In an article in Law360 that looks at five common missteps young insurance defense attorneys make, Goldberg Segalla partner Jonathan L. Schwartz offered insight on a couple of different fronts.
First, Jonathan stressed the importance of the importance of not burning bridges with opposing counsel — especially given that the pool of coverage attorneys tends to be small in most jurisdictions.
“You don’t want to poison the well and make it much harder in the future for you to deal with a policyholder counsel,” cautioned Jonathan, a member of the firm’s Global Insurance Services Practice Group. “You may need professional courtesies from them down the road in litigation. You will also likely have to try to negotiate a settlement with them.”
Failing to understand the insurance policy in question is another common error that can have critical ramifications for clients involved in coverage disputes, Jonathan told Law360. “Don’t rely solely on what a client has told you about the policy,” he said. “There may be more to it than the specific part of the policy, or specific endorsement, they referenced.”