Overview

About Seth

Seth Row’s practice focuses on policyholder-side insurance recovery involving a mix of litigation and counseling and behind-the-scenes advocacy to clients in multiple industries. In more than 20 years of practice, Seth has helped clients recover millions of dollars under almost every variety of commercial insurance policy including general liability, employment practices, property and business income loss, builder’s risk, Directors & Officers, representations & warranties, marine, and cyber-risk, among others.

Seth’s clients range from banks, manufacturers, publicly traded entities, and technology startups to agriculturalists, non-profits, colleges, and universities.

Seth is a Fellow in the American College of Coverage Counsel, the premier association of lawyers who focus their practice on the representation of insurers and policyholders. He is one of only 350 Fellows and was the first policyholder-side attorney from Oregon to be elected.

Prior to joining Stoel Rives, Seth was a partner with Miller Nash LLP (2015–2024); a partner and counsel with Parsons Farnell & Grein LLP (2009–2015); and an associate with Holland & Knight LLP (2005–2009) and Bullivant Houser Bailey P.C. (2002–2005). After law school, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Fred Van Sickle of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington (2000–2002), as counsel to Commissioner Karl J. Sandstrom of the Federal Election Committee (2000), and as a staff attorney with the Federal Election Committee (1998–2000).

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Experience

Experience

  • Successfully appealed trial court rulings on issues of first impression in Oregon involving coverage for timber trespass claims asserted against logging company, resulting in complete victory for client, including award of attorney fees. Bighorn Logging Corp. v. Truck Ins. Exchange, 295 Or. App. 819, rev. denied, 365 Or. 195 (2019)
  • Represented family-owned small business seeking defense coverage for Portland Harbor Superfund Site claims, resulting in precedent-setting decision from Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Anderson Bros. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine, 729 F.3d 923 (9th Cir. 2013)), establishing that under Oregon law the duty to defend is triggered by EPA information demand letters.
  • Litigated and negotiated resolution on behalf of governmental entity in first-party property loss coverage litigation involving collapsed post-tensioned concrete building, recovering costs of repair and business interruption losses.
  • Represented contractors in multiple trades, in Washington and Oregon, on duty-to-defend and indemnity issues arising from residential and commercial construction defect claims.
  • Successfully negotiated seven-figure payout under representations and warranties policy for buyer of hospitality business arising out of breach of employment-eligibility representation by seller.
  • Counseled manufacturers, developers, general contractors, and subcontractors on insurance procurement.
  • Co-counsel at trial for large national manufacturer and riparian landowner in District Court and Ninth Circuit, obtaining complete coverage for defense of claims arising from Superfund site.
  • Negotiated coverage for settlements of multiple class-action securities cases under multi-tiered Directors & Officers policies.
  • Negotiated resolution of coverage dispute over alleged contamination of sensitive wildlife habitat at Oregon coast by earth-movement contractor, involving pollution exclusion and contractual indemnity issues.
  • Represented financial institution in litigation to recover costs of settling fiduciary liability claims arising out of Ponzi scheme, under D&O policy.
  • Tried first-party coverage case for victim of industrial theft, involving novel issues under Oregon law relating to policy applications and inland marine coverage, resulting in recovery of all losses and attorney fees.
  • Participated in advisory committee to Department of Justice on rulemaking and implementation of SB 814 (2013) reforms to Oregon Environmental Cleanup Assistance Act.
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Honors

Honors & Activities

  • Fellow, American College of Coverage Counsel
    • Co-Chair of the Communications Committee
  • Included in The Best Lawyers in America® (Litigation—Insurance, Insurance Law), 2020–2024
  • Listed in Oregon Super Lawyers® (Insurance Coverage, Business Litigation) 2015–2023
    • Selected to Rising Stars, 2009–2013
  • Selected as one of “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business” (Oregon) by Chambers USA (Litigation: General Commercial), 2022–2023
  • Multnomah Bar Association
    • Board of Directors, Member, 2018–2021
    • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee, Member, 2016–2018
    • CLE Committee, Member; Past Chair, 2012–2016
  • American Bar Association
    • Litigation Section, Council Member, 2023–2024, Virtual Programming Board Co-Chair, 2021-2023, Division II Co-Director, 2018–2021, Content Management (Committee Member, 2012–2015; Co-Chair, 2015–2018),
    • Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee, Social Media Co-Chair, 2016–2018, Vice-Chair, 2023–Present
  • Oregon State Bar
  • Washington State Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association, Board of Directors, 2004–2009
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Insights & Presentations

Insights & Presentations

  • “Critical Practice Area: Insurance,” Critical Tools and Practice Tips for the Outside General Counsel CLE, Washington State Bar Association, September 2023
  • “Washington & Oregon Case Law Update,” Northwest Insurance Law Seminar, The Seminar Group, October 2022
  • “Viewpoint: ‘Take-Home COVID’ Claims May Lead to Future Insurance Disputes” (co-author), Claims Journal, August 2022
  • “Washington and Oregon Legal Update: New World, New Risks” (panelist), Oregon RIMS (Risk and Insurance Management Society) Education Day, June 2022
  • “Court Decision Could Be a ‘Seismic Shift’ for Oregon Insurance Claims” (quoted), Portland Business Journal, February 2022
  • “Viewpoint: Oregon Bad Faith Insurance Claims Gain Traction,” Claims Journal, February 2022
  • “Policyholder Attys Hail Wash. Justices’ Entry Into Virus Fight” (quoted), Law360, January 2022
  • “Key Insurance Issues for the Business Lawyer” (co-presenter), Recent Developments in Business Law 2021 CLE, Oregon State Bar, December 2021
  • “Choice of Law—’The Rabbit Hole’,” Northwest Insurance Law Seminar, The Seminar Group, October 2021
  • “Tricky Insurance Endorsements Can Weaken Your Liability Coverage” (co-author), NAMC-OR Newsletter, National Association of Minority Contractors—Oregon, Fall 2021
  • “Business Interruption Issues Facing Health Care,” Oregon Medical Association webinar, March 2021
  • “COVID-19 Business Interruption Insurance Litigation” (panelist), CLE webinar, Multnomah Bar Association, January 2021
  • “Representation and Warranty Insurance and Business Interruption Insurance,” Current Developments in Business Law webinar, Oregon State Bar Association Business Law Section, November 2020
  • “Extra-Contractual Issues and Exposures,” Northwest Insurance Law Seminar, The Seminar Group, October 2020
  • “Coronavirus Insurance Litigation,” Insurance Considerations Relative to COVID-19, The Seminar Group webinar, September 2020
  • “Business Insurance: From COVID-19 to Employment Claims, Here’s What Businesses Need to Know” (co-author), Oregon Business magazine, September 2020
  • “Reopening Heritage Organizations: Document, Document, Document” (quoted), Oregon Heritage, June 2020
  • “On Business Interruption Insurance, the Courts Will Decide,” Portland Business Journal, June 2020
  • “Reopening Guidance for Museums, Zoos, and Gardens” (panelist), Oregon Cultural Advocacy Coalition webinar, June 2020
  • “COVID-19 @ Work: Straight Talk Series - Session II: Business Interruption Insurance Coverage,” Employment Law Alliance webinar, May 2020
  • “Insurance Law in Oregon 2020 Edition,” Editorial Review Board, Oregon State Bar BarBooks™, May 2020
  • “How Business Insurance Could Save Your Restaurant from COVID-19,” Modern Restaurant Management magazine, April 2020
  • “Cybersecurity Risk & Insurance Coverage” (panelist), FDIC Bank Executive Forum, Washington Department of Financial Institutions, March 2020
  • “The Vaping Injury Crisis: Products Liability & Insurance Coverage Issues for Nicotine and Cannabis Industries,” Section of Litigation CLE, American Bar Association, January 2020
  • “Thought Leader Forum: Cybersecurity Threats and Strategies,” Portland Business Journal, January 2020
  • “Chapter 5: Vehicles Owned by Business Entities” (co-author), Oregon Automobile Law Compilation, Oregon State Bar, December 2019
  • “Understanding Insurance Terms in Construction Contracts” (co-author), NAMC-OR Newsletter, National Association of Minority Contractors— Oregon, Fall 2019
  • “The Executive Director’s Risk Management Toolbox,” Nonprofit Leaders Network Session, The Nonprofit Association of Oregon, October 2019
  • “Insurance for Real Estate Lawyers,” CLE presentation, Oregon State Bar Real Estate & Land Use Section, June 2019
  • “Chapter 48: Business Risk and Insurance Coverage” (co-author), Advising Oregon Business, Oregon State Bar, September 2018
  • “A Common Interest in Cooperation: How to Protect Privilege and Policy Benefits When Reporting to Liability Insurers,” 2018 Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee CLE Seminar, American Bar Association, March 2018
  • “Using Drones: What Subcontractors Need to Know,” American Subcontractors Association, October 2017
  • “Cyber Risk for Corporate Counsel and Risk Managers—What You and Your Company Need to Know,” CLE presentation, Vestas Wind Energy, June 2017
  • “Co-Insurance and Other Traps in First-Party Coverage,” organizational meeting, Risk Management Society, November 2016
  • “Contractors Insurance and Liability,” Business Seminar, Southwest Washington Contractors Association, October 2016
  • “Insurance Coverage for Small Businesses,” CLE webinar, Multnomah Bar Association, October 2016
  • “A Closer Look at Insurance Provisions in Business and Commercial Agreements” (panelist), Oregon State Bar CLE, June 2016
  • “Effective Representation—Privacy and Data Security for Counsel,” one- day symposium, Willamette University College of Law, February 2016
  • “Environmental Insurance,” Comprehensive Insurance Law Conference, The Seminar Group, October 2015
  • “Cyber Coverage,” in-house continuing education course, July 2015
  • “Cyber Coverage,” in-house continuing education course, June 2015
  • “Presenting Expert Witnesses at Trial” (moderator), Multnomah Bar Association, March 2015



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