M. Katherine Strahan
Katherine’s practice consists of commercial litigation, with an emphasis on managed care, employee welfare benefits and group insurance litigation.
For over ten years, Katherine has defended group insurers, plan administrators and employers in lawsuits involving medical, disability, life and AD&D benefits, including ERISA and insurance bad faith claims. Katherine’s ERISA practice has included written and oral advocacy of the jurisdictional, discovery and standard of review issues unique to ERISA cases, and she has lectured on these topics. In addition to ERISA, Katherine has become familiar with related federal regulatory schemes, such as COBRA, as well as state group insurance regulations. Katherine’s group insurance practice has extended beyond Texas, and she has defended insurance companies and third-party claims administrators in cases in Oklahoma, Mississippi and Alabama.
As part of her managed care practice, Katherine routinely represents managed care companies in business practices and provider prompt pay disputes, as well as other commercial matters. These matters, including federal and state lawsuits and arbitrations, often involve allegations of mishandling claims under managed care agreements or administrative services contracts, fraud and business torts. In handling these kinds of disputes, Katherine has developed the claims data management skills necessary to litigate the hundreds or thousands of medical claims sometimes at issue in managed care cases, and has worked with a variety of experts on medical coding and billing issues. Relatedly, Katherine has handled overpayment and fraudulent billing practices claims arising out of disputes with health care providers.
Over the years, Katherine has also represented health insurers and other clients in suits involving medical negligence and personal injury claims under theories of direct and vicarious liability. She has additional experience in toxic tort and public law litigation.
In addition to her trial court practice, Katherine has represented clients in federal and state courts of appeal, including presenting oral argument. The issues in these appeals have included jurisdictional challenges, successor and contractual liability, and ERISA standard-of-review and benefits-decision defenses.
- Obtained recovery of overpayments on medical claims paid to a hospital system as a result of counterclaims filed on behalf of a managed care client.
- Obtained state court summary judgment in favor of defendants on a non-ERISA disability claim, affirmed by the Texas Court of Appeals, Dallas, in a published opinion.
- Defended managed care clients in a multi-million dollar dispute involving claims for alleged underpayments and prompt pay violations under a managed care agreement, resulting in agreed resolution and dismissal after successful briefing on federal jurisdiction.
- Obtained summary judgment in favor of a defendant in an Oklahoma bad faith suit over the termination of disability benefits.
- Defended an insurer in a suit to enjoin it from raising group insurance premiums based on allegations of defective notice, resulting in the court’s denial of all requested relief and a dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims.
- Obtained summary judgment in favor of an insurer on an ERISA disability benefits claim, including favorable rulings on contractual limitations and benefits-decision defenses.
- The Essentials of E-Discovery (Top Five) Straightline (February 2012)
- Essentials of E-Discovery (pdf) (October 2011)
- Strategies to Mitigate Litigation Costs (October 2011)
- "ERISA 101: Dissecting the Fundamentals for Managed Care Litigators," presented at the American Conference Institute's 5th Annual Advanced Forum on Managed Care Disputes and Litigation pre-conference workshop (May 14, 2014)
- "Dissecting ERISA for Managed Care Litigators: Making Strategic Arguments Based on Inconsistent and Evolving Legal Standards," presented at the American Conference Institute's Advanced Forum on Managed Care Disputes and Litigation (May 23, 2012)
- "ERISA Preemption: Successful Strategies Within the Evolving Law," presented at the American Conference Institute's 2nd Advanced Forum on Managed Care Disputes and Litigation (November 8, 2011)
- Recognized as a "Future Star" in Texas by Benchmark Litigation (2012-2017)
- JD, 1999, cum laude, University of Houston Law Center, Order of the Barons
- BA, 1991, The University of Texas
- Texas 1999
- US District Court for the Northern District of Texas
- US District Court for the Southern District of Texas
- US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
- US District Court for the Western District of Texas
- US District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma
- US District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma
- US District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma
- US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
- Houston Bar Association
- World Affairs Council of Houston
- National Association of Women Lawyers
- 2012 Fellow, Leadership Council on Legal Diversity
- Federal Bar Association
- 11/7/2016Andrews Kurth Kenyon Litigation Practice Recognized as Highly Recommended by 2017 Benchmark Litigation
- 11/9/2015Andrews Kurth Litigation Practice Recognized as Highly Recommended by 2016 Benchmark Litigation
- 12/9/2014Andrews Kurth Litigation Practice Recognized as Highly Recommended by 2015 Benchmark Litigation
- 1/9/2014Andrews Kurth Continues to Receive High Marks for Litigation Practice from Benchmark Litigation
- 11/7/2012Andrews Kurth Receives High Accolades in Litigation and Appellate Practices from Benchmark Litigation