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My collegues and I coined a new term in 2004, following Hurricane Ivan. We became co-counsel with the prominent Pensacola firm of Levin, Papatonio, Thomas, Echner & Proctor. They brought a brilliant attorney, Bobby Loehr, out of semi-retirement to work with me on their insurance claim litigation. We referred to hurricane cases where nothing was left of our clients homes or businesses as "slab cases." It was an important legal designation because of the anti-concurrent causation issues and the then applicable Florida Valued Policy Laws. Upon my arrival in Mississippi just following Katrina, it was obvious to me the same litigation was going to ensue; there were thousands of "slab" cases. We actually noted these cases because they generally had the most significant damage and the most unresolved legal questions. 

Continue Reading Slabbed

After a long day of work, I called a client at 11:38 on Saturday night to confirm the resolution of a long and hard-fought lawsuit. An attorney in our Houston office and my paralegal immediately emailed, thanking me that they could stop working around the clock to prepare the case for trial. My work day started at 5 am, checking out the Hurricane Ike forecast. Following a two hour run with my St. Petersburg running buddies, I was on a plane with David Pettinato, our firm’s hardest working attorney. We flew to Ft. Lauderdale to meet with public adjusters and sign the closing of a large case David recently won.  

Continue Reading A Work and Play Saturday

Tropical Storm Arthur starts off the 2008 hurricane season with some early inning excitement.  In my line of work, I am always asked during the summer months how many hurricanes there will be and where they will hit.  The newspapers are full of stories from meteorologic prognosticators regarding these events.  I simply reply it is a guess:  the odds are a major hurricane will form in the Gulf of Mexico and there may be an Atlantic Coast hurricane as well.  The truth is nobody knows. But the fact that nobody knows does not mean that you should not be vigilant, especially along the Gulf Coast areas in June and July. 

Continue Reading First Day of Hurricane Season and the First Named Storm is History

 June 1st starts another hurricane season.  USA Today quoted the Climate Prediction Center as saying, "there’s no reason to think that break [from hurricanes over the past two years] will continue."  In short, they think the probabilities are good (or bad, if you think about it) that a few times this year somebody, somewhere, is going to get whacked along the coastal areas. There are several things people and businesses should do now to prepare and then to remember as the season progresses. 

Continue Reading Another Hurricane Season

 It’s about time.  For a decade, Allstate has refused to comply with discovery and court rules regarding its internal documents which demonstrate who, how and why Allstate redesigned everything in its claims program to simply pay less on claims. The Florida First District Court of Appeal issued an opinion which condemns many of the tactics Allstate and its attorneys have long used to thumb its nose at judges. 

Continue Reading The Good Hands Gets the Iron Fist

That’s the annual revenue of United Casualty parent, Unitrin, a company with a branded glass tower at One Wacker Drive in Chicago.  To put things in perspective, even if United Casualty had paid policy limits to our clients for damages caused to their homes by Hurricane Charley, it would have probably still been shy of

If there is any question about whether consumers or insurance company officials have the power and control the legislative process, all one has to do is read the Linn’s Stamp News article of May 12, 2008.  It speaks for itself:

Bill set to name post office for lobbyist By Bill McAllister, Washington Correspondent Nothing in

 Either the Governor of Florida or Allstate is not telling the truth. The lead front page story of the St. Petersburg Times stated the following:"Gov. Charlie Crist confirmed the Allstate offer was floated recently, and he promptly rejected it. Allstate officials said…..that no offer had been made." Which is it?

Is Allstate accusing the Governor of