The Places You Will Go While Doing Property Insurance Claims | Property Insurance Coverage Law Blog


Have you ever watched the movie To Kill a Mockingbird? When asking lawyers seeking employment in our law firm why they wanted to be lawyers, hundreds have told me that this movie caused them to think and then desire to become lawyers.

I thought deeply about that while in a hearing against ICAT, Boulder Claims and the London Market they represent. The hearing was in Stone County, Mississippi. It was about the usual issues with the insurance company wanting to delay the trial until hell freezes over and our team wanting to get it to trial as soon as possible. Here are two photographs of the courtroom:

As you can see, the back of the courtroom has an open area for seating on the second floor. It reminded me of the movie as soon as I walked into the courtroom. The segregation of African Americans, fka “coloreds,” to the balcony of courtrooms actually occurred in the South. In To Kill a Mockingbird, this “separated but equal” visual symbolized the deep racial prejudice and injustice present in the Deep South during the 1930s through the early 1960s.

Southern courtrooms were often segregated. The physical separation mirrored the social segregation and inequality of the races. Relegating blacks and people of color to the balcony established that they were considered of lesser importance. It also meant that in the summer months, their seats would be hotter and less comfortable. While in my younger days as a trial attorney, some courtrooms were not air conditioned or, like on the 14th floor of the Miami courthouse, the air conditioning gave out and did not work. The lower areas were always cooler.

So much has changed in society since this courtroom in Mississippi was built. Our firm is predominantly managed by the two women in the picture at the top of this blog. Keona Williams is our Chief Operation Officer, and Karlene Monroe is our head of Human Resources. They negotiate all of our operating contracts and decide who enters and is terminated from employment.

I also lived in Waveland and Bay St. Louis as a kid and then following Hurricane Katrina. Nothing that I ever felt was ever like the culture portrayed in To Kill A Mockingbird. I truly love every time I get a chance to come back to the Mississippi coast. Stone County was not and is not the Mississippi coast.

Twelve years ago, I wrote Oh The Places You Will Go—Especially in the Insurance Claim Industry.  I think it is still true today what I wrote then:

The insurance claim industry is especially fun if you enjoy travel and meeting interesting people. Losses and catastrophes are usually unique with novel issues. They happen in remote and in urban areas. I have traveled to fascinating places and visited with interesting people so far this week. It made me think of one of my favorite books, ‘Oh, the Places You Will Go.’

Craig Speck and I were at Rockefeller Center in New York on Tuesday morning meeting with public loss adjusters regarding various claims disputes and issues they were facing. Most of them were from Southern California and had an interest in our Wildfire Seminar we have scheduled…in Los Angeles. One obvious trend for the public adjusting industry is that it is becoming more national in scope and many travel coast to coast.

We live in a much better world today than what many pretend was what it was like before. People often lose sight of the social injustice that held many back from participating in the American Dream. For those who are committed to becoming the best they can be and doing it ethically, professionally, and with the goal of helping others in distress, the property insurance claim business is not easy, but it is richly rewarding.

Thought For The Day 

Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird. 
—Miss Maudie



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