Biography

Erica Villanueva advises policyholders seeking to maximize coverage under their insurance policies and litigates insurance coverage disputes. She helps her clients navigate the insurance claims process, pursues breach of contract and bad faith claims against insurers, and advises on policy wording and insurance renewals. She frequently handles claims under media liability, errors & omissions liability (E&O), directors & officers liability (D&O), general liability (CGL), employment practices liability (EPL), venture capital/private equity liability, and property insurance policies. She also works with policyholders and their insurance brokers to negotiate favorable policy terms, addressing their unique risk profiles. Some of Erica’s representative engagements include:

  • Represented private equity firm seeking insurance coverage for litigation filed against it and numerous other defendants by a disgruntled co-founder of a portfolio company. Persuaded insurer to fund far greater than the private equity firm’s proportionate share of the settlement, to protect the client’s interests and its investment.
  • On behalf of hotel-owner client, initiated litigation for breach of contract and bad faith against insurer who unreasonably refused to fund a personal injury settlement. Promptly moved the case into mediation and negotiated a favorable settlement.
  • Negotiated insurer-funded resolution of contentious employment case on the eve of trial. Within a week, persuaded the insurer to abandon its aggressive coverage position and fund settlement.

Erica is active in a number of professional organizations. She is currently a member of the board of directors of the Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF), and is a past chair of the BASF Insurance Section. She is a regional representative to the Yale Law School Alumni Executive Committee, and a 2019 fellow in the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Fellows Program.

Distinctions

  • Chambers USA, Insurance: Policyholder (2019)
  • Benchmark Litigation’s 40 & Under Hotlist (2017-2018)
  • Client Choice Award in the Insurance category for California from International Law Office (ILO) and Lexology (2016)
  • Northern California Super Lawyers (2018-2019)
  • California Rural Legal Assistance Outstanding Alumni Award (2018)

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Fellow Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (2019)
  • Board of Directors, Bar Association of San Francisco (2019-2021)
  • Board Member, Centro Legal de la Raza (November 2016-present)
  • Regional Representative, Yale Law School Alumni Executive Committee (2017-2020) 
  • Edward J. McFetridge Inn of Court, Barrister & Pupilage Group Leader (2014-2017) 
  • Chair, Insurance Law Section, Bar Association of San Francisco (2018); Executive Committee Member (2015-2017) 
  • Judiciary Committee, Bar Association of San Francisco (2016-2018)

Firm Highlights

News

Jeff Fisher Named Among California’s 2019 Top Trade Secrets Lawyers by the Daily Journal

SAN FRANCISCO, October 9, 2019: Farella Braun + Martel is proud to announce that Jeffrey M. Fisher was named among the “Top Trade Secrets Lawyers” in California by the Daily Journal . Fisher has...

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Publication

Securing Against Trade Secret Pitfalls and Dangers Arising From Employee Mobility Situations

Published on ACCDocket.com . By Walt Norfleet, Smiths Group plc and Eugene Y. Mar, Farella Braun + Martel LLP Picture this: Your company is in a highly competitive industry with several leading players heavily supported...

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Farella Braun + Martel Deepens Environmental Practice With Partner Donald Sobelman

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Event

Litigating Civil and Criminal Trade Secret Cases: Trends, Best Practices, and Lessons Learned

Trade secret litigation is on the rise, both civil litigation and follow-on criminal prosecution for trade secret theft. Companies are grappling with how to protect their valuable information and minimize risk in their technological...

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Publication

San Francisco Now Requires 100% Renewable Energy for Commercial Buildings

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance this week requiring owners of all nonresidential buildings in San Francisco of at least 50,000 square feet to provide all on-site electricity demands from 100...

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Event

CalCPA: Wine Industry Conference

Lauren Gilbreth will present the session "Succession Planning" at the CalCPA - Wine Industry Conference. The ever dynamic wine industry is fraught with complicated tax, labor and accounting issues. Please join us as we...

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Event

PFAS Litigation Conference

Sarah Bell will be speaking at Law Seminars International's PFAS Litigation Conference program, "Lines of Defense" on December 10. Details: Assessing and choosing among the legal options for defending toxic tort, mass tort, and...

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Publication

Reimbursement of Employment-Related Expenses Is Not a “Wage and Hour” Claim Within the Meaning of EPLI Exclusion

A recent California appellate court decision found that a wage and hour exclusion in an Employment Practices Liability Insurance (“EPLI”) policy did not bar coverage for claims under California Labor Code sections 2800 and...

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Publication

What Employers Should Know About the California Consumer Privacy Act Taking Effect January 1, 2020

On January 1, 2020, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), a consumer-friendly privacy law inspired by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, is set to take effect. The CCPA is aimed towards bolstering...

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News

Douglas Young Installed as President of the American College of Trial Lawyers

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