Law 794: Advanced Legal Writing: Insurance Coverage
When a claim is first asserted against a client, a diligent attorney should investigate whether there is potential insurance coverage for the claim and should advise the client about necessary steps to secure that coverage. Courts have recognized that an attorney’s failure to flag the insurance issue can constitute malpractice. The attorney who represents the insurer has a corresponding obligation to analyze the claim and provide the policyholder with a timely, appropriate response to the claim. This course provides students with the background necessary to effectively fulfill these obligations, whether their future clients are insurers or policyholders.
In addition, the course offers students instruction and feedback on writing assignments involving cutting-edge issues relevant to real-world practice in insurance law.
Sequence and Prerequisites: Successful completion of the first-year curriculum, including the legal writing series.
Evaluation: Grades will be based on participation in class discussions and three writing assignments:
- A “Reservation of Rights” Letter: analyzing coverage for a claim based on applicable law and policy provisions in plain language (5-7 pages);
- A “Covenant Settlement” Agreement: assigning a tort defendant’s right against its insurer to the claimant (7-10 pages); and
- Memorandum of Law in Support of a Motion for Summary Judgment in a Declaratory Judgment Action: may be on behalf of insurer or insured (10-15 pages).
Course Classification: Experiential