Breaking: Graves, Bartle and Marcus Asking for Sanctions Against State Farm

Time for State Farm to put up or shut up.  Page 11 starts the counter attack.

Comparing these accusations against the Rigsbys’ actual testimony, it is apparent that State Farm had little regard for the truth in drafting its motion to disqualify. Where does Cori Rigsby state that she gave her counsel carte blanche to retrieve State Farm documents directly from State Farm’s database? Where does Kerri Rigsby admit “secret” [sic] meetings with Graves where State Farm’s databases were accessed?
State Farm’s unsubstantiated accusations are worthy of strong rebuke and sanction under Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Merely hoping that Relators’ counsel was engaged in wrongdoing does not make it so. Actual proof is required. State Farm presented no proof in support of its claims because the wrongdoing it alleges is make-believe. Continue reading “Breaking: Graves, Bartle and Marcus Asking for Sanctions Against State Farm”

Politics and Grass Lawn Part 3: Blame the Secretary

I read today’s new story on the continuing fallout from the Grass Lawn debacle and came away thinking that Brian Carriere just doesn’t get it. His recent votes and mayorial ambitions are not the fault of 13 year city council clerk Kathy Johnson. Carriere is a big boy and he needs to start acting like one instead of a spoiled brat who has been outed.  Better yet maybe someone close to Mr Carriere can explain to him he was elected to the City Council to work for the betterment of the City rather than indulge his political ambition.

Anyone else notice Barbara Nalley is suspiciously MIA. That’s right Mr. Carriere you’re their bagholder.

Here is Ryan LaFontaine’s continuing coverage of Carriere’s path to political self destruction:

City Councilman Brian Carriere sent out a scathing e-mail Thursday threatening to fire a council clerk whom he believes has been floating rumors about his political future.

 Kathy Johnson, a council clerk who has been at City Hall for more than a decade, was the focus of the e-mail. Continue reading “Politics and Grass Lawn Part 3: Blame the Secretary”

Brother Bruce Made Us Blush

I saw the incoming link and immediately checked out our “Katrina Brother” and Editilla Extraordinaire Bruce at the New Orleans News Ladder. Thanks for the very kinds words Bro.

~Editilla slabbin’begs ta’diffa~
slabbed, when uncoupled wit’da the verbage of Johnny Dangerously, takes on yet a whole nnnnuther meaning…that of getting “Forkin’Forked up!” or “Forked down, Mon.”
But for yer oh’so humble Editorilla, CEO of “Nouns-Are-Us”, it has become much more than the lower-case name of a simple blog,
but a fine woid to describe
da’State of da’Forkin Blog’Fugee Parrrt’ay Today!
Light, Tight and Ready to Fight!
Quiche Capiche? Sinn Féin, Noble Slabbers!

Sinn Féin indeed. I hoist my Harp to that!

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The Allstate Challenge Part 3: Lets Try to Buy Off Florida

Thanks to Huntbones on Yahoo Allstate for the heads up to the St Petersburg Times story. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation is having problems getting Allstate to fully comply with their subpoena. Rather than hand over the docs Allstate tries to buy off Governor Christ. Tom Zucco and Jennifer Liberto tell the story:

Hammered by the courts and threatened with a crackdown by Florida’s insurance commissioner, Allstate Corp. quietly offered the state millions to let the company off the hook and retract a pending order that would stop the insurance giant from selling new policies in Florida, state officials say.

Gov. Charlie Crist confirmed the Allstate offer was floated recently, and he promptly rejected it. Allstate officials said late Thursday that no offer had been made. Continue reading “The Allstate Challenge Part 3: Lets Try to Buy Off Florida”

Politics and Grass Lawn Part 2: Brian Carriere Beats a Hasty Retreat

As public outrage over the ill advised City Council Tuesday vote to turn down a $500,000 grant to rebuild Grass Lawn coalesces, the three city council members who let politics stand in the way of recovery are running hard for cover. Today’s news involves Brian Carriere, the man who said he was against rebuilding Grass Lawn all along but would have voted to put off discussion had he known the grant would have been turned down. He is beating a very hasty retreat as Ryan LaFontain’s story exhibits:

In an e-mail Thursday to the City Council and City Hall, Councilman Brian Carriere took issue with a Sun Herald report this week on Grass Lawn.

The City Council voted 3-2 on Tuesday to reject a $500,000 grant from the state Department of Archives and History, money specifically for rebuilding Grass Lawn that the city will not be required to repay. Continue reading “Politics and Grass Lawn Part 2: Brian Carriere Beats a Hasty Retreat”

Sam Friedman Checks in with Another Fantastic Post on Weather Modeling and Insurance

Sam Friedman’s blog is a frequent stop of mine when I surf the internet for insurance issues.  He is the editor of the National Underwriter, a trade publication serving the property and casualty segment of the insurance industry.  I like Mr Friedman, he is a journalist first and foremost, one who examines the issues with great attention to balance in his reporting. He has opinions on insurance issues though, for instance he is against Gene Taylor’s multi peril bill HR 3121. However our offline conversations on that issue tell me his opinions do not stand in the way of doing the topic justice as he is open to reporting all sides of the issue in his blog and trade publication.

It was his post on weather modeling and it’s use in the industry for setting rates and determining the amount of risk to take on that got me interesting in the topic.  In fact my first blog post dealt with that subject and featured one of Sam’s earlier posts on the topic. Featured was Karen Clark, who literally helped write the book on weather modeling:

One big problem is that catastrophe models are not reliable predictors of when or where a monster hurricane is going to strike, according to Karen Clark, vice chair of AIR Worldwide, one of the leading modeling firms. Continue reading “Sam Friedman Checks in with Another Fantastic Post on Weather Modeling and Insurance”

Politics, Grass lawn and the Gulfport Library

My initial reaction yesterday upon hearing the news that the Gulfport City Council turned down funding to rebuild Grass lawn was anger and disgust. Deb, a member of my small business family and one of the founders of We the People, broke the news to me as she was in attendance at the meeting. The save the Library group lost a 4-3 vote to rescind the demolition order for the library. That vote was a disappointing outcome. The ladies worked very hard for that issue; one which they share a mutual passion.

Today we are greeted with both a news story on the Grasslawn vote and an editorial in the Sun Herald. I am most disturbed by the news story, which indicated the library group was used as pawns by a faction of the City Council opposed to all things Brent Warr to help scuttle rebuilding Grasslawn. Here are some excerpts from the story by Ryan LaFontaine:

A day after they surprisingly said “no thanks” to a $500,000 grant to rebuild a historic icon lost to Katrina, some City Council members were hinting at a do-over. Continue reading “Politics, Grass lawn and the Gulfport Library”

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””