"Independant Attorney Client Waiver"
West Virginia Bills and Cases Monthly Report - July 2003 Volume 3, Issue 7 Attorney - Client Privilege in Bad Faith Cases The Supreme Court of Appeals of West least two other vehicles were involved the underinsurance claim policy limits, and Virginia granted a moulded writ of in the accident. In September 1999, Falls signed a release of all claims against prohibition to prevent the enforcement of respondent Falls, as Administratrix of Nationwide. an order of the Circuit Court of Kanawha the Estate of Cledith Lee Falls, Jr., filed a County regarding access to discovery wrongful death action in the Circuit Court In December 2001, respondent Falls filed a materials at issue in an insurance bad faith of Kanawha County. bad faith and unfair trade practices action action. The Supreme Court held that the against Nationwide, claims representa- Circuit Court exceeded its jurisdiction in The insurance proceeds of various policies tive Cowder and others. Falls alleged ordering production and disclosure of the were potentially available to respondent that Nationwide’s delay in paying her litigation file and the redacted portions of Falls. Falls, however, asserted a claim claim for underinsurance benefits was the claim file. for underinsured motorist coverage unreasonable, thereby constituting bad against a policy issued by Nationwide faith and a violation of the West Virginia In the related cases of State ex rel. Brison v. Mutual Insurance Company (Nationwide) Unfair Trade Practices Act, W.Va. Code, Kaufman (No. 31114, filed June 13, 2003) to Cledith Lee Falls’ stepmother, Tonya § 33-11-1 (1974), et seq. Nationwide and State ex rel. Nationwide Mutual Ins. Falls. Cledith had been residing in his and Cowder filed an answer and motion Co. v. Kaufman (No. 31115, filed June 13, stepmother’s household at the time of the to dismiss. They asserted that the release 2003), the Supreme Court held that the accident. Nationwide initially disputed signed by Falls barred the bad faith and Circuit Court erred in applying the wrong the decedent’s residence, but later stated unfair trade practices action. Nationwide legal standard to analyze the attorney- that coverage could be provided for the and Cowder were represented by counsel client privilege and work product doctrine underinsurance claim. separate from Tinsley & Associates. claims in regard to whether the attorneys’ litigation file in the underlying wrongful Meanwhile, Nationwide was served In January 2002, respondent Falls filed a death action and redacted portions of with notice of the wrongful death action discovery request in the bad faith and un- the insurer’s claim file were subject to and assigned the matter to attorney M. fair trade practices action for production of discovery. The Court also held that at- Andrew Brison. Mr. Brison was an Nationwide’s claim file, which concerned torneys in “captive law firms” are subject attorney in the law firm of Dwane L. the respondent’s claim for underinsured to the same ethical responsibilities toward Tinsley & Associates, Nationwide Trial motorist benefits. Falls also requested their clients and to the legal profession as Division, Charleston, West Virginia. production of the litigation file created other attorneys and, therefore, have stand- Both Brison and claims representative and maintained by petitioners Brison and ing to assert privilege claims. The Court Ash Cowder, Jr. informed counsel for Stepto with regard to the wrongful death further held that the bringing of a first-party respondent Falls that all available action. The litigation file was generated by bad faith action by the insured does not insurance proceeds from other applicable Brison and Stepto, as attorneys employed automatically result in a waiver of the policies would have to be paid before insurance company’s attorney-client privi- any payment of underinsured motorist lege regarding the disputed issue. proceeds would be made by Nationwide. Thereafter, Rebecca Stepto, an attor- Questions or Comments? On August 7, 1999, Cledith Lee Falls, Jr., ney replacing Mr. Brison at Tinsley & firstname.lastname@example.org the son of respondent Deborah K. Falls, Associates, requested a continuance (304) 262-3221 was killed in an accident in Nicholas of the April 30, 2001 trial date. The County while riding as a passenger in an request was denied. On April 26, 2001, automobile driven by April D. Knight. At Nationwide paid respondent Falls $50,000, Prepared in Conjunction with Martin & Seibert, L.C. West Virginia Bills and Cases Monthy Report - July 2003 Page 2 continued from page 1 by Dwane L. Tinsley & Associates, the Circuit Court to enter an order “with waive the attorney-client privilege by Nationwide Trial Division, following specific findings of fact and conclusions asserting claims or defenses that put his or service upon Nationwide of notice of of law” as required. See Syllaus Point 6, her attorney’s advice at issue. the wrongful death action. The peti- State ex rel. Allstate Insurance Company tioners filed a motion for a protective v. Gaughan, 203 W.Va. 358, 508 S.E.2d 75 As indicated above, the Circuit Court order raising the attorney-client privilege (1998). On February 6, 2003, petitioners concluded that inasmuch as the documents and the work product doctrine, claim- Nationwide, Cowder, Brison and Stepto reviewed in camera contained “facts that ing that the file evidenced privileged filed petitions in the Supreme Court of were not meant to be confidential,” the communications between Nationwide Appeals of West Virginia seeking relief entire contents of the litigation file the and its counsel during the wrongful in prohibition with regard to the order of and redacted portions of the claim file death action. Consequently, an abridged January 7, 2003. were subject to production and disclosure. claim file was disclosed with an attached The Supreme Court stated that the Circuit privilege log, and the issues of attorney- The Supreme Court first addressed the Court treated that conclusion separately client privilege and the work product issue of whether Brison and Stepto had from the issue of whether the attorney- doctrine, as to both the litigation file and standing to raise the attorney-client client privilege had been waived, but did the redacted portions of the claim file, privilege and the work product doctrine. not explain why the documents were not remained to be decided by the Circuit Brison and Stepto were members of a meant to be confidential. The Supreme Court. “captive law firm” because, although their Court found that the validity of compelling law office, Dwane L. Tinsley & Associ- disclosure of the entire contents of the two The Circuit Court conducted a hearing and ates, Nationwide Trial Division, was in a files “doubtful,” especially in view of Mr. an in camera review of the documents, separate location from the Nation- Brison’s duty to defend Nationwide and and entered an order on January 7, 2003 wide claims office, Brison and Stepto render legal advice. However, the Circuit denying the petitioners’ motion for a received their paychecks from Nationwide Court’s January 7, 2003 order contained protective order, and directing the and worked exclusively on Nationwide no findings of fact concerning the na- petitioners to produce and disclose, in insurance matters. Such a manner of ture of the attorney-client relationship their entirety, the litigation file and the practicing law has been approved by the between Nationwide and attorneys Brison redacted portions of the claim file. The West Virginia State Bar. Thus, held the and Stepto. Circuit Court concluded that the documents Court, it is self-evident that attorneys “simply contain facts that were not meant practicing in “captive law firms” are More troubling to the Supreme Court to be confidential. Furthermore, the Court subject to the same ethical responsibili- was the conclusion of the Circuit Court finds that the issue of bad faith has brought ties toward their clients and to the legal that “the issue of bad faith has brought into question the advice of Nationwide’s profession as are other attorneys. into question the advice of Nationwide’s attorneys and, therefore, the attorney-client attorneys and, therefore, the attorney-client privilege is waived.” The Court pointed to the fact that privilege is waived.” The Circuit Court because both Brison and Stepto performed made no findings as to whether anyone Significantly, the January 7, 2003 order traditional legal duties in the wrongful associated with Nationwide actually contained no findings of facts concerning death action, they had standing to raise waived the privilege. The Circuit Court the nature of the attorney-client relation- the attorney-client privilege and the work seemed to suggest that the attorney- ship between Nationwide and attorneys product doctrine. client privilege applicable in an underlying Brison and Stepto. Nor did the order matter will be considered waived in the explain why, inasmuch as the documents The Supreme Court then analyzed the event a bad faith action is filed. The “contain facts” which were not meant to attorney-client privilege. In order to Supreme Court held that “such a sug- be confidential, the entirety of both the assert the attorney-client privilege, three gestion constitutes too tenuous a prem- litigation file and the redacted portions main elements must be present: (1) both ise upon which to anchor any steady of the claim file were discoverable. The parties must contemplate that the attorney- standard of law.” Accordingly, the order included no findings of fact with client relationship does or will exist; (2) the Supreme Court held that “where the inter- regard to the two files concerning the work advice must be sought by the client from ests of an insured and his or her insurance product doctrine. On December 23, 2003, the attorney in his capacity as a legal company are in conflict with regard to a Nationwide, indicating that it was adviser; and (3) the communication claim for underinsured motorist coverage considering filing a petition for extraor- between the attorney and client must be and the insurance company is represented dinary relief in the Supreme Court, asked intended to be confidential. A party may by counsel, the bringing of a related first- Prepared in Conjunction with Martin & Seibert, L.C. West Virginia Bills and Cases Monthy Report - July 2003 Page 3 continued from page 2 party bad faith action by the insured does not automatically result in a waiver of the insurance company’s attorney-client privilege concerning the underinsurance claim.” Thus, the Circuit Court failed to apply the correct legal standards with regard to the petition- ers’ assertions of attorney-client privilege. Therefore, the Supreme Court held that the order compelling production and disclosure was erroneous, and discovery concerning the litigation file and the redacted portions of the claim file prohibited until further con- sideration by the Circuit Court. If the Circuit Court subsequently determines that the documents in question are not barred by the attorney-client privilege, the Supreme Court stated that a consideration of the work product doctrine would then be warranted. Generally, the work product doc- trine operates to protect documents prepared in anticipation of litigation. The January 7, 2003 order contained no findings of fact concerning the litigation file or the redacted portions of the claim file with regard to the work product doctrine. Thus, the Supreme Court held that, as with the attorney-client issue, discovery concerning those documents is prohibited until further consideration by the Circuit Court. Finality of Infant Settlement Cases The Supreme Court of Appeals of West The agreement stated that the appellant in the accident did not exhaust the policy Virginia affirmed an order of the Circuit acknowledged receipt of $10,000 cash limits. The amended complaint contained Court of Mercer County in regard to when along with $18,391.73 for medical a count for fraud. an infant settlement is final. In Mills v. expenses and $1,000 under the medical Watkins, et al., (No. 30694, filed May 22, payments coverage of the policy. The Long, Nationwide, and the Watkins filed 2003), the Supreme Court held that when agreement further provided that Crystal motions to dismiss the complaint, attach- an infant is injured in an automobile would receive a lump sum payment in ing a copy of the release and settlement accident and the infant’s legal guardian the amount of $20,340 on her eighteenth agreement and the Court’s August 6, 1997 enters into a settlement agreement with an birthday. In return, the appellant released order. On December 27, 2000, the Circuit insurer by complying with the provisions the insured and the insurer from any Court dismissed the complaint, reserving of W.Va. Code § 44-10-14, the settlement further damages. The Circuit Court unto the appellant the opportunity to set is final as to that insurance company if the approved the settlement agreement by forth with particularity the claim of fraud. insurer is released and the insurer is order dated August 6, 1997. The appellant abandoned her claim for unaware of any misconduct that would fraud. Instead, she filed a motion request- constitute grounds for a bad faith action. Crystal subsequently married and ing the court to alter or amend its judgment. had a daughter. On Crystal’s twen- She subsequently clarified her motion by On August 2, 1996, Crystal Mills was tieth birthday, June 5, 2000, she, her requesting that her claims for additional one of two passengers who was injured husband, Ronald Nicholas Mills, and her medical expenses and consortium be in a single-vehicle accident. At the time husband as next friend and father of her dismissed, and that she be allowed to refile of the accident, Krista Watkins was driv- daughter, Alyssa Nicole Mills, and unborn her UTPA claims. On November 2, 2001, ing a vehicle that was owned by her children, Jane Doe and John Doe, filed a the Circuit Court denied relief. It is from mother, Wanda Watkins, and insured by complaint against Krista Watkins, Wanda this order that the appellant filed an appeal Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company Watkins, Sarah Long, and Nationwide. The to the West Virginia Supreme Court. (Nationwide). Crystal injured her left complaint sought to set aside the settlement shoulder and incurred medical expenses agreement and obtain additional insurance On appeal, the Appellant claimed that totaling $21,335.61. Crystal’s mother, resources for medical expenses and loss Nationwide made misrepresentations Dorcas Knuckles, qualified as legal guard- of consortium and exemplary damages. which her legal guardian relied upon to ian. The court appointed attorney Ward Alternatively, the appellant sought to settle her claim. As an injured third party, Morgan to serve as guardian ad litem. proceed against Nationwide under the West she believed the misrepresentations formed Virginia Unfair Trade Practices Act, W.Va. the basis of a UTPA action. Her princi- Ms. Knuckels negotiated with Code § 33-11-4 (1985) (UTPA). pal argument was that the Circuit Court Nationwide’s representative, Sarah erred by holding that Poling v. Motorists Long. Thereafter, Dorcas Knuckles and The appellant alleged that Long and Mut. Ins. Co., 192 W.Va. 46, 450 S.E.2d David Johnston, as parents and natural Nationwide misrepresented the amount 635 (1994), precluded her UTPA cause guardians of Crystal, and Dorcas Knuckles of coverage that was available, specifi- of action. While admitting that Poling as legal guardian, entered into a release and cally that they failed to inform her that the involved an insurance company that was settlement agreement with Nationwide. combined payments to all persons injured not released in the settlement agreement, Prepared in Conjunction with Martin & Seibert, L.C. West Virginia Bills and Cases Monthy Report - July 2003 Page 4 continued from page 3 Liability of Newspaper for Injuries Caused by Delivery the Appellant argued that Poling was a the settlement and Agreement were not case of inclusion under which she should made “in reliance upon any statement or Driver be allowed to proceed because she was not representation of any of the parties hereby The Supreme Court of Appeals of West aware of the insurer’s conduct at the time released, or their representatives, agents Virginia reversed a grant of summary she released Nationwide. or attorneys.” The Supreme Court fur- judgment to a newspaper in a suit by a ther stated that it found no indication that person injured in a collision with a motor Because the Appellant relied on Poling, Nationwide misrepresented the insurance route carrier. The Court held that reason- the Supreme Court reviewed its holding in policy provisions relating to coverage. able minds could differ regarding whether that case. Jeffrey Poling was rear-ended the independent carrier exception to the by a drunk driver, William Bonar, who As noted by the Supreme Court, if it were doctrine of respondeat superior should was driving his father’s vehicle without to adopt appellant’s argument, then every apply, and thus remanded the case for permission and without a valid driver’s guardian ad litem who fails to get the consideration of that question by a jury. license. After twelve months of repeated at- full policy limits for the infant claimants tempts to resolve the property damage and could potentially be liable for malpractice. The case of Zirkle v. Winkler, et al., (No. personal injury claims, the insurer of the Moreover, any insurer that does not offer 30787, filed May 22, 2003), arises from Bonar vehicle finally settled with Poling. the policy and underinsurance policy limits a February 9, 1999 automobile accident The settlement agreement contained a to every infant claimant would be liable between Melissa Zirkle, appellant, and release of both the tortfeasor and the under the UTPA when the infant reaches Robert Winkler. Mr. Winkler was deliver- insurer. Poling released the tortfeasor majority. The Court enumerated several ing Clarksburg Exponent newspapers. He but refused to release the insurance com- other adverse effects if it were to adopt delivered approximately 200 newspapers pany. appellant’s argument: there would be a each day on a motor route carrier delivery “chilling effect” on the willingness of route, and was paid $850.00 a month. Poling then filed a bad faith action against insurance companies to settle cases; there the insurer. The insurer argued that settle- would be interference with the prompt On January 17, 2001, Ms. Zirkle ment of the underlying tort claim precluded and early payment to plaintiffs who have (individually and on behalf of her child, a bad faith action from being filed against suffered minor or non-catastrophic who was a passenger) filed a lawsuit it. The Supreme Court disagreed and injuries; and it would leave open no against Mr. Winkler in Harrison County, held that a cause of action for bad faith practical or safe way to settle infants’ seeking compensation for medical bills may arise even if there is a settlement claims. In contrast, the Court stated that and personal injuries. She also sued and release of the underlying case against “[w]e must have rules that foster and Clarksburg Publishing, asserting that it the tortfeasor so long as the release does encourage the voluntary and fair was liable for Winkler’s alleged negligence not cover the insurer and the insurer is, resolution of disputes and quick payment under the doctrine of respondeat supe- or should be, aware of the possibility of of claims.” rior. a bad faith action at the time it agrees to the settlement. The Court thus held that “when an infant Clarksburg Publishing moved for summary is injured in an automobile accident and judgment, claiming no liability because In the instant case, the Appellant, Crystal the infant’s legal guardian enters into a Mr. Winkler was an independent contrac- Mills, urged the Supreme Court to broaden settlement agreement with an insurer by tor. The trial court granted the motion and its holding in Poling to include cases such complying with the dictates set forth in Ms. Zirkle appealed to the Supreme Court as hers in which the insurer was released W.Va. Code § 44-10-14, the settlement is of West Virginia. in the settlement agreement. final as to that insurance company at the time the Circuit Court approves the legal In its analysis, the Supreme Court The Supreme Court declined to do so and guardian’s petition for permission to settle examined the two-page standard form noted that the Circuit Court had carefully the claim if the insurer is released in the document, prepared by Clarksburg followed the guidelines set forth in W.Va. settlement agreement and the insurer is Publishing, that described Mr. Winkler’s Code § 44-10-14. The Court concluded unaware of any misconduct which would duties, his compensation, and stated that that the appellant entered into a settle- constitute substantive grounds for a bad Mr. Winkler “is and shall be an Indepen- ment and release of the underlying case faith action at the time the insurer agrees to dent Contractor.” Relying on its prior with both the tortfeasor and Nationwide. the settlement.” Accordingly, the judgment rulings, the Court stated that language or Furthermore, the settlement agreement of the Circuit Court was affirmed. terms used to label a working relationship included relevant language stating that Prepared in Conjunction with Martin & Seibert, L.C. West Virginia Bills and Cases Monthy Report - July 2003 Page 5 continued from page 4 is not determinative of the issue of whether of the employer,” and that this would on the public roads to accomplish a part of an independent contractor exception is support a finding by a jury that a newspaper its core business activity, it is at the least established. publisher was responsible under a reasonable inference that accountability respondeat superior for an injury caused and responsibility for the injurious results The Court also reviewed its prior rulings by a delivery route driver. Addition- of negligence in the operation of those regarding the respective roles of the court ally, in Cooper, the driver did not have an automobiles should be borne by the entity and the jury in assessing whether the independent business or occupation; when engaging in the commercial activity. independent contractor exception to and how he was to perform his obligations respondeat superior liability has been was fixed in large measure by the terms of established. The Supreme Court has his “independent contractor” agreement; Bills consistently held that if more than one and the services he was required to render All of the following Bills were reasonable inference can be drawn from were “routine in nature, requiring diligence passed on March 7, 2003, to take the evidence, the independent contrac- and responsibility, rather than discretion effect 90 days from the date of tor issue should be submitted for jury and skill.” The Supreme Court of Appeals passage. determination. See Hicks v. Southern Ohio of West Virginia noted that these factors are Quarries Co., 116 W.Va. 748, 182 S.E.2d also present in the Zirkle case. 874 (1935); Levine v. Peoples Broadcast- Surplus Lines ing Corp., 149 W.Va. 256, 140 S.E.2d 438 The Cooper Court held that “ordinarily the (1965); American Tel. & Tel. Co. v. Ohio day by day sale and delivery of newspapers The Legislature, through House Bill 2715, Val. Sand Co., 131 W.Va. 736, 740, 50 under a cancellable agreement of indefinite amended Article 12C of Chapter 33 of the S.E.2d 884, 886 (1948). duration may not be considered ‘a specific West Virginia Code to modernize the regu- job under contract’ within the meaning of lation of surplus lines insurers by enact- The Supreme Court next reviewed its that phrase when used in defining an ment of the NAIC nonadmitted insurance analysis and holding in Huntington independent contractor.” In Zirkle, Mr. model act. The insurance commission was Publishing Co. v. Caryl, 180 W.Va. 486, Winkler was delivering newspapers concerned that there is currently no limita- 377 S.E.2d 479 (1988). The issue in Hun- under a cancellable agreement of indefinite tion of access to this state by nonadmitted tington Publishing was whether a taxable duration, just as in Cooper. insurers to the surplus lines market and “retail sale” occurred between a newspaper no financial responsibility requirements and its subscribers within the meaning of Lastly, the Zirkle Court reviewed reported for nonadmitted insurers. a business and occupation tax, notwith- decisions from approximately twenty-one standing the newspaper’s assertion that states. The majority view is that the Subpoenas the carriers were independent contractors issue of respondeat superior liability by a who bought their newspapers at wholesale newspaper for the negligence of a carrier The Legislature, through House Bill 2764, and sold them at retail to subscribers. The is an issue ordinarily to be resolved by a also amended W. Va. Code § 33-2-4 relat- Court focused on the level of control the jury. ing to the subpoena power of the insurance publishing company had over the route commissioner; setting forth requirements carriers and stated that “[t]he right to fire In summary, the Court reviewed the for contents of a subpoena, providing for is one of the most effective methods of evidence and found that Clarksburg subpoenas to be issued to persons and to control.” In the instant case, the document Publishing recruited and managed more corporations; providing that pendency of prepared by Clarksburg Publishing stated than one hundred carriers. Clarksburg another actions does not relieve a person’s that the publisher had the right to terminate Publishing had not contracted with an duty to respond to a subpoena of the com- Mr. Winkler as a carrier without cause. independent delivery company, such as missioner; and providing that evidence the U.S. Mail, FedEx, of UPS, to deliver produced in response to a subpoena and The Huntington Publishing case cited with its periodical to its subscribers. Rather, interrogatories are exempt from the dis- approval a North Carolina respondeat Clarksburg Publishing chose to perform the closure requirements of the Freedom of superior case which is factually similar delivery task itself. Stating, under modern Information Act. to the instant case. In Cooper v. Ashville conditions, the ancient rule of respondeat Citizen-Times Publishing Company, 258 superior, the Court held that “[i]n these Insurance Tax Procedures Act N.C. 578, 129 S.E.2d 107 (1963), the circumstances, when an entity engaged in Court held that delivery route drivers a commercial activity on its own initiative In Senate Bill 485, the Legislature created perform “a part of the regular business places a fleet of drivers and automobiles W. Va. Code § 33-43-4a to provide a means Prepared in Conjunction with Martin & Seibert, L.C. West Virginia Bills and Cases Monthy Report - July 2003 Page 6 continued from page 5 whereby the commissioner can enter into an agreement or compromise concerning the liability of any person with respect to any tax, interest, surcharge, additional tax, fee, fine or penalty administered by the commissioner under Chapter 33 of the West Virginia Code, subject to certain limitations contained therein. Third-Party Administrator Act In Senate Bill 534, the Legislature also created the Third-Party Administrator Act. The purpose of this Act is to authorize the Insur- ance Commission to require licensing of third-party administrators. The Insurance Commission is concerned that these entities are operating in West Virginia unregulated and contributing to stability and market problems in accident and sickness insurance. The Third-Party Administrator Act will require all excess third-party administrators to obtain certificates of authority whether they are resident or nonresident; to be subject to financial audits; have written contracts with insurers; set standards for maintenance of records; establish responsibilities for advertising; establish responsibilities of the insurer; require the providing of notice; require disclosure of fees and charges; establish annual reporting requirements; establish criteria for the delivery of materials to covered individuals; and provide for the revocation, suspension or civil penalties for third-party administrators. Redomestication of domestic insurance companies The Legislature, through Senate Bill 358, amended Article 5, Chapter 33 of the West Virginia Code by creating § 33-5-27. This Bill provides a means whereby any domestic insurer can transfer its domicile to another state and provide a means for the continuation of a certificate of authority and other approvals pertaining to a domestic insurer that transfers its corporate domicile to another state by merger, consolidation, or any other lawful method. There is currently no regulatory framework present in the West Virginia code pertaining to the redomestication of insurance companies. The redomestication law will provide the insurance commissioner with notice of anticipated withdrawal from the market in West Virginia by insurance companies and will establish a mechanism for the orderly entry or withdrawal from the market. Disclosure of Confidential Information In Senate Bill 400, the Legislature amended sections of Articles 2, 7, and 39 of Chapter 33 of the West Virginia Code that allow the insurance commissioner to disclose confidential information under certain circumstances in the course of his or her duties. These amendments will make these code sections consistent with provisions in the federal Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act which are intended to encourage the exchange of information between state insurance regulators and federal banking agencies, and to ensure that each party to the exchange will keep the information confidential and take reasonable steps to oppose efforts to secure disclosure of the information. This Bill adds federal banking agencies to the list of entities with whom the insurance commissioner may provide certain confidential information. Insurance Company Holding Systems The Legislature amended sections in Article 27, Chapter 33 of the West Virginia Code that have been affected by the federal Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (“GLBA”). The GLBA preempts any state law that would prevent or restrict a depository institution from being affiliated directly or indirectly or associated with an insurance company, and imposes a sixty-day limit on actions of a state insurance regulator on efforts by a depository institution to acquire control of an insurance company. The amendments make state law consistent with the GLBA, thereby avoiding federal preemption. The amendments also clarify that the commissioner may share certain confidential information with federal banking agencies. Prepared in Conjunction with Martin & Seibert, L.C.