Maria Louise Cousineau


Maria Louise (Ria) Cousineau concentrates her practice in complex insurance coverage matters and bad faith litigation, addressing issues in property and liability policies in both commercial and personal lines. She is admitted to the California and Nevada bars, as well as the federal courts in both states. Ria has defended clients, through trial and appeal, in litigation in California, Nevada, and Oklahoma, and regularly counsels insurer clients on complex coverage questions. She has represented property insurers in numerous class actions in California. She is often asked to assist attorneys in other regions in preparing institutional cases and witnesses for deposition and trial.

Ria is a member of the ABA, the California and Nevada Bar Associations, the LA County Bar Association, DRI, and the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (FDCC), a professional trade association of vetted and premier defense and corporate counsel and industry executives, dedicated to leading the profession by advancing the principles of integrity, professionalism, fair civil justice, intellectual capital, and fostering the trust and value of fellowship. She also volunteers as a mediator/arbitrator for numerous courts in Los Angeles County and regularly provides pro bono legal services to people of limited means.

Ria earned her J.D., cum laude, from Southwestern University. While in law school, she was an extern to the Honorable Arthur Alarcon, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. After graduating, she served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Charles Springer, Chief Justice of the Nevada Supreme Court. She received a B.A. in Social Ecology from the University of California at Irvine.


Published Opinions

People ex rel. Ellinger v. Magill, 77 Cal. App. 5th 287 (CA Ct. App. 2022) [Insurers and claims administrators cannot be held liable in a qui tam action under the Insurance Fraud Protection Act]

In re Ins. Installment Fee Cases, 211 Cal. App. 4th 1395, 150 Cal. Rptr. 3d 618 (CA Ct. App. 2012) [Class Action - service charges for monthly premium payments]

MRI Healthcare Center of Glendale, Inc. v. State Farm General Ins. Co., 187 Cal. App. 4th 766, 115 Cal. Rptr. 3d 27 (CA Ct. App. 2010) [Bad Faith case regarding dispute over physical Loss to property]

Koszdin v. State Comp. Ins. Fund, 186 Cal. App. 4th 480, 112 Cal. Rptr. 3d 494 (CA Ct. App. 2010) [Class action regarding claims for interest payments on workers’ compensation awards]

Benavides v. State Farm General Ins. Co., 136 Cal. App. 4th 1241 (CA Ct. App. 2006) [Challenge to a jury finding of negligence in absence of bad faith]

Mediterranean Constr. Co. v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., 66 Cal. App. 4th 257, 77 Cal. Rptr. 2d 781 (CA Ct. App. 1998) [Right to oral argument on summary judgment motion]

Orr v. Byers, 198 Cal. App. 3d 666, 224 Cal. Rptr. 13 (CA Ct. App. 1998) [Applying the doctrine of idem sonans in title insurance claim]

Hackethal v. Nat’l Casualty Co., 189 Cal. App. 3d 1102 (CA Ct. App. 1987) [Bad faith action on income reimbursement policy]

In re Couch, 80 B.R. 512, 1987 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13046 (USDC SDCA 1987) [Discovery of reserves]

Unpublished Opinions

Sigelman v State Farm Gen Ins Co., 2013 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7843, 2013 WL 5827707 (CA Ct. App. 2013) [Demolition of insured’s own property is not an accidental direct physical loss]

Century Surety Co. v. 350 W.A. LLC, 539 Fed. Appx. 749, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 17596 (9th Cir. 2013) [Policy rescission]

Imperial Tile & Stone v State Farm Gen. Ins. Co., 2012 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1557, 2012 WL 676233 (CA Ct. App. 2012) [Bad faith claim arising out of employment practices exclusion in CGL)

Henriks v. State Farm Mut. Auto Ins. Co., 2010 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 6574, 2010 WL 3245766 (CA Ct. App. 2010) (Anti-SLAPP statute]

House v State Farm Fire & Casualty Co.,  17 Fed. Appx. 684, 2001 U.S. App. LEXIS 19894 (9th Cir. 2001) [Fraudulent submission in a business interruption claim]


More Than 200 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named Best Lawyers and Ones to Watch

August 22, 2022

210 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 24 of the firm’s nationwide offices for inclusion in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

More Than 205 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named Best Lawyers and Ones to Watch By The Best Lawyers In America

August 19, 2021

Best Lawyers selected 210 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 23 of the firm’s nationwide offices for inclusion in the 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Maria Louise Cousineau Elected to Membership in the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel

October 05, 2020

Cozen O’Connor is pleased to announce that Maria Louise Cousineau, a member of the firm’s Global Insurance Department, has been elected to membership in the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (FDCC).

More Than 200 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named Best Lawyers and Ones to Watch By The Best Lawyers In America

August 20, 2020

Best Lawyers selected 201 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 23 of the firm’s nationwide offices for inclusion in the 2021 edition of The Best Lawyers in America© (Copyright 2020 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC).

138 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 28, 2019

Best Lawyers selected 138 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 21 of the firm’s national offices for inclusion in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Los Angeles and Santa Monica Attorneys Participates in Adoption Day

November 19, 2018

Los Angeles and Santa Monica offices finalized pro bono adoptions for six families.

Publications and Appellate Decisions

California Court of Appeal: Insurers Not Liable Under the California Insurance Frauds Prevention Act [Avoiding Insurance Bad Faith Blog]

May 03, 2022

In its recent decision, People ex rel. Ellinger v. Magill, et al., ---Cal.Rptr.3d---, No. E076378, 2022 WL 1077988 (Cal. Ct. App., Mar. 18, 2022), the California Court of Appeal refused to extend liability under California’s Insurance Frauds Prevention Act (IFPA) to an insurer’s claims handling...

Policyholder Permitted to Videotape Appraisal [Property Insurance Law Observer Blog]

July 30, 2021

In Silversmith v State Farm Insurance Company, 2021 W.L. 2910240 (Fla. 4th DCA July 7, 2021), Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled that policyholders may openly videotape an inspection by the insurance company appraiser, despite the state’s “two-party consent law.” The court held that an...

A New Twist in the California Debate Over Allegedly Inadequate Replacement Cost Limits in Homeowners’ Policies [Property Insurance Law Observer Blog]

April 15, 2015

The April 8, 2015 decision of the California Court of Appeals in Ass’n. of Cal. Insurance Companies v. Jones, 2015 WL 1569669, 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 298 (Cal.Ct.App., Apr. 8, 2015) held that the state’s Insurance Commissioner overstepped his authority in attempting to regulate the content and format...

Ninth Circuit Water Loss Case Provides Guidance On Bad Faith Standard for “Genuine Dispute” [Global Insurance Alert]

August 07, 2014

In a recent decision in the case of Pyramid Technologies, Inc. v. Hartford Casualty Ins. Co., 752 F.3d 807 (9th Cir., May 19, 2014), the 9th Circuit, relying on California law, upheld a grant of summary judgment dismissing the insured’s business interruption claim as speculative. In addition, by a split decision, it reversed in part and remanded in part the trial court’s exclusion of the testimony from the insured’s expert witnesses under Daubert standards. Finally, and most importantly, the Court of Appeals reversed a grant of summary judgment concerning the insurer’s “genuine dispute” defense, holding that bad faith was an issue for the jury under the facts of the case.

Events & Seminars

Upcoming Events

Top 10 Coverage Decisions of the Year & What Lies Ahead

July 25, 2023 - Colorado Springs, CO

Ria Cousineau will present “Top 10 Coverage Decisions of the Year & What Lies Ahead” at the FDCC’s Be More at The Broadmoor 2023 Annual Meeting in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Past Events

How to Select and Work with an Expert Effectively

November 30, 2022 - Los Angeles, CA

2015 National Property Insurance Seminar

April 23, 2015 - New York, NY

Industry Sectors


  • Southwestern University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1984
  • University of California at Irvine, B.A., 1981

Awards & Honors

Best Lawyers in America 2020-2023

  • California
  • Nevada

Honorable Charles Springer, Supreme Court of Nevada

  • California Bar Association
  • Nevada Bar Association
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • DRI
  • Loss Executives Association
  • National Association of Insurance Women
  • Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel