Ethical practice is of utmost importance for all lawyers. However, lawyers practicing in areas where they are paid by and owe obligations to insurance companies face unique challenges. This seminar, presented by Rachel Aghassi and Andrew Jones of Furman Kornfeld & Brennan LLP, focuses on common problems faced by insurance lawyers, including consideration of the “tri-partite relationship”, and gives practical examples of how to deal with potential conflicts of interest and effectively manage client/carrier relationships. The seminar will review the New York Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC)s again from a practical perspective as a model for other states – since the RPC’s provide guidance to defense counsel where a third-party insurer is paying defense counsel’s fees.
Rachel Aghassi is a partner focusing in professional liability and legal malpractice defense. Ms. Aghassi has successfully defended lawyers and other professionals in high-exposure malpractice lawsuits in all phases of litigation, including trial and appeals, in state and federal courts arising from a wide range of complex legal areas including commercial litigation, foreclosure actions, real estate matters, medical malpractice, accounting malpractice, administrative review, tax preparation, zoning, matrimonial matters, personal injury, construction litigation, probate law, bankruptcy actions, forfeiture actions, Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) litigation, cybercrime, and criminal actions. Ms. Aghassi has successfully obtained defense verdict at trial avoiding millions in liability.
Prior to joining Furman Kornfeld & Brennan LLP in 2014, Ms. Aghassi was an associate at an employment litigation firm concentrating in multi-million dollar class and collective action matters. Ms. Aghassi began her legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Kings County District Attorney’s Office where she investigated and prosecuted criminal cases from one of the busiest police precincts in the country. Prior to her legal education, Ms. Aghassi worked as an environmental scientist in Philadelphia.
Ms. Aghassi earned her J.D. from Fordham University School of Law in 2009 and her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. Ms. Aghassi is admitted to practice law in the New York State, the United States District Courts in the Southern, Eastern, and Northern Districts of New York and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Ms. Aghassi was selected for the 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 Super Lawyers New York Metro Rising Stars list and was also featured in Super Lawyers Top Women Attorneys of New York. The Rising Stars list recognizes no more than 2.5 percent of attorneys in each state.
Andrew R. Jones, born in Essex, England, is duel-qualified attorney admitted to practice throughout New York State and in the United Kingdom*. Mr. Jones is a Partner whose practice focuses primarily on professional liability matters. Mr. Jones’ practice includes: (i) the direct defense of lawyers and other professionals; and (ii) giving advice to domestic and international insurers, including on policy language, product management, and claims management across the United States and abroad. More specifically, Mr. Jones’ defense practice includes the representation of law firms, fiduciaries, and other professionals throughout all phases of litigation, including where necessary, at trial. His insurance coverage practice includes the representation of insurers in complex coverage litigations, arbitrations, monitoring local counsel, and providing various other forms of insurance coverage analysis and advice.
Mr. Jones represents individuals and corporations directly in matters alleging negligence or professional malpractice. Mr. Jones’ practice includes counseling institutional clients and individuals on risk management. Mr. Jones has experience trying multi-million dollar cases in both Federal and State Courts. He has also negotiated favorable settlements for clients both in direct negotiation as well as in mediation and arbitration at various stages of proceedings.
Mr. Jones has drafted insurance policies and risk management guidelines for international insurers, and has advised on coverage matters both in the U.S. and abroad. Mr. Jones represents the Lloyd’s insurance market in the World Trade Center/September 11, 2001 liability insurance coverage litigation in the Southern District of New York, and represents insurers in international arbitrations, including London, U.S., and Bermuda. Mr. Jones represents insurers in coverage disputes involving financial institutions, professional liability, marine and non-marine risks.
Mr. Jones is a graduate of Kings College London, School of Law, where he received an LLB law degree with honors. During and after his law degree, Mr. Jones worked for a prominent Lloyd’s insurance broker, and insurance defense law firms in both Toronto and New York City. Mr. Jones is admitted to practice in the State of New York – Admitted in 2003, and in the U.S. District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York – Admitted in 2005.
Mr. Jones spent 4 1/2 years as an associate with a nationwide insurance defense firm in New York City before becoming an associate of Furman Kornfeld & Brennan LLP in 2008 and a partner in January 2010.
Mr. Jones is a non-practicing solicitor and Member of The Law Society of England and Wales (United Kingdom) – Admitted in 2011.* Mr. Jones is also a member of the Professional Liability Committee of the Torts, Insurance & Compensation Law Section and the Lawyers Professional Liability and Ethics Committee (Trial Lawyers Section) of the New York State Bar Association. Mr. Jones is also a member of the Professional Liability Underwriting Society and various nationwide Professional Fiduciary Associations.
Mr. Jones has written and contributed to numerous articles on insurance coverage and insurance defense matters, and has been a speaker at professional liability conferences in both London and New York. Mr. Jones is the co-author of “Professional Liability Insurance,” Insurance Law Practice, §37 (3rd Ed 2008, NYSBA).
Mr. Jones has appeared as both a panelist and a lecturer at the Bi-Annual New York State Bar Association-sponsored CLE statewide Legal Malpractice Seminar (2009 and 2011) and is a contributor to the NYSBA CLE Legal Malpractice course-book (2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011).
*Mr. Jones is currently registered as a non-practising Solicitor but remains on the Roll of Solicitors and is a member of the Law Society of England & Wales.
This lecture was very pertinent to my practice specialty - insurance defense - so I'm probably biased. But it was good.
Extremely well done, and effective discourse between the two attorneys.
Good presentation of the material
Very good, clear, straightforward presentations!
Very good CLE. The presenters covered the issues well and provided useful information.
One of the most practical, informative and insightful CLE's I have ever seen.
Good information for plaintiff's attorneys