There are lots of insurance defense lawyers in Maryland that you just cannot figure out why someone would hire them to defend a personal injury case. They unnecessarily complicate cases, bill hours on things that are completely unrelated to anything that would actually benefit the defense and, often, juries cannot stand them because there is a positive correlation between someone willing to be this annoying and how annoying they actually are, according to independent studies that I have conducted.
Why Insurance Companies Hire These Lawyers
The lawyer that fits this profile sometimes gets a lot of work. Why? Like any job, insurance adjusters are all kinds of different people. Democrats and Republicans. Athletes and bookworms. Compassionate and mean. Attractive and not-so-much. But, disproportionately, they are tough guys. They want to wage war in the seas and the valley and talk tough and be tough. For some of them, the rest of their lives belie this mentality. But that is a whole different story.
Who do these adjusters want to hire as the extension of their warrior selves? The tough guy lawyer who wants to fight every imaginable fight. Because the stereotype warrior wannabe lawyer – on both sides of the aisle – holds up even better than the warrior insurance adjuster. So these adjusters have a lot of candidates from which to choose. In fairness, injury victims have tons of over-the-top plaintiffs’ personal injury lawyers in Maryland to choose from as well. If you question this, turn on the television or open up the yellow pages. They are filled with a lot of attorneys who talk macho but couldn’t throw a legal punch if their lives depended on it.
As a result of all of this, what we are left with is a lot of defense attorneys that would never get a job if claims adjusters’ sole focus was paying out as little as possible on claims and keep litigation costs in line with what they should be to achieve that end.
Recent Story in Connecticut
A Connecticut plaintiffs’ lawyer had had about enough of medical malpractice defense lawyer’s unethical over-the-top tactics. Really, they were not even that shocking. The defense lawyer had acted insensitively during a trial with this lawyer during a death case and said some really dumb things to the victim’s family and some dumb tough talk to the plaintiffs’ lawyer like that he hates women who “are powerful and can stand up to you.” The defense lawyer also withheld some information about a juror working for one of her clients.
But everyone knew this lawyer was not behaving appropriately and knew that everyone else knew it too. So he called on his fellow fighters for justice in the plaintiffs’ bar to join him in bringing a bar complaint. No one was interested.
So, he plugged on anyway. In the process of dealing with this complaint, investigators found many more grievances that were swept under the rug. In the defense lawyer’s response to the charges, she said that she had had battles with lots of other firms and no one else had a problem with her.
Whoops! Suddenly, a lot of plaintiffs’ law firms who wouldn’t lift a finger to help this guy when he started heard that she was using their failure to file a grievance as implicit acceptance of her tactics. That was apparently a bridge too far. They piled on top and gave the investigators a ton of evidence to show a pattern of abuse and inappropriate conduct.
This story was published just today in the Connecticut Law Tribune which triggered this post. The offending lawyer here was “sentenced” to the appointment of a “monitoring attorney” and is required to take mandatory ethics training. Nice little slap on the wrist but you have to think it will make this lawyer think twice before going over the top in the future.
[Note: I know how hard it is to read that synopsis without my naming the lawyer. I just have a policy of not spilling names out on this blog unless there are special circumstances that warrant it. But it does make it is a little harder to read.]
The Take-Home Message
We have some of these in Maryland. There is one in particular who really inspires hatred among the plaintiffs’ bar that people have moved against with some success. I’ll admit our firm is not taking the lead on these types of things. Yeah, I’m the same guy I mocked the lawyers just a few paragraphs ago who didn’t want to get involved. The irony of that is not lost on me.
When we get the defense lawyer that comes from central casting from this stereotype, we first sigh because we know we are in for a lot of work that we should not have to endure. But, in the end, I think we get more money out of these cases then we do when we have a regular straight shooter that defends the case well and professionally.