Phillip Stano relies on more than 30 years of experience—as a regulator, then as counsel for a life insurers’ trade association and now as a defense attorney—to achieve positive outcomes in complex class action suits and other financial services litigation and regulatory and compliance counseling. Phil’s clients are some of the nation’s largest insurers and span all types of insurance, including annuity, life, long-term care, health, title, and property and casualty. Combining a thorough knowledge of class action procedure with an understanding of current regulatory developments, Phil represents his clients in state and federal courts and guides them on issues such as unclaimed property, retained asset accounts, adequacy of disclosure and regulatory compliance.
Before joining Sutherland, Phil served as chief litigation counsel at the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), where he filed more than 350 briefs on significant issues affecting insurers' marketing life, annuity, disability, long-term care and health insurance products. He organized and directed ACLI’s class action, state tort/judicial reform, insurer legal privileges, arbitration and insurance anti-fraud legislative reform efforts. Prior to ACLI, he was assistant attorney general and general counsel of the Alabama Insurance Department, where he litigated numerous civil matters at the trial and appellate levels. He has extensive experience in insurer rehabilitation and liquidation proceedings and unclaimed property/market conduct audit defense and advice.
Sutherland's summary judgment for life insurance client affirmed by Tenth Circuit.
Sutherland successfully defended a major life insurer against a putative class representative claim that the insurer's universal life (UL) policy was defectively designed because it credited an interest rate on the UL policy that made it destined to lapse at or before the insureds life expectancy. Plaintiff asserted that the interest rate credited should keep the policy in force until its maturity date. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the favorable district court summary judgment ruling.
Sutherland's motion to dismiss in a New Mexico RESPA case affirmed by Tenth Circuit.
Sutherland successfully defended title insurance companies in a putative class action where plaintiffs alleged antitrust violations. The complaint also brought a claim under RESPA. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit ruled in favor of our clients.
Sutherland's summary judgment for life insurer in retained assets action affirmed by Ninth Circuit.
Sutherland secured a summary judgment for a life insurance company in a putative class action asserting state law claims challenging the use of retained asset accounts in connection with payment of life insurance benefits.
Awards and Rankings
Named the American Tort Reform Association’s Legal Reform Champion (2005)
Member, Board of Directors, Attorneys Insurance Mutual of the South, Inc.
Member, Editorial Review Board, Journal of Insurance Regulation
Secretary-Treasurer, Association of Life Insurance Counsel (2003-2009)