May It Please The Court

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May It Please The Court
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There are 2034 Journal Items on 255 page(s) and you are on page number 185

Function Over Form: Insurance Protects Successor Companies

All right. Let's get back at it here, and cover an opinion that came out of Ohio last week on insurance coverage.

What happens to insurance coverage when a company buys the assets of another company? Well, if you're in California, the general rule is that it has to be covered in the contract. Otherwise, the policies don't transfer.

If you're in the 9th Circuit (other than California), then the policies follow the liabilities. That is to say if the liabilities transfer to the new company, then so do the insurance policies.

Before last week, that question hadn't been squarely addressed in Ohio. The Glidden paint companies have engaged in a series of mergers since the late 50's.

Now, we're on Glidden III in terms of corporate structure. Glidden has been sued for personal injuries arising from lead paint.

When Glidden III turned the claims over to its insurance company, the claims were denied. Lumbermans Mutual essentially said to Glidden III, "Who are you?"

The carrier claimed it had insured the earlier iterations of Glidden, but after the company merged and merged several times, the policies didn't transfer.

The trial court agreed, and found for the insurance company: No coverage.

The Ohio Eighth District Court of Appeals disagreed, and reversed, following the 9th Circuit rule rather than the California rule.

Policies track liability. If a successor company can be held liable for the sins of a predecessor, then the insurance from the predecessor company protects the successor company.

Glidden is glad.


Printer friendly page Posted by J. Craig Williams on Monday, December 27, 2004 at 09:16 Comments (0) |

Brunch With Bruce

Adam Smith, Esq. came to town today. We got together for brunch this morning at the Surf & Sand Hotel in Laguna Beach.

The weather was quite a bit different than in New York where Adam Smith's writer, Bruce MacEwen is from.

Bruce and his wife, Janet, met Lisa and me, and the conversation ranged from blogging (of course) to current events and beyond. For me, one of the most interesting parts of our conversation was something Bruce off-handedly asked.

He wanted to know my sources.

The genesis of his question wasn't designed to ask the sources like those of a newspaper reporter. He meant what I read and where I got my information to blog. I obliged, and in turn, I asked Bruce about his. Very interesting, especially since we don't use the same ones. It got me thinking, though.

What an interesting question to pose to other bloggers. Watch this space for a follow-up sometime in the (hopefully) very near future.

Me? That's an easy question to answer. Findlaw, Jurist and LexisOne.

But that's only the half of it.

There's the slip opinions from, the Daily Journal and the various websites of the Circuit Courts and the California courts.

That's where the work comes in. Findlaw, Lexis and Jurist provide guidelines to the legal news, but the courts are one of the major sources. Reading those advance sheets determines where the law goes, and where MIPTC follows. No secret about sources there.

Bruce's sources? He'll have to tell you on his own.


Printer friendly page Posted by J. Craig Williams on Sunday, December 26, 2004 at 22:41 Comments (2) |

Season's Greetings


Printer friendly page Posted by J. Craig Williams on Saturday, December 25, 2004 at 11:56 Comments (0) |

Reel Reviews - It's A Wonderful Life

Reel Review #18: “Remember no man is a failure who has friends.” What is the holiday season without this classic film? You’ve seen it on TV a thousand times - in this podcast we look at the film and the fascinating story surrounding it. Happy holidays from Reel Reviews.


DVD - It's A Wonderful Life

Here's the Podcast.


Printer friendly page Posted by Michael W. Geoghegan on Friday, December 24, 2004 at 12:19 Comments (0) |

Big Bad Bikers Deliver Toys To CHOC Before Christmas

Christmas Eve. It's a time to wonder. The reason for the season.

Just because my Dad was a minister, though, doesn't mean you'll hear that here. But it's just an intro - get you into the mood and into the picture.

This morning, over 1,100 Harley bikers, yours truly included, met at Orange County Harley Davidson at 9:00 a.m., loaded the trucks and bikes (KCAL 9 video) and drove.

To CHOC - Children's Hospital of Orange County, and delivered in excess of 26,000 toys.

Approximately 200 children who are getting cancer treatment over Christmas, transplants and critical medical care got toys personally delivered by the bikers. Those who couldn't come downstairs will get theirs tomorrow. Santa left a sack of toys outside each room tonight, to be discovered tomorrow morning.

As for the rest of the toys, they're put into storage and then doled out throughout the year to any child who receives treatment at the hospital.

It was something else to see big, burly bikers kneel down to greet kids in hospital gowns trailing IV trees, complete with computers. The big boys would say, "Merry Christmas" and hand over a toy.

It was something even more to see the kids' eyes widen, and their smiles broaden when they sat on our bikes, and all the while the Harley riders silently knew why the kids were in there over Christmas, and that some wouldn't make it to next Christmas.

There wasn't a dry eye among the bikers.


Printer friendly page Posted by J. Craig Williams on Friday, December 24, 2004 at 10:15 Comments (3) |

How The Grinch (Almost) Stole Christmas Vacation

The Grinch story revisited, a la two sparring lawyers, courtesy of Findlaw, with a post-discovery hat tip to the Professor, via Begging to Differ.


Printer friendly page Posted by J. Craig Williams on Thursday, December 23, 2004 at 16:26 Comments (0) |

New York Starts Trend Against Insurance Companies

Here's a quote businesses will be sure to love: the time has come to "acknowledge that freedom of contract is a fiction when applied to insurance policies."

That's straight from the mouth of two justices from the majority decision in the case of Great Canal Realty Corp. v. Seneca Insurance Company, Inc. (subscription may be needed). They said that while New York courts have historically been reluctant to inhibit freedom of contract, the Supreme Court (called the Court of Appeals in NY) wouldn't tolerate the insurance company's "prejudice" claims for late claims.

The whole case (again, subscription may be needed) turns on this word: "immediate." Which is what the insurance companies have demanded in the contract (policy) for notification of a claim. Then, when an insured doesn't tender the claim "immediately," ... well you already know don't you: it's a big stamp.


Not any longer, at least in New York. We'll see if this ruling spreads to other jurisdictions.

I thought trends started in California.


Printer friendly page Posted by J. Craig Williams on Thursday, December 23, 2004 at 13:14 Comments (0) |

Father / Son Team Blawgs The Legal Blogosphere

This may be a first, although with the internet, you never really know.

My son is going to start blawgging with me here on MIPTC. He's a second-year law student at the University of Iowa, my alma mater.

So, shortly - although the debut date is up in the air - you'll see one-a-week posts from Michel J. Ayer. The writing ticket for this blawg will be a lawyer and a law student, as a father and son team blawgging legal news, each with our own perspective.

The question for you to answer, as our readers, will be whether the apple fell far from the tree. I know my son, and I don't think so. On the other hand, he might tell you otherwise.

The focus of MITPC won't change, and Dad still will retain complete editorial control. Even so, I won't be issuing writing assignments. Michel will cover the legal items he wants to cover and pass along his observations. Does that mean I'll become the dreaded editor?

Nope. More of a proofreader, although that red pen may sneak in from time to time.

In case you are thinking about it, I Googled Michel for you. (Yes, there's no "a" in his name. Don't ask me, ask his mother.) There's not much out there about him. In fact, I could find only one article, and that focused more on his wife, Stacy. So stay tuned: you'll learn more here.

And no, I'm not a grandfather, and have no desire to be one anytime soon. You wouldn't hear that news from me first, anyway.


Printer friendly page Posted by J. Craig Williams on Wednesday, December 22, 2004 at 23:20 Comments (0) |

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