Wednesday, November 22, 2017
   
Insurance Sidebar :: Amy Stewart PC’s Law Blog on Insurance Coverage Issues Minimize

Perhaps D&O Investigation Coverage Is Worth the Price

It is time for corporate insureds to reevaluate whether they need to add entity coverage to their D&O insurance programs for SEC and other administrative investigations.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit recently affirmed summary judgment in favor of a D&O carrier, finding no coverage under Colorado law for legal fees and expenses associated with a pre-Wells Notice SEC investigation of the insured organization.

In MusclePharm Corp. v. Liberty Ins. Underwriters, Inc., Case No. 16-1462 (10th Cir. Oct. 17, 2017), the court issued an unpublished decision in which it decided the SEC’s investigation leading up to its issuance of a “Wells Notice” to the plaintiff did not fall under the policy definition of “claim” because it did not allege a “wrongful act” during the policy period.

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2018 Edition of Amy Stewart’s ‘Texas Insurance Coverage Litigation’ Now Available

The 2018 edition of “Texas Insurance Coverage Litigation: The Litigator’s Practice Guide” by Dallas lawyer Amy Elizabeth Stewart of Amy Stewart Law is now available for purchase. The 2018 edition includes updates on the rapidly evolving area of cyber insurance, as well as an expanded section on commercial general liability policies. 

Click here to order the book.

“Texas Insurance Coverage Litigation” provides legal analysis, practical tips, and annotations specific to practicing before Texas courts and the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, including a focus on third-party liability policies. It also includes a valuable set of forms for use in drafting pleadings and other legal documents.

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Amy Stewart Law Receives Best Law Firms Tier 1 Ranking in Insurance Law

Insurance coverage boutique Amy Stewart Law has been recognized for the firm’s expertise in Insurance Law with a Dallas-Fort Worth Tier 1 Metropolitan ranking on the 2018 Best Law Firms list published by U.S. News & World Report and The Best Lawyers in America.

This recognition is based on client and lawyer evaluations, peer reviews from leading industry attorneys and information provided by law firm submissions.

“Best Law Firms” status is awarded to firms with the highest overall score based on U.S. News/Best Lawyers’ research for each practice area.

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Beware Cyber Policies that Exclude Human Error

The recently reported Equifax breach, which exposed the personal information of more than 146 million Americans, is the latest reminder to businesses that they must take steps to ensure the security of their customers’ private information.

The breach also highlights the importance of cyber insurance, which can help cover the costs of responding to such a breach and compensate those who were injured by it.

recent story in the New York Times, however, illustrates the importance of reading the fine print of a cyber policy closely before procuring coverage. According to the Times, the company’s former CEO, Richard F. Smith, told the House Energy and Commerce Committee that the breach happened “because of a mistake by a single employee.”

On multiple occasions, Mr. Smith referred to an ‘individual’ in Equifax’s technology department who had failed to heed security warnings and did not ensure the implementation of software fixes that would have prevented the breach.




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Amy Elizabeth Stewart Named One of State’s Top 50 Women Lawyers by Texas Super Lawyers

Amy Stewart Law founder Amy Elizabeth Stewart has been recognized as one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas by Texas Super Lawyers, published by Thomson Reuters.

This is also the 9th consecutive year Ms. Stewart has been on the overall Texas Super Lawyers list of outstanding Texas attorneys. 

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Submit Hurricane Harvey Claims in Writing Before Friday, September 1

New Texas Insurance Code provisions take effect this Friday, restricting policyholders' rights against insurers who mishandle business and personal property claims arising from storms and other natural disasters.

Our June 26 blog post, New Texas Hail Law Restricts Property Policyholder Rights Far Beyond Hail Claims, provides a detailed analysis of the new law, codified at section 542A of the Texas Insurance Code.

Although various aspects of the new law will likely impact Hurricane Harvey claims that end up in litigation after the law's effective date, reduced penalty interest provisions apply to claims made on or after September 1.

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Amy Elizabeth Stewart Named to ‘Best Lawyers in America’ for 6th Consecutive Year

Amy Elizabeth Stewart has been named to the 2018 list of The Best Lawyers in America for her work in insurance law. This is the sixth year in a row she has been recognized by Best Lawyers, one of the nation’s premier guides to the country’s top lawyers.

Ms. Stewart, who handles complex insurance coverage and insurance bad faith litigation on behalf of policyholders, is the author of “Texas Insurance Coverage Litigation: The Litigator's Practice Guide,” published by Texas Lawyer Books and American Lawyer Media. She was also elected a Fellow of the prestigious American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel (ACCEC) in 2013.

She was also honored by D Magazine’s Best Lawyers in Dallas, has been named to the annual Texas Super Lawyers list every year since 2009, and was recently recognized by the Dallas Women Lawyers Association as one of its Outstanding Female Lawyers for 2017.


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Amy Elizabeth Stewart To Be Honored at DWLA Awards Event

The Dallas Women Lawyers Association has recognized Amy Elizabeth Stewart, founder of Amy Stewart Law, as one of its Outstanding Female Lawyers for 2017.

Ms. Stewart, who is being recognized as an Outstanding Female Lawyer – Small Firm, is one of several local lawyers who will be honored by the DWLA at its annual Awards Reception on October 19 at the Dallas Omni Hotel.

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Texas Lawyer Article: If Cyber Risk Isn’t on Your Radar, It Should Be

As data breaches continue to make headlines, growing numbers of businesses are seeking to manage their cybersecurity risks through insurance. The cyber insurance industry, however, is still in its infancy, with little standardization and even less case law to guide policyholders and their legal advisers. 

As Amy Elizabeth Stewart writes in her recent Texas Lawyer article, Cyber Insurance 2017: 3 Lessons Learned, the small but growing body of case law is nevertheless instructive. She analyzes decisions in three cases: Travelers Prop. Cas. Co. of Am. v. Fed. Recovery Services, Columbia Casualty Co. v. Cottage Health System, and P.F. Chang's China Bistro, Inc. v. Fed. Ins.

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New Texas Hail Law Restricts Property Policyholder Rights Far Beyond Hail Claims

On May 26, Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law House Bill 1774, a tort-reform bill that limits a policyholder’s ability to sue its insurer for mishandling property claims arising from natural disasters. Designed to curb the exploitation of storm victims and insurance companies by the plaintiff’s bar, the new law significantly undercuts incentives for insurers to act responsibly, while making it more difficult for policyholders to hold insurers accountable for improper delays and failing to pay claims.Although popularly referred to as a “hailstorm” bill, the law applies more broadly to any “first-party claim . . . made by an insured” under a property insurance policy that “arises from damage to or loss of covered property caused, wholly or partly, by forces of nature, including an earthquake or earth tremor, a wildfire, a flood, a tornado, lightning, a hurricane, hail, wind, a snowstorm, or a rainstorm.” Tex. Ins. Code § 542A.001(2).

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Texas Lawbook: ‘WannaCry’ Attack Prompts Focus on Cyber Insurance

The recent WannaCry malware attack “provides a timely reminder that hackers are endlessly inventive and have a lot of time on their hands – time they spend devising new ways to profit by creating chaos and exploiting the world’s interconnectedness,” Amy Elizabeth Stewart wrote in a recently published article on Texas Lawbook.

Ms. Stewart’s article offered advice to businesses looking to purchase a cyberinsurance policy in a rapidly evolving marketplace.

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D&O Nuts & Bolts in Journal of Texas Insurance Law

Amy Stewart Law Associate Marisa L. Jeffrey recently published an article in the Journal of Texas Insurance Law.

Nuts & Bolts :: Directors & Officers Liability Policies” provides an overview of D&O policies, which provide the executives of a company with protection against liability for “wrongful acts” committed in their corporate capacities and the cost of defending such claimsThe article provides a primer on D&O insurance, common policy provisions, and key considerations to guide policy evaluation. 

The Journal is published by the Insurance Law Section of the State Bar of Texas. 

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Amy Elizabeth Stewart Named to D Magazine 2017 Best Lawyers List

We are pleased to announce that Amy Stewart Law Managing Principal Amy Elizabeth Stewart has been named to D Magazine’s 2017 listing of the Best Lawyers in Dallas, based on her work in insurance law.

“It’s certainly an honor to be in such excellent company,” Ms. Stewart says. “I’m grateful to my peers who voted for me, and to our clients, who have given us the opportunity to do the kind of work that merits recognition.”

The D Magazine listing is the latest honor for the firm, which was recognized for its insurance law expertise in the 2016 Best Law Firms list published by U.S. News & World Report and The Best Lawyers in America. Ms. Stewart, who represents insurance policyholders, has also earned selection to the annual Texas Super Lawyers list every year since 2009, including being named one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas in 2014 and 2015.


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SCOT Menchaca Ruling Benefits Policyholders, Clarifies Case Law

Resolving significant confusion regarding the remedies available for violations of the Texas Insurance Code, on April 7, 2017, the Texas Supreme Court issued its much-awaited decision in USAA Texas Lloyds Co. v. Menchaca. In an opinion welcomed by the policyholder bar, the Supreme Court reconciled the principles articulated in earlier decisions, clearly setting forth “five rules that address the relationship between contract claims under an insurance policy and tort claims under the Insurance Code.”    

As noted in our March 2015 post, “Vail Remains ‘Un-Veiled,’” insurers have long taken the position that an insured must prove an injury separate and apart from injury caused by a breach of an insurance contract in order to recover statutory damages under the Texas Insurance Code.  In the earlier post, we make the case that this position was incorrect and that the independent injury requirement applies only where an insurer’s denial of coverage was not wrongful. Menchaca brought this dispute squarely before the Texas Supreme Court.

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Breaking News: Amy Stewart Explains Big Texas Insurance Ruling

The Supreme Court of Texas has issued one of the biggest insurance rulings in years, and our own Amy Elizabeth Stewart sat down for an extensive interview with the national legal publication Law360 to help explain the court’s decision. 

In USAA Texas Lloyd’s v. Menchaca, the Texas high court cleared up years of legal confusion by ruling that policyholders can recover benefits as actual damages if such benefits were lost due to an insurer’s violation of the Texas Insurance Code. The Supreme Court also established five rules that lower courts must observe when deciding cases over policy breaches and Insurance Code violations.

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Please visit our web site at www.amystewartlaw.com.
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Amy Stewart Law is a boutique law firm that represents policyholders in insurance coverage litigation and bad faith, with an emphasis in directors & officers liability, cyber insurance, fiduciary liability, professional liability and other specialty liability coverages.


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  • insurance coverage litigation
  • bad faith litigation
  • policy interpretation & analysis
  • insurance review & planning advice
  • advice | insurance disputes
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Amy Stewart PC | Dallas, Texas | Copyright 2017 | All Rights Reserved