LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
female attorney outside courthouse with client

scale of justice and lawyer

Confidential Folder

Opinion-aided: Courts Granting Policyholders Access To Outside Coverage Counsel’s Opinion Letters

There have been several decisions of late, from courts across the country, addressing whether a policyholder, in coverage litigation, is entitled to discover the coverage opinions (lower case) prepared for an insurer by its outside coverage counsel. Of course not, you say. An insurer’s coverage...

Setting Up a Successful Negotiation Regarding “2860 Rates”

By Erica Villanueva “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 defense of similar actions in the community...

Court Provides A Clinic In Sometimes Overlooked Coverage Issue

When an insurance company is evaluating whether to file a declaratory judgment action or defend one filed against it, the principal issues under consideration are likely to be its chance of success and the amount of attorney’s fees that it will incur to achieve the desired result. But there is...

CA Court of Appeals Confirms that Insured Need Not Accept 2860 Rate Caps For Work Done After Tender, But Before Insurer Accepts Defense

By Erica Villanueva A recent unpublished decision from California’s Second Appellate Division highlights one of the most common mistakes lawyers make when obtaining insurance coverage for the defense of a lawsuit: accepting the insurer’s ultra-low hourly rate caps for charges incurred...

New York Court Says N-O To Reimbursement Of Defense Costs: Most Extensive N.Y. Case To Address The Issue

I’ve been saying for years that reimbursement of defense costs can be an overrated issue. It is the CATS of coverage issues. First, many states – especially lately -- have rejected an insurer’s right to seek reimbursement of defense costs. Second, even in a state where the right exists...

Insurer Failure to Pay Defense Costs Excused by Insured Failure to Prove-Up Fees

By Jill Berkeley , Partner, Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP In Country Mut. Ins. Co. v. Hilltop View, LLC , 2014 IL App (4th) 140007, the appellate court, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], reversed the trial court’s order of contempt against the insurer, arising from...

Encore: The Springsteen-Quoting Coverage Case Judge Strikes Again

In the last issue of Coverage Opinions I wrote about a recent opinion , from Judge Jonathan Goodman, of the Southern District of Florida, quoting lyrics from Bruce Springsteen’s song, “No Surrender,” to make the point that, while not giving up may be a virtue when pursuing one’s...

Court Dismisses Insurers’ Coverage Action Against Their Insureds for Allegedly Failing to Consent to Insurers’ Choice of Counsel, Because the Insurers’ Claims Were Not Ripe at the Time They Were Filed

St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co. v. Centex Homes , 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145882 (C.D. Cal. Oct. 7, 2014), [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ]. In St. Paul Fire , the Central District of California held that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction to adjudicate the insurers’...

Insurer Appointed Lawyer’s Duty is to Client It Was Retained to Defend – Conflict of Interest Required To Remove Counsel

Insurance companies have the right and obligation to choose counsel to defend its insureds. Counsel retained by an insurer to defend an insured, contrary to the belief of many, is obligated solely to represent the rights, duties, obligation and defenses of the party insured. When that party is a corporation...

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

By Tyler Gerking On May 5, the California Supreme Court heard argument, [ briefs available to lexis.com subscribers ], 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 section...

Insurance & The Absolute Litigation Privilege – Lawyers Are Obligated To Vigorously Defend Their Clients

No one likes to lose a lawsuit. Unable to accept that the case they brought was not viable or their own lawyers were incompetent, the losers strike out at whoever they can strike at, usually, the lawyers for their opponents. Lawyers are required, by their oath, to vigorously act for their client and...

Independent “Cumis” Counsel Now Face Direct Claims for Reimbursement From Insurers

On April 30, 2015, we blogged about Hartford Casualty Insurance Company v. J.R. Marketing, LLC , Case No. S211645, then set for oral argument in the California Supreme Court. The Court decided the case on August 10, 2015, [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this opinion: lexis.com | Lexis...