Merlin Law Group - February 2020

813.229.1000 • M erlin L aw G



The Adjuster’s Advocate

At the Top of His Game

Larry Bache Never Backs Down from a Challenge

I joined Merlin Law Group right out of law school. In fact, I had already served as a law clerk with MLG during law school. My entire professional career has been working with Chip Merlin and the MLG team — a career that now spans 10 years. Currently, I manage teams in Colorado and Oklahoma, as well as a group in Tampa, Florida. I’m regularly jumping back and forth between Denver and Tampa, so I get to see more weather conditions than the average person, which can certainly be a huge benefit in this business! In between managing multiple teams, I’m also active on cases. I’ve built a reputation of never backing down from any situation just because it’s difficult or complicated. If I or anyone else at MLG did that, we simply wouldn’t be able to get the results our clients need. Because of my approach, I have the distinction of being the highest revenue generating attorney at MLG. I don’t say this to boast, but that’s how seriously I take my role within the company. I will never back down from a challenge. Just last year, we faced a major challenge in Missouri. My client’s house was set on fire by his son, and my client’s insurance company denied the claim. My client wasn’t protected by the innocent co-insured doctrine, which exists in some, but not all, jurisdictions. It offers an extra layer of protection for the insured — it helps prevent the insurance company from immediately labeling the claim as fraudulent. Missouri law had nothing in their books related to an innocent co-insured doctrine, so it required significant work on our part to get our client’s situation turned around. Our client had absolutely nothing to do with the fire, and yet the insurance company was quick to say “no” and move on. The insurance company did not recognize him as the co-insured, so we took the case to the Missouri Court of Appeals. When it was clear the insurance company had no intention of stepping up and helping their paying customer, we had to step in. They took three years of

our client’s life fighting against paying. In the end, we prevailed and the client was incredibly thankful. We were able to help the family avoid ruin. And that’s really what this is all about, as corny as that might sound. We go to law school and practice law to put people back in the position they were in before a hurricane, flood, or fire — almost like it never happened. People see commercials for insurance companies where the companies are endorsed by their favorite athletes, musicians, or actors. The message is that the insurance company will be there for you in your time of need, but then they’re not. Your time of need arrives and you’re on your own. In the 10 years I’ve been working with MLG, I’m still shocked at the way insurance companies treat their customers. As attorneys, we’re here to pick up the pieces and make sure these companies honor their word like they said they would. In all honesty, we shouldn’t be here. If insurance companies cared about their customers more than they cared about shareholders, the world would be a different place — and I’d be out of a job! Of course, I do love having this job. I try cases. I’m not afraid to get in front of a judge or jury. I went to law school to get in front of a room full of people to present my case and to defend my clients. I love being up there, presenting the case and putting the story together for the jury all with the goal of getting the client’s life back. I also love presenting at conferences. I say that because I’ll be presenting at the Windstorm 2020 Conference (by the time you read this, the conference will be over). I look forward to meeting with other attorneys on both sides to talk shop. I love the varying perspectives that come to the floor at these kinds of conferences where we can bring our legal challenges to one another and leave with new ideas and fresh points of view. I’m excited to see what’s next.

As attorneys, we’re here to pick up the pieces and make sure these companies honor their word like they said they would.

–Larry Bache

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