Insights
Firm News

Squire's Setback in Hartford Case Shows Cumis Counsel Trap

August 10, 2015 Media Coverage

Law360
August 10, 2015
"Squire's Setback in Hartford Case Shows Cumis Counsel Trap"

Insurance Recovery Partner Dennis Cusack commented on the impact of the California Supreme Court's finding that Hartford Casualty Insurance Co. can sue Squire Patton Boggs LLP to try to recover fees the firm charged while serving as Cumis counsel for a policyholder.  According to Cusack, insureds that select independent counsel will need to work out with those attorneys in engagement letters how to handle the potential costs of fee disputes in which the law firm is dragged in as a party. 

"In the more ordinary case where insureds are presented with the choice of independent counsel, this ruling will create difficulties for clients in sorting out with counsel how to deal with carrier challenges to reasonableness of fees," Cusack said. "Who's going to pay for the firm to defend itself and the client in that arbitration or lawsuit? How are we going to resolve between us the results of any of those actions?"

Additionally, Cusack noted, "I think the court has opened the door to insurance companies contesting the reasonableness of fees and doing so by going directly after independent counsel. This is going to drag law firms into the middle of these fee disputes. I think the California Supreme Court underestimates the mischief that this will cause."

Read the article (subscription required).

Firm Highlights

Event

WSJ Pro Cybersecurity Symposium

Tyler Gerking will be speaking at the WSJ Pro Cybersecurity Symposium session, "The Role of Cyber-Insurance." Details: How much should you buy, what does it cover and how does it fit with an overall...

Read More
News

Farella Adds Technology Industry Group Depth

Read More
Publication

California Supreme Court Ruling Clarifies That the Notice-Prejudice Rule Is a Fundamental Public Policy That May Override Choice of Law Provisions

In  Pitzer College v. Indian Harbor Insurance Company , the California Supreme Court resolved two previously open questions in insurance law: (1) it concluded that the notice-prejudice rule [1]  is a fundamental public policy...

Read More
Publication

3 Lessons For Calif. Insureds From Late-Notice Rule Decision

In Pitzer College v. Indian Harbor Insurance Company ,[1] the California Supreme Court resolved two previously open questions in insurance law: (1) it concluded that the notice-prejudice rule[2] is a fundamental public policy of...

Read More
Publication

“That Particular Part” – Yet More

Massachusetts Appeals Court Gets It Right – Mostly Hot on the heels of the Federal Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in MTI, Inc. v. Employers Insurance Company of Wausau , __ F.3d __...

Read More
News

Farella Braun + Martel Attorneys Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© 2020

Read More
Publication

Damages for Permit Revocation Constitute Covered “Loss of Use”

Insurers often claim “economic damages” are not covered under a standard commercial general liability (CGL) policy.  The Fourth District Court of Appeal’s decision in Thee Sombrero, Inc. v. Scottsdale Ins. Co., 28 Cal. App...

Read More
Publication

Insurance for the Cannabis Industry Program Takeaways

I recently moderated a Bar Association of San Francisco Insurance Section program co-sponsored with the Cannabis Law Section. The program highlighted recent changes to local insurance requirements and market availability of coverage for cannabis...

Read More
Publication

Reimbursement of Employment-Related Expenses Is Not a “Wage and Hour” Claim Within the Meaning of EPLI Exclusion

A recent California appellate court decision found that a wage and hour exclusion in an Employment Practices Liability Insurance (“EPLI”) policy did not bar coverage for claims under California Labor Code sections 2800 and...

Read More
Event

EPLI Policies in Employment Litigation

Shanti Eagle is the moderator for this BASF Labor and Employment Section program, "EPLI Policies in Employment Litigation." This program will provide an overview of using Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) policies in employment...

Read More