Bar & Court Admissions
- State Bar of California
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- U.S. District Courts for the Central, Eastern, Northern and Southern Districts of California
American Bar Association
State Bar of California
San Fernando Valley College of Law, J.D.
New College, Sarasota, Florida
University of Florida
Carol Boyd is of counsel in M&R’s Los Angeles office. She specializes in appellate law, with particular expertise in complex insurance coverage and bad faith litigation.
Known for her work in cases of first impression, Carol is a nationally recognized attorney, having handled an array of civil appeals and appellate writ proceedings, several of which have resulted in published opinions. In addition, she is renowned for her ability to obtain summary disposition in class actions, as well the counsel she provides trial attorneys so that they may be freed up to focus on factual litigation.
An insurance industry veteran, Carol is frequently called upon by carriers to evaluate novel claims, monitor Cumis counsel and defend or initiate declaratory relief, contribution and bad faith actions. She also has an impressive record of obtaining judgments against insureds for reimbursement of defense costs and indemnity.
Carol previously served as a research attorney for the Hon. Arleigh M. Woods, Presiding Justice, Division Four, of the Second District of the California Court of Appeal. She was a founding partner of the boutique law firm, Neumeyer and Boyd.
Awards & Recognitions
Martindale-Hubbell has acknowledged Carol as an AV (preeminent) peer-rated attorney, the highest possible Martindale attorney rating for legal ability and professional ethics. Likewise, she has been named to the list of Southern California Super Lawyers multiple times. Outside of M&R, Carol is a Bridge Life Master.
Appellate Published Decisions:
Hooker v. Department of Transportation (2002) 27 Cal.4th 198: Ms. Boyd represented CalTrans in a case where the California Supreme Court held that a hirer of an independent contractor is not liable to an employee of that contractor merely because the hirer retained control over safety conditions at a work site. Liability may only be imposed where the hirer's negligent exercise of retained control affirmatively contributes to the employee's injuries. Mere evidence that a hirer is aware of an unsafe practice and fails to correct it is insufficient to raise a triable issue of fact that the hirer's exercise of retained control over safety issues affirmatively contributed to the employee's injuries, or even to the adoption of that unsafe practice by the employee.
Hamilton v. Maryland Casualty (2002) 27 Cal.4th 718: Ms. Boyd participated as a "friend of the court" in a case where the California Supreme Court held that a defending insurer couldn't be bound to a settlement agreement without the insurer's agreement or participation, even when the settlement has been found to be in good faith under Code of Civil Procedure Section 877.6.
ACS Systems, Inc. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co. (2007) 147 Cal.App.4th: Ms. Boyd successfully defended St. Paul in a case where the Court held that an Insured’s unsolicited fax transmissions of ads did not trigger insurer’s duty to defend under the advertising injury offense “making known to any person or organization written or spoken material that violates an individual’s right of privacy.” The coverage applied to liability for injury caused by the disclosure of private content to a third party (invasion of secrecy privacy), not to injury caused by receipt of the unsolicited fax (invasion of solitude privacy). There was no coverage for “property damage” caused by an “accident” because, even assuming the former, there was no “accident” where the insured intended the fax transmissions to occur.
Guseinov v. Burns (2006) 145 Cal.App.4th 944: Ms. Boyd represented Guseinov, the prevailing party at arbitration. The arbitrator did not disclose his previous service as a volunteer mediator where plaintiff’s counsel represented a party, but the Court of Appeal refused to vacate the arbitration award. The arbitrator’s acting as an unrepresented negotiator in a single unrelated transaction did not constitute a “professional relationship” requiring disclosure and there were no facts that would cause a reasonable person to entertain a doubt whether the arbitrator was impartial.
St. Paul Mercury Insurance Co. v. Frontier Pacific Insurance Co. (2003) 111 Cal.App.4th 1234: Ms. Boyd represented St. Paul in obtaining a decision that an additional insured has no reasonable expectation of coverage for its own negligence or strict products liability when its contract with the named insured requires indemnity and insurance coverage only for liability caused by the named insured. Further, a standard 2010 additional insured endorsement providing coverage for liability arising out of the named insured's ongoing operations for the additional insured does not cover liability arising out of defects in equipment leased from the additional insured but used in operations for a third party. Where the indemnity and insurance provisions of the contract depend upon the named insured's liability for the claimed injuries, allocation of a settlement among insurers may require apportionment of fault in addition to equitable principles.
Crane v. Royal Ins. Co. of America (9th Cir. 1994) 17 F.3d 1186: Ms. Boyd won summary judgment for Royal in a bad faith action. The Court found no possibility of reformation based upon revisions in ISO forms as renewal of the policy did not automatically incorporate such revisions.
Vargas v. Athena Assurance Company (2002) 95 Cal.App.4th 461: Ms. Boyd represented Athena in a case where the Court of Appeal upheld Summary Judgment that Athena’s policy did not cover the insured using his own car, nor did Ins. Code 11580.1 subdivision (b) (4) require it to do so.
Rose v. Royal Insurance Co. (1991) 2 Cal.App.4th 709: Ms. Boyd represented Royal, which was defending an action against its insured through independent counsel. The latter, without Royal’s knowledge or consent, and with the Court’s blessing, entered into a stipulated $1 million judgment based upon the insured’s “negligence” and Royal was sued for the judgment under Ins. Code Section 11580. Royal’s demurrer was sustained without leave to amend. Its policy’s “No Action” clause required an actual trial.
Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith Experience: Ms. Boyd works with the insurance carrier to evaluate novel claims, monitor “Cumis” counsel, negotiate with other carriers and defend or initiate declaratory relief, contribution and bad faith actions. She has also been successful in obtaining judgments against the insured for reimbursement of defense costs and indemnity.
Sample Representative Insurance Decisions
Sawyer v. MCM Construction, Inc., et al., Los Angeles Superior Court CaseNo. 8C 199346, Court of Appeal case no. 8150931, Supreme Court Case No. S112571: Ms. Boyd obtained summary adjudication for the insurer that it had no duty to pay $8 million judgment even though the insurer had breached its duty to defend. The stipulated judgment was unreasonable as a matter of law.
U.K. Abba Products v. Northbrook National Ins. Co., et al, Orange County Superior Court CaseNo. 818029, Court of Appeal case no. G028565, Supreme Court Case No.S 114148: Ms. Boyd represented Northbrook. The Court of Appeal found no duty to defend an advertising injury claim based upon Abba’s alleged failure to disclose to its distributors that it would sell its products at trade shows in competition with its own distributors and use its power to examine distributor books and records to confiscate customer lists to give to successor distributors. The Court held these claims were not misappropriation of advertising ideas, style of doing business or infringement of trademark. Moreover, there was no potential claim for “misappropriation of proprietary marketing materials” based upon the first time testimony of the distributors' attorney at the coverage trial. The insurer had no duty to investigate a third party claim by contacting the third-party claimant. Finally, the distributors’ allegations of injury to reputation were not a potential defamation claim when the damage was caused, not by false statements but the mere fact of termination of distributorships.
St. Paul Surplus Lines Insurance Company v. Timothy L. Strader, et al. United States District Court for the Central District of California Case No. CV-92-3344-WDK: Ms. Boyd defended and obtained a judgment for St. Paul allowing St. Paul to withdraw from defense, to deny indemnity and to recover all defense and settlement costs incurred in the underlying action (almost $1 million).
Jobalia v. West American Ins. Co., Orange County Superior Court Case No. 790350, Court of Appeal Case No. G026211: Ms. Boyd won summary judgment for West American Ins. Co in an action by a judgment creditor who obtained default judgment because judgment for fraud and slander was based upon knowing falsities of the insured.
Consumer Class Action Experience: California breeds myriad consumer class actions, many of them without merit but so expensive to litigate that some defendants pay exorbitant settlements to entrepreneurial vigilantes. Ms. Boyd has been unusually successful in winning such cases by pre-trial dismissal. In certain cases, a defendant may be able to obtain attorneys’ fees from the losing plaintiff.
Representative Consumer Class Action Decisions in the Automotive Industry
Testan v. Carlsen Motor Car, Ventura County Superior Court Case No. SC016007; Court of Appeal Case Nos., 8137476, 8139112; 2002 Cal.App.Unpub.LEXIS 3867: Ms. Boyd defended an automobile dealer, distributor and manufacturer (Porsche) in a consumer action and successfully obtained attorneys’ fees from the plaintiff.
Alan v. American Honda, Los Angeles County Superior Court No. 8C195461: Ms. Boyd won a denial of class certification for American Honda.
Consumer Advocates v. American Honda, Los Angeles County Superior Court Case No. INC 004548: Ms. Boyd represented American Honda in a consumer class action which was dismissed with prejudice on demurrer.
David J. Rossi, et al. v. American Honda Motor Co., Inc. et al., San Diego County Superior Court Case No. 670984: Ms. Boyd represented Honda in winning a denial of class certification. Then, won dismissal of the remaining consumer action on summary judgment.
Reinheimer v. Honda, Los Angeles County Superior Court Case No. BC084380: Ms. Boyd represented Honda in a consumer class action dismissed with prejudice on demurrer.
- LIFE AFTER SB 688: 'In Delay There Lies No PlentyPublished Decision, January 1, 2005
- Published Decision, January 2, 2003
- Published Decision, January 31, 2002
- Published Decision, September 23, 1999
- Published Decision, June 10, 1994
- Published Decision, July 23, 1993
Past Speaking Engagements
- California Insurance LawLondon InsurersLondon, UK, 2003
- A Brief History of Lloyd'sWest Coast Casualty Construction Defect Seminar2001
- California Claims: Avoiding Insurer’s Extracontractual Liability Arising from Defense Counsel’s Conflicts of InterestLloyd's of LondonLondon, UK, 1994