John E. Heintz

Insurance Coverage

Partner
1825 Eye Street NW Washington, DC 20006-5403
T: (202) 420-5373 heintzj@dicksteinshapiro.com

Biography

John E. Heintz leads Dickstein Shapiro’s Insurance Coverage Group. A veteran in the fields of corporate insurance coverage and complex litigation with more than 35 years of experience, John has recovered billions of dollars in coverage for his clients. He has handled major cases in every area of insurance coverage, including several that rank among the largest in coverage litigation history. Many of his cases have involved issues of first impression, resulting in landmark trial and appellate rulings for his clients at the state and federal levels. John’s mastery of the legal issues and his ability to direct large-scale litigation have earned him praise from clients and opponents alike.

AREAS OF CONCENTRATION

John has represented numerous clients in the chemical, petrochemical, petroleum, auto, hotel, and technology industries, in securing coverage for asbestos, lead, public nuisance, environmental contamination, professional liability, class-action employment discrimination, directors and officers liabilities, political risk, and medical product liability claims. He also has represented clients in securing coverage for property and business interruption losses arising out of the 9/11 attacks, hurricanes, and other catastrophic events. He has litigated and secured favorable resolutions of insurance coverage disputes and related bankruptcy issues arising in several asbestos-related bankruptcies. He has tried numerous cases and argued before the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Circuits and numerous state appellate courts, U.S. district courts, and state trial courts across the country.

BACKGROUND

Prior to joining the firm in 2010, John was the chair of the Insurance Recovery and Washington, DC, Litigation practice groups at Kelley Drye & Warren LLP. He was a founding partner of Gilbert Heintz & Randolph, LLP and served as chairman of the Insurance Coverage Practice at Howrey LLP. He began his career with Covington & Burling LLP.

PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES

John is a member of the American Bar Association Section on Litigation as well as a charter member of the section’s Insurance Coverage Committee. John sits on the board of directors for the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs. He is a member of the board of trustees for The Legal Aid Society of Washington. He has also litigated numerous pro bono cases, including matters involving insurance red-lining and FHA-ADA compliance.

HONORS AND RECOGNITIONS

John Heintz has been widely recognized as a leading lawyer in the insurance coverage area. The 2014 Chambers USA ranks John as one of the top 12 leading insurance coverage attorneys in the country. Chambers states that “he is known to peers as ‘one of the best lawyers in this field,’ noting that “he is described as ‘an outstanding performer with an outstanding reputation.’” In its 2015 edition, Benchmark Litigation recognized John both nationally and in the District of Columbia. The 2014 edition of Legal 500 recognized Mr. Heintz as a “leading lawyer” in the Insurance: Advice to Policyholders category. Mr. Heintz has also been recognized by Expert Guides, Super Lawyers, Lawdragon, Law 360, The International Who’s Who of Insurance & Reinsurance Lawyers and The Best Lawyers in America. Mr. Heintz and his co-authors were selected as Burton Award winners for the 2010 “Distinguished Law Firm Category” for their article “Insurance Coverage for Climate Change Suits: The Battle Has Begun,” which was published in The Environmental Claims Journal in March 2009.

OUTSIDE THE FIRM

John is an avid, lifelong sailor, who has sailed offshore to his favorite cruising grounds in New England, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland.

Full Biography

Matter Experience

  • Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company v. Travelers Indemnity Company,

    Representation of 3M resulting in landmark decision with respect to insurance coverage for Superfund claims in case of first impression certified from the Minnesota District court to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

    Jurisdiction: Supreme Court of Minnesota

  • Armstrong World Industries v. Aetna Casualty & Surety Co.

    Representation of Armstrong World Industries with respect to coverage for asbestos bodily injury and property damage claims through a seven phase, 220-day trial involving five policyholders and approximately 45 insurers resulting in landmark decision affirmed on appeal.

  • Pittston Company Ultramar America Limited v. Allianz Insurance Company

    Representation of Ultramar in a successful appeal from an adverse ruling of the District Court of New Jersey on the "known loss/loss in progress" defense, resulting in a landmark ruling.

    Jurisdiction: U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

  • Schlumberger Industries, Incorporated v. National Surety Corporation

    Representation of Schlumberger and Sangamo Weston with respect to coverage for Superfund liabilities.

    Jurisdiction: U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, South Carolina Supreme Court

  • Texaco A/S (Denmark) v. Commercial Insurance Co. of Newark, NJ

    Representation of Texaco on a successful appeal from an adverse ruling of the Southern District of New York resulting in a landmark decision establishing futility as a defense to late notice. 

  • Four Star Oil and Gas, et al. v. Associated Indemnity Corp., et al.

    Representation of Texaco in securing coverage of environmental liabilities at more than 1,000 sites under 700 policies issued by 70 insurers.

    Jurisdiction: Superior Court, Los Angeles County, California

  • Representation of Texaco to secure insurance for liabilities arising out of class action employment discrimination claims.

  • Texaco Refining & Marketing, Inc. v. Firemen's Fund Insurance Co., et al.

    Representation of Texaco to secure coverage for asbestos and other toxic tort claims.

    Jurisdiction: Superior Court, Los Angeles County, California

  • Representation of Texaco to secure coverage under an OPIC political risk policy for losses resulting from the Russian government's withholding of currency quotas.

  • Representation of Texaco with respect to coverage for liabilities arising out of contamination and fire damage resulting from a pipeline rupture during a flood. 

View all Experience

News and Views

View all News and Views

Honors and Awards

  • Best Lawyers in America

  • Legal 500

  • Washington DC Super Lawyers

  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business

  • Benchmark Litigation: The Definitive Guide to America's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys

  • Benchmark Litigation

  • International Who’s Who of Insurance & Reinsurance Lawyers

  • The Best Lawyers in America

  • Washington, DC Super Lawyers

  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business

  • International Who's Who of Insurance & Reinsurance Lawyers

  • The Best Lawyers in America

  • Legal 500: The Client's Guide to the US Legal Profession

  • Washington, DC Super Lawyers

  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business

  • Benchmark Plaintiff: The Definitive Guide to America's Leading Plaintiff Litigation Firms and Attorneys

  • The Best Lawyers in America

  • Legal 500: The Client's Guide to the US Legal Profession

  • Expert Guides 2011

  • Washington, DC Super Lawyers

  • International Who's Who of Insurance & Reinsurance Lawyers (367 attorneys named in 43 jurisdictions worldwide)

  • "10 Most Admired Insurance Attorneys," Law 360

  • The Best Lawyers in America 2007-2010

  • "Distinguished Legal Writing Award," The Burton Awards for Legal Achievement

  • "The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers," Who's Who Legal 2003-2009

  • Guide to the World's Leading Insurance and Reinsurance Lawyers, Legal Media Group

  • "Lawdragon 3000: Leading Lawyers of America," 2005-2006

  • "Lawdragon 500 Finalist" 2005-2006

All Honors and Awards

Bar Admissions

District of Columbia
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
U.S. Supreme Court

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