Contested Insurance Coverage: Defense Under Reservation of Rights
Strategies to Reconcile Policyholders’ and Insurers’ Competing Interests
Recording of a 90-minute CLE teleconference with Q&A
Conducted on Thursday, April 2, 2009
Recorded event now available
This seminar will examine the legal issues that arise for the insurer and the policyholder when the insurer's duty to defend is under dispute. The panel will discuss different state law and court approaches and ways that the insurer and the policyholder can work toward a resolution of the conflicts presented.
Under most liability insurance policies, insurers have the duty to defend the policyholders from lawsuits seeking damages within the scope of coverage. However, situations often arise where the insurer and insured disagree on the extent and applicability of coverage under the policy.
The insurer can proceed to defend the insured under a reservation of rights — or it may refuse and file a declaratory action for a court to determine coverage. What are the policyholder's options under these circumstances?
State law and court decisions are crucial in determining the insurance company's and the policyholder's rights when the duty to defend is under dispute. Both parties must understand the standards for relevant jurisdictions.
Listen as our panel of experienced insurance attorneys examines the competing interests of the insurer and the policyholder where the duty to defend is under dispute, how different state laws and courts treat the issue, and how both the insurer and the policyholder can work toward a resolution.
- Insurer’s duty to defend when legitimate defenses exist
- Defend under reservation of rights
- File declaratory judgment against policy
- Refusal to defend
- Additional considerations
- Importance of applicable law
- State laws
- Role of extrinsic evidence
- Policyholders’ response
- Challenging declaratory judgment action
- Bad faith claim
The panel will review these and other key questions:
- What are an insurer's key considerations in deciding whether to file a declaratory action to dispute coverage?
- What are the prevailing state law standards governing the insurer's duty to defend — and when an insurer can file a declaratory action?
- What are the best practices for both sides to reconcile their competing interests when they don't agree about extent of coverage?
- What ethical issues arise when an insurer representing a policyholder hires counsel in a liability matter?
John E. Heintz, Partner
Kelley Drye & Warren, Washington, D.C.
He chairs the firm's Insurance Recovery Practice and has nearly 30 years of experience in corporate insurance coverage and other complex, multiparty litigation. He represents clients to secure coverage for asbestos, lead, environmental contamination, class action discrimination, directors’ and officers’ liabilities, and medical product liability claims.
Kenneth E. Ryan, Partner
Wiley Rein, Washington, D.C.
He represents insurers in coverage matters, litigates insurance coverage and other commercial litigation cases, and advises clients on developments impacting the insurance industry. He also assists insurance clients to develop practices, procedures and policy language to avoid future coverage disputes and bad faith claims.
Robert M. Fineman, Partner
Duane Morris, San Francisco
He practices in the areas of commercial and insurance coverage litigation with an emphasis on complex litigation involving contract disputes and environmental matters. He handles matters involving coverage and bad faith allegations, business disputes, construction defects, subrogation and contribution, toxic torts, regulatory issues and environmental matters.
Jerold Oshinsky, Partner
Gilbert & Oshinsky, Los Angeles
He focuses on insurance coverage litigation on behalf of policyholders in federal and state courts and on counseling clients nationwide on insurance coverage and related matters. He handles insurance matters, including advertising liabilities, broker’s liability, business interruption, construction defects, directors and officers, employment issues, and environmental liability.
Online CLE - Audio Recording
Includes streaming audio of full program plus handouts (available 24 hours after live program).
Pre-approved for participatory or non-traditional/alternate format credit in: CA, HI*, NY*, WV*.
Pre-approved for self-study credit in: AK, AZ, MO, MT, NH, TX*, VT, WA.
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Online CLE Audio $149.00
Available 24 hours after the live event
Includes full event recording plus handouts (available after live seminar).
CLE: Pre-approved for self-study credit in: AK, AZ, CA, CT, HI, MO, MT, NH, NY, TX*, VT, WA, WV. Upon request, self-study credit is also available in: CO, FL, GA, ID*, KY, ME, ND, NE, NM, NV, OR, UT, WI, WY. If you are applying for self-study credit in one of these states, contact Strafford CLE at 1-800-926-7926 ext. 35 or CLE@straffordpub.com. (*Indicates that Strafford needs to process the CLE — see below to purchase this option.)
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Available 24 hours after the live event
plus $9.45 S&H
Available ten business days after the live event
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The speaker's use of practical examples and not just talking about legal concepts, was very good.
Gaglione, Dolan & Kaplan
The program was extremely informative, easy to access and very organized.
Fineman Krekstein & Harris
The subject was presented in an accessible fashion, and the question and answer session was one of the best I've attended. The Strafford speakers were well-informed and provided information to enable listeners to effectively research specific issues.
Tricia Le Meur
Phillips Parker Orberson & Arnett
Strafford’s program was fast-paced, full of information and easy to follow.
Ropers, Majeski, Kohn & Bentley
I liked that the speakers did not seem rushed and that they tackled an appropriate amount of material during the seminar.
Insurance Law Advisory Board
Farella Braun + Martel
Nelson Levine deLuca & Horst
Chamberlin, Keaster & Brockman
Whiteford Taylor Preston
Clyde & Co.
Barger & Wolen
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