Robert W. Nelms


Robert William Nelms

Robert W. Nelms is a founding partner of Cannon & Nelms, P.C. and has an extensive history of success in several specialized practice areas for nearly thirty years. With professional experience that involves defending insurance carriers in all aspects of first-party bad faith and the defense of catastrophic casualty litigation.  Mr. Nelms also has extensive knowledge in a wide variety of insurance-related coverage matters, Declaratory Relief Actions (DRA), appraisals, rescission and interpleader.  His expertise in the area of first-party bad faith and third party liability matters includes over 20 Superior Court jury trials to verdict in jurisdictions all over Southern California.

Also accomplished in the handling of suspect claims, Mr. Nelms has handled numerous appraisals and Declaratory Relief Actions (DRA) arising from such claims to favorable results and was coverage and litigation counsel in the seminal case in California involving the scope of an insurer’s rights to conduct an examination under oath.  He also has handled the preparation of appellate briefs and the presentation of oral arguments before the courts of appeal, including several reported decisions.

Mr. Nelms is also national coordinating counsel for one of the largest agribusiness insurers in North America. He has defended many food borne illness outbreaks and multi-jurisdictional litigations on behalf of several of Central California’s largest agricultural commercial entities and has worked closely with the FDA, CDC, U.S. Department of Justice, United States Marshall Service, CalFERT and many state Public Health Departments. He has also handled numerous subrogation matters arising out of food borne illness liability litigation as well as products liability claims.

Mr. Nelms also handles general business litigation, contract disputes involving both domestic and international venues as well as employment issues, such as wrongful termination and sexual harassment. He and Mr. Cannon obtained the first defense verdict in California of a toxic mold claim alleged in the context of a first party bad faith claim.

Mr. Nelms graduated from the University of Virginia (Bachelor of Arts, 1980) and the Pepperdine University School of Law (Juris Doctor, 1984), where he served as chairman of the Honor Board. Additionally, he is also admitted to the practice of law in his home state of Virginia.