Thursday, July 26, 2007


A few years ago, I was covering cases in the UM/SUM part. These were cases involving "uninsured and underinsured motorist" insurance. I won't bore you with the technicalities, except to say there were a lot of technicalities. They were always talking about the size of the type on the cancellation notices, and how you had to mail the various notices (do you count the day of mailing? what about holidays? what if the address was wrong? what if you mailed it to the attorney?). It was the Seinfeld of courtrooms, a show about "nothing". It was here I heard one of my favorite phrases, when Allstate attorney Frank Sena referred to the part as "Weasel-dom". After he said that, I noticed how all the attorneys were hunched over, how their noses wriggled, and how they avoided sunlight. Sometimes in the UM/SUM part, there were three parties to the dispute, two insurance companies (each trying to get out of paying, though one of them had to) and the plaintiff. The plaintiff's attorney didn't really have to do anything, and when I would get calls for the UM/SUM part, I would ask, "Do I have to do anything, or am I a spectator?" I even made that a box on my intake sheet. Circle one: primary carrier? Uninsurance carrier? Spectator?
I never wanted to learn about point sizes and cancellation notices, so after awhile, I only took spectator cases in the UM/SUM part.

Eventually, the UM/SUM laws evolved, and the part became less weasel-y (Is that a word?) However, there is a new front in Weasel-dom, the so called "No-fault" cases. Fasten your seatbelts.....tomorrow we are going to the new Weaseldom.....

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