Practice Areas & Industries: Morris Polich & Purdy LLP

 




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Practice/Industry Group Overview

Morris Polich & Purdy’s Property Insurance Law attorneys have developed a reputation nationally and internationally for our thoughtful representation of major carriers.

Our practice includes a full spectrum of services, including:

  • The vigorous defense of first-party extra contractual “bad faith” litigation through jury trial and appeal
  • Coverage advice and litigation regarding the full range of property insurance claims, losses, and issues, for both commercial/business and personal lines
  • Coverage advice and litigation regarding catastrophic losses
  • Coverage and litigation involving environmental, water loss, and mold issues
  • Complex disputes involving business interruption and other “time element” claims
  • Intercompany disputes involving issues of excess insurance, contribution and indemnity
  • Coverage advice and litigation regarding policy rescission issues
  • Advising as to alternatives to litigation and representing clients in alternative dispute resolution forums
  • Handling formal appraisal hearings, as permitted by the property insurance contract
  • Conducting Examinations Under Oath of insureds and others, pursuant to the conditions of the insurance policy contract
  • Loss scene counseling and management – including working with origin & cause investigators, electrical and mechanical engineers, metallurgists, and other professionals as appropriate to ensure the loss scene is properly documented, all reasonable cause hypotheses are carefully and thoroughly considered, all pertinent evidence is properly collected and preserved, other-party inspections of the scene are well coordinated so as to permit appropriate access while avoiding spoliation of evidence and other problems, etc.
  • Representation on Department of Insurance inquiries
  • Handling major subrogation claims for insurers arising out of wildfires, structure fires, natural gas explosions, earthquakes, levee failures and other disasters

On matters involving suspected arson and fraud we are well experienced in loss scene counseling and management, claim investigation counseling and guidance, conducting searching and effective yet respectful and professional Examinations Under Oath, and working with forensic accountants and other professionals as appropriate. In addition, our attorneys have been deeply involved in the technical aspects of fire investigation for decades, have authored, co-authored, and peer reviewed portions of several nationally and internationally recognized substantive treatises on these and related topics, and have served as Legal Counsel to, and on the Boards of Directors of, the California Conference of Arson Investigators and other industry organizations.

We also provide carefully analyzed coverage opinions and practical advice based on our dedication to thoroughly understanding and keeping abreast of the latest legal developments in property insurance law. A hallmark of our practice is our litigation-avoidance and “good faith” counseling service.

We frequently present seminars and write articles on these and numerous other pertinent topics, for clients, as well as various fire fighting, law enforcement, and insurance industry organizations. We work hard to maintain close individual contact with our clients and to keep them well informed of new developments that may impact their industry or professional lives.


 
 
Articles Authored by Lawyers at this office:

Multiple PRP EPA Letters is Not Evidence of Separate "Suits" to Trigger CGL Coverage, and the Owned-Property Exclusion Bars Indemnity Coverage for a Mere “Threat to the General Environment,” - Eighth Circuit
, October 14, 2013
A property owner received a Special Notice Letter from the EPA, identifying it as a potentially responsible party (PRP) and demanding reimbursement of cleanup costs under CERCLA. The owner tendered the letter to its insurers, who refused to defend or indemnify the owner for the reimbursement...

Ninth Circuit Finds that Letters from the EPA Can Qualify as a "Suit" Under CGL Policy, Sufficient to Trigger Insurer’s Duty to Defend
, October 14, 2013
Stating its concern that “insurance coverage should not depend on whether the EPA may choose to proceed with its administrative remedies or go directly to litigation,” the Ninth Circuit has found that letters to a property owner from the EPA regarding contamination cleanup at a...

NY Court Declines to Expand Scope of Exemption to Statutory Pollution Exclusion for Insurance “Purchased to Satisfy Financial Responsibility Requirements”
, September 02, 2013
In a victory for insurers, the federal district court for the Southern District of New York last month held that insurance purchased by a government contractor pursuant to federal requirements—but which did not include coverage for property damage due to pollution—did not qualify as...

Subrogating Insurers That Did Not Themselves “Incur” the Costs of Remediation May Not Pursue Cost Recovery Under CERCLA § 107(a) Claims
, September 02, 2013
In July, the United States District Court of the Northern District of California held that an insurer pursuing a subrogation claim was not allowed to pursue cost recovery against a potentially responsible party (“PRP”) under § 107(a) of CERCLA. Rather, a subrogating insurer may...

First Party Insurers May Face Liability Under California’s Unfair Competition Law
, August 06, 2013
In Zhang v. Superior Court, the plaintiff sued her insurer, California Capital, in a dispute over first party coverage for fire damage to her commercial property. She alleged causes of action for breach of contract, bad faith, and violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL; Bus....