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This program was recorded on January 11, 2021
When a third party plaintiff sues a defendant with liability insurance which reserves its rights to deny coverage and hires dependent counsel to defend the lawsuit, battle lines are drawn against the injured victim to minimize or defeat the claim for damages. The policyholder as witness, insurer as financier, and their common lawyer as warrior form what is known as the tripartite relationship by which this defense team coalesces in the spirit of the Three Musketeers: “All for one and one for all”. But when the insurer issues a reservation of rights and appoints its dependent counsel to defend the policyholders, conflicts of interest may devolve into a free-forall, pitting all participates against all other participants – but also creating opportunities to form unlikely alliances to advance common, shared goals. This course will explain that the lion can properly lay down with the lamb. Policyholders and injured victims usually share a common goal: to end the liability dispute and all coverage contests, now, with anybody’s else’s money. Neither the policy’s cooperation clause nor allegations of collusion need limit the policyholder and victim from forming an alliance to oppose a reserving insurer and its lawyers to end a liability dispute and a coverage contest with the insurer’s money.
Principal fields of study include: duty to defend, conflicts of interest, reservations of rights, Cumis counsel, lawyers’ ethical obligations, reasonableness of attorney fees, insurer reimbursement claims, good faith reliance on counsel, insurer good or bad faith, insurance coverage in construction defect, professional liability, personal injury, many business and personal torts, products liability, malicious prosecution, false imprisonment, libel, slander, wrongful eviction, invasion of privacy, discrimination, sexual harassment, and pollution claims. Represented insurance companies or policyholders in coverage disputes. Defended policyholders for insurers in a wide variety of liability suits.
1 General Credit
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Practical Reasons for a Policyholder and Plaintiff to Cooperate – Or Not
The Policyholder’s Contractual Duty to Cooperate
The Line Dividing Cooperation from Collusion
The Collusion Defense
Assignment of Policy Rights to the Victim
The Common Interest Doctrine
Limits of Proper Cooperation