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The justification for the existence of an extra-contractual cause of action is this. When an insurer has not handled a claim – first-party or third – in “good faith,” and thus has caused damages or exposed the insured to damages in excess to the policy limits, or damages not covered by the policy, there ought to be a remedy. The insured ought to be able to sue for such “extra-contractual” damages. Sounds plausible. In practice though, “bad faith” law and litigation have turned out to be something quite different.

Let’s be frank. Although there is no perfect claim file, actual “bad faith” claim handling is exceedingly rare and never, in our experience, knowingly sanctioned by an insurer. So, naturally, the ever-resourceful plaintiffs’ bar has striven mightily, and with much success, refining myriad techniques intended to “trip up” the insurer, disrupt the claim and create the appearance of “bad faith” claim handling. For that reason, as we know, great battles often must be fought before the “bad faith” lawsuit is even filed. By which we mean vigilant and proactive countermeasures and responses to such “myriad techniques.”A few general examples of the kind of proactive representation we can provide will have to suffice, some pertinent to first-party claims, some to third party claims, some to both.

Valuable guidance at every turn

  • Responding to persistent unsupported allegations of improper claim handling, and demands for immediate rectification;
  • Responding to official complaints such as civil remedy notices;
  • Overseeing property loss appraisals;
  • Settling multiple claimant liability exposures;
  • Resolving claims against multiple insureds;
  • Responding to confusingly complex or intentionally vague settlement demands meant to “trip up” the insurer;
  • Handling proactive tenders of policy limits when there are difficult conditions such as hospital liens and deceased or incompetent claimants.

Notwithstanding such diligence, “bad faith” lawsuits will be filed whether counsel has been involved previously or not. Once filed, every “bad faith” lawsuit must immediately be subjected to an honest and frank evaluation. This we can do.

Then, of course, once it has been filed, litigating the “bad faith” lawsuit presents challenges not encountered in ordinary civil matters.

Experience you can count on

  • Removing cases to Federal court when possible and defeating motions to remand;
  • Preparing adjusters and corporate representatives for deposition, and defending those depositions;
  • Responding to discovery not normally allowed in ordinary civil matters, such as production of the claim file;
  • Resisting abusive and extortionate discovery;
  • Identifying appropriate claim handling experts.

To sum up, we at Butler have long labored to keep abreast of the law and one step ahead of every “bad faith” tactic. We can offer the results of those labors.

Events, Webinars | Litigating Away from Home: Jurisdictional Issues in Auto Claims

June 5, 2024 | By James Michael Shaw , Jr.

Join Partner James Shaw, Jr. as he presents a webinar for the NAMIC 2024 Claims Webinar Series on Jun 5, 2024. This webinar will provide…

News | Announcing our Newest Senior Associate: Shaheen Nouri

May 02, 2024 | By Shaheen Nouri

We’re thrilled to announce Shaheen Nouri as our newest Senior Associate in the Tampa office. With a background in insurance defense and litigation counsel, Shaheen…

Events | Risk Transfer Allocation Issues

May 8, 2024 | By Michael Savett

Join Partner Michael Savett and co-presenters Gary Kull (Kennedys), Rejo Matthews (Arcina Risk Group), and Alexa Schmidt (Selective Insurance Company of America) for the Insurance…

Events | Property Claim Ethics: Adjusting in Good Faith

March 18, 2024 | By Jonathan Barger

Chicago Partner Jon Barger and co-presenter Nanci Smilie (Erie Insurance Group) will be presenting at the 2024 Claims Conference & Insurance Services Expo on March…

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Events | Bad Faith in Florida: Development of, and Changes to, First-Party Bad Faith Law

January 31, 2024 | By William Collum

Join Tampa Partner William Collum as he presents with co-presenters Brent Brummer (Florida Family Insurance), Tina Ann Dampf (Stockham Law Group), and Christine NeJame (InsAdj…

Publications/ Whitepapers | Partner Michael Savett Quoted in Law 360 Article

Nov 03, 2023 | By Michael Savett

Philadelphia Partner Michael Savett was recently quoted in a Law 360 article titled “Del. Captive D&O Coverage Rules Just One Factor In Adoption,” discussing recent…

Events | Causation & Collapse Matters: Wind, Water, Whatever

November 16, 2023 | By Jonathan Barger

Join Chicago Partner Jon Barger and co-presenters Nezar Abraham (Thornton Tomasetti) and Brandon Mann (Liberty Mutual Insurance) for the 2023 PLRB Large Loss Conference on…

Events | Property Claims Ethics: Adjusting in Good Faith

October 18, 2023 | By Jonathan Barger

Join Partner Jonathan Barger and co-presenter Nanci Smilie (CPCU) at the Western Loss Association Fall Conference on October 18-19, 2023, in Grand Geneva, WI. This…

News | Welcome New Philadelphia Partner Michael Savett

July 12, 2023 | By Michael Savett

Join us in giving a warm welcome to our newest Partner in the Philadelphia office, Michael Savett!  Michael Savett represents domestic and London market insurers…

Events | HB 837 Tort Reform Changes: A View from Both Sides

July 28, 2023 | By Matthew Lavisky

Join Partner Matt Lavisky as he presents with Todd Michaels (The Haggard Law Firm) for the Florida American Board of Trial Advocates (FLABOTA) 25th Annual…

Events | Butler Sponsors the 2023 DRI Insurance Bad Faith and Extra-Contractual Liability Seminar

June 14, 2023

Butler is proud to be a sponsor for the 2023 DRI Insurance Bad Faith and Extra-Contractual Liability Seminar. This annual seminar is the preeminent program…

Events | Emerging Issues in Bad Faith Litigation

June 14, 2023 | By J. Pablo Cáceres

Join Partner Pablo Cáceres and co-presenters Mike Aylward (Morrison Mahoney) and Sarannah McMurtry (Acceptance Insurance) as they present for the 2023 DRI Insurance Bad Faith…

Blog Posts | Sweeping Changes to “Bad Faith” in Florida

Mar 28, 2023 | By J. Blake Hunter

After twelve (12) years of effort, and in what now seems like a blink of an eye during this legislative session, Governor DeSantis signed HB…

Events | Property Claims Ethics: Adjusting In Good Faith

March 20, 2023 | By Jonathan Barger

Join Partner Jon Barger and co-presenter Nanci L. Smilie (Erie Insurance Group) as they present “Property Claims Ethics: Adjusting In Good Faith” at the PLRB…

Events | Ensuing Loss Under Property Policies

March 20, 2023 | By K. Clark Schirle

Join Partner Clark Schirle and co-presenter Alex Furrukh (Core Specialty Insurance) as they present “Ensuing Loss Under Property Policies” at the PLRB Claims Conference &…

Publications/ Whitepapers | The Continuous or Progressive Injury or Damage Exclusion: Why “Timing” is Everything

Mar 07, 2023 | By Kimberly Ramey, Kyle Goss

Tampa Partner Kimberly Ramey and Associate Kyle Goss recently wrote an article that was published in the DRI Brief Case Volume 2 Issue 3. An…

News | Attorneys Vincent Fernandez and Shaheen Nouri Published in Claims Journal

Feb 24, 2023 | By Vincent Fernandez, Shaheen Nouri

The Claims Journal recently republished a blog written by attorneys Vincent Fernandez and Shaheen Nouri discussing a Florida Supreme Court decision which answered the question…

Events | Lions, Tigers, and Billboards: An Uncommon Perspective on the Common Law

February 13, 2023 | By Julius “Rick” Parker III

Partner Rick Parker was a panelist for the 2023 Florida Business Forum on February 13, 2023. He was joined by Alfred J. Saikali, Esq. (Shook,…

Blog Posts | Too Interested To Be Disinterested: The Florida Supreme Court’s Take on Disinterested Appraisers

Feb 10, 2023 | By Vincent Fernandez, Shaheen Nouri

“If you and we fail to agree on the amount of loss, either party can demand that the amount of the loss be set by…

News, Webinars | Major Florida Property Insurance Reform

December 21, 2022 | By Thomas Keller, Matthew Lavisky

Partners, Thomas Keller and Matthew Lavisky will address the major changes contained in Senate Bill 2A. The focus will be on adjusting claims and the…

Blog Posts | Profiting from a Peril: Business Interruption Valuation During Economic Instability

Nov 30, 2022 | By J. Pablo Cáceres

Introduction The pandemic and political turmoil are causing widespread and long-term economic volatility after many years of positive trends. But covered commercial property losses continue,…

Events | Hot Topics in Bad Faith: Consent Judgments, Problem States, Time Limited Demands and More

December 9, 2022 | By Matthew Lavisky

Join Partner Matthew Lavisky and co-presenter Aaron Singer (The Hartford) as they present for the 2022 Insurance Coverage and Practice Symposium on December 9, 2022…

Events | Mediator/Coverage Counsel Perspectives – Mediating Coverage Issues

August 12, 2022 | By Scott Damon

Partner Scott Damon presented with Gerald Albrecht (Albrecht Mediation) for the FDLA Florida Insurance Network Symposium on August 12, 2022. In this presentation they will…

Blog Posts | Seventh Circuit Affirms Judgment on the Pleadings for Insurer in Covid-19 Business Interruption Claim by Shopping Mall Food Court Restaurant

Jun 17, 2022 | By K. Clark Schirle, Jonathan Barger

Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig LLP attorneys Clark Schirle and Jon Barger obtained a victory for their client in the case of Melcorp, Inc. v. West…

Blog Posts | Florida Streamlines Admitting Satellite and Mapping Images into Evidence

Jun 10, 2022 | By William Collum

Satellite and mapping imagery has an important role in the litigation of property insurance claims, from its use to question a witness under oath, its…

Blog Posts | Bad Faith Claim Brought Under Florida Law Foreclosed by the Insurance Policy’s Choice of Law Provision

Jun 06, 2022 | By William Collum, Kristina Harris

When contained in an insurance policy, a choice of law provision generally provides that the law of a certain state will apply to the policy…

Blog Posts | Attorney’s Fees as an Element Damages in an Uninsured Motorist Bad Faith Lawsuit Make the Plaintiff Whole, not His or Her Attorneys

May 11, 2022 | By Matthew Lavisky

A plaintiff cannot recover attorney’s fees in a Florida lawsuit for Uninsured Motorist (“UM”) benefits unless there is a dispute about whether the insurance policy…

Publications/ Whitepapers | Removing Your Case to Federal Court and Keeping it There (Article)

May 10, 2022 | By Matthew Lavisky, Jamie Combee Novaes, Latasha Lordes Scott

Defendants often prefer that their cases be heard in federal court. Rice, Jill Cranston, The Federal Rules are Right for our State Courts, 59 No….

Blog Posts | ADDRESSING THE PROPERTY INSURANCE CRISIS BY CONTRACT LANGUAGE: New Endorsement Approved By The Florida Department Of Insurance Regulation

May 09, 2022 | By John Garaffa

On November 16, 2021 American Integrity Insurance Company of Florida filed a request for approval for an endorsement to its Homeowners multi-peril policy. The proposed…

Events | PLRB Claims Conference 2022 – Property Claim Ethics: Adjusting In Good Faith

April 5, 2022 | By Jonathan Barger

Join Partner Jonathan Barger along with co-presenter Nanci L. Smilie, as they present in San Antonio, TX at the PLRB Claims Conference on the topic…

Events | The Latest Developments With Business Interruption Claims

March 23, 2022 | By J. Pablo Cáceres

Join Partner Pablo Cáceres as he presents at the 2022 Insurance Coverage and Claims Institute on March 23, 2022. This session is designed to provide…

Events | The Latest Developments With Business Interruption Claims

March 21, 2022 | By J. Pablo Cáceres

Join Partner Pablo Cáceres as he presents for the 2022 DRI Insurance Coverage and Claims Institute on March 21-23 in Houston, TX! This session is…


Oct 28, 2021 | By William Collum

In most circumstances involving an insurer’s extension of coverage for a property loss, an appraisal provision in an insurance policy provides an insured and an…

Blog Posts | Dodge’n Expert Bias Discovery Issues Raised in Worley

Oct 22, 2021 | By Abraham Mohammad Shakfeh, Vincent Fernandez

Expert witnesses are a critical part of litigation.  A good expert can properly assess a case, help position a case for settlement and provide helpful…

Blog Posts | Good Faith: Plaintiffs’ Complaints About Release Held Invalid

Sep 28, 2021 | By David Krouk

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently addressed the issue of whether tendering a policy limits check on a liability policy…

Blog Posts | More than one collision, but how many accidents?

Aug 25, 2021 | By Matthew Lavisky

Automobile insurance policies specify a maximum amount the insurer will pay for a single accident. This coverage limit applies both to liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist…

News | Partner Kathy Maus Appointed Co-Chair for ACCC Litigation Committee

August 4, 2021 | By Kathy Maus

Join us in congratulating Partner Kathy Maus for being selected as Co-Chair of the Extra-Contractual and Bad Faith Claims Litigation Committee of the American College…

Blog Posts, News | Partner Kathy Maus Quoted in Insurance Law360: “Policyholders’ Hack Coverage Hopes Surge with Landry’s Win”

July 28, 2021 | By Kathy Maus

Partner Kathy Maus of Butler’s Tallahassee office was recently quoted in an Insurance Law360 article titled “Policyholders’ Hack Coverage Hopes Surge with Landry’s Win,” detailing…

News | Butler Proudly Sponsors the DRI Insurance Bad Faith Seminar

July 22, 2021

Butler is proud to be a sponsor for the DRI Insurance Bad Faith and Extra-Contractual Liability Seminar. This seminar will provide attendees with the latest…

Blog Posts | One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: Roofers, Insurance and Commercial Speech

Jul 14, 2021 | By John Garaffa

On July 11, 2021 Chief Judge Mark Walker of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida entered an order enjoining the Secretary…

Events | Insurance Coverage and COVID-19 Claims

August 13, 2021 | By Thomas Keller

Join Partner Thomas Keller and co-presenter Gabrielle Mercadante (Robinson Cole) as they present “Insurance Coverage and COVID-19 Claims” for the 2021 FDLA Florida Insurance Network…

Events | Defense of the Multiple Claimant Bad Faith Claim

August 12, 2021 | By David Krouk

Join Partners David Krouk and Cristina Perez as they present for the FDLA Florida Insurance Network Symposium on August 12-13, 2021 in Tampa, FL. This…

Blog Posts | Recent Changes in Florida’s Property Insurance Law for Admitted and Surplus Lines Insurers: The Basics of What You Need to Know

May 04, 2021 | By William Collum

Hours before the close of Florida’s 2021 annual legislative session, the Florida Legislature passed SB 76, legislating wide changes to the handling and litigation of…

Events | Appraisals in Hurricane Alley

June 21, 2021 | By J. Pablo Cáceres, T. Nicholas Goanos

Partners Pablo Cáceres and Nicholas Goanos presented “Appraisals in Hurricane Alley” for the LEA Webinar Series on June 21, 2021. The Insurance appraisal law and…

Blog Posts | The Unpredictability of Florida’s Supposedly Predictable Choice-of-Law Test

Mar 11, 2021 | By Ryan Hilton

For purposes of determining contract interpretation, Florida courts apply the lex loci contractus choice-of-law rule. The Supreme Court of Florida observed that lex loci contractus…

News | Jonathan Kernizan | Featured on STU Law News

Feb 17, 2021

Attorney Jonathan Kernizan was recently featured on an article showcasing prominent alumni from St. Thomas University College of Law in celebration of Black History Month….

Blog Posts | Butler Feature | LinkedIn Pages

Feb 09, 2021

We are pleased to announce the launch of our new LinkedIn showcase pages. Our showcase pages are an extension of Butler’s practice area pages and…

Blog Posts | How will Florida’s amended summary judgment standard affect bad faith cases?

Jan 04, 2021 | By Matthew Lavisky

The Florida Supreme Court ended 2020 with a bang!  The Supreme Court amended Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.510 to adopt the federal summary judgment…

Publications/ Whitepapers | How Carriers Implement Fair Claims Practices in a Hands-Off World

Nov 02, 2020 | By Kathy Maus, Julius “Rick” Parker III

This article was originally published in the DRI For The Defense magazine, October 2020 edition. Legal opinions may vary when based on subtle factual differences….

Events | From AOBs to Bad Faith – Past and Potential Legislation

October 6, 2020 | By Matthew Lavisky

Partner Matthew Lavisky and co-presenter Michael Beltran (Ansa Assuncao LLP) presented “From AOBs to Bad Faith: Past and Potential Legislation” for the Florida Insurance Network…