December 25, 2013 Personal Musings About What Is “Right,” Viau & Kwasniewski, And A Premier Claims Consultants’ Blog

December 25, 2013

Musings About What Is “Right,” Viau & Kwasniewski, And A Premier Claims Consultants’ “Blog”

What is a “blog?”  According to the dictionary (, a “blog” is a website that contains an online personal journal with the author’s reflections and comments.

What is a blog not?  A blog is not a website that contains necessarily accurate reflections and comments.

The internet is an interesting place.

It may be accessed for the best of reasons – to see what others say about beliefs we hold firm, such as compassion, love, helping others, and doing the right thing.  We know these are right and true, and affirmation of others’ beliefs is a comfort and gives hope.

It may be accessed for information and education – in such a complete and thorough way that a library full of law books, encyclopedias, dictionaries, and the like could never hope to fulfill.

And, nothing new, it has so many dark sides, including a veil of anonymity that sadly fosters the spread of misinformation, misinterpretations, and untruths.

That last aspect of widespread maligning – in a sphere where the target is defenseless and often oblivious – is what prompts today’s topic.

In 406 B.C., Euripedes said that “the tongue is mightier than the blade.”

Napolean Bonaparte’s thought was that “four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.”

In his own way, in 1621, Robert Burton wrote “The Anatomy of Melancholy,” and stated: “From this it is clear how much more cruel the pen may be than the sword.”

And they were all right.

The firm Viau & Kwasniewski was created out of a sincere sense of trying to do what is right in this world.  We two principal lawyers, Gary K. Kwasniewski and Jeanette L. Viau, have for the most part spent our professional lives learning and applying the rules in the practice of law, a calling that is humbling, and we believe, honorable.

The lawyers at Viau & Kwasniewski previously were defense lawyers, representing insurance companies and Fortune 500 companies who were sued for bad faith, and various other purported misdeeds.  There were long days and nights, defending huge corporations, in the “security” of mid to large law firms.

We decided to switch sides, release the “security” – and burdens – of the “golden handcuffs.” We decided to only represent consumers and policyholders in their quest for “RIGHT,” on a contingency fee basis.  Unless we prevail, we do not recover.  Typically, we front the costs, and if we lose (thank heaven we have yet to lose an insurance breach case), we do not recover our costs.

Now, who knows what is “RIGHT” at all times and under all circumstances?

What we do know is that if a seasoned lawyer concludes an insurance claim is covered, and communicates that fact to the insurance company, the insurance company should pay the covered claim.  There may be a difference of opinion about what is the fair and reasonable amount that should be paid.  If that difference of opinion about the amount owed is small, perhaps it may be said that the insurance company did do the “RIGHT” thing.

But, where the insurance company refuses to abide by the well-reasoned and supported conclusion that the claim in fact is covered – and instead tells the lawyer to close the file, and then tells the insured that the claim is denied, we know that is not “RIGHT.”

It is that very circumstance that prompted the formation of Viau & Kwasniewski (that and the joyful birth of one John Kenneth Kwasniewski – aren’t all babies angels who deserve our unconditional love and protection?).

So, Viau & Kwasniewski was formed, with simultaneous trepidation and excitement.

Somewhere on the wending road of a person’s, or a law firm’s, existence, a decision must be made – what are we about, what is our mission, what do we hold to be inalienable truths.

Early on, even before official formation, Viau & Kwasniewski made the conscious decision that what drives us, individually and together, is the conviction that we must “do the right thing,” and, to the best of our ability, decide what that right thing is.

So, if we do not believe in a case, do not believe in a prospective client, or do not believe that the central position that must be taken to win that case is on the “right side of the issue,” we will not take that case.

Sometimes the answers to our own questions are not always clear.  But, we listen to our instincts, intuition, and experience.

Which brings us to a Premier Claims Consultants blog.

The Premier Claims Consultants experience was Viau & Kwasniewski’s first extensive dealing, as consumer counsel, with a public adjuster.  Perhaps it may be said that our trust was misplaced.  In the end, though, that really is not for Viau & Kwasniewski to say.  We have all seen in life that there may be diametrically opposed sides, each claiming righteousness through the grace and support of God (or whatever higher being in which one has faith).

Viau & Kwasniewski did believe, however, that Premier Claims Consultants also was guided in its actions with this law firm by trying to do the “right thing.”

With Premier Claims Consultants blog about Viau & Kwasniewski, we are not so sure, now.  This is our own personal, yet sincere, belief.

What we do know is that Viau & Kwasniewski places its clients’ best interests, and clients’ success, at the forefront.  If, once the case is resolved, our clients are not grateful they came to us, we have “lost.”

To the point: Viau & Kwasniewski’s clients, including those Premier Claims Consultants identifies in its blog against this firm, are uniformly happy and gratified with the working relationship and results Viau & Kwasniewski forged and obtained form them.  Viau & Kwasniewski appreciates that those clients remain in contact with the firm.

One of the primary questions Viau & Kwasniewski answers before it will agree to take any case is “will this prospective client be happy with the result.”

In an insurance breach and bad faith case, Viau & Kwasniewski’s pre-engagement analysis must demonstrate that the prospective client may be made “whole.”  For example, if a prospective client needs another $100,000 to fully and properly restore the burned or water damaged family home because of the insurance company’s undervaluation and underpayment, Viau & Kwasniewski has no desire to take the case – unless they conclude that after fees and costs, the insured will clear that $100,000 and then some.

Unless the answer to the question – “will this client be happy with the result” – is “yes” (at least with as great a conviction as is possible given there are so many litigation imponderables and unknowns), then Viau & Kwasniewski will not take that case.

Accepting a case requires a belief that the firm can prevail based on the then-known facts, law, understandings, and analyses.  Viau & Kwasniewski has no interest in filing a “frivolous” lawsuit.  The fact is there is no benefit to anyone for a contingency lawyer to file a “frivolous” case.

So, Premier Claims Consultants’ insinuations and implications are disconcerting, at best.  At worst, they could cause more harm than Napolean Bonaparte’s “a thousand bayonets.”

It is unfortunate that humans’ free will – and the internet – allow them to go to dark places where unfounded accusations can be made and widely published.

Contrary to what Premier Claims Consultants would have its readers believe, Viau & Kwasniewski was formed to pursue the cause of ensuring that those who are harmed – particularly the vulnerable – have redress and protection.  It is humbling and gratifying to place the “least” of us on equal footing with the “greatest” before the eyes of the law.

That is the very point, after all, of the blindfold on the holder of the scales of justice.  In today’s world of corporate deep pockets, the only way an individual insured can do this often is with the help and compassion of lawyers who believe in the cause of “RIGHT.”

Particularly when we purchase something for peace of mind, like insurance, which consists only of promises (after all, we are not buying the paper the policy is written on), it is important for society’s well-being that there are those who are willing and able to make sure those promises are honored and kept.  That is what we strive to do.

So, Viau & Kwasniewski regrets that at one time it trusted Premier Claims Consultants.

Viau & Kwasniewski cannot fathom the blog positions that Premier Claims Consultants has manufactured, just as those who have strived for what is right and true cannot understand a proclivity for senseless harm and greed.

In this day and age, widespread blog communications simply cannot be taken as gospel.  They are vulnerable to the speaker’s anger, rantings, and rage because of perceived slights which have no basis in truth.  The proliferation of internet reputation protection companies attest to this unfortunate fact.

Why do we do this to one another?  Why do people who are indisputably not owed a dime assert they are owed thousands, or more?  Why do people vehemently disagree over issues to which there truly is no reasonable room for disagreement?

On a personal note, in the end, I believe the same conclusion answers the question “why does it seem society is degrading into factions of hate, with raging, lost souls?”

To me, that conclusion is that we have forgotten we are all in this together.  What can compassion, understanding, love, and a giving hand not fix?

Of course, the irony is that the purpose of this day’s blog is to alert readers of the fallacy of blogs generally.

If you wish to assess our integrity personally, and you need help with an insurance issue, contact our office.  We do not have an “intake” person – we believe it is important to speak with you directly – details can “make or break” the viability of a case.

That’s it for today.  We sincerely hope you feel the joy and peace of the holidays.


J. Viau – December 25, 2013.