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Your email address will not be published.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

    Attorney Colleen Santora, was a pleasure to work with throughout my personal injury case. She makes the process seamless for her clients and is there to answer any questions you have. She negotiated every aspect of my case and got me the settlement I...

    Read more

    Cody

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    We were very pleased with all aspects of this law firm! My husband was struck by a truck while crossing the street. We hired attorney Colleen Santora of Feinberg & Alban PC. Colleen immediately showed empathy towards my husbands condition, aside fro...

    Read more

    Cleopatra Anderson

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Attorney Colleen Santora assisted me after a terrifying highway incident. She came to my home because I was not able to travel, and she remained compassionate, professional, and highly competent throughout my case. I would highly recommend retaining...

    Read more

    Susan Hawes

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    I had a difficult liability case that Marsha Alban handled on my behalf. I was extremely happy with Attorney Alban’s communication with me throughout the claim and especiathe resolution of my claim. I highly recommend this firm as they are up for ...

    Read more

    Client

  • google
    5.0/5.0

    Alexis was a pleasure to work with. She kept me informed every step of the process and always looked out for my best interests. I would definitely recommend her.

    Read more

    Joel K

See all reviews
Awards & Affiliations
Contact us

Quick Contact Form