Richard A. Hodyl, Jr. represents insurers and reinsurers in complex, high-stakes insurance- coverage litigation and arbitration. He also advocates for insurers and leading insurance industry trade groups before state and federal administrative, regulatory, and legislative bodies. Rich’s extensive experience in the field of insurance also includes advising clients regarding the drafting of policy language and endorsements, authoring scholarly articles, and speaking at seminars and conferences across the country on insurance coverage issues. He has appeared as lead amicus counsel on behalf of national insurance trade organizations in more than 30 appeals in state and federal courts across the country and before the Supreme Court of the United States. Rich also served on the faculty of the Insurance School of Chicago and has taught multiple courses in underwriting, claims and insurance company management in both CPCU and AIC courses of study.
Rich is an elected and active member of the American Law Institute, an elite legal organization which limits its membership to lawyers, judges, and law professors of the highest qualifications, and is the leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and otherwise improve the law. Rich is rated “AV Preeminent” in Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™, the highest level of professional excellence. Rich has also been recognized as one of the top insurance litigation attorneys in Illinois by Super Lawyers® magazine.
Insurance and Reinsurance
- Lead counsel representing insurer in dispute over terms of an indemnity policy covering an insured’s contractual obligations relating to pollution conditions at a manufacturing plant sold by the insured in the 1980s.
- Lead counsel representing insurer in declaratory judgment action relating to PCB contamination in stormwater and soil at the insured’s scrap metal recycling plant and affecting the local municipal POTW and surrounding properties.
- Lead counsel representing insurer in coverage litigation pertaining to pollution and other nuisance claims arising from the insured’s decades-long stone quarry mining operation.
- Lead counsel representing insurer in coverage dispute and declaratory judgment action against insured developer arising from the alleged defective construction of a 16-story, 341,000-square-foot office tower with adjacent 30-story, 387,000-square-foot residential tower and retail space.
- Served on American Law Institute’s Member Consultative Group for a multi-year drafting project culminating in the publication of the ALI’s Restatement on Insurance Law.
- Lead counsel representing insurer in coverage dispute and declaratory judgment action against insured roofing subcontractor for claims arising from the alleged defective installation of a roofing system on a collegiate student center and library.
- Lead counsel representing insurer in connection with disputes between insurer and prior purchaser of the insured’s manufacturing site for environmental claims and claims made under a contractual indemnity policy.
- Lead counsel representing insurer in coverage dispute and declaratory judgment action against insured general contractor for claims arising from the alleged defective construction of a 3-story, 153 room hotel.
- Obtained summary judgment in favor of insurer in arbitration of dispute with insured petroleum manufacturer regarding whether coverage existed under general liability policy for environmental investigation and remediation costs arising from the insured’s leaking petroleum storage tanks and pipes. The arbitration panel found in favor of the insurer, ruling there was no coverage under the policy and that coverage was not available under a limited pollution coverage endorsement attached to the policy.
- Obtained summary judgment in favor of insurer in arbitration over whether coverage existed under municipal liability policy for civil rights claims asserted against nearly two dozen police officers employed by an insured municipality. The arbitration panel interpreted manuscript policy language in favor of the insurer and ruled that the insurer had no duty to defend.
- Obtained ruling in favor of insurer in arbitration involving multiple claims asserted against an insured municipal corporation alleging improper zoning and permitting practices. Arbitration panel ruled in favor of insurer and held that insurer had no duty to defend.
- Successfully defended insurer before the Illinois Department of Insurance against allegations that the insurer’s policy cancellation and non-renewal practices were unlawful. Obtained ruling that the insurer’s cancellation and non-renewal practices were in compliance with the Illinois Insurance Code.
- Successfully defended insurer in declaratory judgment lawsuit filed by insured firearm manufacturer seeking to recover defense costs for 30 pending product liability lawsuits. Judgment entered in insurer’s favor on the basis that products exclusions insurer’s general liability policies barred coverage for defense of these lawsuits.
- Defended insurer in declaratory judgment action against insured waste disposal company involving pollution claims arising at three landfills. Matter was ultimately settled on terms favorable to client.
- Member of insurance company management team in the successful sale of a specialty insurer (writing approximately $120 million in direct written premium) and, as part of that team, was responsible for due diligence matters pertaining to claims, human resources and general operations functions within the company.
- Successfully represented non-standard automobile insurer in multiple market conduct examinations by state insurance departments.
- Lead counsel in defense of premises liability lawsuit brought by residents of public housing authority for severe burns suffered by two-year-old child caused when allegedly defective stove tipped over and spilled boiling cooking oil and grease. Filed cross-claim against range manufacturer based on defective design/improper warnings. More than 50 depositions were taken in this case and more than 1 million pages of documents produced. Matter settled on terms favorable to client.
- Lead counsel in defense of insurer in Insurance coverage dispute arising from alleged environmental contamination caused by manufactured gas plants that operated in the Chicago metropolitan area from the early 1900’s to the 1950’s.
- Lead counsel in defense of insurer in action seeking garnishment of corporate assets for the alleged failure of client to make approximately $300,000 in payments allegedly due under structured settlement agreement. Result: dismissal of action against client with no payment to plaintiff.
- Lead counsel in insurer’s defense of Insurance coverage dispute arising from alleged environmental contamination caused by release of trichloroethelyne (TCE) from newspaper printing facility in Orlando, Florida. Case settled on terms favorable to client.
- Lead counsel in declaratory judgment action filed by brass refinishing company against its liability insurers seeking a declaration that insurers had a duty to defend the company and indemnify it against claims that the refinishing operations caused environmental contamination in North Chicago, Illinois.
- Lead counsel representing insurer in declaratory judgment action filed by the insurer in Madison County, Illinois seeking a declaration that equitable conversion doctrine did not create a right for contract purchaser of property to make a claim under contract seller’s farmowners policy where a fire destroyed a farm building prior to the completion of the sale of the property.
- Lead counsel representing insurer that filed declaratory judgment action in Madison County, Illinois seeking declaration that assault and battery and “absolute” liquor exclusions in liability policy barred coverage to insured bar owner in suit against it by one patron allegedly injured on bar premises by another intoxicated patron.
- Providing legal advice on insurance coverage arising from the COVID-19 pandemic under primary and excess layer liability insurance policies.
Representative Matters As Lead Counsel for Amici CuriaeRepresentative Matters Before The Supreme Court of the United States
John Ashcroft, Attorney General of the United States v. American Civil Liberties Union
Venue: United States Supreme Court
Issue: Appointed Special Assistant States Attorney and served as lead counsel arguing on behalf of the People of DuPage County, Illinois on the issue of whether Child Online Protection Act (COPA) was a valid restraint on commercial free speech rights of on-line vendors of pornographic content.
Vanliner Ins. Co. v. Richard Boone
Venue: United States Supreme Court
Issue: Lead counsel and author of petition for writ of certiorari addressing the issue of whether claim department communications with counsel prior to coverage denial were privileged communications.
Cooper Industries, Inc. v. Leatherman Tool Group, Inc.
Venue: United States Supreme Court
Description: Lead counsel and author of brief supporting the adoption of de novo standard of review for constitutional challenges to the excessiveness of punitive damage awards.
Lorillard Tobacco Co. v. Thomas R. Reilly, Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Venue: United States Supreme Court
Description: Appointed Special Assistant States Attorney and served as lead counsel arguing on behalf of the People of DuPage County, Illinois that the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Licensing Act (FCLAA) did not preempt Massachusetts regulations that banned the tobacco product advertising within 1000 feet of schools and playgrounds and that those regulations did not violate tobacco manufacturers’ commercial speech rights under the First Amendment.
Consolidated Rail Corp. v. Wightman
Venue: United States Supreme Court
Description: Lead counsel and author of brief urging reversal of $15 million punitive damage judgment against railroad arising out of destruction of automobile valued at approximately $2,500.
John Deere Ins. Co. v. Guillermo Nueva and Los Angeles Met. Trans. Auth.
Venue: United States Supreme Court
Description: Lead counsel and author of brief urging the Court to review Ninth Circuit’s expansive interpretation of United States Department of Transportation MCS-90 mandatory endorsement.
Representative Matters In Other Federal Courts
Carson Harbor Village v. Unocal Corp.
Venue: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (en banc)
Description: Lead counsel and author of brief supporting the position that that the passive migration of hazardous substances does not constitute a “disposal” under CERCLA for former site owners.
Ellett Brothers v. USF&G, et al.
Venue: United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Description: Lead counsel and author of brief urging the court to reject firearm distributor’s request to certify questions to the South Carolina Supreme Court. Authored amicus brief supporting USF&G’s position that underlying complaint seeking injunctive relief was not a claim seeking “bodily injury” or “property damage” within meaning of CGL policy.
Result: Firearm distributor’s request for certification denied and ruling in insurer’s favor that CGL policies did not have duty to defend or indemnify Ellett Brothers in underlying action.
Representative Matters in State Supreme Courts
State Farm Mutual Ins. Co. v. Avery, et al.
Type of case: Insurance Bad Faith, Punitive Damages, Due Process
Venue: Illinois Supreme Court
Description: Lead counsel and author of brief urging the court to grant review of $1.2 billion judgment against State Farm. Result: Appeal pending. This brief was the first to argue that State Farm was entitled to an appeal as a matter of right because the appealable error was first committed at the appellate level when the appellate court erroneously applied an abuse of discretion standard when it should have performed a de novo review. This legal argument was subsequently adopted by State Farm in its briefs.
Davis v. Wampler, et al.
Venue: Indiana Supreme Court
Description: Lead counsel and author of brief urging the court to grant transfer of case to review appellate court’s ruling that filing of complaint and payment of filing fee were sufficient to satisfy Indiana statute of limitations and that issuance of summons was not required.
- Morrison v. Mountain Laurel Assurance Co.
Venue: Pennsylvania Supreme Court
Description: Lead counsel and author of brief filed in Pennsylvania Supreme Court urging dismissal of appeal allowing appellate court decision striking punitive damages and find policy cancellation proper to stand.
Result: Appeal dismissed as being improvidently granted.
Representative Federal and State Legislative and Public Policy Matters
United States Postal Service Postage Rate Reform
Testified on behalf of insurance industry before United States Postal Service panel urging the postal service to reject proposals that imposed pre-sort and bar code requirements as prerequisites for small business to obtain postal rate discounts.
Restatement of the Law (Third), The Law Governing Lawyers
Lead attorney on National Association of Independent Insurers task force assembled to contact and lobby members of the American Law Institute to oppose any modification in Restatement language that would find a conflict to exist simply because an insurer hired and paid for counsel to defend its insureds. Result: references to possible conflicts in the tripartite relationship were limited to reporter notes and comments sections and were not included in main Restatement language.
Illinois Proportionate Share Liability Statute
Administrative Hearings before Illinois Pollution Control Board. Argued successfully for rules which eliminated environmental liability for chemical company clients of the firm conducting business in Illinois.
Illinois Boating While Intoxicated Statute
Testified as National Chairperson of National Recreational Boating Safety Coalition (Washington, D.C.)(a coalition comprised of numerous trade groups from the insurance, boating manufacturer, and recreational boating industries and NTSB) before Illinois Senate Transportation Committee in support of instituting .08 blood alcohol limitations for operators of vessels on Illinois’ waterways. Drafted model boating while intoxicated legislation that was ultimately adopted in significant part by Illinois legislature. (625 ILCS 45/5-16. Original legislation: P.A. 89-445, eff. 2-7-96; 90-215, eff. 1-1-98; 90-655, eff. 7-30-98)
Rhode Island Lead Paint Legislation
Testified before State Senate Committee on Health against bill seeking to ban the use of lead paint and lead liability exclusions in commercial property insurance policies. The lead paint exclusion bill failed to pass.
Louisiana Absolute Pollution Exclusion Task Force
Appointed by Louisiana insurance commissioner James Brown to Louisiana Insurance Department Task Force to comment and respond to the insurance department’s proposed regulations to ban the use of “absolute” pollution exclusions in all insurance policies issued or delivered in Louisiana.
Illinois Secretary of State Motor Vehicle Report Fee Increases
Successfully negotiated directly with Senate president to reach an accord between insurers and the sponsors of a bill proposing to increase Illinois MVR fees from $2 to $5 per report. The agreement ultimately reached provided that insurers would not oppose the proposed MVR fee increase provided that Illinois would perform substantial computer programming changes its computer systems to provide insurers with more detailed information on MVR reports.
- Certified as an arbitrator by the courts in Cook and DuPage counties in Illinois.
- Served as party-selected arbitrator in multiple private arbitrations.
- Served as court-appointed arbitrator in numerous mandatory arbitrations required under DuPage County (Illinois) local rules.
- DePaul University College of Law, J.D., 1989
- Moot Court Executive Board
- Western Illinois University, B.B., with honors, 1986
- Member of the University Judicial Board
- Athletic Scholarship - Baseball
- Supreme Court of the United States
- U.S. Court of Appeals (4th, 7th, 8th and 11th Circuits)
- U.S. District Court (N.D. Illinois, N.D. Indiana, E.D. Wisconsin, E.D. Michigan)
- State of Illinois
Professional Honors, Memberships & Affiliations
- Appointed to Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee (by Justice Robert Thomas)
- Elected Member of the American Law Institute and active member of multiple Members Consultative Groups, including the Restatement on Insurance Law
- Former Member of the Publications Board, DuPage County Bar Journal
- Former Special Assistant State’s Attorney – DuPage County, Illinois (two matters)
- Super Lawyers – multiple recognitions spanning several years
- Adjunct Professor, William Rainey Harper College, Paralegal Studies 1990-1992
- Instructor, Insurance School of Chicago, (Law; Commercial Lines Underwriting; Management), 1991-2002
- Guest Lecturer, National Louis University (Governmental Affairs) various dates
- Firm in-house coverage and litigation training of associate attorneys
- Numerous seminars for clients on insurance coverage, claims handling and litigation topics.
Other Activities/Community Involvement
- Associate Scout – Milwaukee Brewers, (1998 to present)
- Former Board Member, National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame (pro bono)
- Former Board Member, Jefferson Awards, Chicago Board of Directors (pro bono)
- Former General Counsel, Pitch & Hit Club of Chicago (pro bono)
Articles and Presentations
- Coverage Issues Roundtable Workbook, October 2007
- Will Music Pirates Abandon Ship And Leave Insurers Holding The Bag? DuPage County Bar Journal, August 2003
- Constitutional Concerns Over The Exclusive Tender Rule In Illinois, DuPage County Bar Journal, March 2003 (cited to by the Illinois Appellate Court, referenced in various articles, and cited to in briefs in Kajima v. St. Paul appeal before Illinois Supreme Court)
- The Mold Issue is Still Growing, DuPage County Bar Journal, November 2002; Ice Storm '98: What to Expect From Business Interruption Claims after the Thaw, (co-Author), Claims Magazine, May 1998
- Liability and Coverage Dynamics of the Year 2000 Problem, Society of Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters Workbook, May 7, 1998
- Ice Storm Claims and Business Interruption Policies, (co-author), Mealey's Insurance Law Weekly, April 27, 1996
- Bad Weather and Business Interruption Policies, (co-author), Insurance Journal, April 6, 1996
- What the 1996 Elections Mean to Insurers, The Human Component, April 1996
- Commercial Lines Newsletter, (Creator and Editor), National Association of Independent Insurers, December 1996
- Reservation of Rights Case Law Compendium, National Association of Independent Insurers, 1996
- E-Mail and Privacy Issues, The Human Component, August 1995
- Pollution Clean-Up Costs, The Issue of Damages, Liability Insurance Research Bureau Research Library Collection, 1991
- Iowa, Massachusetts and Wisconsin Supreme Courts Rule on "Sudden" Clause in Pollution Exclusion, Tort & Insurance Practice (TIPS) Insurance Coverage Newsletter, American Bar Association, Winter 1991
- Lead Poisoning Coverage Analysis, Claims Section Quarterly, Society of Chartered Property and Casualty (CPCU), Spring 1991.
Speeches & Presentations
- Symposium Addressing the ALI Restatement of the Law, Liability Insurance, American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) and National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC), webinar, March 18, 2020 (addressing the law of Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Missouri)
- Defense v. Indemnity Costs in Environmental Claims, Insurer Lunch and Learn Series, New York, NY, 2019
- The Illinois Targeted Tender Rule, Insurer Lunch and Learn Series, New York, NY, 2017
- Coverage Issues Roundtable, Claims Professionals Continuing Education Seminar, Bliss McKnight, Inc., 2007
- Automobile Theft Prevention Funds In Illinois, Property Casualty Insurers Association of America Claims Executive Conference, Des Plaines, IL, 2005
- Punitive Damage Determinations After Cooper v. Leatherman Tool, Property Casualty Insurers Association of America Claims Executive Conference, Savannah, GA, 2004
- Indoor Air Quality Claims and Recent Developments, AERIS Environmental Services Seminar, Atlanta, Georgia, 2003
- Solving Water Intrusion and Mold Problems – The Insurer’s Perspective, Lorman Educational Services, Rosemont, Illinois, 2002
- E-Commerce Liabilities, National Association of Independent Insurers Claims Executive Conference, Amelia Island, Florida, 2000
- Developments in and Threats to the Attorney-Client Privilege, Defense Research Institute (“DRI”) Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois, 2001
- Technology’s Impact on Commercial Liability Insurance, Society of Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters June 2001 Meeting, Northwest Suburban Illinois Chapter, Barrington, Illinois, 2001
- The Role and Impact of An Amicus Curiae in Insurance Litigation, National Association of Independent Insurers Claims Executive Conference, Des Plaines, Illinois, 2001
- Liability Exposure in 2001 and Beyond, Society of Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters April 2001 Meeting, Northwest Suburban Illinois Chapter, Lake Zurich, Illinois, 2001
- Where Have All the Documents Gone? (Emerging Liability Exposures in Paperless Claim Environments), American Insurance Assoc., National Association of Independent Insurers, and Alliance of American Insurers Joint Claims Conference, Cleveland, OH, 2000
- Cyber Risks in the Claims Function, Executive Claims Conference, sponsored by American Insurance Association, Alliance of American Insurers, and National Association of Independent Insurers, Cleveland, OH, 2000
- Implementing a Regulatory Solution to Insurance On-Line and E-Commerce Barriers, Institute for International Research Inc., Interactive Insurance Conference, Chicago, IL, 1999
- Year 2000-Related Potential Hazards and Liabilities, Wisconsin Society of Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters (CPCU) Annual Meeting, Wausau, WI, 1998
- The Year 2000 Crisis: Identifying and Managing Exposures, American Law Network Television Broadcast from the Chamber of Commerce of the United States, Washington, D.C., 1998 (panelists included speakers from Microsoft, Price Waterhouse, Comdisco, Aon Risk Services, and Insurance Services Office)
- Management Issues Involving the Y2K Bug, Presentation to senior management in claims and operations departments at American Agricultural Insurance Company, Park Ridge, Illinois, 1998
- Preparation for the Y2K Crisis, Presentation to senior management officials at Bituminous Insurance Company, Rock Island, Illinois, 1998
- Y2K Potential Liabilities for Small Business Owners, Western Springs Chamber of Commerce October Meeting, Western Springs, Illinois 1998
- State Legislative and Regulatory Developments in Environmental Law, Western and Midwestern Farm Bureau Underwriting Conference, Omaha, NE, 1997
- Case Law Developments in Commercial Liability Insurance, Joint Insurance Trade Association Claims Conference, Scottsdale, AZ, 1997
- Legal Cost Containment, Joint Insurance Trade Association Claims Conference, Salt Lake City, UT, 1996
- Flat-Rate Billing and the Future of In-House Counsel, Association of California Insurance Companies (ACIC) 7th Annual General Counsel Seminar, San Diego, CA, 1996
- Superfund Reauthorization, Joint Insurance Trade Association Claims Conference, Orlando, FL, February 15, 1995
- Drive-By Shootings and Uninsured Motorists Coverage, Joint Insurance Trade Association Claims Conference, Baltimore, MD, 1995
- New Claims Under the CGL Policy, National Association of Independent Insurers Executive Underwriting Conference, Phoenix, AZ, 1995