Deborah M. Minkoff enjoys a nationwide coverage litigation practice. Deborah also devotes a significant portion of her practice to counseling clients on evaluating and reducing risk on complex liability coverage issues.
Deborah’s representative cases include disputes under claims-made liability policies, medical professional liability coverage, employers' liability coverage, commercial general liability coverage, retention and allocation issues, and sexual misconduct claims under both professional liability coverage and commercial general liability coverages. Deborah obtained important holdings for the insurance industry in cases of first impression, and is a frequent lecturer on claims made coverage, self-insured retentions and large deductible policies, negotiation skills, and risk tolerance.
Deborah has been recognized as a Best Lawyer in America in the area of Insurance Law, and as a Super Lawyer annually from 2008. In December 2012, Business Insurance recognized Deborah as one of its 25 "Women to Watch." In October 2015, Governor Tom Wolf appointed Deborah to Pennsylvania's Commission for Women. Deborah has been elected as a Fellow of the American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel (ACCEC).
Deborah graduated from Franklin and Marshall College. She is a graduate of Villanova Law School, where she was a member of the law review and received the Pulling Award for outstanding student authorship. Deborah also serves as an adjunct professor at the Drexel University School of Law.
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.
June 12, 2018
Super Lawyers has named 54 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to its 2018 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.
October 26, 2017
Deborah Minkoff, of Cozen O'Connor's Global Insurance department, was re-appointed to serve on the Pennsylvania Commission for Women.
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.
August 15, 2016
Sixty-two Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 13 of the firm’s national offices have been selected for inclusion in the 2017 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.
October 08, 2015
Minkoff is one of 26 women appointed by Governor Tom Wolf to serve on the Pennsylvania Commission for Women. The commissioners were sworn in on October 7, 2015 by Secretary of State Pedro Cortés prior to convening the first meeting of the Commission, which was held at The Governor’s Residence.
August 17, 2015
The current edition is based on more than five million detailed evaluations by the top lawyers of the country. This list will be included in dozens of city and regional publications in the United States including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.
October 09, 2014
Debbie Minkoff of the Global Insurance Department discusses Babcock & Wilcox Co.’s appeal and what it means for commercial policyholders in Law360.
May 16, 2014
Debbie Minkoff Discusses 5 Tips for Nailing Reservation of Rights Letters in Law360. Once insurers have decided they will defend policyholders provisionally while reserving the right to challenge coverage down the road, they should realize the importance of crafting a proper letter communicating that decision to their insureds. Courts could hold that insurers have waived their coverage defenses if they are not careful with their approach in reservation of rights letters, said Deborah Minkoff, the vice chair of Cozen O'Connor's insurance department. To read the article, click here.
August 28, 2013
Forty-six Cozen O’Connor lawyers from eight of the firm’s national offices have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America. Attorneys were selected based on a rigorous peer-review of more than 4.3 million detailed evaluations. The list will be included in publications such as The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and New York magazine.
February 25, 2013
Minkoff will serve as vice chair of administration for the group, which comprises more than 100 attorneys across all of the firm’s 21 offices. Freed will serve as vice chair of strategic planning and trial team management for the group.
December 05, 2012
Business Insurance's Women to Watch award is an important honor in the industry. The magazine’s feature is an annual salute to business leaders and influential executives who are doing outstanding work in commercial insurance, risk management, employee benefits and related fields.
February 09, 2011
Forty-three Cozen O’Connor lawyers from six of the firm’s national offices have been selected for inclusion in the 2011 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Lawyers were selected for inclusion in the 2011 edition based on a rigorous peer–review of more than 3.1 million detailed evaluations.
September 29, 2009
Forty-two Cozen O’Connor attorneys from seven of the firm’s national offices have been selected for inclusion in the 2010 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.
October 29, 2008
Twenty-five Cozen O’Connor attorneys from six of the firm’s national offices have been selected for inclusion in the 2009 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.
August 23, 2008
Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Participate In PBI Professional Liability Seminar
May 06, 2008
Cozen O'Connor recently presented its 2008 Professional Liability Coverage Seminar. The seminar was comprised of a series of lectures on professional liability topics by firm attorneys.
December 01, 2016
Deborah Minkoff and Abby Sher Author chapter 1A: Self-Insured Retentions Versus Large or Matching Deductibles in the 2016 New Appleman on Insurance Law Library Edition.
December 22, 2014
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Pennsylvania Nat’l Mut. Cas. Ins. Co. v. St. John, et al., 2014 WL 7088712 (December 15, 2014), has affirmed that a first manifestation trigger applies to property damage claims under a CGL policy, triggering the single policy in effect when damage first manifests. St. John also confirmed that the multiple or continuous trigger adopted in J.H. France Refractories v. Allstate Ins. Co., 534 Pa. 29 (1993), which triggers all policies on a risk from exposure through manifestation, is unique to claims involving asbestos or other similarly latent diseases.
February 11, 2014
On January 28, 2014, the Supreme Court of Connecticut, in Lexington Ins. Co. v. Lexington Healthcare Group, Inc., 311 Conn. 29, addressed three issues that define the extent of coverage available under a medical professional liability policy. The court concluded that each claimant triggered a separate limit; an aggregate limit for professional lines claims applied; and a retention for each medical incident applied.
December 16, 2013
As a matter of first impression under Pennsylvania law, the court in Shannon v. New York Central Mutual Insurance Company, No: 13-cv-1432 (M.D. Pa. Nov. 20, 2013) denied a motion to strike an insurer’s defense of “bad faith set-up,” asserted in response to a bad faith claim based on the insurer’s alleged failure to settle a claim.
July 19, 2013
On July 10, 2013, a majority of a three-judge panel of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania cut a new path for insureds and insurers with respect to defense under reservations of rights. See The Babcock & Wilcox Company, et al. v. American Nuclear Insurers, et al., 2013 PA Super. 174, 2013 PA Super. LEXIS 1630. According to the majority, when an insurer tenders a defense subject to a reservation, an insured may reject the insurer’s defense and bind the insurer to a settlement that the insurer did not consent, so long as the settlement is fair and reasonable.
June 19, 2013
In a recent case before the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois, the court held that jail employees were not entitled to coverage for sexual molestation of an inmate under the law enforcement coverage part of the jail’s liability insurance policy. In so holding, the court declined to apply an expansive interpretation to the policy’s “arising out of” language.
June 14, 2013
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit recently eliminated the foundation for policyholders’ arguments in favor of “functional exhaustion.” In Ali v. Federal Insurance Co., No. 11-5000-cv (2d Cir. June 4, 2013), the 2nd Circuit held that functional exhaustion as permitted in the 1928 decision in Zeig v. Massachusetts Bonding & Ins. Co., 23 F.2d 665 (2d Cir. 1928) does not apply to excess liability policies.
February 07, 2013
In a case of first impression, the Illinois Appellate Court considered whether a professional liability insurer can deny a defense to its insured, an attorney who admits he erred in providing legal services. Ill. State Bar Assoc. Mut. Ins. Co. v. Greenfield & Assocs., P.C., No. 1-11-0337, 2012 Ill. App. LEXIS 921 (Ill. Ct. App. Nov. 9, 2012). The court held the insurer had a duty to defend its insured against a legal malpractice claim. The court rejected the insurer’s reliance on the prohibition against admitting liability in its Voluntary Payments condition.
January 16, 2013
In Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Greenberg, Formato & Eininger, LLP v. Underwriters of Lloyds, London, no. CV11-665, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1204 (E.D. N.Y. January 2, 2013), the District Court for the Eastern District of New York upheld a legal liability insurer’s denial of coverage to a law firm. The court agreed with the insurer that although two complaints filed against the law firm and its partners alleged professional malpractice, the policy’s business pursuit exclusion and business enterprise exclusion applied.
May 17, 2012
The Impact of the Professional Services Exclusion on Negligent Supervision/Sexual Molestation Claims - Claims Management Magazine -
April 15, 2009
General Liability - The Third Circuit Interprets Kvaerner, Holds That Claim for Consequential Damages Based on Sale of Defective Nutritional Supplement Does Not Constitute an "Occurrence" Under a CGL Policy - Insurance Coverage Alert! - On April 14, 2009, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Nationwide Mutual Ins. Co. v. CPB International, Inc., No. 02-4772 (3d Cir. 2009), further reducing the availability of general liability coverage for disputes between contracting parties. The Court’s decision is significant in three respects: (1) it expands the reach of Kvaerner Metals Div. v. Commercial Union Ins. Co., 908 A.2d 888 (Pa. 2006) and Millers Capital Ins. Co. v. Gambone Bros. Dev. Co., 941
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.
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.
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.
October 23, 2007
2007 Insurance Coverage Seminar - New York City - Seminar Presentation - Program Book - Speaker profiles, Practical Issues in Enforcement of Claims-Made Policies, Basics of D&O Insurance, Analyzing a Claim with Results Oriented to Your Best Interest in Spite of an Extra-Contractual Twist, "Food Fight!" Who Pays When Good Food Goes Bad?, Maritime Insurance: Recurring Coverage Issues, Managing Discovery of Electronic Information: A Pocket Guide for Judges
March 01, 2007
Duties Owed to the Excess Insurer by the Insured and the Primary Insurer, and Theories of Recovery Upon Breach of Those Duties - ABA Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee Seminar - The duties and obligations undertaken by a primary insurer on behalf of its insured, such as the duties to defend and indemnify, are contractual and commonly known. Less clear are the duties and obligations existing between the primary insurer and the excess insurer that has contracted with the insured.
Events & Seminars
February 20, 2019 - Phoenix, Arizona
Janet Davis and Gary Gassman, members of the firm's Global Insurance Department, along with Deborah Minkoff, vice chair of the firm's Global Insurance Department, and Jonathan Walton, an associate of the firm's Global Insurance Department, will present at the 27th Annual Insurance Coverage Litigation Midyear Conference.
November 01, 2018 - New York, NY
October 12, 2017 - New York, NY
February 23, 2017 - Phoenix, AZ
November 17, 2016 - New York, NY
February 18, 2016 - Phoenix, AZ
October 29, 2015 - New York, NY
May 15, 2014 - Philadelphia, PA
November 18, 2013 - Jacksonville, FL
November 14, 2013 - New York, NY
October 10, 2013 - New York, NY
September 25, 2013 - Seattle, WA
July 09, 2013 - New York, NY
February 14, 2013 - Phoenix, AZ
December 05, 2012 - New York, NY
October 31, 2012 - Washington, DC
December 02, 2011 - Philadelphia, PA
April 24, 2008 - New York, NY