Cumis counsel
An attorney employed by a defendant in a lawsuit when there is an insurance policy supposedly covering the claim, but there is a conflict of interest between the insurance company and the insured defendant. Such a conflict might arise if the insurance company is denying full or partial coverage. In California, the defendant can demand that the insurance company pay the attorney fees of a selected attorney rather than use an insurance company lawyer. The term is derived from the name of a 1984 California case.
Category: Accidents & Injuries
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

cumis counsel
n.
   an attorney employed by a defendant in a lawsuit when there is an insurance policy supposedly covering the claim, but there is a conflict of interest between the insurance company and the insured defendant. Such a conflict might arise if the insurance company is denying full coverage. In some states (notably California) the defendant can demand that the insurance company pay the fees of his/her own attorney rather than use an insurance company lawyer. Often the insurance company will require that the attorney for the defendant be approved by the company.

Law dictionary. . 2013.

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