Chad attended the University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown University, receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, from Georgetown University in 1987. He received his Juris Doctor Degree from University of Southern California (USC) Law School in 1990, where he was selected as a member of the Moot Court Honors Program and given the award for "Best Brief."
Chad worked in the Los Angeles office of Carlsmith Ball LLP (then a full service international law firm with offices throughout the Pacific Rim) for two years and Charlston, Revich & Wollitz LLP (an insurance coverage law firm in Los Angeles) for seventeen years, before founding Wootton Law Group LLP in 2009. Chad was a partner in Charlston, Revich & Wollitz LLP during his last ten years at the firm.
Chad has specialized in insurance coverage and insurance litigation since 1992, and has particular expertise in connection with commercial general liability policies, professional liability coverage, employment practices liability insurance, directors and officers policies, management liability insurance and non-profit policies.
Chad’s extensive insurance coverage experience includes:
- Analyzing coverage issues and preparing hundreds of coverage opinions, denial letters, and reservation of rights letters in complex matters involving a broad range of underlying claims;
- Negotiating defense cost-sharing agreements and settlements involving numerous insurers in multi-party litigation (including construction defect actions with numerous subcontractors and insurers);
- Prosecuting declaratory relief and rescission actions on behalf of insurers;
- Defending insurers, third party administrators, and insurance agents in coverage litigation, bad faith lawsuits and related litigation brought by insureds and others;
- Prosecuting contribution and indemnity actions against other insurers to recover amounts spent by his clients in defending and indemnifying their insureds;
- Defending insurers in contribution and indemnity actions brought by other insurers;
- Providing advice to insurers in connection with evaluating underlying claims, responding to settlement demands by insureds, and responding to countless “crisis situations” in which insurers seek his guidance.
Chad also has significant experience in representing businesses and individuals in breach of contract disputes, contract negotiations, employment matters, class actions and other areas of law.
Chad is a seasoned litigator with extensive experience litigating in state and federal courts, including significant experience at the appellate court level where he has authored numerous appellate briefs and successfully argued before the California Court of Appeal and the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Chad's appellate decisions include:
- Carolina Casualty Ins. Co. v. L.M. Ross Law Group, LLP, 212 Cal.App.4th 1181 (2012) (holding that Carolina Casualty Insurance Company could amend and expand a judgment in its favor in order to collect the judgment from the sole equity partner in the limited liability partnership it insured);
- Carolina Casualty Ins. Co. v. L.M. Ross Law Group, LLP, 184 Cal.App.4th 196 (2010) (holding that an exclusion in a Lawyer's Professional Liability precluded coverage for a legal malpractice claim by a company in which an insured, through a revocable trust, held an ownership interest; contains favorable language pertaining to the interpretations of exclusions in insurance policies and has been cited in many cases and treatises);
- Carolina Cas. Ins. Co. v. Bolling Walter and Gawthrop, 244 Fed.Appx. 762 (9th Cir. 2007) (Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the United States District Court's holding in favor of Carolina Casualty Insurance Company that under California contract law, a professional liability insurer has the right to control the defense of a legal malpractice action and to select defense counsel);
- Grossmont Union High School Dist. v. TIG Ins. Co., 2005 WL 2277600, Cal.App. 4 Dist. (2005) (California Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's holding in favor of TIG that a school psychologist's retaliation claim did not give rise to any duty to defend under the terms of a commercial general liability policy the school district had purchased);
- David Kleis, Inc. v. Superior Court, 37 Cal.App.4th 1035 (1995) (addressing circumstances under which an insurer's action for declaratory relief may be stayed);
- Brierton v. Department of Motor Vehicles, 130 Cal.App.4th 499 (2005) (holding that statutes granting campus police officers statewide authority to enforce Vehicle Code did not unconstitutionally conflict with enforcement powers of charter city).
Chad is a member of the State Bar of California and the Los Angeles County Bar Association, and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, the U.S. District Court for all California Districts, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.