As an accomplished attorney who has defended insureds and counseled insurance company clients on hundreds of complex P&C, E&O, D&O and PL claims, I have broad experience in developing and executing effective case resolution strategies, claim handling recommendations, and loss exposure analysis for claims pending in state and federal courts nationwide. I have significant experience litigating and arbitrating cases around the country, at both the trial and appellate level, including the defense of insureds. I have represented both domestic and foreign insurers and reinsurers in complex insurance coverage and bad faith litigation and arbitration in jurisdictions across the United States, and regularly counsel insurers and reinsurers in connection with significant and novel claims and insurance policy coverage issues.
I routinely advise and counsel senior management, of policyholders and insurance company clients, regarding claim evaluation, exposure potential, risk mitigation, coverage analyses and resolution strategy. I work effectively to implement budget and litigation expense efficiencies.
I have also served as and directed outside insurance defense counsel on a wide spectrum of claims and issues to resolve cases within budget and below set loss reserves, to the great satisfaction of my clients and their policyholders. My law practice has focused on the areas of professional liability, general liability, construction defect, employment practices liability, first party property, insurance coverage and reinsurance. My professional liability practice emphasizes representing lawyers, agents, brokers, accountants, judges and other professionals, and their insurers, and encompasses individual risks as well as liability programs across the United States.
Through my experience, I have developed a comprehensive arsenal of litigation and negotiation tools and strategies to resolve claims.
In addition, I have drafted and refined insurance policy forms, wordings and endorsements across various insurance product lines and have counseled my clients on a variety of wordings issues. I am well-versed in a wide range of insurance wordings and regularly counsel clients on developing new forms and endorsements. I routinely advise underwriters, producers and business segments on insurance policy wordings and endorsements, manuscript changes and market issues.
Prior to law school, Joyce earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from Northwestern University and worked as an Industrial Engineer with Eaton Corporation where she designed and implemented a multi-million dollar material handling system for an automotive parts plant. Upon graduation from law school, Joyce served a Judicial Clerkship with the Honorable William C. Lee of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.
Upon graduation from law school, Joyce served a Judicial Clerkship with the Honorable William C. Lee of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.
Representative cases include:
- Succeeded in dismissing negligence/breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit against insurance broker client on the basis that, under Illinois law, an insurance broker has no duty to report a claim to the carrier. Landmark Am. Ins. Co. v. Deerfield Const. Inc., 2016 WL 2977274 (N.D. Ill. May 19, 2016)
- Prevailed in dismissal of declaratory judgment action against insurance company client. The court dismissed Plaintiff’s complaint finding that the declaratory judgment exception to res judicata did not apply. Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC v. Pacific Employers Ins. Co., 2013 WL 774565 (N.D. Ohio, Feb. 27, 2013)
- Successfully defended an insurance company in defeating Plaintiff’s belated attempt to add bad faith allegations to coverage action. National Union Fire Ins. Co. v. Westport Ins. Corp., 2012 WL 1866370 (N.D. IL, May 22, 2012)
- Prevailed before the New York Court of Appeals (New York’s highest level state court) on behalf of her client, the primary professional liability carrier for a large law firm. The New York Court of Appeals decided that an insurer was not obligated to provide coverage to a law firm where the firm knew it could be held liable for fraudulent activities of a client but did not disclose this information prior to the inception of the policy. The Court ruled that two of its insurers can invoke “prior knowledge” exclusions in the policies in place during the year the notice of claim was provided. Executive Risk Indem., Inc. v. Pepper Hamilton, LLP, 919 N.E.2d 172 (N.Y. October 2009);
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of an employment practices insurance carrier, securing a declaration that the carrier had no duty to defend or indemnify an insured in connection with an employment discrimination claim, because the insured failed to provide adequate notice of the pendency of the claim as required by the terms of the policy. Cellular Advantage, Inc. v. ACE Westchester Company and Arthur J. Gallagher and Co., No. CL112099 (Iowa Dist. Ct., Polk Cty., May 4, 2010);
- Successfully defended an insurance broker in an action in the District of Columbia alleging failure of the agency to obtain a bond covering a Profit Sharing Plan for the theft by outside entities, in this case, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLP;
- Successfully defended a law firm in a legal malpractice action in Illinois involving immigration issues;
- Defended and prosecuted declaratory judgment actions on behalf of professional liability insurers in New York, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, and Puerto Rico involving issues under claims-made policies such as the application of the prior knowledge exclusion, rescission, number of claims, scope of coverage and late notice.
- Served as coverage counsel with respect to hundreds of professional liability claims throughout the United States, analyzing coverage, supervising defense counsel and monitoring and resolving claims through settlement, motion practice and mediation.
- Represented a major U.S. reinsurer in two arbitrations involving reinsurance of complex HMO medical insurance claims. Joyce’s work on this matter resulted in settlement of both arbitrations under terms viewed very favorably by the client;
- Represented Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London and other London-based reinsurance companies in two California arbitrations involving coverage for extracontractual obligations and excess of policy limits “bad faith” judgments relating to millions of dollars in underlying environmental pollution claims. The panel’s confidential award was a fraction of the cedant insurer’s claim;
- Defended and prosecuted declaratory judgment actions on behalf of various insurers in Ohio, Louisiana, Connecticut, Illinois, New York and Indiana regarding environmental contamination at industrial manufacturing sites across the U.S. and asbestos liabilities involving such insurance coverage issues as expected/intended, number of occurrences, late notice, application of the pollution exclusion and allocation. Joyce was instrumental in resolving many of these complex cases with favorable settlements.
Joyce has given numerous presentations to clients as well as various organizations, including the Chicago Bar Association, National District Attorney Association and the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, on legal malpractice issues.
U.S. District Court, N.D. Indiana
U.S. District Court, N.D. Illinois
U.S. District Court, Colorado
U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit
AV Preeminent® 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rating™ by Martindale-Hubbell®
Martindale-Hubbell® Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers™
Professional and Community Organizations
American Bar Association
Chicago Bar Association
Professional Liability Underwriting Society
Defense Research Institute
Joyce is also a volunteer attorney for the National Immigrant Justice Center in Chicago and has volunteered with Chicago Volunteer Legal Services (CVLS).
Northwestern University, B.S.I.E.
DePaul University, J.D., with honor
- Order of the Coif
- Law Review