One of my favorite aspects of working at Merlin Law Group is how much the firm invests in continuing education to ensure that their attorneys are always at the top of their game. When I’m not battling insurance companies, I spend my time taking various courses with the Academy of Insurance, a site that provides the busy insurance professional the tools to keep themselves abreast on the ever-developing world of insurance.
Continue Reading Water Damage Claims – Staying Vigilant

In my last blog, The McCarran-Ferguson – Expanded, I spoke at length about how the McCarran-Ferguson Insurance Regulation Act declared that continued regulation and taxation of the insurance industry by the states was in public interest. Pursuant to this policy, the Act exempts the business of insurance from the federal anti-trust statutes to the extent that state law regulates the insurance industry.1 Section 3(b) of the McCarran-Ferguson Act, however, provides an exception to this exemption by excluding from the statute’s protective shield acts and agreement amounting to boycott, intimidation, or coercion.2 This section was enacted to prevent a recurrence of anticompetitive practices characterized by the United States v. South-Easter Underwriters Association (South Eastern Underwriters) court as “boycott, coercion, and intimidation.”
Continue Reading Insurance Anti-Trust and The McCarren-Ferguson Act: Boycotts

(Note: This is the second part in a series of the McCarran-Ferguson Act.)

Last week in my post, The McCarran-Ferguson Act – What is it and How Does it Impact Insurance?, we learned that the McCarran-Ferguson Act gives insurance regulation power back to the states by providing a narrow exemption from federal antitrust laws for activities that are regulated by the states. Under the act:

No act of Congress shall be construed to invalidate, impair or supersede any law
enacted by any State for the purpose of regulating the business of insurance, or
which imposes a fee or a tax upon such business.1
Continue Reading The McCarran-Ferguson – Expanded

Note: This is the first of a two-part series on the McCarran-Ferguson Act.

Legislative History

The McCarran Ferguson Act was birthed during a time of rapid expansion in the American insurance industry. In the early 1800s, a need for governmental regulation became vital due to large casualties and increased competition that threatened the viability of many American companies.
Continue Reading The McCarran-Ferguson Act – What is it and How Does it Impact Insurance?

The Complex Litigation Coverage Litigation Handbook1 provides a comprehensive procedural guide to litigating complex insurance coverage matters in a not-so-complex way. The book supplies an overview of various insurance policies, issues, and litigation tactics all the way through appeals. The book expanded upon a two-year effort by the American Bar Association Task Force in conjunction with the help of experienced insurance coverage litigation judges to create a definitive reference tool for insurers and policyholders involved in litigation. It’s a must read for anyone starting out a career in insurance litigation to the senior professional.
Continue Reading Book Review: Complex Litigation Coverage Litigation Handbook

Insurance coverage actions often turn on the interpretation of standard, industry-wide language used in liability policies. Insurance Companies use the services of the Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO), to draft standard language for their policies and are also often participants in the drafting of these forms. As a result, policyholders will often seek documents and information relating to the insurance companies’ interpretation of the meaning of the policies, including the drafting history information.
Continue Reading Internal Records From The Insurance Services Office Can Be Obtained In Insurance Policy Interpretation Disputes

A must read for any practicing trial attorney – Rules of the Road: a Plaintiff Lawyer’s Guide to Proving Liability, takes the reader on a journey from the initial filing of the complaint to discovery, to the use of experts and of documents in preparation for trial, and then into the crucial techniques necessary to win any trial, all while using the Rules of the Road.
Continue Reading Rules Of The Road, by Rick Friedman

I own a number of insured boats. Amy Currotto and I are representing boatowners on several boat insurance disputes. Marine insurance policies are often thought of as being under admiralty law, but is it? It is important for the policyholder to analyze which law is applicable in order to properly evaluate coverage.
Continue Reading Boat & Yacht Insurance Claims: Does Federal Admiralty or State Law Apply?