I was saddened to learn that Judge Ruggero Aldisert, formerly of the Third Circuit, recently passed away.  I never had the privilege of appearing before Judge Aldisert, and I never met the man, but I feel indebted to him for writing two excellent books that were published through NITA:  “Logic for Lawyers” and “Winning on

I’m not a big fan of arbitration.  I think it costs too much (which kind of goes against its main marketing point), and I don’t particularly like the fact that there’s no right of appeal absent the arbitrator committing fraud. Having said that, and with so many Sandy-related claims still pending in New Jersey, I

My late Uncle Carmen was an accountant who worked for the IRS.  One tax season, I was grousing about how complicated the 1040 form could be. Uncle Carmen didn’t suffer fools gladly, and, with the veins bulging from his neck, insisted that NOTHING ON EARTH COULD BE SIMPLER.  My response was to engage in a

As the weeks following Sandy have stretched into months, and the months are beginning to stretch into years, businesses and homeowners with unresolved claims have been asking me whether it’s worthwhile to complain about their carrier to the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance (“DOBI”).  Truth be told, it’s a complete waste of time.

I once heard a veteran of the complex commercial litigation wars describe the process as follows. “Each side hires an expert,” he said, “and the preponderance of perjury prevails.”

A cynical – if funny and unfortunately too-often-accurate – view.  Recognizing that expert witnesses are, in essence, paid advocates, the Supreme Court formulated the Daubert and

With the one-year anniversary of Sandy just having passed, many policyholders are asking how long they have to sue their carrier. Be careful. Many insurance policies contain limitations periods that shorten the general six-year statute of limitations for breach of contract in New Jersey. Such provisions are enforceable both in New Jersey and in New

Insurance company claims personnel tend to view the concept of “ambiguity” as the last refuge of a scoundrel.  That’s because unhappy policyholders often reflexively argue that a particular term in dispute is “ambiguous.” On the other hand, miserly insurance companies often argue that the term is perfectly clear. Neither side usually understands what the term

I confess:  I sometimes wonder whether some claims personnel have ever heard of the “red face” test.  In other words, you should only take a negotiating position if it doesn’t actually cause you to blush.  Otherwise, how could seemingly rational people contend that buying “expanded” coverage means that the policyholder has no coverage?  (And how

As the Sandy-related insurance disputes develop along the New Jersey coast, we’re seeing what we anticipated:  general liability and homeowners’ carriers are disclaiming coverage on the ground that the damage was caused by flood, and is therefore excluded.  Policyholders, on the other hand, are trying to establish that a good portion of the damage wasn’t