Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Lawyers In Love


  • Here is slightly more information about the AG's office against the State Bar--for which there is no legitimate reason that it be sealed. [TNI]
  • Markel Insurance wants to void the policy it issued to Robert Graham because he lied about claims against him. Okay, coverage lawyers, how will this play out? [RJ]
  • Our Legislature is hard at work making sure...we don't have to get microchipped? [Las Vegas Sun]
  • Here's a special Valentines Day song for you straight from the '80s and Jackson Browne. [Not a Rickroll, I promise]

24 comments:

  1. This article just says that the theft occurred prior to the issuance of the policy, not that there were actually claims pending at the time of issuance. It makes a difference whether he had committed theft prior to the issuance of the policy or whether he had actual professional liability claims against him prior to the issuance of the policy. If it's the former, and no professional liability claims were made re: the theft, he didn't lie to underwriting and voiding ab initio would be a losing effort. If it's the latter, and the insurance company can prove through internal underwriting policies/procedures that the policy would never have been written in the first place had the company known about the claims, voiding is possible.

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    1. Good answer, 8:45. I always appreciate when lawyers take a second to explain issues out of my practice area on this blog.

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    2. If I'm the carrier, I argue that Graham knew of his fraud at the time of the policy's inception. If I know, at the time I apply for coverage, that I've done something that will eventually engender an insurance claim, and the insurer can prove I knew, I have coverage problems.

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    3. True. But it seems to me that making this argument simply gives you the right to deny coverage, not void the policy. They are seeking to void the policy. There's a difference. You deny coverage and you may be stuck defending against all of the claims. You void the policy and there's no duty to defend. Voiding means Markel would only be responsible for refunding the premiums and could wash their hands of it.

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    4. I think the situation with Graham concerned policy renewal, and he apparently filled out renewal forms and asserted that no new complaints had risen since the last renewal, and that information was false. The insurance company will fight tooth-and-nail to the end, will never settle and will win. They will make certain the trier of fact is fully aware of Graham's arrest and charges, the missing 13 million(or whatever it's up to by now), and the whole sordid mess which involves purported fraud of such a staggering financial magnitude of which the Nevada legal profession has rarely seen. My view is that there is no way in hell the company ever pays a nickel, and there is no way in hell they are ever ordered to pay a nickel(providing, of course, that it is true that he was dishonest and concealed the existence of lawsuits against him, and bar complaints, on his renewal application).

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    5. Non-Lawyer question - Is it the intent of malpractice coverage to cover acts of fraud by the insured? I was under the impression that the insurer is covering you for mistakes and/or negligence, not willful criminal acts and professional misconduct. I'm stunned to think that a malpractice policy doesn't contain an exclusion for intentional criminal acts. It's the professional that's insured, after all, not his clients?

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    6. Ah...see 2014-02-14@09:37 in response to my question....at least his/her policy would seem to exclude coverage for criminal acts.

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    7. Only after criminal adjudication. Of course they'd have to prove that the damages were in consequence of the criminal act, but that's the easy part. Until there's a criminal adjudication, there's indemnity coverage. Plus, as pointed out above, there's arguably still a duty to defend even if there's no duty to indemnify. That's a costly endeavor and one Markel seeks to avoid by attempting to void the policy.

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    8. @8:45. It would depend on whether his policy was a claims made policy or whether it covered the period when the acts were performed. The difference could affect the decision of coverage or no coverage.

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  2. As far as how it will play out...I think the fact that the BK court is hearing it is not great for the insurer. I don't know why they didn't file a dec action in US District Court instead. They'd stand a good chance there if there were prior claims and Graham was dishonest when procuring insurance.

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    1. I believe Markel (ironic that Markel is in bankruptcy court but I digress) is seeking to lift the stay so that they can bring their Dec Relief in Eighth Judicial District Court.

      On another topic, anyway to turn down the aggressiveness of the captchas on here?

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    2. I haven't done much in terms of practice in the BK Court, but shouldn't they be filing an adversary action in the BK case instead of seeking relief from stay to pursue a Dec Relief action in state court?

      Any BK attorney wish to weigh in on this?

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  3. Lawyers in Love is a great tune off a great album. Thanks for reminding me of this gem!

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    1. Sorry, I'm not a fan of this one (I'd prefer a Rickroll). I'll grant you that there are some masterpieces in JB's catalog, but not this one

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  4. I'd be interested to know if their malpractice policy covered intentional fraud/theft. In reading through my malpractice policy with Medmarc, I see the following exclusion:

    SECTION 4. EXCLUSIONS
    4.1. WHAT THIS POLICY DOES NOT INSURE
    This policy does not apply to:
    a) any claim involving willful wrongdoing or any dishonest, criminal, malicious, or fraudulent act, error, or omission by any Insured, provided, however, that the Company will defend any claim alleging liability excluded by this paragraph until such time as the Insured is adjudged to be liable to pay because of such conduct or is adjudged to have committed, or pleads guilty to, an act, error, or omission described in this paragraph. The Company will not indemnify an Insured for any damages the Insured is adjudged to be liable to pay because of such conduct;

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    1. Which is why clever Plaintiffs rarely take a judgment for criminal acts when they believe that their interests are better served by covered claims.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. Best lawyer songs is a good topic. I like LiL but this one is still my favorite lawyer song (not a RickRoll).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGhd53hV0Z0

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    1. I was just about to list that one as THE greatest lawyer song ever. Absolutely no question or discussion. Another good one, not specifically about lawyers, is Springsteen's "Johnny 99". Goes through the criminal procedure process as the song progresses.

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    2. Weezer's Jamie is the best.

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    3. Warren Zevon was a treasure, RIP. What a great songwriter

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    4. The correct answer is Peter Tosh. Legalize It...lawyers smoke it.

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    5. NO contest. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvNQLJ1_HQ0
      I'm actually putting my name on this so you can chase me down if it's a Rick Roll.

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