Don A. Lesser

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Insurance Coverage Attorney in San Francisco, CA

The Lesser Law Group
 | 315 Montgomery St, Ninth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94104
Phone: 415-453-7600
Fax: 415-295-4122
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2019
Licensed Since: 1984
Practice Areas:
  • Insurance Coverage (50%),
  • Business Litigation (30%),
  • Professional Liability: Plaintiff (20%)
Attorney Profile

Attorney Don A. Lesser is the founder of Lesser Law Group in San Francisco, California. Mr. Lesser focuses his practice on business and insurance law, handling cases involving bad faith insurance and business insurance. He also has experience with administrative proceedings, commercial litigation and real estate. He represents individuals and businesses of all sizes in the San Francisco Bay Area in areas including the East Bay, Oakland, Sacramento and Marin County.

Mr. Lesser has more than 35 years of legal experience. He litigates and arbitrates matters in various legal areas including commercial leasing, corporate governance, licensing, professional liability, products liability, securities fraud, shareholder relations, trade secrets, unfair competition and wrongful termination. Over the course of his career, he has successfully litigated numerous cases for his clients, including recovering a multimillion-dollar verdict in a commercial leasing dispute.

Recognizing his accomplishments, Martindale-Hubbell awarded Mr. Lesser with an AV Preeminent* rating. This is the highest rating available from the prominent organization and given to attorneys possessing the highest degrees of professional excellence and ethical standards.

Mr. Lesser earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles. He received his law degree from the University of California, Davis, School of Law and obtained his license to practice law in California in 1983.

Before becoming a licensed attorney, Mr. Lesser worked on environmental policy issues for the governor of California. He went on to spend nine years as a partner at a litigation firm in San Francisco before founding Lesser Law Group in 1999.

*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

 
Practice Areas
Lawyer Practice Area Pie Chart

Insurance Coverage (50%): Insurance, Bad Faith Insurance

Business Litigation (30%)

Professional Liability (20%)

Focus Areas

Insurance, Bad Faith Insurance

Selections

Selected to Super Lawyers for 1 yearsbottom-image

Super Lawyers: 2019

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About Don Lesser

Admitted: 1984, California

Professional Webpage: https://www.lessergroup.com/About/Don-A-Lesser.shtml

Honors/Awards:

  • AV Preeminent Rating each year since 2006, Martindale Hubbell, 2017

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • Admitted to practice in all state and federal California courts.
  • Bar Association of San Francisco Insurance Law Committee. Panelist on forthcoming March 2018 program on Cyber Liability and Insurance Coverage.
  • San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, 2014 - present.  Panelist in November 2016 program titled Strategies for the Plaintiff Lawyer When a Carrier Refuses to Settle, Pay or Defend. 

Pro bono/Community Service:

  • Attorney Volunteer, United Policyholders (2014 - present).  Currently providing pro bono assistance to victims of the Santa Rosa fires.
  • Professional Responsibility Attorney - Legal Aid of Marin (2014-2015)    
  • Attorney volunteer, Marin County Superior Court Bench/Bar Settlement Conference Program, 2015 - present.
  • Fee Dispute Arbitrator, Marin County Bar Association (2013 - present)
  • Trustee and Board President, Montessori de Terra Linda, San Rafael, CA  from 2013-2017.

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

  • I have written and lectured on numerous topics in the insurance and lawyers' professional liability fields.

Verdicts/Settlements:

  • Won $50 million judgment against a group of Directors’ & Officers’ Liability insurers that refused to defend or indemnify our client, the founder of a Southern California computer retailer.
  • Representing a Southern California commercial real estate developer, we convinced the client's insurer under an Employment Practices Liability Policy to reverse its withdrawal of the defense, settle the claim and abandon its defense cost allocation arguments.
  • Representing a publically traded Northern California technology company in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding, we obtained a seven figure recovery against a group of insurance carriers that unlawfully rescinded the client's primary and excess D & O policies based on alleged misrepresentations in financial statements the client submitted when obtaining the coverage.
  • With co-counsel we prevailed at trial, and secured a seven figure attorney's fees award, in a multi-million dollar dispute over the renewal terms of a San Francisco restaurant lease.
  • For a Bay Area health care district, we convinced the client's D&O insurer to reverse its denial of coverage based on a contractual liability exclusion.
  • For a Bay Area labor union, we recovered 90 percent of the client's judgment against the insured of a London-based non-admitted insurer after defeating the insurer’s summary judgment motion on coverage.
  • Settled for nuisance value a multi-million dollar “reimbursement” claim by an insurer of a Southern California private equity firm based on coverage issues we defeated on cross-motions for summary judgment.
  • Representing a major San Francisco law firm, we convinced the firm's professional liability insurer to reverse its withdrawal of its defense of a malpractice claim against the firm and secured the insurer's settlement of the claim. 
  • Obtained a six-figure recovery from a title insurer for a North Bay homeowner whose insurer refused to defend or indemnify against the loss.
  • For a Southern California general contracting firm we obtained a seven-figure recovery from the client's commercial liability insurance carriers for their denials of coverage for construction defect claims on a community college expansion project.

Representative Clients:

  • Current and recent clients include private equity and venture capital firms, restaurants and wineries, computer retailers, software companies, insurance brokers, law firms and construction companies.

Educational Background:

  • University of California, Los Angeles, B.A., Political Science, 1978

Industry Groups

  • Automotive
  • Construction
  • Financial Services
  • Hospitality
  • Insurance Brokers/agents
  • Law And Accounting Firms
  • Medical
  • Real Estate
  • Retailing
  • Technology
Find Me Online
Office Location for Don A. Lesser

315 Montgomery St
Ninth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94104

Phone: 415-453-7600

Fax: 415-295-4122

Don A. Lesser:

Last Updated: 4/11/2019

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