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Misdirected Management. (Comment).

I practice insurance defense, and in response to the article, "The Meter Is Running" (October 2001, page 55) I am constantly amazed by the amount of resources some carriers are now putting into litigation management--for all the wrong reasons.

I welcome some of the new "management protocols," because my adjusters are finally having to respond to our litigation plans. Having a team approach to the problem is generally the best and most cost-effective defense. This should be the aim of "litigation management."

But the focus of most litigation management has not been to ensure a good job for the least amount of money, but to cut all costs, in case some lawyer somewhere is over-billing. This is using a cannon instead of a fly swatter. The trick is not to "punish" the attorney you are supposed to trust and work with; the trick is to prosecute and disbar the dishonest one. A carrier should never ask for a refund of attorney overcharging; they should let the prosecutor recover the funds following a conviction. Good companies act with their wallets and take their business where they get the best results for their dollar. The dishonest attorney must be removed from the rolls of licensed attorneys, not totally "managed."

Insurance companies cannot be a member of the team at the same time they are stabbing the captain in the back. Make no mistake--you still get what you pay for. When one carrier consistently refused to reimburse us for expressly authorized advanced expenses under the guise of following litigation management, we refused any further work from them. They still do not understand why--claiming our advances were small and we should just "absorb" them. I ask all of you--who is dishonest here and needs better management?
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Author:Griffin, J. David
Publication:Best's Review
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Dec 1, 2001
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