John C. Tollefson

John C. Tollefson

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Insurance Coverage Attorney in Dallas, TX

Tollefson Bradley Mitchell & Melendi, LLP
 | 2811 McKinney Avenue, Suite 250 West
Dallas, TX 75204
Phone: 214-665-0100
Fax: 214-665-0199
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2006 - 2019
Licensed Since: 1991
Practice Areas:
  • Insurance Coverage (80%),
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (20%)
Attorney Profile

John specializes in evaluating and, when necessary, litigation issues involving insurance coverage and bad faith.  The primary focus of his practice is in the areas of primary and excess general liability, auto liability, professional liability, and directors and officers' liability coverage issues.  He also acts as a mediator for parties seeking to settle disputes involving coverage issues.

About John Tollefson

Admitted: 1991, Texas

Professional Webpage: http://www.tbbmlaw.com/jtollefson.html

Honors/Awards:

  • Tier 1 rank by U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms,” 2012-2013 editions
  • “Recommended” in Best’s Directory of Recommended Insurance Attorneys and Adjusters
  • AV Pre-eminent rated by Martindale-Hubbell; AV rated for 26 years
  • Listed in Who’s Who – Legal, published yearly by the International Bar Association

Special Licenses/Certifications:

  • Certified to conduct mediations
  • Member, Texas Association of Mediators

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • American Bar Association, Member
  • State Bar of Texas, Member
  • Dallas Bar Association, Member
  • Charter member – ABA Litigation Section, Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee
  • Founder and co-editor of Coverage, the committee’s journal (1989-2004)
  • Editor-in-chief, Coverage (1996-2004)
  • Past chair – State Bar of Texas Insurance Law Section (June 2011-2012)
  • Member – Council of the State Bar Insurance Section (since 2003)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Arkansas
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Oklahoma
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Oklahoma

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

  • “Allocation and Exhaustion in Texas,” The Seminar Group, Insurance in the Construction Industry Symposium, January 13, 2012;
  • “Proving the Duty to Pay in Texas,” State Bar of Texas, Eighteenth Annual Advanced Insurance Law Course, Dallas, Texas, April 14, 2011;
  • “Allocation After One Beacon:  More Questions Than Answers,” Texas Insurance Law Symposium, South Texas College of Law, January 23, 2009;
  • “The Constitutionality of the Prompt Payment of Claims Statute,” State Bar of Texas Fourteenth Annual Advanced Insurance Law Course, Dallas, Texas, March 28, 2008;
  • “Privilege Issues Arising From Issuance of Reservations of Rights,”American Bar Association Annual Meeting, Torts and Insurance Practice Section, August 11, 2007, San Francisco, California;
  • “Traver Trumps Tilley – Because Texas is Now a ‘One Client’ State, A Liability Insurer’s Issuance of a Reservation of Rights Does Not Automatically Divest it of the Right to Select Defense Counsel,” State Bar of Texas, Twelfth Annual Advanced Insurance Law Course, Dallas, Texas, March 31, 2006;
  • “Developments in Allocation Among Insurers,” Texas Insurance Law Symposium, South Texas College of Law, January 27, 2006;
  • “Unusual Policy Forms and Coverages,” Tenth Annual Insurance Law Institute, The University of Texas School of Law, December 8, 2005, Austin, Texas;
  • “Why Make Insurance Part of the Underlying Deal?”, Mealey’s Additional Insured Conference, Pasadena, California, May 17, 2005;
  • “Post Judgment Coverage Issues,” 2005 Midyear Meeting, American Bar Association, Section of Litigation, Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee;
  • Cumis in Texas – The Tension Between Davalos and Traver,” Ninth Annual Insurance Law Institute, The University of Texas School of Law, November 12, 2004;
  • “Cullen Frost – Still Crazy After All These Years,” Eighth Annual Insurance Law Institute, The University of Texas School of Law, November 12, 2003;
  • “Declaratory Judgment Actions – Who, Where, What, Why and When,” Seventh Annual Insurance Law Institute, The University of Texas School of Law, September 4, 2002;
  • “Nursing Home Liability and Insurance Coverage,” ATLA Nursing Home Liability Seminar, April 20, 2001, Houston, Texas;
  • “Insurance Coverage and the Bankrupt Insured,” Texas Association of Defense Counsel, Annual Meeting, April 5, 2001, Las Vegas, Nevada;
  • “Billing Audits and Litigation Guidelines,” Lawyer Regulation in Texas—2000; Texas Center for Legal Ethics and Professionalism, November 17, 2000;
  • “Recent Developments in Texas Insurance Law,” Texas Insurance Adjusters Association, Annual Meeting, November 9, 2000;
  • “Liability Insurers’ Right and Duty to Defend and the Prohibition Against Direction or Regulation Of Insurance Defense Lawyers,” State Bar Of Texas Annual Meeting, Insurance Coverage Committee Meeting, San Antonio, Texas, June 22, 2000;
  • “Building Blocks of the Commercial General Liability Insuring Agreement,” October 23, 1998, National Institute on Construction Litigation, Presented by the American Bar Association, Section of Litigation;
  • “A Lawyer Shall Not Permit a Person Who Pays the Lawyer to Render Legal Services to Direct or Regulate the Lawyer’s Professional Judgment,” Coverage, Volume 8, Number 5, Sept/Oct 1998;
  • “Conflicts, Defense Counsel, and Legal Fees,” July 30-31, 1998, Texas Insurance Law Symposium, presented by the South Texas College of Law;
  • “What a Dog Knows – There Is No Longer a Basis in the Definition of ‘Occurrence’ for Requiring Proof of the Insured’s Subjective Intent to Injure,” March 13-15, 1997, ABA Section of Litigation Annual Insurance Coverage Litigation Midyear Meeting.

Verdicts/Settlements:

  • Following are opinions rendered in some of the cases in which Mr. Tollefson served as counsel:
  • Colony Nat’l Ins. Co. v. Unique Indus. Prod. Co., 487 F. App’x 888 (5th Cir. 2012);
  • Berkley Reg’l Ins. Co. v. Phila. Indem. Ins. Co., 690 F.3d 342 (5th Cir. 2012);
  • Colony Nat’l Ins. Co. v. Manitex, L.L.C., 461 F. App’x 401 (5th Cir. 2012);
  • Cont’l Cas. Co. v. Consol. Graphics, Inc., 646 F.3d 210 (5th Cir. 2011);
  • Newhouse v. Colony Ins. Co., 383 F. App’x 461 (5th Cir. 2010);
  • Nautilus Ins. Co. v. Country Oaks Apts. Ltd., 566 F.3d 452 (5th Cir. 2009);
  • Nautilus Ins. Co. v. Reuter, 537 F.3d 733 (7th Cir. 2008);
  • Sport Supply Group, Inc. v. Columbia Cas. Co., 335 F.3d 453 (5th Cir. 2003), 67 U.S.P.Q.2d 1225;
  • Nautilus Ins. Co v. Pac. Employers Ins. Co., 303 F. App’x 201 (5th Cir. 2008);
  • Nautilus Ins. Co. v. All Counties Prof’l Secs. Inc., 168 F. App’x 565 (5th Cir. 2006);
  • Transcon. Ins. Co. v. Rainwater Constr. Co., LLC, 509 F.3d 454 (8th Cir. 2007);
  • Gemmy Indust. Corp. v. Alliance Gen. Ins. Co., 190 F. Supp.2d 915 (N.D. Tex. 1998), aff’d, 200 F.3d 816 (Table) (5th Cir. 1999);
  • Scottsdale Ins. Co. v. Texas Sec. Concepts and Investigation, 173 F.3d 941 (5th Cir. 1999);
  • Federated Mut. Ins. Co. v. Grapevine Excavation, Inc., 18 F. Supp. 2d 636 (N.D. Tex. 1998), rev’d on other grounds after partial settlement, at Federated Mut. Ins. Co. v. Grapevine Excavation, Inc., 197 F.3d 730 (5th Cir. 1999);
  • Dugger v. Upledger Inst., 795 F. Supp. 184 (E.D. La. 1992), aff’d 8 F.3d 20 (5th Cir. 1993);
  • Alert Centre, Inc. v. Alarm Prot. Servs., Inc., 967 F.2d 161 (5th Cir. 1992);
  • Wausau Ins. Co. v. Gifford, 954 F.2d 1098 (5th Cir. 1992);
  • Holland Am. Ins. Co. v. Succession of Roy, 777 F.2d 992 (5th Cir. 1985);
  • Perkins v. F.I.E. Corp., 762 F.2d 1250 (5th Cir. 1985);
  • Tran v. Manitowoc Eng’g Co.,767 F.2d 223 (5th Cir. 1985);
  • George S. May Int’l Co. v. Arrowpoint Capital Corp., 2011-1865 (La. App. 1 Cir. 8/10/12); 97 So.3d 1167;
  • Nautilus Ins. Co. v. Steinberg, 316 S.W.3d 752(Tex. App.—Dallas 2010, pet. denied);
  • Richmond Condos. v. Skipworth Commercial Plumbing, Inc., 245 S.W.3d 646 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2008, pet. denied);
  • Nguyen v. Short, How, Frels & Heitz, P.C., 108 S.W.3d 558, 562 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2003, pet. denied);
  • Nabors Corporate Servs. v. Northfield Ins. Co., 132 S.W.3d 90 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2004, no pet.), appeal after remand, Northfield Ins. Co. v. Nabors Corporate Servs., 2009 Tex. App. LEXIS 3933 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi May 29, 2009, no pet.);
  • Scottsdale Ins. Co. v. Travis, 68 S.W. 3d 72 (Tex. Civ. App.—Dallas, 2001, pet. denied);
  • In re Sensitive Care, Inc., 28 S.W.3d 35 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2000, no pet.);
  • Thompson v. Henderson, 45 S.W.3d 283 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2001, pet. denied);
  • J.M. Krupar Const. Co., Inc. v. Rosenberg, 95 S.W.3d 322 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2002, no pet.);
  • Espinola v. Latting, 971 S.W.2d 144 (Tex. App.—Waco 1998, no pet.);
  • Boh Bros. Constr. Co., Inc. v. Board of Levee Comm’rs of the Orleans Levee Dist., 550 So.2d 1258 (La. App. 4 Cir. 1989);
  • Kupperman & Co., Inc. v. Buffalo Ins. Co., 535 So.2d 1 (La. App. 4 Cir. 1988);
  • First Federal Sav. Bank of New Orleans v. GAB Bus. Services., Inc., 524 So.2d 111 (La. App. 4 Cir. 1988);
  • Academy Mortgage Co. v. Fireman’s Fund Ins. Co., 542 So.2d 729 (La. App. 4 Cir. 1989);
  • Percle v. Oubre, 564 So.2d 352 (La. App. 1 Cir. 1990);
  • Scott v. Barclay’s American Leasing Serv., Inc., 506 So.2d 823 (La. App. 1 Cir. 1987);
  • Jacobs v. Spinnakers, 474 So.2d 1019 (La. App. 5 Cir. 1985);
  • Michel v. Home Town Supermarket, Inc., 493 So.2d 142 (La. App. 5 Cir. 1986);
  • Nat’l Fire Ins. of Hartford v. C. Hodges & Assocs., PLLC, 825 F. Supp. 2d 792 (W.D. Tex. 2011);
  • Nautilus Ins. Co. v. Concierge Care Nursing Ctrs., Inc., 804 F. Supp. 2d 557 (S.D. Tex. 2011), and 2011 WL 645031 (S.D. Tex. Feb. 11, 2011);
  • Nautilus Ins. Co. v. Int’l House of Pancakes, Inc., 622 F. Supp. 2d 470 (S.D. Tex. 2009);
  • Colony Nat’l Ins. Co. v. Specialty Trailer Leasing, Inc., 620 F. Supp. 2d 786 (N.D. Tex. 2009);
  • Nautilus Ins. Co. v. Nicky & Claire’s Daycare, Inc., 630 F. Supp. 2d 727 (W.D. Tex. 2009);
  • Valley Forge Ins. Co. v. Shah, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23216 (S.D. Tex. Mar. 24, 2009);
  • Nautilus Ins. Co. v. ACM Contractors, Inc., 549 F. Supp. 2d 857 (S.D. Tex. 2008);
  • Nat’l Fire Ins. Co. v. Entm’t Specialty Ins. Servs., 485 F. Supp. 2d 737 (N.D. Tex. 2007);
  • Hous. Auth. of Dallas, Tex. v. Northland Ins. Co., 333 F. Supp. 2d 595 (N.D. Tex. 2004);
  • LATCL&F, Inc. v. Milbank (In re LATCL&F, Inc.), 46 Collier Bankr. Cas. 2d (MB) 1313, 2001 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12478 (N.D. Tex. Aug. 14, 2001);
  • E & R Rubalcava Const., Inc. v. Burlington Ins. Co., 147 F. Supp. 2d 523 (N.D. Tex. 2000);
  • E & R Rubalcava Const., Inc. v. Burlington Ins. Co., 148 F. Supp. 2d 746 (N.D. Tex. 2001);
  • Nautilus Ins. Co. v. ACM Contractors, Inc., 549 F. Supp. 2d 857 (S.D. Tex. 2008);
  • Am. Equity Ins. Co. v. Underwriters at Lloyds London, 211 F.R.D. 298 (S.D. Tex. 2002);
  • Am. Equity Ins. Co. v. Castlemane Farms, Inc., 220 F. Supp. 2d 809 (S.D. Tex. 2002);
  • Western Heritage Ins. Co. v. Estate of Dean, 55 F. Supp. 2d 646 (E.D. Tex. 1998);
  • In re Pierce Mortuary Colleges, Inc., 212 B.R. 549, 11 Tex. Bankr. Ct. Rep. 344 (Bankr. N.D. Tex. 1997);
  • Pepper v. Plaisance, 732 F. Supp. 48 (E.D. La. 1989);
  • Capital Bank and Trust Co. v. Associated Int’l Ins. Co., 576 F. Supp. 1522 (M.D. La. 1984);
  • Nat’l Fire Ins. Co. of Hartford v. NWM-Oklahoma, LLC, Inc., 2008 546 F. Supp. 2d 1238 (W.D. Okla. 2008);
  • Nautilus Ins. Co. v. In Crowd, Inc., 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25467 (M.D. Tenn. Oct. 19, 2005);
  • Serv. Cas. Ins. Co. v. Travelers Ins. Co., 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19797 (W.D. Tex. Oct. 4, 2004);
  • TRI Core Inc. v. Northland Ins. Co., 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21899 (N.D. Tex. Nov. 12, 2002).

Representative Clients:

  • W. R. Berkley Group; Colony Insurance Companies; CNA; Travelers; The Hartford; Navigators Insurance Company; Assurant Specialty Property; MUSIC; Montpelier Insurance Company

Other Outstanding Achievements:

  • Certified Spinning Instructor (License No. 80371)
  • Bicycle Racing, USA Cycling (License No. 273079)

Educational Background:

  • Undergraduate – Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, 1976; Law – Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1979.

Industry Groups

  • Insurance
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Office Location for John C. Tollefson

2811 McKinney Avenue
Suite 250 West
Dallas, TX 75204

John C. Tollefson:

Last Updated: 4/4/2019

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