David Pettinato won a motion to have an appraisal award confirmed yesterday. His case, Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company vs. John Francisco, No. 2:08-cv-277 (Fla. MD March 30, 2010), relied extensively on another case we argued and won at the trial level and Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal, Three Palms Pointe, Inc. v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., 250 F. Supp. 2d 1357 (M.D. Fla. 2003), aff’d 362 F.3d 1316 (11th Cir. 2004). David’s recent case and Three Palms Pointe, which I started working on a decade ago, are instructional about many of the appraisal coverage issues which routinely arise.

Continue Reading Three Palms Pointe Helps Policyholders Get Appraisal Awards Paid Again

David Pettinato and I were having a discussion about our law firm yesterday afternoon. The one thing that I promised him was that change would be constant as we strive to do our jobs better and improve our service. In February, David Pettinato suggested that I contact policyholder attorney Shaun Marker, since I indicated we needed to provide better service to clients and referral sources in the Palm Beach County area. Following a Press Release, I am proud to announce that the Merlin Law Group has opened an office in West Palm Beach with Shaun Marker.

Continue Reading Merlin Law Group Opens West Palm Beach Office

David Pettinato has been having a tremendous professional year. He was elected to national office of the American Association for Justice as an officer of the Insurance Section. He also was re-elected as the Co-Chair of the Bad Faith Litigation Group. In what must be a record “partial” settlement for a sinkhole loss, David received an $8.1 million dollar recovery for a client. The bulk of the amount claimed in that case is still at issue. And, he was recently published in Trial Magazine.

Continue Reading David Pettinato Published in Trial Magazine Regarding the “Loss Payment Clause”

I wonder how concerned some insurance companies would be if they learned that one of their former managers who was responsible for claims conduct lawsuits spoke to a group of policyholder attorneys. After hearing and learning from such an individual yesterday, I have a new appreciation for how sophisticated the litigation management can be in some insurance companies and how important discovery involving improper insurance company conduct can be to success for my clients. I also wondered how much of a disservice some attorneys do to their clients by failing to invest time and money in conferences such as this.

Continue Reading Insurance Coverage Attorneys that Share Ideas and Information Do a Better Job for Policyholders

Paul Butler was my first legal mentor. John Pappas was a classmate of mine at the University of Florida School of Law, and the best man in my wedding. They have built a hundred attorney law firm representing solely insurance companies. We have cases against them all the time. As they are physically located several floors below us in the same office building, and both David Pettinato and I worked at the firm in different eras, we have a pretty good idea of what our familiar foes are about.

Continue Reading Butler Pappas–A Familiar Foe

There is nothing like combining business with pleasure. I suppose if your business is fun, you are always having a party at work. Today, I am meeting with my bad faith insurance attorney colleagues. Tonight, I will celebrate the Port of New Orleans litigation with my client, co-counsel and legal staff.

Continue Reading Bad Faith Litigation Meeting And New Orleans Party

Insurance disputes often are tried in federal court. The usual reason is that federal courts have jurisdiction over controversies where parties are from different states and there is a sufficient monetary amount in controversy. I have often questioned the logic of allowing insurance companies voluntarily licensed in a state to remove disputes from that state