July 26, 2021

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A Tale of Two Bailey Brothers

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Several years ago, the room captain at Bern’s Steakhouse asked if I could accompany him to meet a fellow attorney in another dining room. It was a rather curious request. I anticipated greeting any number of Tampa attorneys enjoying a just properly aged wine from Bern’s cellar. Instead, the famous criminal attorney, F. Lee Bailey, was the surprise inviter.

We instantly started talking about his brother Bill Bailey who I wrote about in a 2009 post, A Worthy Opponent: Insurance Industry Spokesperson Bill Bailey Passes. This post commented in part about my relationship with Lee’s brother:

Bill Bailey was a keynote speaker and supporter of the Windstorm Network. He participated in field observations and discussions regarding every major hurricane since Hurricane Andrew. He raised awareness regarding the social importance of insurance and need for better communications between all following major disasters.

I knew Bill Bailey a little differently than many others because I took his deposition a number of times over the past decade.

Bill Bailey was a very bright, Harvard-educated lawyer and gentleman. While he was obviously an advocate of insurance industry positions, we always seemed to have fun in each other’s company. He had me speak regarding claim practice concerns and bad faith law on his radio show, It’s Your Money! Somewhere in our law library is an autographed book he wrote following Hurricane Andrew, Andrew’s Legacy: Winds of Change.

He had a nice way about him, always trying to gain consensus over claims issues with me. I could understand why the insurance industry would hire a person of Bill Bailey’s talents….

It must have been a little different for Bill being the brother of a world-famous attorney. But in my insurance world, the name F. Lee Bailey meant little. But Bill Bailey was a big shot. He was an opposing expert and the spokesperson for the Insurance Information Institute.

The Insurance Information Institute (The III) provides a lot of insurance facts and information. It also provides a lot of propaganda and keeps insurance scholars in its fold to write pro-insurance industry studies to influence public opinion, shape pro-insurance company laws and support the lobbying efforts of its company members.

Does the III think its members should wrongfully deny claims? Does it support laws with penalties against those wrongful acting insurers? No. It turns a blind eye to those issues and clearly does not want lawyers digging up evidence about those bad faith claims activities.

Nevertheless, I had a very professional and respectful relationship with Bill Bailey. His brother Lee was appreciative of that and my public note when he passed.

I know with F. Lee Bailey’s passing, people will be remembering the high-stakes and famous criminal cases F. Lee Bailey championed during his life. I remember a quick dinner engagement and a business card left to me by F. Lee Bailey, who told me how much he loved his brother that I knew and respected as well.

Thought For The Day

There is no success you can celebrate more than the success of a brother.
—Diego Luna

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