Guy O. Kornblum

16 Oct: Making Your Insurance Claim After the NorCal Fires

SOME BASICS Those who suffered property losses in the Northern California wildfires are no doubt looking to insurance coverage to restore the damaged property.  Most of us never look at our insurance policies until we have a loss and claim.  That means there may be some surprises as to what you have or do not have in terms of coverage.  Here are some thoughts: Notify the Insurance Company: Call the Agent (company representative), Broker (your representative), or claims contact (toll free number directly to the company) to give notice of your claim.  There will be thousands of claims and you need to get at the front of the line. More on Whom to Contact: If you have an Agent or Broker, call them. If you purchased the coverage directly from the company (USAA, GEICO, Progressive), use the toll free number which you can get on the internet at the insurance…

14 Sep: Right-of-Way Rules

Do you come to a full stop at a stop sign? A rolling stop is a violation of California Vehicle Code 21802. Vehicles are required to come to a complete stop when approaching a stop sign and to yield to all vehicles at an intersection controlled by stop signs until it is safe to proceed. Right-of-Way Rules are published as a matter of public interest and information.  It is important to review the Rules of the Road from time to time. The Following is from the California Driver Handbook – Laws and Rules of the Road: GENERAL INFORMATION Right-of-way rules, together with courtesy and common sense, help to promote traffic safety. Never assume other drivers will give you the right-of-way. Yield your right-of-way when it helps to prevent collisions. It is important to respect the right-of-way of others, especially pedestrians, motorcycle and bicycle riders. Respecting the right-of-way of others is not limited to situations such as yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks, or…

03 Aug: Using Expert Witnesses in Bad Faith Litigation

I am pleased to announce that I will present in an upcoming Strafford live webinar, “Using Expert Witnesses in Bad Faith and Coverage Litigation: Evidentiary Rules, Expert Opinions, and Objections to Testimony” scheduled for Wednesday, August 30, 1:00 pm-2:30 pm EDT. Expert witnesses play a critical role in coverage and bad faith litigation, both for policyholders and insurers. Insurance experts typically are underwriters, claims handlers, brokers, regulators and attorneys with knowledge of insurance industry customs. Claims adjusters are typically used in bad faith litigation to opine as to the reasonableness of another claims adjuster’s conduct. Underwriters are typically experts in coverage litigation providing an opinion on underwriting specific risks and the interpretation and intent of specific policy provisions. Litigators must be careful to avoid the pitfalls of using expert witnesses whose credibility might be attacked based on previous testimony or due to his or her relationship with a particular insurance…

31 Jul: Super Lawyers at KCEH

In case you missed the recent press, we are proud to announce that once again Charlie Cochran and Guy O. Kornblum are designated Super Lawyers and Nicholas J. Peterson is named a Rising Star! Each year, Thomson Reuters lawyer rating service compiles the prestigious Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists. Outstanding attorneys who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement are recognized as Super Lawyers and Rising Stars. The selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes nominations, an independent research evaluation of candidates, and peer reviews. The result is a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys. More Recent Accolades at KCEH Congratulations to Guy O. Kornblum named one of the “10 Best Attorneys” in California by the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys for his “Exceptional and Outstanding Client Service.” For the fourth consecutive year, Charlie Cochran, Rachael Erickson, and Guy O. Kornblum are named in The National Trial Lawyers Top 100.  News KCEH San…

20 Jul: My Passion for Dispute Resolution

I have a passion for dispute resolution.  It comes from my heritage – a dad who was a lawyer in the Midwest in the 50’s, 60’s and until he retired at 85 years old in the 90’s.  He was a master negotiator but at the same time a supreme diplomat.  His best friend – my Godfather – told me that Dad could tell someone to “go to hell” and they thought they received the Congressional Medal of Honor. I spent a number of years as a traditional “defense” lawyer in the civil litigation arena.  As part of that, I became involved in the early Insurance “bad faith” cases. I tried – as a defense lawyer – the first two first party bad faith cases to go to verdict in California (before Egan was tried in November 1974).  There was no bifurcated trial with the financial worth of the insurer not being known…

04 Apr: What it Means to be Board Certified in Civil Trial Law

KCEH is 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: 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. 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). 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 during the three years preceding the filing of the…

13 Mar: Insight for Injured Sports Players and Fans

Trial lawyer Guy Kornblum, who specializes in bad faith insurance claims, provides an overview for injured sports players and fans. Whether you are a professional athlete or a recreational player, injuries are common in sports. Does the law offer any recourse? General Rule – No Injury Liability In many cases, you will not be able to hold anyone else liable for an injury you suffered while participating in amateur or recreational sports activities. Injuries are an accepted risk of playing amateur sports, so bringing a successful personal injury claim is very difficult, if not impossible. But there are a few scenarios that might trigger the legal liability of another participant in the sport or the liability of a third party. Assumed Risk of Injury in Sports The legal doctrine of “assumption of the risk” bars you from trying to hold fellow participants or property/facility owners liable when you are injured while…

07 Mar: Don’t Let Your Insurance Company Treat You Unfairly!

Most of you have insurance.  You insure your autos, your homes, your health (medical insurance), your income (disability insurance) and your lives. You may also insure your businesses against damage to property used for commercial purposes and loss of income. Your insurance includes protection against lawsuits filed by a third party against you, and you expect your insurance company to defend you in that lawsuit and protect you against a judgment for money damages. FEAR OF THE FUTURE We buy insurance not because we want it but because we need it – fear of the future motivates us to protect ourselves against injury to ourselves, our families and our property.   The prudent person buys as much insurance as he or she can afford – sometimes even more. We seek from our insurance company peace of mind and security against the risk of financial injury caused by the unexpected. FRENEMIES?…

02 Mar: The Resolution Advocate: Preparing for an Effective Mediation

PREPARING FOR AN EFFECTIVE MEDIATION It takes considerable effort and preparation to make the mediation process work. One complaint I hear over and over is that some lawyers — and perhaps clients —  just don’t get it. Based on my experience, some of what it takes to prepare for an effective mediation: A common and good faith interest in mediation An exchange of complete and thoughtfully prepared mediation statements and exhibits well in advance of the mediation date The presence of those with real authority to settle A level of candor and disclosure that allows the parties to realistically assess the other side’s position STATING THE OBVIOUS Perhaps the most important trait of a good advocate who also serves as a mediator is listening to what the other side has to say, along with carefully assessing the position counter to the clients. If this is done — and it should be if counsel’s representation in mediation is to meet…

29 Jan: KCEH Clients Injured in Bay Bridge Melee

Guy O. Kornblum interviewed on KTVU Channel 2 regarding our Bay Bridge Case involving the Pettys. KCEH CLIENTS INJURED IN BAY BRIDGE MELEE In November 2015, 34-year-old Kerrie Morgan drove the wrong way on the Bay Bridge in a stolen cab. Under the influence of methamphetamine in a stolen car and an unlicensed driver, Morgan slammed head-on into one vehicle and sideswiped two more. She drove westbound in the eastbound lanes of the Bay Bridge for nearly two miles. As a result, our clients had to be extracted from their vehicle using the Jaws of Life. Angie Petty was critically injured. “She had fractured her skull, fractured both legs, fractured her right arm…She had torn all of the ligaments in her neck. They had to restructure her neck,” Mr. Kornblum told KTVU. On January 25, 2017, San Francisco’s District Attorney George Gascon announced that Morgan was found guilty on all counts by a jury. Morgan earned three felonies…