Thomas McKay, III

Senior Counsel

Cherry Hill

(856) 910-5012

(877) 259-7983

Thomas McKay, III joined Cozen O’Connor as a member in January 1982. He was the office managing partner (OMP) in the Cherry Hill, New Jersey office from 2000 through 2015. He served two terms on the firm's national board of directors and also acted as the interim OMP for the New York office for 1993 - 1994.

In June 2019, Thomas retired from his national defense litigation practice and became of counsel to the firm. His practice is now limited exclusively to select and limited pro bono representation in New Jersey and service as an appointed member and vice chair of the New Jersey Supreme Court’s District IV Ethics Committee, which oversees attorney ethics investigations in Camden and Gloucester counties.

Tom’s litigation practice focused primarily on first party insurance coverage and insurance fraud defense. He has tried dozens of civil jury trials and numerous arbitrations in multiple jurisdictions securing numerous defense verdicts in actions involving six-figure and multi-million dollar claims against his clients. He served as lead counsel on behalf of one of the insurance company defendants in the World Trade Center 9/11 insurance coverage litigation in the Southern District of New York, obtaining a defense verdict thereby saving the client over $260 million.

Tom has lectured on first-party insurance and trial related matters and has served on insurance industry education panels. He co-authored Resolving Property Insurance Claims and Insurance Litigation published by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education. He is a member of the Camden County, New Jersey State and American Bar Associations. Thomas has been named a New Jersey “Super Lawyer” multiple times by Law and Politics. He is AV rated by Martindale Hubbell. He has held the designation of Certified Civil Trial Attorney by the Supreme Court of New Jersey since 1989.

Tom earned his bachelor of arts degree from Rutgers University in 1969 and his law degree from Temple University School of Law in 1972. From 1972-1973 he served as a law clerk to the Honorable W. Thomas McGann and the Honorable Herman Belopolsky, Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division.

From 1973-1981, Tom served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of New Jersey where he handled both federal civil cases and criminal prosecutions and tried dozens of major criminal jury trials. He was admitted to practice in New Jersey in 1972. He was also admitted to practice in New York in 1994 (retired admission in 2020). He is also admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fourth, and Sixth Circuits, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey and the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.

Tom has served for more than 30 years as an appointed Class IV member of the Hainesport Township, New Jersey Joint Land Use Board that oversees zoning appeals and land use development in Hainesport. From 2012 to 2015 he served as an appointed member of the Rutgers University Board of Overseers, which directs the management of the Rutgers University Foundation. Tom is a past Commodore of the Surf City Yacht Club on Long Beach Island, New Jersey. Tom is married for over 50 years to Dianne Adele McKay. She is an adjunct professor at the School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers.

Experience

News

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.

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

August 22, 2018

One hundred twenty-six Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 20 of the firm’s national offices have been selected for inclusion in the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

100 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 23, 2017

Lawyers were selected for inclusion in the 2018 edition based on a rigorous peer-review that has been developed and defined for more than 30 years.

Publications

Bill Allowing Punitive Damages for Insurer's Bad Faith Conduct Introduced in New Jersey Senate [Insurance Coverage Alert!]

September 12, 2011

Bill Allowing Punitive Damages for Insurer's Bad Faith Conduct Introduced in New Jersey Senate - Insurance Coverage Alert! - On August 25, 2011, a New Jersey state senator introduced Senate Bill 3036, purportedly to reverse the New Jersey Supreme Court’s holding in Wood v. New Jersey Manufacturers Ins. Co., 206 N.J. 562, 21 A.3d 1131 (June 14, 2011). The bill goes far beyond a simple reversal, however, and could have significant financial implications for insurers that breach their duty of good faith and fair dealing with their insureds.

Supreme Court of New Jersey Broadens the Defense Obligation in Emotional Distress Claims [Insurance Coverage Alert!]

July 05, 2011

Supreme Court of New Jersey Broadens the Defense Obligation in Emotional Distress Claims - Insurance Coverage Alert! - Portee claims, named after the 1980 Portee v. Jaffe case, may be brought by close family members who witnessed the death or severe injury of a loved one. The decision in Abouzaid v. Mansard Gardens Assoc., LLC, A5-10, will require insurers with policies covering bodily injuries to defend a Portee claim from the outset, even if the complaint is silent regarding physical injuries caused by the alleged emotional distress, unless the defense of the claim is specifically excluded.

Supreme Court of New Jersey Rejects Insured's Argument That There is No Right to a Jury Trial in Rova Farms Cases [Insurance Coverage Alert!]

June 30, 2011

Supreme Court of New Jersey Rejects Insured's Argument That There is No Right to a Jury Trial in Rova Farms Cases - Insurance Coverage Alert! - On June 14, 2011, the Supreme Court of New Jersey unanimously ruled in Wood v. New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Co. that a claim against a liability insurer alleging that the insurer acted in bad faith by refusing to settle an underlying tort action within the policy limits was a traditional breach of contract claim to which the right to a jury trial attached.

Winter 2010 [Insurance Coverage Observer]

February 21, 2010

Winter 2010 - Insurance Coverage Observer -

Chinese Drywall: Background, Scope and Insurance Coverage Implications [Cozen O'Connor Whitepaper]

September 16, 2009

Chinese Drywall: Background, Scope and Insurance Coverage Implications - Cozen O'Connor Whitepaper - This handout is intended to provide a general overview of what has been termed the “Chinese drywall problem,” and the insurance coverage issues that will likely emerge therefrom. The first section provides a general background of the Chinese drywall problem and includes an overview of the litigation which has arisen from the issue. The second section provides a discussion and analysis of the key insurance coverage issues which are

Chinese Drywall: Background, Scope, and Insurance Coverage Implications [Chinese Drywall: Background, Scope, and Insurance Coverage Implications]

September 16, 2009

Chinese Drywall: Background, Scope, and Insurance Coverage Implications - Chinese Drywall: Background, Scope, and Insurance Coverage Implications -

Winter 2009 [Insurance Coverage Observer]

January 29, 2009

In this issue, we identify key coverage developments from the year 2008. We summarize recent court decisions dealing with coverage for toxic torts, environmental losses, construction defect and property losses. We also address new decisions in the areas of insolvency and reinsurance.

Summer 2008 [Insurance Coverage Observer]

August 30, 2008

We take pride at Cozen O’Connor in addressing new developments that will affect our clients. In this issue, we include a special report on two new decisions from New Jersey on bad faith in the UM/UIM context.

Insurance Coverage Observer [Winter 2008]

February 26, 2008

In this issue, we consider a number of emerging issues and also identify key developments in coverage in 2007. We summarize new court decisions dealing with toxic torts, environmental coverage, insolvency and regulatory issues, and construction defect. We feature a key construction defect coverage case in Illinois with important implications. We address global warming in the context of directors with officers liability coverage. Finally, we discuss the emerging areas of fax blast and food contamination, and the impact of the reauthorization of TRIA.

Events & Seminars

Past Events

2012 First Party Claims Conference

October 16, 2012 - Warwick, RI

2009 PLRB/LIRB Large Loss Conference

November 02, 2009 - Tampa, FL

Industry Sectors

Education

  • Temple University School of Law, J.D., 1972
  • Rutgers College, B.A., 1969

Awards & Honors

Best Lawyers in America 2018-2021

  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Superior Court of New Jersey
  • Supreme Court of New Jersey
  • New York Court of Appeals
  • New York Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. District Court -- Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court -- New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court -- Southern District of New York
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Honorable W. Thomas McGann and the Honorable Herman Belopolsky, Superior Court of New Jersey

  • American Bar Association
  • Camden County (NJ) Bar Association
  • New Jersey State Bar Association