Use of House Counsel and Requirement that Adjuster & Attorney Work Together to Defend Insured

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Challenges to Use of in House Counsel

Defense counsel are sometimes employees of the insurance company. Some attorneys have challenged the use of in-house counsel on the ground that the insurer, as an employer of attorneys, is not licensed to practice law. They claimed that the insurer was engaged in the unauthorized practice of law—a crime. Attorneys in Texas convinced a trial court on the issue but the decision was reversed on appeal.

Attorneys have also raised challenges against house counsel because the employee attorney is alleged to be serving two different masters. As an employee of the insurer (it is alleged) the attorney cannot do justice to both his client, the insured, and his employer, the insurer.