Selecting an Insurance Recovery Law Firm (Part 1)

 

 

In today’s blog post, Miller Friel attorney Bernie Bell introduces a two part series on Issues to Consider When Selecting an Insurance Recovery Law Firm.  In some ways, Insurance Recovery law is not unlike other specialized areas of the law.  Experienced lawyers are generally capable of delivering better results.  Yet, with insurance recovery law, not all experienced lawyers are playing on a level field.  Law firms that defend corporate litigation, generally need to be approved as insurance company panel counsel to accept that work.  Insurance companies, as a quid pro quo for permitting law firms to accept their money, oftentimes impose rules to restrict the effectiveness of advocacy against them.  That way, if one of “their” law firms elects to pursue a claim them, they can be assured that nothing bad will happen. This approach may be one of the most brilliant risk minimization strategies ever devised as it seriously impacts the amount of money insurers pay on corporate insurance claims.

The issue for corporate policyholders is that their go-to law firms, law firms that are highly competent in most practice areas, may be crippled when it comes to pursuing corporate insurance claims.

In this video, Bernie addresses two questions that should be asked of any prospective insurance recovery law firm.  Please watch the video to learn more.

Continue reading

Tips and Traps in Corporate Liability Coverage

The Corporate Board, one of the leading journals of corporate governance, recently published one of our articles, entitled “Tips and Traps in Corporate Liability Coverage.”  In this article, we address some of the most important insurance issues faced by directors and officers.  These include notice, securing defense coverage, coverage for governmental investigations, coverage for criminal investigations, and many more.  We welcome your comments and questions.

Click here to read the entire article.

Insurance Recovery Law Firms: Choosing the Right Firm

In today’s blog post, Miller Friel attorney Bernie Bell addresses one of the most important decisions in-house counsel make when addressing corporate insurance needs, namely, selecting the right kind of insurance recovery law firm.  With more than 30 years of insurance recovery experience at a number of global law firms, Bernie is uniquely qualified to address this issue.  In this video, Bernie highlights why many clients believe that the practice of insurance recovery law is best practiced in a boutique law firm setting.

Three things are important to our corporate insurance recovery clients.  First is Experience.  All Miller Friel attorneys are former-large law firm insurance recovery lawyers, who successfully practiced at the highest levels of the profession. Second is Focus.  Our sole and exclusive focus is insurance recovery law.  We don’t cross sell other practice areas, because our main goal – our only goal — is to maximize client recoveries. Third, practicing exclusively in the area of law leads to better Results.  Many clients have come to the realization that with insurance recovery, the best solution is to retain a conflict free law firm with a proven track record of exceptional insurance recovery results.

Please watch the video to learn more, or Contact us if you have any questions.

Continue reading

Insurance Coverage for Employment Practices Liability Claims

In today’s blog post, Miller Friel attorney Miles Karson addresses key Employment Practices Liability insurance (“EPLI”) issues.  These include considerations that corporate policyholders should keep in mind when purchasing or making claims under EPLI insurance policies.  On the front end, ensuring adequate coverage for EPLI claims starts when coverage is placed.  Considerations there include defense cost carve outs in certain exclusions, and the inclusion of Duty to Advance defense cost provisions.  On the back end, a claim must be carefully analyzed to maximize the full extent of coverage.

Please watch the video to learn more.

Continue reading

Policyholder Guide to the Recoupment of Defense Costs

In today’s blog post, Miller Friel attorney Miles Karson addresses an alarming insurance trend, namely, the increased frequency of insurance companies seeking to recoup defense costs under duty to defend insurance policies.  Even more alarming is the fact that a right to reimbursement doesn’t typically exist, unless the insurance carrier does certain things, and the policyholder fails to properly object.  Policyholders should apply the strategies discussed herein from the moment they receive a reservation of rights letter.  Although the deck is stacked against insurance carriers when it comes to the recoupment of defense costs, policyholders can turn a good situation into a potential problem.  Please watch the video to learn more.

Continue reading

Insurance Coverage for False Advertising Claims

In today’s blog post, Miller Friel attorney Miles Karson addresses how policyholders can secure insurance coverage for false advertising claims under Director and Officer insurance policies.  Using a real-life example, Miles addresses a situation where a series of D&O insurers wrongfully denied coverage for numerous false advertising claims.  There, the policyholder faced potential liability for the underlying false advertising claims, and looked to their existing private company D&O insurance policies for coverage.  In turn, the insurance carriers asserted that a professional services exclusion in the policy precluded coverage.  In the end, the insurance carriers paid the claim, but they would not have done so unless appropriate insurance recovery strategies were employed.

Please watch the video to learn more.

Insurance Coverage for False Advertising Claims

Miller Friel, PLLC attorney Miles Karson.

Continue reading

Effective Insurance Recovery Lawyers and the Importance of Brevity

In today’s blog post, Miller Friel attorney Kimberly Wehle wraps up her four-part series: Four Tips for Advocating Insurance Coverage Disputes.  In this fourth and final installment, she discusses how effective insurance recovery lawyers approach motions practice.  Sophisticated insurance recovery lawyers follow this rule when writing:  short is good, but shorter is better.  Insurance recovery briefs should succinctly explain a client’s position on both the facts and the law.  Brevity comes from careful editing and intelligent analysis, and, it is an essential part of good legal writing.  Brevity is especially important with motions practice.  Unlike lawyers litigating a case, judges simply don’t have time to think through every nuance of the case.  Insurance recovery lawyers need to do that for the judge, and present to the judge a brief and concise argument as to why their client is entitled to coverage.

Continue reading

Effective Insurance Recovery Lawyers Tell a Great Story

In today’s blog post, Miller Friel attorney Kimberly Wehle continues her four-part series, Four Tips for Advocating Insurance Coverage Disputes.  In this third installment, she discusses how effective insurance recovery lawyers build a theme for the case and tell a great story.  Although great trial lawyers do this as a matter of course, effective story telling should begin at the commencement of the case. This is especially important with insurance recovery law.  If insurance issues are briefed in a purely technical fashion, an opportunity to stir the intellectual and factual curiosity of the court may be lost.  One way to engage the court’s intellect is to consistently tell your client’s story in a clear and compelling way.

Don’t miss Thursday’s final post in the series; Part Four, Short Is Good, But Shorter Is Better.

Continue reading

To Win Insurance Recovery Lawsuits, Lawyers Must Think Like a Judge

In today’s blog post, Miller Friel attorney Kimberly Wehle continues her four part series, Four Tips for Advocating Insurance Coverage Disputes.  In the second part of this series, she addresses an essential characteristic that insurance recovery lawyers need to win cases: the ability to think like a judge.  She emphasizes that judges have brilliant legal minds.  But, time pressures may not allow judges to build a deep reservoir of knowledge pertaining to specialized legal disciplines such as insurance recovery law.  Unless handled correctly, complexities in insurance recovery law can lead to confusion and waste a judge’s time.  Effective advocacy in insurance recovery law requires that complex legal arguments be distilled down into a simple yet comprehensible format.  Given the complexities of insurance recovery law, this is not always an easy task. 

Her series continues next week with part three, addressing theory of the case, and telling a great story. 

Continue reading

Choice of Law in Insurance Coverage Disputes

In today’s blog post, Miller Friel attorney Kimberly Wehle introduces her four part series, Four Tips for Advocating Insurance Coverage Disputes.  In this first part, she addresses the critical importance that choice of law plays in any corporate insurance coverage dispute.  

The series begins with this topic to highlight how critical choice of law can be to the final outcome of any large insurance claim.  Insurance coverage law is governed by state law, which can vary drastically from state to state.  Interpreting the exact same policy language under two different sets of substantive law can result in entirely different results.  For example, applying one state’s law, the claim may be covered, but the same may not be true if a different state’s law is applied.  The law that applies can also vary issue-by-issue in the same case.  Accordingly, choice of law is something that needs to be considered very early for each insurance claim, and it needs to be managed effectively throughout the claims process to maximize chances of a favorable outcome across the entire range of insurance issues presented.   

Choice of law

Miller Friel, PLLC attorney Kimberly Wehle

Continue reading