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The determination of when an insured can have its own lawyer may depend on whether there is a conflict of interest, says a California federal district court. (Photo: Shutterstock)

In many situations, an insured and the carrier have conflicts of interest that would require each party to have its own attorneys. But when is an independent counsel a “must have” versus a “nice to have”?

According to a federal district court in California, notwithstanding an insurer’s reservation of rights, the issue turns on whether there is an actual conflict with the insurer, not a potential conflict.

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