Jodi K. Swick


Phone: (510) 628-2194

Fax: (510) 628-2146



Jodi K. Swick is a successful trial lawyer, who founded McDowell Hetherington’s California office in 2013. During her career, Jodi has been recognized as a stand-out attorney. She was named by San Francisco Business Times as one of its “40 Under 40.” This award identifies the forty most influential young leaders across a spectrum of Bay Area businesses — all under forty and all high achievers for their companies, industries, and the community.

Jodi is known by her clients for her ability to take on tough cases and favorably resolve them. She has been victorious in jury trials – obtaining complete defense verdicts – and at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She regularly prevails on dispositive motions and also negotiates settlements in what clients view as “impossible to resolve” cases.

Jodi’s specialty is representing insurance company and financial services clients. She represents them in all types of matters – ranging from complex coverage issues, bad faith disputes, financial elder abuse claims to contractual negotiations, regulatory issues, and specialized business concerns. Jodi has litigated cases in virtually every line of coverage with limits and benefits ranging from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of millions of dollars. Her experience includes general liability, personal lines, entertainment liability, errors and omissions, employment liability, health, life, disability, ERISA, and professional liability policies.

Jodi ‘s practice also specializes in class action and complex business matters that have been pursued under a wide variety of statutes and consumer protection laws. She has expertise representing high-profile individuals, Michelin-starred chefs, pharmaceutical companies, manufacturing companies, start-ups, and other well-known businesses.

  • Daily Journal‘s “Top Women Lawyers 2024”
  • San Francisco Business Times’ 40 Under 40
  • Litigation Counsel of America – Fellow, 2016-2021
  • Super Lawyers Rising Star for 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2017
  • MH California recognized by Chambers & Partners for Insurance Law, 2015, 2016 and 2017
  • Secured unanimous Ninth Circuit victory for insurer client affirming dismissal of bad faith claim on summary adjudication and jury instructions relating to agent and client conduct.
  • Obtained unanimous jury verdict for insurer client in United States District Court, Central District of California relating to multiple misrepresentations on an insurance policy application and alleged vicarious liability for agent conduct.
  • Obtained complete defense verdict in nine-week jury trial in Southern California for insurer client in matter involving complex agency issues and claim for elder abuse and punitive damages.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of insurer client in Northern California in matter involving alleged misconduct during policy processing and claim handling.
  • Secured favorable settlement in matter involving coverage under a general liability policy for high-profile individual and vicarious liability for insured’s alleged intentional conduct.
  • Obtained dismissal with prejudice of nationwide class action lawsuit for insurer client alleging violations of California Business and Professions Code Section 17200, violations of the California Insurance Code, and business torts.
  • Secured affirmation of dismissal with prejudice on Rule 12 motion from Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal in matter involving alleged fraud in sale of a life insurance policy.
  • Negotiated favorable settlement for insurer client involving alleged violations of Insurance Fair Conduct Act and bad faith seeking attorneys’ fees and extra-contractual damages under Washington law.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of insurer client in matter involving ERISA administered policy and administration of benefits.
  • Obtained favorable settlement for insurer client in matter related to lapse of life insurance policy under California lapse statutes.
  • Secured summary judgment on rescission of insurance policy from the Western District of Washington in matter involving failure to disclose true health on life insurance application.
  • Obtaining dismissal of claims and award of attorneys’ fees under California’s Anti-SLAPP statute based on erroneous allegations of tortious interference with contract.
  • Successfully resolved a coverage dispute in international arbitration relating to underlying claims for MTBE contamination of ground water.
  • Obtained Summary Judgment for client prevailing on copyright and intellectual property claims related to website and related photographs.
  • Reading the Tea Leaves: Determining a Former Spouse’s Entitlement to Life Insurance Proceeds (Life, Health, and Disability Newsletter – DRI | Mar 1, 2023)
  • The Wild, Wild, West: An Update on Retroactive Application of California’s Lapse and Notice Statutes (The Brief Case: DRI Committee News | March 2022, Volume 1, Issue 1)
  • Wait for It: California State and Federal High Courts to Issue Long-Awaited Clarification Regarding California’s Life Insurance Statutes (Life, Health and Disability Newsletter – DRI | Oct 13, 2020)
  • Tell Me Lies: Advanced Strategies for Dealing with Fraud (Claims Litigation Management Alliance Annual Conference, speaking engagement, Nashville, TN | Mar 30, 2017)
  • The Fraud You Can Prove – (44th Annual Western States Auto Theft Investigators Association (“WSATI”) Southern Chapter Training Seminar | Oct 25, 2016)
  • Spokeo: A (sort of) Victory for the Credit Reporting Industry (May 18, 2016)
  • Speaker on “Elimination of Bias: Busting the Maternity Leave Myths in the Legal Profession” (Lexis CLE | May 20, 2015)
  • Speaker on “Modern Trial Prep: A Client’s Perspective” (CLM Annual Conference in Palm Desert, California | Mar 26, 2015)
  • In Search of the Win-Win: Client and Lawyers Can Collaborate to Reduce Legal Spend and Increase Revenue (CLM Litigation Magazine | Apr 1, 2014)
  • Speaker on “Voices Crying in the Wilderness: Make Ye Straight the Path to Ethics and Reduced Legal Fees” (ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section Midyear Program in Phoenix, AZ | Feb 21, 2014)
  • How A Product Liability Case May Impact Your Insurance Coverage (Law360 | Apr 16, 2013)
  • 5 Tips to Avoid Bad Faith (Law360 | Feb 7, 2013)
  • Avoiding the Bad Faith (“Set Up” | Sep 1, 2012)
  • Panelist on “Making Partner: The Climb Up The Firm Ladder” (Practicing Law in the 21st Century: Enabling Women to Achieve Power Positions | Apr 20, 2012)
  • California Court of Appeal Finds No Viable Cause of Action Against Insurer Due to Insurer’s Payment of Less Than the Full Amount Billed to Cumis Counsel’ “Cover Notes” (National Association of Insurance Women’s Newsletter | Aug 1, 2011)
  • Moderator of the “Going In-House: Career Lessons and Practical Skills from In-House Attorneys” (California Women Lawyers Annual Conference | Apr 1, 2011)
  • A SLAPP AGAINST FEES; Courts Are Moving Away from Mandatory Fee Awards for anti-SLAPP Motions (The Recorder, Litigation Supplement | Nov 17, 2008)
  • “Who Is the Sole Survivor? A Corporate Successor’s Right to Insurance Coverage” (Mealey’s Litigation Report, Insurance Vol. 21, #1 | Nov 1, 2006)
  • Alameda County Bar Association
  • California Women Lawyers – Board Member, 2008-2011
  • California
  • Washington
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of California
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of California
  • United States District Court for the Central District of California
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Washington
  • United States Courts of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • University of California at Berkeley, J.D., 2003
  • Texas Tech University, B.A., political science, summa cum laude, 1999