Lydecker Diaz Celebrates the Opening of its Los Angeles, California Office, and New Partner!

Lydecker Diaz is pleased to announce the firm’s new office in Los Angeles, California. The office is located at 11150 West Olympic Blvd., Ste. 610, Los Angeles, CA 90064.

Lydecker Diaz partnered with experienced California civil litigation attorney Michael C. Douglass to extend our footprint across America and better serve our existing insurance clients.

“We can now represent our existing insurance clients in complex, high-exposure general liability claims, as well as in professional, employment, and municipal liability matters,” says Lydecker. “We’re also excited to bring on new clients because of Michael’s extensive network and unprecedented experience in defending his clients.”

Our new California office will officially make Lydecker a coast-to-coast law firm with existing offices throughout New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Florida.

Since its founding, Lydecker Diaz has built a distinguished history of skilled and effective legal service to its clients. Because our largest insurance clients have cases in almost all 50 states, our goal is to continue expanding for them.

Our 100+ attorneys nationwide give our clients a broader range of services and a deeper bench of legal talent. Through our new Los Angeles office, we will deliver the same high quality, personalized and dedicated service that our clients have experienced.

Lydecker Diaz is now licensed to practice law in all California state and federal courts, as well as the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Our experience, creativity, and commitment to our insurance carrier needs will continue in California. We will expand our focus on bad faith litigation, trucking and transportation, general liability, government liability, product liability, professional liability, consumer finance, and employment law.

We are dedicated to providing thoughtful, practical solutions to the complex problems faced by our insurance clients, with the same devotion to the excellent personal and timely service that is expected from our lawyers across the nation.

We are excited and hope you will join us in celebrating this milestone. We look forward to working on California-based insurance cases.

New Attorney Announcement - Michael Douglass

Michael Douglass Joins Lydecker Diaz to Open California Market

Richard Lydecker, senior partner at Lydecker Diaz, announced today that experienced civil litigation attorney Michael C. Douglass has joined the firm and will be a key part of the California legal team representing corporate and municipal clients in complex, high-exposure general liability claims, as well as in professional, employment and municipal liability matters.

Lydecker Diaz is a Full-Service AV-rated national law firm with offices throughout New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Florida. In bringing Michael on board, Lydecker Diaz now extends its footprint across America to the state of California.

Michael has tried cases to verdict in California and also has successfully argued before the California Court of Appeal, most notably in a malicious prosecution case that resulted in a reported decision [Paiva v. Nichols, (2008) 168 Cal.App.4th 1007].

“Michael is a legal giant in the area of general liability. His experience defending high-exposure personal injury cases arising from accidents makes him a perfect fit for the insurance professionals we serve, and I am honored to have him as part of our California litigation team,” Lydecker said.

Mr. Douglass’ professional liability practice includes the defense of errors and omissions claims against medical professionals, insurance agents and brokers, and real estate agents and brokers.

Mr. Douglass is pragmatic, seasoned, and well-versed, and will provide the firm’s insurance clients with strategic counsel to help them make better-informed decisions to assist in managing their legal risks and protecting their clients.

Douglass’ immediate focus will be growing Lydecker’s general liability cases in California; however, he is joining the Lydecker Diaz team as a partner who can handle wide-ranging legal issues based on his vast experience and community involvement.

Mr. Douglass has experience representing clients in a variety of commercial disputes, including breach of contract, unfair business practices, and real property disputes. He has also defended corporate clients in consumer matters including TCPA, improper credit reporting, and improper debt collection claims.

Prior to joining the firm in 2021, Mr. Douglass was a litigation partner with a national civil litigation law firm. Before that, he was in-house managing attorney for the San Francisco and San Jose staff counsel offices of Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company.

A member of the California Bar, Douglass is also involved with the Defense Research Institute, Claims Litigation Management Alliance, the Association of Defense Trial Attorneys, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

Douglass has also served on the Board of Directors of Centinela Youth Services.

Commercial Insurance Appellate Litigation

Commercial Insurance Appellate Litigation by Lydecker Diaz

The insurance coverage practice attorneys at Lydecker Diaz regularly represents international insurance carriers, third-party administrators, and insurance brokers on a wide array of insurance policy and coverage issues from the inception of a claim through trial, as well as any bad faith litigation stemming therefrom.

Our attorneys routinely assist carriers by providing opinions concerning coverage and defense opinions involving complex insurance issues, novel issues of law, and interpretations of specialized/manuscript insurance policies, reservation of rights, settlement agreements, cost-sharing agreements, and administrative responses (Civil Remedy Notices) involving statutory bad faith claims.

The firm also regularly handles insurance coverage litigation, as well as insurance disputes resolved through alternative dispute resolutions, including mediations and arbitration proceedings.

Lydecker | Diaz’s Appellate Practice Division regularly handles appeals in the various Florida District Courts of Appeal, the Florida Supreme Court, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. Our Appellate Practice group provides a full range of services in state, federal, and administrative cases. The Firm handles numerous high-stakes appeals, issues of the first impression, cases with industry-wide significance, and multi-party suits.

Why Insurance Professionals Need a Strong Appellate Attorney In High-Stakes Insurance Litigation

In this video, we will explain

  • Why Insurance Professionals Need to take Appellate Law Into Consideration
  • How Insurance Professionals Choose the Right Law Firm
  • How Appellate Lawyers Succeed for Insurance Professionals
  • How Appellate Lawyers Avoid Overturning of Insurance Cases
  • Why Insurance Professionals Choose Lydecker Diaz

ABOUT FORREST ANDREWS

Thank you Forrest Andrews for providing this insightful education for insurance professionals.

Forrest Andrews is a Florida Board-Certified Appellate Attorney and Partner with Lydecker Diaz, a full-service law firm with more than 80 attorneys and with offices in Florida, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

As one of only about 100 Board-Certified Appellate Attorneys in Florida, Forrest brings deep and broad experience in appellate, commercial, and state and federal litigation in high-profile cases.

Forrest provides litigation support services to trial counsel by developing effective strategies at the trial level in anticipation of an appeal. He is often brought in at the beginning of a case to guide insurance clients to identify the issues to raise, the arguments to make, and the procedures to navigate.


ABOUT LYDECKER DIAZ

Lydecker | Diaz is a Full-Service AV-rated national law firm with offices throughout New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida.

Since its founding, Lydecker Diaz has built a distinguished history of skilled and effective legal service to its clients.

Visit www.lydeckerdiaz.com

*Please note that watching this video does not create an attorney-client relationship. Therefore, please do not comment with any confidential or otherwise sensitive information without first speaking to one of our attorneys and receiving confirmation that a conflicts check has been performed, conflicts cleared, and the firm has agreed it will accept the engagement. Any information submitted prior to establishing an attorney-client relationship may not be protected. Thank you.

Immune from COVID-19 Liability?

The evolving pandemic response continues to produce a plethora of legal issues. One such issue is whether to provide legal immunity to certain industries from COVID-19 related litigation.  For health care providers and nursing home operators, legal immunity would stop claims resulting from acts taken and medical decisions made when providing care for somebody with confirmed, and presumed positive, cases of COVID-19.  For business owners, legal immunity would halt claims brought by patrons who potentially contracted COVID-19 on their premises and/or from their services.  Industry representatives and trade organizations/associations have already voiced their concerns about COVID-19 related litigation. For example, the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Florida Hospital Association, Associated Industries of Florida, Florida Justice Reform Institute, and a number of other trade associations sent a letter requesting legal immunity from civil and criminal liability resulting from treating COVID-19 patients.

On the federal level, The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, and National Federation of Independent Businesses all recently sought legislation to shield their members from liability where certain health and safety guidelines are followed.

State Legislation:

States are already seeking to provide a shield from COVID-19-related claims for certain industries.

  • Utah recently enacted legislation to immunizes business owners “from civil liability for damages or an injury resulting from exposure of an individual to COVID-19” on their premises.
  • New York passed the Emergency Disaster Treatment Protection Act, which provides immunity to hospitals, nursing homes, physicians and nurses, and other health care providers for malpractice and negligence in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
  • Pennsylvania (by Executive Order), Wisconsin, and North Carolina have also codified laws which provide legal immunity to certain industries.

This trend towards state-level legal immunity for businesses, the healthcare industry, and the nursing home industry is growing and many other States have indicated a willingness to entertain such legislation in the short term. For example, while nothing has been filed yet in Florida, State Senator Jeff Brandes has already indicated that he would be introducing legislation which will provide a safe harbor for businesses which follow recommended guidelines.

Federal Legislation:

Congress has also been contemplating legal immunity from COVID-19 related litigation. United States Senator Ben Sasse just recently introduced a bill which seeks to limit liability for actions taken by health care providers to combat COVID-19. While not necessarily legal immunity or a limitation of liability, United States Congressman Andy Biggs has also introduced a bill which would have a similar effect. Congressman Bigg’s bill provides that the act of opening a business (by itself) is not negligent within the context of federal civil actions that include a claim alleging negligence arising from the transmission of COVID-19.

High ranking government officials have also issued their support for legal immunity. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has indicated that a broad liability shield will be a top priority in the next COVID-19 relief package. When questioned about Senate Majority Leader McConnell’s proposal, President Donald Trump indicated he would support such legislation.

This trend towards granting legal immunity does not seem to be ending anytime soon. As a claimant, it is essential to know if your potential defendant is afforded immunity by state or federal law. Conversely, businesses and other industries covered by immunity laws must be aware of the procedures to be followed in order to keep said immunity.

Business Interruption Coverage Update:

As noted in our previous blog post, COVID-19 business interruption coverage has become a heavily contested issue. Multiple cases have been filed in both state and federal courts throughout the United States. While many have not yet reached a resolution, some courts have determined these cases on their merits. For example, the United States District Court in and for the Southern District of New York recently found that COVID-19 did not cause direct physical loss or physical damage to property. Therefore, there were no business interruption damages. See Social Life Magazine Inc. v. Sentinel Insurance Co. Ltd. (Case no.: 20-cv-3311-VEC, S.D. N.Y.). This decision represents the first significant victory for insurance carriers and will likely be cited in business interruption cases.

If you have any questions about legal immunity legislation and its effect on you, please feel free to contact our attorneys at (305)416-3180.

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