Best's Insurance Professionals and Claims Resource

Your Online Portal for Claims Industry Information

Best's Insurance Professionals and Claims Resource

Your Online Portal for Claims Industry Information



Best's Recommended Insurance Attorneys

General Defense


1401 N.W. 136th Avenue, Suite 200, Sunrise, Florida 33323

Established: 1974

Practice Areas

  • Insurance Litigation
  • Insurance Defense
  • Insurance Law
  • Bad Faith
  • Appellate Practice
  • Class Actions
  • Insurance Regulation
  • Regulatory and Compliance
  • Government Affairs
  • Reinsurance
  • Administrative Law
  • Formation and Financing
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Market Conduct
  • Financial Examinations and Financial Issues
  • Surplus Lines
  • Rate, Form and Rule Filings
  • Portfolio Transfers
  • Assumptions
  • Agent and Agency Matters
  • Market Expansion and Withdrawal
  • Self-Insurance

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About Us

Colodny Fass law firm has represented national and international insurance clients in regulatory compliance, transactional, administrative and compliance matters throughout the United States for over 45 years. The Firm also handles insurance defense, complex commercial litigation, and governmental affairs in Florida from two offices spanning the state—a South Florida headquarters, and another office just one block from Florida’s Capitol in Tallahassee.

Clients have included property and casualty insurers, surplus lines insurers, life and health insurers, reinsurers, captives, risk retention groups, risk purchasing groups, brokers, associations, managing general agencies, agents, reinsurance intermediaries, premium finance companies, among other insurance-related entities.

With significant regulatory experience involving a wide range of issues, Colodny Fass also handles corporate formation and financing; mergers and acquisitions; adding lines of business; state expansion applications; market conduct and financial examinations; financial issues; statutory accounting procedures; risk-based capital levels; capital infusion issues; rate, form and rule filings. The Firm also serves the legal and regulatory needs of insurers in their dealings with insurance agents, agencies, reinsurers, brokers and vendors.

Colodny Fass lawyers have supervised multi-state compliance surveys and licensing matters for insurance companies, third-party administrators, managing general agents, wholesale brokers, reinsurance intermediaries, pharmacy benefits managers, insurance agencies, life settlement companies, as well as for manufacturers and sellers of service contracts and extended warranties. The Firm routinely handles regulatory issues including Insurance Holding Company Act compliance, company formation, multi-state expansion, corporate amendments, investment limitations, credit for reinsurance analysis, and transactions with affiliates.

Colodny Fass manages a wide variety of complex corporate and transactional matters for domestic and international insurers, holding companies and investors, including mergers and acquisitions, start-ups, stock offerings, restructurings, mutual holding company conversions, joint ventures and reinsurance transactions. The Firm’s attorneys also prepare insurance contracts and negotiate a wide variety of contracts and agreements, including managing general agent agreements, third-party administrator agreements, insurance agency and broker agreements, cost allocation agreements, IT vendor agreements, and joint insurance marketing and affinity marketing agreements.

As experienced practitioners of administrative law, Colodny Fass has served as lead counsel and supervised numerous actions before Florida regulatory agencies such as the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, Florida Department of Financial Services and Division of Administrative Hearings involving rule challenges and hearings related to disputes over form and rate filings, and license disciplinary matters, including appeals of those actions.

On a daily basis for many clients, Colodny Fass renders insurance regulatory legal services pertaining to:

Corporate governance
Risk analysis
Regulatory compliance issues
Preparation of documentation for data calls
Affiliate transactions
Debt and equity structuring and documentation
Reinsurance
Solvency matters
Licensure and expansion issues
Financial and market conduct examinations
Drafting of agent and agency appointment agreements and notices, as well as vendor and supplier contractual arrangements
Review of underwriting manuals to ensure compliance with regulatory and statutory mandates
Assisting actuaries in defending proposed rates at administrative hearings
Review and negotiation of regulatory consent orders
Drafting, review and amending of policy forms
Drafting of compliant forms of required notices such as cancellation and non-renewal notices
Participation in all stages of rulemaking proceedings
Review and research on proposed legislation and administrative rules, and the reporting on the potential consequences thereof
Report on the effects of adopted administrative rules, legislation

Firm Founder and Managing Partner Mike Colodny served as outside General Counsel for the Florida Residential Property and Casualty Joint Underwriting Association and its successor, Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, for nearly 15 years. During that time, he was instrumental in securing Citizens’ non-profit status and drafted not only Citizens’ first Plan of Operation, but Citizens’ first assumption contracts and takeout procedures.

Named during consecutive years as one of South Florida’s “Power Bankers,” Mr. Colodny is known for his keen understanding of the financial and accounting implications of complex transactions. Together with other members of the Firm’s Insurance Regulatory practice, such as Wes Strickland, he handles all aspects of transactions relating to mergers and acquisitions for both public and private companies.

Colodny Fass brings extensive experience with not only Citizens, but the regulation and operations of insurers and similar residual markets throughout the United States.

The Firm also advises insurers, reinsurers and reinsurance intermediaries on a number of contractual, legal and regulatory issues related to reinsurance plans, structures and transactions. These include reinsurer authorization, accreditation and eligibility issues; reinsurance contract, trust and collateral issues; alternate risk transfer mechanisms; holding company and affiliate agreement standards, solvency concerns; and litigation risk. Colodny Fass lawyers also provide strategic planning and implementation of a variety of initiatives, such as withdrawal plans; runoffs; renewal rights arrangements; reinsurance and alternate risk transfer programs financial stability issues; and other operational and marketing programs.

Colodny Fass reinsurance attorneys and consultants have been involved in arbitrations and have assisted clients in resolving disputes, working with regulatory authorities, and successfully managing complex, multiparty work out arrangements. These have included runoffs; commutations; assumptions; withdrawal plan arrangements; capitalization and financing arrangements; receivership, insolvency and liquidation matters; as well as other affiliate and third-party contractual alternatives.

The Firm advises clients on the formation of captive insurance entities within their holding company groups and in other third-party contexts, such as agency captives, association captives and otherwise; evaluate on behalf of various insurer and non-insurer organizations the laws of a variety of jurisdictions pertaining to the benefits of captive formation in those jurisdictions; and aid in strategic planning applicable to the formation of captive insurers, the development of a project plan and the formation and licensure of captive insurers.

For insurers’ agents, agencies and brokers, Colodny Fass has handled licensing and liability, commission-related matters, disclosure and confidentiality requirements, coverage disputes, errors and omissions, insurance solvency concerns, investigations and disciplinary proceedings, contract disputes, trade practices, compliance, ethics, discrimination or coercion complaints, as well as new challenges like cyber-risk and social media-driven disputes.

The Firm’s work with agents and brokers has focused on preventing unnecessary errors and omissions litigation, thus stemming exposure from claims involving breach of duty, misrepresentation, bad faith, fraud or inadequate coverage, or even criminal penalties. In these types of cases, Colodny Fass’ relationships with regulatory agencies is a valuable aspect of our work. The Firm’s attorneys have been called upon by agents’ organizations like the Florida Association of Insurance Agents, Latin American Association of Insurance Agencies and the National African American Insurance Association to counsel their members on best practices—not only in day-to-day business, but in all areas of the law, including fiduciary duties, ethics, contractual obligations and special relationships.

Similar to insurance company licensure, Colodny Fass provides assistance in all aspects of agency formation, as well as adjustors and producers in multiple states.

Colodny Fass’ Governmental Consulting Division, which is ranked annually among the top lobbying firms in Florida, serves insurance clients before the executive and legislative branches of the State of Florida, as well as its regulatory agencies and those of other state governments.

The Firm’s clients have even included public and governmental entities such as Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, Florida’s Insurance Commissioner, Governor, Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, and Division of Insurance Rehabilitation and Liquidation.

Experienced in litigating complex and sophisticated commercial matters, Colodny Fass, which was named as “Litigation Department of the Year” in South Florida by the Daily Business Review, successfully represents a wide variety of business interests in legal matters relating to insurance, including banks and real estate developers. The Firm specializes in the defense of class action insurance litigation, bad faith claims, constitutional challenges, declaratory judgments and other high-risk matters.

In matters of employment law, Colodny Fass has represented private and public employers in Title VII, ADA and ADEA claims encompassing age, national origin, race, gender and disability discrimination.

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Additional Locations

  • Tallahassee, FL

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Client Information

Representative Insurance Clients

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Personnel Information

Shareholders


Mike Colodny

Sunrise, FL

Practice Areas
  • Insurance Regulation
  • Government Affairs
  • Real Estate
  • Commercial Law
Admitted
  • Florida, 1967
Memberships:
  • Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists
Education:
  • University of Florida College of Law, J.D., 1966

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Joel S. Fass

Sunrise, FL

Practice Areas
  • Insurance Defense
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Insurance Litigation
  • Estate Planning
  • Government Affairs
Admitted
  • New York, 1974
  • Florida, 1976
  • U.S. Supreme Court
Additional Biographical Details:

Stephen R. Booher Inn of Court

Memberships:
  • American, New York State and Broward County Bar Associations
  • Litigation Counsel of America
  • American Trial Lawyers Association
  • Association of Florida Trial Lawyers
  • Florida Justice Association
Education:
  • State University of New York at Buffalo Law School, J.D. (cum laude), 1973

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Maria Elena Abate

Sunrise, FL

Practice Areas
  • Insurance Law
  • Litigation
  • Appellate Practice
  • Civil Rights
  • Employment Law
Admitted
  • Florida, 1988
  • U.S. Supreme Court
Memberships:
  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance - Certified Litigation Management Professional
  • American Trial Lawyers Association
  • American Association for Justice
Education:
  • University of Miami School of Law, J.D. (cum laude), 1988
Language:
  • Spanish

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Katherine S. Webb

Sunrise, FL

Practice Areas
  • Government Affairs
  • Insurance Regulation
Admitted
  • Florida, 2003
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
Additional Biographical Details:

Adjunct Professor of Insurance Law, Florida State University College of Law

Memberships:
  • Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists
Education:
  • Florida State University College of Law, J.D., 2003

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Amy L. Koltnow

Sunrise, FL

Practice Areas
  • Appellate Practice
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Employment Law
  • Insurance Litigation
Admitted
  • Florida, 1991
Memberships:
  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance
Education:
  • Stetson University College of Law, J.D., 1991
Language:
  • Spanish

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Nate Wesley Strickland

Sunrise, FL

Practice Areas
  • Government Affairs
  • Insurance Regulation
Admitted
  • Florida, 1999
Education:
  • Florida State University College of Law, J.D., 1998

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Partners


Sandy P. Fay

Sunrise, FL

Practice Areas
  • Insurance Regulation
Admitted
  • Florida, 1998
  • U.S. District Court, Middle and Southern Districts of Florida
Memberships:
Broward County Bar Association
Education:
  • Nova Southeastern University, Shepard Broad Law Center, J.D., 1998

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Matthew C. Scarfone

Sunrise, FL

Practice Areas
  • Insurance Defense
  • Insurance Litigation
  • Employment Law
  • Commercial Litigation
Admitted
  • Michigan, 2010
  • Florida, 2011
Education:
  • Michigan State University College of Law, J.D., 2010

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Consultants



Jodi Bock Davidson, Governmental Consultant

Sunrise, FL

Practice Areas
  • Governmental Relations
  • Legislative Law
Education:
  • University of North Florida, B.A., 1999

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Nicole Graganella, Governmental Consultant

Tallahassee, FL
Practice Areas
  • Governmental Relations
  • Insurance
  • Environmental Law
  • Municipal Services
Education:
  • Florida State University, B.A., 2011
  • Nova Southeastern University, M.P.A., 2012

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Claude Mueller, Insurance Regulatory Consultant

Tallahassee, FL
Practice Areas
  • Insurance
  • Regulatory and Compliance
  • Reinsurance
  • Statutory Accounting
Education:
  • Florida State University, B.S., 1989

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Articles

"Federal Risk Retention Group Legislation Could Effect Dramatic Changes%22 by Richard J. Fidei

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BrowardBusinessLawyer.com

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High Profile Cases

Amerisure v. Florida Dept. of Financial Services 156 So.3d 520 (Fla. 1st DCA 2015) 

Olympus Ins. Co. v. Mikael Hernandez, as personal representative of the estate of Yaimi Gandul So. 3d --- 2015 WL4936474 (Fla. 4th DCA 2015) 

One Call Property Services Inc. v. Security First Ins. Co. 165 So.3d 749 (4th DCA) 

Spiver v. Tenet Florida Physician Services, 149 So.3d 163 (4th DCA 2014) 

McCarty v. Myers, 125 So.3d 333 (Fla. 1st DCA 2013) 

REPRESENTATIVE CASES-Appendix One
Prior to 2014

Chiropractic One, Inc. v. State Farm Auto, 92 So.3d 871 (Fla. 5th DCA 2012)
 
Petty v. Florida Insurance Guaranty Association, 80 So.3d 313 (Fla. 2012)
 
Harris v. United Automobile Insurance Group, Inc., 579 F.3d 1227 (11th Cir. 2009)
 
Bortell v. White Mountains Insurance Group, 2 So.2d 1041 (4th DCA 2009)
 
United Auto Insurance Company v. Gables MRA 997 So.2d 1208 (Fla. 3d DCA 2008)
 
Buell v. Direct General Insurance Agency 267 Fed. Appx. 907 (11th Cir. 2008)
 
Zimmerman v. State of Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, 944 So.2d 1163 (Fla. 4th DCA 2006)

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(Revisors of Florida Insurance Law Digest for this Publication)

(This firm also appears in the Regulatory and Compliance section of this publication)



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