Property / SIU

According to the Insurance Information Institute, fraud accounts for $30 billion of property and casualty insurance industry losses each year, which impacts every insurance company and every member of the public. Insurance companies, law enforcement, and consumer groups are working together to eliminate insurance fraud. Hall Booth Smith, P.C. is dedicated to that essential cause.

About Our Practice

Insurance fraud is the making of misrepresentation of a material fact as to the cause, extent or nature of a loss to obtain a payment by the insurance provider that would not otherwise be made. Common types of insurance fraud are the intentional destruction of insured property by or on behalf of an insured, fraudulent theft losses, staging accidents, exaggeration of the cause, and extent of injuries.

The attorneys in the HBS Property/Special Investigations Unit (SIU) Practice Group, the most extensive in the Southeast, work with Insurance Claims and SIU departments in the investigation and evaluation of any suspected fraud claim, whether commercial or homeowner arson, burglary or theft, or vehicle and marine fire or theft. From the examination under oath through trial, we are experienced in resisting the fraud claim while protecting the insurer from bad faith and defending the claims decision.

HBS is well positioned to respond rapidly and efficiently throughout the Southeast from our offices in Georgia, Tennessee, and South Carolina.

Our experience and commitment to serve our clients fully and economically make HBS the right choice to assist you with your first party legal issues. Our Property/SIU Practice Group includes dedicated attorneys who have a history of success in resolving coverage issues.

The voice of our law firm is heard through the individual experience of our attorneys:

  • Frequent speakers state-wide and nationally
  • Southern Loss Association
  • Atlanta Claims Association
  • Southeastern Arson Seminar
  • Georgia Fire Investigators Association
  • International Association of Arson Investigators
  • National Fire Protection Association
  • Institute of Continuing Legal Education
  • International Association of Special Investigative Units
  • Many national insurance carriers
  • Members of Southern Loss Association, Atlanta Claims Association, National Society of Professional Insurance Investigators, Georgia Fire Investigators Association, and International Association of Arson Investigators
  • Recognized by Super Lawyers Magazine “Rising Star,” 2010
  • Leadership of the Tort and Insurance Practice Section of the State Bar of Georgia

Fraudulent insurance claims can be complex and potentially costly. From the investigation, examination under oath, and ultimate evaluation, specialized knowledge and experience are critical to the proper determination, preservation, and presentation of coverage defenses while protecting against waiver and bad faith exposure.

The HBS Property/SIU attorneys protect insurers at every stage of a claim from the initial report of loss to resolution with a history of success. We have represented insurers in hundreds of mediations, arbitrations, and trials in state and federal courts throughout the Southeastern United States, defending and resolving coverage decisions in all areas of coverage including:

  • Arson
  • Product Defect
  • Theft
  • Burglary
  • Fraud
  • Life insurance/Suicide/Disappearance
  • Bad Faith/Extra-Contractual
  • Watercraft/Automobile/Aircraft/Motorcycle/Commercial Vehicle
  • Homeowner/Rental/Rental Dwelling
  • Employee Dishonesty
  • Valuation
  • Business Interruption
  • Commercial/Large Loss
  • Computer Forensics
  • Cargo
  • Mortgage/Lien Holder
  • Health Care
  • Personal Articles
  • Personal Injury
  • Coordinated Criminal/Ring Activity
  • Staged Accident

With professional integrity and skill, HBS lawyers have successfully resolved many cases for our clients through mediation, motion practice, administrative bodies, bench and jury trials.

  • Successfully handled large loss commercial first party claims involving arson and fraud from claims denial up to and including trial.
  • Successfully handled both first and third party claims involving arson and fraud from claims denial up to and including trial.
  • Successfully investigated and eliminated organized fraud activity.
  • Successfully investigated and concluded medical provider fraud activity claims.

James H. Fisher II


HBS Atlanta Office

T: 404.954.6953
F: 678.539.1502


Stephen D. Delk

HBS Tifton Office

T: 229.382.0515
F: 229.382.1676

Michael Frick Color

Michael G. Frick

HBS Brunswick Office

T: 912.554.0093
F: 912.554.1973

Mark D. Maholick

HBS Columbus Office

T: 706.494.3818
F: 706.494.3828

Jill F. Bechtold

Jacksonville Office

T: 904.236.4929
F: 904.236.4767

Anthony A. Rowell 

HBS Tifton Office

T: 229.382.0515
F: 229.382.1676

Denise Spitalnick Weiner

HBS Atlanta Office

T: 404.954.6955
F: 678.539.1560

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Related Industries


HBS assists the construction industry in a wide variety of private and public construction projects, including commercial, residential, industrial, and mixed-use properties. In addition to managing risk and defending and asserting liability claims on behalf of clients, we regularly advise on the myriad of issues that arise in the course of planning, managing and completing construction projects. As a full-service law firm, we offer services in construction related fields, such as real estate, litigation, ADR/arbitration, finance, environmental, land use, energy, regulatory, and utilities.

HBS construction attorneys have handled the entire gamut of claims that can be brought in the construction industry, including successfully representing property owners, developers, contractors, subcontractors, architects and engineers, construction managers, suppliers, transportation providers and haulers, individuals, corporations, electric companies, engineering companies, government entities, insurance carriers and sureties regarding construction industry issues.

Real Estate

Hall Booth Smith guides real estate industry clients through the complexities of real property purchases, assessments, sales and leases, land use, zoning, financing and environmental issues,  and a host of other concerns.  HBS team represents virtually all players in the industry, including owners and occupiers, developers, real estate advisers, lenders, pension funds, insurance companies, governments, and hotel owners and operators. HBS , negotiates commercial and residential transactions of all types and sizes. Our real estate attorneys have advised clients throughout the life cycle of their property ownership from acquisition through development.

Energy, Utilities and Power Systems

Hall Booth Smith provides comprehensive service, representing energy industry clients in a broad array of matters, including transactions, business operations, regulatory compliance, finance, tax, and litigation challenges.

Representing a wide variety of clients, including owners and developers of energy projects, energy producers, suppliers and consumers, municipal and investor-owned utilities, joint-action agencies, electric cooperatives, industrial end-users, independent power producers, and natural gas companies we help our clients identify and leverage business opportunities, establish and implement long-term strategic business plans, manage risk, assure regulatory compliance, and devise effective solutions to the many challenges arising in their constantly evolving industry.

We offer strategic guidance throughout the life cycle of our clients’ businesses, assist with lobby efforts and government relations, and assure that our clients’ interests are protected. As national coordinating counsel for a major insurance company on all of its catastrophic electric line contact cases, we are particularly knowledgeable about and adept at handling insurance issues affecting the industry.

HBS Energy attorneys are members of industry organizations, frequently speak on energy-related issues and regularly monitor legislative, judicial and regulatory developments and industry trends in order to help our clients effectively integrate these changes into their business practices, policies, regulatory compliance efforts and approach to litigation.


From appraisals, coverage, claims and adjusting issues to drafting and review of insurance policy, regulatory compliance advice and dispute resolution, HBS assists insurance industry clients with resolving the many challenges they face.

In addition to managing risk and defending liability claims, we regularly advise clients on the full range of insurance products, services, and coverages, including general liability, automotive, life, property and casualty, director and officers’ liability, professional malpractice, errors & omissions coverage, business interruption and environmental, cyber-risk and other specialty coverages and exclusions.

Our lawyers represent clients in courts of all levels throughout the United States, litigating class actions, multiparty and multi-district cases as well as individual lawsuits involving virtually every type of claim, coverage, fraud and bad faith action. We handle regulatory investigations and enforcement actions and are experienced with all forms of alternative dispute resolution. Active insurance coverage attorneys in the international insurance markets, we also help domestic clients gain access to the overseas market and assist foreign insurers in managing their domestic litigation.

As industry leaders, HBS Insurance Coverage lawyers have been recognized as Super Lawyers and Rising Stars in the field of insurance. Team members regularly write and lecture on insurance and property ISU issues, and are active members in insurance industry groups. As a value-added, we offer clients employee training to help their staff understand the laws and regulatory requirements impacting their industry and strategies to minimize risk exposure.