Five-Attorney Insurance Practice Team Joins Murphy Austin
December 9, 2021
Practice team: Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith Litigation
Murphy Austin Expands Legal Services with the Addition of Exceptional Insurance Attorneys
(SACRAMENTO, CA) Murphy Austin Adams Schoenfeld LLP, a Sacramento-based business law firm, is pleased to announce, effective January 1, 2022, the addition of five attorneys previously with the insurance law and appellate practices at Willoughby, Stuart, Bening & Cook in San Jose. With the addition of seasoned attorneys Alexander F. Stuart, Ellyn E. Nesbit, Cynthia N. Oshiro, Charles R. Hellstrom, and Scott F. Stuart, Murphy Austin expands its capabilities to provide clients with dedicated insurance counsel and commercial insurance litigation services, as well as appellate representation.
“We are thrilled to welcome this accomplished group of attorneys to our firm,” said Murphy Austin Managing Partner, J. Scott Alexander. “Willoughby, Stuart, Bening & Cook was one of the first specialty insurance coverage practices in Northern California. Their depth of experience representing policyholders in complex commercial and construction insurance litigation matters, along with their reputation for service excellence, will significantly enhance and expand Murphy Austin’s ability to provide clients with proactive insurance counsel across all of our practice areas, and particularly within our real estate and construction practices.”
D. Michael Schoenfeld, Murphy Austin Construction Team Partner added, “We have worked with Alex Stuart and his team for more than 15 years, and there has always been a great synergy between our firms. Their creativity and unwavering focus on achieving high-quality results when solving complex legal problems is aligned with our firm’s commitment to providing the highest standards of professional excellence, integrity, and value, qualities that have been instrumental in the success of our clients and our firm.”
The insurance practice attorneys from Willoughby, Stuart, Bening & Cook advise and represent clients in a broad range of commercial insurance issues and disputes and have extensive knowledge of insurance industry practices, having prosecuted and defended hundreds of bad faith cases.
Leading Murphy Austin’s Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith Litigation Practice Team is Alexander Stuart, who previously served as Managing Partner and was one of the co-founders of Willoughby, Stuart, Bening & Cook. Noting his team's long-term relationship with Murphy Austin, which has included prosecuting insurance cases for the firm’s clients, Stuart said, “We are truly excited about joining forces. I have considered Murphy Austin my ‘partner’ in the many cases we have handled together over the years. I am looking forward to now being an actual partner in the firm.”
Murphy Austin Of Counsel Ellyn Nesbit, who practiced appellate and insurance law for 28 years at Willoughby, Stuart, Bening & Cook concurred, noting, “The synergy between our practice focus and Murphy Austin’s will be of great benefit to clients, and I am very much looking forward to working with Murphy Austin attorneys.”
“Murphy Austin clients will see great benefits from this expanded service offering,” said J. Scott Alexander. “Our strength lies in truly understanding our clients’ goals and consistently exceeding their expectations. With the addition of this group of skilled and accomplished Willoughby, Stuart, Bening & Cook attorneys, Murphy Austin will broaden our ability to continue to deliver the highly-personalized legal services that have led to the lasting relationships we enjoy with our clients.”
Alexander F. Stuart leads Murphy Austin’s Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith Litigation practice team. Alex has more than four decades of experience practicing law in insurance coverage and bad faith litigation, with a particular focus in commercial insurance litigation involving business, real estate, construction and professional liability matters. He represents policyholders in state and federal courts at both the trial and appellate levels. Alex also represents clients in real estate and business litigation, and serves as a mediator in complex insurance cases.
Ellyn E. Nesbit specializes in civil appeals and is certified by the California State Bar as an Appellate Specialist. Ellyn has handled appeals in a variety of substantive areas of law, including insurance coverage and bad faith, probate, business litigation, and attorney malpractice defense.
Cynthia N. Oshiro’s practice focuses on commercial litigation, including business, real estate and construction litigation and insurance disputes.
Charles R. Hellstrom represents businesses in civil litigation matters including, insurance coverage, labor and employment, business and commercial litigation, and construction disputes.
Scott F. Stuart handles insurance coverage disputes, representing policyholders in insurance coverage and bad faith litigation. Scott provides coverage analysis of personal lines and commercial lines policies, with an emphasis on helping policyholders obtain defense and indemnification under a variety of liability insurance products.