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Massachusetts Treasurer Demands National Mutual Fund Records in Multistate Unclaimed Property Audit

Late this summer, the Massachusetts Treasurer demanded mutual fund records on a nationwide basis as part of a multistate unclaimed property audit. Thirty-five (35) states are involved in the audit, but the Treasurer has...more

10/9/2014 - Audits Death Master Files IRA Mutual Funds Social Security Adminstration Unclaimed Property

Legal Alert: Eleventh Circuit Reverses Outlier Decision on TCPA Prior Express Consent Standard

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has clarified the standard for “prior express consent” under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) in a September 29, 2014 decision reversing an outlier ruling by a...more

10/8/2014 - Appeals Cell Phones Corporate Counsel Debt Collection FCC Hobbs Act Prior Express Consent Putative Class Actions Robocalling TCPA

Final Deadline Imminent for Enrolling in Delaware VDA Program

The enrollment period for the Delaware Secretary of State’s Voluntary Disclosure Agreement Program (the Delaware VDA Program) for unclaimed property reporting closes next week on September 30, 2014. Delaware has previously...more

9/23/2014 - Audits Deadlines Enrollment Reporting Requirements Unclaimed Property

TCPA Hot Issues - TCPA Restricts Autodialed Calls, but Courts Split on Meaning of Autodialer

To autodial or not autodial, that is the question. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) defines autodialer as “equipment which has the capacity to store or produce telephone numbers to be called, using a random or...more

9/23/2014 - ATDS Corporate Counsel FCC Robocalling TCPA

TCPA Hot Issues: Is the Scope of Consent Unlimited?

What constitutes valid consent under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act? A hot issue in TCPA litigation is the scope of consent necessary to place automated calls to consumers where the consumer has provided a cell phone...more

9/4/2014 - Cell Phones Consent Corporate Counsel FCC TCPA

Insurance Industry Sweeps Retained Asset Account Doubleheader

On August 26, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held in Vander Luitgaren v. Sun Life Ass. Co. of Canada, No. 13–2090, 2014 WL 4197947 (1st Cir. Aug. 26, 2014), that an insurer, acting as a claims administrator,...more

8/29/2014 - Appeals Employee Benefits ERISA Insurers Life Insurance Retained Asset Accounts

For Whom the Ring Tones: TCPA Litigation and the Insurance Industry

Insurance companies are increasingly the subject of Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) lawsuits. Any insurance company that communicates with its customers, job applicants, and others by phone or text using an automated...more

8/26/2014 - FCC Popular Robocalling TCPA Texting Unsolicited Phone Calls

Florida Court of Appeal Holds Insured’s Death Alone Does Not Trigger Unclaimed Property Law Obligations

In an opinion filed August 5, Florida’s First District Court of Appeal held that Florida’s unclaimed property law does not make life insurance proceeds due and payable at the time of the insured’s death and does not impose an...more

8/7/2014 - Insureds Life Insurance Unclaimed Property

Idaho Unclaimed Property Rule: Insurers Must Confirm Whether Insureds Have Died

In a recently issued notice of rulemaking, the Idaho State Treasurer’s Office has proposed a temporary rule that, if permanently adopted, would alter two key definitional provisions in the state’s unclaimed property laws...more

7/2/2014 - Abandonment Annuities Life Insurance Proposed Regulation Unclaimed Property

First Circuit: Proof of Death Prerequisite to Payment of Life Benefits

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has confirmed that proof of death is a reasonable requirement for payment under a life insurance policy, and is a prerequisite to monies becoming “payable” under unclaimed...more

5/29/2014 - Class Action Denial of Benefits Life Insurance

Life Insurance Unclaimed Property Litigation in 2014: Will Regulator Positions Withstand Judicial Scrutiny

Amidst ongoing multistate unclaimed property audits of many life insurers, and despite many regulatory settlements, the insurance industry and state regulators continue to disagree over the application of unclaimed property...more

5/27/2014 - Death Master Files Life Insurance Preliminary Injunctions Unclaimed Property

Cost of Insurance Litigation -- District Court Says Stick to Enumerated Factors

In a class action challenging a cost of insurance (COI) rate increase, a New York federal district court has stated that an insurer may only consider factors specifically enumerated in the policy when raising COI rates on a...more

5/1/2014 - Class Action COI Rates Premiums Summary Judgment

Access to Recent DMF Data Restricted to Certified Persons Starting Today

Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Technical Information Service (NTIS) put into effect a certification program required for any person or entity seeking to access information during the three-year period...more

3/27/2014 - Data Protection Death Master Files Social Security

Legal Alert: Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States: Supreme Court Opens the Door to Potential Fifth Amendment Takings...

In what is commonly known as a rails-to-trails case, the U.S. Supreme Court held on March 10, 2014, in an eight-to-one decision, that certain railroad rights-of-way revert to private property owners following the railroad’s...more

3/14/2014 - Brandt Irrevocable Trust v Us Fifth Amendment Railways SCOTUS Takings

Legal Alert: My Brother’s TCPA Keeper? Recent Cases Highlight Third-Party Risk Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act

Early 2014 has produced a series of court decisions highlighting third-party liability issues under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). In February, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a case about liability for...more

3/12/2014 - Advertising FCC SCOTUS TCPA Third-Party Risk Unsolicited Faxes VoIP

Legal Alert: NCOIL Unclaimed Property Task Force Springs Into Action; Co-Chair Keiser Seeks Proposed Changes to Model Unclaimed...

On Friday, March 7, 2014, the National Conference of Insurance Legislators’ (NCOIL) Unclaimed Property Task Force (Task Force) met in-person at NCOIL’s spring meeting. Led by the Task Force’s Co-Chair George Keiser (ND), the...more

3/11/2014 - Life Insurance Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act

No SLUSA Protection Absent Material Connection With Sale/Purchase of Covered Security

In Chadbourne & Parke LLP v. Troice, the U.S. Supreme Court held on February 26, 2014, that the victims of Allen Stanford’s multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme can proceed with their claims against law firms, insurance brokers,...more

3/3/2014 - Banks Chadbourne & Parke LLP v Troice Fraud Ponzi Scheme SCOTUS SLUSA

NCOIL Holds First Unclaimed Property Task Force Meeting; Cooperation With NAIC Proposed

On Monday, February 17, 2014, the National Conference of Insurance Legislators’ (NCOIL) Unclaimed Property Task Force (Task Force) conducted its first conference call. Co-chaired by two past NCOIL presidents, Representatives...more

2/19/2014 - Insurers Legislative Agendas NAIC

Insurance Topics We Will Be Watching in 2014

With the first month of the year behind us, this report outlines major insurance topics that we will be watching throughout 2014. Forces, trends and events that we believe will affect regulation, transactions and...more

2/7/2014 - Affordable Care Act Casualty Insurance Federal Insurance Office Healthcare Healthcare Reform Insurance Reform Insurers NAIC Property Insurance Reinsurance

State Attorney General Parens Patriae Actions Are Not Removable to Federal Court as CAFA “Mass Actions”

This week the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held in Mississippi ex rel. Hood v. AU Optronics Corp. that parens patriae actions in which the State is the sole plaintiff are not “mass actions” under the Class Action Fairness...more

1/17/2014 - CAFA Class Action Mass Action Mississippi ex rel. Hood v. AU Optronics Parens Patriae Removal Rule 23 SCOTUS

West Virginia Trial Court: No Duty to Search the Death Master File

In a substantial victory for the life insurance industry on the unclaimed property issue, a West Virginia Circuit Court has held that insurers have no duty to search the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File...more

1/7/2014 - Death Master Files Life Insurance Unclaimed Property

Legal Alert: Cost of Insurance Litigation – Insurers Retain Discretion to Set COI Rates in Two Key Victories

In the first federal appellate decisions addressing cost of insurance (COI) charges in life insurance policies, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals handed two victories to insurers in opinions issued December 13, 2013. In...more

12/19/2013 - Class Action COI Rates Insurers Life Insurance Motion to Dismiss Premiums

NAIC Report: 2013 Summer National Meeting

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) met in Indianapolis, Indiana, from August 24-27, 2013. Typical for the mid-year meeting, activity largely consisted of reports by various task forces and working...more

9/4/2013 - Insurers NAIC Reinsurance

Legal Alert: Federal District Court Validates Insurer's Retention of Policy Proceeds Until Receiving Proof of Death

On August 20, 2013, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts dismissed a putative class action over an insurer’s alleged failure to timely pay life insurance policy death benefits to beneficiaries....more

8/23/2013 - Death Benefits Insurers Life Insurance

From Insurer's Shield to Insured's Sword: California Supreme Court Authorizes Policyholder Unfair Competition Law Claims for...

On August 1, 2013, the California Supreme Court ruled in Zhang v. The Superior Court of San Bernardino County, No. S178542 (Cal. Aug. 1, 2013) that insurance practices violating the state’s Unfair Insurance Practices Act...more

8/7/2013 - Fraud Insurers Misleading Impressions Misleading Statements Unfair Competition Unfair Insurance Practices Act

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