• October 10, 2014

    Bernanke Testifies AIG Bailout Wasn't About Punishment

    Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said at trial Friday in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims that he had been reluctant to offer American International Group Inc. a bailout during the 2008 financial crisis, but had not intended to “punish” the firm when approving the deal.

  • October 10, 2014

    Supreme Court Won't Back Stay On Idaho Gay Marriages

    The U.S. Supreme Court refused Friday to grant an emergency stay preventing Idaho from issuing marriage licenses and recognizing same-sex nuptials from out of state, greenlighting the Ninth Circuit to enter an order allowing its ruling to go into effect.

  • October 10, 2014

    Calif. Consumer Laws Cover Home Warranties, 9th Circ. Told

    A former Old Republic Home Protection Co. customer on Friday urged the Ninth Circuit to revive his putative class action alleging Old Republic rips off its customers, arguing the company’s home warranties are a consumer service regulated by state law, not insurance.

  • October 10, 2014

    Highmark Medicare Plan Violates UPMC Deal, Pa. AG Says

    Pennsylvania's top prosecutor on Friday urged a state court to force Highmark Health to restore coverage to seniors after launching a new Medicare product that allegedly denies them in-network access to medical services, in violation of a July consent decree meant to guarantee that access to elderly clients.

  • October 10, 2014

    2nd Circ. Sends Geico Employees' OT Dispute To Trial

    Government Employees Insurance Co. can’t escape an overtime collective action by its telephone claims adjusters after the Second Circuit ruled Friday that it had questions about the employees’ allegedly exempt status under the Fair Labor Standards Act, reversing a summary judgment order in Geico's favor and sending the case to trial.

  • October 10, 2014

    Texas CGL Case May Boost Insureds In Property Damage Suits

    The Texas Supreme Court is set to weigh in on the interpretation of two terms commonly used in exclusions in commercial general liability policies, and attorneys say a ruling that the terms are ambiguous under state law would provide a huge boost to policyholders in property damage coverage litigation.

  • October 10, 2014

    Insurer Can Limit Firm's Fraud Defense Coverage: 3rd Circ.

    Camico Mutual Insurance Co. doesn’t need to cover all of accounting firm Heffler Radetich & Saitta LLP’s defense of a suit over an employee’s role in a $40 million scheme to defraud class action settlement funds, the Third Circuit said Friday, ruling that the insurer can recoup money spent defending the firm.

  • October 10, 2014

    3 Tips For Avoiding EEOC Suits Over Wellness Programs

    Corporate wellness programs have become increasingly attractive as employers look to reduce health care costs and avoid the Affordable Care Act's so-called Cadillac tax, but recent U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission suits show they can come with legal risks. Lawyers offer three suggestions for employers that want to keep out of the EEOC's crosshairs while motivating workers to stay healthy.

  • October 10, 2014

    Taxation With Representation: Fried Frank, Wachtell, Sullivan

    In this week's Taxation With Representation, Ireland's Endo International PLC swallows Auxilium Pharmaceuticals Inc. in a $2.6 billion deal, and a Chinese insurer takes the iconic Waldorf Astoria New York hotel off of Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc.'s hands in a transaction manned by attorneys from Fried Frank, Skadden and Simpson Thacher.

  • October 10, 2014

    Travelers Must Cover Seized Bank's D&O Defense, Judge Says

    A California federal judge has ruled that a unit of Travelers Property Casualty Co. of America can’t deny coverage to former directors and officers of a defunct bank that was sued by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., ruling the exclusion terms of the bank’s policy are ambiguous.

  • October 10, 2014

    Insurer Can Yank Jailed Ex-Atty's Malpractice Policies: Judge

    An Indiana federal judge has freed Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Insurance Co. from defending malpractice lawsuits against a former Indianapolis attorney currently behind bars for victimizing his clients in a $4.5 million Ponzi-like scheme, ruling that the insurer was misled and can rescind the policies.

  • October 9, 2014

    Telemarketers Ink $125M Deal To End FTC Health Scam Claims

    IAB Marketing Associates LP and others on Thursday agreed to pay $125 million to end the Federal Trade Commission’s allegations they duped consumers looking for health insurance into buying IAB memberships that gave some medical discounts.

  • October 9, 2014

    Bernanke Defends AIG Deal In Bailout Comparison

    Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Thursday defended allegedly more favorable lending terms other firms had received during the 2008 financial crisis compared to American International Group Inc., saying they were the result of necessary policy considerations, as trial continued in a shareholder suit over the insurer's bailout.

  • October 9, 2014

    Dallas Clinic Cleared Of Fired Worker's Fraud Allegations

    A Texas jury this week cleared Dallas medical practice Texas Vascular Associates PA of allegations it wrongly fired one of its medical coders after she refused to fraudulently bill Medicare, Medicaid and private insurers for patient services.

  • October 9, 2014

    Babcock Case May Give Policyholders More Settlement Control

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court heard arguments this week in an appeal by Babcock & Wilcox Co. that could give commercial policyholders greater flexibility to pursue settlements independently when being represented in litigation by insurers operating under a reservation of rights to deny coverage.

  • October 9, 2014

    HIPAA Data Theft Suit Not Covered, Insurer Tells 11th Circ.

    Carolina Casualty Insurance Co. told the Eleventh Circuit on Thursday a district court correctly declared it has no duty to defend policyholder Admiral Security Services in an underlying lawsuit over a security officer's alleged theft of laptops containing personal information protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

  • October 9, 2014

    Couples Urge Supreme Court To Nix Idaho Gay Marriage Stay

    Same-sex couples on Thursday urged the U.S. Supreme Court to nix the emergency stay preventing Idaho from issuing marriage licenses and recognizing same-sex nuptials from out of state, arguing that since the high court's Windsor decision, all circuit courts have found that states’ marriage bans are unconstitutional.

  • October 9, 2014

    3rd Circ. Frees Flintkote Insurer From Asbestos Arbitration

    The Third Circuit ruled Thursday that bankrupt construction products purveyor Flintkote Co. can’t force Aviva PLC into arbitration over more than $20 million in disputed asbestos liability coverage, saying the parties can’t rely on an unsigned arbitration agreement and reversing a district court decision.

  • October 9, 2014

    Pa. Insurance Agent To Pay $2M To Settle SEC's Fraud Suit

    A former AXA Equitable Life Insurance Co. agent has agreed to pay the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission $2 million for allegedly stealing from customers and altering account statements to cover up the theft, according to an order signed Thursday by a Pennsylvania federal judge.

  • October 9, 2014

    College's Win In Bias Coverage Suit Upended By NJ Court

    A New Jersey appellate court handed Diamond State Insurance Co. a win Thursday in a dispute with Bergen Community College over coverage for an employment discrimination suit, saying the insurer’s obligations can’t be determined without additional findings of fact.

Expert Analysis

  • Toward A Mandatory Polar Code By Tacit Means

    Adam Patrick Murray

    The potential use of "tacit acceptance" by the International Maritime Organization to approve mandatory Polar Code regulations reflects how IMO decision makers may define "effective implementation" and raises legitimacy concerns to both substantive and technical requirements, says Adam Patrick Murray of the Arctic Law & Policy Institute.

  • A General Counsel's Top 10 Billing Tips

    Francis M. Drelling

    Nothing makes an in-house counsel feel like they are being nickeled-and-dimed more than receiving a $3.50, stand-alone invoice. Forcing anyone to spend time on a $3.50 invoice is, quite frankly, just not cool, says Francis Drelling, in-house counsel at Specialty Restaurants Corp.

  • Avoiding Open-Ended Liability From Autonomous Vehicles

    Michael Preciado

    Technology and automobile companies concerned about outdated software-related accidents should consider drafting statutes of repose applicable to autonomous vehicle liability — they would protect insurance companies too as they are generally drafted to stabilize the industry by eliminating stale claims from open-ended liability, says Michael Preciado of Snell & Wilmer LLP.

  • When Does An Insurance Co. Waive Atty-Client Privilege?

    Joan M. Cotkin

    A policyholder’s counsel might consider sending discovery requests inquiring whether the insurer-defendant claims to have acted legally at all relevant times, which we suspect the insurer-defendant is likely to respond in the affirmative — if it does so, will it have waived the privilege? asks Joan Cotkin of Nossaman LLP.

  • Brace For This Brief's Impact On The Supreme Court

    James H. Wendell

    SCOTUSblog founder Thomas Goldstein's no-party, no-argument amicus brief in M&G Polymers USA LLC v. Tackett is likely the first of its kind before the U.S. Supreme Court, making it one of the more intriguing developments of the upcoming term. It can demonstrate the power of a data-centric argument, says James Wendell of Riddell Williams PS.

  • Insurers, Be Ready To Pay Twice In Texas

    David B. Winter

    Recent decisions from the Texas Supreme Court and the Dallas Court of Appeals show that under Texas law, an insurer bears the risk of improper conduct by its insured in depositing a claim payment without obtaining the proper endorsement of all payees, says David Winter of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

  • Ill. Joins State Trend On Malicious Prosecution Claims

    Jordon S. Steinway

    An Illinois appellate court's recent ruling in St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co. v. The City of Zion is the first since 1979 to address the issue of trigger for malicious prosecution claims and, in finding that coverage is triggered the year the underlying malicious acts first occurred, the holding seems to push the state toward the majority trend, say Adam Fleischer and Jordon Steinway of BatesCarey LLP.

  • ACA Tax Subsidy Dispute May End Up Before High Court

    J. Peter Rich

    Given the political composition of the D.C. Circuit as it prepares to hear Halbig v. Burwell en banc, it is expected that the full court will rule in favor of the government, which may ultimately result in appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, say J. Peter Rich and Lauren D'Agostino of McDermott Will & Emery LLP.

  • OPINION: Pro Bono May Help Diversity Recruiting Efforts

    David A. Lash

    A recent Law360 article about the perennial BigLaw concern over how to recruit and retain female and ethnically diverse attorneys addressed a new approach being taken by some law firms — going beyond traditional mentoring programs by creating a sponsorship relationship. Pro bono can also play a part, say David Lash and Merle Vaughn of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel.

  • Indian Health Service Recovery Efforts Are Overreach

    Darryl T. Landahl

    Although regulators may argue otherwise, there is no known legal support for the position that 25 U.S.C. § 1621e(a) preempts all plan limitations from Native American health providers' recovery claims or that the statute was intended to provide unabated coverage for services from such a provider, say Darryl Landahl and Shelley Nordling of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck.