Articles

24 Sep: Business Interruption Coverage After The Covid- 19 Pandemic: A Roadmap to your Client’s Claim

The recent pandemic has brought to the forefront business insurance coverage for the shutdowns – what is known as business interruption coverage. That is, many commercial insurance policies pay the insured for its “loss profits” and “extra expenses” resulting from the time they are unable to open their doors for some period of time — usually up to 12 months provided losses are documented — because of various events. In this case there has been a government order to close or “shutdown” businesses and cease operating. The reason:? There is a pandemic – a virus is in the “air” that threatens the human population. The question is: Is this a business interruption that is covered as a compensable loss under the insured’s commercial insurance policy? Read the Full Article Here (PDF 273K)

31 Jan: WHAT IT MEANS TO BE BOARD CERTIFIED IN CIVIL TRIAL LAW

Our firm in both unique and fortunate to have three of our principals Certified in Civil Trial Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.  Guy Kornblum, Charlie Cochran and Joe Harbison each have achieved this level of both recognition and achievement. Certification means that each has fulfilled a rigorous qualification process. To earn certification in civil trial law, the attorney must: 1. Furnish evidence of his or her good standing in the state of his or her bar admission, or if admitted in more than one state, in the state of his or her principal practice. 2. Show that immediately preceding application, the attorney has five years in the actual practice of Civil law (Guy, Charlie and Joe have combined over 100 years). <br>3. Make a satisfactory showing of substantial involvement in civil trial law, with at least thirty percent of his or her time spent practicing civil trial litigation…

29 Nov: Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage is Most Important in Your Auto Policy

By: Guy O. Kornblum, Certified in Civil Trial and Pretrial Practice Advocacy, National Board of Trial Advocacy; Member, Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum A most important insurance protection for you, your family and passengers in your auto is that which covers you or them in the event you are hit by a wrongdoing uninsured or underinsured motorist.  Why? In California, it has been estimated that 1 in 4 motorists are driving on the highways uninsured or underinsured, that is without adequate liability insurance protection.  What this means is that they either have no insurance or not enough to cover any responsibility they have as a negligent driver who injures others. So, if this is the case, how do you protect yourself and passengers in your auto if anyone is injured in an accident with someone driving without adequate insurance protection?  There are really two ways. First, in your auto policy there…

29 Oct: “SETTLEMENT” AIN’T A BAD WORD!

My experience with clients today is that they want (and perhaps even expect) their case to settle. They want to avoid the stress and delay of a trial, and also the risk of an unacceptable result (to them). So the first question after “What is my case worth?” is: “Can you settle my case.” So educating the client about process and prospects of a resolution short of trial should and usually begins at the first client meeting.  And its discussion early on is important to successfully settling clients’ cases because obviously they hold the authority to settle. So it is important to have a dialogue with clients about the negotiating process and begin educating clients about how this all works and what their expectations should be for a settlement instead of a trial. Here are some thoughts on how to educate and prepare clients on settling their cases: Prepare for the…

16 Oct: MAKING AN INSURANCE CLAIM FOR PROPERTY DAMAGE AFTER A LOSS: SOME BASICS

Those who suffered property losses in the Northern California wildfires are no doubt struggling with insurance claims and the “process” of getting payment for losses they suffered under their property insurance coverage – a Homeowner’s Policy or Commercial General Liability Policy (for businesses).  It can be a difficult and confusing process.  No matter what the claim, there are some basics that you need to be aware of in making a claim for property damage when you are seeking to collect from your insurance company  in order to have the funds to restore the property to its pre-loss condition. Frankly, most of us never look at our insurance policies until we have a loss and claim.  So there may be some surprises as to what you have or do not have.  Here are some thoughts: Notify the Insurance Company:Call the Agent (company representative) or Broker (your representative) or claims contact (toll…

05 Jul: HEALTH INSURERS THINK THEY HAVE THE UPPER HAND WHEN A CLAIM IS MADE: DO THEY?

Health insurers provide insurance protection for consumers of medical service for their care – who does not fit that description? So, the question is: what kind of insurance protection do we get when we incur medical bills and claim is submitted to our health insurer? To answer that question we need to look at how health insurance works. There are three types of health insurance programs (not including Medicare which is a somewhat different):  individual plans, association group plans (through a common association), and employer sponsored “group” plans.  Each has its own benefits and rules. The premium charged for health insurance is based on the level of risk the insurer will assume. It must put limits on that coverage, and subject to federal and state laws, it has every right to do so.  So, it is never going to agree to pay what is billed. It claims it needs to…

26 May: Dog Bite Cases Involving Children and Young Adults: The Owner is Strictly Liable for Dog Bites and for the Injuries Caused to the Victim

It is well known that dog bites can cause significant injuries leading to death or long-lasting disability.  In children and young adults being threatened by a dog can have a devastating physical and emotional consequence to them. The experience of being attacked by an animal is sometimes life altering. The typical dog bite on a child hits them at or above their shoulders. These attacks equate to that of a bear attack on an adult, in terms of the shock, overwhelming fear and residual stress. The emotional impact on the child is huge.. The child will not talk about it and greatly needs to. This is because the child sees the sad faces of his parents anytime the topic comes up. They remain silent to save their parents from additional grief. So the child keeps this emotion load locked up in his mind.  This explains why therapy is needed.  http://www.acepnow.com/article/pstd-children-dog-bites/.  Dog bites threaten disease to the…

14 May: Presenting Expert Testimony Where there are not pictures: Keeping a Jury’s Interest in What the Expert has to say! [1]

My Views of What We Do. There is nothing more satisfying than watching a skilled trial lawyer do his work, laying foundations, examining with precision, maintaining control of the forum, carefully laying out his case consistent with his representations in opening statement, earning the respect of the court and jury, and arguing the case persuasively for a positive result for the client.  It is particularly satisfying if the lawyer achieving all of this is YOU! Trial work is a grand game of “Mother, May I.”   Done properly, the skilled trial lawyer does his work under the trial judge as conductor and knows the rules and when to ask permission to move about the courtroom so that the evidence, both testimonial and documentary, is developed in a logical, understandable fashion. “Ladies and Gentlement,  a trial is a “theater of the real”. We are portraying what has taken place and “replaying” a…

30 Jan: Three Cliches that Apply to Mediation and Settlement Negotiation

Tips to Getting to the Goal Line in Civil Litigation: Three Cliches that Apply to Mediation and Settlement Negotiation You don’t have to go to the law books to find the basic principles which apply to negotiation and settlement. In fact, these basic principles may be ones you learned growing up and possibly used before you ever entered law school. They are from clichés that we all have heard and probably used in our personal lives, but do they apply to our work as trial lawyers and litigators? Here are some I apply regularly: 1. YOU CAN’T GET BLOOD OUT OF A TURNIP. “‘You can’t get blood from a stone.’ You can’t get something from someone who doesn’t have it. The proverb has been traced back to G. Torriano’s ‘Common Place of Italian Proverbs.’ First attested in the United States in the ‘Letters from William Cobbett to Edward Thornton.’ The…

17 Nov: Preparing to be Effective at Mediation: Stating the Obvious But the Obvious Needs to Be Restated!

One of my biggest complaints is that some lawyers (and perhaps clients) just do not get it—that it takes considerable effort and preparation to make the mediation process work. It takes: A common and good faith interest in mediation, An exchange of complete and thoughtfully prepared mediation statements and exhibits well in advance of the mediation date, The presence of those with authority to settle (with real authority please!), and A level of candor and disclosure that allows the parties top assess realistically assess the other side’s position. And perhaps more than anything, a willingness to listen to what the other side has to say, along with carefully assessing the position counter to the client’s. If this is done—and it should be if counsel’s representation in mediation is to meet professional standards—then there will be a full discussion and exchange of information before and during the mediation so that the chances of settlement increase.At that time, it seemed to…