Christopher M. Jacobs

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Insurance Coverage Attorney in Pittsburgh, PA

Houston Harbaugh, P.C.
 | Three Gateway Center, 401 Liberty Avenue, 22nd Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
Phone: 412-288-4019
Fax: 412-281-4499
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2019
Selected To Rising Stars: 2011 - 2016
Licensed Since: 2002
Practice Areas:
  • Insurance Coverage (70%),
  • Business Litigation (30%)
Languages Spoken:
  • English,
  • Spanish
Attorney Profile

As a director of the Houston Harbaugh, P.C., law firm in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, attorney Christopher M. Jacobs represents the rights and interests of a diverse range of clients throughout the state, as well as West Virginia and Ohio, who have legal needs involving insurance bad faith litigation, insurance coverage disputes and complex commercial litigation.

Focusing primarily on the defense of insurance companies and other stakeholders, Mr. Jacobs has assisted hundreds of clients who face claims involving construction defects, injury claims, toxic exposure claims, uninsured and underinsured motorist claim disputes, property loss disputes, excess verdicts, and other issues. A tenacious trial attorney, he fully prepares each case with an eye on achieving the most favorable outcome possible. Furthermore, he has extensive experience handling matters such as horizontal and vertical exhaustion, targeted tender issues, extracontractual exposure defense, underlying policy interactions, allocation of damages, and more.

Widely regarded as a leader in his field, Mr. Jacobs has several publications to his credit, and he routinely conducts lectures and seminars throughout his region on topics related to insurance bad faith and insurance law. Fully committed to his practice, he is a member of the Defense Research Institute's The Voice of the Defense Bar and the Pennsylvania Association of Mutual Insurance Companies. He is also a member of the Pennsylvania Defense Institute, the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the Allegheny County Bar Association.

A 1999 graduate of the University of Richmond, Mr. Jacobs obtained his Juris Doctor from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 2002. He holds his license to practice in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio, and he is admitted to practice before all U.S. District Courts in Pennsylvania, the U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of West Virginia, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd and 4th Circuits.

Committed to his local community as well, Mr. Jacobs once served as president of the North Allegheny School District, and he is a former board member of the McCandless-Franklin Park Ambulance Authority.

 
Practice Areas
Lawyer Practice Area Pie Chart

Insurance Coverage (70%): Bad Faith Insurance

Business Litigation (30%)

Focus Areas

Bad Faith Insurance

Selections

Selected to Super Lawyers for 1 yearsmiddle-imageSelected to Rising Stars for 6 years

Super Lawyers: 2019 Rising Stars: 2011 - 2016

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About Christopher Jacobs

Admitted: 2002, Pennsylvania

Professional Webpage: https://www.hh-law.com/Professionals/Christopher-M-Jacobs.sh...

Honors/Awards:

  • Pennsylvania Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2011 - 2016

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • Pennsylvania Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (PAMIC)
  • State of West Virginia
  • State of Ohio
  • Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
  • DRI - The Voice of The Defense Bar
  • Pennsylvania Defense Institute
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Allegheny County Bar Association

Pro bono/Community Service:

  • North Allegheny School District - School Board Member/President, 2015
  • McCandless-Franklin Park Ambulance Authority - Board Member, 2015

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

  • I’ve Got You Covered (But I Reserve My Right Not To), Pennsylvania Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, April 10, 2018 | Gettysburg, PA | Presenter
  • Key Insurance Law Developments 2009, Pennsylvania Defense Institute – Case Law & Legislative Update, July 14, 2009 | Pittsburgh, PA | Presenter
  • Reservation of Rights: General Principles and the Lessons of Lobenthal, Pennsylvania Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, April 12, 2017 | Gettysburg, PA | Presenter
  • Analysis of the Pennsylvania Superior Court's Selective Way decision and the potential effect of the same with respect to the adjudication of an insurer's duty to defend and/or indemnify., The ‘Selective Way’ Decision: A Catalyst for Increased Coverage Litigation?, The Legal Intelligencer, Insurance Law Supplement, Vol. 254, No. 2, Insurance Coverage, 2016

Verdicts/Settlements:

  • Non-jury trial representing insurer in declaratory judgment action concerning insured status of automobile dealership and driver under business auto policy, resulting in favorable verdict., 2016
  • Jury trial representing insurer in declaratory judgment action concerning residency issue under a personal automobile policy, resulting in favorable verdict., 2015
  • Jury trial representing insurer in malicious prosecution action arising out of handling of a residential fire loss and reporting of claim under the Pennsylvania Arson Reporting Immunity Act, resulting in defense verdict., 2014
  • Jury trial representing insurer in bad faith action arising out of handling of underinsured motorist claim, resulting in favorable pre-verdict settlement before closing statements., 2010
  • Non-jury trial representing insurer in declaratory judgment action concerning priority of coverage under competing automobile policies, resulting in verdict finding co-primary obligations between insurers., 2006
  • Non-jury trial representing automobile dealership in consumer protection law matter relating to vehicle sale, resulting in defense verdict., 2004
  • Jury trial representing residential contractor in construction defect matter, resulting in defense verdict with successful counterclaim for breach of contract., 2003
  • Boggs v. Imperial Fire and Cas. Ins. Co., 2018 WL 3964829 (S.D.W.Va. Aug. 17, 2018) Motion to dismiss West Virginia bad faith claims granted in favor of flood insurer, finding state-based bad faith claims pre-empted by federal National Flood Insurance Act (NFIA) and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
  • QBE Ins. Corp. v. Adjo Contracting Corp., 997 N.Y.S.2d 425 (2d Dept. 2014) Summary judgment in favor of Pennsylvania insurer entered by New York appellate court in complex coverage matter arising out of underlying construction defect litigation, finding no “occurrence” under Pennsylvania law.
  • Scottsdale Ins. Co. v. Harleysville Ins. Co., 2013 WL 6813905 (N.D.W.Va. Dec. 24, 2013) Favorable decision in favor of insurer-client on West Virginia choice of law issue in insurance coverage action arising out of construction defect claims.
  • USF Ins. Co. v. Orion Dev. RA XXX, LLC, 756 F. Supp.2d 749 (N.D.W.Va. Nov. 18, 2010) Declaratory judgment in favor of commercial general liability insurer, finding no duty to defend or indemnify insured in underlying lawsuit alleging sexual assaults, where allegations did not establish “bodily injury” under West Virginia law.
  • Knecht v. Erie Ins. Prop. & Cas. Co., 2010 WL 2472486 (N.D.W.Va. June 15, 2010) Summary judgment in favor of auto insurer with respect to Hayseeds common law bad faith claim, finding insured did not substantially prevail in the settlement of his claim for underinsured motorist benefits.
  • Victoria Ins. Co. v. Ren, 2008 WL 2371850 (E.D.Pa. June 9, 2008) Dismissal of insured’s statutory bad faith counterclaim in declaratory judgment action, ruling that insurer’s litigation of legitimate coverage issues is not bad faith under Pennsylvania law.
  • In re Finney, 184 Fed. Appx. 285 (3d Cir. 2006) Affirmance of summary judgment in favor of insurer’s attorney in wrongful use of civil proceedings, malicious prosecution and abuse of process action arising out of handling of insured’s fire claim.
  • State ex. rel. Erie Ins. Prop. & Cas. Co. v. Mazzone, 625 S.E.2d 355 (W.Va. 2005) Petition for Writ of prohibition to West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals granted with respect to discovery order directing disclosure of insurer’s reserve information, finding that trial court failed to make proper relevancy determination.

Educational Background:

  • University of Richmond, B.A. Political Science and International Studies, Magna Cum Laude, 1999
Find Me Online
Website - www.hh-law.com
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Office Location for Christopher M. Jacobs

Three Gateway Center
401 Liberty Avenue, 22nd Floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Phone: 412-288-4019

Fax: 412-281-4499

Christopher M. Jacobs:

Last Updated: 9/19/2019

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