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Marc Mayerson can safely say that he is the only insurance lawyer representing policyholders who has a well-read blog. Tired of the time it takes to write legal articles and then get them published, Mayerson, 45, saw a blog as a better way to satisfy his desire to write. The Spriggs & Hollingsworth attorney went live with Insurance Scrawl in June 2005. Now he covers just about every buzzworthy insurance issue out there. Mayerson is not sure how many readers he has, but he knows there are 50,000 page views a month. The blog has also been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times. The blog is good publicity; Mayerson’s real job is representing policyholders in their disputes with insurance companies as the lead partner in his firm’s insurance practice. His client roster includes AstraZeneca, Federal-Mogul Corp., Monsanto Co., and a large trade association for insurance companies that Mayerson declines to name. He has handled disputes involving a wide range of insurance policies (with an emphasis on property-casualty policies) and an even wider range of issues, including environmental cleanup, pharmaceutical products, and genetically modified crops. AstraZeneca, the London-based pharmaceutical giant, has repeatedly turned to Mayerson. He has represented the company in coverage litigation against its comprehensive-general-liability insurers and its environmental-impairment-liability insurers. He has also advised the company on the best ways to structure their insurance program. “Marc has been the guy to whom I have gone for the past 13 years,” says Luke Mette, assistant general counsel for litigation at AstraZeneca. “He’s extremely smart. He knows the intricacies of insurance law better than anybody I know.” As a Harvard Law student, Mayerson enjoyed torts, particularly the public-policy aspect of setting up compensation mechanisms. But he didn’t take the one insurance law class offered during his third year because it started at 8 a.m. “I’m grateful that I didn’t, because had I taken it, the course would have turned me off from an exciting practice,” he says. “Law schools didn’t understand what this area of practice was.” But now he’s the one teaching insurance law, as an adjunct professor at George Washington University. After clerking for Judge Stephen Reinhardt at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, Mayerson landed at Covington & Burling in 1987. Nine years later, he moved to Spriggs & Hollingsworth, a boutique firm with fewer than 60 attorneys. Mayerson fondly remembers the first insurance-recovery check he was able to present to a client. The sum was $2.3 million. You don’t get the chance to hand somebody a few million dollars every day, he says: “Particularly in this kind of practice, it was certainly fun.” Another fun item: Mayerson recently participated in a documentary about an insurance dispute between an ostrich farmer and a group of hot-air balloonists who flew too close to the ostrich farm and sparked a deadly stampede. The filmmaker has indicated to Mayerson that the documentary may run on HBO in the next year.

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