Stacy Monahan Tucker

Stacy Monahan Tucker: Attorney with Ropers, Majeski, Kohn & Bentley A Professional Corporation AV stamp icon
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Stacy Monahan Tucker is based in the firm’s Seattle office and represents clients throughout the Ninth Circuit. She specializes in the representation of insurers in ERISA, bad faith and coverage litigation. Her past representations include disability insurance bad faith claims, ERISA disability litigation, and property and liability claims brought under homeowner, automobile and commercial policies.

Ms. Tucker also has significant experience in employment litigation, including advising on and litigating complex compensation disputes and handling related SEC investigations, heading internal whistleblower investigations and defending against the related government investigations, wrongful termination lawsuits and advising on executive employment issues and ERISA benefits issues. She has particular expertise in the intersection of employment law and intellectual property protection, including the protection of trade secrets from employee or competitor theft, as well as privacy and data protection issues. Ms. Tucker also advises corporations with e-commerce and online listing issues, and represents clients in anti-counterfeiting and trademark, false advertising, unfair competition, trade dress and copyright litigation.

Ms. Tucker has extensive appellate experience and has filed successful appellate briefs before the Sixth, Seventh, Ninth and Federal Circuits. She is a regular speaker at the Association of California Insurance Companies’ General Counsel Seminar and has presented at the International Disability Insurance Society. She has authored articles on the shift in law nationwide away from reimbursement for insurance defenses provided under reservation of rights, on the erosion of the attorney-client privilege for in-house attorneys, and has been interviewed on the importance of employment policies and procedures.

Ms. Tucker obtained her J.D. from The University of Chicago Law School and her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Chicago, from which she graduated cum laude with honors in the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Science and Medicine. She is admitted to practice before all state and federal courts in California, Nevada, Oregon, Arizona and Washington, including the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Admission to Montana, Idaho and Alaska is pending as Ms. Tucker positions herself to provide seamless representation to her clients throughout the Ninth Circuit. She is also admitted to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. Prior to joining the partnership at Ropers Majeski, Ms. Tucker practiced law at Jones Day and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart and Sullivan. She is peer rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell, its highest possible rating.

Ms. Tucker’s recent successes in court include:

Bascom v. Liberty Life Assurance Co. of Boston and The Regents of the University of California,Sup. Ct. of Cal., Court, Alameda County, Case No. RG15767468 California Superior Court (2016) Plaintiff sued insurer and prior employer for termination of disability benefits. Plaintiff’s employer, The Regents of the University of California, was sued for fraud and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The Regents was dismissed with prejudice after demurring to the complaint because the California Government Tort Claims Act bars tort claims against state entities like the University of California, and plaintiff’s attempt to circumvent the Act by arguing that The Regents was “engaged in the business of insurance” by offering insurance policies to its employees and therefore subject to the California Insurance Codes was unavailing.

Moghaddam v. Liberty Life Assur. Co., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163303 (C.D. Cal. Oct. 27, 2015) The court granted Liberty Life’s motion for summary judgment on the basis of judicial estoppel and dismissed the case with prejudice. Where plaintiff had previously alleged in another court action against her employer that she was discriminated against for her national origin and terminated from her job pretextually after complaining, she was judicially estopped from later claiming that she had been disabled from that job at the time she was fired.

Boler v. 3D International, LLC, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163850 (E.D. Cal. Dec. 4, 2015) The court granted Peerless’ motion for judgment on the pleadings and dismissed Peerless with prejudice. Where 3D’s business liability insurance policy explicitly excluded coverage for claims of “trademark infringement”, it could not obtain coverage by attempting to style the claims against it as “slogan infringement.” The claims did not meet the legal definition of “slogan infringement” and therefore there can be no coverage for the claims.

Sethi v. Seagate US LLC Grp. Disability Income Plan, 597 F. App'x 405, 406 (9th Cir. 2014) (upheld on appeal)

Prondzinksi v. California Casualty Indemnity Exchange, Sup. Ct. of Cal, Sonoma County, Case No. SCV-253507 (2014) Pro se Plaintiff sued her insurer after she received less than her policy limits in an uninsured motorist arbitration. After successive successful demurrers, the court dismissed the case with prejudice as California Casualty’s arbitration of the case was required by law and its conduct during litigation was protected by the litigation privilege.
Perez-Jones v. Liberty Life Assurance Co. of Boston et al., Case No. CV 11-9518 JAK (AJW) (C.D. Cal 2014) The court ruled after a bench trial that Plaintiff had knowingly and voluntarily waived her rights to pursue her claim under ERISA when she signed a severance agreement terminating her employment that explicitly waived ERISA rights, affirmed, Perez Jones v Liberty Life Assurance Co. of Boston et al, 2016 U.S. LEXIS 6233 (9th Cir. 2016).
Rashed v. Safeco Insurance Co. of Illinois, Case No. 1:12-cv-00037-AWI-MJS (E.D. Cal. 2013) Plaintiffs alleged that over $250,000 in property was stolen from their residence in a 90 minute window, but were unable to provide any receipts or photographs of the items. Their claim had been denied after investigation showed that plaintiffs were in the process of filing for bankruptcy, in direct contradiction to their statements to Safeco. They filed suit for breach of contract and the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing as well as racial discrimination. Through in-depth discovery and depositions we demonstrated significant holes in Plaintiffs’ claims. After the conclusion of discovery, Plaintiffs agreed to dismiss their claims voluntarily with no settlement agreement rather than respond to our motion for summary judgment.
Johnson v. Liberty Mut. Ins., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13867 (N.D. Cal. 2013) Where a pro se plaintiff sought to hold Liberty Mutual responsible for information provided to a court during criminal juvenile proceedings, the court upheld Liberty Mutual’s motion to dismiss the complaint as its actions were protected by the litigation privilege.
•Sethi v. Seagate US LLC Group Disability Income Plan, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126140 (N.D. Cal. 2012) The court ruled after a bench trial that Liberty Life Assurance Co. of Boston’s termination of plaintiff’s disability claim was not an abuse of discretion under ERISA.
Martin v. Safeco Ins. Co. of Am., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105244 (E.D. Cal. 2012) The court denied Plaintiff’s motion to compel interrogatory responses as impermissible requests for legal conclusions.
Whited v Round Table Dev’t Co. et al, Sup. Ct. of Cal, Solano County, Case No. FCS036987 (2011) After an auto accident while driving a personal vehicle to deliver pizza, Plaintiff sued to obtain uninsured motorist coverage benefits through his employer Round Table, though their policy covered only company-owned vehicles. Plaintiff argued that Cal. Ins. Code 11580.2 required that Round Table purchase coverage for all vehicles. Round Table and its insurer demurred as 11580.2 exempts excess and umbrella polices such as the Round Table policy. The court dismissed the complaint with prejudice.
1777 Lafayette Partners v. Golden Gate Ins. Co. et al., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48562 (N.D. Cal. 2011) The court ruled on summary judgment that Peerless Insurance Company had no duty to defend Plaintiffs’ under their commercial insurance policy in the underyling construction defect action brought against them because the alienated premises exclusion barred coverage. Nor were the individual plaintiffs covered under the policy because they were not defined as insureds. Finally, there was no breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.
Gray v. Comcast's Long Term Disability Ins. Plan, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127384 (N.D. Cal. 2010) Plaintiff was a sales account representative for Comcast on an approved disability claim. Plaintiff brought suit alleging that Liberty Life improperly calculated his Annual Benefits Base Rate from his commission-based salary, which in turn determined his monthly benefits. The court ruled after bench trial that Plaintiff’s Annual Benefits Base Rate had been properly calculated by Liberty and there was no abuse of discretion.


•How Disability Agents Can Avoid Litigation
California Broker Magazine - January 23, 2015
Stacy Monahan Tucker
As an agent or broker, what are your duties to your clients and the insurance companies in a disability claim? How can you navigate those duties while advising your clients in the claim process and protecting yourself from litigation? Let’s start with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).
•Insurers Beware: Reimbursement for Defense Under Reservation of Rights
Claims Journal - April 28, 2014
Stacy Monahan Tucker
•The Changing Face of Right to Reimbursement for Defenses Provided under Reservation of Rights
Property Casualty 360 Magazine - March 5, 2014
Stacy Monahan Tucker

Speaking Engagements

•Insurance & Casualty Litigation 2015 - 2016: The Year in Review
May 3, 2016, San Francisco
May 12, 2016, New York
May 19, 2016, Los Angeles
Presenters: Jennifer E. Acheson, Tim M. Agajanian, Lael D. Andara, Jason L. Beckerman, Lawrence Borys, Michael J. Brady, Blaise U. Chow, John G. Dooling, Stephen J. Erigero, Alan J. Hart, Nicole S. Healy, Geoffrey W. Heineman, Amber W. Locklear, Andrew L. Margulis, Enrique Marinez, Frank J. Pagliaro, Dean A. Pappas, Jung H. Park, E. Lacey Rice, Todd A. Roberts, Kathleen Strickland, Robert A. Suarez, Stacy Monahan Tucker, Eric C. Weissman
•To IME or Not To IME
September 29, 2015
Presenter: Stacy Monahan Tucker
•Clear and Present Danger - Understanding Cyber Risks and the Benefits and Limitations of Cyber Insurance
July 21, 2015
Presenter: Stacy Monahan Tucker
•Insurance & Casualty Litigation 2014-2015: The Year in Review
May 13, 2015, Los Angeles
May 19, 2015, San Francisco
May 28, 2015, New York
Presenters: Lael D. Andara, Scott W. Bermack, Michael J. Brady, Pamela E. Cogan (Retired), Stephen J. Erigero, Nicole S. Healy, Geoffrey W. Heineman, Amber W. Locklear, Andrew L. Margulis, Enrique Marinez, Frank J. Pagliaro, Dean A. Pappas, Todd A. Roberts, Michon M. Spinelli, Robert A. Suarez, Stacy Monahan Tucker
•The Duties of Agents and Brokers in the Claims Process: Or, How Can Agents and Brokers Avoid Future Litigation?
October 14, 2014
Presenter: Stacy Monahan Tucker
•Big Brother May Be Watching After All: The Erosion of the Attorney- Client Privilege in Insurance Coverage Disputes
July 23, 2014
Presenter: Stacy Monahan Tucker
•Let the Insurer Beware: The Changing Face of the Right to Reimbursement For Defenses Provided Under Reservation of Rights
July 24-25, 2013
Presenter: Stacy Monahan Tucker
•Insurance & Casualty Litigation 2011 - 2012: The Year in Review
May 1, 2012, Sacramento
May 3, 2012, San Francisco
May 9, 2012, Los Angeles
May 10, 2012, Orange County
May 22, 2012, Hartford
May 23, 2012, New York
Presenters: Jennifer E. Acheson, Lael D. Andara, Michael J. Brady, Kevin P. Cody, Pamela E. Cogan (Retired), Stephen J. Erigero, Geoffrey W. Heineman, Andrew L. Margulis, Enrique Marinez, Frank J. Pagliaro, Dean A. Pappas, Todd A. Roberts, Stacy Monahan Tucker


•Employment at Will: Why Businesses Need to Understand How Employment Policies Interact With Employment Laws
Smart Business Magazine - February 1, 2014
By Roger Vozar
Stacy Monahan Tucker
• Bay Area People
San Francisco Business Times - August 26, 2013
Stacy Monahan Tucker
RMKB partner Stacy Tucker has been added to the Bay Area People online section of San Francisco Business Times.

Areas of Practice (31)

  • Appellate
  • Business And Commercial Litigation
  • Insurance Services
  • Healthcare
  • Bad Faith
  • Coverage
  • Fraud
  • Life
  • Health & Disability
  • Unfair Business Practices
  • White Collar Crime
  • Contract/UCC
  • Corporate Governance/Partnership Disputes
  • Director/Officer Liability (including Non-Profits)
  • Banking/Consumer Credit
  • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
  • Employment
  • Employee/Employer Relations
  • Termination Procedures
  • Compliance with Federal and State Employment Law
  • Entertainment
  • Intellectual Property
  • Trade Secret Protection and Litigation
  • Unfair Competition
  • Copyright
  • Domain Name and Trademark Litigation
  • Media & Advertising
  • Biotechnology
  • Insurance
  • Technology

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
(650)780-1719  Phone
(650)780-1701  Fax
Year of First Admission:
USDC: Eastern District of California; USDC: Eastern District of Washington; USDC: Western District of Washington; California; District of Columbia; US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; USDC: Central District of California; USDC: Northern District of California; Oregon; Washington; Nevada; USDC: Southern District of California

Memberships & Associations

•State Bar of California
•Washington, D.C. Bar Association
•Washington Defense Trial Lawyers, Insurance Litigation Committee
•Washington State Bar Association
•Association of Defense Counsel of Northern California and Nevada (ADCNC)
•International Disability Insurance Society
•DRI: Life, Health & Disability Insurance Law Committee
•DRI: Employment Law Committee
•DRI: Insurance Law Committee
•Northwest Insurance Coverage Association
•Nevada State Bar Association
•State Bar of Nevada

Reported Cases:
Representative Experience: Insurance, Government Tort Claims Act; Alameda County Superior Court; Defendant - Insurance Company; Bad Faith , Insurance Services; Plaintiff sued both her disability insurer and her employer, The Regents of the University of California, for the termination of her disability benefits. She brought allegations against the The Regents of the University of California for fraud and intentional infliction of emotional distress for alleged misstatements in the Plan Booklet distributed by The Regents to all employees describing the insurance offered.; Plaintiff argued that an exception to the Gov't Tort Claims Act applied because The Regents should be held directly liable for violations of Cal. Ins. Code. Section 790.03, which imposes a duty on an entity engaged in the business of insurance . We successfully explained that The Regents is not engaged in the business of insurance simply by offering an insurance plan to its employees and forwarding premiums for that plan to the insurer, and the court dismissed The Regents from the action with prejudice.; Insurance, severance agreement; Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals; Defendant - Insurance Company; ERISA , Insurance Services; Plaintiff sued Liberty Life and the Plan under ERISA for termination of her disability benefits. During litigation Liberty Life learned that Plaintiff had gone back to work, terminated her employment during her claim and entered into a severance agreement waiving her rights under ERISA . Instead of informing Liberty Life of this fact, Plaintiff had claimed that she tried to return to work, was unable to manage it, and reopened her disability claim though she was actually no longer employed.; The trial court held that the severance agreement was admissible though it was not in the administrative record and that it waived her ability to bring suit. The Ninth Circuit affirmed this decision, holding that plaintiff had terminated her employment when she signed the severance agreement and therefore had no claim to pursue under ERISA.; Breach of Contract; Bad Faith; Misrepresentation; Discrimination; United States District Court, Eastern District of California; Defendant; Insurance Company; Bad Faith , Business And Commercial Litigation , Insurance Services; The plaintiffs claimed over a quarter of a million dollars in goods were stolen from their home in a two hour period and filed a claim for reimbursement on their homeowners insurance. During the investigation a number of discrepancies arose between the plaintiffs' various statements and the evidence available. The claim was denied for failure to cooperate with the investigation and the plaintiffs subsequently filed suit. The plaintiffs alleged breach of contract, bad faith and racial discrimination.; During the course of discovery, we obtained significant evidence of the plaintiffs' misrepresentations, and confirmed their failure to cooperate with the investigation under the terms of the policy. Confronted with the evidence against them, the plaintiffs chose to voluntarily dismiss the case on the eve of our filing for summary judgment. No settlement was paid.; Northern District of California; Defendant, Hospital System; Business And Commercial Litigation , Employment Litigation and Dispute Resolution; Ex-employees sued the health system for which they had worked as qui tam relators under the False Claims Act, alleging that they witnessed Medicare fraud during their employment.; After three motions to dismiss relating to the sufficiency of the relators' allegations, which were granted with leave to amend, the primary relator dropped out of the suit. We were able to successfully argue that the remaining relators were not the original source of the information as required under the FCA when a prior public disclosure existed, and that the court therefore did not have subject matter jurisdiction. The court dismissed the action with prejudice.; Northern District of California; Defendant, Internet Website; Business And Commercial Litigation , Copyright, Domain Name and Trademark Litigation; Plaintiff sued Defendant, an online price comparison and shopping website, direct and contributory and vicarious trademark violations for listings of allegedly counterfeit products. Defendant explained that the listings were not generated by the Defendant and its service terms and online fraud prevention efforts as outlined by Tiffany Inc. v eBay , 600 F.3d 93 (2d. Cir. 2010.); After extensive discovery motion practice in which defendant consistently prevailed, the parties reached a confidential settlement.; Defendant, Insurance Company, Insurance Plan; Business And Commercial Litigation , Employment Litigation and Dispute Resolution , ERISA , Insurance Services; Plaintiff sued for ERISA benefits valued at over $3 million. Investigation proved that while seeking benefits, Plaintiff had accepted a severance package from her employer and signed a release without informing her insurance company. Plaintiff claimed she was told the release would not affect her ability to receive benefits.; The court concluded that the severance agreement released all ERISA claims against the employer, its insurance plan and the insurer if Plaintiff signed the release knowingly and voluntarily. The court conducted a bench trial on the issue of knowing and voluntary release and ruled that Plaintiff was not credible and she had knowingly and voluntarily her rights to her ERISA benefits. The court entered judgment in favor of defendants.; Breach of Contract; Bad Faith; United States District Court; Northern District of California; Defendant; Insurance Company; Bad Faith , Business And Commercial Litigation , Insurance Services; A limited partnership created for real estate development was sued for construction defects after the sale of a property they developed. The partnership sought a defense from their insurance company both for the partnership and the individual partners sued. Because the partnership had rented out the property as apartments prior to selling the property, the insurer maintained that the claim was excluded due to an exclusion in the policy for damage to property you own, rent or occupy. The insured's argued that they rented out individual units but not the entire building, and that the you applied only to the partnership, not the individual partners.; The parties filed cross motions for summary judgment. The court upheld the insurer's interpretation of the contract and dismissed the complaint with prejudice.; Claim for Disability Benefits Governed by ERISA; United States District Court, Northern District of California; Defendant; Insurance Company; Business And Commercial Litigation , ERISA , Insurance Services; Insured sought reinstatement of disability benefits despite admissions that she could work in her family store. Plaintiff argued that such work did not meet her status in life.; The parties filed cross motions for judgment. The court determined that the status in life standard was a state law standard which was preempted by ERISA, and the insurance contract provided no obligation to maintain an insured's status in life. As plaintiff was able to work in an occupation, she was not disabled and not entitled to benefits under the policy. Plaintiff's complaint was dismissed with prejudice.; Defendant, Insurance Company. Practice Areas, Business and Commercial Litigation, Insurance Services, Arbitration; Business And Commercial Litigation , Insurance Services; Plaintiff insured filed an uninsured motorist claim. After rejecting a series of settlement offers from the insurer, the case went to mandatory arbitration where plaintiff was awarded less than the insurer's final settlement offer. Plaintiff sued the insurer for bad faith for its alleged conduct in the investigation of her claim and in the arbitration.; Defendant demurred twice to plaintiff's complaints. The court sustained each demurrer. It granted plaintiff leave to amend after the first demurrer but sustained the second demurrer without leave to amend, finding that plaintiff was not able to allege a cognizable cause of action based on the allegations in the complaints filed in the litigation.; Disability insurance; US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; Insurance Services; Plaintiff sued insurer Liberty Life for wrongful termination of her disability insurance benefits under ERISA. Liberty Life prevailed at trial at the district court level. Plaintiff appealed, alleging that the district court incorrectly decided the case.; The Ninth Circuit upheld Liberty Life's victory at the district court level and confirmed that the matter had been decided correctly.; Insurance coverage; trademark infringement; slogan infringement; USDC: Eastern District of California; Insurance Services , Intellectual Property; 3D International was sued by plaintiff for trademark infringement for use of a similar product name and mark. 3D tendered the suit to Peerless Insurance Company under its business liability insurance policy. That policy excluded coverage for claims of trademark infringement, so the claim was denied. 3D alleged that the trademark infringement was properly slogan infringement, which was covered under the policy. 3D then counter-sued Peerless as a third party defendant in the existing action.; The court granted our motion for judgment on the pleadings, holding that our analysis was correct and the issues in the Boler complaint related to trademark infringement and not slogan infringement as 3D argued. Peerless was dismissed from the litigation with prejudice.; Disability insurance; judicial estoppel, fraud, discrimination, retaliation; USDC: Central District of California; insurance company; Employment , Insurance Services; Plaintiff was a bank associate at Wells Fargo who made a claim for disability benefits almost a year after being terminated from her position. She refused to state the basis for her termination and simply stated that she began treatment for depression two weeks prior to her termination, and was disabled from that time forward. Liberty Life investigated the claim and determined plaintiff was not disabled from her own job or any other job, and upheld its decision on appeal. Plaintiff then sued under ERISA for denial of insurance benefits.; The court granted Liberty Life's motion for summary judgment on the basis of judicial estoppel and dismissed the case with prejudice. Where plaintiff had previously alleged in another court action against her employer that she was discriminated against for her national origin and terminated from her job pretextually after complaining, she was judicially estopped from later alleging that she was disabled from her job at the time of her termination. The court dismissed the action with prejudice.

Peer Reviews

Redwood City, California

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