Kayla Giles Self-Defense Case and USCCA Plan Analyzed
By Attorneys Marc J. Victor and Andy Marcantel
June 28, 2023
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In recent times, the issue of self-defense and domestic violence has gained significant attention. Criminal Defense Attorney Marc J. Victor has shed light on the many limitations of insurance companies that claim to cover self-defense shootings. It isn’t clear exactly which insurance provision was relied upon to deny coverage in the Kayla Giles case, but there could have been many different reasons. That the case arose from a domestic violence situation could have been one of those reasons. Many self-defense type cases arise from domestic violence matters which are often excluded from coverage by many of these insurance companies.
Moreover, as can be the case with any self-defense matter, the insurance company may have simply decided, as did the prosecutor, that this was not a sufficiently strong case of self-defense. Indeed, as we have repeatedly pointed out, because over 95% of all criminal cases end with a plea agreement, the insurance has at least a 95% chance of being legally correct in denying coverage in all criminal cases. Of importance in this case is that Ms. Giles criminal defense attorney, who was being paid by the insurance company, concluded that this was indeed a viable self-defense case after reviewing all the evidence in the case. Despite his conclusion, coverage was denied.
This article discusses some of the details of the case, offering insights from criminal defense attorneys Marc J. Victor and Andy Marcantel, who examine the intricate aspects of the Kayla Giles and USCCA incident.
The Case: Kayla Giles and USCCA
Prior to this incident, Ms. Giles had obtained self-defense insurance through USCCA, becoming a Platinum member. Shortly thereafter, Kayla Giles found herself in a life-altering situation when her estranged husband met her in a Walmart parking lot for a planned child exchange. According to Ms. Giles, her estranged husband became physically aggressive during the encounter. In a moment of a heated exchange, Ms. Giles claimed she fatally shot her estranged husband in self-defense, because she believed her life was in imminent danger. Following the shooting, Ms. Giles promptly dialed 9-1-1 and notified the USCCA emergency hotline, as per the guidance provided by the association to its members in self-defense scenarios.
Legal Analysis and Coverage Dilemma
To gain a comprehensive understanding of the case, Marc J. Victor and Andy Marcantel spoke with the attorney appointed by the USCCA and its affiliated insurance company Delta Defense to represent Ms. Giles. They sought to grasp his perspective on the case before Ms. Giles’s coverage was abruptly terminated. The USCCA had initially disbursed $50,000 of the $150,000 required to retain Ms. Giles’s attorney. However, after careful examination of the evidence and presentation to Delta Defense, coverage was denied. Consequently, Kayla Giles’s membership with USCCA was dropped and she was left to fend for herself. This despite the attorney’s opinion that self-defense was a viable defense. To be clear, the attorney appointed by USCCA and Delta Defense believed the case was an appropriate self-defense case after reviewing all the evidence. This notwithstanding, coverage was denied to the surprise of her attorney.
Tripartite Relationships, Ethics, and Delta Defense Insurance
The Kayla Giles case raises important questions regarding the dynamics of tripartite relationships, ethical considerations, and the efficacy of Delta Defense insurance as a whole. Tripartite relationships involve the interplay between the insured individual, the insurance company, and the appointed attorney. When the insurance company becomes involved in the decision-making process, conflicts can arise that compromise the client-attorney privilege and the Attorney’s duty of confidentiality. This is often why attorneys are required to sign consent forms to discuss the case with the insurance company as a condition of accepting the case.
As an insurance company can exert influence over the attorney’s role or decision-making process. It can undermine the attorney’s ability to provide unbiased and independent advice to the client. In this case, the decision to terminate coverage for Ms. Giles had significant legal and personal consequences. It highlights the complexities of insurance policies and the subjective evaluation of self-defense claims. To be clear, the appointed attorney has a duty to the client, but may also have a duty to reveal the weaknesses of the case to the USCCA or Delta Defense which the attorney knows could be used to deny further benefits to the client.
It is also very important to note that because Ms. Giles was found guilty at trial, she had no legal recourse against USCCA or Delta Dental. This would also be true in over 95% of cases that resolve with a plea bargain. Consider that an insurance company could simply decline coverage in all cases and be legally correct in over 95% of the cases. This fact provides a strong incentive for the insurance company to decline coverage if the defense looks to be expensive. It also provides a strong financial incentive for the person in such a position not to accept a favorable plea and lose any chance of making a claim against the insurance company that declined the coverage.
Summary:The Kayla Giles case serves as a stark example of why trusting your freedom to an insurance company is a risky proposition. In addition to the countless exclusions that allow insurance companies to deny coverage, the over 95% chance of a plea resolution forecloses any chance to recoup damages against the insurance company that wrongly denied coverage.
It is crucial for individuals seeking self-defense insurance to thoroughly understand the terms and conditions of their policies to ensure they receive comprehensive coverage for all potential situations. There is an easy way to avoid dealing with the insurance company entirely while securing criminal defense services when you need it. Instead of contracting with an insurance company, contract with an established and well-respected criminal defense law firm.
If you want reliable legal defense without all the unnecessary exclusions, be sure to check our Attorneys On Retainer Self-Protection Program. If self-defense can legally be argued to the jury and the matter is a felony that arises AFTER you signed up, you will be covered.