J. Clifton Hall III is a founding shareholder of Hall Maines Lugrin. He practices mainly in the energy and professional indemnity sectors where he concentrates on insurance coverage disputes, other complex commercial disputes and subrogation matters. He has advised numerous insurers on coverage claims in both upstream (offshore and onshore), midstream and downstream coverage issues. He is frequently asked to assist in the development of new policy wordings. He also has worked on numerous professional indemnity matters for lawyers, accountants and nursing home coverages as well as general and excess liability, political risk and various types of business interruption (and LOPI) claims. Clif also represents non-insurer clients in a variety of commercial disputes.
Clif has tried and arbitrated cases throughout the United States, including the courts of Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Alaska, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Illinois. He has argued numerous insurance related cases in the appellate courts of Louisiana and Texas (including in each state’s Supreme Court) as well as the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. He has been listed in Chambers USA as one of America’s Leading Lawyers for Business since 2010 and has an “AV” rating in Martindale Hubbell since the 1990’s.
A representative sampling of the matters Clif has handled include:
- Lead trial counsel in four-week jury trial in Texas state court representing EED insurers of offshore oil facility in coverage dispute over policy limits and scope of well restoration coverage. Obtained reversal of jury verdict on appeal and favorable settlement thereafter. Also handled the appellate argument in First Court of Appeals.
- Lead counsel for construction risk insurers in $1 billion offshore property loss arising out of deep-water offshore incident. The matter resolved amicably (without litigation) after collaborative marshalling of evidence, forensic evaluation of causation and analysis of contractual responsibilities.
- Lead trial counsel in five-week jury trial in federal court in Texas involving coverage for an offshore loss arising out of hurricane damage to oil field facilities. Issues included allocation of insurance coverage between COW and pollution policies.
- Representation of Energy Package insurers from district court through Texas Supreme Court (including oral arguments at intermediate appellate court and SCOTEX) in coverage litigation arising out of Macondo well blowout in Gulf of Mexico. Issues included application of various aspects of the Joint Venture Provision in an excess liability policy.
- Lead counsel in recovery action for construction risk insurers against contractor and Marine Warranty Surveyor arising out of offshore construction loss.
- Representation of well owner/operator and its insurers in recovery action for $25 million in losses arising out of inadvertent firing of perforation gun during completion operations in an offshore well in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Representation of Energy Package insurers in coverage dispute in Texas trial and appellate court arising out of Hurricane Ike. Issues involved scope of PD and COW coverage where limits were inadequate to cover loss sustained.
- Represent various Energy Package insurers in non-litigious resolution of over $1 billion in claims resulting from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Handled claims of numerous assureds for PD and COW losses testing the boundaries of OEE/EED wordings.
- After successful cross-examination at trial of plaintiff’s key witnesses, favorably resolved $250 million coverage dispute in Louisiana state court coverage action arising out of losses due to toppled offshore platform during Hurricane Rita. Coverage issues included the EED/OEE, Removal of Debris and Making Wells Safe provisions within the energy package policy.
- Lead trial counsel in coverage dispute regarding significant losses ($50 million) to offshore oil facilities and coverage for properties acquired after policy inception. Resolved after trial.
- Successful trial in Texas state court of a $40 million construction risk coverage dispute arising out of a loss at a cogeneration facility in the Dominican Republic.
- Litigated to nominal settlement a $28 million coverage dispute in Texas state court arising out of political risk/contract frustration coverage for an oil field venture in Myanmar.
- Louisiana State University, J.D. 1982
- Drake University, B.A. 1978
- (Philosophy (with honors) and English)
- Courts of the State of New York (2019)
- Courts of the State of Texas (1998)
- Courts of the State of Louisiana (1982)
- United States District Courts of Louisiana and Texas
- Chambers USA, Insurance, 2010-present
- Texas Super Lawyer, 2016-2020, Thomson Reuters
- AV Preeminent Rating, Martindale-Hubbell, 2000-present
- Federal Bar Association
- Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit
- American Bar Association
- Texas Bar Association
- Louisiana Bar Association
- Houston Bar Association
- Life Fellow, Texas Law Foundation
- The Maritime Law Association
- Panelist on Houston Bar Association presentation: First Party Insurance Issues Arising from the Pandemic, September 25, 2020
- Offshore Industry in the 21st Century: Practice, Procedure and Liability, The Maritime Law Association of the United States and the Iberoamerican Institute of Maritime Law, Fall Meeting of the MLA and 18th Congress of the IIDM, Continuing Legal Education and Academic Program, 2013 (panel speaker)
- Settlement, Mediation, and Arbitration: Using Alternative Dispute Resolution to Avoid Costly and Damaging Litigation, American Conference Institute’s National Forum on Defending and Managing Admiralty & Maritime Litigation, 2012 (panel speaker)
- Offshore Energy Coverages, Tulane Admiralty Institute, 2009
- Changing Roles in the Claims Process, Role of the Energy Claims Attorney: Litigation at All Costs?, Lillehammer Energy Claim Conference, 2008 (panel speaker)
- So Your Platform Disappeared in the Hurricane, UT CLE 17th Annual Admiralty and Maritime Conference, 2008 (panel moderator)
- Energy Claims Panel – Loss of Production Income in the Wake of Hurricane Ivan, Houston Marine Insurance Seminar, 2005 (panel speaker)
- Offshore Energy Insurance, 83 Tulane Law Review 1304 (2009)