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VSB: Claimant’s Lawyer Doesn’t Need Defense’s Permission To Talk To Adjuster

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VSB: Claimant’s Lawyer Doesn’t Need Defense’s Permission To Talk To Adjuster

September 4, 2012 by Parrish Law Firm, PLLC

Changes may be coming to an issue that occurs frequently in litigation: Can a claimant’s lawyer communicate directly with the insurance adjuster without asking the defense lawyer’s permission beforehand. The Virginia State Bar seems to be changing its attitude towards the question, reports Virginia Lawyers Weekly.

The VSB is leaning closer to “Yes” then ever before, and the reason is that only very rarely does a defense lawyer represent the insurance company itself; more often than not it represents the insured defendant and not the insurance company.

If this is the case, the VSB sees no problem with the plaintiff’s lawyer communicating with the insurance adjuster regardless of whether or not the defense counsel gives its consent.

Comments on Pending Legal Ethics Opinion 1863 are due by September 7th, 2012.

Prior rules made it explicit that claimant’s lawyers needed the consent of the defense counsel before approaching the insurance adjuster for settlement talks.

We’ll keep you updated as this story unfolds.

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