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Recent Articles

Maryland’s Court of Special Appeals Observes Key Distinctions Between Examinations Under Oath and Depositions

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals observed in Dolan v. Kemper Independence Ins. Co. the distinctions between an Examination Under Oath (“EUO”) and a deposition, strongly affirming that in addition to one deposition a party can generally conduct in litigation, an insurer can also conduct one or more EUOs because they serve vastly different puposes and are governed by different sets of rules. 

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Judge awards $0 after Plaintiffs’ counsel seeks $1.1 million in attorneys’ fees after winning bad faith case

In a scathing, 100-page opinion from the The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, the Court reiterated that the decision whether to assess attorneys’ fees, costs, and interest under the Pennsylvania bad faith statute is completely within the discretion of the trial court. The court noted that although it may assess attorneys' fees upon a finding of bad faith, it is not required to do so and the party seeking attorneys’ fees bears the burden of demonstrating the reasonableness of the fees, thus denying any fee award after plaintiffs' counsel petitions for $1.1 million in attorneys' fees. 

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Filing a National Flood Insurance Claim in State Court is No Better Than Filing it in the Kitchen Drawer

In Woodson v. Allstate Ins. Co., the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently opined that a Claimant’s action was time-barred when he filed a breach of contract and bad faith action in state court within one day of the applicable statute of limitations, notwithstanding a federal statute that required all claims made under their policy to be filed in a federal district court.  The Court concluded that the federal authority governing the National Flood Insurance Program (“NFIP”) preempts state law, but it left open the question as to whether the NIFP preempts all state authorities within its scope or merely conflicting state authorities. In the wake of Woodson, insurers and underwriters would be prudent to carefully assess the interplay between federal and state statutes and regulations as the governing authority of their policies.

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Condominiums May Not Opt Out Of Maryland's Mandatory Insurance Provisions

Under Section 11-114 of the Maryland Condominium Act, Condominium Associations must maintain property insurance on the entire condominium including units, excepting improvements and betterments installed by the Unit Owner. Condominiums may not opt out of Maryland's Mandatory Insurance Coverage provisions, and any changes in statue requirements must be amended by the Legislature, arguments published in a recent court opinion following a declaratory judgment action in Elasik, et al. v. Queen's Landing Council of Unit Owners, Inc.

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Past Articles

Maryland’s Court of Special Appeals Observes Key Distinctions Between Examinations Under Oath and De

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals observed in Dolan v. Kemper Independence Ins. Co.…

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How Financial Advisors Can Avoid Compliance Failures: A Review of SEC 2018 Examination Priorities

Financial advisors can get clues about regulators’ top concerns by looking at the SEC’s…

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Estate Tax Changes Under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Effective January 1, 2018, the federal estate tax underwent a massive overhaul with the Tax Cuts…

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Maryland Healthy Working Families Act: Employer Best Practices to Avoid Traps for the Unwary

The Maryland General Assembly voted to override Governor Hogan’s veto of the sick and safe…

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Increasing Risk of Data Breaches Prompt New Legal Requirements for Maryland Businesses

Although recent data breaches involving large corporations such as Equifax, eBay, Target and Yahoo…

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