The Commodification of Insurance Defense Practice
62 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2006
Drawing on a period of observation in an insurance defense law firm and a series of interviews with insurance defense lawyers in other firms, this paper presents an analysis of the work and relationships involved in insurance defense practice. The central argument of the paper is the insurance defense practice is viewed as a commodity by many, perhaps most, insurance companies. The result is to drive down the price for such services and to impose a variety of demands on lawyers providing insurance defense services that affect the work that the lawyers do. Specific topics discussed include fees and fee arrangements, working relationships between lawyers and insurance adjusters, marketing and client retention, and interactions between insurance defense lawyers and lawyers representing other insurers or plaintiffs.
Keywords: Insurance, lawyers, torts, legal practice, commodification
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