Overview

Everett Cygal is the quintessential trial lawyer. For the last 15 years of his career, domestic and global insurance and reinsurance companies (cedents and reinsurers) have hired Everett to try exceptionally complex, high-exposure cases before trial courts and arbitration panels. Everett’s trials for these clients have included a vast array of property and casualty and life and health issues. Everett draws on his extensive trial experience and deep understanding of insurance and reinsurance issues to help his clients achieve successful outcomes.

Beyond his work for reinsurers, insurance companies have called on Everett to litigate sophisticated declaratory judgment actions concerning estoppel, lost policies, and advertising injury. They have also entrusted him with complex issues of first impression, including the attempted importation of the continuous trigger theory into molestation coverage cases. Everett has successfully litigated leading cases relating to the Federal Arbitration Act, confidentiality, and the conduct of arbitrators and umpires.

  • Experience

    • Catholic Mutual Relief Society of Am. v. Arrowood Indemnity Co., No. 17-3141 (JRT/LIB), 2018 WL 3826689 (D. Minn. August 10, 2018) – Everett obtained a denial of the defendant’s motion to dismiss a claim by Catholic Mutual Relief Society of America for a declaratory judgment that the defendant was liable under its predecessor company’s policies and therefore must defend and indemnify the Diocese of St. Cloud against sexual abuse claims covered by both insurers.
    • Lamorak Insurance Co. v. KONE Inc. et al., 2018 IL App (1st) 163398 – Everett obtained affirmance of a successful motion for partial summary judgment in the trial court, which established that a co-insurer’s policies with self-insured retentions should be considered primary coverage for purposes of horizontal exhaustion under Illinois law.
    • Penn Mutual Life Insurance Co. v. Rotter, No. 17 C 3562, 2018 WL 1453554 (N.D. Ill. March 23, 2018) – Everett obtained dismissal of claims against American United Life Insurance Company for alleged tortious interference in a dispute related to general agents who terminated their agreements with the plaintiff.
    • American United Life Ins. Co. v. The Travelers Indemnity Co. et al., 3:14cv1339 (D. Conn. Aug. 18, 2015) – Everett successfully represented AUL in its petition to compel general arbitration in lieu of a panel of actuaries.  In a reinsurance treaty that had a general arbitration clause and a commutation clause that provided for arbitration before a panel of actuaries, the court granted AUL’s petition holding that arbitrators appointed under the general arbitration clause rather than a court should determine whether the dispute should be resolved by further arbitration or a panel of actuaries.
    • Whalen v. Catholic Mut’l Relief Soc., DDV-2012-9756 (Mont. 1st Jud. Dist. Ct., Lewis and Clark Cnty. Oct. 22, 2013) Everett obtained a partial summary judgment in favor of the insurer and against the policyholder.  The judgment rejected the policyholder’s argument that the “continuous trigger” doctrine triggered policies in force after the abuse occurred but while the emotional distress was ongoing.
    • Arrowood Indem. as successor to Fire and Cas. Ins. Co. of Connecticut v. Trustmark Ins. Co., 938 F.Supp2d 267 (D. Conn. 2013) – Everett prevailed in a 15-day bench trial rejecting the cedent’s claims of a breach of fiduciary duty and bad faith.
    • Ranta v. The Catholic Mut’l Relief Soc., 492 Fed. Appx, 373 (4th Cir. 2012) – Everett argued that the insurer had no duty to indemnify the policyholder for a $100 million consent judgment because intentional acts of sexual abuse are not covered occurrences. An affirming summary judgment was entered.
    • Clarendon National Ins. Co. et al. v. Trustmark Ins. Co., Case No. 09-cv-09896-BSJ (SDNY, Jan. 13, 2012) – Everett obtained a summary judgment in favor of the cedent and against the reinsurer in a case relating to purported offsets.
    • Berger v. Catholic Mut’l Relief Soc., Case No. 4:08-cv-0038-RRB (D. Alaska Mar. 3, 2011), appeal dismissed, No. 11-35291 (9th Cir. Dec. 7, 2011) – Everett’s arguments convinced the court to enter a partial summary judgment in favor of the insurer on the grounds that the policyholder’s covenant settlement violated the cooperation clause of the certificate.
    • Berger v. Catholic Mut’l Relief Soc., Case No. 4:08-cv-0038-RRB (D. Alaska July 30, 2010), appeal dismissed, No. 11- 35291 (9th Cir. Dec. 7, 2011) – Everett obtained a summary judgment in favor of the insurer, which rejected the policyholder’s argument that emotional distress arising from sexual abuse that occurred prior to the inception of coverage was covered under the continuous trigger theory.
  • Credentials

    Education

    • Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, J.D., 1993, cum laude
      Order of the Coif
    • University of Chicago, A.B., 1989

    Bar Admissions

    • Illinois
    • New York
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
    • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)
    • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
    • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

        Professional Memberships

        • AIDA Reinsurance and Insurance Arbitration Society (ARIAS•U.S.)
        • American Bar Association
        • The Association of Life Insurance Counsel (ALIC)
        • Chicago Bar Association
      • Insights

        TITLE
        News Release

        2019 Leading Lawyers Lists Recognize 95 Schiff Attorneys

        Schiff Hardin LLP is pleased to have 95 attorneys named to the 2019 Leading Lawyers list.

        News Release

        95 Schiff Hardin Lawyers Named to 2018 Leading Lawyers Lists

        Ninety-six Schiff Hardin lawyers have been named to the 2018 Leading Lawyers lists for Illinois and Michigan.

        News Release

        40 Attorneys Named to 2018 Illinois Super Lawyers, Rising Stars, and Top Women Lists

        Forty Schiff Hardin attorneys have been recognized on the 2018 Illinois Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.

        News Release

        99 Schiff Hardin Attorneys Named to 2017 Leading Lawyers List

        Ninety-nine Schiff Hardin lawyers have been named to the 2017 Leading Lawyers list for Illinois and Michigan.

        News Release

        39 Schiff Hardin Lawyers Named to 2017 Illinois Super Lawyers, Rising Stars Lists, and Two Schiff Hardin Attorneys Named to Top 50 Women Lawyers

        Thirty-nine Schiff Hardin attorneys have been selected for inclusion on the 2017 Illinois Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists.

        News Release

        91 Schiff Hardin Lawyers Named to 2016 Illinois, Michigan Leading Lawyers Network

        The list is comprised of those attorneys who are most recommended as top lawyers among their peers.

        News Release

        40 Schiff Hardin Lawyers Named to 2016 Illinois Super Lawyers, Rising Stars Lists

        The Super Lawyers selection methodology includes a statewide nomination process, peer review by practice area, and independent research on candidates.

        Trending Legal Issue

        Other Publications

        • "May a Court Enjoin Arbitration as Precluded by a Prior Confirmed Arbitration Award?," HarrisMartin’s Reinsurance & Arbitration Publication (Jan. 27, 2016), and ARIAS-US Quarterly (Fourth Quarter 2015)
        • "Mid-Arbitration Business Relationships: A Cautionary Tale," Journal of Reinsurance (Summer 2013)
        • "Lessons From NY High Court's New Umpire Selection Method," (co-author) Law360 (Mar. 12, 2013)
        • "New York Supreme Court Takes a New Approach to Umpire Selection in Reinsurance Arbitrations," (co-author) Schiff Hardin Insurance Alert (Feb. 7, 2013)

        Speeches & Presentations

        • "Issues with Vacatur - Anything Left to Say?" Intermediaries and Reinsurance Underwriters Association / Reinsurance Networking Group, New York, NY (May 2016)
        • "Confidentiality in Reinsurance Arbitration: Does it Still Exist," ARIAS-US 2015 Fall Conference (Nov. 2015)
        • "Recent Developments in U.S. Insurance and Reinsurance Law," London, UK (Oct. 2015)
        • "Insurers’ Response – Reservations of Rights & Estoppel," Handling Insurance Coverage Disputes, Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education, Chicago, Illinois (Sep. 2014)
        • "Continuous Trigger and Sex Abuse Claims — An Unbroken Chain of Success for Insurance Carriers," Recent Developments in U.S. Insurance and Reinsurance Law, London, England (Jun. 2014)
        • "Unclaimed Property as the Next Frontier in Life Insurance Litigation? The Insurer’s Due Diligence in Locating Beneficiaries and Checking the Social Security Index," Life Insurance and AD&D Claims and Litigation, American Conference Institute, New York, N.Y. (Jul. 2013)
        • "Unclaimed Property: The Necessary Due Diligence to Locate Beneficiaries and Check the Social Security Index," Litigating Life Insurance and Annuity Claims, American Conference Institute, New York, N.Y. (Jul. 2012)
        • "Consolidation of Reinsurance Arbitrations," ARIAS-US Fall Meeting, New York, N.Y. (Nov. 2008)
      • Citizenship

        Pro Bono Activities

        Over the years, Everett has devoted a significant part of his practice to pro bono representations that have included several trials. He was the lead trial lawyer in both a statewide class action concerning the treatment and conditions of civilly committed individuals and a later individual action. This latter case is one of the few ever to hold that a state official violated the “professional judgment” standard required to prove a Due Process claim under the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution.

         

        Everett served nine years on the Board of Directors of the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago (LAF). LAF provides legal services each year to more than 40,000 of Cook County’s poorest and most vulnerable residents.