House Judiciary Task Force issues Articles of Impeachment of Judge Thomas Porteous – next step full Committee vote UPDATED

The Articles of Impeachment were issued following a meeting of a Task Force of the House Judiciary Committee (see: Memorandum). Yesterday’s Times Picayune reported on the pending action.  UPDATE UPDATE: Title revised to more accurately reflect today’s events; link to related story in Times Picayune added.

Merlin: Endorsement Trumps Exclusion – Hurricane Anticoncurrent Causation Case and Policyholder Wins!

Of controlling significance is the fact that in every such case, without exception, the respective courts interpreted concurrent cause exclusions as they appeared in the insurers’ basic policies, determining only whether a cause of loss otherwise covered by the basic policy was excluded from coverage when it occurred concurrently with a cause of loss excluded in the basic policy. None of those cases addresses the modifying language of an extra-cost endorsement on the language of the basic policy, the ambiguity that it created or the reasonable expectations of an insured in light of that ambiguity. Thus, those courts did not confront the linguistic interplay we address here. Consequently, they were able to find the language of the concurrent cause exclusion unambiguous as it applied to claims made under the basic policy. Given the language they considered and the circumstances to which they applied it, we might well have reached the same conclusions. Nevertheless, those scenarios are not before us. Accordingly, we do not find these cases Penn National cites apposite to our disposition.

At last, a ruling on policy endorsements that makes sense – and just as I was struggling (for the umpteenth time) to understand why a hurricane endorsement cost more and bought nothing!  h/t  Property Insurance Coverage Law BlogContinue reading “Merlin: Endorsement Trumps Exclusion – Hurricane Anticoncurrent Causation Case and Policyholder Wins!”

Jim Brown on the Massachusetts Senate Race

Thursday, January 21, 2009
Baton Rouge, Louisiana



It was supposed to be a slam dunk senate seat for the Democrats. Obama had carried this bluest of blue states by 26 points just a year ago. And the Democrats had led this seat for the past 57 years. But the democratic candidate lost, and now the political world in Washington seems to be in a major upheaval. Could a Louisiana lady, who thought seriously of running, have been able to pull off a victory for the Democrats? Many think she could.

The Democratic candidate was in fact a lady, Massachusetts Attorney general Martha Coakley. She received the Democratic Party nod after a number of Kennedys turned down the chance to replace the family patriarch, Ted Kennedy. Coakley proved to be a weak campaigner, doing little “meet and greet,” and came across as a weak candidate. She showed a real lack of knowledge on international issues when she said at a forum the week before the election that the Taliban were no longer in Afghanistan. But even if she had been better informed and a more aggressive campaigner, Coakley still had an uphill fight in overcoming the tag of representing more of the same old Washington rhetoric.

Obama and the democrats just bit off more than voters wanted to chew, and a large number of voters made no bones about their distrust of Washington politics and their increasing unease over the federal government’s expanding role in the private sector. The Democratic candidate lost because the Democrats are in charge. But two years ago, the same rage was taken out on Republicans. And no one from either party in Washington seems to be listening. Bailing out Wall Street Bankers, massive stimulus money that many felt went down a rat hole, and major healthcare costs didn’t resonate with Massachusetts voters, and don’t here in Louisiana either. Continue reading “Jim Brown on the Massachusetts Senate Race”

From the mailbag: Yes Chip believe it or not we do this for free

Nowdy and I get all sorts of fan mail. This one came yesterday:

SOP and Nowdy: Why am I (and your other readers) subjected, on an almost daily basis, to reading motions (and motions to review) in insurance cases that haven’t yet gone to trial, when you IGNORE corruption……….I’ve “given” it all to you. Why don’t you have the BALLS to report it? PLEASE quit dwelling on BULLSHIT, which is what SLABBED is becoming.

Ok lets hear it from the Slabbed nation. We were founded as an insurance blog that highlighted the problems here after Katrina and we’ve since grown to include some other complex litigation along with some high finance. So should we shut Slabbed down to please this reader (after all I’m only good writing about things that interest me and I speak for Nowdy that way too) or are we providing content that our readers want? And don’t be shy because I’ll interpret silence on this subject as a vote for shutting the blog down.



Qui Tam Olympics

Yes, Sop, you heard someone say there was a qui tam hearing today before Judge Vance!  It must have been a hoot, too!  I wrote about defendant Fidelity’s bright idea to collect any NFIP overpayments from the policyholders paid by the defendants in taproot- digging up the fact.  However, my bad for not realizing until today’s Minute Entry that Fidelity was represented by none-other than the self-proclaimed King of Flood, Gerald Nielsen:

Currently, virtually every major participant “Write-Your-Own Program” (“WYO”) insurance company in the NFIP utilizes Nielsen Law Firm, L.L.C. to handle its NFIP-related litigation on a national basis. If one were to run a Westlaw search of the undersigned’s name and the word “flood,” one would find that the majority of all Program caselaw being announced in the country over the last few years lists the undersigned as the attorney of record for the WYO carrier.

Believe me, readers, this is not encouraging!  Nielsen likely conceived the convoluted reasoning in the Company’s Answer and Third Party Demand and argued it before Judge Vance today – telling her, “It would be morally correct to sue the homeowners to collect the overpayments.” I bet she thought she he’d lost his scienter – actually, I bet she thought she was hallucinating!

The Minute Entry of the hearing does show she issued an Order ensuring there will be no service of the Third Party Demand until  she decides the matter.  In a related decision, Magistrate Judge Sally Shushan re-issued the Scheduling Order with notes about matters still to be decided. The biggest issues among the big issues on the table – the Branch Motion to File an Amended Complaint and the limits on Discovery- should be somewhat familiar to readers of the Qui Tam Olympics.  The set of slides that follows below introduces the Discovery issues in the context of the Supreme Court’s Rockwell decision:

[slideshare id=2960402&doc=theprotectiongamebranch3-100120202317-phpapp01]

Stupid is as stupid does. Slabbed welcomes Angela Rouse of the Kansas City Star.

Lava Creek Tuff: Previous Yellowstone eruption


Actually sweetie the Mississippi Coast is a case study in hazard mitigation should you care enough to learn about the subject that you write. The commenter to the column that pointed out the risks of midwestern tornadoes and the New Madrid fault line to Angela failed to point out Kansas City would be rendered uninhabitable should the Supervolcano at Yellowstone blow its top

So if we can all agree there is no such place as “perfect” maybe we can build a good solution. After all right tail catastrophes do not discriminate via geography. 

sop with a tip of the hat to Editilla.