International Society of Primerus Law Firms
Craig E. Farmer
Practice Areas:

Sacramento Attorney
Craig E. Farmer

Phone: 916.679.6565


Languages: English

Mr. Farmer began his legal career in 1974 in Sacramento with the defense firm of Fitzwilliams, Memering, Stumbos & Demers. In 1975, he joined the Sacramento defense firm of Bolling, Pothoven, Walter & Gawthrop, later becoming Bolling, Walter & Gawthrop. He was a partner in that firm from 1978 to 1994, focusing on insurance law-related designer litigation and counseling. In 1994, Mr. Farmer founded Farmer & Murphy, expanding to Farmer, Murphy, Smith & Alliston in 2000. Mr. Farmer and Blane A. Smith and their associates continue their focused legal practice now as Farmer Smith & Lane, LLP, located in Sacramento.

Mr. Farmer has contributed to California’s insurance law through many published cases. He also serves as coverage and Board counsel to various school, community college and municipal agency-based California joint powers insurance authorities. On insurance related matters, Mr. Farmer has also provided expert consultation and testimony and he provides services on request as an arbitrator.

Litigation Experience and Practice:

Craig Farmer has over thirty years of service providing legal analysis, counseling, negotiation, litigation, arbitration and other alternative dispute resolution services to business, individual, insurer and joint powers clients. His expertise is in handling and trial of complex contract and tort disputes, insurance contracts of various types and public entity group self-insurance agreements. These cases frequently involve:

  • Liability and Property Policies of all types
  • Insurance Bad Faith and Punitive Damages
  • Public Entity Self-Insurance Coverage Disputes
  • Fraud, Rescission and Insurance Agent/Broker Error Liability
  • Insurance Coverage Reservation and Reimbursement Disputes
  • Personal Injury, Property Damage and Contractual Claims of all kinds
  • Services as Independent Defense Counsel


In civil damages and insurance related lawsuits and trials through the years, Mr. Farmer has represented, among others:

  • Corporations
  • Building Contractors
  • Commercial Apartment Owners and Managers
  • Small Business Owners
  • Homeowners
  • Insurance Companies
  • Insurance Agents & Brokers
  • Motor Vehicle Owners and Operators
  • Product Manufacturers

His cases have involved two party and multi-party, mass tort and class actions addressing insurance coverage and claims handling disputes, personal injury and property damage, premises and construction defects and products liability claims, mold, toxic and environmental contamination issues, punitive damages and statutory unfair competition and fraudulent business allegations, among others.


  • “AV” rating by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Member – American Bar Association
  • Member – Defense Research Institute
  • Member – Association of Defense Counsel Northern California (Board 1999-2001)
  • Member – Sacramento County Bar Association


  • B.A., cum laude – University of California, Santa Barbara, 1970
  • J.D., Hastings College of the Law, University of California, San Francisco, 1974

Bar/Court Admissions:

  • All California Trial and Appellate Courts, U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Ninth and Sixth Circuits, U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, Northern and Central Districts of California, and the Western District of Michigan.

Representative Matters:

Insurance Coverage and Good Faith / Bad Faith

  • Marie Y. v. General Star Indem. Co. (2003) 110 Cal App 4th 928 – Dentist’s Professional Liability insurer breached duty to defend patient’s molestation allegations although indemnification was barred by public policy.
  • Aetna Casualty & Surety Ins. Co. v. Humboldt Loaders, Inc. (1998) 202 Cal App 3rd 921 -
    Plaintiff has absolute right to dismiss in case presenting no affirmative relief by cross-complaint.
  • Lewis v. Superior Court (1978) 77 Ca App 3rd 844 – Client-Plaintiff is tenant in common to ex-husband’s military retirement pay asset when not divided in prior dissolution proceedings.
  • Fireman’s™ Fund Ins. Co. v. Superior Court (1977) 75 Cal App 3rd 627 – Aircraft liability insurers have not duty to investigate pilot qualifications of insurance applicants.
  • Century Surety Co. v. Polisso (2006) 139 Cal App 4th 922 – Punitive damages award is not excessive for liability insurers stalling of defense cost payments and coverage litigation scare tactics used against policy holder defended through “CUMIS” counsel.
  • Progressive West v. Superior Court (2005) 135 Cal App 4th 263 – No cause of action for breach of contract or bad faith exists for insurers seeking reimbursement of medical payments made to policy holder who has made recovery for injury by third party; case remains pending.

Contact This Firm

Blane A. Smith, Law Office of

3620 American River Drive
Suite 218
Sacramento, CA 95864
United States

Law Firm Contact: Blane A. Smith

Tel: 916.679.6565

Fax: 916.679.6575



Member Since: 2017

Send Us An Email

Preferred Contact Method?

 Email Phone - AM Phone - PM

Disclaimer: Primerus and our member law firms welcome your emails, contact forms, phone calls and written letters. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to Primerus or its member law firms until an attorney-client relationship has been established. Thank you and we look forward to serving you.

* Denotes Required Field