Monday, September 19, 2005

Hawthorne Savings Co. v. Reliance Ins. Co. (9th Cir. - Aug. 24, 2005)

You learn something new every day. Before reading this opinion, I didn't know the story about O.J. Simpson's house, or that O.J. took out a loan from Hawthorne to cover his litigation costs, that O.J. defaulted on the loan (what a shock!), that a variety of possible buyers emerged (including a leading candidate who was going to use a loan from Hawthorne to buy the house) at the trustee sale, that Hawthorne decided to itself bid against these buyers at the sale (and won!), and that it subsequently sold the house for a neat $1.2 million profit. At least that was its profit before the slew of subsequent lawsuits, of course, including this insurance coverage dispute.

If you're interested in the story beyond my one-sentence description of it, read the first three pages of Judge Berzon's opinion. Pretty brief. Whereas, if you're keenly interested in the fascinating issues surrounding precisely how federal Burford absention principles interact with the McCarran-Ferguson Act as applied to particular insolvent insurers, as well as other equally enthralling issues, read the subsequent 34 pages as well.

Yeah, right.