My insurance defense colleagues not representing Write Your Own Carriers are wondering how they missed the National Flood Insurance defense fee gravy train. I am certain it will be the topic of discussion among partners of insurance defense firms at the Defense Research Institute as well as the Loss Executives Association meetings this winter. If I could only be a fly on the wall. . . .

The headline information came from Magistrate Judge Gary Brown. In his Case Management Order 13, he made the following footnote comment:

Alarmingly, one attorney prominently involved in coordinating the defense of the WYO carriers has predicted that the defense of these cases could cost more than $100 million, a figure that likely exceeds the cost of settling all of the cases at full value.

Smart judges write smart Orders for a reason—they are trying to tell less smart attorneys, like yours truly, something. The problem is that some of my colleagues do not know how to read between the lines. After doing this for thirty years, I have learned the hard way that "between the lines" is where the game is played.

Now, if State Farm was the defendant paying the bill, I bet that SMU law graduate and State Farm CEO Ed Rust, Jrs.’ smile…

…would be something harsher than a frown and he may be thinking something not so Methodist about his insurance attorneys who were running up fees at his company’s expense and making customers very disgruntled.

Time will tell if the management of the National Flood Program is in the same universe at saving money and being concerned about customers as the Rust family is at State Farm.

Positive Thought of the Day:

"Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who’ll argue with you."
          – John Wooden

And, our firm is having an 80’s theme for this weekend; so, how about "A Brilliant Mind" for a song: