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Steve Young is a versatile attorney who has adapted his practice throughout his career to meet clients’ needs in the ever-changing field of liability insurance. Steve’s broad experience in the insurance arena provides him with the insight necessary to handle all types of claims based on various types of policies.

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The year was 1979 when Bob Dylan’s song “Gotta Serve Somebody” was released on his album Slow Train Coming: “It may be the devil or it may be the Lord, but you’re gonna have to serve somebody.”

While Dylan’s theme of determining who you serve was unrelated to insurance brokers, the New York Court of Appeals recently clarified and distinguished its own 1979 opinion in Mighty Midgets v. Centennial Ins. Co., 47 N.Y.2d 12, which held that notice of a claim provided to an insurance broker could be sufficient to notify an insurer of a claim. The insured in Mighty Midgets, a non-profit youth football organization led by a young volunteer president, was told by its broker not to report the injury to the league’s liability insurer because the family of an injured minor was only looking for medical expense payments. When a lawsuit was served, the insurer denied coverage. The Court held under the circumstances that it was not “practicable” to notify the insurer until the lawsuit was served and overturned the denial of coverage for late notice.

Continue Reading Who Does an Insurance Broker Serve? Somebody!

477415065We are taught early on that we are each responsible for our own actions. If we make a mistake that results in damages to someone else, we have to pay for those damages. That is the basic concept of indemnification, and the law enforces it.

In many circumstances, a party to a contract wants to make sure that the other party agrees to indemnify them in the event of a claim or suit. Often, a service provider is required to supply insurance for the benefit of the service purchaser by adding the buyer to its policy. It has become more and more common for form contracts required by appraisal management companies (AMCs) to contain an indemnification or “hold harmless” clause. A professional service provider must take care in reviewing these contracts, understand them and be prepared to reject the business opportunity if it cannot negotiate the terms.

Continue Reading To Indemnify or Not to Indemnify? That Is the Question!

RealEstateAppraiser_78377853My children loved The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, an environmentally friendly book in which a creature called the Lorax spoke “for the trees.” While real estate appraisers are not subject to the environmental difficulties that our flora and fauna face, I have seen an increase in the number of attacks on real estate appraisers over the past few years, including reports to state licensing authorities seeking censure or removal of appraisers’ licenses. The complainers often have their own economic interest in the transaction, including sellers when the appraisal price is too low, buyers when the appraisal price is too high or lenders after a default.

Continue Reading I Speak for the Real Estate Appraiser

SlipperySign_TS-152948541My wife recently slipped on the ice outside our home and fractured a bone in her elbow, which required surgery. We are advised it was a success, though she will need to be in a cast for eight to ten weeks, disrupting our household in many ways. I have advised clients, co-workers and adversaries of her injury and all of them have expressed sympathies and replied that I should understand my priorities and take care of her. While I have been comforted by their words of kindness and have attempted to follow their advice, there are only so many hours in a day. My practice of law still goes on with litigation deadlines, client expectations, settlement negotiations, and pending travel plans for work that have created additional stress and anxiety. So far, I have been able to balance all these demands and, when appropriate, obtained help from other lawyers within the firm or extensions of time as warranted from adversaries.

Continue Reading When Life Gets in the Way

Gavel and book_TS_99074151As empty nesters, my wife and I ask each other the standard question as we sit down for dinner each night: “How was your day?” We usually exchange small talk about work, the commute and so forth. As an attorney, I am acutely aware of the attorney/client privilege, and therefore careful not to jeopardize my clients’ confidences. Sometimes, however, lawyers and other professionals can’t help disclosing facts about their work that may be deemed violative of confidences. Some may be covered by strict privileges, such as lawyer/client or physician/patient relationships. If the wrong information is disclosed to the wrong person, while not a technical violation of a recognized privilege, the professional can be exposed to claims of an ethical breach, giving rise to licensing issues, negligence claims or damage to business interests.

Continue Reading Loose Pillow Talk