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Insured's Right to Independent Counsel: Conflicts of Interest, Multiple Insureds, Multiple Claims, and More

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

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will provide insurance counsel with an in-depth review of the parameters of the insured's right to appoint an independent counsel. The panel will discuss varying court standards and emerging issues and outline best practices for both policyholders and insurers to resolve disputes over the selection of counsel.


The battle between policyholders and insurers over the insured's right to retain independent counsel is ongoing and evolving. Independent counsel may be warranted if a conflict of interest exists with a reservation of rights defense. What constitutes a conflict is often hotly contested.

Other situations that trigger the right to independent counsel include representation of multiple insureds, multiple-claims lawsuits, and damages in excess of policy coverage. Once a right to independent counsel is established, how counsel is selected varies by jurisdiction.

Listen as our authoritative panel of insurance attorneys examines the scope of the insured's right to independent counsel, reviews emerging issues in independent counsel litigation, and offers best practices for policyholders and insurers to defend their position.



  1. Determining conflicts of interest
    1. Reservation of rights
    2. Multiple insureds
    3. Multiple claims
    4. Damages in excess of policy coverage
    5. Issues unrelated to coverage
  2. Policyholder options
  3. Insurer options


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • When will an insurer's reservation of the right to contest coverage create a conflict of interest?
  • What should the insured consider in deciding whether to assert a right to independent counsel?
  • What are the factors for the insurer to decide to issue a reservation of rights letter?
  • What should the insured do if the insurer declines its request for independent counsel?
  • How should the insurer respond to a demand for independent counsel?


Callantine, Renee
Renee C. Callantine

Cornerstone Law Group

Ms. Callantine is the head of the Firm's insurance coverage practice. Her practice is primarily concentrated on...  |  Read More

Viner, Jonathan
Jonathan T. Viner

Nicolaides Fink Thorpe Michaelides Sullivan

Mr. Viner’s practice focuses on counseling and risk management. He has over 20 years of experience serving a...  |  Read More

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