Attorney Profiles

Robert M. Forni


Partner — San Francisco


Robert M. Forni, Jr. is a partner in the Firm’s San Francisco's office, with extensive litigation experience and expertise in ERISA, insurance coverage and bad faith litigation. He specializes in the representation of insurers, employee welfare benefit plans, claims administrators, insurance agents and brokers in all phases of litigation,  including trials and appeals, in actions arising from ERISA and insurance coverage disputes in state and federal court as well as NASD arbitrations. He has also provided services as insurer-selected counsel for insureds, and independent representation of insureds as Cumis counsel. His litigation and appellate practice includes prosecuting and defending complex tort and contract actions for breach of contract, bad faith, fraud, declaratory relief, unfair competition, conspiracy, breach of fiduciary duty, specific performance and reformation on behalf of insurers and corporate clients.  He has a special interest in counseling insurers and employee welfare plans in the handling of claims and actions in which insurance fraud is suspected. He is experienced in preparing comprehensive coverage opinions and providing coverage advice throughout the claims process. His expertise extends to commercial and personal lines of insurance including disability, commercial general liability, commercial property, homeowners, and automobile.  He is a frequent speaker on topics of interest to insurers and employers sponsoring employee welfare plans, including the duty to defend, settle, and initiate settlement negotiations, as well as discovery in bad faith litigation.

Mr. Forni is the author of articles of interest to insurers on issues that arise in ERISA and insurance bad faith litigation, including, "Healthy San Francisco's Tradeoffs: Will the Costs of Implementing the City's Health Care Ordinance Ultimately Fall on Workers?," “Policy Interpretation in the Disability Insurance Claim,” “Reviving Stale Insurance Claims When the Contractual and Statutory Limitations Periods Have Run: If You Snooze, Do You Always Lose?,” “Discoverability of Insureds’ Tax Returns in Disability Actions Venued in California: A Three-Step Analysis to Compel Their Disclosure,” and “Off the Clock and on the Hook: A Primer on Employer Liability for the Acts of Employees Committed Away from Work.”

Mr. Forni obtained his J.D. from the Santa Clara University School of Law and his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania, from which he graduated cum laude with honors in history. He is admitted to practice before all state and federal courts in California, including the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a member of the California Bar, the Defense Research Institute, the Association of Defense Counsel (ADC) of Northern California and Nevada, and the American Bar Association. In his “free time,” Mr. Forni is an avid cyclist, wine enthusiast and amateur chef.