Dawn B. Williams

dawn.williams dbr.com
Phone: (202) 230-5226 (202) 230-5226

About

Dawn B. Williams defends insurance companies in complex civil litigation and class actions in federal and state courts across the country. Combining a thorough knowledge of class action procedure with an understanding of current regulatory developments, she counsels her clients on myriad issues pertaining to their life insurance and annuity products, including the adequacy of disclosures in illustrations and marketing materials, cost of insurance concerns, and claims arising as a result of stranger-originated life insurance and annuity transactions. Dawn has broad experience in a variety of substantive areas, including RICO, regulatory and state statutory violations, such as unfair competition and deceptive trade practices claims, and various common law claims.

Dawn also represents insurers in local or regional matters, such as in individual consumer and agent sales practice actions. She has a keen interest in insurance-related issues in the District of Columbia, and authored a chapter on D.C. relating to misrepresentations in the life, health, and disability insurance application process and is an active member of the D.C. Insurance Federation. Dawn regularly shares this insider knowledge with clients. Dawn clerked for the Honorable Johanna L. Fitzpatrick, Chief Judge at the Court of Appeals of Virginia (2005−2006).

Experience

  • Terry v. Corporate America Family Credit Union, et al., No. 19-1065 (D. Md. 2019) (order granting motion to dismiss without leave to amend on behalf of insurer in putative nationwide class action involving allegedly improper calculation of GAP insurance on personal vehicles).
  • Thompson v. Allianz Life Ins. Co. of N. Am., 2019 WL 337587 (D. Minn. Jan. 2019) (order declining certification in a putative nationwide class alleging improprieties in the way the insurer calculated nonguaranteed benefits). 
  • Leiner v. Johnson & Johnson, No. 15-cv-05876 (N.D. Ill. 2017) (final approval of nationwide class settlement of purchasers of J&J’s child toiletry products who alleged misrepresentations in the labeling of the product)
  • Logan v. Union Security Ins. Co., 2015 WL 3745047 (C.D. Cal. 2015) (order dismissing ERISA section 1132(a)(3) claim and other claims against insurer in putative class action concerning payment of accidental death and dismemberment benefits)
  • Negrete v. Allianz Life Ins. Co. of N. Am., 2013 WL 6535164 (C.D. Cal. Dec. 9, 2013) (granting key motions in limine in insurer’s favor in nationwide annuity sales practices class action)
  • Ostrow v. Allianz Life Ins. Co. of N. Am., No. 2009 CA 007621 B (D.C. Superior Ct. 2011) (dismissal of representative action alleging consumer protection claims against insurer)
  • Mooney v. Allianz Life Ins. Co. of N. Am., 2010 WL 419962 (D. Minn. 2010) (defense jury verdict following three week trial in 350,000-member sales practices class action)
  • In re Am. Investors Life Ins. Co. Annuity Mktg. & Sales Practices Litig., 2008 WL 2246989 (E.D. Pa. 2008) (dismissal of nationwide beneficiary class in sales practices class action)
  • Blau v. Allianz Life Ins. Co. of N. Am., 2018 WL 949222 (E.D.N.Y. 2018) (summary judgment for insurer in lawsuit alleging improper lapse notification provided to owner)
  • Jakobovits v. Allianz Life Ins. Co. of N. Am., 2017 WL 3049538 (S.D.N.Y. 2017) (partial summary judgment for insurer in case involving allegations of improper grace notification for long-lapsed life insurance policies)
  • LincolnWay Community Bank v. Allianz Life Ins. Co. of N. Am., 2015 WL 7251931 (N.D. Ill. 2015) (granting summary judgment for insurer and finding that STOLI policy was void at inception for lack of insurable interest)
  • Blau v. Allianz Life Ins. Co. of N. Am., 2015 WL 4911168 (E.D.N.Y. 2015) (court dismissed complaint alleging failure of insurer to comply with statutory notice provisions when life insurance policy lapsed)

  • Patel v. Specialized Loan Servicing, 2016 WL 1663827 (S.D. Fla. 2016) (dismissal with prejudice of lender-placed insurance class action complaint on grounds of fixed-rate doctrine)
  • Klika v. Capital One Bank, N.A., No. C15-0107 (W.D. Wash. 2016) (dismissal at pleading stage of lender-placed insurance allegations)
  • Meyer v. One West Bank, FSB, 2015 WL 1222402 (C.D. Cal. 2015) (order dismissing at pleading stage insurer in lender-placed insurance class action involving RICO and state statutory and common law violations)
  • Perryman v. Litton Loan Servicing, LP et al., 2015 WL 895638 (N.D. Cal. 2015) (order granting motion to stay putative nationwide class action alleging improprieties in the placement of lender-placed insurance)
  • Wahl v. Am. Sec. Ins. Co., 2010 WL 1881126 (N.D. Cal. 2010) and 2009 WL 1766620 (N.D. Cal. 2009) (dismissal of all but one claim in class case concerning lender-placed insurance)

  • Office Depot, Inc. v. AIG Specialty Ins. Co., 2016 WL 6106408 (C.D. Cal. 2016) (judgment in favor of media liability insurer holding that insurer had no duty to reimburse $15 million in defense expenses or to indemnify $77.5 million settlement of a whistleblower suit)
  • Giorvas v. Grow, No. 115CV285323 (Cal. Super. Ct., Santa Clara County) (jury verdict in favor of insurer after month-long trial concerning the suitability of fixed deferred annuities)
  • Athene USA Corp. v. Horsey, No. 3:16-CV-00051 (E.D. Va. 2016) (temporary restraining order for insurer against former life insurance agent using copycat website)
  • Marlow v. Allianz Life Ins. Co. of N. Am., No. 09CV7756 (D. Colo. 2011) (dismissal on eve of trial of agent's breach of fiduciary duty and fraud claims against insurer)

  • In re R.M. (Baltimore Immigration Court June 2019) (order awarding asylum to Eritrean citizen fleeing severe prosecution on the basis of her religion).
  • In the Matter of S.B. and In the Matter of G.P. (D.C. Super. Ct., Family Court 2017) (in two separate adoption cases, orders granting adoption to the petitioners)
  • In the Matter of D.S. (D.C. Super. Ct., Family Court 2016) (order awarding guardianship of developmentally disabled child by his paternal aunt)
  • Cruz v. State of California, et al., No. RG14727139 (Cal. Super. Ct. 2014) (temporary restraining order granted against state in case alleging that the state violated students’ constitutional rights to equal education through the deprivation of meaningful learning time)
  • Abell v. Cissel, No. 09-0900 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 2010) (judgment in favor of victims of mortgage "foreclosure rescue" fraud following three week trial affirmed)

  • Although Largely Deflated, IUL Illustration Statute Lawsuit Rolls On (Insurance News Net, July 27, 2018)
  • Investors’ Attempts to Breathe Life Back into Long-Lapsed Life Insurance Policies Fail (DRI LHD Newsletter, October 23, 2017)
  • Financial Elder Abuse Litigation Against Insurers (DRI, For the Defense, August 1, 2017)
  • Insurers and Brokers May Face UCL Liability for Violations of Insurance Statutes (California Broker, July 1, 2017)
  • Shareholders Stake Shaky Claim in Unclaimed Property Cases (Insurance News Net, December 1, 2016)
  • Five Steps to Heading Off a Potential Lawsuit (Insurance News Net, November 7, 2016)
  • Ninety-Nine Problems but a Breach Ain’t One: Cybersecurity Lessons for Insurers (Bloomberg BNA Privacy and Security Law Report, October 24, 2016)
  • Defeating Class Certification, Lessons from Recent Life Insurance and Annuity Cases (DRI In-House Defense Quarterly, February 1, 2016)
  • Misrepresentation in the Life, Health, and Disability Insurance Application Process: A National Survey, Second Edition (ABA, February 1, 2015)


  • “The Hottest Litigation Topics – A Year in Review,” Insured Retirement Institute’s Action 18 Conference (May 10, 2018)
  • "Hot Topics in Elder Abuse and Annuity Claims and Litigation," ABA Tips Midwinter Symposium on Insurance and Employee Benefits (January 12, 2018)
  • “Recent Developments in Annuity and Life Insurance Litigation,” Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) Webinar, Washington (May 11, 2016)
  • “Insurance and Securities Litigation Trends,” LIMRA / LOMA 2016 Regulatory Compliance Exchange (March 31, 2016)
  • “Class Action Issues in Life and Disability Insurance,” ABA TIPS Midwinter Symposium (January 15, 2016)
  • "Preservation and Spoliation; Common Law Standards or Federal Rules on the 'Duty to Preserve,'" American Law Institute's 2013 Conference on Life Insurance and Financial Services Litigation (December 5, 2013)

Recognitions

Selected for inclusion in D.C. Access to Justice Commission's Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll (2014, 2017)

Awards Methodology (www.drinkerbiddle.com/content/awards)

Credentials

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • Virginia

Education

  • University of Richmond School of Law, J.D., 2005, magna cum laude
  • University of Virginia, B.A., 2002

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court, District of Maryland
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia

Organizations

  • American Bar Association
  • Life, Health, Disability Committee of DRI: The Voice of the Defense Bar
  • District of Columbia Insurance Federation
  • Greater Washington Board of Trade