Wednesday, March 29, 2017
   
Insurance Sidebar :: Amy Stewart PC’s Law Blog on Insurance Coverage Issues Minimize

Guest Post :: Loss of SEC “Neither Admit, Nor Deny” Settlements Could Have Significant Impact

By Kara Altenbaumer-Price

For forty years, the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) has allowed defendants to settle SEC matters and pay monetary penalties and disgorgement while “neither admitting, nor denying” the truth of the allegations against them. This practice allowed the SEC to avoid overt denials of wrongdoing, while also allowing defendants avoid creating admissions that could be used against them in separate civil proceedings—or by D&O insurance carriers seeking to prove underlying facts necessary to exclude coverage under certain conduct-based exclusions.

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Navigating the Ethical Current :: Conflicts of Interest in the Tripartite Relationship (Part Three)

Considering the conflicts of interest imbedded like landmines in the tripartite relationship, the Texas Supreme Court has clearly articulated defense counsel’s obligations under Texas law.  Nearly 40 years ago, the Texas Supreme Court addressed these issues in the Tilley case.  Employers Cas. Co. v. Tilley, 496 S.W.2d 552 (Tex. 1973).  The standard is surprisingly simple.  The lawyer appointed by the insurer to defend the insured owes a duty of undivided loyalty to the insured.

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Navigating the Ethical Current :: Conflicts of Interest in the Tripartite Relationship (Part Two)

This is the second post in a four-part series analyzing the competing interests inherent in the tripartite relationship, which has long been recognized as "a source of unending ethical, legal, and economic tension.”  State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Traver, 980 S.W.2d 625, 633 (Tex. 1998) (Gonzales, J., dissenting).  This post focuses on conflicts of interest commonly encountered in the tangled relationships between and among defense counsel, the insured, and the insurer.

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Navigating the Ethical Current :: Conflicts of Interest in the Tripartite Relationship (Part One)

The competing interests inherent in the relationship between the insurance company, its insured, and defense counsel—called the “tripartite relationship”—have long been recognized in the defense of lawsuits covered by insurance.  “[This] so-called tripartite relationship has been well documented as a source of unending ethical, legal, and economic tension.”  State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Traver, 980 S.W.2d 625, 633 (Tex. 1998) (Gonzales, J., dissenting).  This four-post series will examine the inherent tension in the tripartite relationship, commonly-encountered conflicts, defense counsel’s ethical obligations, and best practices for defense counsel.

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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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