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Last Post 02/23/2012 1:35 AM by  stormy56
A Legal Question
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mcgrawreed
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02/20/2012 6:42 AM

    I would like to pose this question for the attorneys in this group.I understand that a plaintiff’s attorney can request an adjuster’s computer under discovery and I’ve heard various war stories about how this happens and the embarrassing results for the adjuster. But there are several aspects of this that I don’t understand.

    -      What, in your opinion, is the most common situation or scenario that would cause this?

    -      Can the adjuster’s attorney fight the motion and is it usually successful?

    -      Someone working for an attorney can be protected under “attorney work product”; does this same principle apply to the adjuster?

    -      Does being an IA or staff adjuster make a difference?

    Any information would be appreciated. And yes, this IS a hypothetical question.

    Thanks

    Steve McGraw Professional Adjuster
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    stormy56
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    02/21/2012 1:52 AM
    1. Most common situation? I'd suspect its when there is much correspondence with adjusting firms/carriers telling adjusters how to handle the claims, and that these practices violate state regulations.

    2. Probably not . . . they might be able to get a protective order for non-related files (files containing personal correspondence or personal pictures).

    3. To have any "privilege" it must be a recognize privilege. There is no Insurer privilege. Work product is more likely if you're working directly for the attorney, and then it may be discoverable, but I believe thats true only if there is no affordable alternative method to acquire the information.

    4. Being a staff or IA wouldn't make a difference.

    Hypothetically . . . why don't you just go to Best Buy after each storm and buy a new hard drive? Also, keep the embarassing files off your business computer (do you really need to keep nude pics of your gf or wife on your work computer?). I'd never advocate telling a lie, but if you have a receipt for a new hard drive purchased shortly after a storm, that should keep the attorneys away from your "contaminated" hard drive .. . . then if you get a subpoena, put the new drive in . . . whats a hundred dollars for a hard drive vs. losing your harddrive while its copied?
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    ALANJ
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    Posts:142


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    02/21/2012 3:21 PM
    Use your work computer just for work. Get another pc for personal stuff. I would for one will use everything on the pc against you anyway I could. Ohh they will ask for email and passwords to. Ohh don't forget the phone records to. Keep work seperate from personal life is the best answer I can give you.
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    CatAdjusterX
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    Posts:964


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    02/21/2012 9:25 PM
    Posted By Steve on 20 Feb 2012 06:42 AM

    I would like to pose this question for the attorneys in this group.I understand that a plaintiff’s attorney can request an adjuster’s computer under discovery and I’ve heard various war stories about how this happens and the embarrassing results for the adjuster. But there are several aspects of this that I don’t understand.

    -      What, in your opinion, is the most common situation or scenario that would cause this?

    -      Can the adjuster’s attorney fight the motion and is it usually successful?

    -      Someone working for an attorney can be protected under “attorney work product”; does this same principle apply to the adjuster?

    -      Does being an IA or staff adjuster make a difference?

    Any information would be appreciated. And yes, this IS a hypothetical question.

    Thanks

    ....................................

    Hello Steve,

    While I am aware discovery rules change depending upon said state involved,

     here is a pretty informative piece on that exact subject:

                                              http://www.jdsupra.com/post/documen...ab3adf70a3

     

     

    "A good leader leads..... ..... but a great leader is followed !!" CatAdjusterX@gmail.com
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    ALANJ
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    Posts:142


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    02/22/2012 2:55 PM
    Usually we are looking at the data in the estimating software to see how it compares to a off the shelf version. ie are you using a cooked version of xactimate. Unless a attorney was standing over your shoulder when you wrote the estimate, then the data is discoverable. Ohh we facebook stalk to.
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    stormy56
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    Posts:8


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    02/23/2012 1:35 AM
    Good point Alan J . . . the only published case that I found involving Xactimate addressed that Xactimate pricing was acceptable for usage if: (1) the adjuster had understanding of local pricing; and, (2) if adjuster had authority to modify the pricing. So, modifications could be upwards or downwards.
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