J. Kendrick Wells IV
Kendrick joined Frost Brown Todd in 2003 and is a Member in the firm's Louisville office. He devotes the majority of his practice to helping insurance carriers and their representatives in matters involving complex coverage issues. He also regularly counsels clients on a wide range of commercial disputes and has represented companies in all stages of litigation, including trials, arbitrations, and appeals.
Representing insurers in litigation, Kendrick sees the value in going beyond the technical and legal aspects of coverage analysis to reinforce how those elements flow from the policyholder's relationship with the insurer and, by extension, with the entire risk pool. "The history of an insurance claim does not begin when the loss occurs, but before the policy was even issued," he explains. "That thread of continuity is vital in coverage cases; preserving that connection and communicating it effectively is a real challenge facing insurers. Like the roof and walls of a building, the contract language and the facts surrounding a claimed loss are obviously essential, but the insurer's relationship with its policyholder is the foundation."
An experienced insurance coverage attorney, Kendrick brings his knowledge and integrated approach to the roles of skilled advisor, passionate advocate, and trusted counsel, committed to helping his clients succeed both inside and outside of the courtroom:
- Providing in-depth research, analysis, opinions, and recommendations regarding defense/indemnity and property coverage, "other insurance" issues, and strategy with respect to ongoing investigations and existing or anticipated suits/claims.
- Assisting with communications to policyholders, claimants, and other insurers.
- Reviewing and monitoring pending litigation and trials where there are concerns with respect to coverage, the threat of claims alleging bad faith, and/or the need to preserve important issues for appeal.
- Defending insurers and their representatives against claims for breach of contract, indemnity, contribution (and the like), and extra-contractual claims, including first-party and third-party bad faith.
- Preparing and litigating actions to obtain declaratory (and other) relief in federal and state courts.
- Prosecuting and defending appeals, at all levels.
- Communicating with clients about current legal trends, landmark court decisions, and best practices in all aspects of handling claims.
- Helping clients identify and manage transactional risk at the department and company level (not simply on an individual claim-by-claim basis).
Beyond his insurance practice, Kendrick has helped numerous businesses obtain successful outcomes in litigation, both as defendants and as plaintiffs. His experience includes roles as national coordinating counsel for a major restaurant chain and trial counsel for a national franchisee association and supply chain management organization -- both resulting in major recoveries for Kendrick's clients. He has also been directly involved in more than a dozen appeals before the Kentucky Court of Appeals, the Kentucky Supreme Court, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
Highlights & Recognitions
- Selected for inclusion in Kentucky Rising Stars® 2013-2014
Memberships & Affiliations
- American Bar Association
- Kentucky Bar Association
- Louisville Bar Association
Recent Blog Posts
- To flush or to remand? In a deceptive marketing consumer class action removed under CAFA, district court remands – rather than dismisses – claims seeking injunctive relief, for which court rules plaintiff lacks Article III standing.
- “A fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work[!]” Court approves settlement in wage class action against top NYC restaurant, but criticizes systematic approval of class counsel fee applications
- CAFA’s “local controversy” exception cannot be triggered by adding a local defendant post-removal, says Fifth Circuit
- The Mischief Continues…Has Judge Posner Become More Influential Than the Supreme Court?
- Coffee talk: Seventh Circuit revives putative class action by purchasers who claim they were misled into buying product comprised of over 95% instant coffee.
- The Stage is Set for Standing and Certification Battles in Target Data Breach Litigation
- Will the refusal of the Supreme Court to grant certiorari of the decisions of the Sixth and Seventh Circuits ultimately undermine the Supreme Court’s rigorous examination of class certification?
- Sixth Circuit holds CAFA’s “local controversy” and “home state” exceptions are not jurisdictional and thus may be waived. But at what point does a plaintiff’s failure to raise the exceptions result in waiver?