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Education

  • J.D., Columbia Law School, 1993, Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar
  • B.A., Rice University, 1984

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, District of Maryland
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

Memberships & Affiliations

ABA Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice Law Journal, former Editor-in-Chief

Maryland State Bar Association

New Jersey State Bar Association, Environmental Section, Past Chair

American Bar Association

Risk & Insurance Management Society

J. Wylie Donald

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Partner
  • T: 302.984.6361
    F: 302.220.4608

Mr. Donald counsels and litigates for clients on insurance coverage, environmental and products liability matters.

Mr. Donald has successfully pursued claims under property, general liability, trucking, malpractice, E&O and D&O policies against primary, umbrella and excess carriers, captive insurers, state guarantee funds, insurers-in-rehabilitation and reinsurers.  He has tried cases and argued appeals in the state courts in New Jersey and Maryland, conducted private arbitrations and mediations, and argued motions in federal courts across the nation.

His hard-fought, multi-year litigations have yielded numerous eight-figure settlements for his clients in products liability and property damage insurance coverage cases.  In an environmental case, where the carriers asserted notice was over a dozen years late, he obtained a settlement of almost 90 cents on the dollar.  In other cases, a laser-like focus has yielded outstanding results. In a case against a state guarantee fund, careful procedural planning resulted in a recovery of 95% three months after the complaint was filed.  In another case, a motion for partial summary judgment-without taking any discovery-was sufficient to obtain 100% recovery.

Mr. Donald came to insurance coverage law from the Firm's Environmental Group, in which he is still active.  Most recently, he obtained a multi-million dollar recovery, including 100% of future remediation costs and a substantial sum toward past costs.  Mr. Donald also counsels and litigates on mold and radiation issues.

Mr. Donald co-chairs the Firm's Climate Change and Renewable Energy Practice. He draws on his substantial environmental experience, his prior non-legal technical work, and his deep involvement in risk management to assist clients in understanding and controlling the coming regulatory and non-regulatory impacts of climate change. His article, Climate Change and the D&O Pollution Exclusion, 41 Tort, Trial & Ins. L.J. 1033 (Summer 2006), is one of the first to extrapolate climate change legal impacts outside of the regulatory area. His most recent contribution to climate change insurance coverage scholarship is Carbon Dioxide: Harmless, Ubiquitous, and Certainly not a "Pollutant" under a Liability Policy's Absolute Pollution Exclusion, 39 Seton Hall L.R. 107 (2009).

Mr. Donald has published on insurance, climate change, identity theft, mold and radiation-related topics in both scholarly and trade publications. He has addressed radiation-related topics in Health Physics News, Health Physics and the Journal of Health Care Risk Management. As a lecturer he has addressed climate change, e-discovery, mold experts, ethics issues, and internet liabilities. He has also moderated panels on environmental topics.  He co-authors a blog maintained by the firm at http://www.climatelawyers.com/.

Mr. Donald served in the U.S. Navy from 1984-1989. Qualified in submarines, he was the mid-watch OOD on board USS Augusta (SSN 710).




*not admitted in Delaware.

Representative Matters

Represented policyholders in claims under property, general liability, trucking, malpractice, D&O and reinsurance policies.
Represented insureds in claims against primary, umbrella and excess carriers, State guarantee funds, insurers-in-rehabilitation, and reinsurers.
Major Professional Sports Franchises
Advised major professional sports franchises on scope and issues involved in purchase of Owner and Contractor Controlled Insurance Programs (OCIP/CCIP).
Successfully pursued coverage for landfills, groundwater contamination, fuel spills, pharmaceutical liability, impaired beverages, asbestos and malpractice.

Recognitions

Climate change and the D & O pollution exclusion. J. Wylie Donald, Loly Garcia Tor, 41 Tort Trial & Ins. Prac. L.J. 1033 (2006); and Climate change liabilities: Got coverage? J. Wylie Donald, 41–JUN Md. B.J. 24 (2008).

Speaking

10/23/13
Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics
10/11/13
Insurance Roundtable of Baltimore
Bonnie Blink, The Masonic Grand Lodge, Hunt Valley, MD
06/22/11
02/02/11
Green Guides, Green Marketing and Greenwashing: The FTC (and Your Insurers) Have Something to Say
McCarter & English Newark Office