Partner Kathleen DeLaney and Special Counsel Benjamin R. Messing joined earlier this year, as well as two new associates, expanding the firm’s footprint

This announcement appeared in PC360: People on the Move.

NEW YORK — Mound Cotton today announced that two new Special Counsel are joining the firm, Vanessa Durante in the Houston office and Ethan Friedman in the Emeryville office. Ms. Durante was previously with Cozen O’Connor and Mr. Friedman was with Fidelity National Law Group.

Ms. Durante’s practice focuses on complex insurance coverage and bad faith litigation, including commercial general liability and professional liability. She also has significant experience in commercial litigation and defending construction defect, environmental, legal malpractice, and breach of contract claims and has been involved in the litigation of multimillion dollar coverage disputes involving primary, umbrella, and excess policies. Vanessa earned her law degree from NYU and her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University.

Mr. Friedman’s practice focuses on complex real estate and civil litigation, including eminent domain and land disputes, construction defect and claims, mortgage fraud, and business disputes, as well as insurance bad faith and breach of contract defense. Prior to joining Mound Cotton, Mr. Friedman was Vice President, Senior Litigation Counsel at Fidelity National Law Group, where he was responsible for a variety of active real estate and civil litigation matters in state and federal court as well as general counsel to the home inspection and home warranty company divisions. Before that he was a partner at Bowles & Verna LLP and shareholder at Miller Starr Regalia. He received his J.D. from University of San Francisco School of Law and his B.A., cum laude, from American Jewish University.

“We are excited for Vanessa and Ethan to join the firm, and both will further bolster our ability to serve the most sophisticated clients,” said Philip Silverberg, partner and member of the firm’s Executive Committee. “Their talent and experience advising insurers and real estate clients will seamlessly support our existing teams as we continue to respond to increasing client demand for legal services.”

We also formally welcome attorneys who joined us in the Spring. Partner Kathleen DeLaney, resident in California, concentrates her practice on property insurance law and the defense of insurers in bad faith suits involving both personal and commercial policies. She also counsels clients in connection with the investigation and resolution of complex property and liability insurance claims, and her litigation experience includes a wide variety of complex insurance coverage disputes and real estate, land use, contract and construction defect litigation.

Special Counsel Benjamin R. Messing, resident in the New Jersey office, has over 15 years of insurance coverage focusing on complex coverage, fraud and bad faith litigation, and counsels and defends clients in all matters related to business and insurance. He advises insurers with underwriting, policy formation and delivery, fraudulent claims, and bad faith and extra-contractual claims, counsels insurers with complex coverage issues, and drafts policy forms and endorsements adopted and implemented by insurers in both personal and commercial line policies. He also has extensive litigation experience with matters involving small businesses, real estate transactions, corporate defense, and employment disputes, as well as commercial financing transactions, debt collections, personal injury, Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA) claims, and environmental claims.

Finally, we welcome our two new Associates, Adreama Mackey-Ponte in the Long Island office and Thomas Schwab in the Houston office.

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