We have a history of representing insurers nationally and regionally in complex insurance issues, including cutting-edge coverage litigation, bad faith cases, insurance liquidations and governmental relations. Our team involves insurance attorneys licensed in a number of states, allowing us to bring a consistent level of excellence to our clients throughout the multi-state region we serve.
Some specific areas of our insurance practice include:
We represent insurance carriers in some of the most significant coverage litigation tried around the country, including the first asbestos "trigger" decision. We are known for our work in complex, multi-party coverage actions, as well as single policyholder actions, and actions involving directors’ and officers’ policies (or other professional liability policies).
Bad Faith Litigation
Our attorneys defend carriers against common law and statutory bad faith cases in states with challenging legal issues and difficult, pro-plaintiff climates.
Coverage opinions, tort litigation, and other risk management advice
As part of representation of insurance companies, we are frequently asked to provide coverage opinions, handle the defense of local tort cases and advise on other risk management issues. We handle these duties with consistency and experience.
Agents and Brokers
Our attorneys litigate disputes involving insurance agents and brokers, including commissions and premiums, as well as professional liability claims for alleged failure to secure pertinent insurance coverage. As a result of our work with agents and brokers, we developed a thorough understanding of agency relationships and the legal and factual issues that affect agent and broker duties and liability.
We served the Ohio Attorney General as outside counsel to the Ohio Department of Insurance, Division of Liquidations in connection with the statutory liquidation of certain failed Ohio property and casualty insurance companies. Our work included marshaling the assets of the failed insurance companies and the prosecution of litigation against various debtors of the companies or those responsible for the failure of the companies. The litigation we handled included suits against: directors and officers of the failed insurers, financial auditors for the insurers, the insurers' actuary, the insurers' agents, and high deductible insureds. We also assisted the liquidator in running out the affairs of the failed insurers, including terminating the pension plans and developing the statutorily required early distribution plan for state insurance guaranty funds.
We defend our insurance company clients in matters commenced by or which relate to the relationship they have with their agents, adjusters, managers and other employees or independent contractors.
Defense of Administrative Actions
We defend our clients before administrative agencies and other groups.
ERISA and Benefits Matters
Combining our experience in employee benefits, labor and employment, and insurance coverage, we assist employers, benefit plans and plan administrators in handling state and federal litigation involving ERISA plans. These disputes have involved employees' health insurance, disability and life insurance, and retirement benefits, including Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDRO's).
We offer the insurance industry a full range of Legislative and Regulatory Government Relations services, including representing insurers in administrative proceedings before regulators; lobbying and advocacy; drafting bills, amendments, position papers and rulemaking comments; strategy and planning; directing and participating in coalitions and grassroots campaigns; legal analysis; monitoring and reporting; and securing access to decision makers.
Our team also serves as the voice of the insurance industry in West Virginia. We develop a cohesive legislative agenda and industry strategy for each legislative session; serve as the liaison between the insurance commissioner, state government and the industry; and provide testimony to legislative committees on issues affecting insurers. The West Virginia Insurance Commissioner, state officials, other regulators and business groups routinely consult with our lawyers to review and comment on proposed administrative rules or statutory proposals affecting insurers and file briefs amicus curiae on industry issues.
Notably, our lawyers played a key role in passing West Virginia's comprehensive insurance and civil justice reform legislation, including the repeal of the Third Party Bad Faith law. Our work was not limited to lobbying and extended to drafting key components of the legislation and sponsoring a significant public relations and grassroots campaign to support passage.