Rivkin Radler LLP
Michael A. Kotula handles complex litigation involving asbestos, environmental pollution, health hazards, toxic tort, product liability, lead paint, personal and advertising injury, construction defect, sexual abuse, financial services and other insurance coverage claims.
With more than 28 years of experience, his practice includes litigation involving high exposure construction and workplace accident and product liability cases, often involving additional insured or vendors endorsement issues and priority of coverage disputes.
Michael counsels large institutions and businesses on effective risk transfer, and drafts insurance policy language for insurance companies and institutional clients. He counsels healthcare providers and drafts risk retention group insurance policies and endorsements.
Michael has qualified to serve as an expert witness on insurance coverage matters, and has testified at trial in New York Supreme Court, New York County.
Michael has won countless summary judgment decisions in construction accident and construction defect coverage actions in New York. See the Cases & Transaction History section of this biography. Also see, e.g., Campbell & Dawes, Ltd. v. Great American Assurance Co., Opinion Index No. 108885/11 (N.Y. Sup. N.Y. Cty. 2013) (awarding summary judgment for late notice of construction accident); QBE Ins. Corp. v. M&R European Constr. Corp., Index No. 602293/00 (N.Y. Sup. N.Y. Cty. 2012) (awarding summary judgment for late notice of construction defect claims); Stout v. 1 East 66th Street Corp., 90 A.D. 3d 898, 935 N.Y.S. 2d 49 (2d Dep’t 2011) (enforcing excess “other insurance” clause in construction accident case); National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa. v. Great American E & S Ins. Co., 86 A.D. 3d 425, 926 N.Y.S. 2d 508 (1st Dep’t 2011) (awarding summary judgment for late notice of construction accident); Pavarini McGovern, LLC v. Airflex Industrial Inc., 30 Misc. 3d 1232A, 926 N.Y.S. 2d 325 (N.Y Sup. N.Y. Cty. 2011) (awarding summary judgment for late notice of construction defect claims); Macklowe Org. v. K.G. Mechanical Inc., 2008 N.Y. Mis. LEXIS 10569 (N.Y. Sup. N.Y. Cty. 2008) (rejecting additional insured claim for construction accident); Bovis Lend Lease LMB, Inc. v. Zurich American Ins. Co., Index No. 600465/04 (N.Y. Sup. N.Y. Cty. 2006) (rejecting additional insured claim for construction accident).
After law school, Michael clerked for the Honorable Curtis von Kann, J.S.C., in the District of Columbia Superior Court, Civil Division, assisting with management of a caseload of over 600 civil cases, researching and writing opinions and orders, and writing special jury instructions and jury voir dire questions.
Michael wrote the chapter on Environmental and Toxic Tort Coverage Issues for New Appleman Law of Liability Insurance. He also wrote a chapter on As Damages for “The Reference Handbook on the Commercial General Liability Policy,” published in 2010 and 2014 editions by the ABA’s Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section.
A frequent speaker on insurance coverage issues, he has given seminars for the American Bar Association, the Defense Research Institute (DRI), Practising Law Institute, Mealey’s, the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education and the New York Law Journal, as well as for national and international insurance and reinsurance companies. In addition, Michael is a member of the Standing Committee on Ethics and Professionalism of the American Bar Association’s TIPS section and an editor of the TIPS Law Journal. Michael is also the past chair of the Excess, Surplus Lines and Reinsurance General Committee of the ABA’s TIPS Section and is active in offering CLE on complex coverage matters. Most recently, Michael was a speaker at DRI’s Insurance Coverage and Claims Institute in March 2018, and moderated a panel on emerging allocation issues at the ABA Insurance Section: Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee’s annual meeting in February 2017.
The 2019 edition of the well-respected Legal 500 recommended Michael in the insurance: advice to insurers category. He has been named to Super Lawyers in Metro New York in Insurance Coverage and was named a Top Rated Lawyer in Insurance Law by American Lawyer Media. He has earned the AV Preeminent 5.0 rating from Martindale-Hubbell, its highest rating.