Provides legal counsel to internal departments advising on laws, policies, practices, and procedures to ensure corporate legal adherence and compliance. Monitors and provides direction and recommendations to outside counsel for claims in litigation for assigned states.
This position can be based in our Grinnell, Iowa, office or remotely in one of the following states: Arizona, Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Florida, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin.
Manages litigated files claim files utilizing outside counsel from notice of suit through resolution and dismissal. Monitors and maintains adequate file reserves based on file reviews and adjusts reserves as file warrants. Determines settlement ranges and provides authority to outside counsel. Reviews billing statements from outside counsel for accuracy and reasonableness.
Analyzes legal pleadings and claims files to provide written and verbal feedback to adjusters and/or counsel regarding file status, progression, and legal opinion requests. Corresponds via phone, e-mail, or regular mail with outside defense counsel, insureds, and others regarding claims and suits.
Conducts legal research for the claims division and assigned corporate responsibilities to provide supportive legal advice as needed. Informs management and staff counsel of pertinent developments of law, legal interpretations, court rulings, and regulations that may impact corporate units. Monitors and stays abreast of updates to policies and regulations governing property/casualty claims.
Researches, analyzes, summarizes, and develops presentations and projects for specific assignments or audiences. Provides training for varied corporate personnel on legal topics, claims handling practices, or other topics as requested.
Completes special projects and assignments as assigned by leadership. Analyzes, applies innovative solutions, and shares best practices to improve efficiencies. Utilizes all available resources including cross-departmental, inter-departmental, and/or professional organizations.
Attends internal and external meetings, including committee assignments or management meetings and contributes to meetings by asking questions or presenting information verbally or in written form. Represents General Counsel or Assistant General Counsel in management meetings or company presentations as requested.
Serves as a leader by consistently demonstrating superior performance in daily work and in project assignments. Provides assistance and guidance to peers.
Coaches or mentors junior counsel on company and legal guidelines, policies and procedures. Instructs junior counsel on the applicable laws relative to company writing territories; provides guidance on claim issues arising in junior counsel's assigned territory.
Performs other duties as assigned.
Supervises and directs work of outside counsel as it relates to Grinnell Mutual cases.
Responsibility & decision making authority
Approves outside counsel assignments within the approved counsel list.
Approves settlements within authority level and relays authority level to outside counsel.
Manages file reserves and adjusts accordingly within authority level.
Determines settlement ranges.
Juris Doctor Degree (J.D.) and five years experience as insurance defense corporate counsel; or equivalent combination of education and experience. Must be licensed to practice law in one of the states in which Grinnell Mutual is admitted.
Advanced knowledge of property and casualty insurance policy language is required. Demonstrated ability to draft corporate documents and insurance policy language.
Ability to assimilate and analyze complex legal concepts and formulate and communicate legal opinions. Ability to deal with a variety of abstract and concrete variables.
Ability to read, analyze, and interpret the most complex documents. Ability to respond effectively to the most sensitive inquiries or complaints. Ability to make effective and persuasive speeches and presentations on controversial or complex topics to top management, other employees, public groups, and/or boards of directors.
Possess and utilize strong interpersonal, verbal, and written skills in order to respond to customers, develop staff members, make presentations for management, resolve difficult situations or problems, and represent the organization at professional functions and meetings.
Demonstrated negotiation skills in resolving suits, customer complaints, or representing claim to claims committee.
Ability to work with minimal supervision and oversight and effectively complete work assignments and responsibilities.
Ability to use personal judgment, experience, and known facts and figures to make decisions and resolve problems related to difficult claims and suits.
Ability to manage multiple priorities and projects as required by business need.
Ability to work in a harrmonious manner with individuals related to the business of Grinnell Mutual including internal and external customers.
Ability to use general office equipment and demonstrate basic knowledge of Microsoft Office suite products including MS Word®, Excel®, Outlook®, and PowerPoint® as well as ability to learn specific applications such as OnBase, Claims Work Station, and Claims Audit.
Ability to work with mathematical concepts such as probability and statistical inference. Ability to apply concepts such as fractions, percentages, ratios, and proportions to practical situations.
Ability to maintain a valid driver's license and travel from the home office to selected claims sites, meetings, and adjuster offices. Overnight travel is required approximately 5- 10% of time depending on the business need. Ability to adhere to the Fleet Safety Policy.
Working conditions and physical efforts
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each job duty and responsibility satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform job duties and responsibilities.
Counsel work with many types of people which can be stimulating yet demanding and stressful.
Frequently works under externally imposed deadlines with expected interruptions making it challenging to anticipate the nature and volume of work performed.
The position requires the individual to frequently talk on the phone and use the computer. Eye strain may be associated with computer work.
The position operates within a typical office setting and is physically located in the home office in an office. The noise level is usually moderate and occasional stress is encountered when dealing with challenging claims or customers. The position requires an individual to sit for long periods of time and includes some travel i.e., claim/suit related and attend professional meetings and conferences.
Occasional lifting up to 10 pounds.
Requires regular and predictable attendance to meet customer service demands.
This job description is not intended to describe, in detail, the multitude of tasks that may be assigned, but rather to give the employee a general sense of the responsibilities and expectations of his/her position. As the nature of the business demands change, so too may the job duties and responsibilities.