Joanne L. Zimolzak
Joanne Zimolzak leads the Insurance Division within the firm's Litigation Department. Her diverse practice focuses principally on complex business litigation. Her experience also extends to assisting companies with regulatory compliance, internal investigations, and fraud reporting.
In addition to her role as practitioner, Ms. Zimolzak serves as the Office Managing Partner for the firm's Washington, DC office. In this position, she manages the operations of the office and spearheads plans for the office's strategic growth.
Ms. Zimolzak has had extensive experience handling a wide range of complex civil litigation matters before state and federal courts throughout the country, both at the trial and appellate levels The representation of multi-national insurance carriers is a particular focus of Ms. Zimolzak’s business litigation practice. Her experience includes representing insurance companies in all types of coverage disputes, with emphasis on matters involving bad faith allegations and significant potential exposures. Ms. Zimolzak also routinely provides counseling to insurers concerning coverage and risk management issues and other aspects of their business, including emerging liability risks, new product development, and regulatory compliance. Ms. Zimolzak also has authored numerous articles and publications and is a frequent speaker at seminars on insurance-related topics.
Ms. Zimolzak has extensive experience assisting government contractors with obtaining and/or successfully preventing the release of sensitive business information under federal and state Freedom of Information Act provisions. She also has particular experience in procurement fraud matters and in conducting related internal investigations.
- Provided analysis and counseling for major insurer regarding potential risks and opportunities associated with global climate change, including with respect to potential liability, new product development, and regulatory reporting.
- Defeated class certification and subsequently obtained summary judgment ruling in purported RICO class action against insurer and its counsel (U.S. District Court, Southern District of Mississippi).
- Obtained summary judgment ruling that major insurer had no duty to defend purported additional insured in a significant wrongful death action, thereby negating any possibility for claimant to recover defense expenses or pursue bad faith claims (Delaware Superior Court).
- Obtained summary judgment for European client in action concerning breach of commercial contract, with judgment including full restitution and award of attorneys' fees (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia).
- Provided analysis and counseling for major insurer regarding significant professional liability coverage issues.
- Provided assistance to government contractor conducting internal investigation regarding billing issues and responding to government subpoena concerning same.
- Obtained dismissal of major agriculture product distributor from Texas products liability matters for lack of personal jurisdiction.
- Won Texas state court appeal concerning applicability of UCC exception to security interest filing requirement in commercial business dispute.
- J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1994
- B.A., University of Maryland, magna cum laude, 1990
- District of Columbia
- U.S. Court of Federal Claims
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
- "Full Disclosure: Climate Change May Prove Risky For Insurers," (co-authored with J. Randolph Evans & Christina Carroll), Carrier Management, July 22, 2013.
- "Climate Change Litigation - Just Heating Up?", The Heat Is On: Hot Topics In A Sizzling Insurance World, ABA TIPS ICLC Mid-Year Program, (co-authored with J. Randolph Evans), February 16, 2013.
- "D&O Coverage for Fracking-Related Losses", The Heat Is On: Hot Topics In A Sizzling Insurance World Mid-Year Program, (co-authored with J. Randolph Evans), February 16, 2013.
- Contributor, Climate Change Insights Blog
- "Recent Developments in Insurance Coverage Litigation" Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Law Journal, Vol. 47/No. 1 (co-authored with Wystan Ackerman, Roberta D. Anderson, Jason Hall, Brian Margolies, Todd A. Rossi, and Stuart Tonkinson), Fall 2011.
- "Is Past Prologue To Climate Change Liability?" Law360 (co-authored with J. Randolph Evans and Christina Carroll), May 31, 2011.
- "Key Legal Developments Shaping The Future of Global Warming Lawsuits," Climate Change Business Journal (co-authored with J. Randolph Evans and Christina Carroll), January 2011.
- "The Future of Global Warming Lawsuits is Now," Law360 (co-authored with J. Randolph Evans and Christina Carroll), December 14, 2010.
- “On the Horizon: Could Insurers be Held Liable for Climate Change?” ABA TIPS Insurance Coverage Conference, co-authored with Kristin Landis, (February 2010).
- “Contractors and the FOIA: Proactive Protection of Proprietary Data is a Must,” Andrew’s Litigation Reporter - Government Contracts, co-authored with Mana Elihu, (August 2009).
- “Supreme Court limits suits under False Claims Act,” Atlantic Coast In-House, co-authored with Timothy K. Halloran, (July 2007).
- “Discovery from non-parties under the Federal Arbitration Act: A mixed bag,” Atlantic Coast In-House, co-authored with Timothy K. Halloran, (January 2007).
Seminars and Presentations:
- Panelist, "Managing Partner Roundtable", National Law Journal 2013 Regulatory Summit, November 13, 2013.
- Panelist, "Managing Partner Roundtable", Bisnow, October 18, 2013.
- Speaker, "Climate Change and Insurance: Are Insurance companies liable for climate change-related claims?", Women's Council on Energy and the Environment, May 29, 2013.
- Speaker, “Emerging Tort Liability Risks: What’s On the Horizon,” CLE presentation to ACE Group, July 19, 2012 (with J. Randolph Evans).
- Co-Panelist, “Climate Change and its Impact on the Insurance Industry,” Practicing Law Institute (PLI) Webinar, July 17, 2012.
- Panelist, "AEP v. Connecticut: The Decision and Its Implications," BNA Webinar, (July 6, 2011).
- Panelist, “Top 10 Bad Faith Decisions,” Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM) Webinar (February 2011).
- Moderator, "Climate Change Coverage Issues," ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee Midyear Program, (February 2010).
- Panelist, "Bad Faith in Insurance Claims: Strategies for Prosecuting and Defending Against Claims of Insurer Misconduct," Strafford Publications, (July 2009).