Fat Cats and Honesty: An Expert Witness Needs to Tell the Truth

February 25, 2019

One commodity weighs heaviest among all professionals: the truth. Nothing separates success in the professional marketplace and private relationships quite like the truth. Synonymous with honor, integrity, and character, the truth and a reputation for telling it (especially as an expert witness) are priceless, except when the truth interferes with a constructed reality based on […]

Continue reading

Signs, Signs: There are Signs Everywhere!

January 26, 2019

Have you noticed that signs are everywhere on our highways? But there are rules and laws that govern most, if not all, of them. In this matter, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), the Florida Outdoor Advertising Association (FOAA), and Citizens for a Scenic Florida (Citizens) were caught in a quagmire of legal lawsuits regarding […]

Continue reading

The Cart Before the Horse

January 3, 2019

This insurance claim came from an insured in a metropolitan city. A construction company installing a new sidewalk accidentally (is it ever any other way?) hit the limb of a 17-inch-diameter tree growing in the cutout of the sidewalk. The limb tore and broke off. The guardian angel for trees in the city inspected the damage […]

Continue reading

Creeping Normalcy

December 11, 2018

This matter came to me as an insured was named a defendant in a multi-million dollar personal injury claim. The matter regarded a landscape installer who allegedly failed to properly secure a newly installed tree in a new landscape. The tree failed during a significant weather event at a theme park. The theme park was […]

Continue reading

Ten Commandments (Recommendations) of Settling Tree Claims

November 26, 2018

Across my desk came the assignment for the insured claim of irreparably damaging a protected tree during construction. It seems as though the construction personnel, shall we say, drifted across the tree barricades and smacked a protected tree but good. The government arborist cited code violations and a six-figure number for mitigation. There were pictures. […]

Continue reading

Acts of God and Other Silly Notions of Trees

August 15, 2018

If you are in the business of adjusting insurance claims, you have no doubt heard this scenario numerous times: “There was this incredible wind out of nowhere, and the next thing I knew my huge tree fell through my roof.” Another often repeated theme goes like this: “It must’ve been a bolt of lightning! It […]

Continue reading

If a Tree Fell in the Woods, Would an Insurance Agent Hear It?

July 30, 2018

It is an amazing phenomenon to observe from afar. Extremely intelligent and well-versed insurance professionals handling claims become immobile when a tree or landscape issue comes before them. Their eyes glaze over. Their right hand goes to their chin. Their eyebrows rise. They ponder, what to do? Given that the tree or landscape did not […]

Continue reading