I am a pi lawyer in California. I am handling a car accident litigation case. I just sent a letter to the insurance adjuster. Defense counsel claims I am communicating ex parte with his client. I disagree. HIs client is the person who caused the accident, not the insurance company paying for the defense. I would like to respond and tell him that most of the time adjsuter like me to write demand letters to them and copy them to the attorney,which is what I did. I would also like to definitively respond with CITATIONS that communicating with the adjuster is not an ex parte communication with his client who caused the accident. Am I right? Can you give me one or more citations? Thank you.
I am sorry but the LA County Bar Association has issued a formal opinion on this that does not agree with your analysis. It states:"Nothing in this opinion pertains to the more common situation in which an insurer has accepted the defense of a party to an action and is involved in the litigation. In such circumstances, the attorney representing Defendant is generally representing the insurer and the insured. Accordingly, Rule 2-100(A) would make it improper for the attorney to contact the insurer directly."Fromhttp://www.lacba.org/showpage.cfm?pageid=2090Rule 2-100 is posted athttp://rules.calbar.ca.gov/Rules/RulesofProfessionalConduct/CurrentRules/Rule2100.aspxI am sorry this is not the answer you had hoped for, but it would be a disservice to you, and unprofessional of me, not to provide accurate information.I understand your preference to deal with an adjuster instead of a lawyer, since my experience indicates that adjusters are trained to settle and lawyers are trained to fight, but it would not be proper to contact the adjuster directly without the consent of the lawyer. If the adjuster wants to contact you directly, the insurer can instruct the lawyer that it wants to do so and ask for permission, which would most likely be granted since the carrier is the one paying the lawyer.I hope this information is helpful.
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