Ms. Szczechowicz has significant experience with fiduciary bonds involving probate estates, trusts, conservatorships and guardianships. She has represented sureties throughout California in a variety of probate matters, including defending against surcharge claims in breach of fiduciary duty, malfeasance, defalcation and negligence actions.
Ms. Szczechowicz also regularly represents surety clients in the defense of complex construction surety bond claims. Her experience includes litigating public and private construction disputes involving sureties, such as negotiating completion obligations in bond default situations, analyzing and defending against public works wage claims, enforcing payment defenses, securing collateral, and pursuing indemnity rights. Ms. Szczechowicz successfully enforced the surety’s rights under a set-aside letter against a bank and obtained a $2.1 million dollar judgment in favor of the surety. Gulf Insurance Company v. First Bank, 2010 WL 4069086 (9th Cir. 2010).
Ms. Szczechowicz’s practice includes bankruptcy experience representing sureties in pursuing secured claims, lifting the automatic stay and protecting cash collateral, and litigating adversary proceedings, including objections to debtor’s discharge.
Ms. Szczechowicz is actively involved in the Fidelity and Surety Law Committee, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section of the American Bar Association. She Co-Chaired the Surety Program for the 2020 Midwinter Meeting, serves as a Vice-Chair on the Fidelity and Surety Law Committee and serves as a Co-Chair on the Payment Bond Subcommittee.
J.D., Loyola University New Orleans,
Bachelor of Arts, Florida State University
Bankruptcy and Creditor’s Rights
Co-Chair, Surety Program for MidWinter Meeting, Fidelity and Surety Law Committee, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association (January 2020)
Vice Chair, Fidelity and Surety Law Committee, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association (2019 – Present)
Co-Chair, Payment Bond Subdivision, Fidelity and Surety Law Committee, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association (2019 – Present)
Co-Author, Contractor vs. Surety: Is Termination Always Required Under an A312 Performance Bond, A Point/Counterpoint, Fidelity and Surety Law Committee Newsletter, Fall 2015, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association
Chapter Co-Author, Louisiana, Performance Bond Manual of the 50 States, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Federal Jurisdictions (1st ed. 2006), Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association