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Header for Website.png   January 14 -15, 2020     l     New Orleans Marriott     l     555 Canal Street

Meet Your Speaker

Maria Abate, Esq. 


Colodny Fass

Since joining Colodny Fass in 1992, Maria Elena Abate has built her reputation and expertise in the areas of complex commercial litigation, insurance fraud, insurance coverage, bad faith and class action defense, as well as employment law and civil rights. She is a member of the elite Claims and Litigation Management Alliance, an invitation-only national organization committed to furthering high standards of litigation and claims management in pursuit of client defense. With over 25 years of experience, she has worked closely with multiple defense firms and joint defense groups in complex commercial matters.

Consistently active with the Florida Insurance Fraud Education Committee, she has become a trusted resource for those seeking to rid the state of its dubious reputation as the insurance fraud capital of the nation. In addition to regularly lecturing and instructing, she has been called upon to serve on industry workshop panels, and in an advisory and training capacity to insurance companies, agents and their employees to help eradicate fraud through education and communication.

As part of her diverse practice, Ms. Abate handles a wide variety of insurance-related matters, which include agent and broker E & O claims such as breach of duty, misrepresentation, fraud or inadequate coverage.  From licensing and liability matters, coverage disputes, errors and omissions, insurance solvency concerns, investigations and disciplinary proceedings, to new challenges like cyber-risk and social media she has successfully assisted agents and brokers navigate their duties and obligations under the law. She provides counsel to agents on avoiding the liability pitfalls of errors and omissions in the many and varied circumstances of servicing policyholders.  Typical claims include breach of duty, inadequate coverage, misrepresentation or fraud, inadequate business practices, and inadequate communication and documentation.

Ms. Abate represents major employers and state agencies in the defense of employment-related class action and complex litigation, as well as other high-risk employment-related matters in cases involving the Fair Labor Standards Act, Family Medical Leave Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Title VII, Section 1981 and 1983 claims, whistleblowers claims,  non-disclosures, non-competes, tortious interference claims and constitutional violations.

Ms. Abate has been named as a Top Lawyer and a Distinguished Attorney by the South Florida Legal Guide, among other prestigious recognitions, including Insurance Defense Attorney of the Year finalist by the Florida Insurance Fraud Education Committee.

Prior to joining the Firm, Ms. Abate served as a staff attorney for The Honorable Arthur M. Birken, the Honorable Miette K. Burnstein, the Honorable Robert L. Andrews, the Honorable Patricia W. Cocalis, the Honorable Mel Grossman the late Honorable Joseph E. Price, and the late Honorable Stephen R. Booher of the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Broward County, Florida.

Ms. Abate received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Miami, cum laude, and her Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law, cum laude.

​127 South Peyton Street
Alexandria VA 22314
​phone: 800.221.7917
fax: 703.683.7556

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