Independent Counsel

News & Analysis as of

California Supreme Court: Insurer Can Directly Sue Independent Counsel for Excess Fees in Limited Circumstances

On August 10, 2015, the California Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision that could have broad implications regarding an insurer’s right to seek reimbursement of unreasonable fees and costs directly from so-called Cumis...more

Conclusory Allegations Held Insufficient to Support Declaratory Relief on Right to Independent Counsel or Allocation of Defense...

In Centex Homes v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co. (No. E060057, filed 5/22/15), a California Court of Appeal held that a developer’s declaratory relief lawsuit seeking a declaration of the right to independent counsel was...more

California’s “Independent” Cumis Counsel Regime Faces A Novel Challenge

On May 5, the California Supreme Court will hear argument in a case that has the potential to profoundly change the relationship between the insurer, its insured and the insured’s independent defense counsel under Civil Code...more

Avoiding Personal Liability: A Guide For Directors And Officers

According to the popular media, we are living in an era of corporate crime. Scandals like Enron, HealthSouth and WorldCom stretch so far back they seem like they are not even of this millennium. Among the milestones since...more

A mere reservation or rights by an insurer does not require the insurer to supply independent counsel to its insured

A bill recently introduced in the Illinois State Senate known as the Insureds Independent Counsel Act, while, if enacted, will only apply in that State, is instructive as to when an insurance company must supply independent...more

Insurance Recovery Law - September 2014

Pollution Exclusion Doesn’t Bar Coverage for Worker Exposed to Hazardous Chemicals That Were Not “Dispersed”: Why it matters - A federal district court in Texas strictly construed a pollution exclusion in...more

Setting Up a Successful Negotiation Regarding “2860 Rates”

“The insurer’s obligation to pay fees to the independent counsel selected by the insured is limited to the rates which are actually paid by the insurer to attorneys retained by it in the ordinary course of business in the...more

When Should the Board Call Separate Counsel?

Reports of the increased risk of liability for boards of directors, as well as for individual directors, have become commonplace against the backdrop of ever-increasing regulation and litigation risk. There is intense...more

Under the Right Circumstances, an Insured Entitled to “Independent Counsel” in California Can Retain More Than One Firm

In a case of first impression, a California District Court has ruled that California law does not preclude an insured from retaining multiple law firms as independent or Cumis counsel where the insurer is defending under...more

"Non-Trivial Probability" of Excess Judgment Obligates Insurer to Pay for Independent Defense Counsel

The court in Perma-Pipe, Inc. v. Liberty Surplus Insurance Corporation, Case No. 13 C 2989, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54867 (N.D. Ill. April 21, 2014), held that a CGL insurer breached its duty to defend by refusing to pay for...more

Insurance Recovery Law - May 2014

Policyholder Entitled to Select Counsel, Even Where Insurer Withdrew Reservation of Rights - Why it matters: An insured dissatisfied with counsel selected by its insurer was entitled to select counsel of its...more

Everyone Can Find Reasons to Give Thanks for 2013 California Coverage Opinions

Thanksgiving is one day when the whole family gets together and sets aside petty differences to give thanks to the Almighty for the bounty we enjoy. California’s insurance coverage family is often a dysfunctional one. To...more

California: Right to Independent Counsel Evaporates After Insurer Withdraws Reservation of Rights

A California appellate court recently held that insurers are not obligated to provide an insured with independent counsel after the insurer withdraws the reservation of rights which generated the right to independent counsel....more

A Reservation of Rights Regarding the Pollution Exclusion and the Timing of Damages Does Not Trigger An Insured’s Right to...

In Federal Ins. Co. v. MBL, Inc., 2013 WL 4506149 (Cal. Ct. App. Aug. 26, 2013), the California Court of Appeal continued the judicial trend of restricting the insured’s right to insurer-paid independent counsel. The court...more

Weekly Law Resume - July 18, 2013: Insurance Coverage – Attempted Recovery of Independent Counsel Fees

J.R. Marketing, L.L.C. et al. v. Hartford Casualty Insurance Company - Court of Appeal, First District (June 11, 2013) - Under the Independent Counsel provisions of Civil Code Section 2860, a carrier that defends...more

Insured Has Right to Select Independent Counsel

In Schaefer v. Elder, 2013 DJDAR 7434 (2013), the California Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District decided an interesting case under the Cumis doctrine contained in California Civil Code Section 2860. The court of...more

Insurance Recovery Law -- Jun 27, 2013

Policyholders Who Audit Their Policy Language Before Coverage Disputes Arise Can Avoid Problems Down The Road - Policyholders purchase excess insurance policies to provide themselves with additional layers of...more

Oregon Enacts Significant Amendment to Environmental Clean-Up Insurance Statute

On June 10, 2013, Governor John Kitzhaber of Oregon signed into law a significant amendment to the Oregon Environmental Cleanup Assistance Act, ORS 465.475 et seq. (the “OECAA Amendment”)....more

Keeping Internal Investigations Independent and Conflict-Free

Internal investigations can arise in a number of different ways and can concern a number of different subjects. Allegations of financial misconduct, employment-related missteps, and breaches of fiduciary duty, among others,...more

Planning For When Things Go Wrong: Are You Ready To Investigate Allegations Of Board Member Misconduct?

Let us start our discussion with an area of broad consensus: A company’s board of directors has a duty of care to respond to and investigate allegations of wrongdoing by officers and/or employees of the company. But what...more

Florida Appellate Court Finds that an Additional Insured is Entitled to the Appointment of Separate and Independent Defense...

On February 20, 2013, in a matter of first impression in the state of Florida, the Third District Court of Appeal ruled 2-1 that an additional insured was entitled to the appointment of separate and independent defense...more

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