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Terence M. Ridley

Partner

Spencer Fane attorney Terence Ridley

T 303.839.3746
F 303.839.3838
tridley@spencerfane.com


Terence Ridley focuses his practice on assisting clients in civil litigation related to a variety of insurance matters, including property, casualty, construction defect, cyber security, environmental, fidelity, and class actions. When his insurance company clients face bad faith claims and class actions, he works closely with leadership and experts to understand complex issues in order to develop strong defense strategies. He has handled dozens of insurance cases in the state and federal courts, winning jury trials and appeals, defeating class certification, winning motions to dismiss or for summary judgment, attaining successful settlements, and achieving other successful outcomes for insurers facing substantial financial exposure. Terence is often called on to rehabilitate cases that have gone awry. He recognizes that insurance fraud is a major national problem, and when not challenged, hurts all consumers of insurance.

He was recently inducted as a fellow of the American College of Coverage Counsel, and became the Chair of the Colorado Bar Association’s Committee on Insurance.

Highlights of Terence’s experience include:

  • In 2021, argued before the Colorado Supreme Court an insurance case of first impression involving the relationship between reservation of rights, the duty to defend, and whether an insurer has the right to intervene in a liability case in the face of a lay-down defense announced on the eve of trial.
  • In 2020, argued before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals an issue of first impression, in the area of insurance appraisals, involving interlocutory jurisdiction over a district court order to appraise a loss where the insurer denied coverage and whether such disputes are subject to appraisal.
  • Serving as national coordinating counsel on COVID-19 property litigation for a major property and casualty insurer.
  • In 2020, won a significant victory before the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation for an insurance company facing an attempt to centralize all federal COVID-19 business-interruption insurance cases.
  • Won a groundbreaking ruling from the Colorado Supreme Court requiring insurance appraisers to be fully unbiased and impartial.
  • Won a federal jury verdict in a trial for an insurer pursuing counterclaims against a homeowners association that filed an inflated insurance claim and sought more than $5 million in total damages. The Court entered judgment for the client for the full amount that had been paid in benefits, plus interest and costs. Argued and won affirmance from the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Won reversal of a $3 million property appraisal award against a national insurance company and disqualification of the plaintiff’s national property appraiser as well as the umpire on grounds that they were not impartial and failed to disclose directly relevant financial incentives and relationships.
  • Represented seven co-defendants in a property insurance class action lawsuit in Colorado. Plaintiffs claimed they were systematically underinsured in a “monumental” conspiracy, in violation of federal RICO and antitrust laws, and involving virtually all property insurers in Colorado as well as industry trade groups. Served as liaison counsel for the joint defense group, and successfully argued and won a motion for an attorneys’ fee exceeding $1 million.
  • Won complete affirmance in the Tenth Circuit of landmark rulings governing insurance appraisals. In two published opinions, the Tenth Circuit affirmed trial court rulings vacating an eight-figure appraisal award against the client, disqualifying for bias a national policyholder appraiser, and sanctioning the policyholder and its lawyers for misconduct in connection with the appraisal.
  • Assisted, as amicus curiae, in winning a ruling from the Colorado Supreme Court requiring Colorado state courts to apply the federal Twombly pleading standard. Co-authored the amicus brief for the Colorado Civil Justice League urging the Court to adopt “plausibility” pleading in Colorado to discourage forum shopping and improve the Colorado justice system.
  • Represented three of the nation’s preeminent insurance industry trade associations in an amici curiae brief urging the Colorado Supreme Court to grant certiorari review of a Court of Appeals decision that essentially reinterpreted the duty of virtually every UM/UIM insurance policy issued in Colorado.
  • Won reversal from the Colorado Supreme Court for a large national insurance company in a precedent-setting ruling on the practice of “assigning” potential future personal injury settlements to third parties, such as medical lien companies.
  • Won a complete defense verdict for a national insurance company in an insurance bad faith property case where coverage had been denied based on evidence of arson. The case was tried in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado.
  • Won a complete defense verdict in a bad faith “set-up” case for a national insurance company, tried in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado.
  • Won summary judgment in the United States District Court, Wyoming, on issue of bad faith in a failure to defend case arising under a commercial auto policy. Argued and won the bad faith issue before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Defended negligence suit against insurance producer allegedly failing to procure sufficient insurance under an Owner Controlled Insurance Program to cover an ~$18 million construction defect verdict involving 250 condominiums.
  • Won a Colorado Supreme Court decision favorable to a national insurance company in a purported class action involving coverage issue associated with uninsured/underinsured motorist policies.
  • Won affirmation of a trial court’s summary judgment ruling and exposed “pollution for profit” in protracted CERCLA litigation for an engineering client before the Tenth Circuit.

Presentations and Publications

  • Presenter to the Colorado Bar Association Committee on Insurance, “Recent Developments in Colorado Appraisal Law” (Autumn, 2020)
  • Presenter at the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (“FDCC”) Coverage Boot Camp (March, 2020)
  • Presenter to Extra-Contractual Section of the FDCC, “Variations on a Theme” (March, 2020)
  • “The Ever Changing Landscape of Appraisal” (Presentation, May, 2018)
  • Co-authored “Bad Faith Set-Ups of Insurance Companies,” FDCC Insights (June, 2016)
  • Presenter to the FDCC Section on Extra-Contractual Liability, “Recent Assaults on the Most Sacred Privilege of All: Does the Attorney-Client Privilege Still Exist?” (July, 2014)
  • Presenter to the Class Action Section at the FDCC Winter Meeting, “Sampling, Extrapolation, and Experts: What’s Left?” (March, 2014)
  • “Bad Faith Claims: Managing Risks and Avoiding Liability” (Presentation, November 18, 2013)
  • Presenter for CLE seminar, “Depositions of the Corporate Representative: What You Need to Know” (October, 2012)
  • Presenter at the FDCC Annual Meeting, “Class Action Litigation One Year After Dukes v. Wal-Mart: A Happy Anniversary?” (August, 2012)
  • Presenter to the Association of Corporate Counsel, Colorado Chapter, “Arbitration Clauses and Class Certification” (June 26, 2008)

Memberships

  • Colorado Bar Association
    • Chair of the Committee on Insurance, 2021
    • Vice-Chair, Insurance Committee, 2020
    • Board of Governors (former)
  • ABA Insurance Coverage Litigation
    • Section of Litigation, member
  • Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel, 2004-present
    • Board of Directors, 2015-2017
    • Vice-Chair, Extra Contractual Liability, 2020-2022
    • Member, Amicus and Public Policy Committee, 2020-2022
    • Member, Insurance Coverage Training Academy Committee, 2021-2022
    • Chair, Class Action and Multidistrict Litigation Section (former)
    • Member, Reinsurance, Excess, and Surplus Lines Section
    • Vice-Chair, Membership Development and Retention (former)
  • Colorado Defense Lawyers Association

Distinctions

  • American College of Coverage Counsel, Fellow
  • The Best Lawyers in America
    • Insurance Law, 2010-2022
    • Litigation – Insurance, 2017-2022
    • Commercial Litigation, 2016-2022
    • Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Defendants, 2022
  • Colorado Super Lawyers®
    • Insurance Coverage, 2006-2021
    • Top 100, 2012-2016, 2019-2021
    • Civil Litigation Defense, 2006-2011
  • Benchmark Litigation Future Star, 2020 and 2022
  • 5280 Magazine Top Lawyer, Insurance, 2017-2020
  • Law Week Colorado
    • 2019 Top Litigator
    • “Barrister’s Choice” Best Insurance Defense Lawyer, 2019
    • “People’s Choice” Best Insurance Defense Lawyer, 2017
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Peer Review Rated

Contact Terence Ridley at 303.839.3746 or tridley@spencerfane.com.