R. Patrick Bedell
BatesCarey LLP
Insurance coverage
40 Under Class – 2019

It hasn’t taken Patrick Bedell long to earn the trust of his colleagues and clients. Katie Falkenberg, partner at Chicago’s SmithAmundsen, saw this firsthand back in 2005, when she and Bedell represented co-defendants in a declaratory judgment action involving exposure to asbestos.

The case was a long and complex one. But that didn’t stop Bedell’s client and the partners at his firm from tapping this young attorney to research, write and argue many of the more difficult arguments in the case. This move paid off; Falkenberg said that Bedell, still early in his career, navigated through complex coverage issues, including bankruptcy matters that arose during the case, and successfully argued issues of first impression.

Falkenberg said that she was impressed that Bedell had such confidence, skills and legal knowledge so early in his career.

“Patrick and I worked collaboratively on many coverage issues in this action, and in doing so I was able to witness his intellect and ability to grasp coverage issues that even other seasoned coverage partners had difficulty understanding and articulating,” Falkenberg said.

Bedell’s skills have not gone unnoticed by his insurer clients, with one client praising his “keen insight” and “top-notch” legal ability. Robert J. Bates Jr., founding partner at BatesCarey, said that when one of the firm’s most senior partners retired, Bedell took over her files and client relationships. It didn’t take Bedell long to earn positive results, including winning an appeal before the Missouri Court of Appeals that reversed a trial court’s ruling that his client had a duty to defend.

Patrick became a partner at BatesCarey at just 34. Two years ago, Bedell played a key role in launching BatesCarey’s Opioid Coverage Task Force, the country’s first legal team devoted to monitoring and investigating the complex insurance coverage issues that arise in opioid claims. Today, Bedell ranks as an industry leader in analyzing these issues, speaking and writing frequently. He also manages a team of attorneys that regularly advises clients facing hundreds of millions of dollars in opioid-related exposure.

Michael J. Hogan, a retired judge and now a mediator with ADR Systems, predicted a bright future for Bedell.

“Patrick is one of the most honorable men I know,” Hogan said. “His integrity is beyond reproach. He treats all with respect and fairness. He is very devoted to the practice of law and works extremely hard at it.”