After getting an indefinite extension of time to respond to the Complaint and, thus, eliminating any possibility of a default, I wrote to the inspector insurance company to timely advise it of the claim.

I enclosed a complete copy of the Complaint, a copy of my letter to the Plaintiffs’ attorney that delineated all the defenses to the Complaint together with a cover memorandum that explained that the attorney wanted time to discuss the matter with his clients and expressed my professional belief that the plaintiffs would voluntarily dismiss the inspector from the lawsuit.

I also suggested to the claims manager that the insurer refrain from appointing counsel for the time being to give the seed I had planted in the plaintiffs’ attorney’s mind time to germinate. In my experience, decisions by opposing counsel to do the right thing can take up to a month during which time you generally want to leave them alone – no sudden moves – with a gentle status inquiry every week or so.

Also, in my experience, they eventually do conclude that keeping defendants, who do not belong there, in the suit is a really terrible idea for the following reasons: one, you will not prevail against them and, two, their pesky habit of poking holes in your case against them often has the altogether annoying consequence of weakening your case against legitimate defendants.

Alas, in this case, the home inspection insurance company did not take my suggestion and immediately appointed defense counsel. A year-and-a-half later, the inspector recently told me, the case is still unresolved. He did advise me, however, that the defense attorney was very grateful to have had all of the defenses laid out for her.

Therein lies the difference between the claim response techniques that I have pioneered and the approach followed by the legacy defense bar. My interest lies in getting rid of the case, usually before it ever blossoms into a suit. Their interest lies in keeping it going once it does.

I’ll be very surprised if the perseverance of these unmeritorious plaintiffs is not ultimately rewarded.

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