Laura J. Ruettgers


San Francisco – Walnut Creek, CA
D 650.814.2340


Laura J. Ruettgers is a Partner in Freeman Mathis & Gary’s Walnut Creek office and Vice-Chair of the firm's Western Coverage practice team. Ms. Ruettgers has spent the better part of her career representing insurance carriers in coverage disputes and litigation, including bad faith litigation. Understanding the high costs and anxiety involved in both litigated and non-litigated matters, Ms. Ruettgers strives to determine the most effective strategy to put her clients on the path toward resolution, whether by settlement or other disposition.

In addition to broad experience addressing high exposure losses in both primary and excess general liability contexts, Ms. Ruettgers is also adept at navigating the nuances of specialty lines such as cybersecurity and pollution policies as well as newer products written to address risks arising out of emerging technology such as drones and autonomous vehicles. Combined with her background in Coverage B, Excess, Professional, and Directors & Officers lines, this breadth of experience is frequently invaluable in the context of so-called “Package Policies,” which blend traditional and non-traditional coverages into a single form.

Ms. Ruettgers is well-versed in handling coverage issues arising in the context of class actions, multi-party and multi-district litigations. In addition to a nationwide coverage practice, Ms. Ruettgers has litigated coverage and bad faith matters in California and (pro hac vice) in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Oregon, Nevada, and Washington.

Ms. Ruettgers is a member of CLM (Claims and Litigation Management Alliance), where she serves on the Environmental and Toxic Tort Committee, DRI (Defense Research Institute), where she is a on the Insurance Law, Toxic Torts, and Environmental Law Committees, and the ABA (American Bar Association), where is she involved in the Science and Technology Section, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics and Information Security Committees.

In her free time, Laura enjoys spending time outdoors with her two kids and three golden retrievers, near or in water when possible.

Bar Admissions


Publications & Engagements
Representative Cases & Clients
  • Successfully strategized to obtain California venue for coverage action and obtained victory in 2860 arbitration against multinational insured and counsel, obtaining application of stated panel rates.
  • Resolved coverage issues with named insured and assisted with resolution of business interruption losses submitted by named insured and numerous franchise owners following cyber attack compromising hundreds of payment kiosks across the country.
  • Initiated litigation and summarily adjudicated recalcitrant carrier’s defense obligation, setting up ultimate favorable settlement for client.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of carrier client in defense of contribution claim based on insured vs. insured exclusion.
  • Positioned cases strategically to facilitate negotiation of settlements in complex matters venued in California and other states including Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wyoming.
  • CLM (Claims and Litigation Management Alliance) – Environmental and Toxic Tort Committee
  • DRI (Defense Research Institute) – Insurance Law, Toxic Torts, and Environmental Law Committees,
  • ABA (American Bar Association) – Science and Technology Section, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics and Information Security Committees
Classes/Seminars Taught
  • Professional Liability Insurance Coverage Trends-Update – Annual Meeting of the Professional Liability Defense Federation (PLDF), Nashville, TN, October 2021
  • Dawn of Digital Health Care – Risks and Strategies for Liability Coverage, Panelist, Webinar, October 2021
  • Cyber – Underwriting & Claims Update – Panelist, Webinar, April 2021
  • Cyber, Coverage & Construction: Strategies and Solutions, Cross-Practice Firm / Client Event, February 2020
  • Claims Management of Emerging Environmental Issues, CLM Annual Meeting, March 2019
  • Privacy Risks – Do you Have Sufficient Insurance Protection, Consumer Financial Services Conference, November 2018
  • 21st Century Business Under 20th Century Law – Maintaining and Protecting Customer Information, Cross-Practice Firm / Client Event, October 2018
  • Best Practices and Pitfalls: California Fair Claims Settlement Practices Regulation, Client Lunch & Learn, July 2017
  • Driverless Cars in the Fast Lane – Liability Ahead, ABA Annual Meeting, August 2016
  • Litigating Insurance Issues & Bad Faith Claims in the Construction Industry, The Seminar Group, January 2016