Areas of Practice
Education
  • Harvard Law School, J.D., cum laude, 1996
  • Brigham Young University, B.A. in Economics, summa cum laude, 1993, Valedictorian, College of Social Sciences and Department of Economics
Bar & Court Admissions
  • Arizona

Timothy M. Strong

Partner
201 E. Washington Street
Suite 1600
Phoenix AZ 85004
TEL: +1 602 257 5219
FAX: +1 602 257 5299

Tim Strong is an experienced litigator who focuses on insurance coverage, bad faith, and class action.  He has obtained favorable dispositions of more than 15 significant insurance cases since 2001.  His insurance practice includes D&O, builders risk, workers' compensation, and other commercial lines.  He regularly defends insurers against, and advises them regarding, allegations of institutionally improper claim-handling practices and use of claim-evaluation software.  Tim also advises insurers regarding complex claim-handling and coverage decisions.

Tim has also handled a variety of other complex commercial disputes involving the consumer retail, car audio, mechanical engineering, construction, and commercial real-estate industries.  These have included significant contract and real-property disputes; tort actions including claims of fraud, negligence, defamation, interference with contractual relations, trespass, and various theories of strict liability; and complex statutory claims including False Claims Act matters. 

Representative Matters

Insurance Coverage & Bad Faith Litigation

  • Represented Lexington Insurance Co. in a builders-risk coverage and bad-faith case alleging damage to an iron-ore processing plant allegedly caused by testing at the facility.  In a significant victory for the insurer, the court granted summary judgment resolving most of the asserted damage claims—including all alleged delay (business interruption) damages and most of the alleged physical damages.  The court also granted judgment on the plaintiffs' bad-faith and punitive damage claims.
  • Represented Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania (an AIG affiliate) in a complex workers’-compensation bad-faith case alleging “institutional” bad faith and mishandling of the plaintiff’s claims for medical and lost-earnings benefits.  The court granted several motions for partial summary judgment, dismissing the plaintiff’s claims of bad faith, punitive damages, vicarious liability for the alleged malpractice of an independent medical examiner, and aiding and abetting – thereby effectively disposing of the case.  The motions successfully addressed a host of allegations ranging from an alleged delay in authorizing payment for surgery, to allegedly improper use of an independent medical examiner, to the denial or partial denial of various claims for lost-earnings and medical-related benefits.   
  • Represented Farmers Insurance Company of Arizona in a case alleging bad faith in the company’s processes for adjusting workers’-compensation claims.  The Pima County Superior Court (Arizona) granted summary judgment in Farmers’ favor on the “institutional bad faith” aspects of the case, finding both (i) no impropriety in the company’s use of profitability goals and medical-improvement targets and (ii) that these alleged practices had no adverse effect on the insurer’s handling of the claimant’s benefit claims.
  • Represented Allstate Insurance Company in a Maryland homeowners bad-faith action arising from Hurricane Isabel.  Working with Maryland counsel, Mr. Strong secured summary judgment against a claim that the insurer acted in bad faith when it determined that the plaintiffs’ loss was caused by flood (a non-covered peril) rather than wind.  The Circuit Court of St. Mary’s County (Maryland) also found a lack of evidence of an institutional scheme to underpay claims. 
  • Represented Allstate in a putative statewide (Illinois) class action filed in Madison County, Illinois, by an Allstate insured who attacked the company’s claim-settlement practices for “minor impact soft tissue” injuries.  A team of Steptoe attorneys including Mr. Strong obtained a dismissal order, persuading the Madison County trial court to dismiss the case because the putative class representative lacked any legally recognized injury and could not show that Allstate breached its contract with her.

Complex Litigation & Class Action Defense

  • Represented an international mechanical-engineering and manufacturing company in a lawsuit stemming from a transaction involving the design, testing, manufacture, and sale of “direct-to-garment” inkjet printers.  The suit involved claims and cross claims for breach of contract and various alleged torts.  After aggressively pursuing the opposing party’s discovery deficiencies, Mr. Strong convinced the court to dismiss all of the opposing party’s claims and enter full judgment in favor of the Firm’s client.
  • Represented Rockford Corporation, a producer of high-end automobile audio systems, in a significant contract dispute with a Panamanian distributor of its products.  Mr. Strong obtained partial summary judgment in Rockford’s favor on Rockford’s key claims, and against the distributor on its claims.  Additionally, after a three-day evidentiary hearing, the Arizona federal district court imposed case-dispositive discovery sanctions against the Panamanian owner of the distributor. 
  • Defended Rockford in the Superior Court of Orange County, California, against a car-audio-accessory company’s suit accusing Rockford and the company’s former employee of misappropriating trade secrets.  Mr. Strong’s defense focused on concepts of independent economic value, confidentiality, ready ascertainability, and reverse engineering.  The judge granted summary adjudication of the trade-secret claim in Rockford’s favor, which effectively ended the case.
  • Prevailed in a motion to decertify a class against an insured for a major insurance carrier in a case brought by individuals who owned or occupied property within a 1.25-mile radius of an industrial hog farm, who allegedly suffered damages from odors associated with the farm’s operation in western Kentucky.  Previously, the district court had certified the class, and that certification order had survived an appeal to the 6th Circuit.  However, Steptoe successfully argued for summary judgment and developed evidence to convince the court to decertify the class.  The case settled.

Noteworthy

  • Southwest Super Lawyers, Business Litigation, 2014 - 2017

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Selected Publications

Professional Affiliations

  • Member, Insurance Law Committee, Defense Research Institute