Lawyer-Insurer communication about claims not work product or privileged- how’s that for an intervening authority?

Having gotten past the list I made and checked twice, I’m back to the “to do” list for slabbled and thought anyone else not out shopping might find this as interesting a read as I did.

…when a lawyer handles claims, or gives an insurance company advice in the ordinary course of claims handling business, the communications are not privileged and are not work product. That is true whether the lawyer is in-house counsel or outside counsel.

Not convinced? Case law is clear on this point, but, if you need additional convincing, look at what insurance companies have said about this. When insurance companies get involved with internecine disputes regarding allocation or reinsurance or any number of issues, they often make the same arguments that they dispute when the argument comes from policyholder’s counsel. A good example of this is the recent Southern District of New York decision in AIU Insurance v. TIG Insurance, No. 07 Civ. 7052, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66370 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 28, 2008) (“AIU”). Continue reading “Lawyer-Insurer communication about claims not work product or privileged- how’s that for an intervening authority?”