Strategies, Challenges, and Answers

Nevada Law Blogs See Lots Of Insightful Comments On Nevada’s Cumis Counsel Case

Regular readers of the Nevada Law Blogs have followed our summaries of all of the briefs filed in the Nevada case of State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Hansen, Nevada Supreme Court Case No. 64484.  Hopefully, the Hansen case will tell us if Nevada will follow California’s Cumis decision, if it will adopt a standard used by another state or if it will await a legislative solution to the situation.

Like the briefs themselves, comments on social media have run the gamut.  State Farm’s brief argued that the ethical duty rests with the attorney who is handling the case.  Noted author and insurance litigation expert William T. Barker explained his take on State Farm’s Brief.


Tank v. State Farm, 105 Wn.2d 381, 715 P.2d 113 (1986).

Some commentators see the need for a Cumis like rule. But they have seen abuses of the Cumis system. Take Ron Harrell’s comment as an example.

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Some reject the need for an automatic rule requiring assignment of independent counsel whenever a Reservation of Rights letter was issued.

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While other are 100% on board with the homebuilders and think that independent counsel should be required every time a Reservation of Rights letter was issued.

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Some say that the court should step in rather than await a legislative fix.


So as you can see from this sampler of comments, people and states are all over the map. I do not envy the Nevada Supreme Court in trying to reach a consensus decision on this issue.

But in the meantime, as we await the decision from the Nevada Supreme Court, if you have a question about the duty of independent counsel in Nevada, please be sure to give Mike Mills a call at 702-240-6060×114. He will be glad to take your call and answer your questions.

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