Elliot H. Wernick
Elliot H. Wernick
Senior Member

Representative Experience

Elliot Wernick is a Senior Member with The Cavanagh law Firm and has been practicing law for almost thirty years, including the last twenty-four counseling and representing the insurance industry and its insureds in complex litigation matters.

Peer rated by Martindale-Hubbell as an AV Preeminent lawyer, Mr. Wernick has extensive experience in successfully handling complex personal injury and tort matters, including the defense and litigation of complex automobile and trucking accidents resulting in catastrophic injury or death.  Mr. Wernick devotes a substantial amount of his personal injury practice to the defense of injury and wrongful death claims against motor carrier transport and crane companies in both state and federal court.

Mr. Wernick’s practice also includes insurance coverage analysis and litigation.  He has handled complex insurance coverage claims in both first and third party contexts.  His insurance coverage litigation practice has included all types of insurance policies with a particular emphasis on life, health and disability.  Mr. Wernick’s insurance coverage practice includes interpretation and analysis of general liability, personal and commercial auto related coverage claims and professional malpractice; and he devotes a substantial amount of his insurance practice to the defense of insurance bad faith and punitive damage claims against insurance companies in both state and federal court.

Mr. Wernick has also served in a number of volunteer activities, including two terms as a Board Member of the Arizona Association of Defense Counsel (co-chairing the Pro Bono Disciplinary Committee), and as a judge for local high school mock trial competitions and law school moot court activities.  Mr. Wernick has an AV Preeminent Rating with Martindale Hubbell and has been named as a Southwest Super Lawyer since 2015.

Associations & Activities

  • State Bar of Arizona
  • Maricopa County Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Arizona Association of Defense Counsel
  • Arizona Association of Defense Counsel, Board Member, 2005 – 2011
  • Co-Chair of Pro Bono Disciplinary Committee, Arizona Association of Defense Counsel, 2005 – 2011
  • International Association of Defense Counsel Trial Academy, Participant, 2002
  • ASU College of Law, Judge – Moot Court and Closing Argument Competitions
  • Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education/Young Lawyers of Arizona, Judge – Arizona High School Mock Trial State Tournament, 2001
  • Maricopa County Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division, Judge – Essay Writing Competition for Law Week, 2001 – 2001

Awards & Recognition

  • AV Preeminent Rating – Martindale-Hubbell 
  • Top Rated Civil Litigation Attorney – Southwest Super Lawyers – 2015 – present
  • The Best Lawyers in America, 29th Edition – Transportation Law, 2023
  • Top Lawyer – Civil Law Litigation – PHOENIX Magazine, 2022
  • America’s Most Honored Lawyers – Top 1%, American Registry, 2020 – present
  • Top Attorneys & Rising Stars in the Southwest – PHOENIX Magazine, 2021

Bar Admissions

  • Arizona, 1993

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1997
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, 1995
  • U.S. District Court, District of Arizona, 1993
  • Arizona, 1993


  • Arizona State University (J.D., cum laude, 1993)
  • Associate Note and Comment Editor, Arizona State Law Journal, 1992 – 1993
  • Truman Young Prosecutorial Fellowship, 1992 – 1993
  • Willard H. Pedrick Scholar
  • American Jurisprudence Award, Trusts and Estates, 1993
  • Legal Research and Writing, Honors
  • University of California San Diego (B.A. 1990)
  • UCSD, Revelle College – Provost’s List

Representative Matters


  • Represent trucking companies and their drivers in defense of catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death claims, ranging from pedestrian to multi-vehicle accidents.
  • Represent crane companies and their operators in defense of catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death claims, ranging from construction site accidents to on-the-road collisions involving heavy equipment.

Personal Injury/Dram Shop/Open Range

  • Represent and defend individual and corporate insureds in a variety of third party contexts (premises liability, automobile/motorcycle collisions, construction accidents, open range cases, dram shop liability, etc.) involving claims of personal injury and wrongful death.

Bad Faith

  • Represent and defend first party bad faith matters including life, health, disability, property and casualty, auto, commercial general liability and specialty lines.
  • Prosecute interpleader actions in both state and federal court.
  • Institute declaratory judgment action to determine the insurer’s obligations under the policy language.
  • Represents carriers in rescission actions based on material misrepresentations on the policy application.

Insurance Coverage

  • Provide coverage opinions relating to transportation, auto, commercial general liability, property and casualty and specialty lines.
  • Institute or defend declaratory judgment/coverage actions relating to various coverage issues.

Published Cases

  • Brookover v. Roberts Enterprises, Inc, 215 Ariz. 52, 156 P.3d 1157 (App. 2007)
  • State v. Serna, 176 Ariz. 267, 860 P.2d 1320 (App. 1993)

News & Publications

Firm Attorneys Recognized As America’s Most Honored Lawyers

America's Most Honored Lawyer Recognition The Cavanagh Law Firm is proud to recognize that many of our attorneys have recently received professional honors as America's Most Honored Lawyers by American Registry. Thirteen of the Firm’s attorneys have been awarded the...

15 Attorneys Named as 2017 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

Southwest Super Lawyers selected 12 senior attorneys for its 2017 honor. Named for this honor are Helen R. Davis, William M. Demlong, Philip C. Gerard, Connie T. Gould, Christina S. Hamilton, Ralph E. Hunsaker, Timothy R. Hyland, Steven Plitt, Elliot H. Wernick, Richard J. Woods and Jerry D. Worsham II. Steven J. Gross, Jordan R. Plitt and John K. Wittwer were named as up-and-coming, Rising Stars.

2016 Southwest Super Lawyers Named

Ten senior attorneys were named as 2016 Southwest Super Lawyers. In the practice area of Family Law, Christina Hamilton, Helen Davis and Philip Gerard were honored; Richard Woods and Ralph Hunsaker were named in the Personal Injury Defense–General category; Kerry Griggs was listed in the Personal Injury Products – Defense category; Timothy Hyland and Steve Plitt were named in the Insurance Coverage category; and William Demlong and Elliot Wernick were honored in the Civil Litigation: Defense category.

The Cavanagh Law Firm is Home to 23 Super Lawyers (2015 list)

Each year, no more than five percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor.