Earwigging & Blawgs: Katrina’s Surge Fuels the Quest for Money at the Expense of Ethics

Steve dropped by slabbed last night with a particularly insightful comment on the ethical implications of the footnote found in the rebuttal memo submitted by Graves Bartle & Marcus and Bartimus Fricltleton Robertson & Gorny, the law firms that represent the insurance whistle blowers Cori and Kerri Rigsby in their False Claims Act fight against State Farm.

I would note that although it would be hard to prove in some cases one notable blogger with a day job has asserted the use of company bloggs (sic) for the purposes of generating business for the firm. Would that make blogging akin to advertising? If so what rules do lawyers have in relation to their blogs? Has anyone already crossed the line of ethics? This would probably be a new area for the legal profession to examine but one which will have to be dealt with by the profession. Perhaps the legacy of Rossmiller and NMC will be the development of internet blogging guidelines for the profession. Is it indeed advertising for new clients like Rossmiller asserts or is it something else?

Then Bellesouth stopped by today with a comment that included an excerpt of a news article that appeared today in the student newspaper the Daily Mississippian made by Judge Mills in yesterday’s ethic’s panel held yesterday at Ole Miss on the topic of ex parte communications. More on that in a bit.

That reminded me of some old links I had saved on David Rossmiller, moderator of the Insurance Coverage blog. Continue reading “Earwigging & Blawgs: Katrina’s Surge Fuels the Quest for Money at the Expense of Ethics”

The Insurance Crisis Comes to Pennsylvania and New Jersey

My thanks to a slabbed reader living in the Northeast for the heads up to this Press of Atlantic City story which appeared online Monday. The insurance crisis that began in 2004/2005 is leaving no one behind from Brownsville Texas to Bar Harbor Maine. The Good Neighbor again takes the PR hit.

For us here in Mississippi the head buried in the sand, we serve insurers attitude exhibited by the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance is very reminiscent of our own George Dale from not that long ago.  Our advice at slabbed is to hold the politicians accountable – you should not have to beg to have a public body hear citizen complaints. Without further commentary on my part here is the article and welcome to the coastal insurance party guys.

If you call a State Farm Insurance Company agent in Ventnor after office hours, you get a tape-recorded message saying, “Like a good neighbor, we are there for you 24/7.”

Don’t try and sell the “good neighbor” bit to Mary Nugent, of Pennsylvania, who has a home in Longport. Continue reading “The Insurance Crisis Comes to Pennsylvania and New Jersey”

Graves and Robertson Call out “Snake Farm”

Nowdy gave me a heads up on this link. I’ll let the story that appeared in yesterday’s Kansas City Star speak for itself.

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Former U.S. attorney Todd Graves and former Missouri Supreme Court chief justice Chip Robertson are angrily denying charges of wrongdoing by State Farm Insurance in Hurricane Katrina-related litigation in Mississippi.

State Farm this month asked a federal judge to throw out a whistleblower lawsuit brought by clients of Graves and Robertson. Continue reading “Graves and Robertson Call out “Snake Farm””

Slabbed is the Place for Your Rigsby Qui Tam Balance

Slabbed is the place if you want to see Qui balance with Tam in the Rigsby sisters Qui Tam claim against State Farm.

Qui Tam is all about balance – the interest of the one who blows the whistle on a false claim against the government (the realtor) as well as the interest of the government.

Increasing and increasingly vicious attacks on the whistle blowing Rigsby sisters, Cori and Kerri, escalated to include their Qui Tam attorneys after USA v Scruggs was “out of the way” and the focus shifted to disqualifying the member firms of SKG reformed after Scruggs indictment as KLG as well as the Qui Tam Lawyers from Missouri who were never a part of the Scruggs or the KLG joint venture.

Slabbed is committed to balance and we work hard to provide it on every issue – so, if you’re looking for balance on the Rigsby’s Qui Tam case and justice for all, this is the place. Continue reading “Slabbed is the Place for Your Rigsby Qui Tam Balance”

Controversy Over S. 2884 Continues

Nowdy and I are lucky to have cyber friends like Mr CLS and Belle that help keep an eye out for insurance news we miss. Yesterday we missed big time on a Times Picayune story by Rebecca Mowbray on the behind the scenes politicking over the Senate version of Gene Taylor’s HR 3121, S. 2284 but thanks to Mr CLS we bring it to you today.

The issues involved in renewing the National Flood Insurance Program are simple. Differences in the House and Senate version center on adding actuarially sound wind coverage, increasing the coverage limits and the rate of premium increases for vacation homes and homes that suffer repeated claims.  Wind coverage is the main fly in the ointment to reaching a compromise. Continue reading “Controversy Over S. 2884 Continues”

And Now For Something Completely Different….

I’m taking this weekend off (my first in several weeks) and the day could not be nicer outside with cool temperatures and not a cloud in sight. If the local rash of Bank hiests don’t light your fire (the news doesn’t really turn me on much) I thought I’d post a couple of Youtube Videos so our readers that are click addicted can have something to click.  I also provide this link to the last South Park episode titled “Over Logging” that was both obscenely funny and somewhat salient to this very off topic thread. (Please no kids if you decide to watch the online episode)

OK here is some family oriented fare. We start with Elvis. Continue reading “And Now For Something Completely Different….”

Bonnie and Clyde and Clyde and Clyde?

Times must be tough here as would be felons took our the slabbed version of the Allstate challenge, renamed it the Bank Robbery Challenge and proceeded to see how many banks could be robbed here in 24 hours.  Thankfully no one was hurt. The Sun Herald tells the sad story of 4 banks and 4 robberies in 24 hours.

Robbers held up four Coast banks within 24 hours as of Friday afternoon.

Police scrambled in response to three of the robberies on Friday, which included a hostage situation with a highway pursuit and a manhunt through woods.

Two of the three robberies resulted in arrests by day’s end Friday. A fourth from Thursday night remained unsolved. Continue reading “Bonnie and Clyde and Clyde and Clyde?”

From the archives: The Absurdity of Judge Jones’ Reasoning Manifested – New Wind-Water Developments (Corrected)

This morning I rose to see Anita Lee at the Sun Herald has a well written story concerning the involvement of the Mississippi Supreme Court in the Wind-Water controversy. The case in question is Corban vs. USAA which is before Judge Lisa Dodson in Harrison County Circuit Court. Judge Dodson recognizes a bad case precedent when she sees it as the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, specifically Judge Edith Jones, struck out into an area they clearly did not understand in their various interpretations of the anti-concurrent clause. The conflict involves the Fifth Circuit itself and their decisions in Leonard V Nationwide and Tuepker V State Farm. First I’ll excerpt Ms Lee’s story then we’ll provide some additional analysis.

The Mississippi Supreme Court is being asked to decide whether Katrina’s wind damage is covered when tidal surge contributes to the loss.

Attorneys filed the appeal Thursday in Corban vs. USAA Insurance Agency. USAA covered only $39,972 of damage to the Long Beach home of Magruder S. and Margaret Corban, whose policy exceeded $1 million in total coverage. Their home near the waterfront was a near-total loss, although portions remained standing. Continue reading “From the archives: The Absurdity of Judge Jones’ Reasoning Manifested – New Wind-Water Developments (Corrected)”

Shows Takes Expected Hit

While we await Friday’s responses in Ex Rel Rigsby there were other developments yesterday with the litigation involving the Katrina Litigation Group.  As we expected the racketeering suit was dealt a blow with the disqualification of the Rigsby sisters and the Katrina Litigation Group. The issues in Shows were virtually identical to McIntosh and other policyholder lawsuits involving the old Scruggs Katrina Group. It will be interesting to see how this suit in particular is impacted as Racketeering is specialized litigation that requires deep pockets to litigate. My blog partner Nowdy tells me the McIntosh family has retained Chip Merlin to represent them. Excellent choice IMHO.  Here is today’s Anita Lee Sun Herald story:

A federal judge on Wednesday disqualified from a Katrina lawsuit all former Scruggs Katrina Group attorneys, who in June 2007 filed a racketeering case against State Farm and its vendors. Continue reading “Shows Takes Expected Hit”