Wystan Ackerman focuses his practice on three main areas: class actions, appeals, and insurance coverage litigation.
Mr. Ackerman chairs the firm's Class Action Team and writes the blog Class Actions Insider. He is one of Connecticut's leading class action defense lawyers, and has a national class action defense practice. Mr. Ackerman has been involved in defending more than 60 class actions in numerous jurisdictions, including Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, and California. In many of those cases, Mr. Ackerman prevailed on a dispositive motion. He successfully petitioned the United States Supreme Court to grant certiorari and was co-counsel on the merits in Standard Fire Insurance Company v. Knowles, 133 S. Ct. 1345 (2013), in which the Court rejected a plaintiff's attempt to evade federal jurisdiction by stipulating that the amount sought would not exceed the $5 million threshold under the Class Action Fairness Act. Mr. Ackerman has defended putative class action cases involving insurance and financial services, products liability, data breaches, healthcare, consumer contracts, and securities. He has extensive experience defending major insurers in putative class actions involving homeowners' insurance, auto insurance, underwriting and business practices, and also advises insurers regarding the defense of their insureds in class actions. Mr. Ackerman chairs the Class Action Special Litigation Group of the Commercial Litigation Committee of the Defense Research Institute (DRI).
Mr. Ackerman also has a national appellate practice, mainly focused on insurance. He has been involved in more than 40 insurance-related appeals, including in the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and Eleventh Circuits, as well as in various state appellate and supreme courts, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Mr. Ackerman regularly represents national insurance industry associations as amici curiae in appellate and supreme courts. He has been involved, as either counsel for the insurer or for an amicus curiae, in many of the most significant insurance coverage-related appeals in the last ten years. He currently chairs the Appellate Section of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC) and contributes to the firm's Massachusetts Appellate Blog. He has also served on the pro bono panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Mr. Ackerman takes pride in writing briefs that are succinct and compelling, and is often asked to serve as a "moot court" judge in appeals being handled by other attorneys.
Insurance Coverage Litigation
Mr. Ackerman also has extensive experience litigating and advising insurers on coverage issues. His coverage practice is national in scope. High-profile coverage cases he has litigated include In re Katrina Canal Breaches Litigation (flood exclusion issues arising from Hurricane Katrina), Valued Policy Law litigation in Louisiana and Florida, and TravCo Ins. Co. v. Ward (Chinese-made drywall).
Mr. Ackerman has been listed as a Second Circuit Litigation Star in Benchmark Appellate (2013) and is listed in Benchmark Litigation (2013-2016). He is listed as a Connecticut Super Lawyer in the area of Class Action for 2015 and 2016, and was listed as a Rising Star in Connecticut Super Lawyers® in 2013 and 2014 in the area of Class Actions and from 2009 to 2012 in the area of Insurance Coverage Law (Super Lawyers is a registered trademark of Key Professional Media, Inc.).