Is Eight Enough? The Texas Supreme Court may answer that question when it tackles the eight-corners rule.

September 24th, 2019 By Jeffrey C. Glass

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently certified to the Texas Supreme Court, and the latter accepted, a question that could end up undermining the “eight corners” rule.  State Farm Lloyds v. Richards, 18-10721, 2019 WL 4267354, at *3 (5th Cir. Sept. 9, 2019), certified question accepted (Sept. 13, 2019) Jayden Meals was killed in an all-terrain vehicle accident while under the temporary care of his grandparents, the Richards. Jayden’s mother sued the Richards in state court alleging they were
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Hanna & Plaut Partners Selected Once Again to the Texas Super Lawyers List

September 12th, 2019 By Catherine Hanna

Congratulations to Hanna & Plaut partners David Plaut and Catherine Hanna on their selection to the 2019 Texas Super Lawyers list. Each year, no more than five percent of the lawyers in the state are selected to receive this honor. Catherine and David are especially proud of this achievement since it is based on a process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area. While achieving this level of
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A Flood of Bad News for Tardy Claimants

July 21st, 2019 By Sheila Tan

Floods are unfortunate recurring events in Texas, and more so in recent years with Hurricane Harvey highlighting just how destructive Mother Nature can be. Little wonder that flood insurance and flood claims have been the subject of plenty of litigation and a recent opinion from the Fifth Circuit underscores how tricky it can be to navigate these waters (pun intended). Flood is generally not covered under a standard homeowner’s policy. In order to allow homeowners to obtain such coverage the
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542A Elections of Adjuster Liability: “Dancing with the one that brung ya.”

June 24th, 2019 By Sarah Scott

More guidance on staying in federal court: Southern District affirms importance of timing in 542A removals Although there has been a flurry of litigation about removals under Section 542A of the Texas Insurance Code (see Eric Peabody’s stellar blog post here), until recently none of the current crop of federal cases addressed whether a pre-suit election by an insurance carrier of the liability of an adjuster precludes remand to state court. According to the Southern District the answer is a
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Happy International Women’s Day!

March 8th, 2019 By Catherine Hanna

“After all, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels.”― Ann Richards For International Women’s Day I wanted to post a photo of the women of Hanna & Plaut, but I didn’t plan ahead  so you’ll have to wait until the end of the month to see photographic evidence of our amazing team. Meanwhile, you can picture the hardest working office manager in this business and three fantastic legal assistants, including my
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Fifth Circuit Reaffirms Attorney Immunity Doctrine

February 25th, 2019 By Tara Mireur

In Ironshore Europe DAC v. Schiff Hardin, LLP, No. 18-40101 (5th Cir. 2019), the Fifth Circuit recently reversed the district court decision we previously wrote about here. The district court denied an attorney’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit against it by an excess insurance carrier complaining it was misled about settlement, instead holding that the law firm could not be held liable to a nonclient under the attorney immunity defense doctrine.   The lower court’s decision to allow the claim was
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To Abate or Not to Abate – Judges Answer the Question

January 21st, 2019 By Lauren Burgess

Should appraisal and litigation proceed concurrently? Appraisal is intended as an extrajudicial process to resolve insurance disputes regarding the amount of damage and is a procedure intended to take place instead of litigation. However, in Texas, appraisal and litigation often coincide because either appraisal is invoked after litigation has commenced or the insured files a lawsuit in spite of an ongoing appraisal. In these cases, should courts abate the litigation pending completion of appraisal? Or should the litigation and appraisal
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Giving the Jury Charge its Due

May 29th, 2018 By Sarah Scott

  It’s easy to understand why the poor jury charge so often gets short shrift in trials. Diligently preparing for witness examinations, checking and double checking exhibits, rehearsing your opening and closing statements until they are committed to memory but seem completely unrehearsed – all of these tasks are tremendously time-consuming. But (to borrow a football metaphor, this being Texas) lawyers who ignore the charge run the risk of fumbling at the one-yard line. Why? Because the charge, unlike your
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Authenticating and Admitting Social Media Evidence

May 2nd, 2018 By Eric S. Peabody

Facebook has been in the news lately with lots of people concerned about invasion of privacy. For litigators, our willingness to share our lives on social media has created a fertile source of evidence on liability, damages, defenses, and other critical issues.  Assuming the evidence is relevant, the primary concern of courts confronted with this evidence is ensuring that the evidence (1) was actually on the website, (2) accurately reflects the proposition for which it’s offered, and (3) is attributable
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