Mr. Wittwer is a Member with the firm. Mr. Wittwer’s practice focuses upon analysis and litigation of complex matters involving insurance coverage, bad faith claims handling and punitive damages, cybersecurity and professional liability. Mr. Wittwer has handled a wide range of complex insurance matters involving both personal lines and commercial lines, including cyber insurance, general liability, automobile, property, life, disability, homeowners, workers’ compensation, professional liability, directors and officers, surplus lines, and excess/umbrella coverages. Mr. Wittwer was recognized by Southwest Super Lawyers as a Rising Star from 2013 to 2017. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Arizona Association of Defense Counsel. Mr. Wittwer is the 2017-2018 Chair of the Arizona State Bar’s Technology Advisory Group, teaching and assisting other lawyers about best practices for data security and privacy, cyber insurance, cloud computing and e-discovery.
Prior to attending law school, Mr. Wittwer worked as a software developer. In his personal time, Mr. Wittwer is an accomplished musician and enjoys traveling with his wife and their daughter.
Associations & Activities Board of Directors, Arizona Association of Defense Counsel (AADC)
- Claims & Litigation Management (CLM) Alliance, Certified Litigation Management Professional
- Southwest Chapter Steering Committee, Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS)
- Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Committee, Defense Research Institute (DRI)
- Chair, Arizona State Bar Technology Advisory Group
Awards & Recognition
- Southwest Super Lawyers Rising Stars 2013 – present
- Arizona, 2006
- U.S. Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit
- U.S. District Court, District of Arizona
- Arizona State University College of Law (J.D., cum laude, 2006)
- Associate Managing Editor, Arizona State Law Journal
- Pedrick Scholar
- Couch Fellow, 2004 (assisted in revision of Couch on Insurance treatise)
- Pro Bono Distinction
- Student Editor, Advanced Insurance Research class (supervised other students’ research)
- Brigham Young University (B.A., Economics, magna cum laude, 1997)
- Teaching Assistant – Intermediate Macroeconomics, Public Finance
- Carlson v. Independent Order of the Foresters Ins. Co., 2017 WL 957283 (D. Ariz Mar. 13, 2017)
- Krieg v. Schwartz, 2015 WL 12669893 (D. Ariz. Aug. 19, 2015)
- Ingram v. Great American Ins. Co., 112 F. Supp. 3d 934 (D. Ariz. June 30, 2015)
- Mt. Hawley Ins. Co., v. Slayton ex rel. County of Coconino, 1 CA-SA 12-0298, 2013 WL 708535 (Ariz. App. Feb. 26, 2013)
- Progressive Cas. Ins. Co. v. Estate of Palomera-Ruiz, 224 Ariz. 380, 231 P.3d 384 (App. 2010), review denied (Oct. 26, 2010), cert. denied, 131 S. Ct. 2874 (May 2, 2011)
- Rause v. Paperchine, Inc., 743 F. Supp. 2d 1114 (D. Ariz. 2010)
- Forbes v. 21st Century Ins. Co., 258 F.R.D. 335 (D. Ariz. 2009)
Examples of complex insurance matters Mr. Wittwer has recently handled are:
- workers’ compensation bad faith claim seeking eight-figure award for carrier’s alleged delay in authorizing surgery and permanent disability and loss of earning capacity allegedly resulting therefrom;
- excess commercial liability coverage claims arising out of notices of claims totaling $44.75 million against sheriff and other county officials for alleged civil rights violations under 42 U.S.C. § 1983;
- professional liability coverage claims arising out of cardiologist’s alleged sexual abuse of eight different patients;
- excess commercial liability coverage claims arising from one of the annual top ten verdicts in Arizona in the amount of $7 million, resulting from severe motorcycle-vehicle accident;
- claims under directors and officers, all-risk, and umbrella coverage, for putative class action against electric utility co-op and its board members alleging excessive compensation, wasteful spending, and punitive damages;
- representation of two insurers in suit alleging that agents who sold hundreds of millions of dollars of annuity products to Arizona residents engaged in a systematic and deceptive effort to replace large numbers of those annuity contracts in order to generate commissions;
- employee dishonesty coverage claims arising from bookkeeper’s alleged embezzlement of more than half a million dollars from law firm over a period of seven years;
- bad faith and punitive damage lawsuit alleging automobile insurer’s alleged corporate pattern and practice of low-balling collision damage estimates and alleged refusal to “total” vehicles in order to save money;
- property damage and business interruption/extra expense coverage claims in excess of half a million dollars arising from structure fire to business involved in construction of underground utilities.
News & Publications
Co-Chair and Speaker - Upcoming in June 2018
The 2018 Amendments to the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure: What do they mean to the practicing trial lawyer?
By Brett Donaldson, Esq. and John Wittwer, Esq. The Cavanagh Law Firm, PA, Phoenix, AZ Read Full Article...
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.
Commercial Property Insurance: Covered Causes of Loss, Exclusions and Exceptions, National Business Institute