Our Services

Terrence J. Coleman

Terrence J. Coleman

Attorney
Location:
San Francisco, California
Phone:
415-655-1549
866-460-7279
Fax:
415-433-4816
Email:

TERRY COLEMAN has been a partner with Pillsbury & Coleman, LLP (formerly, Pillsbury & Levinson), since 1999, specializing in the representation of policyholders in insurance bad faith and insurance coverage matters. Past clients include individuals as well as small businesses and large corporations. In 2002, Mr. Coleman tried the disability bad faith case of Randall Chapman, M.D. v. UnumProvident Corp., obtaining a $31.7 million jury verdict for a disabled eye surgeon. Mr. Coleman also led the HealthNet litigation in which he obtained injunctions prohibiting California’s largest HMO from canceling health insurance coverage to hundreds of families insured under plans issued to the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, the Organization of Women Architects and the Bay Area Chamber. Mr. Coleman is a frequent lecturer and author on insurance-related topics and serves on many boards.  He currently serves as president of the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association and is a past president of the St. Thomas More Society of San Francisco. He is a Fellow of the American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel. In 2003, Mr. Coleman also served as chair of the Insurance Section of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (now AAJ). That same year, Mr. Coleman was a finalist for “Trial Lawyer of the Year” by the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association. Mr. Coleman is “AV” rated by the prestigious Martindale-Hubbell organization and was named a Northern California “Super Lawyer” in 2006 through 2014.

Background

Born in San Francisco, California, on April 25, 1968.

Raised in Stockton, California; attended Cleveland Elementary, St. Luke’s Elementary, and St. Mary’s High School

Wife, Lucille; Children, Garrett, Bridget and Brendon

Major Cases

Co-tried Chapman v. UnumProvident Corp., a disability bad faith case, resulting in a $31.7 million jury verdict, including $30 million in punitive damages. (Marin County Superior Court, January 2003)

Lead counsel in San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association v. Health Net, Inc., Robertson v. Health Net, Inc., and Organization of Women Architects v. Health Net, resulting in preliminary injunctions against Health Net prohibiting cancellation of coverage. (San Francisco County Superior Court, 2004 – present.) In December 2005, the Court of Appeal affirmed the injunction issued in San Francisco Trial Lawyers in a unanimous decision authored by Justice Carol Corrigan, who was recently elevated to the California Supreme Court. 

Lead trial counsel in Patrick v. UNUM Life Insurance Company, an ERISA disability case, resulting in a plaintiff’s verdict of nearly $1.5 million, including an award of attorneys’ fees of nearly $1.3 million. (San Mateo County Superior Court, October 1999.)

Lead trial counsel in Westover v. Oregon Mutual Insurance Company, resulting in a unanimous jury verdict of over $724,000 on a homeowner’s claim arising from the Oakland Hills Firestorm, affirmed on appeal. (Alameda County Superior Court, March 1997.)

Successfully obtained a summary judgment order requiring Lloyd's of London to pay an underlying $10 million judgment rendered against its insured due to its wrongful withdrawal of its defense. (Alameda County Superior Court, 2000.)

Successfully obtained summary judgment order requiring Clarendon Insurance Company to pay an underlying $1.5 million judgment rendered against its insured due to its failure to defend. (Contra Costa County Superior Court, 2007.)

Areas of Practice

  • Insurance Law
  • Disability Claims

Litigation Percentage

  • 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Education

  • University of San Francisco School of Law, San Francisco, California
    • J.D. magna cum laude - 1994
    • Law Review: University of San Francisco Law Review, 1992 - 1994
  • University of California at Berkeley
    • B.A. - 1991

Published Works

  • Author, “Protecting the Subsequent Insurance Bad Faith Action”, The Trial Lawyer, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Fall 2011
  • Author, “Big Insurers, Dirty Tricks: ‘That’s not my signature’”, Trial, Journal of the American Association for Justice, July 2007
  • Author, “Legal Rights Voting Team”, The Trial Lawyer, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Spring 2005
  • Author, “Perfecting Your Disability Bad Faith Claim: Tips From the Trenches”, Forum, Consumer Attorneys of California, June 2004, Vol. 34, No. 5
  • Author, “Back to the Basics: Reexamining Compensatory Damages in Light of Campbell”, The Trial Lawyer, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Spring 2004
  • Author, “Using Corporate Documents and Depositions to Prove Bad Faith,” Association of Trial Lawyers of America, 2003 Convention
  • Co-Author: "Overcoming the 'Genuine-Issue' Rule in Bad-Faith Cases, Trial Magazine, March 2002, Association of Trial Lawyers of America
  • Co-Author: "Using the 'Treating Physician Rule' in Disability Bad Faith Cases, Forum Magazine, December 2001, Consumer Attorneys of California
  • Co-Author: “Homeowner and Consumer Insurance: Landslides, Fires and Natural Disasters,” Association of Trial Lawyers of America, 1995 convention
  • Author: “Bily v. Arthur Young & Co.: An Inequitable Approach to Defining Accountant Liability to Third Parties,” 28 USF Law Review 239

Classes/Seminars

  • “Bad Faith Litigation”, American Conference Institute, Philadelphia, PA, March 2014
  • “Policy Limit Demands”, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, New Lawyers Division Ski Seminar, January 2014
  • “Insurers on the Attack,” American Association for Justice, Annual Convention, San Francisco, CA, July 2013
  • “Auto Claims: Maximizing Recoveries and Protecting the Subsequent Bad Faith Case”, moderator, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, February 2009
  • “Insurance Bad Faith Litigation & HMO Liability”, moderator, Regional TLA Conference, Squaw Creek Resort, June 2009
  • VoiceAmerica live radio show, “Meeting By Accident,” discussing insurance company claims denials and tactics, September 18, 2007
  • “Disability Insurance Claims: Navigating the Waters of ERISA and Bad Faith”, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, July 2005
  • "The Year in Review — Developments in Civil Litigation", Continuing Education of the Bar, January 2002, January 2003, January 2004
  • Challenges in California Insurance Coverage Litigation, San Francisco, CA, March 31, 2004
  • "Fundamentals of Insurance Litigation", Continuing Education of the Bar, April 2001
  • "ERISA Preemption: A Relic of the Past?", Association of Trial Lawyers of America Annual Convention, July, 2000
  • "Recent Developments in Punitive Damages", Consumer Attorneys of California Winter Convention, April, 2000

Honors and Awards

  • “Super Lawyer”, 2006 through 2014
  • President’s Award, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, January 15, 2004
  • Finalist, Trial Lawyer of the Year, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, March 2003
  • Distinguished Service Award, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, October 5, 2001

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • The State Bar of California
  • Consumer Attorneys of California
  • American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel, Fellow
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America, now American Association for Justice, Insurance Litigation Section, Past Chair
  • San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, President, 2014 - Present

Past Employment Positions

  • Pillsbury, Levinson & Mills, LLP, Associate, 1996 - 1999
  • Cartwright, Bokelman, Moore, Harris, Alexander & Gruen, Inc., Associate, 1994 - 1996
  • The Hon. Ming W. Chin California Court Of Appeal, Judicial Extern, 1993 - Present

Pro Bono Activities

  • President, St. Thomas More Society, 2008