William M. Demlong
William M. Demlong
Chair of the Board

Representative Experience

Mr. Demlong has practicing law for over 30 years and is the President and Chair of the Firm.  Mr. Demlong’s practice involves the analysis and litigation of complex insurance claims and coverage in both the first-party and third-party context.  He has litigated substantial commercial, construction defect and personal injury matters in both federal and state courts.  Mr. Demlong has tried cases in Arizona, Nevada and Illinois and has also litigated matters in Louisiana, New Mexico, Montana, Alaska and California.  His insurance litigation practice has included all types of policies with particular emphasis on life, health, disability, coverage, general liability, construction defect, personal and commercial automobile, and personal and surplus lines.

Mr. Demlong has been active within the United States District Court of the District of Arizona.  He was an arbitrator for the District Court, a member of that Court’s Technology Committee and is past chair of the Arizona Lawyer Representative for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  He also served as Chair of the District Court’s Magistrate Selection Committee on two occasions in the past year.

Throughout his career, Mr. Demlong has given presentations to attorneys, claims professionals and others relating to insurance bad faith, coverage and related topics.

Mr. Demlong has been active in community service over the years and has devoted a substantial amount of time to various boards and community groups.  Mr. Demlong’s most unique volunteer service was as a reserve police officer for the City of Tempe where he volunteered hundreds of hours a year as patrol officer.  He has also been active Chances for Children Arizona, an organization provides fitness and nutrition programs in Arizona schools in an effort to help fight childhood obesity.

Associations & Activities

  • American Bar Association
  • Arizona Bar Association
  • Nevada Bar Association
  • New Mexico Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • International Claims Association
  • Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel
  • Arizona Association of Defense Counsel
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
  • United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Lawyer Representative, 2003 – 2007
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Chair, Lawyer Representative, 2006 -2007
  • U.S. District Court, District of Arizona, Chair, Magistrate Selection Committee, 2007, 2009
  • The Centers for Habitation, Board Member, 1999 – 2005
  • The Centers for Habitation, Vice-Chairman, 2003
  • Tempe Communities in Schools, Board Member, 1999 – 2001
  • City of Tempe Police Department, Reserve Police Officer, 1994 – 2001
  • Tempe Leadership, President, 1997 – 1998
  • Tempe Leadership, Board of Directors, 1994 – 1999
  • Tempe Leadership, Member of Class IX, 1993 – 1994
  • Chances for Children, 2005 – 2011
  • Certified Public Accountant, Texas

Awards & Recognition

  • Southwest Super Lawyers, 2009 – 2022
  • Southwest Super Lawyers, Arizona’s Top 50 Lawyers list, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
  • Martindale- Hubbell Preeminent Rating
  • AZ Business Magazine, Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona, 2015 – 2019
  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2017 – Present, Commercial Litigation, Insurance Law, and Construction Law
  • AV Preeminent 2022 Lawyer
  • PHOENIX Magazine Top Lawyers in Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith (2022)

Bar Admissions

  • Arizona, 1989
  • Nevada, 2011
  • New Mexico, 2017

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court, 2000
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit, 1989
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, 2003
  • U.S. District Court, District of Arizona, 1989
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Mexico, 2019


  • University of Texas (J.D., with Honors, 1988)
  • Arizona State University ( B.S., Accounting, with Honors, 1982)

Representative Matters

Bad Faith

  • Defended hundreds of first party bad faith case including life, health, disability, property and casualty, auto, commercial general liability and specialty lines.
  • Tried cases in Arizona, Nevada and Illinois and litigated in a number of additional western states.
  • Prosecuted over 100 interpleader actions in state and federal court, some which included a claim of filing a bad faith interpleader.
  • Instituted numerous declaratory judgment actions to determine the insurer’s obligations under its policies to policyholders.
  • Represented carriers in rescission actions based on misrepresentation on the policy application.
  • Multiple jury trials in both state and federal court alleging insurance bad faith.

Insurance Coverage

  • Assisted dozens of insurers in providing hundreds of coverage opinions relating to property and casualty, auto, commercial general liability and specialty lines.
  • Instituted or defended numerous declaratory judgment actions related to coverage issues multiple states.
  • Defended scores of coverage litigations matters relating to property and casualty, auto, commercial general liability and specialty lines.

Personal Injury

  • Has provided a third party defense to numerous insured from personal injuries primarily suffered in a commercial setting or the result of alleged products liability.  A number of cases included serious bodily injury or death.



News & Publications

Cavanagh Attorneys Represent Insurer in Proceedings Before the Arizona Supreme Court Regarding Interpretation of Arizona’s Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Act

Cavanagh attorneys William Demlong and Parker Bunch represent CSAA General Insurance Company in proceedings before the Arizona Supreme Court. They are joined by co-counsel Kym Kochis at Eversheds Sutherland LLP. The outcome of the case will have a significant impact...

2021 The Best Lawyers in America

The Cavanagh Law Firm is pleased to announce that 14 of the Firm’s attorneys have been recognized in the 27th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America.  We are also deeply proud to announce that The Best Lawyers in America also named Phil C. Gerard the Family Law...

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.

Best Lawyers in America List for 2017 Is Announced

Ten lawyers from the Firm were selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2017 (Copyright 2014 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC). Helen Davis – Family Law; Philip Gerard – Family Law; Terry Rakow – Litigation – Real Estate, Real Estate Law; Scott Rose – Land Use & Zoning Law, Real Estate Law; Richard Woods – Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants; Ralph Hunsaker – Litigation – Insurance; Scott Salmon – Product Liability Litigation; Timothy Hyland – Insurance Law; Steven Plitt – Insurance Law; William Demlong – Insurance Law, Litigation – Insurance.