Photograph of Christine Cwiertny

Education

  • Claremont McKenna College, B.A. (1990) Economics - magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
  • University of California, San Diego, M.P.I.A. (1992) International Economic Policy and Japan Studies
  • University of California, Berkeley School of Law, J.D. (2002)

Admissions

  • California

Languages

  • Japanese (Beginner)
  • French (Intermediate)

Christine Cwiertny

Counsel
Orange County
ccwiertny@crowell.com
Phone: +1 949.798.1334
3 Park Plaza, 20th Floor
Irvine, CA 92614-8505

Christine Elaine Cwiertny is a counsel in the Insurance Group at Crowell & Moring's Orange County office. For over 10 years, Christine has represented and counseled insurance companies in complex coverage litigation involving long tail claims (e.g., asbestos and environmental contamination claims) and coverage issues concerning choice of law, allocation, trigger, number of occurrences, and sexual molestation liability. Christine also actively participates in general litigation matters, and has represented clients in matters involving intellectual property, including trade mark and trade secrets disputes, and other business torts. Christine has successfully litigated matters in federal and state courts, and has experience at the trial and appellate level.

Representative insurance matters:

  • Currently representing an insurance company in Michigan state court regarding coverage litigation arising out of sexual molestation perpetrated against girls and women over a period of three decades by doctor employed by the insured. 
  • Represented an insurance company in state court coverage litigation involving claims of sexual molestation perpetrated against numerous children and advising another insurance company regarding potential liability under its policies for claims of sexual molestation perpetrated against numerous children.
  • Represented an insurance company in three separate state court coverage litigations involving long tail environmental claims, including achieving a decision in one case in which the court found, as a matter of first impression, that the insured was not entitled to Cumis counsel for work conducted pursuant to a Corrective Action Consent Agreement with California’s DTSC.
  • Counsel insurance clients on Cumis counsel issues, and file declaratory judgment actions to establish lack of such conflicts or oppose complaints seeking appointment of Cumis counsel where no conflict of interest exists.
  • Drafted successful choice of law motion arguing for application of New York law, rather than California law, which placed client in strong position to settle asbestos liability coverage litigation.
  • Conducted, researched, and presented major audit of insurance client's claim department, providing in-depth analysis on current state of the law; evaluating, reviewing, and identifying high- and medium-risk accounts; recommending action plans to manage high-risk accounts and to minimize likelihood of litigation; and designing and delivering training program to claims professionals for handling low-, medium-, and high-risk accounts.

Representative litigation matters:

  • Successfully defended client against claims of trade secret misappropriation by attaining summary judgment ruling that dismissed all claims against client based on statute of limitations defense.
  • Successfully prosecuted clients claims of trade secret misappropriation by defeating motion for summary judgment and developing strategies to place client in strongest position possible to settle case
  • Successfully defended a prominent Orange County landlord in arbitration regarding a contract dispute and obtained recovery of 84 percent, of the client's attorneys' fees.
  • Successfully defended an international electronics manufacture in promissory fraud action and obtained recovery of 97 percent, of the client's attorneys' fees.

Before attending law school, Christine worked at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. and Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas as the liaison to Japan for the International Space Station program. Prior to joining Crowell & Moring, Christine was a litigation associate at two well-known law firms. 

Christine is a member of the Orange County Bar Association. In her free time, Christine fundraises for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk and for the University of Minnesota’s Mono Project.



Affiliations

Admitted to practice in California, the Ninth Circuit, and the Northern, Central, Southern, and Eastern Districts of California.



Highlights, News & Knowledge


Speeches & Presentations

  • "California Choice of Law and Insurance Issues," Orange County Bar Association, Insurance Law Section Meeting, Newport Beach, CA (February 24, 2012). Co-Presenters: Queena Mewers and Christine Cwiertny.
  • "Constructing Success through Alternative Dispute Resolution: The Nuts and Bolts of Mediation," California Department of Transportation, Legal Division Contract Law Workshop, Monterey, California (March 2008). Presenter: Christine Cwiertny.
  • "Constructing Success through Alternative Dispute Resolution," The Construction Superconference, Vendome Group, San Francisco, California (December 2007). Presenter: Christine Cwiertny.


Publications



Client Alerts & Newsletters