Remember Stephen Conrad? He is the Woodbridge attorney who apparently settled hundreds of claims without the proper authority.  Even worse, he frequently kept the settlement proceeds for himself.  He has since been disbarred and is serving time in prison.

Many of Conrad’s former clients have had little luck when trying to recover compensation for their cases.  Numerous decisions have been made that the settlements reached with the insurance companies were binding.  These decisions were based on Conrad’s “apparent authority” to negotiate with the insurers.

A recent case has gone against this trend.  Loudoun County Circuit Judge Thomas Horne has decided to permit a plaintiff to move forward with his car accident case, even though Conrad had reached a previous settlement.  Judge Horne cited a 1926 Supreme Court of Virginia decision that stated that in order to have “apparent authority,” the client has to do something more than simply hire the attorney.

Conrad had settled the 2004 auto accident claim for $18,000 in 2006.  The case will now continue.

This is the second decision by Virginia judges in which Conrad’s former clients were able to proceed with their claims.  Prince William County Circuit Court Judge William D. Hamblen made the other decision in April 2010.  You can read more about the case in our blog entry, “Former Conrad Case Allowed to Move Forward Against Insurance Company.”

Read the opinion here.
Ben Glass
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Ben Glass is a nationally recognized car accident and ERISA disability attorney in Fairfax, VA.
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