Don Kiel's practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, including commercial insurance coverage litigation and counseling, as well as complex commercial, environmental, toxic tort and tort litigation.
He has handled some of the largest insurance coverage disputes for corporate policyholders in state and federal courts throughout the country. Don's experience includes litigation, arbitration, appraisals and counseling concerning insurance coverage for environmental, asbestos, directors and officers, antitrust, product (including pharmaceutical and chemical), employment practices, professional liability, entertainment event cancellation, e-commerce and gun liability, as well as for first party losses (including business interruption) arising from natural disasters, the Covid-19 pandemic and 9/11, and claims under health insurance plans and life insurance policies.
Don also handles commercial disputes against insurers arising from the issuance and cancellation of insurance policies. He also counsels clients concerning the purchase and negotiation of commercial insurance policies. Don's insurance coverage practice includes assisting clients in insurance due diligence in connection with proposed corporate transactions.
Don also handles complex commercial litigation, including real estate, closely held corporate shareholder, fraud, contract and construction litigation. His commercial litigation experience includes representation of clients in the retail, petroleum marketing, healthcare, medical device, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, hospitality and logistics industries.
Don’s practice includes serving as counsel and arbitrator in several commercial arbitrations throughout the United States. He has been selected by policyholders to serve as a party appointed and neutral arbitrator in a number of large insurance coverage arbitrations, including claims involving a loss of a gas and oil drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico during Hurricane Rita; underlying antitrust claims, and multiple D&O and E&O insurance coverage disputes. Don has also handled several large insurance coverage and commercial arbitrations on behalf of policyholder clients involving both first party losses and D&O insurance coverage disputes, and on behalf of commercial clients in contract disputes.
Don has also defended several significant environmental and toxic tort litigations, including precedent setting environmental justice litigation, CERCLA and similar state statutory cost recovery litigation, along with related toxic tort class actions, wrongful death litigation and multiple plaintiff lawsuits. He also regularly counsels and represents clients in litigation concerning contractual indemnity claims for asbestos, environmental and other liabilities.
Don has been listed in Best Lawyers in America in the area of Insurance Law (Bad Faith, Coverage, Dispute Resolution, Plaintiffs) since 2006.
Don served as a Law Clerk for the Honorable Sherwin D. Lester, Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, from 1982-1983. Don has been listed in the Best Lawyers in America in Insurance Law since 2006 and has been selected as a New Jersey Super Lawyer in Insurance Law.
- Elected Fellow of American College of Coverage Counsel
- Best Lawyers in America, Insurance Law, 2006-2022
- New Jersey Super Lawyers, Insurance Coverage
- American Bar Association (Litigation Section, Committee on Insurance Coverage Litigation)
- Vice President, Board of Trustees, Morristown and Morris Township Joint Free Public Library
- District V.A. Supreme Court Ethics Committee (Former Member)
- Trial Attorneys of New Jersey (Former Board Member)
- “Insurance 101: A Basic Level Introduction to Corporate Insurance,” Association of Corporate Counsel of New Jersey 20th Full Day CLE Conference, 15 September 2022.
- Understanding & Managing Cyber Risk,” Association of Corporate Counsel of New Jersey 18th Full Day CLE Conference, 22 September 2020.
- “Free Money: Insurance Coverage under Policies Issued to Other Companies”, Association of Corporate Counsel of New Jersey 19th Full Day CLE Conference, 9 September 2021.
- “Free Money: Insurance Coverage under Policies Issued to Other Companies,” Association of Corporate Counsel New Jersey 16th Annual Full Day CLE Conference, 20 September 2019.
- “Understanding and Managing Cyber Risk,” Association of Corporate Counsel New Jersey 15th Annual Full Day CLE Conference, 15 September 2017.
- “A Primer on Directors and Officers and Similar Professional Liability Insurance,” Association of Corporate Counsel New Jersey 14th Annual Full Day CLE Conference, 16 September 2016.
- “A Primer on Directors and Officers and Similar Professional Liability Insurance,” New Jersey Corporate Counsel Association 12th Annual Full Day CLE Conference, 19 September 2014.
- “A Primer on D&O Insurance,” American Bankers Association General Counsel Group Meeting, 14 November 2013.
- “An Introduction to Corporate Insurance,” New Jersey Corporate Counsel Association 11th Annual Full Day CLE Conference, 20 September 2013.
- “Superstorm Sandy: Are You Covered,” K&L Gates Webinar, 13 November 2012.
- “Insurance 101: A Basic Level Introduction to Corporate Insurance,” New Jersey Corporate Counsel Association 10th Annual Full Day CLE Conference, 21 September 2012.
- “Contractual Indemnities and Insurance: Not Always Perfect Together,” New Jersey Corporate Counsel Association 9th Annual Full Day CLE Conference, 23 September 2011.
- “Climate Change and Sustainability: Selected Issues Regarding Risk Management, Liability and Insurance,” New Jersey Corporate Counsel Association 8th Annual Full Day CLE Conference, 24 September 2010.
- “Sustainability: Selected Issued Regarding Liability and Insurance,” New Jersey Risk and Insurance Managers Society Meeting, 13 April 2010.
- “Insurance Coverage and the Financial Crisis,” K&L Gates Webinar, February 26, 2009.
- “‘Free Money’ Insurance Coverage under Policies Issued to Other Companies,” New Jersey Corporate Counsel Association 6th Annual Full Day CLE Conference, 18 September 2008.
- Panelist, “Developing a Goods Sold and Delivered Case,” New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, September 2004.
- “Negotiating Insurance Settlements for Long-Tail Exposure Claims,” ABA/ACCA Conference for Corporate Counsel: “The Legal Department’s Role in Enhancing the Corporate Bottom Line,” June 2002.
- “Indemnification and Insurance Contract Provisions – A Primer,” ABA Section of Business Law 2002 Spring Meeting Program Titled, “Terrorist Attacks, Catastrophes and Insurance Coverage Litigation, Relationship with Risk Managers and Contractual Indemnities, Old and New Insurance Topics for Corporate Counsel,” April 2002.
- “The Owned Property Exclusion Under New Jersey Law,” New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education Seminar, “Environmental Insurance From A to Z,” September 2001.
- Panelist, “Insurance Issues in Toxic and Environmental Contamination,” New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, September and November 1991.
- “IMO Industries Tackles New Jersey Law on Host of Insurance Coverage Issue,” FC&S Legal: Insurance Coverage Law Report, January/February 2015.
- Mentioned, "Insured Not Required To Produce Certain Information In Asbestos Suit, Judge Affirms," Mealey's Insurance, 28 May 2021