Q&A with Andrea E. Ferrucci
What does your team do?
Our job is to assess our files to determine the viability of summary judgment motions and any appeals that may be warranted. My team is tasked with reviewing each file, inclusive of depositions, medical records and Independent Medical Examinations (IMEs) to determine the feasibility of summary judgment liability and threshold motions. In addition to proactively reviewing the files, we also draft responses to adversary motions. My team is also responsible for reviewing Court Orders and evaluating them for the viability of an appeal. If an appeal is feasible, my team is tasked with drafting appeal opinion letters, and timely filing the Notices of Appeal with the Court. Meeting deadlines are crucial and we are responsible for timely review, filing and tracking all motions and appeals. We also provide trial and appeals assistance.
How does your team operate?
We review and provide assistance on all bodily injury claims. We evaluate all files post-Note of Issue and review every IME that comes in. I will assign work to the team if I am not handling it personally. We have numerous deadlines at one time, with significant time constraints due to the rules for summary judgment and appellate practice. Therefore, we have to operate at maximum efficiency at all times. We have a great team that gets it done.
How does your approach to managing the department benefit clients?
I implemented the procedures to make the department more proactive rather than reactive. We now automatically review and recommend motions for summary judgment motions, rather than waiting for claim representatives to request it as was the prior procedure when I started. My department utilizes the filing of the Note of Issue as an alert to trigger review. The Note of Issue, which starts the time frame during which to make Summary Judgment Motions, signifies to the Court that discovery is complete. Therefore, we can be confident in our reviews that the necessary discovery has been obtained, and the viability of a motion can be assessed. Our proactive approach has helped our office to nearly eliminate late motions for summary judgment. Additionally, it helps us to ensure our ability to provide our clients with the most efficient resolution of their claims. Since a Summary Judgment motion is considered a “trial on paper,” the granting of a Summary Judgment motion in favor of our client will extinguish the claims against our insured and as such, the matter will be resolved without the need for our client to endure a trial. When viable, a Summary Judgment motion, is one of the most cost-effective and expeditious manner in which to resolve a claim.