Sometimes it pays to be bad
I learned about subliminal advertising when I was a kid. The concept of being subconsciously manipulated (often in a fun way), really bothered me. Actually it still does. Usually it is so obvious or poorly executed that I know what's going on and shrug it off. But there are plenty of other times when I'm definitely being had.
Allstate is not the only bad insurance company out there, but it is the one whose inner workings I know the most about. I've read their documents. I've fought them over documents. I've called them liars over documents. One time because I helped another lawyer get documents, Allstate subpoenaed all of the files I had on it, and took my deposition by video for an entire day. No love lost there as you can tell.
Allstate has a huge marketing campaign full of the subliminal manipulations that I detest. One of the promises it makes, is that if you get in an accident and it is your fault, Allstate will protect you and sit with you every step of the way. For those who know how Allstate works, what this really means is - Allstate likes to play hardball even when it knows the accident was your fault. It will often force the other side to file a lawsuit against you, and it will go to trial because that's what's best for its business model. It banks on juries being tough on injured people.
Most of the cases I've tried have been against Allstate insured defendants. This is because Allstate will rarely voluntarily pay what a case is truly worth.
My observations of Allstate trial counsel throughout the years, is that I get along with most of them, they are nice enough people doing their jobs. However, the vast majority are inexperienced and/or simply bad defense trial lawyers.
The worst one I can remember, was so mediocre, that afterwards the jurors told us they could not bear to look into the attorney's eyes during closing argument because they were so embarassed at the performance. I remember having to keep my eyes cast down and body language neutral because my fear was that the jury would feel sorry that the defendant had such woefully inept counsel.
I used to think Allstate was just too cheap to hire seasoned, good defense trial lawyers. But I just read this article and have a different conclusion.
The Impact of Jurors’ Perceptions of Attorneys and Their Performance on Verdict. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1633237
The research here generally shows that the better a defense lawyer performs, the worse for them and the better for the plaintiff (my side). In other words - good defense lawyer equals less for Allstate's bottom line. Now, I'm thinking Allstate did their own studies and that's the explanation why they often use such poor lawyers.