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Associate Attorney I Duties: Responsible for routine litigation and cases of limited exposure in which the insured or the Company is a defendant. Develops and applies skills to controls all aspects of litigation, including trial preparation, discovery, negotiation, presentation and appeals from District to Circuit Court. Analyzes files and reviews all allegations. Reviews insurance policy and all pertinent medical and technical data. Consults with medical and accident reconstruction specialists regarding injuries and disabilities. Prepares responses to civil complaints, files and answers any appropriate motions when questions of law or liability are in dispute. Determines feasibility of including third-party defendants in pending suits. Selects legal investigators and arranges for service of subpoenas and summonses. Files additional motions as facts of case and proper timing warrant. Conducts discovery depositions; formulates interrogatories. Conducts examinations under oath under the supervision of a Practice Leader. Analyzes information obtained through discovery and determines whether settlement is appropriate within his/her authority according to the Company guidelines. Prepares case for trial, examining facts and developing trial strategy for construction of a strong defense. Participates in jury selection. Prepares and submits pre-trial statements; attends pre-trial hearings before judge. Conducts defense of case, including delivery of opening statement, examination and cross-examination of witnesses, makes and argues motions, confers with judges and attorneys, delivers closing argument; prepares trial brief which includes insured’s defense, applicable law, and jury instructions, when appropriate. Prepares mediation summaries and appears before Mediation Tribunal to advocate defendant’s case. Evaluates award and makes decision as to whether to accept of go to trial within his/her authority. Establishes and adjusts reserves as necessary. Reviews reserve position on a regular basis. Prepares uninsured motorist cases for arbitration hearings. Researches all pertinent documents and data; presents cases before arbitration tribunals. Keeps client advised of status of case in accordance with office guidelines and client satisfaction goals and consults with third-party clients regarding litigation against them, particularly as to its effect on their personal assets. Advises insured and refers to independent counsel to protect insured’s assets in event of an “over-limits” judgment as required. Coordinates trial or settlement activity with co-counsel, as necessary, to protect interest of insured. Applies cost/benefit considerations to all litigation activity in conjunction with evaluation with supervisor. Negotiates reasonable and equitable pre-trial settlements on behalf of Company and insured, when and where possible. Recommends to Appeals Committee whether judgments should be appealed based upon facts of cases and chances of recovery. Consults with Senior Trial Attorneys, as necessary. Performs all of the above functions under close supervision or semi-independently. Participates in Claims Legal Council Program on a regular basis. Renders legal advice and opinions to branch claim personnel with supervision, as requested.
Qualification and Experience
Qualifications: JD Degree or graduate of accredited law school. Member of the State Bar of Michigan. Willingness to work irregular and/or extended hours to meet professional responsibilities and deadlines. Ability to: Communicate effectively with other attorneys, court officers, the general public and others in a work environment; Analyze, organize, and present facts, evidence and related materials effectively in both written and oral forms;Utilize office computer software including CLMS. Knowledge of: Civil law, judicial procedures and rules of evidence; Principles, methods, materials and practices of legal research; Discovery methods and techniques; Mediation rules, procedures and summaries.
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