Michael Best Partner Eric G. Barber was quoted in Law360's article on tips for strengthening insurance legal writing. Don't Be Dramatic
Lawyers representing insurance companies or policyholders should take care to not use needlessly inflammatory language or press overly aggressive positions in letters or court briefs early on in a coverage dispute, attorneys say.
Insurance lawyers who haphazardly throw around unsubstantiated claims from the outset of a dispute risk losing credibility with the court and opposing counsel, so it is wise for them to consider how sensitive phrases will be perceived in writing, according to attorneys.
"There are certain buzzwords that require significant thought before they are invoked," said Michael Best & Friedrich LLP
partner Eric Barber.
For instance, overzealous policyholder-side attorneys may assert a bad faith claim in letters sent to an insurance company before obtaining any concrete evidence to support such a claim. But alleging bad faith where it is not yet warranted can negatively affect negotiations between the policyholder and the carrier, attorneys say.
"You risk escalating the process quickly and lose opportunities to get an insurer on board with coverage," Barber said.
To read the full Law360 article, click here.