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Timothy R. Sullivan

POSITION: Practice Group Chair - Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith Litigation / Partner

7647 N. Fresno Street
Fresno, CA 93720

(559) 433-1300 main
(559) 433-2300 fax

E-MAIL: Click Here

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Juris Doctor, 1986
University of Missouri
Recipient, 1986 Best Brief Award, Nelson National Moot Court Competition

Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, 1983
University of Missouri (Honors College)


Mr. Sullivan began his practice with McCormick Barstow in 1986. After practicing elsewhere, including being a founding partner in a small firm, he returned to McCormick Barstow in 2008. Although he has tried cases to verdict in many subject areas, including real estate disputes, agent errors and omissions, title insurance disputes, and a wide range of business related litigation ranging from breach of contract to fraud and unfair business practices, his practice now focuses upon insurance coverage and bad faith. In addition to over 25 jury trials, Mr. Sullivan has also tried numerous bench trials involving breach of contract and declaratory relief.

Mr. Sullivan's trial practice has taken him from the federal courts to county courts throughout the San Joaquin Valley. He has also handled appeals in the California Supreme Court, the Fifth District Court of Appeals in Fresno, and the U.S. Ninth Circuit.

Mr. Sullivan has often spoken at training seminars for both insurance professionals and lawyers on subjects pertaining to insurance and trial practice. He has also written chapters on property insurance, liability insurance, errors and omissions insurance, title insurance and bad faith for six treatises published by CEB, and is the Consulting Editor for CEB's new book on Property Insurance.

Mr. Sullivan is admitted to practice law in the state of California, U.S. District Courts, Northern, Central, Eastern and Southern Districts of California, and the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Honors and Awards

Mr. Sullivan is AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated with Martindale-Hubbell. He was selected as one of the Top 100 Insurance Attorneys in California in 2013 by the American Society of Legal Advocates.  He was also selected for inclusion in the Northern California Super Lawyers list (2008-2016) for his primary area of practice in Insurance Coverage. For his work on CEB books for nearly 15 years, CEB presented Mr. Sullivan with the "Spirit of CEB" award at the 2011 State Bar Annual Meeting. In presenting the award, CEB stated that Mr. Sullivan's "generous service to the legal community, as well as his ongoing, exemplary contributions to CEB publications, has demonstrated a commitment to continuing legal education and has elevated the practice of law in California." Mr. Sullivan shares the 2010 Outstanding Achievement Award for Best Publication as a co-author of the CEB book, California Real Estate Brokers: Law & Litigation. The award was presented by the Association for Continuing Legal Education, an international association of legal publishers and educators. Mr. Sullivan's book was chosen for the award from over 300 entries from several countries.  For his work as an author of multiple CEB books and as Consulting Editor of CEB's book on Property Insurance, CEB profiled Mr. Sullivan on its blog and chose him to appear in a YouTube video regarding the new book.


Concentrating in Prosecution and Defense of Bad Faith Litigation, and insurance disputes regarding coverage under Property, Liability, Errors and Omissions, Accidental Death & Dismemberment, ERISA and Title Insurance policies.  Mr. Sullivan is currently Chair of the Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith Litigation Practice Group.

Professional Associations

Mr. Sullivan has been appointed to the California State Bar’s Litigation Section Executive Committee (2016-2019). He has previously served as a member of the California State Bar CEB Real Property Advisory Committee (2012-2014), Insurance Law Editor for CEB’s Real Property Law Reporter, and on the Executive Committee of the California State Bar Real Property Law Section (Advisor 2011, Vice-Chair 2010, Member 2007-2009).  Mr. Sullivan has also served as President of the Fresno County Bar Association (2011), as its President-Elect (2010), First Vice President (2009), and Secretary (2008-2009), and on its Board of Directors (2005-2012).  He is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA); the Association of Defense Counsel; the Association of Business Trial Lawyers (San Joaquin Valley Chapter); the Claims & Litigation Management Alliance; the American Bar Association; the State Bar of California; and the Fresno County Bar Association.

Publications & Lectures

CEB Books:

Real Property Ownership and Taxation (Cal CEB 2017) Chapter 6, "Property Insurance Basics"

California Property Insurance: Law & Litigation, (Cal CEB 2011) Chapter 1, "Introduction to Property Insurance," Chapter 3, "Insurable Interest," and Chapter 17, "Emerging Issues"

California Real Estate Brokers: Law and Litigation, (Cal CEB 2009) Chapter 10, "Broker Errors and Omissions Liability Insurance"

California Construction Contracts, Defects and Litigation, (Cal CEB 2008) Chapter 12, "Construction Defects: Insurance and Express Indemnity"

California Real Property Sales Transactions, (4th Ed., Cal CEB 2007) Chapter 13, "Property Insurance," and Chapter 14, "Liability Insurance: Selected Issues Pertinent to Sales."

California Title Insurance Practice, (2d Ed., Cal CEB 1997) Chapter 11, "Theories and Defenses in Title Company Actions," Chapter 12, "Claims Procedures Under Title Insurance Policies," and Chapter 14, "Arbitration Procedures"

Office Leasing: Drafting and Negotiating the Lease, (Cal CEB 1996), Chapter 21, "Exculpation, Indemnification and Insurance"


‘Slip Slidin’ Away’ - But Am I Covered?” 39 CEB Real Prop. L. Rep. 56 (January 2016).

"What's FAIR in the Land of Wildfires?" 37 CEB Real Prop. L. Rep. 56 (May 2014).

"Chubb Custom Ins. Co. v. Space Sys.: Did the Ninth Circuit Boldly Go Where No One Has Gone Before?" 36 CEB Real Prop. L. Rep. 56 (July 2013).

"New Construction Litigation Interrogatories May Build a Case for (or Against) Insurance Coverage," 36 CEB Real Prop. L. Rep. 56 (May 2013).

"Indemnity Imperiled: SB 474's Impact on Insurance for Construction Defect Claims," 36 CEB Real Prop. L. Rep. 12 (January 2013).

"Landlord Liability Insurance: Why an Old Lease May Need to Learn New Tricks," California Real Property Law Journal, Spring 2008, Vol. 26, No. 2.

"'CLRA' Can Be a Four-Letter Word for California Businesses," ABTL Report, San Joaquin Valley Chapter, Fall 2008.

"The New Federal Electronic Discovery Rules," Fresno County Bar Bulletin MCLE article, December 2007.

"How Can You Protect Your Computer Data?," Fresno County Bar Bulletin MCLE article, May 2007.

Guest Speaker

“Green Building and Rebuilding: ‘What Is It and Am I Covered For It?’” seminar, California State Bar Real Property Law Retreat, May 21, 2016.

Declining to Defend or Defending Under a Reservation of Rights: The Dynamics that Lead to Consent Judgments, Assignments, and Their Impact on an Insurer’s Exposure to Bad Faith Liability,” seminar, American Conference Institute’s Forum on Bad Faith Claims & Litigation, November 20, 2015.

Understanding Your Insurance,” seminar, Visalia Employer Advisory Council, November 3, 2015.

Second Wave Allocation Issues: SIRs, Deductibles, Exhaustion, and More,” seminar, American Conference Institute’s Forum on Insurance Allocation, June 25, 2015.

Changes and Questions Caused by SB 474 and the New ISO Form of Additional Insured Endorsements,” California State Bar Real Property Retreat, May 3, 2014.

Judicial Review of Claims Decisions and the Battle Over Discretion: How Are Individual States Treating Discretionary Clauses in ERISA Plans, and How to Strategically use the Discovery in Record to Win Your Case in the Face of a “De Novo” vs. “Arbitrary & Capricious” Standard of Review,” seminar, American Conference Institute’s Forum on Litigating Disability Insurance Claims, January 23, 2014.

"Sex, Drugs and Coverage," seminar, Claims Conference of Northern California, September 16-17, 2013.

"Basics Conference: Personal Injury," seminar, CEB, September 19-20, 2013.

"Advanced Trial Techniques," seminar, National Business Institute, June 12, 2012.

"Interview Skills," Career Services Workshop, San Joaquin College of Law, September 28, 2011.

"Resume Writing," Career Services Workshop, San Joaquin College of Law, September 21, 2011.

"The Right To Settle in Professional Liability Policies," webinar, ExecSense, June 14, 2011,

"Discovery in the Bad Faith Insurance Case," webinar, National Association of Legal Professionals, March 22, 2011.

"Road to Success: Resume Writing & Job Interview Seminar," San Joaquin College of Law, March 2011.

"Considering a Career in Law & Government," California State University Fresno, November 2010.

"Title Insurance for Distressed Transactions," State Bar Real Property Retreat, May 2010.

"ABC's and BOP's: What Every Real Estate Lawyer Needs to Know About Property Insurance," California State Bar Section Education Institute, January 2009.

"Environmental Liability: Financing and Insurance Issues," California State Bar Annual Meeting, September 2008.

"Bad Faith Insurance Claims in California," National Business Institute, June 2008. "Electronic Discovery," IPE, February 2008.

Timothy  R. Sullivan
Timothy  R. Sullivan
Timothy  R. Sullivan
Timothy  R. Sullivan
Timothy  R. Sullivan
Timothy  R. Sullivan