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In two recent decisions, the Texas Supreme Court defined the limited parameters in which Texas courts can look beyond the “four corners” of the complaint against the policyholder and the “four corners” of the insurance policy (i.e., the “eight-corners rule”) when determining whether an insurer’s “duty to defend” is triggered.

Permitting exceptions to the “eight-corners rule” and, in limited instances, allowing the use of extrinsic evidence to determine whether the duty to defend applies, requires policyholders to pay extra care to whether their insurers are properly accepting or denying defense of a suit. Application of fact-intensive tests like the Texas Supreme Court just announced varies from state to state.

Continue Reading Beyond the Eight Corners: Determining Whether a Liability Insurer’s Duty to Defend Is Triggered

On March 22, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a petition for writ of certiorari in Servotronics, Inc. v. Rolls-Royce PLC, a decision that will likely resolve a circuit split over the power of an arbitrator to issue third-party discovery subpoenas to obtain document discovery in foreign arbitrations.

The issue involves Title 28, Section 1782(a) of the United States Code, which governs a district court’s authority to provide discovery assistance in litigation in “foreign and international tribunals.” The interpretation of “tribunal” has caused confusion among courts.

Continue Reading High Court’s Upcoming Decision May Have Major Impact on Foreign Arbitrations