Jared Zola ’03 is a Partner at Blank Rome LLP who focuses on Insurance Recovery. An advocate for commercial insurance policyholders in high-stakes, complex litigation and corporate transactions, Jared represents policyholders against their insurance companies as lead counsel in precedent-setting lawsuits across the nation and at the deal table as lead insurance counsel on multi-billion dollar mergers and acquisitions. Jared is also a member of Blank Rome’s Pro Bono Committee and is a founding member of the firm’s Severe Weather Emergency Recovery Team. In addition, Jared led a team of attorneys in developing a disaster relief guide and an insurance-related hotline to help Hurricane Sandy victims.
As a law student, Jared did not purposefully seek out a career in insurance law. After graduating from Cardozo, he knew one thing for sure; he wanted to be on his feet in the courtroom. Jared was recruited as a recent graduate to a top litigation boutique law firm with a promise from the firm’s senior partner to do just that as soon as he was admitted to practice. The firm focused on representing policyholders in insurance disputes and, as a young associate, Jared was able to take depositions, argue in court and second-chair several jury and bench trials.
Prior to joining Blank Rome, Jared was a Partner at Dickstein Shapiro LLP, where he was the Northeast Regional Leader of the firm’s insurance coverage group. While at Dickstein, he handled large insurance coverage litigation and also gained a unique perspective at the deal table as insurance counsel in several large mergers and acquisitions. Jared then joined Blank Rome when the two firms combined in 2016.
At Blank Rome, Jared has enjoyed continued success. He was lead counsel in the Southern District of New York on behalf of an international petroleum-handling company seeking millions of dollars of insurance proceeds to cover a loss arising from a collapsed pier at the Panama Canal. He had several successes in the District of Minnesota for a religious organization seeking coverage for alleged sexual abuse claims. He also represented a star NFL wide receiver seeking recovery under a Loss-of-Value insurance policy. Throughout his career, Jared has helped clients secure more than one billion dollars in insurance recoveries.
Since 2013, Chambers USA recognizes Jared as a leading policyholder insurance lawyer. In 2017, he was named by Law360 as a “Top Attorney Under 40” for the fourth consecutive year in the insurance category, for his work on behalf of policyholders. He is the only attorney in the country to ever be named a “Rising Star” more than once in the insurance category. He was also named to Benchmark Litigation’s 2017 “Under 40 Hotlist,” which ranks attorneys “who have been deemed the most promising emerging talent in their respective litigation communities by peers and clients.” In 2016, the New York Law Journal named Jared a “Rising Star” under 40. In 2018, Jared was appointed to two prominent boards, the Rutgers Cybersecurity Advisory Board and Law360’s 2018 Insurance Editorial Board.
Outside the firm, Jared supports numerous charities including the ASPCA, as a volunteer with his wife Katie Reed, as a member of the ASPCA Bergh Ball Associate Committee. Additionally, Jared raises money for and rides in the annual “Cycle for Survival” event, a national fundraising movement to beat rare cancers lead by the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
Jared’s advice for young attorneys is to “find your own genuine voice and style. Clients and judges can spot insincerity and imitation from a mile away.” He also believes it is important for young (and old) attorneys to “be willing to tell senior colleagues and clients when you don’t immediately have the answer to a question. Clients and colleagues will respect someone willing to admit what he or she doesn’t know. And then go find the right answer.”
This is the part of an ongoing series highlighting the accomplishments of Cardozo alumni, an initiative led by the Office of Alumni Affairs and CYAN (the Cardozo Young Alumni Network).
If you would like to nominate an alumni to be featured in the CJOA, please email Katie Gillette (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the Office of Alumni Affairs.