December 16, 2000 |

Insurance Coverage, Intellectual Property

Our client sued its insurer for failure to pay a claim related to defense of an intellectual property matter. The case had already involved many unusual circumstances including the termination of the first defense counsel, in the middle of her client’s deposition, when the insurer’s representative realized that defense counsel had repeatedly lied to the court about availability for deposition. The case settled, for the full amount demanded, within 48 hours after the court issued an order for the president of Liberty Mutual to appear for deposition in our office the following Friday, which was the Christmas holiday weekend. This was a particularly satisfying result because the leading published decision, discussing the limitations on the right to take a “penultimate” deposition, is Liberty Mutual v. Superior Court. The Order issued after we demonstrated to the Court that the prior PMK had provided information which was either: a) false; or b) an admission of significant tax fraud. We suggested that it was unlikely that they were committing tax fraud, so the information which was provided to us, at the direction of the legal department, was probably false. The PMK also testified that even though he had primary responsibility for coverage opinions on certain complex coverage matters arising in California, he had stopped reading new California court decisions when the insurer canceled the subscription to the printed copies of the cases and made them available only through online research facilities.