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Vol. 9 - Issue 7
October 30, 2020


New State Law Accidentally Eliminates The Four Corners Rule


With all of the Covid-19 distractions these days it went largely unreported that New Mexico, in an effort to celebrate being the flying saucer capital of the nation, passed a new rule of civil procedure requiring that all complaints, filed in its District Court, must be on circular paper. 

Lawyers interviewed about the change were generally in favor of it.  As for needing to buy special printers that can handle circular paper, many said that, after working from home for so long, they didn’t know what a printer was.   

But a coverage lawyer was quick to point out an unintended consequence of the new rule – the elimination of the “four corners” standard for purposes of determining an insurer’s duty to defend.

[Note: I am aware that New Mexico’s duty to defend rule in fact allows for consideration of extrinsic evidence.  But, if I said that, this bit wouldn’t work.  So I took poetic-legal license.  New Mexico readers (if there are any): no need to send an email pointing this out.]   
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