Roland C. Goss

Senior Counsel

Overview

Roland Goss defends class actions and other complex litigation and arbitration matters on behalf of insurance companies, including a lead role in preparing and obtaining a defense verdict in a $2 billion insurance practice class action case. He also specializes in the settlement of class action lawsuits and in multistate regulatory matters. Rollie has appeared and argued cases in six different federal Courts of Appeal and in various state appellate courts, as well as numerous federal and state trial courts across the country. He has tried cases in federal and state courts, from major cities such as Chicago and Minneapolis, to a rural jurisdiction in Mississippi. Rollie has submitted amicus briefs on behalf of insurance companies and insurance trade associations in state intermediate appellate and supreme courts. His representation spans life, annuity, property, and workers’ compensation risks and disputes involving insurance companies, reinsurance brokers, U.S. risks, London Market risks and Bermuda-domiciled reinsurers.

Rollie handles numerous reinsurance disputes and advises on reinsurance contracting issues and reinsurance program strategies. He has represented ceding insurers in the contracting and placement of more than $6 billion in reinsurance for hurricane and other storm risks, including the largest catastrophe bond ever issued ($1.5 billion), and the initial reinsurance and catastrophe bond for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), covering risks for the National Flood Insurance Program.

A prolific writer and lecturer on issues relating to reinsurance, arbitration, class actions and electronic discovery, Rollie’s audiences are largely legal, compliance and government affairs professionals. He is a contributing member of the Editorial Board of the Insurance Litigation Reporter.

Representative Experience

  • Lead role in representing a major life insurance company in the preparation and trial of a major insurance market conduct class action lawsuit
  • Represented a major life insurance company in a 37-state collaborative market conduct examination of its deferred annuity business
  • Obtained partial summary judgment of approximately $65 million for issuer of jumbo life insurance policies that had lapsed (2017)
  • Prevailed in a combination jury/bench trial of an annuity suitability case in Illinois State Court (2011-16)
  • Mooney v. Allianz Life Insurance Co. ⁠— trial of major insurance sales practice class action
  • Represented two state-owned catastrophe insurers in the placement of more than $6 billion of reinsurance for hurricane and other storm risks (2007-17)
  • Represented FEMA as ceding insurer from the National Flood Insurance Program in the initial all-flood catastrophe bond ⁠— FloodSmart (2018)
  • Represented FEMA in the placement of reinsurance for the National Flood Insurance Program of more than $1 billion per year for the first two years of that reinsurance program (2016-17)
  • Everglades Re catastrophe bonds ⁠— three issues totaling in excess of $2.5 billion, representing the ceding insurer (2012-17) 
  • Multistate market conduct examination representing large life insurance and annuity company
  • John Hancock Life Insurance Co. v. American Reliable Insurance Co. ⁠— arbitration of personal accident risk reinsurance dispute
  • First Allmerica Insurance v. Minnesota Life Insurance Co. ⁠— AAA arbitration of dispute over the price for a block of defined benefit plan contracts purchased by one insurance company from another
  • Snell v. Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America (U.S. District Court, District Minnesota) ⁠— assisted in negotiation and responsible for administration of nationwide class settlement of "vanishing premium" life insurance case,one of several class settlements
  • Negotiation and documentation of reinsurance for various ceding insurers
  • Conner Bond Litigation (U.S. District Court and Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina) ⁠— consolidation of approximately 28 cases resulting from the bankruptcy of a vertically integrated mobile home company that resulted in approximately $180 million of collateralized bonds being of questionable value, with two document depositories, several millions of pages of documents produced and over 320 days of deposition testimony
  • Adelstein v. Unicare Life & Health Insurance Company (U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida) ⁠— defeated class certification and prevailed on summary judgment in medical recovery subrogation case, with both rulings affirmed on appeal
  • Personal Accident reinsurance market ⁠— counseling and strategic planning with respect to disputes regarding reinsurance of personal accident and occupational accident risks through the London Market, which resulted in both arbitrations and litigation
  • In re Pine Top Insurance Company (State of Illinois special liquidator) ⁠— recovery of substantial claim for insurance company in insolvency proceeding of another insurance company
  • White v. CUNA Mutual (Florida state court, Palm Beach County) ⁠— insurance coverage - secured pre-emptive denial of class certification in disability claim/policy interpretation case
  • Larson v. Union Security Life Insurance Company (Minnesota state court, Minneapolis) ⁠— insurance sales practices (non-class action), secured summary judgment for insurance company in case alleging that the company charged a premium in excess of the amount allowed by Minnesota law
  • James Oliver and Linda Wells v. American Bankers Insurance Company (Circuit Court for Jefferson County, Mississippi) ⁠— jury trial of insurance sales practice dispute in a rural Mississippi state court, resulting in verdict for plaintiff in an amount of less than 1 percent of the amount sought, which was reversed entirely to become a defense verdict by the Mississippi Supreme Court

Personal Interests

Rollie and his wife, Beth, a Presbyterian pastor, support many nonprofit organizations, enjoy gardening in their large yard and greenhouse and listen to classical music.

Credentials

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia
Florida
Illinois

Court Admissions

U.S. Court of Federal Claims
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Trial Bar

Education

Northwestern University School of Law
J.D. cum laude, Order of the Coif (1978)

Michigan State University
B.A. high honors (1975)

Insights & Events

Other Perspectives
  • “Dodd­Frank Act Update,” National Alliance of Life Companies, Spring Meeting, Southampton, Bermuda (April 2015)
  • "Capital Market Reinsurance Instruments and Discussion on Implications and Differences in ILS and Cat Bonds," Reinsurance Regulation, American Conference Institute, New York (July 2014)
  • "Insurance-Linked Securities and Catastrophe Bonds Decoupling from Traditional Reinsurance," Insurance-Linked Securities, American Conference Institute, New York (July 2014)
  • "Litigation Forum: Legal and Regulatory Ethics," IRI Government, Legal & Regulatory Conference, Washington (July 2014)
  • "Life Insurance Litigation Update," Insured Retirement Institute Government, Legal & Regulatory Conference (June 2013)
  • "Latest Developments and Trends in Significant Annuity and Life Insurance Litigation," Insured Retirement Institute, Legal and Regulatory Conference (June 2012)
  • "Class Arbitration under the Federal Arbitration Act and EU and U.S. Solvency Initiatives," two panels at American Conference Institute, Reinsurance Disputes in Litigation and Arbitration (April 2012)
  • "A Twelve-Step Program for the Successful Settlement of Class Actions," Insured Retirement Institute, Government, Legal and Regulatory Conference (June 2011)
  • Pre-conference workshop, "Reinsurance Claims & Arbitration," American Conference Institute (September 2008)
  • "E-Discovery a Year Later: How the New Rules Affect Your Practice," American Bar Association (December 2007)

Leadership & Community

Pro Bono

  • Rollie was honored as the 2016 Laura N. Rinaldi Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year by the District of Columbia Bar Association for his career-long advocacy for the interests of children and families in adoption, custody, foster care, and abuse and neglect matters. His activities include representation in numerous cases in D.C. Superior Court.
  • Rollie is a board member and the chair of a panel that acted as special masters for Florida courts conducting the judicial reviews of foster care cases under the auspices of the Florida Foster Care Review Project.
  • Rollie has mentored numerous attorneys in their participation in pro bono matters.

Professional Associations

  • Florida Bar Association
  • American Bar Association

Civic Activities

Rollie has been an active member of his church in Arlington, Virginia, and a liaison with over 20 nonprofit organizations that the church has supported.

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