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Scott Godes
OVERVIEW

Scott N. Godes
Partner

Washington, D.C.

1717 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Suite 500
Washington, D.C. 20006-4623

P 202-408-6928

F 202-289-1330

OVERVIEW

Scott N. Godes
Partner

Washington, D.C.

1717 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Suite 500
Washington, D.C. 20006-4623

P 202-408-6928

F 202-289-1330

In and out of court, Scott Godes is a skilled advocate, litigator and trial lawyer in matters involving insurance coverage, technology and Section 337 of the Tariff Act before the International Trade Commission. Co-chair of the firm’s Data Security and Privacy and Insurance Recovery and Counseling Groups, Scott has helped insureds recover more than $1 billion.

In and out of court, Scott Godes is a skilled advocate, litigator and trial lawyer in matters involving insurance coverage, technology and Section 337 of the Tariff Act before the International Trade Commission. Co-chair of the firm’s Data Security and Privacy and Insurance Recovery and Counseling Groups, Scott has helped insureds recover more than $1 billion.

OVERVIEW

In and out of court, Scott Godes is a skilled advocate, litigator and trial lawyer in matters involving insurance coverage, technology and Section 337 of the Tariff Act before the International Trade Commission. Co-chair of the firm’s Data Security and Privacy and Insurance Recovery and Counseling Groups, Scott has helped insureds recover more than $1 billion.

Scott is dedicated to helping his clients recover their insurance benefits. By taking on matters that are often difficult, complicated and untested – including two of the first cyberinsurance coverage cases in the country – Scott works to design a creative, optimized path to problem solving that enhances their chances of recovery. Effective, thorough and practical, Scott is valued by clients and colleagues alike for his depth and breadth of knowledge and experience in insurance law, and for finding the right solution to each client’s distinct problem.

In one of his most significant matters, Scott served co-lead counsel in a landmark class action trial, the first case of its kind to determine that insurance coverage was available, without aggregate limits, for thousands of asbestos claims. In addition, Scott represents clients facing cybersecurity, data breach, cyberattack, privacy and other technology-related claims. He focused on insurance coverage for cybersecurity and privacy risks in 2008, allowing him to join his long-standing interest in technology with a new area of insurance. Since that time, he has litigated some of the few court cases regarding the scope of coverage available under cyber insurance policies, as well as coverage under other insurance policies for losses due to cyberattacks, privacy events, and wire and computer frauds.

Scott represents policyholders in declaratory judgment, breach of contract and bad faith insurance coverage actions, insurance-related bankruptcies and adversary actions, federal court receiverships, insurer rehabilitation actions, and commercial arbitrations. He has litigated and advised clients regarding insurance coverage for cyberattacks, data breaches and cyber security issues, business email compromises and CEO fraud, network failures, advertising injury, libel, ransomware and personal injury claims.

Scott also advises clients about the insurance coverage issues related to Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), directors and officers, securities, errors and omissions, crime and fidelity, general liability and consumer class action claims. He has effectively navigated complex litigation involving business interruption, extra expense, contingent business interruption and first-party property claims, as well as computer data, hardware and software claims, mass tort liabilities, flood, product liability and asbestos claims. Moreover, Scott also advises on insurance coverage issues related to environmental property damage involving PCBs and underground storage tanks (UST).

In addition to his insurance coverage experience inside and outside the courtroom, Scott has significant trial experience on other matters. He served as trial counsel on the issues of whether a complainant established a “domestic industry” and public interest issues in a Section 337 investigation of the Tariff Act of 1930 before the ITC. His trial and appellate experience in court and before arbitrators and administrative law judges have involved federal government contract bid protest, security clearance revocation, prime and subcontractor dispute, discovery, breach of contract and property damage, and negligence.

Moreover, Scott has represented protesters and interveners in bid protests before the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), U.S. Court of Federal Claims and the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. He also has litigated disputes related to teaming agreements between federal contractors in arbitration and contract claims before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA).

Scott edits the BT Policyholder Protection blog.

Prior to joining the firm, Scott served as in-house counsel to an internet company.

Professional and Community Involvement

Co-chair, American Bar Association Cyber Risk & Data Privacy Subcommittee of the Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee

Co-chair, American Bar Association Computer Technology Subcommittee of the Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee

Honors

Chambers USA, 2020

The Best Lawyers in America, 2017-2020

Washington, D.C., Super Lawyers, 2019-2020

Cybersecurity Docket, Incident Response 30 for 2020

BTI Client Service All-Star, 2020

Acritas Star Independently Rated Lawyer

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EXPERIENCE
INSIGHTS AND EVENTS
Experience
  • Principle Solutions Group, LLC v. Ironshore Indemnity Co., 2016 WL 4618761 (N.D. Ga. Aug. 30, 2016), aff’d, 944 F.3d 886 (11th Cir. 2019). Secured two rulings in favor of the insured, for losses resulting from a business email compromise and a fraudulent wire transfer. The District Court and Court of Appeals ruled that the loss was covered under a crime insurance policy. At that time, these were two of the only pro-policyholder rulings on this point in the country, and those rulings remain the leading pro-policyholder decisions regarding funds transfer fraud coverage phishing losses.
  • Advised insurance coverage counsel to a computer software technology company, which suffered a ransomware attack, leading to the cyberinsurance carrier retroactively approving the retention of multiple vendors and law firms and paying for the work performed; also negotiated with other non-cyberinsurance carriers for additional payment of the computer software technology company’s losses.
  • Represented the policyholder in St. Paul v. Rosen Hotels & Resorts, a case involving the issue of whether CGL insurance policies provide coverage for credit card data breaches and coverage for a demand letter. The demand letter asserted that the insured, a technology company, failed to protect properly a network that contained payment card data. The case resolved after oral arguments at the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
  • Served as lead insurance coverage counsel resolving a multi-million dollar insurance dispute that provided for full coverage for a settlement of a claim resulting from a cyberattack, business email compromise, and wire fraud involving a hacker and the passing of information to third parties. Coverage was obtained from the cyberinsurance and errors and omissions carriers, at a time when very little law existed on the issue of liability and coverage for such claims.
  • Worked with insurance carriers – in the context of a $25 million construction accident resulting in paraplegia from a fall off scaffolding – to settle the underlying tort claim, and won multiple summary judgment rulings determining that there as a duty to defend and indemnify an additional insured contractor under a primary and umbrella policy for its obligation to contractually indemnify the premises owner.
  • Obtained full coverage from primary and excess general liability insurance carriers for a settlement of a hotly contested, nine figure litigation just minutes before a jury verdict was revealed. The settlement and coverage was within limits, whereas the later-revealed jury verdict would have exceeded total policy limits.
  • Served as lead insurance coverage counsel for client suffering a cyberattack that disabled all of its systems, resulting in nearly nine figures in losses. Reached a resolution with the cyberinsurance carrier to pay its full policy limits, settlements with the property carriers, and payment by the kidnap, ransom, and extortion carrier.
  • Served as lead insurance coverage counsel for client suffering a healthcare information-related data breach. Helped the client obtain full coverage from its cyberinsurance carrier and a defense and indemnity from directors and officers and errors and omissions carriers, as well as coverage under a property insurance policy.
  • Served as lead insurance coverage and litigation counsel for eight figure property insurance claim resulting from mine subsidence. Case settled after discovery and then early mediation.
  • Served as lead insurance coverage counsel for firm suffering business email compromise and wire fraud. Obtained coverage under cyberinsurance and crime insurance policies and settled at mediation.
  • Served as lead insurance coverage counsel for company suffering a ransomware attack. Guided the client through the insurance claims process, after the broker and its forensic accounting team could not get the insurers to stop fighting and arguing about which carrier had to pay first regarding business interruption losses from ransomware, and helped the client obtain a significant advance payment under its cyberinsurance policy and a partial payment under its property insurance policy.
  • Served as lead insurance coverage counsel to company suffering a cloud-based cyberattack resulting in the theft of millions of dollars of loss. Quickly negotiated a full payout from the property insurance carrier for its computer-related limits, and then resolved claims with the crime insurance carrier under the computer fraud coverage part and the third party network security liability claim with the cyberinsurance carrier, all without litigation.
  • Served as lead insurance coverage counsel for a payment card-based cyberattack, which involved filing one of the first (if not the first) lawsuits seeking coverage under a cyberinsurance policy for a Payment Card Industry (PCI) event where the carrier refused to cover in full, and litigating whether CGL and crime insurance policies provided coverage for the losses, and obtained coverage from additional policies for the matter. Negotiated favorable settlements with multiple carriers for the matter.
  • Served as lead insurance coverage counsel in an early cyberinsurance coverage litigation involving Lloyd’s of London and London Market coverage for a PCI-based cyberattack.
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