Hmm...I have the same understanding of the interpleader action as you do. One policy, one pool of money, all defendants swim in the same pool. Some aren't allowed to swim (disqualified).
Severing - My claim is different from the others. My claim did not occur from the same transaction or occurrance; does not involve the same matters of fact and law; I have a stipulated judgment stemming from a federally mandated arbitration and mediation process (contract law - insurance claim), others don't (tort law - negligence/fraud claims); and, I don't need a jury (my case comes down to insurance contract law which a judge can easily figure out), some of them have requested a jury trial to figure out if they were defrauded or treated unfairly.
Still, only one professional liability policy. $1M per claim; $5M aggregate. Perhaps the way to sever would be to demonstrate the carrier has acted in bad faith. Not only did they deny my claim, they failed to provide a defense to their insured. My arbitration lead to mediation, neither of which they participated in, but were continuously infomed of. The attorney representing the insured has also represented the carrier defending the insured in other related actions. A different attorney (who has also represented the carrier in the past) signed my stipulated judgment binding the carrier. However, now this attorney is representing the insured and the carrier is suing them in this lawsuit. Seems to me like a big shell game!
Anyway, if not possible to sever, how about bifurcate? Since my claim is distinct from the others, it would confuse a jury to have me lumped together with the others. The other defendants have investor complaints involving negligence and fraud (tort law); I have an employment law / failure to supervise case that was "settled" with a stipulated judgement (contract law).
Last, the plaintiff's attorney frequently threatens "summary judgment." He's apparantly driven by emotion, not logic. Anyway, the meet and confer should be about sorting out these issues. Unfortunately, I think plaintiff's counsel will use it to throw up a lot of "monkey dust" (e.g. "summary judgment").
So, if not sever, bifurcate?
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