EDUCATION

Georgetown University Law Center
J.D., 2006

Rice University
B.A., Political Science and Slavic Studies, 2003

ADMISSIONS

Texas

U.S. Court of Appeals for the First, Second, Third, Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits

U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma

Jarrett E. Ganer is a partner at McDowell Hetherington LLP and has been with the firm since its inception.

Jarrett maintains a general complex commercial litigation practice with a focus on serving clients in the insurance and financial services industries. The strength in Jarrett’s practice though lies in his ability to bring the same high-quality advocacy and attentive client representation to straightforward coverage disputes as he does to multifaceted, multi-billion dollar class actions.

Over the past fifteen years, Jarrett has actively and successfully represented clients in some of the most complex and novel litigation facing the life insurance industry. Jarrett has unparalleled experience advising and representing clients with respect to cost of insurance rate adjustments and market conduct and regulatory issues. Jarrett is also go-to counsel for many life insurers grappling with claims of wrongful policy lapse, successfully representing clients in class action and individual claims brought in courts from California to New York.  Jarrett is perennially recognized as one of the nation’s leading trial lawyers on issues related to life settlements and stranger-originated life insurance (STOLI), with extensive experience litigating matters related to secondary market transactions involving life and annuity products.

Beyond insurance, Jarrett provides first-party representation to clients in the energy, construction, and real estate industries. Jarrett seeks to smartly, effectively and efficiently build long term relationships with his clients and puts their needs first. Jarrett’s practice is truly nationwide, having acted as lead counsel on matters in at least 25 states, in both state and federal courts.

Outside of practicing law, Jarrett spends his time with his wife, Loyola, a local neurosurgeon, and the couple’s daughters, Laura and Emilie.

EDUCATION

Georgetown University Law Center
J.D., 2006

Rice University
B.A., Political Science and Slavic Studies, 2003

ADMISSIONS

Texas

U.S. Court of Appeals for the First, Second, Third, Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits

U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma

  • Won complete summary judgment in Eastern District of Pennsylvania and affirmation on appeal to Third Circuit Court of Appeals in favor of life insurer facing $10 million death benefit claim. The plaintiff policy owner and beneficiary claimed that MH’s client failed to offer required conversion options for expiring term policy and in doing so breached the policy contract, made fraudulent and material misrepresentations, and engaged in deceptive conduct in violation of Pennsylvania’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law.  The district court granted summary judgment in full to MH’s client, which plaintiff appealed.  Jarrett presented oral argument to the Third Circuit, which subsequently affirmed the district court’s ruling and found additional grounds justifying summary judgment beyond those cited by the district court.
  • Won complete summary judgment in Eastern District of New York in favor of life insurer accused of improperly raising COI rates and improperly lapsing 53 universal life insurance policies with over $315 million of death benefits. After nearly a decade of litigation and extensive discovery, MH successfully moved to exclude or otherwise limit key expert testimony offered by plaintiffs in support of their highly technical claims related to the actuarial administration of their policies.  MH leveraged this Daubert motion win into obtaining complete summary judgment on all of the plaintiff’s claims.  The Plaintiff appealed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, but MH successfully moved to dismiss the appeal on procedural grounds.
  • Defeated class certification in the Northern District of California in claim against life insurer related to allegations that insurer failed to comply with California statutes regulating lapse of life insurance policies.
  • Served as counsel to several prominent life insurance companies across numerous putative class and opt-out cases related to cost of insurance (“COI”) increases. Collectively, Jarrett’s clients have entrusted him with defending against claims with billions of dollars at stake.
  • Won a motion to dismiss in the District of Kansas and affirmation on appeal to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in favor of life insurer facing a wrongful lapse claim. The plaintiff policy owner claimed that the insurer had failed to properly comply with contractual terms and regulations in lapsing a policy and sought to collect over $1 million in damages following the insureds’ subsequent death.  MH argued on a motion to dismiss that the claim was time barred on its face because the claim accrued from the date of policy lapse rather than the date of the insureds’ death.  The district court agreed with MH and dismissed the claim.  The plaintiffs appealed to the Tenth Circuit, which, following Jarrett’s presentation of oral argument, affirmed in full the district court’s order.
  • Successfully represented through trial and appeal life insurance carrier seeking rescission of $10 million life insurance policy due to fraud in the application. An affiliate of KBC Bank intervened in the action and counterclaimed, seeking payment of the $10 million death benefit and additional damages. Following a 6-day trial, the Court declared the policy rescinded and MH’s client was permitted to retain significant premiums paid. The verdict was affirmed by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a life insurer from a federal court in Rhode Island, where the court held that the STOLI policy in question “was void as against public policy”, that the insurer was “the clear innocent victim of the STOLI scheme”, and that the insurer was entitled to retain premiums paid on the policy as special damages. In a published opinion, the First Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s order.
  • Successfully defended to unanimous jury verdict life insurer in bad-faith litigation regarding alleged delayed payments of $20 million in death benefits. The jury verdict was affirmed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Obtained a critical victory for life insurers in a closely watched case before the Delaware Supreme Court. In answering three certified questions, the Court held that life insurers can contest policies for lack of insurable interest beyond the two-year contestability period and reaffirmed the illegality of STOLI under Delaware law. The opinion was examined in a Wall Street Journal and has served as a landmark decision in the area of insurable interest and STOLI.
  • In an action to rescind a fraudulently obtained life insurance policy in which the policy owner counterclaimed for bad faith and sought payment of $10 million in death benefits, obtained a significant order entering judgment in favor of the life insurance carrier, rescinding the policy and permitting the carrier to retain premiums paid on the policy, over the objection of the third-party premium finance company. In a published opinion, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s order, which is considered a significant victory for life insurance carriers in the effort to curtail fraud and other STOLI abuses.
  • Obtained summary judgment for insurance carrier seeking recovery of several hundred thousand dollars of commissions paid to agents on rescinded life insurance policies.
  • In actions in Florida and California to rescind fraudulently obtained life insurance policies, obtained orders denying the defendants’ motions to strike portions of the complaint that sought retention by the carrier of premiums paid. Significantly, the latter order expressly rejected contrary holdings in two prior reported decisions from the Central District of California.
  • Obtained dismissal of claims against an insurance carrier in a suit brought by an insured under a policy seeking to hold the carrier liable for negligent issuance of a life insurance policy and vicariously liable for an insurance agent’s misrepresentations.
  • In an action to compel arbitration, obtained dismissal with prejudice for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted.
  • In an action for breach of contract, violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, and fraud, obtained final summary judgment in favor of American General Life Insurance Company. The district court’s decision was affirmed by the Texas First Court of Appeals.
  • In an action for breach of contract, bad faith, and violations of the Texas Insurance Code, obtained final summary judgment in favor of Standard Guarantee Insurance Company.
  • Successfully obtained a temporary restraining order, precluding a lockout of energy traders by former partners in a joint-venture agreement.
  • A Lapse in Judgment (presentation to 2023 DRI Life, Health, Disability, and ERISA Seminar regarding developments in California lapse litigation)
  • STOLI: Hedging Insurable Interest (white paper presented at numerous conferences, with Tom Hetherington and David McDowell).