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Vol. 8 - Issue 4
April 30, 2019


Thank You To Doug Widin of Reed Smith

Distinguished Policyholder Lawyer Visits My Class At Temple Law School: Gives The Students A Sage Lesson In Coverage

Last week was the final class for my students in Insurance Law 549 at Temple University Law School.  They begged me – pleaded, really --to continue it into the summer.  Believe me.  I thought they were going to riot if I didn’t.   And I told them I would, if it were up to me, but my hands were tied by pesky school rules.
For the final class it was my honor to have Doug Widin, of Reed Smith’s Philadelphia office, as a guest speaker.  Doug has been practicing coverage law for nearly 35 years – representing, initially, insurers and then, later, policyholders, in all manner of claims involving multiple types of policies, including property, crime, general liability, professional and managed care errors and omissions, directors and officers and numerous specialty liability policies.  Doug also counsels organizations with respect to the scope and terms and conditions of coverage for existing and proposed insurance programs.

Doug was a big hit with the students, discussing numerous practical issues, such as the importance of insurance in litigation, how policyholders approach coverage, the role of bad faith in a coverage disputes and independent counsel issues.   

Doug told the students that the two most important things that a coverage lawyer can do are, first, read the policy.  Second, read the policy again.

It sounds obvious, but Doug’s point was this:  No matter how familiar you are with the terms and conditions of a policy, there is a world of difference between reading it in the abstract and reading it with an eye toward coverage for a particular set of facts before you.  When an actual claim is at hand, your mind may read and analyze the provisions in ways not otherwise considered in the past, no matter how many times you’ve read them.  That sure is the truth. 

My thanks to Doug for taking the time to stop by the class and share with the students some of his experiences and observations over the years.  

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