• December 11, 2014

    NJ Court's 'Direct Physical Loss' Ruling A Boon To Insureds

    A New Jersey federal judge recently ruled that an ammonia release at a factory constituted direct physical loss or damage under the owner's property insurance policy, a decision attorneys say could embolden more policyholders to challenge coverage denials for incidents that don't involve an actual physical change to property.

  • December 11, 2014

    CMS Pushes For Hospitals To Recognize Same-Sex Spouses

    President Barack Obama’s administration on Thursday proposed new regulations that would require hospitals that accept Medicare or Medicaid to recognize same-sex spouses as a condition for participation, so the federal government complies with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Windsor.

  • December 11, 2014

    Schumer Wants ‘Clean’ TRIA Bill Minus Dodd-Frank Mod

    U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., on Thursday blasted House Republicans for passing legislation extending a federal terrorism insurance program that included a proposal to change the Dodd-Frank Act, calling on them to pass a “clean” version of the bill.

  • December 11, 2014

    MetLife Buys Landmark DC Hotel For $180 Million

    MetLife Inc. has purchased Washington, D.C.’s Fairmont Hotel from Ivanhoe Cambridge for $180 million, adding the famed 415-room hotel to the life insurance giant’s $59 billion real estate portfolio, the company said on Thursday.

  • December 11, 2014

    Insurance MVP: Wiley Rein’s Charles C. Lemley

    Wiley Rein LLP’s Charles C. Lemley helped XL Specialty Insurance Co. and other insurers shake off the Washington Mutual Inc. liquidating trust’s suit seeking millions to cover executives' defense costs, one of several important insurance-related victories this year that landed him among Law360’s 2014 Insurance MVPs.

  • December 11, 2014

    Class Accuses Public Storage Attys Of Ethical Violations

    The plaintiffs in a putative class action claiming Public Storage charged usurious rates for insurance on its storage units moved to disqualify its Newport Trial Group attorneys, accusing them of committing numerous ethical violations, including advising putative class members to opt out.

  • December 11, 2014

    Insurer Ducks $1.5M Hail Storm Suit In Texas

    A Texas state appeals court on Wednesday threw out an apartment management company’s $1.5 million suit against First Specialty Insurance Co. over hail storm damage, finding a lower court properly ruled the underlying policy designates New York as the exclusive forum for resolving any disputes over coverage.

  • December 10, 2014

    Insurer Prevails In Damaged Construction Materials Row

    An Arkansas construction company and its insurer have prevailed in federal court in a dispute with a shipper over payment for building materials that were damaged during transit, according to court documents released Wednesday.

  • December 10, 2014

    Ex-AIG Brass Ask Panel To End NY's Relentless Fraud Suit

    Lawyers for former American International Group Inc. CEO Maurice “Hank” Greenberg and ex-Chief Financial Officer Howard I. Smith were back before a Manhattan appellate court Wednesday, to stop a scheduled January trial in New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s seemingly never-ending quest for injunctive relief and disgorgement.

  • December 10, 2014

    House Passes 6-Year TRIA Extension With Dodd-Frank Tweak

    The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed a measure to extend for six years a federal terrorism reinsurance program that is set to expire Dec. 31, but the bill is likely to face considerable opposition in the U.S. Senate due to its inclusion of language to modify a noninsurance provision of the Dodd-Frank Act.

  • December 10, 2014

    Insurer Data Breach Suit Gets 2nd Shot At Cert.

    The Pennsylvania Superior Court said Tuesday that it would allow a Philadelphia man another chance to certify a class action alleging that Keystone Mercy Health Plan violated state consumer protection law when it lost a flash drive containing personal information for some 286,000 subscribers.

  • December 10, 2014

    Insurance MVP: Kasowitz's Robin Cohen

    Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman LLP partner Robin Cohen won an appellate decision that kept IMO Industries Inc. covered for a deluge of asbestos claims under a $1.8 billion insurance program, living up to her reputation for staring down insurance companies angling for a quick settlement and earning her a spot among Law360’s Insurance MVPs.

  • December 10, 2014

    Insurer Can't Limit Atty Rates Retroactively, Court Rules

    Travelers Property Casualty Co. of America can't retroactively apply statutory rate limitations to attorneys' fees that an insured art company incurred before Travelers started paying the company's independent counsel in a breach of contract suit, a California appeals court ruled Tuesday.

  • December 10, 2014

    Brokerage Tells 11th Circ. Policy Covers Thief's Withdrawals

    A Colorado real estate brokerage company asked the Eleventh Circuit to overturn a lower court’s decision in its coverage dispute with Transportation Insurance Co. over fraudulent online bank withdrawals, saying that the federal court incorrectly interpreted language in its policy.

  • December 9, 2014

    House Panel Releases $1.1T Federal Funding Bill

    The House Appropriations Committee late Tuesday released a nearly $1.1 trillion omnibus 2015 spending bill, pulling out contentious terrorism insurance and environmental riders while setting up debate over U.S. Department of Homeland Security funding for early in the new year amid an ongoing immigration dispute.

  • December 9, 2014

    10th Circ. Frees Travelers From KBR's $2M Pollution Defense

    The Tenth Circuit on Tuesday affirmed a lower court's decision that Travelers Casualty and Surety Co. and Martin K. Eby Construction Co. Inc. don’t have to pay Kellogg Brown & Root LLC $1.8 million in defense costs stemming from a suit over a Texas pipeline leak.

  • December 9, 2014

    House Set To Vote On 6-Year TRIA Extension

    The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote Wednesday on a measure to extend for six years a federal terrorism reinsurance program that is set to expire Dec. 31, but some lawmakers expressed concerns that a proposal in the legislation to amend the Dodd-Frank Act may endanger its chances in the U.S. Senate.

  • December 9, 2014

    Developer Says Sandy Flood Limit Misapplied In Coverage Row

    A Manhattan real estate developer has appealed a judge's holding in a case of apparent first impression that a $5 million limit for flood losses applies to claims for construction delays stemming from Superstorm Sandy, arguing that Zurich American Insurance Co.'s $7 million sublimit was the proper cap.

  • December 9, 2014

    Gruber Retreats On Damning ACA Jabs At Oversight Hearing

    Dr. Jonathan Gruber backpedaled on Tuesday on comments he made earlier this year that have fueled Affordable Care Act opponents, telling a House oversight committee that he had exceeded his role as an economist when he called the ACA a tax on individuals rather than insurance companies.

  • December 9, 2014

    Paul Hastings Reps Morgan Stanley In $5B Ping An Offering

    Paul Hastings LLP said Tuesday that it had advised Morgan Stanley in its role as placing agent for Ping An Insurance Group Co. of China Ltd.'s Monday offering of $4.75 billion worth of new H-shares to private investors.

Expert Analysis

  • What Municipal Bond Investors Can Learn From Detroit

    Mark N. Berman

    It is interesting to observe that on the eve of confirmation of Detroit’s Chapter 9 plan, the city settled its disputes with certain bond insurers by giving them rights to certain real estate that, prior to the settlement, had not been part of the proposed plan. This begs the question as to how much additional property the city may have had available, and whether this property could have been used to increase unsecured creditors' r... (continued)

  • Remembering Doar: Justice As A 4-Letter Word

    Kevin J. Curnin

    John Doar ran the U.S. Justice Department's Civil Rights Division at perhaps the most chaotic and pivotal time in its history. His passing earlier this month is an occasion for lawyers everywhere to marvel at just how impactful one attorney can be. He didn’t just preside at a historic time, he calmly and coolly shaped it, says Kevin Curnin of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel.

  • Rule 54(b) No Substitute For Appealable Final Judgment

    Ryan N. Parsons

    The Seventh Circuit's recent ruling in Selective Insurance Co. v. City of Paris is a reminder to attorneys of their ethical duty and obligation to stay current on the law as it affects their cases. A case law search may have prevented the city from having to try to manufacture a timely appeal of a clearly final judgment under Rule 54(b), says Ryan Parsons of Foley & Lardner LLP.

  • ‘Tis The Season … For Data Breaches And Data Analytics

    Mike Kheyfets

    Last holiday season saw some of the biggest and costliest data breaches in the retail industry’s history. With optimistic forecasts for spending this year, retailers will no doubt once again be in hackers’ crosshairs in the coming month. Implementation of data analytics — an important but sometimes underutilized tool — can assist in all phases of incident management, say economists at Edgeworth Economics LLC.

  • Differentiate Your Litigation Practice With Data Security

    Jennifer Topper

    Despite the significant tilt toward technology in how litigation is now conducted, many senior lawyers still delegate tech-related issues to e-discovery specialists or associates at their firms. This is a missed opportunity not just for client development, but also for shaping the way the firm and lawyer are seen in the eyes of corporate counsel, says legal industry business development specialist Jenn Topper.

  • Keeping Pace With Texas Hail Claim 'Case-Runners'

    G. Brian Odom

    It cannot be legitimately disputed that the increasingly common practice of "case-running" among contractors, public adjusters and policyholder attorneys is in large part to blame for the increase in litigated Texas insurance claims — it is all about extracting additional money from the insurance industry, say G. Brian Odom and Tyler McGuire of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

  • Solace For Wis. Suppliers Over Defective Components

    Jeffrey O. Davis

    Wisconsin Pharmacal Co. LLC v. Nebraska Cultures of California Inc. is important for all manufacturers since the decision correctly found that defective components that ruin an end product are covered under a standard general liability policy, but with an important caveat — the fully integrated product must be ruined by the defective component, say attorneys at Quarles & Brady LLP.

  • The Print Room: How To Spend Less And Get More

    Senthil Rajakrishnan

    Our estimates indicate that some law firms spend up to $8,000 per attorney each year on print-related costs. Although we live in a digital world, hard copy printing will remain an important part of business for years to come. Changing technology, however, offers opportunities to improve efficiencies and save money, say Senthil Rajakrishnan and Ryan Mittman of HBR Consulting LLC.

  • Don't Be Shocked By NY's 'Surprise Bills' Law

    Jackie Selby

    New York's recently enacted Emergency Medical Services and Surprise Bills law will impact billing and reimbursement for some out-of-network health care services, require new disclosures from providers regarding their health plan participation status and add new rules for health plans regarding networks and reimbursement for out-of-network services, says Jackie Selby of Epstein Becker & Green PC.

  • Insurance Rules Of The Road For Ride-Sharing Companies

    Kara L. DiBiasio

    As more states set regulations for ride-sharing companies, such as Lyft Inc. and Uber Inc., insurance companies should be prepared to offer policies that conform to the various requirements and specify which policies cover company drivers at different stages, says Kara DiBiasio of Sedgwick LLP.