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Jean M. Daly

Partner

E jdaly@wfbm.com
T (213) 489-4820
| F (213) 489-4015

Overview

Jean Daly is a partner at Walsworth and focuses her practice on general liability and casualty matters, including complex insurance bad faith claims, complex special investigation of fraud claims, as well as data breach investigations and litigations. She is an accomplished trial attorney who has handled more than 150 jury trials and 50 non-jury trials.

Being a trial lawyer has been in Jean’s genetic makeup since birth. Her father was a well-known and accomplished trial lawyer. She had the opportunity and privilege to try her first case, sitting second chair, with her father, in a civil lawsuit where two off-duty sheriffs were sued under Section 1983 when they shot an intruder in their home. Obtaining a defense verdict, Jean valued the rare opportunity to learn from the “best” and be able to try a case with her father.

Since then, Jean has acquired extensive trial experience representing a wide range of clients, including businesses, insurance carriers, public agencies, and government entities in insurance bad faith, cyber law/privacy, and professional liability matters.

She is also a recognized specialist in the investigation of fire losses, including arson fires and wildland fires. Not only has Jean taken the fundamental fire courses 1A, 1B, 2A, and 2B offered by the California State Fire Marshall’s Office, she has participated in the investigation of more than 400 fire scenes. Before moving into the private sector, Jean served as an Assistant District Attorney in the counties of Los Angeles and San Francisco, where she headed the Arson units in both counties. She also continues to be an instructor in the certification program of California origin and cause investigators in the Expert Witness Course sponsored by the California Conference of Arson Investigators.

Jean is a former board member of the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel and a former member of the Judicial Appointments Committee for the Los Angeles County Bar Association.

Jean was recognized by the Best Lawyers in America 2022 publication for her experience and work in both her practice in insurance coverage (for defense of bad faith litigations for carriers) as well as her practice in Cyber & Privacy law.

Representative Successes
  • Obtained a dismissal with prejudice, on the second day of jury trial, in a bad faith, large water loss litigation alleging punitive damages against the insurance carrier, when defendant prevailed on all motions in limine, which gutted the plaintiff’s case.
  • Obtained summary judgment for a large insurance carrier where the insured plaintiff committed material misrepresentations about multiple large theft losses of multiple business locations, which resulted in the denial of the claim. The federal court found the carrier acted reasonably in the investigation and denial of the claim; therefore, granted the summary judgment in its entirety.
  • Obtained summary judgment for a large insurance carrier where the insured plaintiff committed fraud in reporting what was damaged and what was stolen during a multi-million dollar theft loss. During plaintiff’s deposition, plaintiff was impeached successfully. The federal court found the plaintiff had committed perjury, based upon documents submitted to the court, which then granted the motion in its entirety.
  • Successfully assisted in the investigation of a multi-agency, governmental data breach of personal information of over 100,000 individuals, by conducting examinations of over 45 employees of multiple agencies as well as the review of their cell phone and computer records. Based upon the results of the investigation, four former employees were indicted and faced criminal prosecution.
  • Successfully assisted in the SIU investigation of a large arson fire, wherein the named insureds’ cell phone records, not only impeached their testimony but placed them at the location, when the fire was set. Based upon the results, the insured were indicated and faced criminal prosecution for arson.
  • People v. Andrade (2000) 85 Cal.App.4th 581 – Convicted the defendant on multiple counts of arson and attempted murder and great bodily injury when he set multiple locations on fire over several days in San Francisco, culminating in a large fire attack on Black Friday in Union Square Macys where hundreds of people were shopping on one of the busiest shopping days of the holiday season. Defendant was convicted in trial and there was an appeal due to a court’s jury instructions. However, the court found that the jury would have reached the same finding on the enhancement had the trial court correctly instructed on the design and causation elements. Thus, there was no rational basis upon which the instructional error could have affected the jury’s finding on the section 451.1, subdivision (a)(5), enhancement. Under these circumstances, the instructional error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.

 

Industry Involvement

Professional Affiliations:

  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • Association of Southern California Defense Counsel
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers
  • Loss Executive’s Association
  • Irish Bar Association of Los Angeles
  • California Conference of Arson Investigators
  • Women’s Lawyer’s Association of Los Angeles

Speaking Engagements:

  • “Insurance Masters Series: Fire and Water Loss”
  • “Insurance Masters Series: Anatomy of a Cyber Breach”
  • “You’ve been Hacked: Cyber Breach and Cyber Litigation” (Association of Southern California Defense Counsel Professional Liability Conference)
  • “Association of Southern California Defense Counsel Brown Bag Series: Cyber Security and Law Firms: Understanding HIPAA Obligations and Key Considerations in Limiting and Mitigating Liability Risk for Data Breaches”
  • “Association of Southern California Defense Counsel Brown Bag Series: Cyber Security, Investigative Cyber Claims and Data Breach Claims”
  • “Association of Southern California Defense Counsel Brown Bag Series: Cyber Security and Breach Considerations for Law Firms”
  • “Insurance Masters Series: Cyber Investigation Basics”
  • “Insurance Masters Series: Fire Investigation Basics: Understanding Fire and How to Use Technology to Investigate Fires”
  • “Insurance Master Series: Cyber Claims and Legal Trends”
  • “Insurance Roundtable: Disruptors II”
  • “Insurance Masters Series: Investigating Fire Claims and Mastering Fire Evidence”
  • “Insurance Round Table: Disruptors-Session I Technology and Product Liability Exposures”
  • “Cyber and Data Breach Losses, Recent US Court Decisions, Risk Management & Investigations”
  • “Insurance Roundtable: Finding & Fighting Fraud”
  • California Conference of Arson Investigators: Instructor of the Origin and Cause Investigator Class and Expert Witness Qualification Class
  • Southwestern Law School: Presenter on Forensic Evidence and the Use of Arson Evidence and Arson Prosecution
  • Panel Member: How to Become a Judicial Officer in Los Angeles Superior Court
  • California District Attorneys Association: Prosecution of Arson Cases
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (Department of Justice): Prosecution of Arson Cases (Homicides and Arson for Profit)
  • Los Angeles City and County Fire Departments: Investigation of Arson Cases, Arson for Profit, and Arson Homicides
  • Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office: Prosecution of Arson Cases, Arson for Profit, and Arson Homicides
  • Los Angeles Police Department (Southwest Division): preparation and presentation of Gang Cases, Investigation of Gang Cases, and Testifying as a Gang Expert
Beyond the Office

Away from the office, Jean fundraises and successfully secures donations for causes including the Multiple Myeloma Foundation, the Los Angeles Zoo, and several local elementary school literacy and library programs.

As a lifelong sports enthusiast, having playing tennis and softball at Notre Dame, Jean and her family still attend football and baseball games, both college and professional. As a Notre Dame graduate, Jean lives and bleeds blue and gold. In her leisure time, she enjoys time with her family and their white lab pup, Rocket. As a seventh-generation Californian, Jean is also a wine connoisseur as she and her family own and manage a vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley.