They say you should save the best for last. So, Steve Badger, Rene Sigman, and yours truly are making the last presentation at the Texas Association of Public Insurance Adjusters Spring Conference on March 2 in Austin, Texas. Given our preparation, the title seems appropriate, Three for One & One for All! A Lively Discussion of Hot Topics In Texas Claims & Litigation

Continue Reading Are Texas Public Adjuster Contracts in Jeopardy? Don’t Miss the Panel Discussion at TAPIA’s Spring Conference!

Louisiana policyholders have suffered through their share of destructive storms, hurricanes, and floods over the past five years. Many of these policyholders need the services of quality restoration contractors and great public insurance adjusters. Recently, Hurricane Ida has led to a number of public adjusters asking for advice about doing work in Louisiana. I tell public adjusters “do not do business as usual and do not have a contingent agreement.
Continue Reading Louisiana Public Adjusters Should Not Have Any Form of a Contingent Agreement

Have you ever asked somebody if they can see “the handwriting on the wall?”1 You do not need to be a legal eagle to anticipate the probable outcome of this blog’s title question while reading the lower Florida appellate court’s ruling2 and how it phrased the certified question to the Florida Supreme Court:
Continue Reading Can the Public Adjuster on a Contingent Fee Act As the Appraiser?

On August 22, 2013, a fire destroyed an office building where one tenant, Bernstein Liebhard LLP, was a mass tort law practice. The firm’s mass tort practice was shut down for a year. The insured law firm sued Sentinel Insurance Company Limited for $27 million arising from lost income from several hundred mass tort clients who failed to retain the firm during the 12-month period after the fire.
Continue Reading Court Allows Insured to Recover Business Income for Potential Contingency Fees

Public adjusters and policyholder attorneys were enamored with the possibility of filing class action lawsuits against contractors and roofers with contingent fee contracts or contracts that include public adjuster services. Contractors, roofers and their attorneys writing these types of contracts should be on Red Alert because those types of contracts are illegal and could result in huge disgorgements of payments to prior policyholder customers.

Continue Reading Unauthorized Practice of Public Adjusting and the Lon Smith Roofing Case Should Scare Contractors and Roofers with Contingent Contracts

A question lawyers representing insureds often must answer when preparing for trial in a first-party property insurance claim is, “In what capacity can I use the public adjuster as a witness?” In Pennsylvania, the Court of Common Pleas for Lycoming County has stated that a public adjuster on a contingent fee may not testify as an expert.

Continue Reading Public Adjusters on a Contingent Fee May Not Testify As Expert Witnesses in Pennsylvania

Last week, I wrote about insurance coverage and bad faith cases where public adjusters may need to be designated as experts at trial. Accordingly, a public adjuster’s expertise must be thoroughly considered by the insured’s lawyer when it comes time for designation of experts. Problems may arise, however, if the public adjuster is to offer expert opinion and the public adjuster has a contingency fee contract with the insured.

Continue Reading Public Adjusters, Expert Opinions and Contingency Fees Don’t Mix