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Robert L. Suomala, JD


Prior to his death in 2006, Mr. Suomala wrote about directors and officers (D&O) liability insurance law for IRMI.com.

Mr. Suomala specialized in professional liability D&O liability insurance for more than 20 years and handled many of the most significant cases in those areas. He had extensive appellate experience and argued major cases in several federal appeals courts and the Supreme Courts of Illinois, Alabama, and Mississippi.

Mr. Suomala also designed complex insurance programs and specific sophisticated insurance products, including insurance coverages for insurance companies, mutual funds and investment advisers, and other financial professionals, employment practices liability, professional liability umbrella coverages, and specialized D&O liability coverages. He worked extensively with Asian (particularly Japanese) insurers on risk management and consulting, product development, regulation, defense of underlying litigation, and underwriting and claims handling issues.

A partner with Peterson & Ross, Mr. Suomala wrote and spoke frequently on D&O liability and professional liability and insurance issues, including serving as chair of or speaking at programs of the American Bar Association (ABA), the Watson Wyatt D&O Symposium, the Japanese International Business Law Institute, and at seminars presented in Tokyo and Singapore. He has served as chair of the ABA Subcommittees on Directors and Officers Liability Insurance (1991–1998) and Errors and Omissions Liability Insurance Coverage litigation (1990–1992) and vice-chair of the Committee on Professional, Officers and Directors Liability. Mr. Suomala also was heavily involved in the Professional Liability Underwriting Society, having assisted in the preparation of the study materials for the Registered Professional Liability Underwriting designation and was a Contributing Author to Professional Liability Insurance, published by IRMI. He was a frequent speaker and writer on D&O-related topics.

Mr. Suomala received his bachelor's degree in English from the University of Wisconsin, a master's degree in English language from the University of Michigan, and a law degree from Yale Law School in 1980.