Insights Newsletter

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…