Bruce Celebrezze has been practicing in the field of insurance law for virtually his entire legal career. As one of the country’s leading insurance industry litigators, he has represented a wide variety of international, national and regional insurers. In addition, Bruce is widely published as a leading authority in the field.
Bruce is exceptionally well regarded by his peers and the wider market, with a national practice that focuses on complex general liability, including mass torts involving sexual abuse, other long-tail claims, consumer products, personal and advertising injury, excess and specialty lines, and first-party property. He also spends a substantial portion of his practice handling commercial disputes for insurers.
Bruce has received many honors and recognitions for his insurance work and excellence. He served as President of the prestigious American College of Coverage Counsel. Bruce has been recognized by the preeminent legal directory Chambers USA as a leader in insurance with a Band 1 ranking. His peers describe him as "extremely knowledgeable, capable and commercially astute" and as an attorney who "would be on any insurer’s list." Other client quotes in past Chambers rankings include, "he is incredibly responsive, as smart as they come and exceptionally skilled in this area of the law", "a very hard-working, thoughtful, 'never say die' kind of guy", "an incredible lawyer" who is "incredibly smart" and "very self-aware."
Bruce is also recognized as "a great trial lawyer" who is "well known in the industry" for his insurance litigation. Bruce combines "good instincts with a real understanding of insurer and policyholder concerns."
Bruce has received numerous acknowledgements by esteemed legal publications, and he was recently recognized by Legal 500 for the category "Insurance: Advice to Insurers." He has also been recognized by Benchmark Litigation as a “California Litigation Star” and "Local Litigation Star." Bruce is nominated by Who's Who Legal as a "Thought Leader – Insurance & Reinsurance," (2019-current). Bruce has also been recognized by Who’s Who Legal: Insurance & Reinsurance (2014-current).
- US District Courts for the Central, Eastern, Northern and Southern Districts of California
- US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- US District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan
- US Court of Appeals for the Sixth and Ninth Circuits
- J.D., University of Michigan Law School, 1979
- A.B., with high honors, University of Notre Dame, 1976
- American College of Coverage Counsel (ACCC)
- Former Board of Regents and Executive Committee, former President
- Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC)
- Foundation Board of Directors
- Former Senior Director
- Former Executive Committee
- Former Litigation Management College Graduate Program, Dean
- Insurance Coverage Section, former Chair
- Defense Research Institute
- St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland, Ohio
- President’s Visiting Committee, Chair
- Mechanics’ Institute in San Francisco
- Board of Trustees, 2000-2016
- Former President
- City and County of San Francisco
- Civil grand jury member, 1996-1997
- Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, et al., v. ConAgra Grocery Products Company. The California Court of Appeal, relying on California Insurance Code § 533, affirmed a ruling that insurers were not liable to pay a nine-figure judgment against the policyholder for willful promotion of lead paint products with actual knowledge of their hazards.
- Northfield Insurance Company v. Uriel Guerreo Pizano and Shawn Thrash. The US District Court for the Eastern District of California granted partial summary judgment to the firm’s insurer client. An employee of a bar struck an elderly woman in a crosswalk causing severe injuries to which she later succumbed. The firm represented the establishment’s insurer. Partial summary judgment was granted based on an auto exclusion that precluded coverage for the underlying personal injury case found to have arisen from an employee-driven vehicle.
- Lewis v. Greenwich Insurance Company. The United States District Court for the District of New Mexico granted summary judgment to the firm’s insurer client. The firm’s client insured a large multinational corporation under a nationwide program of automobile insurance covering liability exposures. The insured corporation elected not to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage for its employees. After the underlying plaintiff was involved in an automobile collision with an underinsured driver, she sought to recover underinsured motorist benefits from the insurer. The insurer declined coverage on the grounds that its insured, the multinational corporation/employer of plaintiff, had elected not to purchase underinsured motorist coverage. The federal court found no coverage, enforcing the employer’s clear election and New Mexico statutory law.
- Travelers Property Casualty Company of America v. KLA-Tencor Corporation. The California Court of Appeal, in a reported opinion, affirmed summary judgment finding no duty to defend under Coverage B of commercial general liability policy for underlying Walker Process antitrust claim pending in federal district court in Texas and Federal Circuit.
- Travelers Property Casualty Company of America v. KFx Medical Corporation. The Court of Appeals affirmed district court finding no duty to defend underlying patent claims under general liability insurance policy, relying on language in insuring agreement and intellectual property exclusion.
- Travelers Property Casualty Company of America v. Federal Recovery Services, Inc. The court found no duty to defend claim under errors and omissions policy for intentional refusal to return data.
- ReadyLink Healthcare, Inc. v. State Compensation Insurance Fund. Issue preclusion barred an employer’s challenge to a California state agency’s calculation of workers’ compensation premium, despite allegation of federal preemption.
- Tria Beauty, Inc. v. National Fire Insurance Company of Hartford. The court found no duty to defend underlying claims for false advertising, unfair competition, and trademark infringement under general liability insurance policy.
- City of Evansville v. U.S. Fidelity and Guar. Co. Appellate court ruled that municipality’s excess layer general liability policies were not triggered when action sought to prevent future pollution rather than remediate past pollution.
- The Travelers Property Casualty Company of America v. Computer Sciences Corporation. Court of Appeal found no duty to defend underlying class action litigation regarding use of “Colossus” software program to evaluate bodily injury claims resulting in uninsured motorists and underinsured motorists claims.
- Chair, ACCEC Insurance Law Symposium, Ann Arbor, Michigan, October 2017
- Presenter, “War and Peace (The Abridged Version): Application of the War and Terrorism Exclusions,” American College of Coverage & Extracontractual Counsel Annual Meeting, Chicago, llinois, May 2017
- Presenter, “The Inherent Difficulties in Interpreting the Application of the War Exclusion,” Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, Coverage Masters, Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada, July 2016
- Presenter, “Coverage B: Personal Injury and Advertising Injury Liability Trends,” DRI Insurance Coverage and Claims Institute, Chicago, Illinois, April 2016
- Presenter, “Duty to Defend: California Trends,” Client meeting, Hartford, Connecticut, February 2015
- Presenter, “Issues Regarding Additional Insured’s and Claims By Insurers,” Client meeting, Los Angeles, California, September 2014
- Presenter, “Defective Construction Claims: Where Breach of Warranty and Covered Occurrences Merge or Divide,” American College of Extracontractual Counsel 2014 Insurance Law Symposium, March 2014
- Presenter, “Hot Topics in Coverage and Bad Faith Litigation,” Client meeting, June 2014
- Lecturer, Litigation Management College Graduate Program, Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, 2010-2014