Civil Procedure Insurance

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Waiving the Right to Appraisal Just Got Easier in Texas

Any Texas lawyer with even a passing interest in insurance law knows that if you want to see sparks fly, just utter the word “appraisal” near a couple of insurance lawyers. If you really want fireworks, make sure one...more

Marine Insurance Coverage—The Uberrimae Fidei Defense and Reliance as a Necessary Factor

On August 20, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled that demonstrating reliance is required to void a marine insurance policy under the uberrimae fidei defense. In doing so, the court reversed the...more

Nevada Supreme Court adopts Cumis independent counsel rule, but refuses to hold that reservation of rights letter always presents...

Answering two certified questions, the Nevada Supreme Court has adopted the independent counsel rule first laid down in San Diego Navy Federal Credit Union v. Cumis Insurance Society, Inc., holding: When a conflict of...more

Massachusetts Court Refuses to Apply Discovery Rule to Commencement of the Suit Limitations Period

Monday, in Nurse v. Omega U.S.  Insurance., Inc., 2015 Mass. App. LEXIS 158, 2015 WL 5774390 (Mass.App., Oct. 5, 2015), a unanimous panel of Massachusetts’ intermediate level appellate court held that the two-year suit...more

Connecticut Supreme Court Delivers $35 Million Body Blow to Body Shops

Auto insurers control the cost of collision repairs through the use of direct repair programs. The programs feature networks of auto body repair shops that enter into contracts agreeing to discount labor rates and other...more

Does Wisconsin’s Four-Corners Rule Govern an Insurer’s Duty to Defend?

Those who follow the work of the Wisconsin appellate courts might recognize this question as one that District II of the Court of Appeals certified to the Supreme Court nearly five years ago in Wilkinson v. Arbuckle, 2011 WI...more

Construction Briefing - Legal changes affecting construction businesses from 1 October 2015

1 October 2015 ushers in a number of legal changes which affect construction businesses operating in the UK. We have provided brief highlights of some of the changes below. If you need further information, please contact us...more

Insurer Victory in IUL Class Action

In a highly-anticipated opinion, a federal district court found for the insurer in a California class action involving alleged improprieties in the sale of indexed universal life insurance policies. Plaintiffs alleged that...more

A Moral Victory But No Damages Awarded in AIG Bailout Litigation

The Court of Federal Claims recently held that the coercive terms of the government’s $85 billion bailout of AIG were illegal. The victory, however, was merely a moral one because plaintiffs walked away with a $0 damage...more

Federal court in Florida provides helpful case study in insurance “choice of law” tactics

The Southern District of Florida recently issued an opinion that addresses some rarely discussed nuances of insurance choice of law disputes. Sun Capital Partners, Inc. v. Twin City Fire Ins. Co., No. 12-CV-81397, 2015 WL...more

Accidentally On Purpose: Washington Court Finds Coverage For Contempt Of Court Based On “Misunderstanding”

Professional liability policies cover claims based on the insured’s alleged negligent acts, errors or omissions, and not claims for “sanctions or penalties” for “willful” professional misconduct. But the insurer’s duty to...more

Oregon Federal Court Finds Arbitration Agreement In CGL Policy Invalid

Plaintiff, Technical Security Integration, Inc., a Washington company, sold certain security and surveillance equipment and services. It hired Corey Tharp as a sales associate in Oregon, to tap his connections to that state’s...more

Cancel My Reservation! Pennsylvania Sows Confusion Over Consent-to-Settle Clauses

This summer, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania addressed an important question that has divided other courts: if an insurer defends a claim subject to a reservation of rights, may the insured settle the claim without the...more

Appellate Court Notes

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: SC19359 - Persels & Associates, LLC v. Banking Commissioner - Noting that it has generally been the policy of the Courts to defer to the Legislature, especially as to the...more

Insurer Must Still Defend Even if Covered Claims Are Dismissed

We encounter the following scenario from time to time: The defense counsel just scored a big victory, knocking out a key cause of action. The only problem is—the carrier now says that claim was the only covered cause of...more

The Ethics of Using Public Adjusters as Expert Witnesses

Somewhere in Texas at this very moment a public adjuster is knocking on the door of a home or business owner offering to inspect the roof for wind or hail damage and assist with the submission of an insurance claim. It is...more

Florida District Court Affirms Bankruptcy Court Bar Order In Favor Of Former Ds & Os

On September 24, Southern District of Florida District Court Judge James I. Cohn issued an opinion affirming an order approving the settlement of a debtor’s breach of fiduciary duty, corporate waste, and mismanagement claims...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending September 18, 2015

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Default Judgment/Voidable: because default judgment was merely voidable, rather than void, where complaint upon which judgment was based failed to state a cause of action, Rule 1.540(b) was not...more

In the Wake of France’s Adoption of a Class Action Model, Companies Domiciled and Doing Business in France Should Ensure Insurance...

In the wake of the institution of class action claims in France, where, unlike the U.S. class action model, liability and damages are assessed prior to “massification” of the class, corporations should prepare for these new...more

Texas Supreme Court Declines Opportunity to Review Appellate Decision Clarifying Insurer’s Settlement Obligations In...

Last year in Patterson, et al. v. Home State County Mut. Ins. Co., 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 4460, 2014 WL 1676931 (Tex.App., Apr. 24, 2014), the Texas First Court of Appeals (Houston) held that an insurer was not obligated to...more

In Reinsurance-Related Commission Dispute, Court Grants Defendant Leave To Amend Answer Rather Than Grant Plaintiff Summary...

A lawsuit filed in the United States Court for the District of Connecticut between Odyssey Reinsurance Company and Cal-Regent Insurance Services Corporation involves a dispute over commission payments in a reinsurance scheme...more

Supreme Judicial Court Affirms Award 0f $2,250,000 plus Interest Against Insurer for Breach of Duty to Defend and Settle — on...

In Boyle v. Zurich American Insurance Company, SJC-11791 (Sept. 14, 2015), the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) affirmed an award of $2,250,000 plus interest against an insurer for failing to defend its insured on a $50,000...more

Ascertainability in Class Actions: Second Circuit Weighs In

Ascertainability has been a hot topic in class action appeals recently. The Third Circuit recently clarified its ascertainability standard (see my April 20 blog post). The committee considering potential Rule 23 amendments is...more

Bad Faith Sentinel - September 2015

Kennedy v. Allstate, No. 15-2221 (E.D. Pa. July 8, 2015). District Court recognizes possibility that insurance adjusters owe a duty of care to insureds that would be breached by failing to conduct a reasonable...more

District of Colorado Grants Summary Judgment for Insurer on Bad Faith Claim Arising from Denial of Coverage Under E & O Policy

P&S LLC v. Nat’l Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa., No. 14-cv-00735-LTB-CBS (D. Colo. July 29, 2015). District of Colorado grants summary judgment for insurer on bad faith claim where insurer established that an...more

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