When a broker gets sued, we step in: as the hand-picked attorneys for the broker – all at the insurance carrier’s expense. A broker is generally sued for negligence and some form of intentional misconduct. Why? Because plaintiffs want “punitive damages” and they can’t get that from a ‘negligence’ claim.
That’s a problem for the broker, because E&O (errors and omissions) insurance doesn’t cover ‘intentional misconduct’ claims. E&O insurance, however, will pay for defending both claims, if they are brought in the same lawsuit, but the carriers also reserve their right to not pay punitive damages. When that happens – a conflict exists between the insurance carrier and the broker.
That’s when we step in: as the handpicked attorneys for the broker. Insurance companies don’t generally tell a broker (or an agent) that they have the right to pick their own lawyer to defend them – and have that lawyer paid for by the E&O Carrier.
Why? Because E&O Carriers can restrict the aggressiveness of the defense provided by their handpicked “panel counsel” when defending claims, by forcing panel counsel to enter into “Litigation Management” Agreements that place limits on the activities of those panel lawyers.
HLF clients have chosen us to defend them, when the circumstances allow for it (and they generally do!) because of our expertise in real estate law (after all, many of us were, or are, brokers too), and the aggressive way we defend claims. All claims.