There’s a famous (apocryphal?) story about Cato the Elder, one of the leaders of ancient Rome.  Cato was obsessed with destroying Carthage (now Tunis), the Roman Empire’s rival. He would end every speech (and apparently most conversations) with “Carthago delenda est” – Carthage must be destroyed.  The story goes that when Demosthenes (a prominent Greek

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’m getting ready to participate in a panel discussion at the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education with some of my friends from both sides of the bar (policyholder and carrier).  I’ll be discussing the rules of construction in insurance policies, particularly as they relate to ambiguity, so I’m re-reading some of the more

So here’s a frustrating aspect of coverage work.  The underlying plaintiff sues the policyholder based on a complaint that was inartfully drafted (which, in some instances, is a nice way of saying that the complaint looks like it was written while the lawyer was tripping on mescaline).  The carrier denies coverage because nothing in the