John Kezer

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Summary

John Kezer's diverse practice emphasizes insurance law and, increasingly and more recently, health law too.  His insurance emphasis includes representation of insurance companies, insurance agencies and insurance producers in all aspects of their regulatory compliance, general business and litigation needs.

John also represents general business entities and healthcare businesses with corporate and transactional matters, civil litigation, including insurance claims and coverage disputes, and employee benefits and welfare benefits under ERISA. John also provides assistance to individuals for a wide variety of insurance questions and claims.

John has significant background in administrative and regulatory law.  He is a former Commissioner of Insurance for the State of Colorado. Prior to serving as Insurance Commissioner he also served as the Director of the Division of Labor, the Deputy Director of the Department of Labor and Employment, the Director of the Division of Employment and Training and prior to those posts he served as an assistant Attorney General and headed the Labor & Civil Rights Unit in the Colorado Department of Law.

John is a Colorado native, loves to ski, hike and bike and is a graduate of the University of Colorado  (undergraduate and law school).  He studied in Germany in his junior year and has conversational fluency in German.

Experience and Areas of Practice

Insurance

- Regulatory Compliance

John assists and represents insurers, insurance producers (also referred to as agents and brokers) and insurance agencies with respect to regulatory compliance, which includes market conduct examinations, financial examinations, licensing, as well as the defense of administrative enforcement actions by the Division of Insurance.

- Coverage, Claims-Handling and Claims

John's insurance practice encompasses risk management, claims-handling, coverage analyses, including reservation of rights letters, for insurers arising from all types and aspects of insurance including, but not limited to, commercial and personal lines for life, health, disability, property and casualty as well as title and workers’ compensation insurance.

John also provides assistance to businesses as well as individuals to address and assist them with presentation of, or responses to denials of, insurance claims which include coverage issues and disputes of virtually every kind including, but not limited to, health, disability, professional liability, errors and omissions, construction, products, workers' compensation classifications and litigation of such coverage disputes, insurance claims and bad faith claims.

- Litigation

John provides litigation assistance to insurers and insureds (business entities and individuals).

Health Care

John works with clients with and for HIPAA compliance.  He also assists clients with regulatory compliance and contract matters, including provider contracts.

Expert Witness Testimony

John frequently acts as an expert witness for plaintiffs or for defendants in cases involving insurance industry standards of care arising from claims of breach of contract, common law bad faith, or statutory bad faith under C.R.S. §§ 10-3-1115 and 10-3-1116.  He also addresses issues and claims regarding the duties and responsibilities of agents and brokers (defined under the statutes as  “insurance producers”).

Corporate

John provides general representation to a wide variety of diverse business clients, including non-profits, for corporate and business matters.

Civil Litigation

Although John's practice emphases are insurance and health law, he also is involved with general civil litigation for business entities and individuals.

Significant Representations

  • Counsel for a self-insured trust for dentists' professional liability insurance.
  • Assistance to title insurers in addressing and defending market conduct examinations by the Colorado Division of Insurance.
  • Assistance to a title underwriter whose agent’s escrow account was looted by cyber theft.
  • Representation of insurance producers (agents and brokers) in disputes and licensing proceedings brought against them by the Colorado Division of Insurance.
  • Licensing and regulatory assistance before the Colorado Division of Insurance to insurance companies.
  • Counsel in coverage litigation and arbitrations for corporate entities and individuals.
  • Expert witness for plaintiffs and defendants in bad faith and coverage litigation and regarding the duties and responsibilities of insurance producers.
  • Counsel to a self-insurance pool of governmental entities in Colorado.
  • Acting as counsel for the acquisitions of various insurance agencies.
  • Assisting a variety of individuals in medical or disability claims in the administrative appeal process or in subsequent court challenges to denials of claims by insurers.
  • Serving as the administrative law judge for various regulatory proceedings during his tenure as the Commissioner of Insurance (including the subsequently reported decision in Hartford Fire Ins. Co. v. Colorado Div. of Ins., 824 P.2d 76 (Colo. App. 1991)).
  • As Assistant Attorney General, serving as counsel for the former Colorado Industrial Commission in a large number of appellate proceedings before the Colorado Court of Appeals and the Colorado Supreme Court.

Honors / Distinctions

  • Approved Continuing Legal Education Course Provider (Colorado Division of Insurance 2015)
  • Colorado Super Lawyers - Insurance Coverage (2015 and 2016)
  • AV Preeminent – Martindale-Hubbell
  • Former Member Dean's Advisory Council (2002-2015), University of Colorado College of Arts & Sciences
  • Past President of the Board of Directors of the Theodore and Chandos Rice Foundation
  • Past President of Board of Directors of The 1010 Project
  • Past President, Colorado Association of Captive Entities (CACE) (1993-1995 and 1999-2000)
  • Adjunct Professor, University of Denver, University College, Health Care (1993-1995)
  • Health Care Organization and Systems (HCOS) (Community Advisory Council, University of Denver, University College, 1993-1996)
  • Colorado Life Convention (Secretary, 1993-1995)
  • National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) (I984-1989); Chair, Western Zone (1989); Chair, Market Conduct Subcommittee (1989); Chair, Examination Oversight Task Force 1987 and 1988)
  • Board Member, Interstate Conference Employment Security Agencies (ICESA), (1982- 1984)
  • Chair, Colorado Bar Association, Labor Law Committee (1980 and 1981)
  • President of Western Region, International Association Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions (IAIABC) (1979)

Speeches and Publications

  • Ethics for Insurance Producers”, a/k/a “Producer Tool kit for Ethics, Professionalism & Compliance”, three hour approved CE Ethics class for Farmers Union Service Association Agents, April 11, 2015.
  • "What Title Entities Can Do to Protect against Cybertheft", LTAC Quarterly Newsletter (Land Title Association of Colorado) Fourth Quarter of 2012 (co-authored with Alex Pankonin).
  • "Cybertheft: The Big, Bad Wolf?" LTAC Quarterly Newsletter (Land Title Association of Colorado) Third Quarter of 2012.
  • "Ethics, Duties and Responsibilities of lnsurance Producers (a/k/a Professionalism in Insurance: Is It a Lost or Dying Art?)", Three Hour Approved Continuing Education Program for the Colorado Group Insurance Association, October 7, 2009.
  • "Ethics and Advertising: Practice Pitfalls and Risks", Journal of the Colorado Dental Association,  Vol. 88, No. 3, Summer 2009.
  • “The Showpiece Homes Decision: From Caveat Emptor to Insurer Beware?”, The Colorado Lawyer, April 2002, Vol. 31, No. 4, page 73.
  • Presentation Outline for the Independent Bankers of Colorado, Denver, Colorado, May 4, 2000: "Bank Acquisitions of Insurance Agencies after The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999".
  • Presentation and supporting outline (for One Hour of CE credit) to the Metro Denver Association of Life Underwriters on August 12, 1998, on: "Agent/Broker Liability and E&O Coverage".
  • "Health Reform Close to Home", Rocky Mountain Center for HealthCare Ethics Voices, Volume Two, Number One, Spring 1995.
  • Chapter 1, "Health and Life Insurance", of COLORADO AIDS LAW: YOUR LEGALRIGHTS, AIDS and the Law Committee of the Colorado Bar Association, 1995.
  • Section 1: "The Changing Nature of Insurance Regulation and Bad Faith Issues", Insurance Law and Bad Faith Practice in Colorado, Professional Education Systems, Inc., West Publishing, 1992.
  • "Test your Assumptions", QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER, Federation of Regulatory Counsel, Inc., September 13, 1991, Vol. III, Edition 3.
  • "The New "Good Funds" Law and Title Insurance Regulations", Daniel Minzer and John Kezer; The Colorado Lawyer, February 18, 1989, page 223.
  • Special Report to the General Assembly on the Insurance Availability Problems in Colorado  1985-1986, January 1, 1987.

Admitted to Practice Before

  • All Colorado State Courts
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

Professional and Community Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • ABA Torts and Insurance Practice (TIPS) Section
  • Colorado Bar Association (Chair, Labor Law Committee 1980 & 1982)
  • Denver Bar Association
  • Member CBA Health Law Committee
  • Member of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association