Earl Carr has a story that every Louisiana public adjuster should read. He lives in Louisiana and I met him after Florida's four hurricanes in 2004. The following year, Katrina destroyed Louisiana. Earl was busy and even started a radio show that I once appeared on when I was discussing property insurance claims.
It may have been the commercials from his radio program that eventually led to the Louisiana Bar filing a very serious petition alleging many misconduct against Carr, including unauthorized practices. The petition sought the following judgment:
1. The contract and "Fee Schedule" used by Defendant … constitute a contingency agreement in violation of the previous LSA-R.S. 22: 1476 and current LSA-R.S. 22: 1210.71 …
2. Defendant's activities that are intended to provide clients with information about the meaning of insurance contracts and / or coverage provided under the said contract constitute the illegal legal practice prohibited by LSA-R.S. 37: 212.
3. Negotiating with any client's insurance company on legal aspects of their insurance and claims, including negotiating monetary values of claims, constitutes an unlawful practice of law prohibited by the LSA-R.S. 37: 212-213.
4. Defendants' action to instruct insurance companies that Defendants have to do with sending checks directly to Defendants and being paid as Defendants request constitutes a violation of LSA-R.S. 22: 1210.84.
The Court of First Instance found against Carr in those bills. The final verdict was devastating for Carr because he could no longer practice public adaptation as most people know. The appeal gives instructions and a warning to public adjusters who train in Louisiana:
[The] Permanently prohibited Carr from: (1) entering into fee agreements with customers prescribing payments to Carr that are conditional and calculated as a percentage of the amount paid on the client's insurance claim; (2) advising or advising clients in a manner that constitutes unauthorized practice, including advising on the terms and conditions of insurance, rights, restrictions, coverage, obligations, establishing and / or enforcing remedies, or laws; (3) have direct contact with their clients' insurance companies to settle their clients' claims against insurers by negotiating with insurers on legal aspects of their clients' insurances and claims, acting on behalf of their clients to prevent errors or establish a right, and to negotiate with their clients 'insurance companies on the monetary value of their clients' claims; and (4) instruct the insurance companies to send checks directly to Carr and pay to Carr together with Carr's clients. 1
The summary is that public adjusters in Louisiana would not have a conditional fee agreement. The second conclusion is not to exercise laws that involve many measures that public regulators in other states take for granted as something they can legally do. This unauthorized application of statutory provisions varies greatly from state to state.
Deborah Trotter is Merlin Law Group's lead attorney in Louisiana and is listed above. She helped win one of our biggest victories when we represented the Port of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. She's going to be very busy with Hurricane Laura.
If you are a public adjuster and would like more advice on how to legally start a business in Louisiana, I suggest you contact attorney Holley Soffer, who helps with licensing and contracting for public adjuster throughout the United States. Here is her contact information:
Holly K. Soffer, Esq.
Kellis Soffer, L.L.C.
3103 Hulmeville Rd Suite 200
Bensalem PA 19020
ph. (215) 244-1045
And Thanks for Louisiana
My Favorite Saturday, outside of every Saturday that Louisiana State University plays football, is the Kentucky Derby.
1 Louisiana State Bar Ass & # 39; n v. Carr and Associates 15 So. 3d 158 (La. App. 2009).