2009 Ethics Columns

November 2009 - "Making a Silk Purse out of a Sow's Ear" [PDF, 85 KB]
The broker thought that if he was “economical with the truth” he could slide this file past the underwriters and get his client a good rate. Is he wrong?

July/August 2009 - "In Confidence" [PDF, 97 KB]
When a friend, colleague or client tells you something ‘in confidence,’ it can present a number of ethical dilemmas. The question is not only how to proceed but what standards or guidelines do you use to determine how to proceed?

May 2009 - "Private Files or Public Domain " [PDF, 98 KB]
"Society is still grappling with the notion of ownership of information on the Internet. Does your information belong to you or to the firm that owns the server? How can this content be used by those who have access to it? Once a piece of information is on the Internet, is it in the public domain? Aside from legal issues of ownership there are also ethical issues to consider surrounding how this online information is obtained and used.

March 2009 - "Electronic Leashes" [PDF, 124 KB]
It has been said that the things that free us can also enslave us. This is particularly true of hand-held communication devices that allow us to freely move about while remaining in touch with our office, clients, family and friends. Knowing that a successful resolution of the claim depended on the adjuster’s prompt handling, he felt compelled to proceed with the file, following the limited information indicated on the client’s incomplete e-mail message. Is this the ethical course of action? Should he suspend work on the file until such time as he could reach the client again?

January 2009 - "Skeletons in the Closet" [PDF, 577 KB]
Mere hours before his brokerage was about to change hands, through a competitor purchase, a brokerage manager noticed several irregularities. It was while he was fi nishing up some last-minute paperwork that he began glancing over some fi les. What he noticed were several odd items that he quickly classifi ed as potential time bombs that could attract litigation against the brokerage in the future.