Search Site
Menu
Triangulation: Plaintiff, Defendant, Insurance Company

Lawyers, including defense lawyers in civil cases, have a duty of loyalty to a client. That loyalty is described by the Supreme Judicial Court in its commentary to the Ethical Rules as “an essential element.” Given that the liability insurer pays the defense lawyer and indeed hires him/her, a reasonable question arises as to whether that attorney can be properly independent. The duty of loyalty runs to the defendant and not the liability insurer. The rules require that if there is a conflicting interest, the insurer is required to provide special counsel for the insured, an arrangement that seeks the special counsel’s professional independence.

The reality is that seldom is a special counsel retained on behalf of the insured. (Of course, nothing prohibits an insured from paying at his/her own expense his own attorney to represent him in addition to the insurance attorney). Under any scenario, the client is the insured, not the insurer. It leaves the rest of us wondering because there are scenarios where the insured “can be held out to dry.” The fiduciary responsibility that flows to the insured by his/her retained attorney is at risk. This is a development which should not be overlooked by the plaintiff’s attorney. Over the years, many plaintiff’s lawyers have said that they will settle a case within the policy limits, an offer which should be attractive to an insured, if not the insurer. What happens then when the insurer refuses? Future blogs will discuss these scenarios which create problems for the defense and perhaps opportunities for the plaintiff.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Feinberg & Alban, P.C. fervently protects your rights
  • The Boston firm of Feinberg & Alban, P.C. specializes its practice in the area of personal injury.

    The attorneys serve the entire state of Massachusetts in addition to affiliating with lawyers in other states to handle cases outside of Massachusetts.

  • $7.7 Million Award for Feinberg & Alban Client in Personal Injury Trial

    Boston Attorneys Win Highest Injury Verdict in Massachusetts in 2011 & 2012.

Client Reviews
  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Robert Feinberg and his team were nothing short of stellar. They were prompt in all communications, insulated me from complications with insurances while I recovered from my injuries, and produced a favorable outcome after all was said and done. Ver...

    Read more

    Nigel Mathes

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Great communication and follow up. Responsive to my needs and positive result's !

    Read more

    Chris Connor

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    They went the extra mile. Stood behind me. Had a difficult claim with a motor vehicle accident. I'm very satisfied with the outcome. Richard

    Read more

    richard turk

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    We have had the pleasure of working with Colleen Santora on couple legal issues. We have always had a good communication during our very long process. We feel good responsive, open,& honest communication during a injury case should be the strongest ...

    Read more

    Edward Hyde

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Very professional firm, always pay attention to detail. Knowledgeable and successful. Written on behalf of Mikhail Zaytsev.

    Read more

    Yelena Wise

See all reviews
Awards & Affiliations
Contact us

Quick Contact Form