Robert J. Cunningham

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Insurance Coverage Attorney in Houston, TX

Roach Newton, L.L.P.
 | 3200 Wilcrest Drive, Suite 415
Houston, TX 77042
Phone: 713-652-2033
Fax: 713-652-2029
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2006 - 2019
Licensed Since: 1981
Practice Areas:
  • Insurance Coverage (90%),
  • General Litigation (10%)
Attorney Profile

As a partner with the boutique Texas law firm Roach & Newton, LLP, Bob Cunningham focuses his practice on insurance counseling and litigation for sophisticated policyholders, especially concerning maritime and offshore energy litigation and other complex commercial cases. He also has extensive experience with commercial and personal injury litigation and corporate representation. Mr. Cunningham is highly skilled in mediation and arbitration, and successfully negotiated resolutions for numerous cases outside the courtroom. He accepts clients throughout the state of Texas.

An impressive education helped form the foundation for Mr. Cunningham’s career. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Yale University in 1978, graduating cum laude, he earned a Master of Arts in 1981 from Boston College, where he received honors for his oral examination on the study of biomedical ethics. He then went on to earn his Juris Doctor from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law in 1999. While in law school, Mr. Cunningham gained legal experience as an intern for the Torts Branch of the U.S. Department of Justice in San Francisco, where he also served a stint as a trial lawyer handling marine oil pollution cases and other maritime litigation on behalf of the United States. He is licensed to practice law in all Texas state courts and in the federal Southern District of Texas, and practiced as a federal trial lawyer in virtually all U.S. District Courts on the Pacific coast within the 9th Circuit.

Mr. Cunningham’s reputation for the highest legal standards has earned him the respect of his peers. He has consistently been given the highest rating possible of AV Preeminent* from Martindale-Hubbell, has been recognized since 2006 for his insurance practice by Chambers USA, and he has also been named since 2008 in The Best Lawyers in America.** He frequently lectures on insurance coverage and commercial litigation issues for numerous continuing legal education seminars throughout Texas. Mr. Cunningham is an active member of many bars and associations, including the American Bar Association, The Maritime Law Association of the United States, the State Bar of Texas and the Houston Bar Association.

*AV Preeminent and BV Distinguished are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used 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 confidential opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories: legal ability and general ethical standards.

**The Best Lawyers in America® 2013. Copyright 2013 by Woodward/White, Inc., Aiken, SC

Practice Areas
Lawyer Practice Area Pie Chart

Insurance Coverage (90%)

General Litigation (10%)


Selected to Super Lawyers for 14 yearsbottom-image

Super Lawyers: 2006 - 2019

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About Robert Cunningham

Admitted: 1981, Texas

Professional Webpage:


  • Rated "AV" by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Chambers USA, Leading Lawyers – Insurance, 2006 - 2016
  • Best Lawyers in America – Insurance Law Specialty (2008 Edition)

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • State Bar of Texas, 1981
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • American Bar Association (Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section; Litigation Section), Member
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States, Member
  • Texas Federal Courts
  • University of Texas School of Law, Insurance Law Institute, Program Planning Committee, 1999 - 2004
  • Houston Bar Association (Construction Law Section; Consumer Law Section), Member
  • Texas State District Courts
  • Council, Insurance Law Section, State Bar of Texas
  • State Bar of Texas (Insurance Law; Consumer Law), Member
  • Supreme Court of Texas

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

  • Texas Annotated Insurance Code (Lexis-Nexis, 2007 ed., 2008 in progress), Contributing Editor
  • “No Prejudice, No Harm: The Supreme Court Takes on Conditions Precedent and Allocation of Settlement Among Carriers,” State Bar of Texas webcast, 2008
  • “Notice, Prejudice, Conditions Precedent and Consent to Settle Issues,” South Texas College of Law, 2008
  • “Hot Topics in Insurance Law: What Every Business Lawyer Should Know,” Advanced Business Law, State Bar of Texas, 2007
  • “Lamar Homes: The New Supreme Court Decision,” (panel), State Bar of Texas webcast, 2007  
  • “Current Issues in Liability Coverage,” (panel), South Texas College of Law, 2007
  • “Insurance and Ethical Issues Arising from Frank’s Casing,” Admiralty and Maritime Law Conf., University of Texas, 2006
  • “Frank’s Casing and Reimbursement,” South Texas College of Law, 2006  
  • “Coverage Disputes After Frank’s Casing: New Problems and Issues,” Ins. Law for Attys. Repr. Insurers, Univ. of Houston Law Foundation, 2005  
  • “Sea-Change: Excess Underwriters v. Frank’s Casing, Inc.,” (panel), State Bar of Texas audiocast, 2005  
  • “Recent Developments in Insurance Coverage Litigation,” (contributor), 40 Tort Trial & Ins. Prac. L.J. 521, 2005
  • "Oil Field Anti-Indemnity Provisions," (co-author for 2004 update), Contractual Trans., Section IV, International Risk Management Institute (IRMI) publication
  • "Duty to Defend: The Eight Corners Rule," Ins. Law for Attys. Repr. Insurers, Univ. of Houston Law Foundation, 2004
  • “Fifth Circuit Developments on Duty to Defend: Northfield Ins. V. Barrows,” (author), Dallas Bar Association, Tort and Insurance Section, 2004 
  • "Recent Developments in Texas Insurance," (author), Advanced Civil Trial Practice, State Bar of Texas, 2004
  • "Insurability of Punitive Damages: Policyholders' Perspective," Texas Insurance Law Symp., South Texas College of Law, 2004
  • "Impact of Offers of Settlement Under H.B.-4 on Stowers Issues," (author), Ins. Law for Attys. Repr. Insurers, Univ. of Houston Law Foundation, 2003
  • "Duty to Indemnify," (author, work in progress), Insurance Law Institute, University of Texas, 2003  
  •  "Insurance for Trial Attorneys," (author, work in progress), Advanced Civil Trial Practice, State Bar of Texas, 2003  
  • "Duty to Defend: The Eight Corners Rule," (author), Advanced Insurance Seminar, University of Houston Law Foundation, 2003  
  • "Insurance Red Flags: Post-9/11, Corporate Governance, etc.", Representing Corporations in a Changed Legal Environment, University of Houston Law Foundation, 2002  
  • "The Enron Collapse: A Case Study of Insurance Implications Beyond D&O Coverage," Insurance Law Institute, Univ. of Texas, 2002  
  • "Discovery in the Bad Faith Case: Policyholder Perspective," Texas Insurance Bad Faith Litigation, Professional Education Systems Institute, 2002
  • "Choice of Law Issues in Insurance Disputes," Texas Insurance Law Symposium, South Texas College of Law, 2002
  • "Additional Insured and Indemnification Issues in the Oil Patch and Offshore," Insurance Law Institute, University of Texas, 2001
  • "Fundamentals of Marine Insurance," (co-author), Admiralty & Maritime Conference, University of Texas, 2000  
  • "Holding the Insurer's Feet to the Fire: How to Get the Coverage You Deserve," (co-author), Preventing & Responding to the Maritime Emergency Seminar, South Texas College of Law, 2000
  • "Claims-Made Policies: Current Issues," Insurance Law Institute, University of Texas, 2000  
  • "Declaratory Judgment Actions," Insurance Law Institute, University of Texas, 1999
  • "Strategic Pretrial Choices in Coverage Cases," Insurance Law Institute, University of Texas, 1998

Representative Clients:

  • Houston Casualty Company
  • Walter Oil & Gas
  • American Plant Food
  • Sulzer Orthopedic
  • Individual securities trader / principal of Houston Trader Group partnership
  • Perigee Consulting
  • Chevron Pipeline
  • Oceaneering
  • Temple-Inland Forest Products
  • Brighton Homes
  • Lloyd’s of London, various London Insurance Companies, various Norwegian insurance companies
  • R & B Falcon Drilling (Transocean)
  • Waste Management, Inc.
  • Baylor College of Medicine

Educational Background:

  • M.A., Boston College Theology Dept. (Concentration in biomedical ethics)., Honors at oral examination, 1978
  • Mediation Certificate, University of Houston., A.A. White Dispute Resolution Institute, 1999
  • B.A., Yale University., cum laude, honors in major (philosophy), 1976

Industry Groups

  • Energy
  • General Commercial
  • Maritime
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Office Location for Robert J. Cunningham

3200 Wilcrest Drive
Suite 415
Houston, TX 77042

Phone: 713-652-2033

Fax: 713-652-2029

Robert J. Cunningham:

Last Updated: 4/4/2019

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