Doug Scullion

Douglas A. Scullion, Partner, Dentons

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Listed in Commercial Litigation, Insurance Coverage, International


Law School: University of California, Berkeley (LL.M., 2001)

School: University of British Columbia (LL.B., 1993)

School: University of Western Ontario (B.A., 1990)

State/Provincial Admissions: British Columbia (1994); California (2001)

Douglas Scullion is a member of Dentons’ Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice. He has practiced in the US (California) and Canada (British Columbia), and uses his extensive commercial litigation background to achieve cost-effective and creative solutions for his clients.

A significant portion of Doug’s practice is focused on representing and counseling annuity companies, life insurers and other financial institutions in class actions and large, complex disputes. He is experienced in handling unclaimed property and secondary market matters (including stranger-originated life insurance, or STOLI), and he regularly defends claims involving allegations of breach of contract, consumer fraud, bad faith and improper sales practices. He also represents clients in Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) litigation, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitrations and investigations, and interpleader claims.


Life, Health, Disability And ERISA

  • Obtained summary judgment and full defense verdict for client in a multistate putative class action involving unfair business practices, consumer fraud and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) claims.
  • National counsel for client involved in Unclaimed Property litigation filed by the State Treasurer in West Virginia.
  • Defeated class certification of unfair competition and fraud claims in a California class action involving indexed annuities.
  • Obtained a summary judgment and full defense verdict in a California lawsuit involving alleged improper termination of a multimillion-dollar life insurance policy.
  • Obtained a summary judgment and full defense verdict for a client facing allegations of improper policy rescission in Wisconsin District Court.
  • Defended and negotiated a successful settlement of claims against an insurer, broker-dealer and agent involving fraud and alleged unsuitable sales practices, including churning, forgery and “bait-and-switch” tactics, in the sale of multimillion-dollar variable life insurance policies.
  • Defended an insurer against fraud and elder abuse claims arising out of alleged sale of unsuitable annuities to seniors.

Property, Casualty and Auto Insurance

  • Defending a client in an ongoing putative Arkansas class action involving alleged improper use of computer claims handling software program.
  • Defended a reinsurer in a national class action and in various related state court actions involving breach of contract and fraud claims arising out of the collapse of a national automobile warranty program.
  • Obtained a summary judgment affirmed on appeal for client in a multimillion-dollar coverage limit dispute. The victory was covered in the September 23, 2009, issue of The Voice, the weekly newsletter of the Defense Research Institute.
  • Defended multiple insurers in coverage litigation involving significant asbestos-related exposures.
  • Defended a client against claims for breach of contract, bad faith and malicious prosecution arising out of alleged mishandling of claim under personal lines liability policy.
  • Prosecuted contribution, subrogation and indemnity claims against a co-insurer to obtain reimbursement for defense and indemnity payments in an underlying wrongful death suit.

Commercial Litigation

  • Obtained a full dismissal for a client at the pleadings stage of a purported class action claiming violations of the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) and consumer fraud under Business and Professions Code sections 17200 and 17500, et seq.
  • Negotiated a nationwide settlement of a putative class action against a manufacturer of dietary supplements.
  • Defended wineries in a contract dispute with a former distributor.
  • Defended a software manufacturer against fraud and misrepresentation claims from a former investor.
  • Defended a client against unfair competition claims alleging improper use of service marks.
  • Advised a client on strategies to minimize potential successor liabilities in connection with a proposed corporate restructuring
  • Prosecuted a global equipment manufacturer’s lawsuit against former employees, alleging breach of fiduciary duty and misappropriation of trade secrets.
  • Represented a global manufacturer of hydroelectric turbines against claims from public utility alleging product defect and breach of warranty.


Doug has twice been named a BTI Client Services All-Star, one of only 43 lawyers across the US to receive this honor.

Honors and Awards

  • BTI Client Service All Star, 2012–2013
  • Rising Stars distinction in Insurance Coverage and Business Litigation, Law & Politics, 2009


  • “Class Certification Guidance for the Insurance Industry,” Daily Journal, August 2011
  • “Suicide As A Defense,” International Claim Association, Law Committee Report, August 2011
  • “Divorce and Beneficiary Designations,” International Claim Association, Law Committee Report, August 2010
  • “50 State Survey Regarding Uniform Disclaimers,” International Claim Association, Law Committee Report, September 2009
  • “Interpleaded 101 – Understanding the Procedure and Avoiding Potential Pitfalls,” August 2007
  • “Unsuccessful Declaratory Relief Actions Expose California Insurers to Potential Liability for Malicious Prosecution,” DRI Covered Events Magazine, June 2004

Activities and Affiliations


  •     “Abandoned Policies:  The Legal Issues,” panel presentation/seminar, International Claim Association Annual Education Conference, Orlando, Florida September 2012
  • “Abandoned Policies: What Are Insurers’ Obligations?” panel presentation/seminar, International Claim Association Annual Education Conference, Las Vegas, NV, October 2011
  • “Legal Beneficiary Issues,” panel presentation/seminar, International Claim Association Annual Education Conference, Austin, TX, October 2010
  • “Annuity Roundtable: Cooking Up A Recipe For Success,” International Claim Association Annual Education Conference, Austin, TX, October 2010
  • “Stranger-Originated Life Insurance: Strategies Deployed and Lessons Learned,” panel presentation/seminar, International Claim Association Annual Education Conference, Marco Island, FL, October 2009
  • “Anything And Everything You Wanted To Know About Beneficiary Designations,” panel presentation conference, Palm Desert, CA, September 2008
  • “Legal Aspects of Complex Death Claims,” presentation at the 2007 International Claim Association Annual General Meeting, Orlando, FL, October 2007


  • Law Committee co-chair, International Claim Association
  • Defense Research Institute
    • Membership Committee
    • Life, Health and Disability Section
  • United Way of the Bay Area, Emerging Leader
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