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TERESA PONDER – Principal, Berger Kahn

Not surprisingly, Teresa Ponder’s expertise as a go-to litigator for first-party insurance bad faith cases earned her a shareholder position with the 20-attorney firm of Berger Kahn and earned her inclusion on the Southern California Super Lawyers “Top 50 Orange County” List. “Our firm is all grown up, we are good at what we do, and we are proud to be a little different,”  says Ponder.

As principal in Berger Kahn’s Irvine office, Ponder focuses on federal and state court litigation of complex first-party insurance bad faith cases arising under residential and commercial policies. She has represented major carriers in non-litigation coverage disputes and has litigated a multitude of cases involving significant exposure due to catastrophic losses and institutional practices.

“I love insurance litigation. It is always changing — sometimes weekly, and in several of my cases, hourly. This provides a great challenge and opportunity to be on the cutting edge of serious analysis. They say the devil is in the details, and I love the details,” Ponder says of what makes her passionate about her work. Ponder is adamant about communicating with clients and staying in touch with them. “I have personal, lasting relationships with my clients. I often hear people complain that their lawyer doesn’t talk to them or keep them in the loop. I have no concept of that. It is their case. I know that if I were to have an attorney representing me in an important matter, I would certainly expect to be involved in the analysis and decision making.”

Always a dedicated team player, Ponder is emphatic about the fact that clients are not just her clients. “My clients are clients of the whole firm of Berger Kahn. Success for one is success for all. I have a great support system here, both behind me and around me,” she says. “We have an incredible group of shareholders and support staff, most of whom have worked together for decades.”

Another unique feature of Berger Kahn is community service. The entire Berger Kahn team is dedicated to giving back to the community. “We walk for charity, host firm-wide charity events, hold toy and food drives, and sponsor individuals and families, all of which is something very special to me and something I’m proud to be a part of,” Ponder says. The firm also supported the Project SELF Legal Internship Program in 2012 and 2013, hosting a summer internship for a low-to-moderate-income high school junior, giving exposure to the career possibilities of the legal profession. Ponder served as the selected student’s mentor throughout the internship.

“From the courtroom to the community, we have real capability and are willing to go the extra mile,” Ponder says. “We enjoy ourselves, but we work hard and are completely serious about providing extraordinary service on every case. We know that we have established lasting relationships with clients and the community built on mutual trust and confidence.”

Jennifer Hadley

Jennifer Hadley is a Staff Writer for Attorney Journal

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About the Author: Jennifer Hadley is a Staff Writer for Attorney Journal

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