Robert J. (Bob) Cunningham is a partner at Roach Newton, where he represents policyholders with insurance coverage problems. He counsels clients on existing or prospective insurance programs, and helps resolve disputed coverage and related bad faith claims through negotiation, settlement, mediation, arbitration, trial and appeal. Bob also handles problems of additional insureds, indemnities, and contractual risk allocations.
Bob started his career some 35 years ago as a maritime litigator in Houston handling personal injury defense and commercial litigation matters. He also served a stint as a Trial Attorney with the United States Department of Justice, representing the federal government throughout the federal Ninth Circuit in major maritime litigation. For over two decades, Bob has practiced in the insurance coverage area almost exclusively.
Bob frequently contributes to seminars and publications addressing a broad range of insurance coverage issues, including: bad faith, Deepwater Horizon oil spill coverage; surplus lines; independent counsel; contractual liability, additional insureds, and anti-indemnity statute for construction contracts; principles for interpreting insurance policies; insurer efforts to obtain reimbursement of settlement payments; arbitrating insurance disputes; allocating coverage among insurers; the insurer's duty to defend and duty to indemnify; insurability of punitive damages; problems of particular concern for business lawyers and trial defense attorneys; coverage for construction defects; issues of late notice, prejudice and settlement; offshore maritime policies; and analyzing recent developments in Texas insurance law.
Bob has been recognized for his insurance practice over the last several years by Chambers USA (2006-2017), by Best Lawyers in America (Firm, 2008-2017), and as a Texas SuperLawyer (2006-2017). He serves on the Council of the Insurance Law Section of the State Bar of Texas (2014-current), and was a Contributing Editor for the Texas Annotated Insurance Code (Lexis-Nexis, 2007-09). Bob earns an "AV-Preeminent" rating from Martindale-Hubbell.
Admitted to practice in the local Federal and all Texas state courts, Bob also appeared in virtually every U.S. district court on the Pacific coast as a federal trial attorney. Bob actively participates in the insurance law sections of the State Bar of Texas and the American Bar Association, and is a member of the Houston Bar Association, the Maritime Lawyers Association of the USA, and the Houston Mariners Club. He is a co-founder of the South Texas Insurance Forum for Lawyers.
Bob graduated from Yale cum laude, obtained an M.A. from Boston College, and earned his J.D. from University of California, Berkeley. He also holds a 40-hour certificate in mediation from A.A. White Dispute Resolution Institute at the University of Houston, a certificate in business ethics from Colorado State University, and completed the ABA's 3-day Arbitration Training Institute course.