Areas of Practice
- Commercial Litigation, Insolvency & Creditors' Rights
- Complex Litigation
- Distressed Real Estate Litigation & Restructuring
- Insurance & Reinsurance
- Insurance Coverage & Bad Faith
- Professional Liability
- Securities Litigation & Enforcement
- University of California, Hastings College of Law J.D., cum laude, 1982, Editor, Hastings Law Journal
- Stanford University, B.A., with distinction, 1977
Bar & Court Admissions
- US District Courts for Central, Southern and Northern Districts of California
- US Court of Appeals for Ninth Circuit
Los Angeles CA 90067
Michael McNamara is a partner in the Century City office of Steptoe & Johnson LLP, where he is a member of the Insurance Litigation Practice group. Mr. McNamara also serves as Practice Group Leader of the firm’s Professional Liability and Legal Malpractice Defense group.
Mr. McNamara is a senior trial attorney with experience handling a wide range of insurance litigation matters in a variety of forums, including state and federal courts, arbitrations, and mediations. Mr. McNamara also has significant “first chair” trial experience in a variety of diverse areas (see general biography for list of representative cases).
For 16 years prior to joining Steptoe & Johnson LLP, Mr. McNamara was the founding and senior managing partner of McNamara, Spira & Smith, a litigation boutique in Los Angeles. Prior to founding his own firm, Mr. McNamara was a partner in the Los Angeles office of a prominent international law firm, where he spent many years representing a number of carriers in a variety of “bad faith” and coverage actions around the country.
- Represented Aetna and its various subsidiaries in a variety of matters. Such matters included advising local claims handlers on coverage issues, assisting the home office on the interpretation and analysis of policy provisions, and defending the insurer in a variety of actions. Among other cases, Mr. McNamara served as lead counsel for Aetna in the Monterey Hills Litigation. This was a highly complex litigation involving nineteen underlying property damage cases, three insurance-related cases, and out-of-state bankruptcy proceedings. The underlying actions involved dozens of parties, multiple forums, and great exposure for Aetna with $25 million of coverages at issue. Ultimately this litigation was resolved with Aetna contributing only $4 million of the $62.5 million “global” resolution.
- Represented Chubb (Federal Insurance) in defense of “bad faith” litigation in the Eastern District of Louisiana involving claims brought by the First National Bank of Louisville (FNBL) arising from a blanket fidelity bond. Mr. McNamara was a key member of the team engaged on “remand” to handle the action after a $20 million bad faith verdict was reversed by the Fifth Circuit and remanded to the trial court.
- Represented other carriers, including Transamerica and Ohio Casualty, in defense of a variety of “bad faith” actions, Brandt Fee Claims, and provided claims advice on coverage matters.
- Martindale-Hubbell “Preeminent AV” Peer Review Rating (5.0/5)
- Southern California Super Lawyers 2011, General Litigation
- Extern, Honorable Frank Richardson, Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court, 1981-1982
Select News & Events
- Southern California Super Lawyers Honors 14 Steptoe Attorneys
- Steptoe Advises on Acquisition of Retailer Hartmarx
- Prominent Litigators Join Steptoe's Century City Office
- Member, American Bar Association’s Lawyer’s Professional Liability Consortium, 2011
- Member, Professional Responsibility and Ethics Committee (PREC), Los Angeles County Bar Association, 2011
- Member, Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (APRL)
- Member, Board of Governors, Association of Business Trial Lawyers, 2010
- Member, American Bar Association, Litigation Section