My sister, Emily Merlin, has a bachelor’s degree in paralegal administration from the University of West Florida. She reminds me that she can do anything that I can as a lawyer except give legal advice, take depositions or go to hearings. The truth is that paralegals help our policyholder clients and can become subject matter experts. They can make the difference between winning and losing a case. 

Continue Reading Marine, Boat, and Yacht Claims Files Are Discoverable In New York—A Tribute Post To Retiring Paralegal Bob Bluni 

Robert Rutter Argues That the Term “Physical Loss or Damage To” Was An Expanding Coverage Concept Before the Covid Coverage Controversy 

One of the pleasurable aspects of my practice is meeting passionate, intelligent, and experienced colleagues in different parts of the country who have similar issues and problems. I learn a lot from them and enjoy the camaraderie. One of those attorneys is Robert Rutter of Ohio.  

Continue Reading Robert Rutter Argues That the Term “Physical Loss or Damage To” Was An Expanding Coverage Concept Before the Covid Coverage Controversy

Yesterday’s post, Ohio Justices Obviously Do Not Have an Electrical Engineering Degree When They Rule Software Cannot Have a Physical Presence, resulted in a number of private emails to me. Some believe that this case is a result of the fallout caused by Covid coverage cases where many cases found that Covid does not cause physical damage. As I see it, the trend for property insurers is to limit coverage by arguing that a loss or parts of a loss are not “physical” in nature and also spread the myth that “loss of use” is not a physical loss but an “economic” one.  

Continue Reading The Property Insurance Industry Is Pushing to Limit the Concept of Physical Damage or Physical Injury

“If software does not physically exist, is it metaphysical?” That was my thought while reading a recent opinion by the Supreme Court of Ohio1 explaining why coverage did not exist when computer software was subject to a ransomware attack. Here is the holding:
Continue Reading Ohio Justices Obviously Do Not Have an Electrical Engineering Degree When They Rule Software Cannot Have a Physical Presence

Lawyer-to-client communications are essential. Each policyholder claim is unique, with unique issues and facts of damage and valuation. Many policyholders are in a state of trauma following a loss. Most never dreamed that they would have to hire an attorney. Attorneys must break through and develop a trusting relationship through honest and effective personal communication if they are to be successful.
Continue Reading Policyholders and Their Attorneys Need to Personally Communicate

The National Flood Program is different. It follows its own rules and regulations based on federal law, not state law. Public adjusters and contractors have been writing and calling to say that the flood payment checks do not include their names. Warning—you should expect that they will not include your name and that your payment will come directly to the policyholder. Policyholders and their public adjusters and contractors need to make upfront decisions about how to handle national flood payments between themselves.
Continue Reading Flood Claim Payments Without Public Adjuster or Contractors Named on Checks—Beware!

(I apologize for not having a blog the last couple of days. When you hear news reports that COVID is still around…believe it. After having it a couple of years ago and having the vaccine and a couple of boosters, a Christmas trip to New York City left me with a Covid hangover. I am fine and appreciate the kind words from so many.)

Scot Strems was finally disbarred from practicing law by the Supreme Court of Florida. I noted his law firm’s problems in Public Adjusters and Those Directly Soliciting Insurance Claims on Behalf of Attorneys Are Committing a Crime and Can Go to Jail Along With the Attorneys, and Strems Law Firm Suspended For Unethically Representing Claimants. The Supreme Court of Florida provided this background in its opinion:
Continue Reading Policyholders Should Always Independently Check the References and Reputation of Attorneys —An Example is Scot Strems