• August 29, 2014

    Gay Marriage Ban Challenges Cleared For Florida High Court

    A Florida appeals court has rejected the state attorney general's request to stay its appeals of two rulings overturning the state's same-sex marriage ban, instead consolidating and certifying them for consideration by the Florida Supreme Court.

  • August 29, 2014

    Ex-Mutual Benefits CEO Gets 20 Years For $837M Fraud

    Ailing former Mutual Benefits Corp. CEO Joel Steinger received a 20-year sentence Friday in Miami federal court for masterminding an $837 million insurance investment scam that the prosecutor said ranks among the country's worst frauds, alongside Bernie Madoff's and Scott Rothstein's Ponzi schemes.

  • August 29, 2014

    What To Watch For At Detroit's Ch. 9 Trial

    More than Detroit’s financial future is at stake in the battle royale that will kick off Tuesday on the city’s proposed restructuring, attorneys say  — it will also dictate how distressed municipalities nationwide can fix their lopsided balance sheets in the face of runaway pension costs.

  • August 29, 2014

    AIG Needn't Cover QBE Defense In Kickback Case, Court Says

    A New York state court judge has ruled American International Group Inc. doesn’t have to pay defense costs for individual and proposed class action suits brought by mortgage borrowers who claim QBE Holdings Inc. paid improper kickbacks to banks — but Darwin Select Insurance Co. does — because AIG’s policy lacks a duty-to-defend provision.

  • August 29, 2014

    Va., Okla. Same-Sex Couples Urge High Court To Hear Cases

    Following decisions in their favor, same-sex couples from Virginia and Oklahoma have urged the U.S. Supreme Court to review rulings that found against same-sex marriage bans in their states, saying the time is now to clarify whether those types of prohibitions are unconstitutional.

  • August 29, 2014

    Texas Can't Grab Uncollected Settlement Funds, Court Says

    Texas' high court said Friday that the state is not entitled to seize uncollected class action settlement funds that are earmarked for charities in a case involving a homebuilder that settled litigation accusing it of failing to obtain insurance coverage for subcontractors.

  • August 29, 2014

    Calif. Bill On Uber, Lyft Insurance Offers Road Map For Pa.

    A bill moving through the California Legislature that puts commercial insurers for ridesharing companies on the hook as soon as the app is activated will be a useful guide as Pennsylvania seeks to establish standards for companies like Uber and Lyft, representatives for trial lawyers and insurers say in a rare point of agreement.

  • August 29, 2014

    Revolving-Door Roundup: DLA Piper, Akin Gump, Covington

    August saw a number of big names move back and forth between the government and BigLaw, and no firm played a bigger role in that movement than DLA Piper. Of the nine attorneys who crossed the public-private divide, three of them now call DLA Piper home.

  • August 29, 2014

    Oil Cleanup Is Covered Despite Settlement, Texas Court Says

    A Texas appeals court ruled Friday that Plantation Pipe Line Co. didn’t forfeit excess coverage purchased from Highlands Insurance Co. by settling coverage claims stemming from a 1975 oil leak against its lower-level insurers for less than the full limits of those policies, reversing a lower court decision.

  • August 29, 2014

    Providers Get Conditional Cert In UnitedHealth Claims Suit

    A New Jersey federal judge on Thursday granted conditional class certification in a suit alleging UnitedHealth Group Inc. improperly demanded reimbursement for overpaid claims, but the class lost a lead plaintiff after the judge reconsidered an earlier determination of the plaintiff's standing to sue.

  • August 29, 2014

    BofA Works Out $447M Countrywide MBS Row With Insurer

    Bank of America Corp.’s mortgage lending unit reached a deal Thursday to end a lawsuit over an insurer's $447 million purchase of mortgage-backed securities from Countrywide Financial Corp., according to filings in California federal court.

  • August 29, 2014

    Wells Fargo Loses Bid To Bar Insurer From 'ABD' Name

    A California federal judge on Thursday rejected Wells Fargo & Co.’s bid to bar ABD Insurance & Financial Services Inc. from using the name "ABD," saying that while Wells Fargo owns a valid trademark, it hasn’t shown that it is likely to suffer irreparable harm without an injunction.

  • August 29, 2014

    Australia To Privatize Gov’t-Owned Insurer In $4B IPO

    Australia is following through on plans to privatize government-owned private health insurer Medibank, officials said Friday, in an initial public offering estimated to raise almost $4 billion.

  • August 29, 2014

    Texas Justices Say Farmers Vacancy Clause Precludes Payout

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday affirmed a ruling that Farmers Insurance Exchange isn't required to cover a homeowner whose vacant property was destroyed by a fire in a neighboring home, finding the policy suspended coverage because the house was vacant. 

  • August 29, 2014

    Detroit Judge Slams Syncora's 'Personal Attack' On Mediators

    Syncora Holdings Ltd. made “scandalous and defamatory” claims against two mediators, one a sitting federal judge, who brokered an $816 million settlement at the heart of Detroit’s restructuring plan, the city’s bankruptcy judge ruled Thursday, opening the bond insurer’s team at Kirkland & Ellis LLP up to possible sanctions.

  • August 28, 2014

    Tweaked Calif. Ridesharing Insurance Bill Gets Senate's OK

    The California Senate on Wednesday approved a bill to amend state law and clarify insurance requirements for transportation network companies, the same day that a compromise to make insurance more affordable in the legislation prompted ridesharing companies Lyft and Uber to withdraw their opposition.

  • August 28, 2014

    Winners In 10th Circ. Marriage Ruling Seek High Court Review

    The couples who won a Tenth Circuit decision striking down Utah’s law against same-sex marriage joined their legal foes in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision in an unusual move intended to prompt the high court to make the decision apply nationally.

  • August 28, 2014

    Junk Fax TCPA Breach Isn't Covered 'Accident,' Insurers Say

    Hartford Casualty Insurance Co. and Twin City Fire Insurance Co. asked an Illinois federal judge on Wednesday to rule that they shouldn't have to cover a policyholder’s $18 million junk fax class settlement, because Telephone Consumer Protection Act violations don't qualify as accidents.

  • August 28, 2014

    Pa. Expands Medicaid In Win For Hospitals, Insurers

    The Obama administration on Thursday approved Pennsylvania’s plans to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, a win for hospitals and private insurers that should reap big financial benefits as an estimated 600,000 residents gain coverage.

  • August 28, 2014

    IRS Delivers Guidance, Forms For ACA Employer Mandate

    The Internal Revenue Service on Thursday released draft forms and guidance instructing employers on how to comply with reporting requirements arising from the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate.

Expert Analysis

  • Breaking Down The Collapse Doctrine In Wash.

    Michael V. Silvestro

    It is too early to tell which approach Washington will adopt regarding the collapse doctrine, but whatever conclusion the Washington Supreme Court reaches it likely won't be unanimous — prior cases suggest the state could require an actual collapse, says Michael Silvestro of Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi LLP.

  • 5 Reasons Large Companies Are Turning To Boutique Firms

    David M. Levine

    The departure of attorneys from large firms is a trend that has increased as a result of the Great Recession and its aftermath, and boutique firm partners who previously worked at large firms understand the potential large-firm pitfalls, say attorneys with Levine Kellogg Lehman Schneider & Grossman LLP.

  • NY Joins Texas In The Broad Use Of Appraisal

    Steven J. Badger

    New York's scope of appraisal after a recent change in state insurance law appears to support an appraisal process even broader than Texas' after that state's high court decided State Farm Lloyds v. Johnson, says Steven Badger of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

  • Perils Of Communicating With Customers By Phone Or Text

    Given the large number of calls that can be made electronically, damages for Telephone Consumer Protection Act violations can run into the millions. In this short video, Sutherland partner Lewis Wiener discusses the TCPA and how businesses that communicate with customers by phone or text may be impacted.

  • The 8 Gotchas Of Technology Contracting: Part 2

     Craig Auge

    Contracts for providing and obtaining technology establish important, often long-term relationships. When they involve mission-critical products and services, the impact of a flawed contract can be devastating, says Craig Auge of Vorys Sater Seymour and Pease LLP.

  • The 8 Gotchas Of Technology Contracting: Part 1

    Craig Auge

    Every business runs at least in part on technology — and, when contracting for technology products and services, the “gotchas” don’t discriminate based on size or industry. All parties can benefit from avoiding these situations, says Craig Auge of Vorys Sater Seymour and Pease LLP.

  • Some Calm For NY Claims Handlers Over Late Disclaimers

    William E. Murray

    The impact of a threatened expansion of the late disclaimer standard prior to the New York Court of Appeals' ruling in KeySpan Gas East Corp. v. Munich Reinsurance American Inc. would have been heavy for the insurance industry in that it would have created a significant burden on claims handlers, say William Murray and Joseph Geoghegan of Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani LLP.

  • Texas' Progressive Claims Syndrome Is Treatable

    Lindsey P. Bruning

    The recent case of USAA Texas Lloyd’s Co. v. Menchaca exemplifies a prevalent concern in Texas first-party property insurance claims today — the “Progressive Claim Syndrome” — as well as its most effective treatment, says Lindsey Bruning of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

  • AKS Unlikely To Be Raised Over Pharma Discount Sales

    Stephanie Trunk

    A recently issued opinion from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General assented to a drug manufacturer’s online discount program for branded drugs, making discount and referral arrangements less likely to raise concerns when they avoid federal reimbursement systems, say Stephanie Trunk and Brian Schneider of Arent Fox LLP.

  • How To Control Risk And Cost Of E-Discovery

    "If you follow the philosophy of saving everything you're just multiplying exponentially the costs and risks of litigation and investigations," says Robert Owen, partner in charge of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP's New York office and president of the Electronic Discovery Institute.