Robert M. Forni, Jr.

Partner

San Francisco – Downtown, CA
D 415.352.6416
[email protected]

Education

Santa Clara University School of Law, J.D.

University of Pennsylvania, B.A.

Overview

Robert Forni is a Partner at Freeman Mathis & Gary's San Francisco office. He has extensive litigation experience and expertise in ERISA, RICO, insurance coverage and bad faith litigation. He specializes in the representation of insurers, employee welfare benefit plans, claims administrators, insurance agents and brokers in all phases of litigation, including trials and appeals, in actions arising from ERISA, RICO, and insurance coverage disputes in state and federal court. He has also provided services as insurer-selected counsel for insureds, and independent representation of insureds as Cumis counsel. His litigation and appellate practice includes prosecuting and defending complex tort and contract actions for breach of contract, bad faith, fraud, declaratory relief, unfair competition, conspiracy, breach of fiduciary duty, specific performance and reformation on behalf of insurers and corporate clients.

He has a special interest in counseling insurers and employee welfare plans in the handling of claims and actions in which insurance fraud is suspected. He is experienced in preparing comprehensive coverage opinions and providing coverage advice throughout the claims process. His expertise extends to commercial and personal lines of insurance including disability, commercial general liability, commercial property, homeowners, and automobile.

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Bar Admissions

California

Publications & Engagements
  • “When Success Warrants Failure: Defeating Fee Motions Under ERISA on Procedural and Substantive Grounds,” For the Defense, DRI, January 2019, Vol. 61, No. 1
  • “The Exhaustion Doctrine: Asserting and Surmounting the Prohibition Against Stale Claims Under ERISA,” Mealey’s Litigation Report: ERISA, December 2017, Vol. 16, No. 8.
  • “The Exhaustion Doctrine: A Limited Defense to Stale Claims under ERISA,” ERISA Report, DRI, December 7, 2017, Vol. 12, Issue 3
  • “Off the Clock and on the Hook: A Primer on Employer Liability for the Acts of Employees Committed Away from Work,” Employee Relations Law Journal, January 2009
  • “Healthy San Francisco’s Tradeoffs,” The Recorder, November 19, 2008
  • “Policy Interpretation in the Disability Insurance Claim,” co-author, American Conference Institute, 11th National Advanced Forum on Litigating Disability Insurance Claims, Boston, Massachusetts, June 11, 2008
Affiliations
  • Member, DRI, 2008 to present
  • Member, American Bar Association, 2012 to present
  • Member, Association of Defense Counsel of Northern California and Nevada, 2010 to present
Classes/Seminars Taught
  • ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits and the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, 28th Annual National Institute on ERISA Litigation, “Advanced Mediation Techniques in ERISA Benefits Cases,” October 18, 2019, Chicago, IL
  • ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits and the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, “Advanced ERISA Disability Mediation Techniques,” Webinar, June 20, 2019
  • The Knowledge Group, “ERISA Litigation in 2019 and Beyond,” Webinar, April 17, 2019
  • “Standards for Investigating and Settling Insurance Claims under California Fair Claims Settlement Practices Regulations,” Sacramento Claims Association, September 10, 2015, Sacramento, CA
  • American Conference Institute’s 31st National Advanced Forum on Bad Faith Claims & Litigation, Moderator, “View from the Bench: Judicial Insight on the Latest Claims, Theories and Discovery Issues,” July 28, 2015, Chicago, IL
  • “Top Ten Cases Affecting Third Party Liability Claims,” Sacramento Claims Assoc., February 12, 2015, Sacramento, CA
  • American Conference Institute’s 29th National Advanced Forum on Bad Faith Litigation, “Understanding the Scope and Limits of Duty to Defend, Duty to Settle, and Initiating Settlement Negotiations,” November 19, 2014, Orlando, FL
  • American Conference Institute’s 28th National Advanced Forum on Bad Faith Claims & Litigation, Moderator, “View from the Bench: Judicial Insight on the Latest Claims, Theories and Discovery Issues,” July 30, 2014, San Francisco, CA
  • American Conference Institute’s 27th National Advanced Forum on Bad Faith Litigation, “Understanding the Scope and Limits of Duty to Defend, Duty to Settle, and Initiating Settlement Negotiations,” April 1, 2014, Philadelphia, PA
  • American Conference Institute’s 25th National Advanced Forum on Bad Faith Litigation, “Discovery in Bad Faith Litigation: Defining Permissible Limits Within the Scope of Discovery,” July 30, 2013, San Francisco, CA