Before becoming a full-time neutral in 1994, Randall Wulff was a trial lawyer with Farella Braun & Martel LLP in San Francisco for 20 years, specializing in complex commercial, construction, intellectual property, securities, insurance coverage, real estate and employment litigation. Mr. Wulff has been selected as a mediator in over 2,000 cases across the commercial spectrum. He has also served as an arbitrator in many complex disputes. In 2004, after a nationwide search that took several months, Mr. Wulff was selected by the Chief Judge in the Southern District of New York to lead the panel that would hear and decide the property damage claims for the World Trade Center arising from the tragedy on September 11.
One of the most important provisions found in many property insurance policies is the appraisal clause. Although not as often in the public eye as other ADR processes (like arbitration and mediation), appraisal is commonly used to provide an informal, less expensive and faster way to quantify the property damages owed by insurers. It is particularly well suited to deal with catastrophic losses, and its usefulness was confirmed in the aftermath of the tragedy of 9/11 and the destruction of the World Trade Center.
When we recall what occurred at the World Trade Center (WTC) on September 11, 2001, obviously, we think first about the tragic loss of life, the countless injuries and the devastation to so many families. This is how it should be.
Less publicized is the legal aftermath, which pitted the owner and lessees of a significant amount of New York office and retail space against their insurers.