Navigating the Ethical Current: Evaluating Conflicts and Other Ethical Issues in the Tripartite Relationship

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Presentation analyzes the myriad of ethical issues that arise in the tripartite relationship -- the relationship between and among the insurer, the insured and defense counsel -- when the insurer has undertaken the insured's defense in a covered, or partially covered, claim. Conflicts abound when the insurer assumes the defense under a reservation of rights and its interests are not aligned with the insured's interest in maximizing coverage. Focusing on defense counsel's duty of unqualified loyalty to her client (the insured), the ethical issues are explored. In order to best serve the client, defense counsel must understand the coverage issues, know when the insured is entitled to independent counsel and consider whether to consult (or refer the client to) coverage counsel in appropriate circumstances.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Amy Stewart, Amy Stewart PC | Attorney Advertising

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