Eroding Insurance Coverage: Avoiding Attorney Conflict of Interest and Bad Faith Claims

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A


Conducted on Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This CLE webinar will alert counsel who works for, with, or against insurance carriers to the dangers associated with eroding insurance policies, also known as defense-within-limits policies. When every dollar spent on legal fees reduces funds available to settle a case or pay a judgment, all involved must take extra steps to avoid tapping out all available insurance coverage.

Description

Under an eroding insurance policy, the same pool of funds that pays defense costs also pays settlement or judgment. The tension between mounting a strong defense and maintaining a war chest to pay to end a dispute creates problems for all involved, from the client to counsel to the insurer.

Defense counsel must tread a fine line between advising a client to spend money on defense as opposed to preserving funds for settlement. This presents issues of liability arising out of potential or actual conflict. Counsel must take immediate steps to mitigate such exposure. The plaintiff counsel must balance litigating the claim and increasing defense expenses versus preserving insurance proceeds funds for the plaintiff.

Insurers are subject to scrutiny as well. Some jurisdictions place restrictions on such policies, or place outright bans of them, creating choice of law and forum challenges. Even without such limits, the specter of bad faith claims remains.

Listen as the panel provides various perspectives on this set of legal difficulties and provides the tools necessary to address issues of walking the tightrope between zealous representation and preservation of funds. Not only will the panel discuss topics for counsel--there will be an in-depth analysis of legality and bad faith.

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Outline

  1. Plaintiff counsel issues: zealousness and erosion
  2. Defendant counsel issues
    1. Balancing client demands for defense with preservation of funds
    2. Insurer relationship
  3. Insurer issues
    1. Public policy/legality issues
    2. Bad faith
  4. Pretrial settlement and mediation

Benefits

The panel will review these and other notable matters:

  • What are the characteristics of an eroding policy?
  • What client concerns need to be addressed by plaintiff and defense counsel?
  • How can insurer risks and exposures be levered (or mitigated)?

Faculty

Orpett, Mitchell
Mitchell A. Orpett

Director
Tribler Orpett & Meyer

Mr. Orpett is an accomplished veteran of the courtroom, the arbitration hearing, the mediation table and the executive...  |  Read More

Hamilton, Alexandra
Alexandra A. Hamilton

Attorney
Fiore Achermann

Ms. Hamilton handles complex cases involving injuries and death arising from construction and worksite conditions,...  |  Read More

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