About Me

 

Me (sepia painting)

I am an attorney.  My name is Linda E. Cummings (just in case you want to verify my status with the State Bar of California).  I help businesses and nonprofit organizations manage and control their risks of legal liability.  I help them get started right and avoid legal pitfalls along the way.  My clients work hard to achieve success.  I work hard to help them keep it.    

I am a big law firm refugee, and have enjoyed building my own solo law practice.  As a solo practitioner, I do the work myself, so my clients’ legal needs are not used to train an inexperienced junior attorney.  I charge a flat fee for much of my work, so hiring me does not feel like signing a blank check, but for matters which must be handled on an hourly rate basis my fees are reasonable.  I am “tech savvy” and work from a well-equipped “virtual” office, minimizing my overhead so that I can offer excellence to my clients at a cost they can afford.  I have the experience to back that offer up, having spent 20+ years helping clients successfully analyze and manage legal liability risks in a wide variety of commercial, transactional and real property use and management contexts, and I can help my clients negotiate the insurance coverage mine field as well.  (I have worked for insurers, too, in underwriting, as coverage counsel and as insurance defense counsel.)  

My practice includes forming business entities and nonprofit corporations; serving community associations (commonly referred to as “homeowners associations”) as general counsel; serving my client’s transactional needs (negotiating and writing contracts for a wide variety of transactions, including leases, sales and purchase agreements, vendor agreements, construction contracts and subcontracts, use and maintenance agreements, mutual benefit agreements, license and easement agreements, indemnity, hold harmless and liability waiver provisions, etc.); and, helping businesses and organizations evaluate and manage their legal liability risks, determine their insurance needs, understand their insurance policies, and address insurance coverage gaps.  More recently, I have been working with “green” businesses to craft innovative transactional documents (such as green leases and power purchase agreements) and manage their enterprise risks, and with commercial insurance brokers to craft specialized insurance programs for contractors working on “green” projects. 

I have an extensive background in insurance coverage issues both in underwriting and as a coverage attorney representing both insurers and policyholders.  I have significant expertise and experience analyzing, resolving, negotiating and, where necessary, litigating, coverage and claims issues. 

I also have almost 20 years of experience representing nonprofit community associations, their directors and officers, and professional property managers, and in that context have defended them against a wide variety of liability claims through all phases of litigation, including discovery, trial and appeal.  I also represent homeowners in disputes with their homeowners associations, when I believe they have a meritorious claim.   

I am a consultant to other attorneys who use my insurance coverage expertise in a variety of contexts, such as plaintiffs’ counsel who wish to determine the insurance coverage available to potential defendants and craft their pleadings to trigger it, and defense attorneys who want to be sure that all insurance coverage available to protect their clients has been identified.  Over the years, I have greatly enjoyed presenting educational seminars and publishing articles regarding a wide variety of insurance and legal liability risk management issues.  I hope to continue those efforts “virtually”, on this site.  If I am near you and you would like me to come give a presentation to your organization the “old fashioned way”, however, don’t hesitate to ask. 

In short, I am a business risk management and insurance “geek”, and I enjoy it!

I do have one other passion which is both professional and personal.  As the parent of a now adult child with a serious brain disorder, I can offer clear and useful advice to any parent facing the overwhelming task of navigating our broken health care system and confusing special education laws.  My daughter is my inspiration to offer my help to parents who are advocating for the rights and futures of their own disabled children.

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Published on May 6, 2009 at 9:18 am  Comments Off  
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