William J. Baron: Lawyer with Duane Morris LLP

William J. Baron

San Francisco,  CA  U.S.A.
Phone415 957 3151

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Practice Areas

  • Appellate Practice
  • Trial Practice
  • Insurance
Contact InfoTelephone: 415 957 3151
Fax: 415 358 9648
University Stanford University, A.B., with distinction, 1980
Law SchoolUniversity of Michigan Law School, J.D., 1983
Admitted1983, California; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California; U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
Memberships Santa Clara County (Member, Appellate Section) and San Francisco (Member, Appellate Section) Bar Associations; American Bar Association; DRI (Member, Appellate Section).


William J. Baronpractices in the area of litigation with a concentration on appellate work and complex civil litigation, including insurance coverage actions.

Mr. Baron has represented clients in more than 60 appellate matters, including appeals, writ proceedings, petitions for review and rehearing,amicus curiaebriefs, and requests for publication and depublication of appellate opinions. He has written and opposed numerous dispositive motions in the trial court, including summary judgment motions and motions to dismiss as well as post-trial motions, and has participated in insurance coverage trials involving nine-figure claims.

Mr. Baron is a member of the American Bar Association, the appellate sections of the San Francisco and Santa Clara County bar associations, and the appellate section of DRI. He is a 1983 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and a graduate, with distinction, of Stanford University.


•Duane Morris LLP
- Partner, 2006-present
•Hancock Rothert & Bunshoft LLP
- Partner, 1996-2005
- Associate, 1983-1989, 1991-1995

Selected Publications

•Contributing Author,The Practitioner's Guide to Appellate Advocacy, American Bar Association, 2010
Henkel Corp. v. Hartford: Applying the Insurance Policy and the Public Policy of Enforcing Contracts, ABA Annual Meeting, August 2005
•Co-Author, State Insurance Law Trumps Government Contractors' FAR-Fetched Preemption Theory,Journal of Insurance Coverage, Autumn 2002
•Co-Author, Eye-Balling It: 'Cottle' proceedings are powerful pretrial tools to focus on the merits of claims, defenses or issues,The San Francisco Daily Journal, May 9, 2001
•Co-Author, The California Appellate Process: A Non-Lawyer's Guide, January 2000.
•Co-Author, Builder's Risk Insurance,Insuring Real Property(Matthew Bender & Company).

Selected Speaking Engagements

•Preserving and Presenting Appellate Issues in California, West-Thomson webinar, September 13, 2012
•Speaker, What's Hot in Asbestos, Forum For Environmental and Toxic Tort Issues Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois, October 5-6, 2006
•Issues Arising from Henkel Corp. v. Hartford, American Bar Association Annual Meeting, Hyatt Regency Hotel, Chicago, Illinois, August 5, 2005
•Insurance Case Law Update, 17th Annual Environmental Law Super Symposium, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Omni Hotel, Los Angeles, California, March 27, 2003
•Solving Difficult Allocation Problems: Part I, Mealey's Insurance Allocation Conference, The Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel, Pasadena, California, January 24-25, 2002

Reported CasesRepresentative Matters: APL Co. v. Valley Forge Ins. Co., 2013 U.S.App. LEXIS 20347 (9th Cir. Cal. Oct. 4, 2013); Won Ninth Circuit appeal for insurer establishing no insurance coverage for subject remediation costs; Airis SFO, LLC v. The City and County of San Francisco (California Court of Appeal, First District, Division One, unpublished opinion dated Sept. 22, 2010). Obtained a decision from the California Court of Appeal reinstating a $1.05 million jury verdict in favor a developer of air-cargo facilities against a major city and its airport. The appellate court reversed the JNOV overturning the verdict, ruling that the trial court erred in determining that the developer's claim for breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing was time-barred; American Casualty Co. of Reading, Pa., et al. v. International Creative Management, et al. (U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, order dated Sept. 10, 2010). Obtained a summary judgment order on behalf of insurers that required their insured to reimburse a $2.25 million settlement payment the insurers had advanced to settle an underlying action age-discrimination action; Olin Corp. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, London, et al. (2nd Cir. 2006) 468 F.3d 120. Briefed appeal in which the Second Circuit reversed a $25 million judgment against the firm's clients, finding that the trial court had improperly instructed the jury on the policy term property damage.; CreAgri, Inc. v. USANA Corp. (9th Cir. 2006) 474 F.3d 626. Briefed appeal in which the Ninth Circuit affirmed summary judgment concerning trademark infringement claims; Scottsdale Ins. Co. v. MV Transportation (2005) 36 Cal.4th 643. Submitted amicus curiae brief to the California Supreme Court, which upheld an insurer's right to recover defense costs where the insurer reserved rights and the underlying suit did not raise a potential for coverage; Zurich American Ins. Co. v. Watts Industries, Inc. (7th Cir. 2005) 417 F.3d 682. Briefed appeal in which the Seventh Circuit affirmed an order concerning a petition to compel arbitration and remanded certain issues to the district court; GATX Capital Corp. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, et al. Retained to serve as appellate counsel before and during trial of a complex action involving claims against aviation insurance policies. The case settled before trial; Cotter Corp. v. American Empire Surplus Lines Ins. Co. (2004) 90 P.3d 814. Briefed and argued appeal in the Colorado Supreme Court, which addressed coverage issues involving the application of the pollution exclusion and the scope of the duty to defend; Rosen v. State Farm General Ins. Co. (2003) 30 Cal.4th 1070. Submitted amicus curiae brief to the California Supreme Court, which held that courts cannot override express insurance policy wordings for reasons of public policy; Gray v. Underwriters at Lloyd's, London (California Court of Appeal, First District, Division One, unpublished opinion dated July 17, 2002, review denied). Briefed appeal in which the Court affirmed judgment for insurers, ruling that a Judge's Professional Liability Policy did not apply to the claim in question; Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's of London v. Superior Court (Powerine Oil Company) (2001) 24 Cal.4th 945, briefed appeal in the California Supreme Court, which affirmed summary adjudication for insurers, ruling that the term damages in liability insurance policies means money ordered by a court, and does not permit coverage for the costs of complying with government orders; Alpha Therapeutic Corp. v. The Home Insurance Company, et al. (2001). Retained after unfavorable appellate decision, submitted petition for review to the California Supreme Court, which accepted review of the coverage issues presented, including the question whether all sums allocation applies to the duty to indemnify. The case settled after review was granted; Procter and Companies v. Lockheed Martin Corp. (Santa Clara County Superior Court). In various orders between 1997 and 2001, the trial court dismissed $600 million in indemnity claims and $60 million in defense-cost claims during pre-trial proceedings, on demurrer and on summary adjudication; Successful depublication requests in Melton v. Industrial Indemnity Co. (ordered depublished on May 2, 2001), and Commercial Underwriters Ins. Co. v. Superior Court (ordered published on February 14, 2001); Amicus curiae briefs in various other appeals and writ proceedings, including Aydin Corp. v. First State Ins. Co. (1998) 18 Cal.4th 1183, and Travelers Casualty and Insurance Co. v. Superior Court (1998) 63 Cal.App.4th 1440.

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Office Information

William J. Baron

One Market Plaza, Suite 2200
San FranciscoCA 94105-1127


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