J. Scott Miller

    Senior Associate
    Morris Polich & Purdy LLP
    Los Angeles
    Direct: 213.417.5152
    Main: 213.891.9100

    Practice & Industry Focus Biographies:

    Scott’s practice focuses in the areas of insurance coverage, environmental and toxic tort litigation, professional liability litigation and appellate practice. Scott has represented clients in matters involving premises liability, personal injury, property damage, groundwater contamination, toxic torts and habitability claims. Scott has defended lawyers and insurance brokers against claims of malpractice and professional negligence, and he has represented both insurers and policyholders in complex insurance litigation. Scott has also counseled insurers and policy holders regarding coverage issues involving professional liability, environmental liability, general liability and first-party claims.

    Scott previously served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Marvin R. Baxter of the Supreme Court of California. Before law school, Scott worked for five years as an accounting and finance analyst for Sony Pictures Entertainment and the Game Show Network.

    Practices & Industries:  Appellate Advocacy  |  Environmental Law  |  Insurance Coverage  |  Cyber, Privacy & Data Security  |  Property Insurance Law  |  Sports, Leisure, Entertainment & Event Contingency  |  Toxic Tort


    • J.D., Vanderbilt University Law School, 2007
    • M.Mus., University of Tennessee, 2000
    • B.A., Rhodes College, 1997

    Court Admissions

    • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
    • United States District Court for the Central, Eastern and Southern Districts of California
    • California State Courts

    Bar Admissions

    • California, 2008

    Professional Memberships and Activities

    • Defense Research Institute
    • Los Angeles County Bar Association
    • American Bar Association
      - ABA Young Lawyers’ Division, Liaison to Death Penalty Representation Project (2012-2014)
      - Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Toxic Tort and Environmental Law Committee
      - Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Vice-Chair, Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee (2013-2014)
      - Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Vice-Chair, Professionals’ Directors’ and Officers’ Liability General Committee (2013-2014)
      - Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, Standing Committee on Ethics and Professionalism (2013-2014)

    Other Information

    • Interviewer, Alumni Interview Program, Vanderbilt University Law School
    • Board Member, Armaga Springs Homeowners’ Association

    Speeches, Publications and Email Alerts

    • Co-author, Environmental Law Newsletter, April 2014
      - "Pollution Exclusion Precludes Duty to Defend Well Water Contamination Suit Where Claimant “Consented” to the Use of the Pollutant as Fertilizer"
      - "Fifth Circuit Decision Limits State and Local Governments’ Abilities to Regulate Offshore Drilling Operations on the Outer Continental Shelf"
    • Co-author, Environmental Law Newsletter, March 2014
      - "Ninth Circuit CERCLA Subrogation Ruling Stands Following U.S. Supreme Court Decision Not to Grant Certiorari"
      - "Ethanol Regulations of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard Pass Constitutional Muster Under the Dormant Commerce Clause – For Now"
    • Co-author, Environmental Law Newsletter, January 2014
      - "Total Pollution Exclusion Inapplicable to Fuel Spill Occurring Entirely Within a Building"
      - "OSHA to Inspect Facilities Reporting Large Volumes of Use / Releases of “Toxic Chemicals” Under EPA Reporting Requirements"
    • Co-author, Environmental Law Newsletter, December 2013
      - "Determining the Limitations Period for a Cost Recovery Action Under CERCLA: You Say 'Remedial,' I Say 'Removal'" 
    • Co-author, Environmental Law Newsletter, November 2013
      - "Unintended Consequences of Intentional Discharges of Pollutants are not 'Accidental,' and thus Pollution Exclusion Applies" 
    • Co-author, Environmental Law Newsletter, October 2013
      - "Michigan Court Holds that Pollution Exclusion Applies Based on Emissions Violation Where Emissions Were into Insured’s Own Building Rather than Into the Atmosphere"
      - "Multiple PRP EPA Letters is Not Evidence of Separate 'Suits' to Trigger CGL Coverage, and the Owned-Property Exclusion Bars Indemnity Coverage for a Mere 'Threat to the General Environment,' - Eighth Circuit"
      - "Ninth Circuit Finds that Letters from the EPA Can Qualify as a 'Suit' Under CGL Policy, Sufficient to Trigger Insurer’s Duty to Defend"
    • Co-author, Environmental Law Newsletter, August 2013
      - "Fourth Circuit Finds that CERCLA Discovery Rule Preempts State’s Ten-Year Limitation on Accrual of Real Property Claims"
      - "NY Court Declines to Expand Scope of Exemption to Statutory Pollution Exclusion for Insurance 'Purchased to Satisfy Financial Responsibility Requirements'"
      - "Subrogating Insurers That Did Not Themselves 'Incur' the Costs of Remediation May Not Pursue Cost Recovery Under CERCLA § 107(a) Claims"
    • "First Party Insurers May Face Liability Under California’s Unfair Competition Law," Email Alert, August 2, 2013
    • Co-author, Environmental Law Newsletter, July 2013
      - "Absolute Pollution Exclusion Applies to 'Release' of Lead but not to 'Distribution' of Hazardous Lead Materials as a Product, Eighth Circuit Says"
      - "Geneva Association Report Says Insurance Costs for Catastrophic Losses Related to Ocean Warming and Climate Change are Expected to Climb, and Advises Insurers to Update Their Risk Estimation Methods"
      - "Insurer Owes No Duty to Defend Owners of Contaminated Property Against State Court Actions and Government Orders Commenced Twenty Years After Expiration of Liability Policy"
    • Co-author, Environmental Law Newsletter, June 2013
      - "Fifth Circuit Finds That “Fines and Penalties” Exclusion in a Pollution Liability Policy Does Not Preclude Coverage for Court-Ordered Remediation Work to Remedy a Clean Air Act Violation"
      - "Supreme Court Affirms Decision Giving Deference to EPA's Own Determination of the Scope of Its Jurisdiction Under Clean Water Act (CWA)"
    • Co-author, Environmental Law Newsletter, May 2013
      - "Proposed Law to Extend Polanco Act Powers to Local Government Agencies"
      - "Vapor Intrusion Raises New Litigation Concerns"
    • Consultant, Neighbor Disputes: Law and Litigation, California Continuing Education of the Bar, 2013
    • Contributor, Morris, Polich & Purdy's California and Nevada Insurance Coverage Update, 2013 Vol. 1
    • Co-author, "Recent Developments in Insurance Coverage," published in the Fall 2012 issue of the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Law Journal (Vol. 48, Issue 1)
      - Topic: "Insurer’s Obligation to Provide Independent Counsel"
    • Co-author, "Traps for the Unwary: Sovereign Immunity, Indemnification and Insurance Endorsements," presented at North American Contingency Association (NACA) Annual Conference, May 17, 2012
    • Contributor, Morris, Polich & Purdy's California and Nevada Insurance Coverage Update, 2012 Vol. 2
    • Author, Hawaii Chapter, Professional Liability Insurance: A Compendium of State Law, Defense Research Institute, 2012
    • Contributor, Morris, Polich & Purdy's California and Nevada Insurance Coverage Update, 2012 Vol. 1
    • Contributor, Morris, Polich & Purdy's California and Nevada Insurance Coverage Update, 2011 Vol. 3
    • Author, Montana Chapter, Excess Insurance: A Compendium of State Law, Defense Research Institute, 2011
    • Contributor, Morris, Polich & Purdy's California and Nevada Insurance Coverage Update, 2011 Vol. 2
    • Contributor, Morris, Polich & Purdy's California and Nevada Insurance Coverage Update, 2011 Vol. 1