The Chaney Law Firm recently filed a brief with the Arkansas Court of Appeals advocating for the right of insurance policyholders to be represented by independent lawyers. The brief follows the Chaney Law Firm’s successful opposition to an insurance company’s attempt to employ its own lawyer to represent a policyholder, as reported here earlier this year.
The Chaney Law Firm is asking the Arkansas Court of Appeals to uphold the trial court’s ruling that the inurance company’s practice constitutes the unauthorized practice of law, and creates an impermissible conflict of interest for the insurance company’s lawyer. Aside from the legal argument that corporations cannot practice law for others in our state, the brief argues that the insurance company lawyer cannot give his client undivided fidelity when, at the same time, he must answer to his superiors at his insurance company.
This case is just one example of the way the Chaney Law Firm fights for the rights of individual Arkansans every day. In this situation, we are trying to make sure that policyholders get an unbiased attorney so those policyholders get the full benefit of the bargain out of their insurance policies. Without an independent lawyer, the policyholder faces greater odds of being dragged through the court system for years as an innocent pawn, or winding up with a judgment against their personal assets. Insurance is for both economic and emotional security, yet too often policyholders have to fight desparately to get the benefits to which they are entitled.
The Chaney Law Firm’s argument also seeks to uphold the professional independence of lawyers, even for lawyers who are afraid to represent themselves. Since many law firms represent insurance companies, they are afraid to take a stand on this important issue for fear of being blackballed by those insurance companies and losing future business. Even lawyers need other lawyers to stand up for their rights, and the Chaney Law Firm is proud to be doing just that.