Blair Dancy is an insurance coverage lawyer with a trial lawyer's background, giving him unique insight into the complexities of insurance related disputes, particularly in the third-party liability context. He is recognized by the legal industry, including being rated Preeminent AV by Martindale-Hubbell, recognized as a Texas Super Lawyer (and previously as a Rising Star) by Thomson Reuters, and listed in The Best Lawyers of America by Woodward/White, Inc., repeatedly.
Mr. Dancy earned his law degree with honors from the University of Texas in 1997. For most of law school, he taught first-year students research and writing as a teaching quizmaster. In 1991, he also obtained his B.A. in English from the University of Texas where he was elected president of the College of Liberal Arts student council for his senior year. Between undergraduate and law school, Mr. Dancy taught English as a second language in the public schools of Niigata-shi, Japan, and traveled around the world before making it back to Austin.
Mr. Dancy learned to be a trial lawyer beginning at a large Texas firm in 1997 and has spent more than half his career counseling, litigating, and trying insurance-related disputes before judges and juries. He is admitted to practice in all Texas state and federal courts, including the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court. He is an active member of the Insurance Section of the State Bar of Texas and has served on its governing council since 2017.
Representative experience involving insurance includes:
- Defense and coverage counseling of wrongful death claims implicating disputed insurance coverage under UIM, BAP, CGL, and excess/umbrella policies.
- Representation of clients in complex construction defect litigation where additional insured coverage and indemnity/risk transfer issues play a key role in the ultimate resolution.
- Defense and prosecution of allocation claims among carriers in the context of underlying defense and indemnity claims among their insureds involving primary and excess policies.
- Prosecution and defense of suits for wrongful failure to settle within available policy limits under liability policies (Stowers claims), including an $8 million judgment representing a subrogated excess carrier against a primary carrier (2019).
- Advising clients on the availability of coverage and strategic recommendations through service as coverage counsel behind the scenes in major cases including construction defect, serious injury, and wrongful death.
- Advising clients regarding potential extra-contractual claims, including recommendations for handling to obtain optimal results.
- Advising clients on drafting contractual provisions regarding insurance and indemnity which seek to transfer risk.
- Advising the former director of a Texas agency concerning defense and indemnity obligations of the Texas attorney general in a high-profile suit covered by media, successfully resulting in defense provided and ultimate dismissal from suit.
- Advising entrepreneurs concerning risk management, indemnity, insurance, and related issues.
- Representation and counseling in respect to first-party claims including builder's risk, disability, commercial property, and other coverages.
Mr. Dancy is also active in writing and presenting on legal issues, with a focus on insurance:
- Presented “What Every Trial Lawyer Should Know About Liability Insurance” to the Austin Bar Litigation Section, January 2020, and the Dallas Bar TIPS Section, March 2020.
- Presented and co-authored “Key Stowers Issues for Trial Lawyers” paper at the 2018 South Texas Insurance Law Seminar, sponsored by the Insurance Section of the Texas State Bar, Brownsville, Texas, February 2018.
- Presented “Who’s Gonna Pay for That? A Behind-The-Lawsuit Look at Priority of Coverage in Construction Defect Cases and the Opportunities and Pitfalls Along the Way” to the San Antonio Bar Construction Section, October 2017; Austin Bar Construction Section, November 2017; Dallas Bar Construction Section, January 2018; and Houston Bar Construction Section, January 2018.
- Authored “Hurricane Harvey and the Risks of Insurance Practice: Concurrent Causation,” News for the Bar, a publication of the Litigation Section of the State Bar of Texas, Fall 2017.
- Authored “Pleading into Coverage” in The Advocate, a publication of the Litigation Section of the State Bar of Texas, Fall 2017.
- Authored “The Report of the Death of Stowers Is Greatly Exaggerated,” Journal of Texas Insurance Law, Summer 2017.
- Authored “Who’s on First? Priority of Coverage and Getting to Home Plate,” News for the Bar, a publication of the Litigation Section of the State Bar of Texas, Spring/Summer 2017.
- Authored “The Henley v. Love Lesson: Where Experts Must Tread,” Insurance Law Section, State Bar of Texas, June 2017.
- Presented “Liability Insurance: Key Practice Pointers for Litigators,” immediately following a presentation by Chief Justice Nathan Hecht, at the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting in Fort Worth, June 2016.
- Presented on “ Demands and Excess Policy Limits” and “Additional Insurance Coverage and Contractual Indemnity” in Dallas, June 2016.
- Authored “Five Things Texas Trial Lawyers Should Know About Insurance” in News for the Bar, a publication of the Litigation Section of the State Bar of Texas, October 2015.
- Presented “Contracts for Artists” to a seminar for public artists in El Paso, May 2015.
- Authored "A Sea Change in Texas Tort Law Texas Supreme Court,” February 2015.
- Presented “Insurance, Indemnity, and Risk Shifting for the Entertainment Lawyer” to the Entertainment and Sports Law Section of the Austin Bar Association, August 2014.
- Presented on legal writing in practice at the invitation of the UT Law School to second and third year students, August 2014.
- Co-authored “Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts Expands to Meet Statewide Demand,” in the Texas Entertainment and Sports Law Journal (Vol. 21, No. 3), May 2013.
- Authored “Texas Pattern Jury Charge Revisions Overdue on Common-Law Duty of Good Faith & Fair Dealing” in the Texas Journal of Insurance Law (Vol. 12, No. 1), September 2012.
- Participated in discussion with the Austin chapter of AIGA on how and when design professionals should hire legal counsel, August 2012.
- Presented “Thinking Professionally: Contracts & Copyright” to the Texas Commission for the Arts’ Young Masters Program, April 2012.
- Mr. Dancy is an avid reader and writer, with stories published in the Texas Bar Journal's annual short story contest, including “The Kid’s Gun” (third place, 2019), “The Unavoidable Conclusion” (third place, 2016), “The Color of Gravity” (third place, 2015), “Dead Out of Options” (finalist, 2012), “A Girl’s Best Friend” (finalist, 2011), “Bird of a Feather” (first place, 2008), and “Conception of Justice” (runner up, 2006).
Mr. Dancy is also active in the legal and arts communities:
- Elected member of governing council of the Insurance Law Section of the State Bar of Texas (2017-2021).
- Board of Directors, Austin Bar Association (2016-2020).
- Co-Chair, Bench-Bar Conference Committee, Austin Bar Association (2004, 2006, 2007, 2017, 2018).
- President, Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts (2013-2014); Vice President (2012-13); Board Member (2006-2015); Advisory Board Member (2001-2006).
- Leadership Austin, Class of 2014.
- Founding Fellow, Austin Bar Foundation.
- Recipient, Austin Creative Alliance Honors for invaluable contributions to the creative culture of Austin (2014).
- Keeton Fellow, The University of Texas School of Law (2000 to 2009).
- Repeated membership in Texas Pro Bono College.
Mr. Dancy also has significant experience in non-insurance trial and high-profile representations.