The principal partners of Radcliff & Saiki, LLP are well known and well regarded for their insurance law expertise and extensive experience, whether before regulatory bodies or in advising and litigating on matters of insurance coverage and bad faith theories in California and nationwide.
1. Insurance Coverage, and Bad Faith Law
Both Eric Saiki and Jules Radcliff, as well as other attorneys in the firm, provide effective, informed, and pragmatic advice and guidance regarding the interpretation of insurance policies, applicable insurance coverage law and principles, and exposure to, and defense against, the various theories of bad faith in all contexts, including under California Insurance Code section 790.03 (h), ranging from denials and withdrawals of coverage, to obligations to defend and the insurer’s right to designate both captive and panel defense counsel, to demands for and obligations to provide independent, Cumis, counsel, to failure to settle, and the myriad other circumstances from notice and tender to the closing of the file.
The firm has significant experience with virtually every type of policy in the marketplace today, including all forms of professional liability, business interruption, workplace (workers compensation, premises liability, and employment liability), director & officer, construction, common interest development and nonprofit association, home warranty, CGL, and umbrella, and have represented both primary and excess insurers, as well as reinsurers.
In the 1980s and 1990s Jules Radcliff also acted as national coordinating co-counsel for two of the nation’s largest insurers during the height of the D & O and securities class action litigation wave, harmonizing and shaping insurance coverage strategies nationwide, negotiating contributions both to defense and to settlement among participating insurers and from insureds, and managing the defense strategies, attorney staffing, and fees of the law firms involved.
2. Fair Claims Settlement Practices Regulations
Jules Radcliff has the distinction of having been the first lawyer to successfully challenge the California Department of Insurance’s interpretation of the enforcement standard under that Department’s Fair Claims Settlement Practices Regulations, 10 Cal. Code Regs. sections 2695.1 et seq. He has since successfully challenged numerous other provisions and Department enforcement actions, taking many such matters through the entire administrative process, trial before administrative law judges, and to review by the superior court. He is currently closely involved in recent and pending regulatory enhancements of those regulations, commenting on proposed language, participating in Department of Insurance conferences and hearings, and guiding insurance industry clients through the regulatory promulgation process assuring that their views are heard and taken into account.
With Eric Saiki also deeply familiar with these regulations, the firm has a well-deserved go-to reputation in the insurance community whenever an insurer or claims handler receives a Departmental 15-day letter or other inquiry, whether triggered by a claimant’s complaint to the Department or by other processes within the regulatory environment. A well-crafted, accurate, and thoughtful response to such initial inquiries often brings such proceedings to a prompt end, provided the DOI enforcement staff are given the information and positions that are understood within the DOI to raise substantial hurdles to any administrative penalty proceeding.
The firm provides certification training under the Fair Claims Settlement Practices Regulations to insurers, claims handlers, and others required under the regulations to receive such training on an annual basis.
3. Insurance Policy Analysis
When a claim for insurance benefits is disputed, we perform legal research and analysis as to whether the insurance policy's language brings a claim within or outside the scope of the insurance policy's insurance protection. We advise insurance carriers and policyholders as to their rights and obligations based upon our research and experience of how a court would rule if the disputed claim for insurance benefits is litigated. The Firm has significant experience with virtually every type of policy in the marketplace today, including all forms of professional liability, business interruption, workers compensation, premises liability, employment liability, director & officer, construction, common interest development, and nonprofit Association, home warranty, commercial general liability, excess and umbrella coverage, blended finite risk arrangements, and reinsurance.
AREAS OF PRACTICE
Commercial & Business Litigation
Administrative & Regulatory Law
Insurance Coverage Litigation
Bad Faith Litigation
Insurance Policy Analysis
Claims Counseling & Education
Insurance Reglatory Law
Corporate Outside General Counsel
Internal Corporate Investigations
Trademarks & Copyrights
AREAS OF PRACTICE
Administrative & Regulatory Law