The other day, I was talking with a lawyer who represented a plaintiff in litigation relating to a failed business transaction. He was lamenting the fact that, if he were to take judgment against the defendants, there wouldn’t be insurance to help satisfy the claim, since, according to him, “no insurance company is ever going

A few years back, a major financial institution retained us to review its insurance coverage program. After checking the main items I usually look for, I asked the Risk Manager whether the heads of the organization’s various business units knew the basics of the notice provisions in the company’s major coverages. I could see her

Arnold Palmer once described golf as “deceptively simple and endlessly complicated.”  That’s a good description for insurance also.  (Fortunate for me, since I get paid to figure it out.)  Given the rules of construction, ambiguities (even latent ambiguities) in insurance policies are supposed to be construed against the carrier. I’ve therefore always wondered why the

Years ago, there was a comedy ensemble variously called “The Dead End Kids,” “The East Side Kids,” and, finally, “The Bowery Boys.”  (They were made famous in the 1938 Cagney/Bogart film, “Angels With Dirty Faces.”)  The protagonist of the group was a character named “Slip” Mahoney, played by the actor Leo Gorcey. Slip would routinely

I used to know a guy who worked for a major, nationally known public adjustment company.  In years where there were no major hurricanes or tornado incidents, he would literally walk around looking like he had the weight of the world on his shoulders. He never overtly wished death or destruction on anyone (as far

I admit it, I admit it –  I’m addicted to the TV show “Bar Rescue.” (When my daughter was about 12 years old, and my wife was out shopping for the day, we once binge-watched about six hours straight, which probably could get me into trouble with the child welfare authorities.)   The idea

There’s an excellent, but sad and haunting, nonfiction book written by Jeff Hobbs called  “The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace.”  It’s about a kid who grew up among poverty, gangs and tough guys in a rough section of Newark, but who was naturally gifted and ended up at Yale. Unfortunately, he couldn’t outrun

Labor Day has just passed as I write this, and this summer (that went by too quickly) was a busy one for the New Jersey appellate courts, insurance-wise.  The New Jersey Supremes, for example,  dealt with a question often posed by our clients in construction defect cases: Namely, can a claimant proceed directly against a

Back in the days of the environmental insurance coverage wars, we on the policyholder side argued (eventually successfully in New Jersey) that the word “sudden”, as used in the 1973 version of the pollution exclusion, meant “unexpected” and did not have a temporal connotation. My friends in the defense bar often criticized us for trying

The ongoing battles over construction defect coverage remind me of the good old days in the ‘80’s and ‘90s when we used to fight over asbestos and environmental coverage claims (we still have some of those claims, but to a much lesser extent). Construction defects even involve battles over the appropriate trigger of coverage!  Ah