• October 27, 2014

    Fla. AG Asks To Keep Same-Sex Marriage Ban In Place

    Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi on Friday told a federal court that the state should continue to enforce its ban on same-sex marriage while state and federal appeals courts take up the issue, arguing that it's in the public's best interest to wait.

  • October 27, 2014

    Insurer Looks To Duck Deutsche Bank's Costs In WTC Suit

    Select Insurance Co. on Monday urged a New York judge to find it doesn’t have to cover defense costs of Deutsche Bank AG units sued by cleanup workers who claim debris from the bank's buildings near Ground Zero made them sick, saying there’s no evidence it owes the lender anything.

  • October 27, 2014

    Attys' Feud Draws Judge's Wrath In Fight Over Horizon Deal

    A New Jersey federal judge on Friday ordered the objectors to a class action settlement resolving accusations that Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey Inc. underpaid reimbursements to post a $2,500 bond, while criticizing attorneys in the case for involving the court in a “personal feud.”

  • October 27, 2014

    Hobby Lobby, HHS Wrangle Over Future Birth Control Regs

    Christian crafts chain Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services continue to spar over the Affordable Care Act's birth control mandate, fighting in Oklahoma federal court over whether future religious accommodations should be presumptively valid.

  • October 27, 2014

    Mich. Law Firm Earns ACA Exemption In Light Of Hobby Lobby

    Michigan law firm Willis Law on Friday urged a Washington, D.C., federal judge to approve a settlement with the government in which the firm won’t have to cover its employees’ contraceptives, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision.

  • October 24, 2014

    Blue Cross Rips Honigman's 'Dual Role' In Antitrust Suit

    Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan said Thursday that Honigman Miller Schwartz & Cohn LLP should be disqualified from representing three health insurers in a suit alleging Blue Cross violated antitrust laws in its contracts with hospitals, saying the firm took on “overlapping and conflicting” roles.

  • October 24, 2014

    NJ High Court Will Review $3.2M National Union Decision

    The New Jersey Supreme Court agreed Friday to review a state appeals court’s decision finding that National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh didn’t have to cover a $3.2 million settlement on behalf of a policyholder that allegedly mishandled a church and day care center’s real estate loan.

  • October 24, 2014

    Kan. Justices Rule Broker's Omissions Can't Block Coverage

    The Kansas Supreme Court ruled Friday than an insurance broker acted as an agent when he submitted an application omitting key elements of an applicant’s medical history, finding an insurance company couldn’t later deny medically necessary treatment on the basis of failing to disclose a pre-existing condition.

  • October 24, 2014

    FCA Whistleblower Wants Humana Suit Restrictions Lifted

    A whistleblower accusing Humana Inc. of Medicare Advantage fraud urged a Florida federal judge to reconsider his order dismissing her False Claims Act suit, claiming her latest amended complaint contains enough detail to allege a widespread case of fraud.

  • October 24, 2014

    NRG Blasts Insurer's 'Scorched Earth' Tactics In CAA Row

    A subsidiary of NRG Energy Inc. has accused Illinois Union Insurance Co. in Louisiana federal court of pursuing a “scorched earth” strategy in a coverage dispute over the settlement of a Clear Air Act coal pollution suit, characterizing a discovery request from Illinois Union as a “fishing expedition.”

  • October 24, 2014

    Homeowners Slam Wells Fargo's $281M Force-Placed Deal

    Disgruntled class members on Thursday challenged a purported $281 million settlement reached by Wells Fargo Bank NA and Assurant Inc. in a suit over their force-placed insurance practices, saying it is unclear how much of the money will actually reach affected homeowners.

  • October 24, 2014

    Calif. Appeals Court Revives Farmers 'Good Driver' Suit

    A California appeals court on Thursday revived a class action claiming Farmers Insurance Exchange violated unfair competition law by providing “good driver discounts” to eligible drivers, finding a lower court incorrectly interpreted an earlier remand to mean it could only consider dismissal instead of additional evidence.

  • October 24, 2014

    Insurer Wants Gawker Hulk Hogan Sex Tape Feud Trashed

    Nautilus Insurance Co. asked a New York federal judge to call the match early on Thursday in its dispute with Gawker Media LLC over a lawsuit involving the release of a sex tape featuring Hulk Hogan, arguing the claims fall outside the scope of coverage Gawker’s policy provides.

  • October 23, 2014

    5th Circ. Told Bad Repairs To Chevron Rig Are Covered

    An oil field services company on Tuesday blasted American Home Assurance Co.’s argument that its $2 million indemnification claim stemming from faulty repairs on a Chevron USA Inc. oil rig wouldn’t be covered under its general liability policy, telling the Fifth Circuit that the insurer is rehashing old arguments.

  • October 23, 2014

    San Bernardino Creditors Demand Deadline For Ch. 9 Plan

    A bank and an insurer urged the judge handling San Bernardino, California’s two-year-old bankruptcy case on Wednesday to fix a March 1 deadline for the city to submit a Chapter 9 exit plan, saying that a firm timeline will pressure recalcitrant unions into accepting benefit cuts.

  • October 23, 2014

    Insurer Asks 8th Circ. To Fry Oil Fire Coverage Verdict

    Michigan Millers Mutual Insurance Co. asked the Eighth Circuit on Wednesday to overturn a jury verdict finding it has to defend a cooking oil manufacturer for a fire at an Iowa country club allegedly caused by the company's soybean oil, arguing Michigan Millers was prejudiced by a delayed notification of the fire.

  • October 23, 2014

    9th Circ. Urged To Deny Allstate’s Bid To Toss TCPA Suit

    A consumer is pushing the Ninth Circuit to uphold a lower court’s refusal to dismiss a class action alleging Allstate Insurance Co. violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by robocalling cellphones without consent, saying two previous rulings by the court favor the plaintiff.

  • October 23, 2014

    2nd Circ. Blocks Collection Of $378M Terrorism Judgment

    The Second Circuit ruled Thursday that the families of people killed in a 1972 terrorist attack are barred under a federal insurance law from collecting on a $378 million judgment against North Korea using blocked electronic transfers held by JPMorgan Chase Bank NA and eight other banks.

  • October 23, 2014

    Global Regulators Finalize Capital Standard For AIG, Others

    An international group of insurance regulators on Thursday announced that it has finalized the first global capital standard for American International Group Inc., Metlife Inc., Prudential Financial Inc. and others tagged as important to worldwide financial stability.

  • October 23, 2014

    IRS Must Better Guard ACA Exchange Info, Watchdog Says

    Federal tax information for health insurance applicants that the IRS discloses to Affordable Care Act exchanges needs to be better protected, a U.S. Department of the Treasury watchdog said in a report made public Thursday.

Expert Analysis

  • The Root Cause Of Skyrocketing Defense Costs

    Douglas W. Greene

    The costs of defending securities class actions continue to increase, and the root cause is the convergence of two related factors — the prevailing view that securities class actions are “bet the company” cases, and the consequent reflexive hiring of BigLaw firms, says Douglas Greene of Lane Powell PC.

  • What Litigators Can Learn From Novelists

    Michael H. Rubin

    Many legal briefs are written in impenetrable jargon and begin with an introduction telling the court what it already knows, using words that stem from the 18th century, such as “hereinafter.” Instead, we should approach briefs the way novelists approach their writing, says Michael Rubin of McGlinchey Stafford PLLC.

  • Why Pro Rata Allocation Is The Majority Rule

    Scott M. Seaman

    "All sums" liability theory is based on an erroneous and selective reading of "all sums" language — such an interpretation violates the fundamental and nearly universal rule of construction that insurance contracts must be read as a whole, says Scott Seaman of Meckler Bulger Tilson Marick & Pearson LLP.

  • 7th Circ. Says Random Sampling Works For CAFA, Not How

    Esther S. McDonald

    Although the Seventh Circuit's ruling in Myrick v. WellPoint Inc. suggests a plaintiff may meet the burden of proving members of a putuative class action qualify under the home-state exception of the Class Action Fairness Act through random sampling, many questions remain unanswered, says Esther McDonald of Seyfarth Shaw LLP.

  • Fla. Appellate Court Expands Insurance Bad Faith Law

    Mike S. Levine

    Cammarata v. State Farm Florida Insurance Company represents a significant broadening of insurer bad faith law in Florida — where an insurer could previously avoid bad faith exposure simply by defeating a policyholder’s breach of contract claim, such a defeat no longer offers the insurer safe harbor, say Mike Levine and Anna Lazarus of Hunton & Williams LLP.

  • Information Governance: A Missed Opportunity For Lawyers

    Ann Snyder

    Today, information intersects every practice area, making all lawyers effectively information governance practitioners in one way or another. The issue is whether you will consciously embrace this emerging discipline — and capitalize on it to the benefit of your clients and your practice, says Ann Snyder of the Information Governance Initiative.

  • 9th Circ. Closes More Doors On ACA Challenges

    Michael W. Lieberman

    The Ninth Circuit's recent ruling in Coons v. Lew serves as a warning to would-be plaintiffs that challenges to the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate based on contrary state laws or the right to medical autonomy are likely to fail, say Mike Lieberman and Harsh Parikh of Crowell & Moring LLP.

  • CAFA Removal Procedure At Center Stage In Dart Cherokee

    Archis A. Parasharami

    If Public Citizen's amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co. v. Owens is correct in arguing that an appellate court can insulate questions arising under the Class Action Fairness Act from Supreme Court review by denying leave to appeal then that will create perverse incentives for lower courts and may hamper the development of uniform rules governing CAFA removals, says Archis Parasharami of Mayer Brown LLP.

  • Clarity Over Insurance Broker Liability Comes To NY, NJ

    Robert D. Chesler

    Both Huggins v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. and Duffy v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyds of London offer lessons for policyholders — they should seek the broadest coverage possible and look to hold their brokers liable when failing to provide the coverage originally promised, say attorneys at Anderson Kill PC.

  • A Reminder That 'Relatedness' Cases Are Fact-Specific

    Jan A. Larson

    The recent pro-coverage ruling in RSUI Indemnity Company v. Sempris LLC and Provell Inc. is due to the case's factual differences, which were critical against a backdrop of strong Delaware precedent supporting a broad interpretation of common “relatedness” policy language, says Jan Larson of Jenner & Block LLP.