The tone policyholder attorneys use to explain issues and facts to others is important. Insurance coverage issues can be complex and difficult to understand by those of us who work in this business on a full time basis. The longer I do this, the better I understand that attorneys do not have license to talk down or demean anybody. Attorneys are fortunate to be of service to others and sometimes get paid handsomely for it.
Unfortunately, I find that when communication gets strained or some attorneys get too full of themselves or their position, they tend to demean others. As a member of this fraternity, I am certain that I have done so as well. It is wrong, and all of us should strive to prevent it and act considerately and professionally in all communications.
One reason this is on my mind is because of a recent post, Texas Insurance Law: Entrustment and Theft written by Sergio Leal. The judge ruled against the policyholder noting:
With no evidence of a breach of contract, Bayou City is wrong on its claim for extracontractual remedies. The principal of Bayou City, Jon A. Holverson, filed this meretricious claim, and his lawyer supplemented it by pleading this meretricious case. Neither could have had a good faith belief of the soundness of their attack on American – not one based on facts actually investigated and law thoughtfully researched. It was a naked grasp for someone else’s money. (emphasis added)
I did not know what the term "meretrcious" meant as I read the opinion, although I assumed it was not good. After looking it up in the dictionary, I think the Court intended the bolded definition:
1.a. Attracting attention in a vulgar manner: meretricious ornamentation.
b. Plausible but false or insincere; specious: a meretricious argument.
2. Of or relating to prostitutes or prostitution: meretricious relationships.
Federal Judge Lynn Hughes is an honorable and learned jurist. I am certain he has reasons for writing the opinion in the manner he did. Certainly, anybody appearing before Judge Hughes should know the law and facts of the case because he has a reputation of high expectations for attorneys to properly prepare themselves for their client’s sake. Judge Hughes certainly was not impressed with the policyholder’s attorney in that case.
Still, I wondered about the policyholder. I looked up Jon Holverson and found the Bayou City on the internet. Holverson and Bayou City look pleasant enough and the web site provides a charming quote by Holverson:
… I know these times have been challenging, but rest assured you have come to the right place. I have been in business since 1985, serving the Greater Houston area and Texas. As a result I have become quite an expert on most aspects of real estate. Virtually all of our business comes from referrals (referral of friends, past clients, lawyers, accountants, bankers, etc.) I believe this approach to business validates the high quality of services offered through our company.
I have extensive expertise and experience in the real estate industry, and therefore am able to serve you in a variety of ways. I assist with matching people with the perfect home in the communities that suit their lifestyle the best. Throughout the years I have built relationships with institutions in various communities, and I can provide recommendations for many home services. As a pillar of the community this is a company you can trust!
I am the guru of real estate and no matter what you’re trying to buy or sell I am the person to talk to about it. So, please search the website and give me a call and let’s talk about it!
It’s a good life!
The rather damning opinion regarding the policyholder’s claim juxtaposed against the upbeat manner Holverson seems to present reminded me of an inspirational song with the following lyrics:
To my friends in New York, I say hello
My friends in L.A. they don’t know
Where I’ve been for the past few years or so
Paris to China to Col-or-ado
Sometimes there’s airplanes I can’t jump out
Sometimes there’s bullshit that don’t work now
We are god of stories but please tell me–
What there is to complain about
When you’re happy like a fool
Let it take you over
When everything is out
You gotta take it in
Oh this has gotta be the good life
This has gotta be the good life
This could really be a good life, good life