Brian Kim

Brian Kim

Brian Kim

Partner
Location:
Berkeley, California
Phone:
510-284-5662
Email:

Brian Kim concentrates his practice on representing individual insurance policyholders in pre-litigation appeals and litigation under the Employment Retirement Income and Security Act (ERISA). An expert in navigating the complexities of the ERISA law, he works diligently to recover employer-provided disability, health and life insurance benefits wrongfully denied to his clients.  Mr. Kim has obtained numerous judgments and settlements in ERISA benefit claims, resulting in the recovery of millions of dollars of benefits owed to his clients.  Some of Brian's notable decisions include:

Do v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, 2018 WL 2021685 (N.D. Cal. May 1, 2018) -- In this case, Brian successfully persuaded the court that his client--who was disabled due to back and neck pain--was not subject to the 24-month musculoskeletal limitation in MetLife's long term disability insurance policy, by presenting clinical and diagnostic evidence of lumbar radiculopathy, which was not subject to the 24-month limitation.  The case resulted in reinstatement of the client's long-term disability claim, recovery of past due benefits accrued over 3 years, prejudgment interest and attorney's fees.

Stout v. Hartford Life and Accident Company, 58 F.Supp.3d 1020 (N.D. Cal. 2013) -- Brian persuaded the court that the defendant long-term disability insurer abused its discretion by improperly claiming that his client, who suffered from Sjogren's Syndrome, could perform her physically and cognitively challenging position as a technical program manager for a one of the world's largest ech companies.  The court specifically held that the insurer failed to consider the client's physical and cognitive symptoms when determining whether the client could perform her former occupation.  The case resulted in the reinstatement of the client's disability claim, recovery of past due benefits and attorney's fees.   

Oster v. Standard Insurance Company, 759 F.Supp.2d 1172 (N.D. Cal. 2011) -- The court held that the insurance company abused its discretion in terminating the long-term disability claim of Brian's client, and that his client was disabled from his formerly demanding occupation as an computer engineer for a major electronic gaming company as a result of the client's cognitive and physical symptoms from post-concussive syndrome .  In reaching its decision, court noted that the insurer failed to comply with the requirements of its own internal procedures and engaged in improper claims handling through, among other things, its repeat use of biased paper medical reviewers that it used for the client's claim.  

Brian is a frequent speaker on ERISA and insurance issues and his recent speaking engagements include:  “Using the Savings Clause In ERISA Cases,” July 2012, sponsored by the Insurance Section of the American Association of Justice; “Disability; Life & Health Insurance Questions and Answers,” May 2017, sponsored by the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association; and “Building an Effective Administrative Record,” January 2018, at the American Bar Association Annual TIPS Midwinter Symposium on Insurance and Employee Benefits.

Brian received his law degree from the University of Southern California Law School in 2001, and served as a member of the Southern California Law Review during law school.  Brian graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1996, receiving his Bachelor's Degree in Social Studies.  Brian is a member of the American Association of Justice (serving as the Chair of the Insurance Section in 2014-2015), the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area, the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association and the Alameda-Contra Costa Trial Lawyers Association. In his spare time, Brian enjoys playing classical piano and violin and singing--often with his wife and two daughters--and is an avid novice Masters Olympic weightlifter.

Areas of Practice

  • ERISA
  • Financial Elder Abuse
  • Bad Faith Insurance

Bar Admissions

  • California, 2001

Education

  • University of Southern California Gould School of Law, Los Angeles, California
    • J.D. - 2001
    • Law Review: Southern California Law Review, Staff Member, 1999 - 2000
  • Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
    • B.A. magna cum laude - 1996
    • Major: Social Studies

Representative Cases

  • Do v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, 2018 WL 2021685 (N.D. Cal. May 1. 2018)
  • Stout v. Hartford Life and Accident Company, 58 F.Supp.3d 1020 (N.D. Cal. 2013)
  • Oster v. Standard Insurance Company, 759 F.Supp.2d 1172 (N.D. Cal. 2011)

Honors and Awards

  • Northern California Super Lawyers 2014-present

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Association of Justice, Member, 2009 - Present
  • San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Member , 2008 - Present
  • Alameda-Contra Costa Trial Lawyers Association, Member, 2015 - Present
  • Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay, Member , 2001 - Present

Languages

  • English