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James H. Cole

Shareholder
Co-Chair, Insurance Coverage/Bad Faith Litigation Practice Group; Chair, Property Litigation Practice Group; Co-Chair, Fraud/Special Investigation Practice Group
2000 Market Street, Suite 2300
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 575-2635
(215) 575-0856 - Fax
jhcole@mdwcg.com

James focuses his practice on representing insurance companies whether that be in pre-litigation consultation or the defense of first party or bad faith lawsuits.  James has had a particular interest in Special Investigative Unit and Property Damage claims, including arson, burglaries, public adjuster represented claims, mold/ pollution and automobile thefts. Within his areas of practice, he is experienced in the bad faith and coverage issues inherent in first party/SIU investigations and litigation. Throughout his career, James has assisted with hundreds of SIU investigations, coverage consultations and litigated hundreds of first party lawsuits; and consulted on hundreds of property coverage issues.

James is frequently asked by clients and industry organizations to lecture on a variety of topics concerning property damage, insurance fraud and bad faith. For the past five years, he has been a featured speaker at the annual Pennsylvania Insurance Fraud conferences, and he has spoken several times at PLRB conferences, among others. An active member of the Claims & Litigation Management Alliance (CLM), James sits on the Executive Council for the CLM's Claims College, School of Property, where he has helped to develop curriculum surrounding  good faith claims handling and insurance coverage topics.

James is a 1990 graduate of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Immediately following graduation, he worked as a claims representative with a large insurance carrier, where for eight years he was involved in the investigation and resolution of property and casualty claims. In 1995, he entered Temple University School of Law while continuing to work full time. James graduated from Temple University in 1999 with a degree of juris doctor. Thereafter, he joined Marshall Dennehey and is currently chair of the firm's SIU Litigation and Property Litigation Practice Groups.   His first hand property background, insurance industry knowledge and familiarity with property policies allows him to effectively,  efficiently and practically counsel clients on Property and SIU issues, and when necessary provide a vigorous and common sense defense tailored to the needs of a particular carrier.

Significant Representative Matters

  • Obtained a Breach of Contract/Bad Faith/ Unfair Trade Practices defense verdict after a four week jury trial.  The Plaintiffs refused to move off of a $9 million demand prior to and during trial.  The plaintiff family claimed that their house was contaminated by a common disinfectant solution that was applied during a water mitigation by a contractor referred by their homeowners' insurance company.  The family not only claimed the house had to be razed and all the personal property disposed of; they also claimed a myriad of personal injuries. Ultimately, the jury returned a unanimous defense verdict on the breach of contract claim and the judge entered a verdict in favor of the defense on the bad faith and UTPCPL claims.

  • Obtained a Defense jury verdict in a Breach of Contract claim involving matching continuous tile and paint.

  • Obtained a $4.1 million judgment against a contractor who was suspected and later proven to be fraudulently fabricating hail damage to thousands of area homes and convincing the unwitting homeowner to file claims with their insurance carrier.

Classes/Seminars Taught

  • New Techniques - Old Fraud - Staying One Step Ahead of Fraudulent Contractors, Speaker, New Jersey Special Investigators Association (NJSIA) Annual Conference, Atlantic City, NJ, October 2019

  • This is Jeopardy! The Pennsylvania Unfair Claims Practices Act, Pennsylvania Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (PAMIC) Annual Claims Summit, Gettysburg, PA, April 10, 2019

  • Mock Examination Under Oath: Theft Loss, PLRB Claims Conference & Insurance Services Expo, Indianapolis, IN March 2019

  • Good Faith Claims Handling, CLM Claims College School of Property – Coverage Level 2, Baltimore, MD, 2018

  • Property Insurance Fraud Update: Real Housewives Edition, Marshall Dennehey Insurance Fraud 360 Seminar, Lafayette Hill, PA, June, 2018

  • Unfair Insurance Practices Act and Strategies for Claims Handling, PLRB Claims Conference & Insurance Services Expo, Orlando, FL, April, 2018, Co-presenter

  • Cooperative Investigations: The Necessities and Pitfalls of Information Sharing,  Pennsylvania's 2018 Insurance Fraud Conference, Hershey, PA, April, 2018

  • Bad Faith in Property Litigation: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, 2017 NAIIA National Conference, St. Thomas, June 2017 

  • Cooperative Investigations: The Necessities and Pitfalls of Information Sharing, Pennsylvania's 2017 Insurance Fraud Conference, Hershey, PA, April, 2017

  • Dealing with Jokers? How and When to Play the Rescission Card, Pennsylvania's 2017 Insurance Fraud Conference, Hershey, PA, April, 2017

  • It's Jeopardy! An In-depth Look At The Unfair Claims Act, PLRB Claims Conference & Insurance Services Expo, Boston, MA, March 2017, Co-presenter

  • "#Water Is The New Arson", Marshall Dennehey Insurance Fraud 360 Seminar, Lafayette Hill, PA, June, 2016

  • Mock Examination Under Oath: Theft Loss, PLRB Claims Conference & Insurance Services Expo, San Antonio, TX, April 2016

  • Managing the Irrational Claimant - a Psychological & Legal Perspective, Pennsylvania's 2016 Insurance Fraud Conference, Hershey, PA, April, 2016

  • It's Jeopardy! An In-depth Look At The Unfair Claims Act, Client Presentation, Omaha, NE, March , 2016

  • Cooperation with Law Enforcement, ICAC Webinar, November 2015

  • Appraisal and Recent Trends in Bad Faith Law, Marshall Dennehey Client Seminar, April, 2015

  • Property Overview: 3Ms - Marring, Matching, Misrepresentation, New Jersey Special Investigators Association (NJSIA) Annual Conference, Atlantic City, NJ, October 2014

  • Property Overview: 3Ms - Marring, Matching, Misrepresentation, Marshall Dennehey Insurance Fraud 360 Seminar, Lafayette Hill, PA, June, 2014

  • Coverage "C": Tools to Ensure Payment of Legitimate Content Claims, Marshall Dennehey Client Seminar, May, 2014

  • Cooperative Investigations-The Necessity and Pitfalls of Information Sharing, 2014 Pennsylvania Fraud Insurance Fraud Conference, Hershey, PA, April, 2014

  • Streamlining the Process and Controlling the Cost of Large-Scale Ring Cases, IFM – 2014 Insurance Fraud Management Conference, Amelia Island, FL, March 2014

  • Auto Repair Fraud, Moderator, New Jersey Special Investigators Association (NJSIA) Annual Conference, Atlantic City, NJ, October 2013

  • Towing and Auto Body Fraud, IASIU's 28th Annual Seminar and Expo on Insurance Fraud, Atlanta, GA, September 2013

  • Investigating Suspicious Wind and Hail Claims, Pennsylvania Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (PAMIC) Annual Claims Summit, Gettysburg, PA, April 3, 2013

  • Body Shop and Towing Fraud, Pennsylvania Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority Annual Conference, Hershey, PA, April 1-2, 2013

  • Effectively Managing Complex and Emerging Issues, 2012 NJSIA 22nd Annual Fraud Seminar, Atlantic City, NJ

  • The Importance of a Complete and Thorough Investigation, 2012 Marshall Dennehey Insurance Fraud Perspectives Seminar, Cleveland, OH

  • Recent Trends in Auto Body & Towing Fraud - Enhanced Damage and Reconstructed Titles, 2012 Marshall Dennehey Insurance Fraud Perspectives Seminar, Lafayette Hill, PA

  • Managing Public Adjuster Issues, 2012 IFMC - Insurance Fraud Management Conference, Phoenix, AZ

  • Proper Interaction and the Role of the Public Adjuster During an Arson Investigation, 2012 ICAC - National Arson Training Seminar, Las Vegas, NV

  • Insurance Fraud, 2011 ACFE Conference, San Diego, CA

  • Litigation Strategies for Combating Fraudulent Hail Claims, 2011 Pennsylvania Fraud Conference, Hershey, PA

  • Managing the Public Adjuster Process, 2011 IFM Conference, Amelia Island, FL

  • Homeowner Fraud, 2010 NJSIA Conference, Atlantic City, NJ

  • Civil Litigation Strategies for Combating Fraudulent Hail Claims, 2010 NICB Hail Fraud Awareness Conference, West Deptford, NJ

  • The Importance of a Complete Investigation, 2010 Combating Insurance Fraud Conference, Conshohocken, PA

  • Public Adjusters an SIU Perspective, 2010 IASIU Conference, Orlando, FL

  • Public Adjusters An SIU Perspective, 2010 Pennsylvania Fraud Conference, Gettysburg, PA

  • SIU and the Public Adjuster Represented, 2009 IASIU Conference, Palm Desert, CA

  • Cooperative Arson Investigations, 2009 PLRB Conference, Seattle, WA

  • Property Claims Overview, 2008 PAMIC Conference, Harrisburg, PA

  • Investigating Fraudulent Claims and Reporting Requirements, 2006 IASIU Conference, La Quinta, CA

  • Application Fraud; PIP Fraud; Automobile Theft Fraud; Medical Fraud; Special Disaster Fraud; Arson Investigations and Bad Faith, local and national presentations to clients

Published Works

  • "Much Ado About Marring," co-written with Hillary Dean, Litigation Management, Winter 2014

  • "Game, Set, Match The Pennsylvania Superior Court Clarifies Whether An Insurance Company Owes To Match," Defense Digest, Vol. 14, No. 1, March 2008

  • "When an Insured Fires a Public Adjuster: The Sequel," Defense Digest, Vol. 12, No. 4, December 2006

  • 'Direct Physical Loss Does Not Equal Direct Physical Damage: The Third Circuit Expands the Scope of Property Insurance Coverage," Defense Digest, Vol. 11, No. 4, December 2005

  • "When The Insured Fires A Public Adjuster," Defense Digest, Vol. 11, No. 1, March 2005

  • "Pennsylvania Superior Court Clarifies Application of Depreciation in Homeowners Policies," Defense Digest, Vol. 10, No. 1, June 2004

Education

  • Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law, Philadelphia, PA (J.D., 1999)

    Honors: cum laude

  • Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA (B.S., 1990)

    Honors: cum laude
    Major:  Finance 

Law Alerts February 9, 2019
Edited by Allison L. Krupp, Esq. PA Supreme Court Overturns Decades of Case Law Addressing Household Vehicle Exclusion Court holds HHE violates § 1738 when insured selected and paid for stacking under two policies issued by a single insurer..., The material in this law alert has been prepared for our readers by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin. It is solely intended to provide information on recent legal developments, and is not intended to provide legal advice for a...
Law Alerts January 31, 2019
edited by Allison L. Krupp, Esq. Claims dismissed in absence of evidence of residency   Gerow v. State Auto Prop. & Cas. Co., 3:17-cv-203 (W.D. Pa. 2018) In this breach of contract/bad faith action, the Western District Court..., The material in this law alert has been prepared for our readers by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin. It is solely intended to provide information on recent legal developments, and is not intended to provide legal advice for a...
Defense Digest Article June 1, 2018
Defense Digest, Vol. 24, No. 2, June 2018 By James H. Cole, Esq. In response to the high demand for aggressive trial attorneys to prosecute insurance fraud, Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin continues to expand its Fraud/Special..., Defense Digest, Vol. 24, No. 2, June 2018. Defense Digest is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent legal developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal...
Articles January 2, 2014
Defense Digest Article September 1, 2012
The endless claims scenarios, coupled with face-to-face contact and helping insureds through difficult times, are part of what makes property claims so challenging and rewarding. Unfortunately, more and more insureds and their representatives view..., Defense Digest, Vol. 18, No. 3, September 2012
Defense Digest Article June 1, 2009
The economic slowdown has effected the entire nation and has brought with it sharp increases in the unemployment rate, foreclosures, repossessions, and bankruptcies. The financial hardships many are experiencing have correlated to an increase in..., Defense Digest, Vol. 15, No. 2, June 2009
May 11, 2018
We obtained summary judgment in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania where the court found in favor of the insurance carrier on a breach of contract and statutory bad faith claim filed by its insured. The plaintiff...
Jun 8, 2015
Obtained a unanimous jury verdict after a four-week trial in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The plaintiffs' demand never moved from $9 million throughout the trial. The plaintiff family (mother, father and adult daughter) claimed that their house...
December 10, 2018
Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin has joined the  membership of the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud. The Coalition is a national alliance of insurers, government agencies and consumer organizations dedicated to combating all forms of insurance fraud through advocacy, public education...
August 11, 2016
Attorneys James H. Cole, Andrew W. Davitt, Eric A. Fitzgerald, Edward J. McGinn, Jr. and Matthew S. Schorr, all shareholders at civil defense litigation firm Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, will serve as faculty at the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance's (CLM) 2016 Claims...
August 24, 2015
Attorneys James H. Cole, Andrew W. Davitt, Eric A. Fitzgerald, Edward J. McGinn, Jr. and Matthew S. Schorr, all shareholders at civil defense litigation firm Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, will serve as faculty at the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance's (CLM) annual Claims...
May 16, 2014
The Casualty Department of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin will hold a complimentary seminar, "Insurance Fraud 360," on Thursday, June 5, 2014, from 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at the ACE Conference Center in Lafayette Hill. Designed for insurance fraud professionals, SIU investigators and...
January 12, 2012
James H. Cole (Doylestown, PA) addressed the topic of "Property Insurance Fraud" as the guest speaker for an audio conference presented by Lorman Education Services. With the current financial crisis, property insurance fraud is gaining prominence, as insureds, contractors and body shops are faced...
Conference Nov 14, 2012
Join our distinguished panel for lunch and a discussion on issues relating to fraud.  
Conference Apr 27, 2015
The Pennsylvania Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority (IFPA), Delaware Valley and Greater Pittsburgh Chapters of the International Association of Special Investigation Units (IASIU) will host the 2015 Pennsylvania Insurance Fraud Conference on April...
Conference Apr 7, 2016
Pennsylvania’s 2016 Insurance Fraud Conference, jointly hosted by the Pennsylvania Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority and the Delaware Valley and Greater Pittsburgh Chapters of the International Association of Special Investigation Units,...
Conference Apr 17, 2016
PLRB Claims Conference & Insurance Services Expo - the industry's largest and diverse educational conference. The claims conference delivers resources to improve job performance with nearly 100 educational classes, more than 50 percent new...
Seminar Jun 2, 2016
Join the attorneys of Marshall Dennehey for a discussion and in-depth look at trending topics in Fraud and SIU. Don't miss the panel discussion on emerging trends in fraud with insight from members of the insurance industry. Guest Speaker:...
Conference Jun 14, 2017
James H. Cole, a shareholder in our Philadelphia office will be presenting on the topic: "Bad Faith in Property Litigation: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly." This presentation will provide an overview and history of bad faith insurance...
Seminar Oct 16, 2017
Attorneys James Cole and Jennie Philip will present “This is Jeopardy! The New Jersey Unfair Claims Practices Act” along with Jeff Rapattoni who will participate as moderator of the panel “Trends and the Future State of SIU”...
Conference Apr 12, 2018
Anthony Natale, a shareholder in the Workers' Compensation Department, is presenting "Workers' Compensation Fraud – Don't Ignore the Data!," at Pennsylvania’s 2018 Insurance Fraud Conference. The session will focus...
Conference Jun 13, 2018
Join the Marshall Dennehey attorneys for a complimentary seminar discussing trending topics in Fraud and SIU. Topics include: Major Case Update Workers’ Compensation Fraud – Don’t Forget the Data Rancosky | Bad Faith Update...
Conference Mar 31, 2019
Shareholder James Cole and Jennie Philip along with James McClary, Sr. Regional SIU Manager at Kemper Corporation, will present at the 2019 PLRB Claims Conference & Insurance Services Expo on “Mock Examination Under Oath: Theft Loss....
Conference Apr 23, 2019
Anthony Natale and Ashley Talley are  presenting "The Interplay Between Traumatic Brain Injuries and Fraud in Workers' Compensation" at the upcoming Pennsylvania Insurance Fraud Conference. In the workers' compensation field,...
Seminar Nov 8, 2019
Shareholder, James H. Cole will be speaking at the upcoming Pennsylvania Association of Independent Insurance Adjusters (PAIIA) 2019 Fall Seminar. His presentation,  “Appraisal, The Good The Bad & The Ugly”, reviews the issues...

Education

  • Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 1999)
  • Indiana University of Pennsylvania (B.S., cum laude, 1990)

Bar Admissions

  • New Jersey, 1999
  • Pennsylvania, 1999

Associations & Memberships

  • Bucks County Bar Association
  • International Association of Special Investigation Units (IASIU)
  • Insurance Committee for Arson Control
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association

Honors & Awards

  • National Insurance Crime Bureau, Certificate of Appreciation , 2010
  • Associate in Claims (AIC), The Insurance Institute of America
  • Claims & Litigation Management Alliance, Co-Chair of Property Committee
  • Litigation Management Institute, Graduate 2014 (CLMP)
  • Instructor and Executive Council Member, CLM Claims College, School of Property
  • Certified Claims Professional in Property Claims, CLM

Year Joined Organization: 1999

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