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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.


Oct 28, 2021 | By William Collum, Michael Rainey

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

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

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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, S. Cristina Perez

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

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Blog Posts | Butler Feature | LinkedIn Pages

Feb 09, 2021

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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…

Videos | Butler’s Thursday Tips #7 | Civil Remedy Notices

Jun 04, 2020 | By James Michael Shaw , Jr.

Join us for this week’s Thursday Tip as Partner James Shaw, Jr. discusses Civil Remedy Notices.

Blog Posts | Can A Post-Suit Civil Remedy Notice Trigger Removal To Federal Court?

May 21, 2020

Can an insured’s post-suit Civil Remedy Notice demanding over $75,000 satisfy the amount-in-controversy diversity jurisdiction requirement and trigger the thirty-day removal period for an insurer?…

Spotlights | Starr Brookins – Caring for the Community

Apr 04, 2020

Attorney Starr Brookins is a prominent figure in her community, helping mentor many at-risk children and guiding them towards a better future. Andrea Romero-Fisher sat…

Publications/ Whitepapers | Covid-19—When Civil Authorities Take Over, Are You Covered?

Apr 03, 2020 | By W. Douglas Berry, John Garaffa

This article is originally a publication of International Risk Management Institute on March 2020. Legal opinions may vary when based on subtle factual differences. All…

Blog Posts | Taking Interest in the Disinterested: Analyzing State Farm Florida Ins. Co. V. Crispin

Feb 11, 2020

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Blog Posts, Court Decisions | Insurer has No Duty to Enter into a Cunningham Agreement or to Agree to a Consent Judgment in Excess of Policy Limits

Jan 23, 2020

Kropilak v. 21st Century Ins. Co., 806 F.3d 1062 (11th Cir. 2015). Significance The court held that Florida law does not impose a duty on…

Blog Posts | The Evolving Limitations on Appraisers in Florida: Analyzing State Farm Florida Ins. Co. v. Sanders

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Blog Posts | Unsuccessfully Using Requests for Admissions as a Sword for Attorney’s Fees

Apr 15, 2019 | By J. Blake Hunter

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Blog Posts | The Markovits Decision: Considerations and Implications

Feb 26, 2019

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Feb 21, 2019 | By Thais Passerieu

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Blog Posts | Checking the Vitals of Hospital Liens

Jan 14, 2019 | By S. Cristina Perez

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Publications/ Whitepapers | Comparative Bad Faith

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Publications/ Whitepapers | Fighting Removal Spoiler Claims Against Adjusters, Attorneys, And Agents In Bad-Faith Lawsuits

Oct 15, 2018 | By Matthew Lavisky

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Publications/ Whitepapers | Fla. High Court Bolsters Policyholders In Bad Faith Cases

Sep 24, 2018 | By Kathy Maus

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Blog Posts | Not so Fast! The Confession of Judgment Doctrine in Dispute-Over-Amount Cases

Aug 16, 2018 | By Matthew Lavisky

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Publications/ Whitepapers | Good-Faith Claim Handling In Florida

Feb 05, 2018 | By Timothy Engelbrecht, Matthew Lavisky

This article is originally a publication of Southern Loss Association, Newsletter February 2018. Legal opinions may vary when based on subtle factual differences. All rights reserved….

Blog Posts | Butler Wins Dismissal of a First-Party Bad Faith Claim Involving a Civil Remedy Notice That Listed a Different Household Policy

Jan 22, 2018 | By J. Pablo Cáceres

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Blog Posts | Federal Diversity Jurisdiction: Proving Citizenship of Limited Liability Companies

Mar 07, 2017 | By Hudson Jones

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Blog Posts | Southern District Applies Fridman v. Safeco to Preclude Bifurcation

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Blog Posts | Insured is Entitled to a Determination of Liability and Damages in a UIM Case Despite the Insurer’s Confession of Judgment

Mar 31, 2016 | By Julius “Rick” Parker III

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Publications/ Whitepapers | Good Faith, Bad Faith: A Legal View

Mar 07, 2016

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Publications/ Whitepapers | Keep The Faith: Whether The Attorney-Client Privilege Applies In Third-Party Bad Faith Actions

Sep 28, 2015 | By J. Blake Hunter

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Publications/ Whitepapers | The Ongoing Struggle Over Removal Of First-Party Bad Faith Cases In Florida

Sep 08, 2015 | By Julius “Rick” Parker III

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Blog Posts | The Florida Supreme Court Endorses Citizens’ Immunity

Jun 02, 2015 | By Anthony Russo

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Apr 27, 2015 | By Julius “Rick” Parker III

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Publications/ Whitepapers | Liability And Damages: Understanding Property Insurance Bad Faith Litigation In Florida

Mar 13, 2015 | By Matthew Lavisky

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Blog Posts | Does Florida’s statutory duty to disclose insurance information apply to out-of-state policies?

Feb 10, 2015 | By Fay Ryan

One of the most common questions I get from insurers of out-of-state policyholders is whether they are required to honor a Florida claimant’s request for…

Publications/ Whitepapers | Ricky’s Believe It Or Not

Jan 26, 2015 | By Julius “Rick” Parker III

As an attorney for more than sixteen years, and a practitioner of insurance bad faith for nearly eleven years, I have seen virtually every kind of…

Blog Posts | The Season of Giving: Pennsylvania Supreme Court Finds Bad Faith Claims to be Assignable

Jan 20, 2015 | By Richard Gable Jr.

Rejecting the holdings of two recent decisions by the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania held in a 5-to-1 ruling that claims…

Publications/ Whitepapers | Challenging Consent Judgments As Unreasonable Or Tainted By Bad Faith

Dec 22, 2014 | By Jamie Combee Novaes

Generally, if an insurance company refuses to defend its insured against a claim, the insured may protect himself by entering into a stipulated agreement with the…

Blog Posts | Bad Faith: Turns Out, Abnormal in Alabama Really Is Normal

Aug 26, 2014 | By Michael Montgomery

A few years ago, I published an article that questioned whether Alabama’s tort of bad faith was becoming more prevalent on a theory referred to…