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17 Nov 2014 Scott Godes to Speak About Insurance Coverage for Asbestos Claims at ACI’s 18th National Advanced Forum on Asbestos Claims & Litigation

Scott Godes, a partner with Barnes & Thornburg, will be speaking at the upcoming American Conference Institute’s (ACI) 18th National Advanced Forum on Asbestos Claims & Litigation held January 15-16 in Philadelphia.   Scott’s session is Insurance Coverage Issues: Pursuing Claims Against Bankrupt, Dissolved, or Defunct Entities; Issues Involving Joint Insurers and Non-Settling Insurers; Trigger, Exhaustion and Allocation Nuances; Assignment of Policies and Proceeds; and Developments with Respect to CUMIS Counsel.   The presentation will include: A review of the Continental Casualty (aka Keasbey) case that allowed plaintiffs to proceed against a company not in business anymore but still had an insurance policy in place Developments in the law regarding asbestos claimants’ ability to proceed against defunct entities In-depth analysis of what happens to insurance…

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14 Nov 2014 Inaugural ABA Women in Litigation Conference

Kara Cleary and Andrea Warren, from Barnes & Thornburg’s Policyholder Insurance Recovery Group, attended the inaugural ABA Women in Litigation conference in Chicago on November 5-7, 2014. The conference partnered with the Women in Insurance Network to provide outstanding panels and networking sessions involving coverage litigators, in-house counsel, brokers, judges and other industry representatives.   Kara and Andrea’s work in the Policyholder Insurance Recovery Group led them to particularly appreciate the panels relating to cyber coverage, as well as coverage in the context of product liability suits and contractual indemnification obligations.   One panel discussing general litigation strategies made clear the importance and efficiencies created if a company can use a single database to house and manage claimant information and litigation documents when dealing with…

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13 Nov 2014 Discovery Warnings From In Re Hurricane Sandy Cases

A recent federal court decision provided evidence yet again that policyholders likely will have to fight hard against insurance companies that have denied coverage and often engage in unacceptable litigation practices. On November 7, 2014, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York issued a Memorandum & Order in the In Re Hurricane Sandy Cases, Case No. 14 – MC – 41. United States Magistrate Judge Gary K. Brown’s Order provides discovery warnings to insurance companies involved in discovery disputes. One crucial lesson is that draft expert reports, which were prepared in the ordinary course of business and not in anticipation of litigation, may not be withheld as protected work-product.   This Order shines a light on discovery violations that often…

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07 Nov 2014 Chris Yetka Publishes Article on Insurance Coverage for Punitive Damages in “The Brief”

If your company is concerned about whether punitive damages are insurable, or whether your “punitive wrap” insurance policy will cover a claim for punitive damages, Chris Yetka, Barnes & Thornburg partner, just examined these questions in a bar journal article. A Minnesota company policyholder, with manufacturing facilities in Iowa, is sued in Iowa for injuries caused in that state. The claim includes punitive damages, which are awarded. The company has insurance coverage for punitive damages, “to the fullest extent allowed by law.” Citing Minnesota law (where as a matter of public policy punitive damages cannot be covered by insurance where they are assessed directly against the wrongdoer), the insurance carrier denies coverage. Iowa law, however, allows coverage for punitive damages. Because most of the company’s…

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04 Nov 2014 Know Your Rights: Policyholders’ Defense and Settlement Rights

In Piedmont Office Realty Trust v. XL Specialty Ins. Co., No. 14-11987 (11th Cir. Oct. 21, 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit certified questions to the Supreme Court of Georgia regarding the extent to which an insurance company was bound by a settlement to which it refused to consent. This case represents one of an increasing number of disputes between policyholders and their insurance companies over the defense and settlement of underlying lawsuits. Having lost the battle to narrow the scope of their defense and settlement obligations in many states, insurance companies appear to have opened a new front:  attempting to reduce the cost of their defense and settlement obligations.  This may take the form of refusing to consent to…

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31 Oct 2014 Scott Godes Elected to American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel (ACCEC)

Scott Godes, a partner with Barnes & Thornburg, has been elected to the American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel (ACCEC).   ACCEC brings together preeminent lawyers representing the interests of both insurers and policyholders to improve the quality of the practice of insurance law and to increase civility and professionalism in our field.   Scott is a veteran trial lawyer with experience in insurance coverage matters and technology issues. He is a member of Barnes & Thornburg’s Litigation Department, the Policyholder Insurance Recovery and Counseling Group and the Internet & Technology Law Group.   Learn more about the ACCEC. Scott GodesScott N. Godes is a veteran trial lawyer with experience in insurance coverage matters and technology issues. He is a partner in Barnes &…

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23 Sep 2014 (E)stop, Hey, What’s That Sound? Insurers Get What’s Going Down

  For what it’s worth, a fight between insurance companies can sound like music to a policyholder lawyer’s ears. It’s really fun to hum along when a major insurer tries to use a classic policyholder tactic against another insurer. Two recent disputes between insurers involved the Illinois estoppel rule, which generally bars an insurer from contesting its duty to indemnify after it has breached its duty to defend. The insurance companies most definitely were not singing in harmony.   What can policyholders learn from these insurance company vs. insurance company internecine disputes? In both cases, insurance companies actually said that it is correct to estop an insurance company from raising coverage defenses. Keep that thought in your back pocket the next time an insurance company…

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18 Sep 2014 Join us Sept. 25 for Barnes & Thornburg’s National Insurance Recovery Seminar

  You’re invited to a coast to coast seminar. The Policyholder Insurance Recovery & Coverage Litigation practice group at Barnes & Thornburg is hosting a nationwide seminar on a variety of insurance recovery issues.   Join us on Sept. 25 and learn about: Insuring cyber losses Recovering under legacy policies Securing choice of defense counsel and much more   This seminar will be simulcast to attendees in each of our offices via videoconference technology. A networking reception will follow in our Eastern and Central time zone offices. Our west coast (Los Angeles office) attendees will enjoy a networking lunch before the seminar. You won’t want to miss this event!   Register today!  Scott GodesScott N. Godes is a veteran trial lawyer with experience in insurance…

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12 Sep 2014 Ken Gorenberg to speak at upcoming Strafford live webinar A live 90-minute CLE webinar with interactive Q&A

  Ken Gorenberg, from Barnes & Thornburg’s Policyholder Insurance Recovery Group, will be speaking at an upcoming Strafford live webinar, “Drafting Indemnification and Hold Harmless Provisions in Commercial Contracts,” on Tuesday, October 14, 1 – 2:30 p.m ET.   Ken will be a member of a panel that will be providing guidance to business counsel for drafting and negotiating indemnification and hold harmless provisions in commercial contracts. He will discuss key elements of indemnification agreements, including scope, exclusions and cost allocation; enforceability challenges; and strategies for avoiding common negotiation pitfalls.   Register by September 19 and attend the program at half off. Use this link and the offer will be reflected automatically in your cart. Kenneth GorenbergKenneth M. Gorenberg is a partner in the Chicago…

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05 Sep 2014 Reference Handbook on the Commercial General Liability Policy

  The second edition of the Reference Handbook on the Commercial General Liability Policy, published by the Tort and Insurance Practice Section of the ABA, has just been released. The book provides concise discussions of the most salient points of the commercial general liability policy, including: who is an insured, trigger, occurrence, damages, exclusions, bad faith and the Bermuda and London markets. Chapter 13, on Allocation, is authored by Barnes & Thornburg insurance recovery partner, Christopher Yetka. More information can be found here. Chris YetkaChristopher H. Yetka is a partner in Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Minneapolis, Minn. office and a member of the firm’s Litigation Department. Mr. Yetka concentrates his practice primarily on commercial litigation matters, particularly involving insurance recovery disputes. He enforces his clients’…

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