Category Archives: Occurrence

Asbestos Insurance Litigation Audiocast with Live Q&A

We all know what happens in summer time – lounging by the pool, re-runs on TV, and scrambling for CLE, right?  Of course, your thirst for knowledge about the latest information in the world of insurance coverage and asbestos claims remains unquenched.  Do I have the solution for you!  Sign up for the Asbestos Insurance Litigation Audiocast with Live Q&A.  It will run on July 15, 2010 from 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm Eastern.  You’ll be able to get Continuing Legal Education credit right from your desk!  And, like they say on tv, “if you haven’t seen it [live when we presented this information in Philadelphia], it’s new to you!”  Plus, unlike tv shows being run for an encore round, this CLE will have live Q&A.  Live!  You can ask questions, and you won’t have to go through voicemail jail or hear that your question is important to us, so please keep holding.*  Click here for a link to the full agenda.

My presentation includes a fascinating discussion about premises/operations insurance coverage, also known as “non-products” amongst us cool insurance practitioners.

To register, download the Registration Form and mail/fax/email it to my friends at HB, complete the online form, or call Brownie Bokelman at 484-324-2755 x 212 to register.

* Actually, I can’t guarantee that you won’t hear that.
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.

Note:  as a speaker at the conference, I was not charged a fee to attend the remainder of the conference.

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Join Me for “The Hot Buttons in Asbestos Insurance Litigation”

On Wednesday, June 23, 2010. from 2:00 – 3:40 pm (Eastern).  I’m going to be part of a panel discussing “The Hot Buttons in Asbestos Insurance Litigation.”

We’re going to cover:

  • The Keasbey ruling: contribution and trigger
  • Allocation–pro rata or all sums: jurisdictions still at play, choice of law and related
  • Aggregate limits and “non-products” disputes
  • Insurance and bankruptcy: the current landscape
  • This discussion qualifies for between 1.5 to 2.0 continuing legal education (CLE) credits, depending on state requirements. View the CLE credit details.

    Want to sign up?  Purchase the teleconference Audio Package (includes MP3 audio recording files and handbook on CD). To order or learn more, click here, call 484-324-2755, or email allison.emery@litigationconferences.com.

    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.

    Kirk Hartley Offers Commentary On My Post Regarding The Definition of Occurrence in Insurance Policies

    Kirk Hartley, one of the prolific authors of GlobalTort, just posted “Commentary On The Definition of Occurrence in Insurance Policies – Another Reason GCs for Insureds Get Grey Hair Managing Legacy Claims,” in which he commented on my post, “Is Uncertainty Over the Meaning of “Occurrence” Susceptible to a Drafting Solution?”

    Kirk says that it’s “[a]n interesting post,” the original and complete version of which is found over at the Adams Drafting blog, because Ken Adams, Adam Scales, and I address an issue that Kirk says will cause “[b]illions and soon trillions of dollars [to] change hands based on the meaning given or found by court’s deciding insurance coverage cases for underlying toxic tort cases.”

    Kirk was kind enough to conclude that “[t]he following words from Scott are key:”

    Although the term was designed to be a clarification of coverage, it comes as no surprise to someone who represents policyholders when claims have been denied that insurance companies would have courts believe that instead, “occurrence” was designed to support coverage denials or limitations. Insurance companies also are happy to argue conflicting interpretations of “occurrence,” depending on which interpretation will mean less coverage for the policyholder in the dispute at issue.”
    Kirk, thanks very much for commenting on the post!  And for those of you with an interest in mass tort litigation questions, both in the national and international arenas, be sure to visit GlobalTort and add its feed to your news reader, as I’ve done.

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    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. 2009.

    Is Uncertainty Over the Meaning of “Occurrence” Susceptible to a Drafting Solution?

    Ken Adams, who runs the Adams Drafting blog, is a Lecturer in Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and the author of the Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, asked me to write some commentary regarding the drafting of insurance policies and the interpretation of “occurrence.”  I was honored by the request, because Ken has been described as “a leading authority on modern and effective contract drafting.”

    Ken asked, on his blog:

    Can astute contract drafting can forestall all contract disputes? No, it cannot. Most contract disputes, sure. But not all.

    Ken thought about this issue in the context of insurance policies, specifically, as to the interpretation of the term “occurrence.”

    So here’s my question: Couldn’t insurance companies draft policies—and an insurance policy is just another kind of contract—in such a way as to bring clarity to the meaning of “occurrence”?

    Ken, however, explains that he is not an expert in the area of insurance.  To get some perspective on the issue, he turned to Professor Adam Scales and me:

    Normally I think through such issues on my own. But I know next to nothing about insurance, and I’m not inclined to give myself a crash course in the subject, so for my own edification I consulted two people who have experience with this issue. I offer you their thoughts, in case this is an issue of any interest to you.

    In my discussion of the issue, I explain:

    The meaning of “occurrence” is a question that has been contested for some time in courts across the United States, with questions of whether potential or actual underlying liability against a policyholder is considered an occurrence, and, if so, just how many occurrences are there under one or multiple insurance policies. Adding to the complexity, the question has been answered in multiple ways by state and federal courts (not to mention arbitrators) across the country.

    * * *

    Although the term was designed to be a clarification of coverage, it comes as no surprise to someone who represents policyholders when claims have been denied that insurance companies would have courts believe that instead, “occurrence” was designed to support coverage denials or limitations. Insurance companies also are happy to argue conflicting interpretations of “occurrence,” depending on which interpretation will mean less coverage for the policyholder in the dispute at issue.

    For the conclusion that I offer, as well as the comments that Ken Adams and Adam Scales offer, head on over to the Adams Drafting blog to read more.

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    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. 2009.