Expert Witnesses in Bad Faith and Coverage Litigation

Admitting and Excluding Opinion Testimony: Burden of Proof, Prohibited Subjects, Industry Standards, Scope

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


Conducted on Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will discuss the unique challenges of using opinion experts in bad faith insurance litigation, the legal requirements for tendering expert testimony at trial, and objections to overcome.

Description

Expert witnesses can play a critical role in coverage and bad faith litigation by helping a jury understand the structure of an insurance policy and its various insuring provisions and exclusions. They may also testify about how claims are handled and the proper standards that apply in investigating, assessing, evaluating and determining coverage. However, there can be limitations if they intrude into areas that the court finds are “legal concepts.” This can be a fine line but there are ways to portray any claim without intruding on the court’s province. Our program will focus in part on the proper approach to get the most “bang for your buck” from your expert.

Both plaintiffs and defendants use experts in bad faith litigation. Claims adjusters are typically used in insurance claims litigation to provide opinions on whether the claims handling met the “good faith” claims principles in the investigation, processing, handling, evaluation and decision making process. Underwriters are called to explain how a risk is evaluated and the type of insurance protection that is usually provided given the type of insurance coverage provided.

Litigators must avoid the pitfalls of using expert witnesses whose credentials do not fit the subject matter, or whose bias is evident. Prior testimony can be used to challenge an expert's views. There are many areas that can be explored to challenge an opposing expert.

Listen as our authoritative panel of insurance attorneys discusses the evidentiary rules governing the admissibility of expert opinion testimony in insurance coverage and bad faith litigation and best practices for getting the testimony or keeping it out.

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Outline

  1. Overview of evidentiary rules on expert opinion testimony
  2. Typical insurance experts (underwriters, claims handlers, brokers, regulators, and attorneys)
  3. Opinions in coverage litigation (underwriting risks, duties under the policy, the ambiguity of policy language)
  4. Opinions in bad faith claims (the standards resulting from the “good faith” claim principles and whether the insurer’s conduct complied with the principles' reasonableness of claims
  5. Objections to witness testimony;
  6. Avoiding pitfalls in presenting expert opinions in these types of cases.

Benefits

The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • On what issues are experts not permitted to render opinions?
  • What industry experts are best suited for bad faith claims, and what are typical challenges or objections to their testimony?
  • What industry experts are best suited for insurance coverage claims, and what are frequent challenges or objections to their testimony?
  • Under what circumstances would attorneys play a role in presenting expert witness opinions?

Faculty

Kornblum, Guy
Guy O. Kornblum

Principal
Guy O. Kornblum

Mr. Kornblum has specialized as a trial and appellate lawyer for 40 years. He has handled over 3,500...  |  Read More

Levin, Bradley
Bradley A. Levin

Shareholder
Levin Sitcoff

Mr. Levin focuses his practice on tort and commercial litigation, especially insurance bad...  |  Read More

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Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording. All formats include course handouts.

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