Our law firm offers substantial depth of experience in title insurance defense, combining proven legal and practical expertise, responsive communications with claims counsel, and litigation cost control.
Title companies utilize our services because we get cost-effective results. Many of our cases never make it past the complaint and lis pendens filing. Our senior attorneys are trained in investigation and fraud detection. All our attorneys are experienced in solving cases in and out of the courtroom. We understand fraud and corruption in both novel and repeating circumstances, enabling us to perform quick evaluations and move cases rapidly toward resolution. Many of our attorneys have governmental service experience and understand the usefulness of government assistance and methods. We have sophisticated technological and investigative resources that we use regularly in all phases of the litigation. Our Litigation Group has compiled a success record that is unparalleled. Besides an admirable record in title litigation cases, we are one of New York’s premier real estate litigation firms. Our attorneys have participated in and prevailed in some of the most important real estate cases of the past decade, as reflected in numerous published and unpublished decisions on novel legal issues. Our attorneys’ impressive success record in hundreds of trials places the firm’s performance among the very best in the profession.
Claims Counsel/Litigation Counsel/Foreclosure Counsel Team
The firm philosophy and practice is based on a “Claims Counsel/Litigation Counsel Team” concept. We have frequent scheduled and unscheduled communication among our Claims Counsel, Foreclosure Counsel, and clients, in order to more closely integrate our efforts toward the appropriate resolution of a given litigated matter.
To the extent possible, for informal communication, we rely on electronic mail and telephone correspondence. Barring unforeseen circumstances, we respond to every inquiry within one working day, even if our immediate response is that research and/or investigation is needed to more fully address the problem or inquiry presented. Reports are prepared at intervals under the insurer’s guidelines, but always include at least an initial intake report giving a preliminary evaluation, a litigation plan report outlining a proposed plan for progress in the litigation, and Interim Reports periodically and upon all major happenings in the action. Should the case reach trial, a pre-trial report is submitted about ninety days before trial, which outlines the practical, factual, and legal strengths and weaknesses of the case.
In accordance with the ethical standards governing attorney conduct, and in order to prevent delay, we make intermediate tactical decisions, giving primary consideration to the interests of our client, your insured. However, we always give primacy to the right of the carrier to determine goals, to the extent of its policy interest, in any given litigation.
Cost Control Methods
We strenuously control litigation costs within the strictures of providing the highest quality service. We do this by front-loading the investigative/evaluative process, evaluating the pluses and minuses of motion practice to practical advantage, under intensive senior staff supervision, and practically evaluating which cases should be tried and which resolved through ADR or settlement.
We believe that intensive investigation, both judicial and extra-judicial, at the start of the case, allows us to more accurately advise the assigned Claims Counsel of the most reasonable course of action to employ. We are also able to identify high-risk and spurious cases through preliminary investigations. Most insurance claim cases settle by differentiating between the authentic claims and the unsubstantiated or fraudulent claims early on in the process. In doing so, we are able to advise Claims Counsel whether a speedy and economically sound resolution of the meritorious cases is appropriate. Further investigative efforts allow us to either prepare the case for trial or decide, in conjunction with Claims Counsel, whether some other determination is appropriate.
To the extent possible, we try to avoid discovery motions, as it has been our experience that most discovery issues can be resolved either informally between the lawyers or by conference with the Court. In those cases that cannot be resolved before Note of Issue is filed, we evaluate the case for summary judgment purposes and make a recommendation to Claims Counsel. Summary judgment motions are only made if there is some reasonable chance of success.
We do our utmost to utilize the strengths of our lawyers: generally, contested courtroom proceedings and motion writing will be staffed by one of the senior lawyers, whereas most pro forma proceedings, paper discovery and legal research will be done by an associate. Our associates and paralegals are under the immediate supervision of the assigned senior attorney, who is responsible for the quality of their work. We recognize throughout the litigation process that, although some cases have to be tried (fraud, no liability, grossly inflated damages), most cases can and should be negotiated to resolution. We work with Claims Counsel and Foreclosure Counsel to reach a resolution as soon and as favorably as possible. If a case is required to be tried, it is tried by one of the senior lawyers.
Throughout the entire process, senior staff keeps its eyes trained on the goals of achieving maximum result at minimum cost.