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Agenda | Insurance Bad Faith Claims Seminar | Seattle, WA | March 01, 2012
Insurance Bad Faith Claims Seminar
  1. Understanding the Conflicts Inherent in Insurance Claims
    1. Insurer’s duty to insured when a claim is denied
      1. Prompt consideration of all claims
      2. Notice of claims denial
      3. Valid and understandable reasons for denial
      4. Insurers’ incentives to deny claims
    2. Insurer’s duty to defend in third party claims
      1. When does the duty to defend arise?
      2. Goal: quick monetary settlement or vindication of insured?
      3. Quality of counsel and whose interests are paramount?
    3. Insurer’s incentives to delay or refuse to settle tort cases
    4. Potential remedies if bad faith is proved
    5. Peculiarities of health insurance bad faith cases
      1. Pre-emption by ERISA
      2. May require a separate tort; not a breach of insurance contract 
  2. Elements of a Bad Faith Case
    1. Bad faith conduct: more than negligence, less than malicious
    2. Other potential plaintiffs and related causes of action
  3. Avoiding and Addressing Bad Faith during Claims Handling
    1. Understanding the claims handling process
    2. Obtaining all relevant information
    3. Getting satisfactory resolution and positioning your claim
  4. Preliminary Case Evaluation and Investigation
    1. Cause of action-current case law
    2. Available evidence
    3. Discovery issues
    4. Your client as a witness
    5. Experts
    6. Vulnerability to frivolous action charges
  5. Bad Faith Litigation Strategy
    1. Determining a realistic final objective
    2. How can I win this case?
    3. Determining goals for discovery
    4. Settlement negotiation
  6. Ethics
    1. Insurance issues that arise in defending clients in non-coverage litigation
      1. Conflicts checks: Does your law firm already represent your new client’s insurer?
      2. Avoid legal malpractice, e.g., provide notice of the claim to your client’s insurer, requesting a defense
      3. Scope of representation: Will you be advising your client on insurance issues?
      4. Understanding your duties if the insurance company is paying your fees to defend the insured
    2. The duty to cooperate: Attorney-client confidentiality and the work product doctrine
    3. The insurance company’s ongoing duty of good faith and how that impacts the attorney-client relationship
    4. Relevant Rules of Professional Conduct
    5. Overview of new ethics case law relating to insurance issues