Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Invitation to Insurance Library Lunch & Learn on December 17 where I'll be presenting: The Good Faith, The Bad Faith, and the Ugly


The Insurance Library in Boston is a phenomenal resource for anyone who ever needs a deeper understanding of any insurance issue from commonplace to obscure.  From educational programs to absolutely top-notch reference librarians to insurance-related social events like a screening of Double Indemnity to an opportunity (in non-pandemic times, at least) to just soak in the historical insurance artifacts, maps, policies, and books available at the library, this institution is a gem for the insurance cognoscenti and wannabes alike.  

I am thrilled to be presenting a Zoom Lunch & Learn for the Library on insurance bad faith issues, "The Good Faith, the Bad Faith and the Ugly," on December 17, 2020 from 12:30 to 1:30.

You can register for the Lunch & Learn here.

Here's a full description:

The Good Faith, the Bad Faith, and the Ugly! 
About this Event 
The requirement that insurance companies act in good faith with respect to policyholders and claimants--codified in Massachusetts in Chapters 93A and 176D of the Massachusetts General Laws--can raise issues that are nuanced and complex. Veteran lawyer Nina Kallen, a specialist in insurance coverage and bad faith cases, will lead a discussion covering such topics as how an insurer should respond to a demand for coverage when coverage is questionable, or a demand for settlement when liability or damages are unclear and what are common pitfalls in responding to a 93A demand letter. 
How do I attend the event? 
The Library will send you a link to the Zoom login prior to the event. 
Do I have to have video? 
We think video will make the event feel more like an in-person gathering, so we are encouraging people to share video. We plan to record the event and make it available to members who are unable to attend the live event. We will also take screen shots during the event and may use them on our website and in social media posts after the event. 
If I can’t attend the event in real time, can I still submit a question I might have? 
Attendees appreciate the organic discussion that occurs during our virtual events. If you have a question you’d like addressed but you are unable to make it to the live meeting, please send it in advance and we will do our best to ask your question for you, email: 
How can I contact the organizer with any questions? 
Email Sarah Hart at:


Monday, November 9, 2020

A plea to insurance defense firms to do better on diversity

I recently put together a panel on Insurance Issues for New Insurance Defense Attorneys for the Boston Bar Association's subcommittee on Insurance Law.  I was thrilled to find panelists who were knowledgeable and engaging.  In light of a commitment I have made to look for opportunities to amplify voices of people of color, I had hoped to find an additional panelist who was an attorney of color at an insurance defense firm interested in an opportunity to educate newer associates.

I reached out to affinity groups at bar associations, senior partners at insurance defense firms, and more general networking groups.  A couple of names popped up -- the same names over and over again.  I reached out to those people and did not hear back, I can only assume because they are so overwhelmed with people who want them to add diversity to panels and the like that they simply can't respond to all the offers.

This situation is a shame.  Early in my career I was lucky enough to work for two excellent insurance defense firms.  Racial diversity among the attorneys was virtually non-existent -- but that was a long time ago.  I am disheartened that the situation does not appear to have changed.

Here's the thing:  insurance defense is a fantastic start to a practice in civil litigation.  Associates can expect to be arguing in court within a few weeks of starting out and to take depositions within a few more weeks.  Trial work (increasingly hard to come by in civil practice) follows.  I had oral argument in the US Court of Appeals as a second year associate.  Big firms don't offer these opportunities.  Many plaintiffs' side firms spend a large percentage of their time on pre-litigation activities.  I constantly recommend to law students and young attorneys that they consider insurance defense firms.  

The hiring partners at insurance defense firms should be actively recruiting, and making a plan to hire, young associates who are people of color.  It's good for a firm that represents diverse people (anyone who gets sued after a car accident will have an insurance defense firm representing them) to have a diverse staff.  It's good for the profession to provide excellent litigation opportunities to everyone.  And, in this day and age (in every day and age), it's just the right thing to do.