Policy Limit DemandsâPart II: A View Into the Other Room
By Richard Huver
Through his 30 years of litigation experience and leadership roles; Richard Huver developed the skills and expertise necessary to serve as a successful mediator for your case. As a mediator, Richard has handled cases in a variety of fields and specialties, including business, real estate, employment, and personal injury. From the simple to the complex, and from the cooperative to the contentious, Richard has the experience, the temperament and the skills that are needed to help parties resolve their disputes in an expeditious and professional manner. Learn more about Richard at: https://www.judicatewest.com/adr/richard-huver
In the first article published in The Practitioner’s last issue (Issue 4 of 2020), Mr. Huver discussed the interplay of policy limit demands and confidentiality. This "Part II" article covers issues to run through in deciding whether a case is a policy limit case, and how to approach negotiations during mediation.
Negotiations during mediation can be a bit like playing pokerâ you know what is in your hand (what you are willing to offer, or accept, to settle) but you are not sure what is in your opponent’s hand. When mediating a policy limits demand case, all eyes are on one numberâ the policy’s limitsâ and the insurance company wants to know whether plaintiff intends to hold firm for the policy limits, or whether he or she will agree to take less. The plaintiff and his or her attorney come into mediation wondering whether the policy limits will be tendered at the end of the day, or whether the final offer will be for something less. At some point during the negotiation process, each side usually asks the same questionâwhat is really going on in the other room? This article is intended to provide information that will help you understand what might be influencing your opponent’s negotiation strategy. My hope is that these insights will allow you to consider things from your opponent’s perspective as a way for both sides to reach an acceptable resolution of the case.