Fred Raschke, TADC executive director
From the Texas Association of Defense Counsel
On June 5, the Texas Association of Defense Counsel offered an Amicus Brief to the Texas Supreme Court asking it to reconsider its recent decision in Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee v. American Home Assurance Company, Inc.
The purpose of the brief was to ask the Court to reconsider its opinion in that case, and to find that insurance-owned law firms engage in the unauthorized practice of law when they provide legal services to those of us who have the misfortune of being sued.
Fred D. Raschke, TADC President, offered "The Court's ruling fundamentally changes the way insurance defense litigation is handled, as it authorizes the use of employee-lawyers to defend Texas citizens and businesses in car wreck, property damage, personal injury, environmental, employment, construction, product liability and other matters whenever any aspect of that representation involves the 'congruent' interests of Texas policyholders and their insurers, even if there are conflicts of interest which would prohibit ordinary Texas lawyers not employed by insurers from continuing in the representation."
Raschke goes on to advise, "The TADC is proud of its long standing tradition of supporting an independent Bar and judiciary. This Amicus is an opportunity for us to express our concern that a system that allows for insurance companies to use their own lawyers to defend cases for policyholders without adequate disclosure of potential conflicts is bad for Texas businesses and consumers, and it impairs the ability of lawyers to independently act for the benefit of their clients. Likewise, a system which creates special rules and treats insurance-employee lawyers different from other lawyers is not fair, nor does it enhance the credibility of our justice system."
TADC is a professional association of private practice attorneys representing personal injury defendants, commercial and civil defendants.