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50-State Survey: Duty to Provide Independent Counsel

Tressler is proud to announce Linda Bondi Morrison's new publication "50-State Survey: Duty to Provide Independent Counsel".

To receive a complimentary copy of this publication, please contact Linda Bondi Morrison at

Preview of Introduction: 

Few relationships among insurers, their insureds and defense counsel involve as many complexities and challenges as those involving independent counsel, including determining the insurer’s duty to provide independent counsel and when that duty arises. Disputes concerning the appropriate rates and fees owed to counsel, along with sufficient reporting and the settlement of claims, are not uncommon. Consequently, an initial determination of whether an insured is entitled to independent counsel is paramount in protecting an insurer’s interests and right to control the defense. State-specific statutes and established case law provide guidance as to how an insurer should evaluate an insured’s right to independent counsel. In the absence of such guidance, courts in certain states have turned to the Restatement of the Law, Liability Insurance (“Restatement”) to determine such rights and obligations.

The Restatement, approved in May 2018, purports to be an influential authority where there is no existing statutory authority or case law. It contains provisions that are considered by many to be policyholder friendly and has been criticized for adopting minority rules that are inconsistent with the weight of majority and modern trends in insurance coverage. Some state legislatures and courts have rejected the Restatement or have limited its application, although it has been cited by many state and federal courts.

About Linda Bondi Morrison

 Linda Bondi-Morrison Tressler LLP

Linda Bondi Morrison is the Managing Partner of Tressler’s Orange County, California office. She represents insurance companies in complex litigation and coverage matters involving general and professional liability, excess exposures and extracontractual liability, including environmental and toxic torts, construction defects and advertising/personal injury. She has extensive experience in matters involving complex insurance programs and the allocation and coverage challenges they present. Linda has represented clients as trial counsel in a number of significant, complex matters in California and across the country.

In addition to providing litigation counsel, Linda is regularly called on by insurance companies to assist with policy drafting and settlement or resolution of non-litigated matters involving complex questions of insurance coverage and liability. She has successfully handled mediations and arbitrations with multimillion-dollar exposures, procuring favorable settlements for her clients. Click here to read Linda's full attorney biography.