Kennedys welcomes partner Michael Melendez and special counsel Teri Mae Rutledge to its San Francisco office

San Francisco, CA (July 17, 2023) - Kennedys has announced that insurance coverage litigator Michael Melendez has joined its San Francisco office as a partner. In addition, Teri Mae Rutledge has joined the office as special counsel.

As an insurance coverage attorney, Mike focuses his practice on all types of complex insurance coverage, including construction defect, advertising injury, personal injury, professional liability, and general liability. He advises insurers on claims handling and coverage issues, defends bad faith suits, and litigates declaratory relief and contribution actions.

“Mike’s broad experience in complex insurance coverage and litigation offers our clients practical solutions and skilled guidance. Well respected by the industry, as well as for his participation as a key member in legal professional organizations, Mike’s steep experience and industry leadership will serve our clients well,” noted Christopher Carroll, senior US partner at Kennedys.

Mike has earned Martindale-Hubbell’s AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating and has been recognized by California Super Lawyers (2009-2016). He is licensed to practice before all the state and federal courts in California and Nevada, and has been admitted to the US Supreme Court, the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, and the US Court of Claims. Mike has represented clients in numerous jurisdictions throughout the United States and has tried cases and argued appeals in both state and federal courts.

In addition to insurance coverage, Mike has handled a variety of general commercial disputes. He has served pro bono as a special deputy public defender in Marin County and as an arbitrator for the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Committee on Fee Disputes. He has also served on the California State Bar’s Executive Committee for the Law Practice Management and Technology Section.  He has also presented to claims professionals and attorneys on insurance coverage and general legal issues including claims practices, construction defects, additional insurance, independent counsel, ethics and bad faith.

He earned a JD and an AB from Stanford University.

On joining Kennedys, Mike noted, “It’s a very exciting time to be joining Kennedys in its efforts to expand both domestically and globally.”

Rutledge Brings Coverage Experience

Teri Mae advises clients on coverage matters, including commercial general liability, professional liability, employment practices liability, directors’ and officers’ liability, and first-party coverages, with a focus on California law. She has litigated at the trial and appellate level in courts throughout the Ninth Circuit and nationwide.  In addition, Teri Mae has trained clients regarding California claims handling requirements. 

She is admitted to practice in California, as well as to the US District Court, Central, Eastern, Northern and Southern Districts of California and the US Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

She earned a JD from University of California, Davis, School of Law and Bachelor of Philosophy from Miami University.

Meg Catalano, Kennedys’ US managing partner, said: “Since opening our San Francisco three years ago, we have strategically grown our presence there in response to significant demand from both US and global clients.  We look forward to welcoming Mike and Teri Mae to the firm.”