While Reardon gets more involved in the fraud detection side of the practice, Scanlon and Vodola handle a lot of litigation involving claims against companies that sell insurance payouts to secondary markets.
For example, when a plaintiff wins a lawsuit settlement that calls for money to be paid in installments by an insurance company, sometimes companies -- known as structured settlement buyers -- offer to buy the rights to receive those payments. The plaintiffs often accept considerably less money than the original settlement called for, but they benefit from receiving an immediate lump sum. In turn, the structured settlement buyers bundle multiple settlements and sell them to investors, who ultimately collect the installment payments.
Unlike the stock market, where there is considerable risk, the investors are guaranteed steady returns.
"Sometimes they create problems for the insurance companies that are responsible for them," Vodola said. "For instance, sometimes the person who sells the settlement rights realizes he didn't get such a good deal. So they sue the company that bought it and then they decide to sue the insurance company, too."
Another area of insurance defense the firm is handling is in the area of stranger-originated life insurance policies. If the insurance companies can prove that a person improperly took out a life insurance policy on someone they didn't know, the insurance company doesn't have to pay on the death. "We've been in court on those cases all across the country," Vodola said.
While the three law partners share a big-law firm perspective gained from their time at Dewey & LeBoeuf, the use of technology has allowed them to handle the work of a much larger firm with relative ease. "Between e-filing, which makes court visits relatively infrequent, and e-discovery, we're really able to tackle even the most formidable of document-intensive cases," Scanlon said.
Another way the small firm can handle cases that would in the past "have taken 10 attorneys" is through the use of outsourced document review firms, said Scanlon. "We use outsourcing to our advantage," she said.
Even though the firm was formed only two months ago, the partners already have plans to expand.
"Right now, we're looking at hiring another lawyer very soon," Reardon said.