Tuesday, May 23, 2017
   
Insurance Sidebar :: Amy Stewart PC’s Law Blog on Insurance Coverage Issues Minimize

D&O Nuts & Bolts in Journal of Texas Insurance Law

Amy Stewart Law Associate Marisa L. Jeffrey recently published an article in the Journal of Texas Insurance Law.

Nuts & Bolts :: Directors & Officers Liability Policies” provides an overview of D&O policies, which provide the executives of a company with protection against liability for “wrongful acts” committed in their corporate capacities and the cost of defending such claimsThe article provides a primer on D&O insurance, common policy provisions, and key considerations to guide policy evaluation. 

The Journal is published by the Insurance Law Section of the State Bar of Texas. 

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Amy Elizabeth Stewart Named to D Magazine 2017 Best Lawyers List

We are pleased to announce that Amy Stewart Law Managing Principal Amy Elizabeth Stewart has been named to D Magazine’s 2017 listing of the Best Lawyers in Dallas, based on her work in insurance law.

“It’s certainly an honor to be in such excellent company,” Ms. Stewart says. “I’m grateful to my peers who voted for me, and to our clients, who have given us the opportunity to do the kind of work that merits recognition.”

The D Magazine listing is the latest honor for the firm, which was recognized for its insurance law expertise in the 2016 Best Law Firms list published by U.S. News & World Report and The Best Lawyers in America. Ms. Stewart, who represents insurance policyholders, has also earned selection to the annual Texas Super Lawyers list every year since 2009, including being named one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas in 2014 and 2015.


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SCOT Menchaca Ruling Benefits Policyholders, Clarifies Case Law

Resolving significant confusion regarding the remedies available for violations of the Texas Insurance Code, on April 7, 2017, the Texas Supreme Court issued its much-awaited decision in USAA Texas Lloyds Co. v. Menchaca. In an opinion welcomed by the policyholder bar, the Supreme Court reconciled the principles articulated in earlier decisions, clearly setting forth “five rules that address the relationship between contract claims under an insurance policy and tort claims under the Insurance Code.”    

As noted in our March 2015 post, “Vail Remains ‘Un-Veiled,’” insurers have long taken the position that an insured must prove an injury separate and apart from injury caused by a breach of an insurance contract in order to recover statutory damages under the Texas Insurance Code.  In the earlier post, we make the case that this position was incorrect and that the independent injury requirement applies only where an insurer’s denial of coverage was not wrongful. Menchaca brought this dispute squarely before the Texas Supreme Court.

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Breaking News: Amy Stewart Explains Big Texas Insurance Ruling

The Supreme Court of Texas has issued one of the biggest insurance rulings in years, and our own Amy Elizabeth Stewart sat down for an extensive interview with the national legal publication Law360 to help explain the court’s decision. 

In USAA Texas Lloyd’s v. Menchaca, the Texas high court cleared up years of legal confusion by ruling that policyholders can recover benefits as actual damages if such benefits were lost due to an insurer’s violation of the Texas Insurance Code. The Supreme Court also established five rules that lower courts must observe when deciding cases over policy breaches and Insurance Code violations.

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Code-Breaking with Larry G. Cassil, Jr.

We recently welcomed Larry G. Cassil, Jr., to Amy Stewart Law. A senior lawyer with decades of experience in insurance law, Larry brings to the firm a wealth of knowledge from both sides of the insurance table – working for insurers and insureds.

We had a few questions about what drew him to insurance law and how he views his job as a policyholder advocate.

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AIG v. Tesoro Ruling Reminds Policyholders that Insurance Devil is in the Details

A recent decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit underscores two important pieces of advice policyholders should follow to ensure that their insurance policies cover the entities that the policyholder intends to insure.
  

First, policyholders should read and review their insurance policies upon receipt because untimely discovery of a mistake may preclude a later claim for reformation of the policy.  


Second, policyholders, especially those who operate through subsidiaries or affiliated entities, should ensure that their insurance policies include all such entities as named or additional insureds.

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3 Tips When Filing an Insurance Claim

Insurance policies can provide crucial assistance to corporate policyholders. Still, disputes between insurer and insured occasionally occur. Policyholders can take a few simple steps before a claim is filed to put themselves in the best possible position if a coverage issue arises.

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Judge Rules CGL Policy Off the Hook for $22M Sexual Assault Claim

U.S. District Judge Judge David Godbey has ruled that Century Surety Co. was off the hook for a $22 million judgment awarded to a woman who filed suit against the owner of Pastazios Pizza Inc. for sexual assault. 

In April 2011, the owner of Pastazios (Ajredin “Danny” Deari) served the victim several rounds of alcoholic beverages under the pretenses of a job interview. The victim eventually lost consciousness and later awoke in a hotel room, where Deari sexually assaulted her.  She was ultimately able to lock herself in the bathroom and Deari later fled the scene. 

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Criminal Charges Highlight Law Firm Cyber Vulnerability

The recent criminal charges brought against three Chinese citizens for alleged hacks into law firm servers should be a warning to law firms that they are high-value targets for hackers.

The alleged hackers were charged with insider trading based on confidential corporate information obtained through the hacking of several U.S. law firms working on client mergers. As reported by Reuters, prosecutors say the hackers made more than $4 million by placing trades in at least five company stocks based on information from the breached law firm servers, including deals involving Intel Corp and Pitney Bowes Inc.


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2017 Edition of Amy Stewart’s ‘Texas Insurance Coverage Litigation’ Now Available

The 2017 edition of “Texas Insurance Coverage Litigation: The Litigator’s Practice Guide” by Dallas lawyer Amy Elizabeth Stewart of Amy Stewart Law is now available for purchase. The 2017 edition includes updates on the increasingly important area of cyber insurance.

To order, visit http://lawcatalog.com/ProductDetail/17942/Texas-Insurance-Coverage-Litigation-The-Litigators-Practice-Guide

“Texas Insurance Coverage Litigation” provides legal analysis, practical tips, and annotations specific to practicing before Texas courts and the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, including a focus on third-party liability policies. It also includes a valuable set of forms for use in drafting pleadings and other legal documents.


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Insured’s Duty to Read Policy May be Undercut by Agent's Misrepresentations, Appeals Court Affirms

Insurance policyholders should always read their policies, but a recent ruling out of Texas’ 14th Court of Appeals may provide support to those who rely on insurance agents for information regarding their policies.

Insureds often misunderstand the terms of an insurance policy or argue that they have been misled by an insurer’s or an agent’s statements regarding a policy’s terms or coverage. In these disputes, defendants often raise as a defense the insured’s duty to read its policy. The court’s Oct 18 ruling in ruling in 
Wyly v. Integrity Insurance Solutions, No. 14-15-0042-CV, reiterated the rule under Texas law that this defense fails where an insured has alleged or shown that an insurance agent has made a specific, affirmative misrepresentation about the policy.

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What Every Young Lawyer Should Know about Insurance

Want to know how to maximize the impact of your company’s insurance policies?  Do you know when and how to tell your client’s insurers about a new lawsuit? Want to better understand the pitfalls?  

Join the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers at noon on Wednesday, November 9, for Insurance 101: What Every Young Lawyer Should Know. The program will provide an overview of common liability insurance policies and basic insurance principles that may frequently impact your practice.

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Quantifying Your Cyber Risk

There was an excellent article in the October 5 Harvard Business Review on evaluating cyber risk. If your business is in the process of quantifying its cyber risks – and every business should be – the article “Can You Put a Dollar Amount on Your Company’s Cyber Risk?” is a must-read.

Highlights from the article are summarized below, but, first, keep in mind two major concepts when purchasing cyber insurance:

1)   Be careful what you tell your insurance company you’ll do to prevent data breaches as those promises can come back to bite you if those policies aren’t followed to the letter (and since so many breaches are linked to human error, they almost never are);

2)   Because cyber is such a new and evolving area of risk, and there is so little standardization among policies, there is room for negotiation when purchasing a cyber policy.

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How does bankruptcy affect insurance coverage, underwriting and claims?

Bankruptcy complicates everything, including insurance. To help illuminate that subject, the Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS) is holding two seminars, one in Dallas on Sept. 21 and one in Houston on Sept. 22.

Amy Elizabeth Stewart will moderate both panels. She will be joined by AIG’s Daniel Navarro, Teri Martin of AmWINS Brokerage of Texas, Inc., and William Medford of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith.

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Texas Super Lawyers Honors Amy Elizabeth Stewart

Amy Stewart Law founder Amy Elizabeth Stewart has been recognized for the 8th consecutive year on the Texas Super Lawyers list of outstanding attorneys. 

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Amy Stewart Law is a boutique law firm that represents policyholders in insurance coverage litigation and bad faith, with an emphasis in directors & officers liability, cyber insurance, fiduciary liability, professional liability and other specialty liability coverages.


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  • insurance coverage litigation
  • bad faith litigation
  • policy interpretation & analysis
  • insurance review & planning advice
  • advice | insurance disputes
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Amy Stewart PC | Dallas, Texas | Copyright 2016 | All Rights Reserved