In ethics or metaphysics, the “law of unintended consequences” states that, for any willed action, there are consequences that occur which are not intended.  The concept has long existed, but was named and popularized in the 20th century by American sociologist Robert K. Merton.

Merton would have been fascinated by laws that were intended

Awhile back on this blog, we were discussing developments in insurance bad faith law, and I hypothesized that Courts were generally more apt to find bad faith in cases involving a carrier’s delay of benefits, rather than outright denial.  But what if the outright denial contains a bald-faced lie, or a deliberate omission?  In that

Got into a discussion recently with some of my policyholder counsel friends. They were lamenting the death of bad faith law in New Jersey.  When a carrier unreasonably denies or delays paying a claim, the key case is supposed to be Pickett v. Lloyd’s, 131 N.J. 457 (1993), which was written by the late

Right now, I’m preparing for a coverage trial involving aspects of both New Jersey and Massachusetts law.  I was reviewing the Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Acts (“UCSPA”) adopted in both states, and I noticed the following. 

The New Jersey version of UCSPA prohibits certain bad behavior if committed “with such frequency as to indicate

Recently, one of my friends in the insurance defense bar told me that he’d been given a very strict standing order by his insurance company client.  In any case involving a potential conflict-of-laws situation, he was prohibited from EVER arguing for the application of New Jersey law. 

This attitude stems from cases like the New