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Frank N. Darras is managing partner of Shernoff Bidart & Darras LLP, one of the largest law firms in the United States specializing in insurance cases involving disability and long-term care. The Claremont, California firm helped pioneer the legal concept of insurance company bad faith. Darras is responsible for reviewing nearly 24,000 cases each year, winning $40 million in settlements for his clients annually.[1]. Though his clients include movie stars, athletes, and CEOs, he especially enjoys helping blue-collar workers.

Darras's 2002 case Hubka v. Paul Revere Life Insurance Company provided the first US Federal precedent for the legal concept of insurance company bad faith. The case involved an injured chiropractor, Dr. Mark Hubka, who was unable to continue his practice because of neck and back injuries. Because their in-house physician had declared Hubka only partially disabled, Paul Revere Life Insurance Company (now part of Unum) argued that they were exempt from bad faith claims. But U.S. District Court Judge Judith Keep ruled that the insurance company had disregarded other professional opinions for their own benefit.[2]Another $2 million out-of-court settlement with Amtrak and Metrolink (Blancarte v. Amtrak) led to new safety features and policies for luggage carts. It was California's largest wrongful death settlement for a child under age seven.[3]

Darras is co-program director of the Bad Faith Insurance Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice.[4] He writes the monthly Legal Insight column for Best's Review, published by A. M. Best.[5]. He was the 2006 commencement speaker at the Western State University College of Law in Fullerton, California and serves as president of the board of directors of Western State University Law Foundation.[6]

Darras is a frequent public speaker for organizations such as the American Association for Justice, Western Trial Lawyers Association, Consumer Attorneys of California, the Montana Trial Lawyers Association, the American Conference Institute, National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives, and as a continuing legal education trainer for the National Business Institute. He has been quoted by CNBC, CBS, the Wall Street Journal, and the Los Angeles Times. He has provide content for news articles addressing what he sees as the anti-consumer provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and has written about long-term care insurance matters that affect aging baby boomers in America. [7]

Neither of Darras's parents attended college. Darras was brought up in a blue-collar community in Illinois, and began his first job at age 12. He won a Big Ten football scholarship, but a forklift accident ended his football hopes. He was accepted to law school in 1984, seven years after leaving college without graduating. He worked in ditch digging, valet parking, paramedicine, medical sales and as a doctor's assistant before receiving his doctor of jurisprudence degree from Western State University College of Law in 1986. He was admitted to the California bar in 1987. After law school, he gained litigation experience as a volunteer with the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office. In 1988, he offered to work for free for 90 days for his dream firm, Shernoff and Levine, which later became Shernoff Bidart & Darras. Within two years, he was a partner in the firm. [8][9]

Darras has been listed by Lawdragon, a lawyer ranking source, in the "500 Leading Lawyers in America", the "500 Leading Litigators in America" and the top "500 Plaintiffs' Lawyers in America." He has been named one of the Best Lawyers in America, and was given the highest rating (AV) from Martindale-Hubbell.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mary Waldron, "A Modern-Day David versus Goliath: Frank Darras", Lawcrossing,com, Accessed December 26, 2007
  2. ^ Hubka v. Paul Revere Life Insurance Company (Westlaw 215 F.Supp.2d 1089), Accessed December 26, 2007
  3. ^ Tragedy Begets Safety, Shernoff Bidart & Darras website, Accessed December 26, 2007
  4. ^ 2007 AAJ Convention, Bad Faith Insurance Litigation Group Presenters, Accessed December 26, 2007
  5. ^ Frank Darras, Playing doctor: disability insurers should leave medical decisions up to the insureds and their physicians.(Regulatory/Law: Legal Insight), Best's Review, September 1, 2006, Accessed December 26, 2007
  6. ^ Frank Darras, Shernoff Bidart & Darras website, accessed December 26, 2007
  7. ^ Frank Darras. "Losing Everything: Nightmare Scenarios from ERISA for Employers Facing up to the Costs of Long-Term Care" - MONEY Magazine November 2007
  8. ^ "How to Make $5 Million", Smart Money, June 2007
  9. ^ Interview with Frank Darras, Accessed December 26, 2007
  10. ^ Who Is Frank Darras?, Frank Darras website, Accessed December 26, 2007

[[Category:California lawyers]] [[Category:Western State University College of Law alumni]] [[Category:Living people]]