Monthly Archives: April 2010

“High School Laptop Privacy Controversy Triggers Coverage Debate”

My friend Tom Hagy, of HB Litigation Conferences, was thinking about the potential insurance implications for a hypothetical situation where a school gives a student a laptop, and then the school allegedly uses the laptop’s camera to take pictures of the student.  What insurance might apply, Tom wondered, to a claim brought against the school by the student?  He asked me for some comments.

You can find the full exchange at Tom’s blog post:  “High School Laptop Privacy Controversy Triggers Coverage Debate.”  Here is a snippet of the exchange on the issue, including thoughts from me and my former colleague, John Gibbons:

A Quick Policyholder View (Replies Encouraged)

So a high school student takes home a school laptop.   The school allegedly used the laptop’s video security system to monitor and snap photos of the sophomore.  His family sued.   The school filed an insurance claim.  The carrier sued for a declaration of no coverage.  I think that’s where we are so far.

Naturally we at HB are curious about any disputes over insurance coverage, so I asked Scott Godes of Dickstein Shapiro, one of the speakers at HB’s upcomingNetDiligence Cyber Risk & Privacy Liability Forum, for some quick thoughts on the matter.  Below is what Scott had to say.  We’re looking for other points of view.  Please send them to me at tom.hagy@litigationconferences.

Text of  Comments from Scott Godes at Dickstein Shapiro . . . .

Without addressing specifically a set of facts or particular insurance policies, I am happy to give the following thoughts about what a policyholder would want to know. I was talking about this type of issue with my colleague John Gibbons, and we had the following thoughts.

First, a denial of coverage is not the end of the line for a policyholder; rather, it is a new beginning for the policyholder. If the policyholder has not already done so, it will need to engage counsel that is experienced in insurance coverage disputes. As you know from your work at HB Litigation Conferences, insurance coverage is a complicated area of the law, with sophisticated counsel representing insurance companies. . . .

Want to read the rest of the post, including the full set of comments from John and me?  Click over to High School Laptop Privacy Controversy Triggers Coverage Debate to read more.

Disclaimer:

This blog is for informational purposes only. This may be considered attorney advertising in some states. The opinions on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of the author’s law firm and/or the author’s past and/or present clients. By reading it, no attorney-client relationship is formed. If you want legal advice, please retain an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. The opinions expressed here belong only the individual contributor(s). © All rights reserved. 2010.

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Join me for the “Asbestos Insurance Litigation Conference.”

On April 21, 2010, from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm (Eastern), my friends at HB Litigation Conferences are hosting a live CLE : “Asbestos Insurance Conference.”  It is going to be a great event.  I’m going to be speaking at 11:30 am, presenting on a panel titled, “Revisiting Policy Limits.”  You can review the entire agenda by clicking here (PDF).  To find information on CLE credits, click here.

My presentation will include a discussion about the following points, in the context of insurance coverage for asbestos claims:

• The impact of products hazard versus premises/operations (non-products) claims
• The impact of the number of occurrences
• The impact of additional insureds
• Issues relating to annualized limits
• Types of actions – from Wellington arbitrations to claims alleging misrepresentation

To register, you can download the Registration Form (PDF) and mail/fax/email it to HB Litigation Conferences, complete the online form, or e-mail or call Brownie Bokelman at 484-324-2755 x 212 to register.

Disclaimer:

This blog is for informational purposes only. This may be considered attorney advertising in some states. The opinions on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of the author’s law firm and/or the author’s past and/or present clients. By reading it, no attorney-client relationship is formed. If you want legal advice, please retain an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. The opinions expressed here belong only the individual contributor(s). © All rights reserved. 2010.

myspace profile views counterNote:  as a speaker at the conference, I was not charged a fee to attend the remainder of the conference.

Directors and officers insurance coverage for Stanford Financial Group losses.

The Bureau of National Affairs recently wrote an article about a new court decision discussing directors and officers insurance coverage for officers of Stanford Financial Group.   In the BNA Corporate Accountability Report, reporters Tom Edmondson and Tina Chi discussed the decision Pendergest-Holt v.
Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s of London
, No. 10-20069 (5th Cir. Mar. 15, 2010).  (BNA has made the full text of the decision available here.)  In the lede, Mr. Edmondson and Ms. Chi explained:

The Fifth Circuit’s recent ruling in Pendergest-Holt v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s of London underscores the importance of the wording of the prerequisite provisions in the conduct exclusions in directors and officers insurance policies, corporate insurance attorneys told BNA in recent interviews.

The decision discussed the advancement of defense costs under a directors and officers insurance policy that the London insurance market (referred to as Lloyd’s of London in the story).  The story discussed how the court interpreted policy exclusions and limitations, and that the court rejected the insurance company’s interpretation of how the money laundering exclusion applied.

The article also quotes me at the end, providing some pointers and best practices that I gave for policyholders in D&O and other insurance claim disputes.  For example, the article states:

Insureds should also keep in mind that when they want to make a claim under an insurance policy, any
“high-dollar” potential loss, claim, or actual claim will likely cause the insurance company to seek opinions
from sophisticated coverage counsel that represent insurance companies, Godes said. “These insurance
attorneys will advise in terms of what provisions and exclusions may apply,” he said.
Thus, “insureds and policyholders are well advised to take the same approach as these insurance
companies and have counsel involved early so that they can better protect their own rights,” Godes said.

For the rest of my advice, you’ll have to check out the full article.  My firm is hosting a copy of the article online, which can be found here.

Disclaimer:

This blog is for informational purposes only. This may be considered attorney advertising in some states. The opinions on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of the author’s law firm and/or the author’s past and/or present clients. By reading it, no attorney-client relationship is formed. If you want legal advice, please retain an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. The opinions expressed here belong only the individual contributor(s). © All rights reserved. 2010.

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