Adam J. Kaiser is a litigation partner in the firm’s New York office. His practice deals in the preparation and trial of complex commercial cases, principally in the areas of class actions, insurance, sports and entertainment, real estate and arbitration. Throughout his career, Mr. Kaiser has taken on a variety of cases involving a wide range of issues, enjoying the challenge of learning and mastering new substantive areas of the law in myriad fields.
Insurance/Class Actions. Mr. Kaiser has more than 20 years’ experience in representing insurance companies in complex litigations and arbitrations, especially class actions. He has served as lead counsel in numerous class actions involving life insurance, long-term care, home health care, accident and disability, travel insurance, and annuities. These cases have covered a variety of claims, including claims mishandling, re-pricing cost of insurance rates and expense charges, modal premiums, contract interpretation, state consumer protection laws, fraud and breach of fiduciary duties, the alleged misuse of master policies, the use of alleged improper groups, and unfair business practices, among others.
Mr. Kaiser has a proven track record of defeating class certification in insurance class actions. He was the first lawyer in the country to defeat class certification in a “modal premium” class action. Medina v. Conseco Annuity Assur. Co., 121 P.3d 345 (Colo. App., 2005). He convinced a district court to strike class allegations in a claims mishandling case, while at the same time obtaining a dismissal with prejudice of all of the elder abuse, fraud and statutory claims asserted in the complaint. Bates v. Bankers Life and Cas. Co., __ F. Supp.2d __, 2014 WL 292508, (D. Or., Jan. 27, 2014). He has argued numerous class certification motions in courts throughout the country, as well as on appeal, including before the Florida Supreme Court. Washington Nat. Ins. Corp. v. Ruderman, 117 So.3d 943 (Fla. 2013).
Mr. Kaiser vigorously defends his insurance clients at every stage of the case. He has successfully opposed plaintiffs’ motions to force insurance companies to produce in discovery a list of all policyholders, convincing federal courts that such discovery is impermissible. Johnson v. Bankers Life and Cas. Co., 2013 WL 5442374 (W.D. Wis., Sept. 30, 2013). He has successfully forced large-scale insurance disputes into arbitration, where arbitration was required under the terms of the operative agreements. Yellow Cab Affiliation, Inc. v. New Hampshire Ins. Co., 2011 WL 307617 (N.D. Ill., Jan. 28, 2011). He has convinced courts to dismiss fraud and other claims in a variety of cases, e.g., Johnson v. Bankers Life and Cas. Co., __ F.Supp.2d __, 2013 WL 5308225 (W.D. Wis., Sept. 20, 2013 (dismissing fiduciary duty and RICO claims); Coleman v. Conseco, Inc., 238 F. Supp.2d 804 (S.D. Miss., 2002) (dismissing all claims). Mr. Kaiser also has represented a Liquidator of an insolvent insurance company, briefing an appeal before the New Jersey Supreme Court. Matter of Liquidation of Integrity Ins. Co., 147 N.J. 128, 685 A.2d 1286 (1996).
Mr. Kaiser has vast experience in settling large, complex insurance class action disputes as well. He has been able to negotiate favorable settlements with respected class action plaintiffs’ attorneys, and to obtain preliminary and final approval of those settlements.
Mr. Kaiser has arbitrated dozens of insurance cases, principally in the area of large risk programs involving retrospectively rated general liability, construction (including OCIP), auto fleet, and workers’ compensation policies. He has arbitrated these matters before ARIAS as well as the AAA.
Mr. Kaiser also has arbitrated and litigated the issue of class arbitration. In a case for an AIG company, he successfully convinced an arbitrator that class arbitration was not permissible under the terms of the parties’ agreement and had such award confirmed in court.
Complex Commercial Cases. Mr. Kaiser represents a variety of financial institutions and other corporations in a wide assortment of complex litigations. He has represented large banks in a variety of fraud, fiduciary duty, UCC and consumer class actions. He was co-counsel in a month-long trial between two former Goldman Sachs partners who formed their own investment fund, obtaining a multimillion-dollar judgment for his client. He also has represented banks in complex foreclosure, loan workout, and similar cases. He has represented debtors in a variety of adversary proceedings. Mr. Kaiser successfully defended Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in a four-year case in which the plaintiff sought hundreds of millions of dollars over the construction of an allegedly defective steel mill.
He also has extensive experience in restrictive covenant/unfair competition litigation, having defended more than 50 individuals in cases involving restrictive covenants. He has also advised companies, including Goldman Sachs, on issues pertaining to non-compete and anti-solicitation covenants, to avoid litigation.
Representative non-insurance complex commercial cases include:
Kottler v. Deutsche Bank AG, 607 F. Supp.2d 447 (S.D.N.Y. 2009)
Swartz v. Presidio Advisory Group, 2008 WL 2545054 (W.D. Wash., June 24, 2008)
Swartz v. Deutsche Bank AG, 2008 WL 534535 (W.D. Wash., Feb. 26, 2008)
Palmer Ventures LLC v. Deutsche Bank AG, 254 Fed.Appx. 426, 2007 WL 4105219 (5th Cir. Nov. 19, 2007)
Amato v. KPMG LLP, 2007 WL 2065778 (M.D. Pa., July 13, 2007)
Citigroup Inc. v. Caputo, 957 So.2d 98, (Fla. App. 4 Dist., 2007)
Jones v. Deutsche Bank AG, 2007 WL 951811 (N.D. Cal., March 28, 2007)
Amato v. KPMG LLP, 2006 WL 2376245 (M.D. Pa., August 14, 2006)
State v. International Fidelity Ins. Co., 181 Misc.2d 595, 694 N.Y.S.2d 896 (1999)
Jackson Nat. Life Ins. Co. v. Greycliff Partners, Ltd., 229 B.R. 750 (E.D. Wis., Nov. 1998)
Jackson Nat. Life Ins. Co. v. Greycliff Partners, Ltd., 226 B.R. 407 (E.D. Wis., Sept. 22, 1998)
Jackson Nat. Life Ins. Co. v. Greycliff Partners, Ltd., 2 F. Supp.2d 1164, (E.D. Wis., 1998)
U.S. Small Business Admin. v. Citibank, N.A., 1997 WL 45514, 31 UCC Rep.Serv.2d 795 (S.D.N.Y., Feb. 4, 1997)
Howard Sav. Bank v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 285 N.J.Super. 491, 667 A.2d 390 (App .Div., 1995)
Hartford Fire Ins. Co. v. Cavallo, 1995 WL 594203 (N.Y. Sup. June 28, 1995)
Sports & Entertainment. Mr. Kaiser is recognized as one of the leading sports lawyers in the country. He has been recognized in the 2010 edition of The Legal 500 US, and mentioned and quoted in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, SportsIllustrated.cnn.com, and various other publications, including Terrell Owens’ autobiography. He has arbitrated dozens of sports cases. Winston & Strawn’s Sports Law group was recognized by U.S. News and World Report – Best Lawyers “Law Firm of the Year” in Sport Law for 2012-2013 and has received numerous accolades in this area.
Mr. Kaiser represents numerous sports unions, sports agencies, and agents, as well as athletes, in a variety of matters, including defending league-imposed discipline, employment rights, non-compete “poaching” cases between and among agencies, agent discipline, and collective bargaining. He represents numerous sports agents, including those at the Excel Sports, Wasserman Media Group, MVP Sports, and Creative Artists Agency, in litigations and arbitrations. He has represented many well-known athletes, including, among others, Terrell Owens, Kellen Winslow, Ben Wallace, Al Harrington, and Jason Kendall, as well as hundreds of lesser-known professional athletes. Mr. Kaiser has served as lead counsel in numerous arbitrations, representing both players and agents, before the Major League Baseball Players Association and the National Basketball Players Association, as well as neutral arbitrators appointed under the National Football League Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Representative cases include:
National Football League Players Ass’n v. National Football League Management Council, 523 Fed.Appx. 756, 2013 WL 1693951 (2d Cir. April 19, 2013)
Kansas City Chiefs Football Club, Inc. v. Allen, 2013 WL 1339820, 195 L.R.R.M. (BNA) 2497 ( W.D. Mo., March 30, 2013)
Cincinnati Bengals, Inc. v. Abdullah, 2013 WL 154077 (S.D. Ohio, Jan. 15, 2013)
Atlanta Falcons Football Club LLC v. National Football League Players Ass’n, 906 F.Supp.2d 1278 (N.D. Ga. 2012)
Pro-Football, Inc. v. Tupa, 428 Md. 198, 51 A.3d 544 (Md. App., 2012)
Chicago Bears Football Club, Inc. v. Haynes, 816 F. Supp.2d 534, (N.D. Ill., September 13, 2011)
Miami Dolphins, Ltd. v. Newson, 783 F. Supp.2d 769 (W.D. Pa., 2011)
National Football League Players Ass'n v. National Football League Management Council, 2011 WL 31068 (S.D. Cal., Jan. 5, 2011)
IMG Worldwide, Inc. v. Matthew Baldwin, 2010 WL 3211686 (N.D. Ohio, Aug. 11, 2010)
National Football League Players Ass’n v. National Football League Management Council, 2009 WL 855946 (S.D.N.Y., March 26, 2009)
Weinberg v. National Football League Players Ass’n, 2008 WL 4808920 (N.D. Tex., Nov. 5, 2008)
Weinberg v. National Football League Players Ass’n, 286 Fed.Appx. 215, 2008 WL 3244073 (5th Cir. August 7, 2008)
Real Estate Litigation. Mr. Kaiser has considerable experience in real estate and construction litigation, and has tried real estate and construction cases to verdict both in New York and New Jersey. He obtained a complete defense verdict for a large lower east side cooperative after a five-week trial in a novel case involving claims of adverse possession and prescriptive easements asserted by a neighboring cooperative. He has represented owners in suits against major construction companies, in projects as diverse as the removal of underground storage tanks, the deconstruction of a 50 story tower, a crane collapse in Manhattan, a botched refurbishment of a community center, and a bad cement pour at a prestigious private school. He has also arbitrated “rent reset” cases for offices in New York City trophy buildings.
Mr. Kaiser represents the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation in its case against Bovis concerning the deconstruction of the Deutsche Bank building following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Recently, the court affirmed a dismissal of most of Bovis’ claims for more than $100 million in delay damages. Bovis Lend Lease (LMB), Inc. v. Lower Manhattan Development Corp., 108 A.D.3d 135, 966 N.Y.S.2d 51 (1st Dept., 2013). He also is representing Spruce Peak Realty (owned by AIG) in a class action in Vermont concerning allegedly fraudulent sales and other practices concerning the five-star Stowe Mountain Lodge condominium development. In this case, Mr. Kaiser, as lead counsel, convinced the court to dismiss most of the plaintiff’s claims while sending the remaining claims to arbitration. Bergman v. Spruce Peak Realty, LLC, 2012 WL 6212849 (D. Vt., December 13, 2012); Bergman v. Spruce Peak Realty, LLC, 847 F. Supp. 2d 653, 666 (D. Vt. 2012); Bergman v. Spruce Peak Realty, LLC, 2011 WL 5523329, (D. Vt. Nov. 14, 2011). Mr. Kaiser was for six months the general counsel of one of the largest privately held real estate companies in New York.
Mr. Kaiser received a J.D., with honors, from George Washington University Law School in 1992. He received a B.A. in 1989 from the State University of New York, Binghamton.
Honors & Awards
Winston & Strawn's Sports Law group has been recognized by U.S. News and World Reports - Best Lawyers “Law Firm of the Year” in Sport Law for 2012-2013.