legal practice/ethics

Cumis Counsel

An attorney employed by a defendant in a lawsuit when there is an insurance policy supposedly covering the claim, but there is a conflict of interest between the insurance company and the insured defendant. Such a conflict might arise if the insurance company is denying full or partial coverage. In California, the defendant can demand that the insurance company pay the attorney fees of a selected attorney rather than use an insurance company lawyer. The term is derived from the name of a 1984 California case.


1) To declare under oath that one will tell the truth (sometimes "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth"). Failure to tell the truth, and to do so knowingly, is the crime of perjury. 2) To administer an oath to a witness that he or she will tell the truth, which is done by a notary public, a court clerk, a court reporter, or anyone authorized by law to administer oaths. 3) To install into office by administering an oath.


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