segalla partner James Wrynn in his role as an expert witness on complex regulatory and reinsurance issues.
Colleen complements her regulatory practice with extensive experience successfully defending insurance agents, brokers, and insurers in errors and omissions (E&O) claims and insurance coverage disputes. As a co-chair of Goldberg Segalla's insurance agents and brokers practice within the firm's Professional Liability Practice Group, she has successfully defended top-10 insurance brokers and self-insureds, major E&O liability insurers, and insurance agencies within financial institutions in hundreds of E&O claims and lawsuits across New York State as well as in Connecticut and Pennsylvania. Colleen’s representation of broker-dealers and registered representatives includes defending them in FINRA arbitrations involving securities-related claims, including those alleging unsuitable investment recommendations, improper sales practices, negligent supervision, churning, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract.
Her representative decisions include L.C.E.L. Collectibles v. American Insurance Co., 228 A.D.2d 196 (1st Dept. 1996), in which Colleen obtained summary judgment by convincing the Appellate Division, First Department to hold for the first time in New York State that an insurance agent had no duty to recommend flood insurance or to inspect the location of the plaintiff's property to determine whether it was near a flood plain or swamp. L.C.E.L. Collectibles has been extensively cited and was relied upon by the Pennsylvania Superior Court in the seminal decision of Wisniski v. Brown and Brown Ins. Co. of PA, 206 PA Supr.216 (PA. Super. Ct. 2006), which held that the relationship between an insurance agent and a customer is ordinarily an arm's-length transaction, and thus, the agent had no duty to inspect the property or recommend flood coverage.
A recognized authority on defending agents and brokers in the insurance industry, Colleen has been quoted in Insurance Law360 and has delivered numerous E&O-focused loss-control CE seminars and webinars across the country. She has also authored errors and omissions loss-control reports as well as contributed chapters to an errors and omissions loss-control primer. Major regional and national insurance agents and brokers associations have turned to Colleen for help meeting the diverse needs of their members, including helping to draft widely used loss-control procedures and forms.
Colleen has significant insurance fraud experience, which includes defending insurance agents and brokers in claims brought by insureds involving fraud of all types. She has handled numerous property insurance fraud cases involving arson, vandalism, theft, and intentional material misrepresentations by the insured, both in the insurance application and in the claims-handling process.
Her insurance coverage experience includes defending insurers in claims alleging bad faith in interpreting insurance contracts or in the manner a claim was handled, as well as in matters involving first-party property, professional liability, third-party liability, and reinsurance coverage. She has worked extensively alongside Thomas Segalla, author of the renowned insurance law treatise Couch on Insurance 3d, on numerous matters in which he was retained as a bad faith expert by major insurance carriers and policyholders in jurisdictions across the United States .
•Western New York Autism Society, Conference Planner and Co-Chair
•Volunteer/Guide for Children’s Adaptive Ski Program: Phoenix Adaptive Snow Sports Program at HoliMont, Ellicottville, New York
•Upstate New York Super Lawyers (Professional Liability: Defense)
•Business First’s Who’s Who in Law (Insurance)
•Forty-Six Goldberg Segalla Attorneys Listed in 2014 Upstate New York Super Lawyers August 11, 2014
•Reactions Names Goldberg Segalla Law Firm of the Year June 12, 2014
•Super Lawyers Names Nearly Three Quarters of Goldberg Segalla’s Upstate New York Attorneys August 19, 2013
•Sixteen Goldberg Segalla Attorneys Listed in 2012 Who's Who in Law, Buffalo Business First September 2012
•Twenty-Three Goldberg Segalla Attorneys Listed in 2012 Upstate New York Super Lawyers August 21, 2012
•Groundbreaking Vermont Insurance Legislation to Create New Insurance Market, Investment Opportunities February 19, 2014
•AgentsofAmerica.ORG to Publish E-Book, “E&O Loss Control & Risk Management Program for Insurance Agents and Brokers” March 1, 2011
•Co-Author, “Staying In or Going Out: The Value of Teamwork Between a Bank’s Inside and Outside Counsel,” Inside Counsel, July 18, 2014
•Co-Author, “Staying In or Going Out When the Government Comes a-Knockin’,” Inside Counsel, June 10, 2014
•Co-Author, “Staying In or Going Out Identifying Potential Pitfalls for Banking’s In-House Counsel,” Inside Counsel, May 12, 2014
•Co-Author, “Understanding an Agent's E&O Risks When an Insurer Becomes Insolvent,”Property Casualty 360, April 9, 2014
•Panelist, “Whether and When to Settle,” New York State Bar Association CLE Program - Securities Arbitration and Mediation 2014: Telling Your Story, New York, NY, March 1, 2014
•Quoted in “NY High Court Chips Away at Broker Liability Shield,”Law360, March 3, 2014
•Co-Author, “Moving Target: State Law Variances Require Agents to Be Diligent With Referral Fees,”American Agent & Broker, August 2013
•Quoted in “Fla. High Court Limits Tort Claims Doctrine In Marsh Suit,”Law360, March 7, 2013
•Quoted in “Ignorance on $1.25M Deductible Isn't Bliss: Miss. High Court,”Law360, February 25, 2013
•Co-Author, “Fortify Loss Control: N.Y. Ruling Makes It Easier for Insureds to Sue Agents,”American Agent & Broker, February 2013
•Quoted in “Insurance Brokers Should Brace For Sandy Suits After NY Ruling,”Law360, November 26, 2012
•Co-Author, “Social Missteps: Web 2.0 raises risks for defamation, libel, copyright and security breaches,” American Agent & Broker (Avoiding Errors and Omissions Column), November 2012
•Presenter, “What Professionals Should Know About Managing and Insuring Cyber Liability Risk and Defending Those Professionals in the Event of a Claim,” USLAW Fall Client Conference, Washington, D.C., October 4-6, 2012
•Presenter, “Successfully Defending Insurance Agents in Consumer Complaints Before the State Insurance Department,” USLAW Fall Client Conference, Washington, D.C., October 4-6, 2012
•Presenter, “E&O Loss Control for Agents and Brokers Procuring Insurance for Owners, Contractors, and Subcontractors,” in-house client seminar, August 15, 2012
•Author, E&O Loss Control for Insurance Agents and Brokers Using Social Media, March 2011
•Author, Proactive, Long-term Corporate Crisis Management: The Hunter, The Ostrich, and The Spin Master, March 2011
•Author, New Insurance Agent and Broker Rules Regarding Disclosure of Contingent Commissions Which Take Effect in New York January 2, 2011, Professional Liability Monthly, November 2010
•Presenter, How Insurance Agencies and Brokerages, Registered Representatives, and Lawyers Can Benefit From The Upside of Social Networking While Minimizing The Downside of a Possible E&O Risk, USLAW Fall Client Conference, Colorado Springs, CO, October 2010
•Presenter, Agency E&O Considerations When Social Networking, Agents Council for Technology of the Independant Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, Webinar, May 2010
•Presenter, E&O Loss Control for Social Media Networking, New York, April 2010
•Podcast, E&O and the Social Web, Insurance Journal, March 2010
•Co-Author, How Insurance Agencies and Brokerages Can Benefit From the Upside of Social Networking While Minimizing the Downside of a Possible E&O Risk, January 2010
•Presenter for a top-ten broker, Unfortunate Letters/Emails and Heading Off Potential E&O Claims, Orange, CA, 2010
•Presenter, Best Practices in Managing E&O Exposures and Losses, CPCU Society, Malvern, PA, May 2009
•Author, Photo Inspections - A Continuing Source of Potential E&O Liability
•Co-Author, Insurer vs. Insurance Agency E&O Lawsuits: When Your Company Is Not on Your Side
•“Whether and When to Settle,” New York State Bar Association CLE Program - Securities Arbitration and Mediation 2014: Telling Your Story March 1, 2014
•Successfully Defending Insurance Agents in Consumer Complaints Before the State Insurance Department, USLAW Fall Client Conference October 2012
•“What Professionals Should Know About Managing and Insuring Cyber Liability Risk and Defending Those Professionals in the Event of a Claim,” USLAW Fall Client Conference October 2012
•How Insurance Agencies And Brokerages, Registered Representatives, And Lawyers Can Benefit From The Upside Of Social Networking While Minimizing The Downside Of A Possible E&O Risk, USLAW Fall Client Conference October 2010
•Colleen M. Murphy Wins Appellate Reversal in Construction Accident Case February 10, 2012
•Federal Court Victory Quickly Dismisses Third-Party Complaint Against Insurance Broker October 12, 2011
•Professional Liability Matters
•The Insurance and Reinsurance Report