David F. Cutter


Business Phone: 312.759.5556
Business Fax: 773.877.3722



David Cutter is an experienced litigator who focuses his practice on insurance matters and complex commercial disputes. David has a diverse practice representing insurers in litigation across many lines of coverage, including director’s and officer’s, professional liability, and general liability matters. Recognized as a leading insurance lawyer by Chambers USA, a recent edition noted that David “is respected in the field as an excellent litigator.”

David also provides coverage advice in pre-coverage litigation situations, both with respect to substantive coverage issues and contentious claim handling issues such as an insurer’s defense and settlement obligations. In addition to numerous insurance matters in the Midwest region, in recent years David has represented clients with respect to coverage disputes in jurisdictions throughout the country, including New York, California, Florida, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.

David compliments his insurance practice with a variety of commercial litigation matters involving breach of contract, business torts, violations of federal statutes, and products and premises liability.

Prior to focusing his practice primarily on representing insurers, David clerked for a federal judge and was a commercial litigator for almost a decade, work which included representing policyholders in coverage litigation. As a result of these different perspectives, David has learned to develop strategies for efficient resolution of matters through early settlement evaluation and targeted litigation of particular issues. When matters are not amenable to an early resolution, David positions disputes for favorable resolution through effective discovery strategies and dispositive motion practice, and, if necessary, trial and appeal.

Representative Matters

Insurance Coverage Litigation

  • Secured favorable summary judgment ruling regarding application of employer liability exclusions
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of insurer client in dispute with its managing general agent
  • Successfully compelled production of insured’s settlement-related communications in D&O/professional liability coverage dispute
  • Filed litigation and then successfully negotiated interim resolution regarding coverage for hazmat explosion and subsequent fire at a chemical plant which required evacuation of numerous neighboring landowners
  • After being brought in as appellate counsel, secured reversal of trial court denial of leave to amend complaint to assert additional coverage defenses.
  • Obtained summary judgment ruling regarding priority of coverage and defeated motion for summary judgment regarding contractual conditions in contribution action.
  • Defeated motion to compel discovery of unrelated claim file materials in D&O/professional liability coverage action.
  • Over intervening third-party objections, obtained discovery of negotiations between tort plaintiffs and defendant that culminated in a pre-packaged bankruptcy plan in asbestos coverage dispute.
  • In a multi-million dollar asbestos bodily injury insurance coverage suit, obtained an anti-suit temporary restraining order (affirmed by appellate court) and, following an evidentiary hearing, a preliminary injunction (affirmed by appellate court) preventing client from being sued in multiple jurisdictions, and obtained several favorable summary judgment rulings.

Insurance Claim Counseling and Monitoring

  • Advised client regarding consent, cooperation and coverage matters under D&O policy regarding underlying securities class action claim.
  • Advised client regarding coverage and settlement obligations in connection with lawyers malpractice claim.
  • Advised client regarding coverage under pollution remediation policy for costs incurred in connection with the clean-up of an abandoned waste disposal site
  • Advised client regarding construction defect litigation, negotiating settlement of both coverage and liability issues.
  • Advised client regarding coverage issues associated with allegations of repeated sexual abuse of children over the span of many years.
  • Advised client regarding potential for uncovered exposure with respect to commercial trucking claim.

Commercial Litigation

  • Assisted with defense of a claim for breach of professional services contract.
  • Defended premises owner in several liability cases involving alleged exposure to asbestos.
  • Investigated possible contractual and tort causes of action as well as methods to obtain relief for real estate investment trust shareholder against acquiring corporate entities.
  • Assisted with the settlement of class action related to unauthorized cell phone charges.
  • Assisted with defense of financial services company in unfair debt collection action.
  • Assisted with defense of media company in junk-fax class action.

Presentations and Speaking Engagements

  • Panelist, “All Sums, Reallocation, and Settlement Credits,” HB Litigation Conferences, May 10, 2012.
  • Moderator, “Avoiding Coverage Quagmires: How to Foster Positive Relationships Between Insurers and Insureds and, if the Relationship Sours, How to Succeed in Coverage Litigation," Insurance Law Committee and Young Lawyers Insurance Coverage Section of the Chicago Bar Association, May 9, 2011.
  • Panelist, “Coverage Matters: What Every Commercial Litigator Should Know About Insurance Issues,” Commercial Litigation Committee and
    the Insurance Law Committee of the Chicago Bar Association, October 27, 2010
  • Moderator, “Inside Insights: Insuring Success With Insurer In-house Individuals,” Chicago Bar Association Insurance Law Committee, December 2, 2009.


Professional and Community Involvement

  • Board Member (2012-2014) and Vice President, Governance (2013-2014), Youth Organizations Umbrella, Inc. (youth development agency providing after-school enrichment, family support, and counseling, services to youth and their families in Evanston, Illinois)
  • Chair, Troutman Sanders Chicago Office Pro Bono Committee
  • Vice-Chair, Chicago Bar Foundation Investing in Justice Campaign (fundraising for legal services organizations) (2012-2014)
  • Chair, Chicago Bar Association Insurance Law Committee (2010-2011; Vice-Chair, 2009-2010)
  • Co-Chair, Noah’s Playground For Everyone Committee (fundraising to build fully-accessible public playground and beach access)
  • On-Air Participant, The MIX Radiothon (fundraising for Children’s Memorial Hospital) (2006 – 2011, 2013)

Rankings and Recognition

  • Named to the Best Lawyers in America 2015 Edition in Insurance Law
  • Listed as Band 3 for Insurance: Dispute Resolution - Illinois by Chambers USA (2012-2015) (listed as “up and coming” 2010-2011).
  • Recognized as an Illinois Super Lawyer for Insurance Coverage (2013-2015).

Professional Experience

  • Partner, Troutman Sanders, 2009 - present
  • Partner, Ross, Dixon & Bell, LLP, 2008
  • Of Counsel, Ross, Dixon & Bell, LLP, 2007
  • Associate, Ross, Dixon & Bell, LLP, 2005 – 2006
  • Associate, Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw, 2001 – 2005
  • Associate, Hogan & Hartson, 1997 – 2001
  • Law Clerk, The Hon. Aubrey E. Robinson, Jr., U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 1996 – 1997
  • Associate, Winston & Strawn, 1995 – 1996



  • Catholic University of America, J.D., magna cum laude, 1995
    Class Salutatorian
    Executive Editor and Staff Member, Catholic University Law Review
  • University of Michigan, B.G.S., 1989

Bar Admissions

  • 2002 Illinois
  • 1997 District of Columbia
  • 1995 Maryland

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, including Trial Bar