Public adjusters can not exercise law. Every state in the Union has this restriction. Every public adjuster should read Merlin Law Group Lawyer Larry Bache & # 39; s 2014 post, The Big Don & # 39; t for Public Adjusters: Practicing Law Without a License . He noted:
[I] It is clear that a Texas licensed public adjuster has the right to negotiate claims on behalf of policyholders on a conditional basis. However, a public adjuster should not argue for existing case law or statutes and make it clear to the policyholder that a lawyer may be needed if a coverage dispute arises.
The most common example I see is a public adjuster with reference to case law. in a letter to the carrier. Even worse, I have seen that public adjuster does not agree with a lawyer's written application of a case. This will get a public adjuster in trouble.
"In trouble" means that if an insurance company lawyer or adjuster submits a public adjuster to perform this activity, the adjuster should expect to be disciplined and possibly lose his license. Lawyers have an ethical obligation to notify the Bar Association when others practice law without a license. They should also notify the insurance authorities. So do not practice law if you are a public adjuster. Otherwise, you may do another job.
This past Sunday morning I gave a virtual speech and presentation, The Professional Public Adjuster in The Roaring Twenties to the Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters. The talk was about professionalism, ethics and the various obligations to adapt to the public. I pointed out that public adjusters should not fill in, fill in or give advice on how to prepare a valid notice of civil action, which is necessary to file a lawsuit in Florida, as these documents are the practice of the law.
I then had public adjusters contact me after the speech. They seemed surprised at what I said. I later learned that they knew of a public adjustment company that they thought was telling their potential customers that they would do these services for them as part of their public adjustment services.
Eleven years ago, in, Public Adjusters Have Many Ethical Duties, Including Not Exercising Law I wrote:
One of the most difficult ethical aspects of public adaptation is not to exercise law. Many non-lawyers do this every day. When representing a person as a public adjuster, it is easy to exceed the adjustment tasks and give advice or take a legal position on legal rights. This is clearly a practicing team. In the case of unlawful practice in Florida, the Florida Supreme Court has ruled:
In order to determine whether counseling and counseling and the provision of services in legal matters for compensation constitute the practice of law, it is safe to follow that if the provision of such counseling and performance of such services affect a person's important rights under the law, and if the reasonable protection of the rights and property of the counselors and servants requires that persons providing such advice have legal skill and knowledge of the law greater than what the ordinary citizen possesses, then such counseling and the performance of such services by each other as a conduct constitutes the practice of the law.
Filling in notices of civil remedies from the insurer Infringement in a way that withstands critical legal challenge is not an easy task and becomes a legal study of greater complexity for all lawyers. I can not imagine how one can do it properly without legal education, studies and skills. It requires the study of case law, statutory law and then the application of facts to these so that a communication can withstand legal action when an unfaithful lawsuit is filed. It forms the basis of all first-party complaints in Florida. It has nothing to do with adjustment tasks or something that public adapters are trained and regulated to do.
So, if a policyholder needs to have a civil law notice, make sure a licensed attorney does.  If you are a public adjuster and do so, expect insurance companies and others to file complaints with the Department of Financial Services and that your license may be in jeopardy because you are practicing law. Furthermore, the Florida Bar may also take action against you for unauthorized law. Public regulators must follow ethical rules and be vigilant in order not to exercise law.
I also find it ironic that many public adjusters know more about property insurance law than some pretend to be property insurance lawyers. In the aforementioned blog post written over a decade ago, I noted:
Frankly, many public adjudicators know far more laws and practical proposals related to the legal aspects of property insurance than most attorneys. I think it's humorous that a Houston personal injury company that has just started making cases for property insurance coverage will give a seminar for public insurers. Most public adjusters we handle have many years of experience and can provide seminars to lawyers in this area of work. You will not be really good in this area without experience. I've been doing this for twenty-five years, and I'm learning from some of the most brilliant minds in the insurance claims recovery business every day – public insurance adjusters.
Yet we must all follow the ethical rules of our professions. . One of the lawyer's ethical considerations is to teach others about what is law enforcement and tell others when they break the law and urge them to stop.
Hope you can check in today at 14.00 for my quick Friday the 2 forum about the recent developments in property insurance. Here is the link to the live stream.
Thought for the day
On & # 39; Van Halen & # 39; I was a young punk, and everything revolved around the city's fastest kid, a sniper. attitude. But I would say that at the time of & # 39; Fair Warning & # 39; I started concentrating more on songwriting. But I guess in most people's thoughts I'm just a gunslinger.
– Eddie Van Halen