Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Eastern Federal District Court Disqualifies Plaintiff's UIM Bad Faith Counsel Where Attorney Served As Plaintiff's Counsel in Underlying UIM Claim

In the UIM bad faith case of Adeniyi-Jones v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., No, 14-7101 (E.D.Pa. June 20, 2016 Bartle, J.), the court sua sponte disqualified a Plaintiff's attorney in a UIM bad faith claim from representing the Plaintiff in the bad faith matter where that same Plaintiff's attorney represented the Plaintiff in the underlying UIM claim.

A major factor in the court's decision was the fact that the Plaintiff's attorney would have to serve as a central fact witness in the bad faith claim with respect to dealings and negotiations with the UIM carrier in the underlying matter.  The court noted that it felt that the Plaintiff's attorney could not effectively represent her clients at the bad faith trial while still serving as a witness.

In its decision the court also noted that the Plaintiff's attorney had advised the court that she could find the Plaintiffs separate bad faith counsel without much trouble.

Anyone wishing to review this decision online may click this LINK.

I send thanks to Attorney Lee Applebaum and the other writers of the Pennsylvania and New Jersey Insurance Bad Faith Case Law Blog at Fineman, Krekstein & Harris for bringing this case to my attention.

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