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Charles E. Spevacek

Partner

T: 612.347.9171
cspevacek@meagher.com
F: 612.877.3066

Chuck has over 30 years of experience litigating complex commercial cases, with particular emphasis on the trial and appeal of insurance coverage disputes, including breach of contract, declaratory judgment and bad faith actions. Chuck was named by The Best Lawyers in America as its 2014 Minnesota Insurance Law “Lawyer of the Year” and was selected for inclusion in that publication under the “Insurance Law” and "Mass Tort Litigation" specialties. He has twice been recognized by Minnesota Lawyer as an “Attorney of the Year”, in 2013 and in 2006. He was chosen as one of Minnesota’s 10 best appellate lawyers and has been recognized since 2002 as a Top 100 Super Lawyer, honors determined through a poll of over 18,000 Minnesota attorneys. Since 2013, he has been identified by Chambers USA as one of America's Leading Litigation Lawyers for business. Chuck is the national coordinating claims counsel for the cyber-liability program of a major commercial insurer. He has shared his expertise on insurance issues in testimony before the Minnesota Legislature. Chuck serves on Meagher & Geer’s Management Committee and he is co-head of the insurance practice group. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Center of the American Experiment having previously served as Chairman. Chuck also serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of Ridgeview Hospital Foundation and has served on the Board of Directors of The Purdue Alumni Association.

Representative clients include American Financial Group, AIG, Bituminous Insurance Company, Certain Underwriters at Lloyds of London, CNA Insurance Companies, Federated Mutual Group, The Guilford Specialty Group, Hartford Casualty Insurance Company, Liberty Mutual Insurance Companies, OneBeacon Insurance Group, Ltd., Riverstone Claims Management Services, Inc., Swiss Re Reinsurance Company, The Travelers Companies, Inc., and Westfield Insurance Companies.

Major cases include Land O' Lakes v. Employers Ins. Co. of Wausau, 2013 WL 4559813 (8th Cir., Aug. 29, 2013) (no coverage for cleanup of contaminated refinery); Engineering & Construction Innovations, Inc. v. L. H. Bolduc Co., Inc., 825 N.W.2d 695 (Minn. 2013) (additional insured coverage applies only to vicarious liability); Cynosure, Inc. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 645 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2011) (no coverage for TCPA claims under MA law); Cargill, Inc. v. ACE American Ins. Co., 784 N.W.2d 341 (Minn. 2010) (recognizing an equitable right to contribution for defense costs paid by a defending insurer against a non-defending insurer); West Bend Mut. Ins. Co. v. Federated Mut. Ins. Co., 598 F.3d 918 (7th Cir. 2010) (holding insurer's absolute pollution exclusion valid under Indiana law); Anderson v. Minnesota Insurance Guaranty Association et. al., 534 N.W.2d 706 (Minn. 1995), reh’g denied (Sept. 20, 1995) (rejecting “regulatory estoppel” as a means of invalidating the “sudden and accidental” pollution exclusion); Northern States Power Co. v. Fidelity and Casualty Co., 523 N.W.2d 657 (Minn. 1994) (announcing a pro-rata by time on the risk rule for allocation of indemnity amongst consecutively triggered insurance policies); and Federated Mutual Insurance Company v. Concrete Units Inc., 363 N.W.2d 751 (Minn. 1985) reh’g denied (March 29, 1985) (establishing that the term “property damage” as defined in the standard general liability policy did not include “diminution in value”). These decisions have been cited as significant precedent in over 300 published opinions and scholarly papers.

         

Professional Affiliations

  • Fellow, American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel (Established in 2012, the ACCEC is composed of preeminent coverage and extracontractual counsel in the United States and Canada, representing the interests of both insurers and policyholders. Membership is limited, and is by invitation)
  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business: Litigation: Appellate, 2013 and 2014 
  • Charter Member, Insurance Litigation Institute of America
  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America (A trial lawyer honorary society, with membership limited to one-half of one percent of American lawyers, and by invitation only)
  • Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association
  • Awarded the highest possible Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating, AV® Preeminent ™ (AV is a registered certification mark of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies)

Speaking Engagements

  • American Bar Association, Section of Tort and Insurance Practice: Environmental Issues Under First-Party Policies (New York, 1996)
  • ABA Forum on the Construction Industry and the TIPS Fidelity and Surety Law Committee: Are You Covered? Insurance Products for Construction Projects (New York, 2005)
  • American Institute of Architects, the National Society of Professional Engineers, Schinnerer Management Services, Inc.: Thirty-Fifth Annual Meeting of Invited Attorneys - The Role of Defense Counsel in the Tripartite Relationship: Whose Lawyer Are You Anyway? (Hilton Head, 1996); Thirtieth Annual Meeting of Invited Attorneys - The Measure of Damages in Actions Against Architects and Engineers (Hawaii, 1991); and Twenty-Seventh Annual Meeting of Invited Attorneys - Protection for Your Client: The Possibility of Other Insurance Coverage Available to the A/E Defendant (Tucson, 1988)
  • Defense Research Institute: Insurance Coverage and Claims Institute: Sharing the Defense (Chicago, 2014); and The Use and Abuse of Expert Witnesses in Insurance Coverage Litigation (Chicago, 2013)
  • Defense Research Institute: Insurance Coverage and Practice Symposium - Litigating the Confessed Judgment Coverage Case (New York, 2011); Privacy Claims: Is there a Right to Be Covered? (New York, 2009); Privacy Please! Advertising and Personal Injury Coverage (New York, 2007); Coverage B under Attack: The Latest in Claims Brought under Advertising Injury and Personal Injury (New York, 2005); and The Dilemma of Additional Insureds (New York, 2000)
  • Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel: Winter Meeting - Additional Insured and Indemnification Issues Affecting the Insurance Industry, Coverage Counsel, and Defense Counsel - Legal Advice and Practice Pointers (Tucson, 2001); Winter Meeting - The New State Activism - Government Actions Against Industries & Insurers and the Coverage Issues They Present (San Antonio, 1999); and Winter Meeting - New Twist on a "Hot" Subject - Regulatory Estoppel Does Not Fly in Minnesota and Should Not Fly Elsewhere (Tucson, 1996)
  • Mealey Publications & Conferences Group: Additional Insured Conference – Confirming & Resolving Status of Insureds (Boston, 2005); Insurance Coverage Disputes Concerning Construction Defects – Additional Insureds and Contractual Indemnity (Chicago, 2003)
  • Midwest Environmental Claims Association: Fifth Annual Seminar - Environmental Coverage Case Law Bodily Injury Update (Chicago, 1997)
  • Minnesota Attorney General's Office: Litigation Practices and Developments in the Law - Litigating (and Settling) the Comparative Fault Case (2012)
  • Minnesota Continuing Legal Education: Minnesota Insurance Law Deskbook – Advertising Injury (2003-2013); Insurance Law Institute - Coverage for Environmental Claims (1995); Insurance Law Institute - Insurance Law Update (1990); and Insurance Law Institute - Insurance Coverage for Toxic Torts (1989)
  • Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association: Insurance Law Institute - Medicare Secondary Payer Act - Bad Faith Implications (2010); Insurance Coverage and Privacy Claims (2008); Minnesota’s Landfill Cleanup Act - Ready or Not, Here it Comes (1998); Insurance Coverage "101" - General Liability Coverage for Environmental Claims (1992); and Twelfth Annual Trial Techniques Seminar - The New Commercial General Liability Policy (1987)
  • Minnesota Institute of Legal Education: Insurance Coverage Institute - Ethics and the Battle for the Control of the Defense (2001); Bad Faith Litigation - The Defendant’s Perspective in Bad Faith Litigation (1999); Bad Faith - How to Avoid Bad Faith - An Insurer’s Options Post Tender (1998); Insurance Coverage Institute – Insurance Coverage for Environmental Claims (1997); Comprehensive General Liability Insurance - Understanding the New Issues (1997); Introducing the 1996 ISO/CGL Policy - Pollution Coverage (1996); Bad Faith Litigation & the Contract Surety - The Applicability of Insurance Bad Faith Concepts and Precedent to Surety Bad Faith Claims (1994); CGL Policies from "A" to "Z" - The Pollution Exclusion (1993); Bad Faith and Other Hot Topics Revisited - Recent Developments Concerning the ‘Work Product’ Exclusions - Does Knutson Answer All Our Questions? (1987); and New CGL Policy - Insurer's Duty to Defend, Allocation of Defense Costs, Coordination of Indemnification (1987)
  • Minnesota Defense Lawyers Association/Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association Education Alliance: Insurance Law Conference - Primary and Excess Insurers - "Who’s on First?" (1995)
  • Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association: Recognizing and Preventing Lawyer Malpractice - Legal Malpractice from the Defendant's Perspective (1989); and Seminar on Insurance Policies (1988)
  • National Business Institute: Insurance Law: Third-Party Coverage in Minnesota (2002 and 1997)
  • PLRB/LIRB: 2009 Claims Conference - Advertising and Personal Injury Coverage: Emerging Issues (Seattle 2009); 2007 Claims Conference - Coverage for Additional Insureds and Insured Contracts (Orlando, 2007)
  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS): Minnesota RIMS 40th Annual Seminar: Insurance Coverage Disputes: Perspectives of Company Counsel & Policyholder Counsel (Minneapolis, 2013)

Published Articles

  • "Getting Privacy Rights Right in Resource Bankshares Corp." The Hennepin Lawyer, Vol. 74. No. 6 (Nov/Dec. 2005)
  • Additional Insured and Indemnification Issues Affecting the Insurance Industry, Coverage Counsel and Defense Counsel - "Legal Advice and Practice Pointers" 52 FDCC Quarterly 3 (Fall, 2001)
  • The New State Activism - "Government Actions Against Insurers for the Recovery of Environmental Response Costs" 50 FICC Quarterly 299 (Spring 2000)
  • "Revisiting the Duty to Defend:  Recoupment, Allocation and Meadowbrook Settlements" 10 CGL Reporter 135-13 (Fall 1998)
  • Tort Reform in Minnesota - "The Impact of the 1986 Legislative Enactments on General Civil Litigation" Symposium on Tort Reform, 10 Ham. L. Rev. 461 (1987)
  • "CGL Coverage in Light of Bor-Son v. Employers Commercial Union" 4 Minn. Def. 2  (Winter 1983)
  • "Injuries Resulting from Non-Intentional Acts in Organized Contact Sports - The Theories of Recovery Available to the Injured Athlete" 12 Ind. L. Rev. 687 (1979)

Education

  • Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
    ,
    J.D.
    ,
    1980
  • Purdue University
    ,
    B.S.
    ,
    1977

State Bar Admissions

  • Minnesota, 1981

Federal Court Admissions

  • United States Supreme Court, 1989
  • United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit, 2009
  • United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 2006
  • United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, 1997
  • United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 2010
  • United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, 2005
  • United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, 1981
  • United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 1993
  • United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit, 1999
  • United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, 2014
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of California, 1995
  • United States District Court, Central District of Illinois, 1994
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 2007
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Indiana, 2009
  • United States District Court, Southern District of Indiana, 2007
  • United States District Court, District of Minnesota, 1981
  • United States District Court, District of Nebraska, 1996