Lawyer Monthly - Women In Law Awards 2023

How did your education and early experiences shape your approach to law practice, particularly as a woman in the legal sphere? I have always strived to be the best that I could be. I believe that as a female, you are underestimated and not taken as seriously as a male in the same position. I always go the extra mile and over-prepare. I do my research. I think before I speak. I make sure that I am right if I’m going to pursue a new legal argument. Once you establish a reputation as someone who is a worthy adversary and knows what they are doing, people no longer underestimate you, whether you are male or female. I do enjoy being underestimated by older male adversaries and then beating them in court. As a Miami-based attorney helping clients with hurricane insurance claims, what are the common challenges homeowners encounter when addressing damages with their insurance providers? My practice is statewide. After COVID-19, our profession was lucky in that we went completely remote for nearly everything except for trials and evidentiary hearings. As a result, I’m able to help people throughout the entire state. Insurance companies are businesses. Their job is to pay out as little as possible on a covered claim and deny a claim if there is an opportunity to do so. Homeowners must accept the lowball payments or wrongful denials of their insurance company unless, of course, they hire an attorney. As a Plaintiff’s attorney, what are the most common misunderstandings or misconceptions people have about property insurance claims? Property insurance claims have not caused the insurance crisis in Florida. There are deadlines within which you need to file your claim. You have obligations under your insurance policy; it’s not a one-way street. Don’t “wait until things get bad” before you report something. You can have an attorney deal with reporting the loss for you. 29 How do you navigate the complexities of denied or underpaid insurance claims? What strategies have proven most effective for your clients? For me, the complex claims are the ones I like best. I keep up with the law and District Court rulings. Policy interpretation is a matter of law and oftentimes, the desk adjuster at your insurance company denies your claim wrongfully because if a situation isn’t black and white, they will defer to denial. My strategy is to work all of my claims individually. I take a lot of time to do in-depth analyses and thorough investigations of my claims. I hire professionals such as engineers, general contractors or plumbers to consult with me. I do not have a “one size fits all” approach to my clients and their claims. I work strategically and within the bounds of the law to effectively represent my clients. I also know when to look at a claim and determine that it was adjusted correctly. I will not take on a client if I do not feel that there is a legitimate discrepancy and breach of the insurance policy by the insurance company. Knowing when to turn claims away is just as important as knowing how to effectively litigate them. Finally, what advice would you give young female attorneys looking to venture out independently? Make sure you are experienced before going out on your own. You have to have the ability to work independently without anyone guiding you. You must master your practice area. You need to be able to multitask and, run a law firm and handle employees while effectively representing your clients. Pick one to two areas of law and become an expert on them. If you choose too many specialties, you will likely be mediocre at each of them. Whereas if you narrow your focus, you can specialize in one or two. USA

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