Spring Has Sprung at Lether Law Group

Spring Has Sprung at Lether Law Group

Every year for the past four years, the first sign of spring at Lether Law Group has been when the local goose lays her eggs in her nest at the patio of the office. After monitoring and helping Mama Goose feel comfortable for weeks, we are pleased to announce that her eggs finally hatched today, April 9th.

This year has brought hardship and challenges for many, but positive developments are happening around us in terms of vaccinations and restrictions being lifted. We like to see the six healthy baby geese as a sign of better times to come. New spring, new goose babies and new beginnings. We look forward to leaping into spring with you all. Keep staying safe and healthy!

Individuals Play The Game, But Teams Win Championships

TEAMWORK MATTERS.

Our dedicated, talented team is what makes us successful. As we all immerse ourselves with March Madness these days, we would like to take the opportunity to talk about what makes the Lether Law Group team the winning team that it is.

Situated on the shores of Lake Union, and with a team of maritime enthusiasts, it is only fitting that Lether Law Group follows the Canoe Theory for its team success.

– The firm is like a long canoe
– The canoe has a destination
– Everyone has a seat and a paddle
– Everyone is expected to paddle
– Those who won’t paddle have to get out of the canoe
– Those who prevent others from paddling have to re-adjust or get out of the canoe
– The canoe understands crisis
– The canoe theory says “You have the right to be happy”
– The canoe can go fast and be stressful. The canoe can also be slow and peaceful
– The canoe always tries to win

The hardworking, competent team at Lether Law Group shows up every day for our clients – whether that be remote, or socially distanced and with appropriate safety measures in the office. Since March last year, we have adjusted according to the government’s recommendations and restrictions. We take the health and safety of our employees seriously, and it’s important for us to make sure our employees are safe and healthy – both physically and mentally. That’s’ why we, in addition to COVID safety precautions, have been practicing daily social distanced stretching and mindfulness classes, daily walking groups, juice and smoothie stations in the office kitchen, and more.

We encourage you to learn more about each individual member of our talented team by clicking the link below. Inside tip: hover over their photo to read a personal fun fact about them!
www.letherlaw.com/meet-the-crew

Core Value of the Month: Compassion

Due to all the difficulties faced around the world and in our local community in 2020, we believe an emphasis on compassion in 2021 is imperative. Bringing together this country and the world to fight both COVID and injustice should be a priority for everyone. Lether Law Group is starting off 2021 with an emphasis on compassion. This includes a renewed emphasis on the well-being of our employees, clients, and those in our community. For this reason, our core value for the month of February in our anniversary year is:

COMPASSION MATTERS.

As part of our Compassion campaign this month, we want to focus this newsletter on an aspect of our community heavily affected by COVID-19. The pandemic has hit small and local businesses everywhere with a force no one could foresee or plan for. We believe that small businesses are the backbone of our communities. These businesses provide people with good-paying jobs and contribute to the cultural and civic life of our city. Lether Law Group has been invested in the local community for 10 years. And as a family-owned business, we understand and appreciate the hard work that goes into operating a small business.

We encourage you to buy local and support small businesses wherever you may be located. We have compiled a list of resources for locating and supporting businesses in the Seattle area that have been affected by COVID-19. See below links. By caring and showing compassion we can overcome and thrive together.

Once again, Lether Law Group appreciates everything our clients have been able to do to assist us in meeting this goal. We are extremely proud to provide excellent legal services with an emphasis on caring and compassion. We look forward to meeting this goal in 2021 with each of you.

https://www.seattle.gov/office-of-economic-development/shop-your-block
https://allinseattle.org/donate

Shop Local

Eat Local

Happy New Year And 10 Year Anniversary

As Lether Law Group moves on to a New Year, we are proud to announce that 2021 represents our 10th year in business as a firm. In 2011, Tom Lether started a new practice which focused on a different and better way of representing clients. Despite the challenges of a new practice, the past 10 years have been enormously successful. We want to again thank all of our employees and clients that have been a part of our unparalleled success.

In 2011, the firm adopted the following 5 benchmarks:
Experience Matters, Efficiency Matters, Client Service Matters, Results Matter, Honesty Matters.

To celebrate our 10th year, we are adding 5 new standards. This totals to 10 core values for 10 years of service. Each one of these goals is something that we at Lether Law Group strive for every day.

Experience, Efficiency, Client Service, Results, Honesty, Compassion, Winning, Reputation, Wisdom, Teamwork.

We look forward to continuing to represent our clients in 2021. Over the next 12 months, we will feature our values one by one. Each core value represent how we practice law. We look forward to showing you how they are reflected in our work, relationships with clients and daily life.

Thank you again for your dedication and the opportunities that you have provided. We have so much to be grateful for. We are extremely proud to be associated with such incredible clients. Please stay safe and healthy. We look forward to seeing what we will accomplish together in 2021.

COVID-19 Litigation Update

COVID-19 Litigation Update
Lether Law Group represents The Dentists Insurance Company (TDIC) as national coordinating counsel in COVID-19 related business interruption litigation in a number of jurisdictions throughout the United States. We are happy to announce the dismissal of one such action in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

 

In KesslerDental Associates, P.C. v. The Dentists Insurance Company, Cause No. 2:20-cv-03376-JDW, Honorable Joshua D. Wolson granted TDIC’s Motion to Dismiss finding that the COVID-19 pandemic and the governmental and societal response thereto does not trigger the business interruption coverages in the TDIC policy. Summarizing his decision, Judge Wolson stated the following:
“The Covid-19 pandemic might be unprecedented, particularly in its impact on businesses large and small. But it is not a writ for the Court to rewrite the Policy to which Kessler Dental and Dentists Insurance agreed. That Policy does not provide coverage for the losses that Kessler Dental has suffered.”

Kessler Dental sued TDIC claiming that TDIC wrongfully denied coverage for business income losses sustained as a result of the pandemic and the State of Pennsylvania’s shutdown orders. The Court, “at the risk of being labeled anti-Dentite”, citing to The Yada Yada Seinfeld episode from 1997, held that the TDIC virus exclusion operates to defeat coverage.

The TDIC virus exclusion precludes coverage for “loss or damage, including economic loss” caused by a virus. The Court found, simply, that the language is not ambiguous and applies to the COVID-related claims. Kessler attempted to overcome the virus exclusion by claiming that the business income losses that it sought were not “loss” or “damage”. The Court rejected this argument based on the plain language of the policy and Pennsylvania’s clear law regarding policy construction and interpretation.

Kessler also argued that the Court should bar TDIC’s reliance on the virus exclusion based upon a regulatory estoppel theory. Kessler argued that ISO and AAIS made false representations to the Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner in 2006 when proposing the virus exclusion. The Court rejected this argument for two reasons. First, the Court held that Kessler had failed to allege that ISO or AAIS was representing TDIC in making any regulatory representations. Second, the Court held that Kessler had failed to allege any inconsistent statements.
“But even if the Court were to attribute those trade groups’ statements to Dentists Insurance, Kessler Dental does not plead any inconsistency. it alleges that ISO and AAIS made statements in 2006 representing that property policies were not intended to cover virus-related losses. Dentists Insurance takes the same position here today as the ISO and AAIS did in 2006; it argues that the Virus Exclusion bars coverage. Thus, regulatory estoppel does not apply, even if, as Kessler Dental claims, the insurance trade groups made statements to regulators in 2006 that were at odds with the then-current state of the law.”

The Court went on to further analyze the specific Business Interruption Coverages – Business Income Loss, Extra Expense, Civil Authority – finding that even in the absence of the virus exclusion, the coverages are not triggered. Importantly, the Court found that the virus and the governmental response thereto did not cause “direct physical loss of or damage to” the insured premises. Notably, the Court found that Kessler was never actually shut down. Pursuant to the governor of Pennsylvania’s business shutdown order, dental practices were not actually closed, but were limited to performing emergency procedures.

Below is a link to the complete Order of the Court.

Order of the court

TDIC was represented by Tom Lether and Eric Neal as national coordinating counsel and was represented locally by Michael Smith and Marc Kamin of the Stewart Smith law firm in Philadelphia.

To the extent that you have any questions about any COVID-19 related matters, please feel free to contact Lether Law Group at any time.

The above article is an opinion based on various resources such as industry knowledge and is not to be construed as legal advice or to be used as such. If you require legal advice or would like to inquire further about the information contained in this article, please feel free to contact our office directly.