Cozen O’Connor: Minkoff, Deborah M.

Deborah M. Minkoff

Vice Chair, Global Insurance Department

Philadelphia

(215) 665-2170

(215) 665-2013

Recent Publication:

2019 Best Law Firm Mentor—Deborah Minkoff [The Legal Intelligencer]

Debbie Minkoff was featured in The Legal Intelligencer for being recognized as a 2019 Best Law Firm Mentor.

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, 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). In 2019, Debbie was recognized by The Legal Intelligencer as a 2019 Professional Excellence Award winner.

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.

Experience

News

64 Cozen O'Connor Attorneys Named Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

May 21, 2019

Super Lawyers has selected 64 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to the 2019 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.

Deborah Minkoff Honored as a 2019 Professional Excellence Award Winner

May 16, 2019

Deborah Minkoff has been recognized by The Legal Intelligencer as a 2019 Professional Excellence Award winner in the Best Mentor category

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.

Fifty-four Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named 2018 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

June 12, 2018

Super Lawyers has named 54 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to its 2018 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.

Minkoff Re-Appointed to the Pennsylvania Commission for Women

October 26, 2017

Deborah Minkoff, of Cozen O'Connor's Global Insurance department, was re-appointed to serve on the Pennsylvania Commission for Women.

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.

Sixty-Two Cozen O’Connor Lawyers Named to the Best Lawyers in America

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.

Cozen O’Connor Litigator Deborah Minkoff Named by Governor Tom Wolf to the Pennsylvania Commission for Women

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.

Fifty-Two Cozen O’Connor Lawyers Named to the Best Lawyers in America

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.

Debbie Minkoff Discusses Babcock & Wilcox Co.’s Appeal in Law360

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.

Deborah Minkoff Discusses 5 Tips for Nailing Reservation of Rights Letters 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.

46 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers Named to The Best Lawyers in America

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.

Cozen O’Connor Announces Vice-Chairs of the Global Insurance Group Members Deborah Minkoff and Eric Freed Appointed New Leaders

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.

Cozen O’Connor Insurance Litigator Deborah Minkoff Receives 2012 “Women to Watch” Award From Business Insurance

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.

43 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers Named to The Best Lawyers in America

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.

Forty-Two Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Honored as Best Lawyers in America

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.

Twenty-Five Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Honored As 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.

Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Participate In PBI Professional Liability Seminar

August 23, 2008

Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Participate In PBI Professional Liability Seminar

Cozen O’Connor Presents 2008 Professional Liability Coverage 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.

Publications

2019 Best Law Firm Mentor—Deborah Minkoff [The Legal Intelligencer]

June 17, 2019

Debbie Minkoff was featured in The Legal Intelligencer for being recognized as a 2019 Best Law Firm Mentor.

New Appleman on Insurance Law Library Edition

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.

Pennsylvania High Court Rules First Manifestation Trigger Applies to Property Damage Claims [Global Insurance Alert]

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.

Conn. High Court Clarifies Aggregate Limit and Number of SIRs Under Professional Liability Policy [Global Insurance Alert]

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.

Pennsylvania District Court Considers Bad Faith Setup as Affirmative Defense [Global Insurance Alert]

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.

Pennsylvania Superior Court Maps a New Path for Insureds and Insurers [Global Insurance Alert]

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.

Sexual Misconduct “During” Law Enforcement Activities Does Not “Arise Out of” Law Enforcement Activities [Global Insurance Alert]

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.

Second Circuit Restricts Zeig to First-Party Context, Requiring Actual Payment of Underlying Limits [Global Insurance Alert]

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.

Is Honesty Always the Best Policy? Illinois Appellate Court Holds Attorney's Ethical Obligations Trump Professional Liability Policy Term [Professional Liability Alert]

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.

New York Court Enforces Legal Malpractice Policy’s Business Pursuit and Business Enterprise Exclusions [Global Insurance Alert]

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.

The Impact of the Professional Services Exclusion on Negligent Supervision/Sexual Molestation Claims [Claims Management Magazine]

May 17, 2012

The Impact of the Professional Services Exclusion on Negligent Supervision/Sexual Molestation Claims - Claims Management Magazine -

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!]

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

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.

2007 Insurance Coverage Seminar - New York City [Seminar Presentation - Program Book]

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

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]

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

Past Events

An Update on Sexual Abuse Cases

May 30, 2019 - Philadelphia, PA

2018 Professional Liability Seminar

November 01, 2018 - New York, NY

2017 Professional Liability Seminar

October 12, 2017 - New York, NY

2015 Professional Liability Seminar

October 29, 2015 - New York, NY

PLRB 2013 Large Loss Conference

November 18, 2013 - Jacksonville, FL

2013 Professional Liability Seminar

October 10, 2013 - New York, NY

2013 Seattle Insurance Conference

September 25, 2013 - Seattle, WA

DRI: Insurance Coverage and Practice Symposium

December 05, 2012 - New York, NY

PLRB/LIRB 2012 Large Loss Conference

October 31, 2012 - Washington, DC

2008 Professional Liability Coverage Seminar

April 24, 2008 - New York, NY

Industry Sectors

Education

  • Villanova University School of Law, J.D., 1984
  • Franklin and Marshall College, A.B., 1981

Awards & Honors

Best Lawyers, 2017 Women of Influence

Pennsylvania Commission for Women  2015-2019 

Best Lawyers in America  2008-2020

Super Lawyer 2012-2019

Business Insurance "Woman to Watch" 2012

The Legal Intelligencer, 2019 Professional Excellence Award winner

  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • American Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • American College of Coverage Counsel