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There they go again. As the $3.55 billion World Trade Center insurance coverage litigation moves through the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz are intensifying their white-shoe sniping at each other. As The American Lawyer first chronicled in September 2002 [" Double Indemnity"], Simpson Thacher’s Barry Ostrager, representing World Trade Center insurer Swiss Reinsurance Company, accused lawyers from Wachtell Lipton of reinventing history: Wachtell Lipton lawyers, he asserted, had twisted evidence to support the theory that the catastrophe constituted two events, entitling their client, developer Larry Silverstein, to double his $3.55 billion in insurance. Now, as Wachtell Lipton appeals the summary judgment rulings of Judge John Martin, Ostrager maintains that additional discovery only reinforces his accusations. In deposition testimony cited in Ostrager’s brief in the appeals court, two key witnesses on the Silverstein side admitted that Wachtell Lipton lawyers were firmly guiding the portrayal of facts in WTC insurance coverage. “The entire Silverstein case,” Ostrager wrote in a press release accompanying his brief, “is a fiction conceived by lawyers and public relations advisers.” Though none of the other insurers signed Ostrager’s brief — most joined a second brief that focuses more narrowly on issues of New York State law — lawyers for three others insurers say the insurers are coordinating efforts. “The Swiss Re statement of facts,” says Christopher Finazzo of Budd Larner Rosenbaum Greenberg & Sade, counsel to Employers Insurance of Wausau, N.Y., “is a fair account.” Or is it “unrestrained vituperation masquerading as an appellate brief”? That’s Wachtell Lipton’s assessment of Ostrager’s case, delivered in its reply brief. In language that makes Ostrager’s look downright timid, the Wachtell Lipton lawyers say their colleague’s “scurrilous attack … far transcends the limits of legitimate advocacy.” Strong words, but who has the facts? Oral arguments in the case are scheduled for the week of April 14.

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