Kristina N. Holmstrom

Kristina N. Holmstrom

Partner
kholmstrom@lrrc.com vCard
602.262.5762 office
602.734.3875 fax
201 East Washington Street
Suite 1200
Phoenix, AZ 85004
3993 Howard Hughes Parkway
Suite 600
Las Vegas, NV 89169

Kristina N. Holmstrom is a litigation partner focusing mostly on defending insurance companies in the life, health, disability and property areas. She is licensed in Arizona and Nevada and litigates extensively in both states.

Kristina has significant experience representing claim administrators and plan administrators in all aspects of ERISA litigation, including disability, life, and health insurance. For her ERISA clients, she has successfully opposed discovery motions, obtained summary judgment on administrative and bankruptcy issues, and won judgment on the administrative record. She keeps up-to-date on the rapidly developing and often conflicting ERISA opinions coming out of the Ninth Circuit so she can help her clients develop the most appropriate defense strategy.

Kristina regularly represents insurers outside of ERISA as well in coverage, bad faith, and rescission lawsuits. She has defended a wide variety of coverage disputes, including life, disability, property and casualty, as well as various types of business insurance. In addition to general coverage disputes, she has experience examining the suitability of various life insurance products, including whole life policies and premium-financed life insurance plans. Beyond litigation, Kristina also renders coverage opinions, including opinions for insurers and business owners covering a wide range of potential liabilities.

Kristina also has experience with litigation involving insurance agents and brokers, including malpractice, misrepresentation, and wrongful termination cases.

Additionally, Kristina has experience litigating matters outside the insurance context. She began her career at Meyer Hendricks & Bivens, a boutique commercial litigation firm. Since then, she has helped large companies, small businesses and individuals resolve complicated commercial and contract disputes. These matters have involved independent contractors, service contracts and trade secrets. She is a full service litigator, assisting clients through the entire litigation process, including removals, discovery (with an emphasis on protecting confidential business information), motion practice, trial, post-trial motions, and appeals.

Kristina frequently takes on pro bono cases involving immigration, prisoners’ rights, and other civil/constitutional rights.

Representative Matters

  • Latin v. Perot Systems, 2009 WL 2010728 (9th Cir. 2009). Summary judgment for an ERISA plan because the plaintiff failed to disclose his potential lawsuit when filing for bankruptcy and was therefore stopped from pursuing it.
  • Ross v. Excel Group Flexible Benefit Plan, 2008 WL 4567229 (D. Ariz. Oct. 14, 2008) upheld on appeal 2011 WL 3489093 (9th Cir. August 10, 2011). Judgment in favor of an ERISA plan on plaintiff’s claim for disability benefits. Specifically, the District of Arizona and the Ninth Circuit agreed that the claim administrator did not abuse its discretion in denying the plaintiff's claim for benefits.
  • Weber v. Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Co., 2008 WL 3932014 (D. Ariz. Aug. 25, 2008). Disability policy, under which claimant sought benefits, constituted an ERISA plan and the plaintiff’s state law claims were therefore preempted.
  • Dachtler v. Anderson, 772 F. Supp. 2d 1301 (D. Nev. 2011). Plaintiff’s claims against insurer relating to life insurance benefits were preempted by the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance Act (“SGLIA”) and the plaintiff could not state a claim under SGLIA, resulting in a full dismissal of the insurer.
  • DeBenedictis v. Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Co., 701 F. Supp. 2d 1113 (D. Ariz. 2010). Judgment in favor of an ERISA claim administrator on plaintiff’s claim for disability benefits, both by denying plaintiff additional disability benefits as well as permitting claim administrator to recover overpaid disability benefits from the plaintiff.

Presentations

  • Speaker, "Hands Off! What "Escheat" Means for Life Insurers," Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee's CLE Seminar, March 2014
  • Presenter, "Rough Waters in Safe Harbors - How to Overcome ERISA's Safe Harbor Exemption When Employees Pay Premiums," 2013 DRI Annual Meeting, October 2013

Related Publications

  • Co-Author, "Compensation for Treating Physician Testimony: Sanchez v. Gama," Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP Client Alert, September 2013
  • Author, "Winning The Big Endorsement: How to "ERISAfy" an Employee-Paid Plan," DRI, the voice of the Defense Bar, January 2012
  • Author, "Group Health Insurance Can Be Sued for Negligence of Providers in Their Networks," ABA Section of Litigation, Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee's Website, January 2012
  • Co-Author, "ERISA Claims and Tribal Plans," For the Defense, July 2011
  • Co-Author, "Nevada Chapter: Misrepresentation in the Life, Health, and Disability Insurance Application Process: A National Survey," Life, Health and Disability News, 2009
  • Co-Author, "Federal Abstention and Declaratory Judgment Actions," For the Defense, September 2009
  • Co-Author, "When The Own-Occupation Claimant Has More than One Occupation," Life, Health and Disability News, Fall 2008
  • Co-Author, “Tribal Nations and Other ERISA Exempt Organizations,” DRI Defense Practice Seminar Course Materials, March 2008

Distinctions

  • Super Lawyers Southwest Rising Stars - Employee Benefits/ERISA 2012-2015
  • John P. Frank Pro Bono Awards Luncheon - Recognized for commitment - Pro bono service

Other Info

Education

J.D., magna cum laude, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law, 2004
B.A., University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 2001

Bar Admissions

Arizona, 2004
Nevada, 2006
New Mexico, 2015

Court Admissions

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada
Nevada Supreme Court
U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona
Arizona Supreme Court

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Young Lawyers Division of the Arizona Bar Association's holiday party for children in group homes, Former Group Home Director and Former Event Co-Chair
  • Volunteer Lawyers Program, Member, 2004-2007
  • Arizona Association of Defense Counsel, Board of Directors (current)
  • Defense Resolution Institute Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, Life Health and Disability Committee liaison
  • Life Health and Disability Committee of the Defense Research Institute, Member
  • Health Life & Disability Subcommittee of the ABA Section of Litigation, Co-Chair, Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee