Unigard Security Ins. Co. v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc.

Annotate this Case
UNIGARD SECURITY INSURANCE COMPANY and
Employers Surplus Lines Insurance Company v.
MURPHY OIL USA, INC.

Employers Surplus Lines Insurance Company and
Unigard Security Insurance Company v. Murphy
Oil USA, Inc.


96-843, 96-1060                                    ___ S.W.2d ___

                    Supreme Court of Arkansas
               Opinion delivered December 9, 1996


1.   Motions -- motions to file joint abstract and for
     clarification of briefing schedule granted. -- In Case No. 96-
     843, the supreme court granted appellant's motion to file a
     joint abstract and appellee's motion for clarification
     regarding the briefing schedule and record on appeal.

2.   Motions -- motions to stay appeal and briefing schedule
     granted -- cross-motion to consolidate appeals denied --
     motion to file joint abstract granted. -- In Case No. 96-1060,
     the supreme court granted appellants' joint motion to stay the
     appeal until resolution of Case No. 96-843; denied appellee's
     cross-motion to consolidate the appeals in Case No. 96-843 and
     Case No. 96-1060; granted appellant's motion to file a joint
     abstract; and granted appellants' joint motion to stay the
     briefing schedule until resolution of other pending motions.


     Motion to File Joint Abstract granted; Motion for
Clarification of Briefing Schedule granted; Joint Motion to Stay
Appeal granted; Cross-Motion to Consolidate Appeals denied; Motion
to File Joint Abstract granted; Motion to Stay Briefing Scedule
granted.
     Williams & Anderson, by: Steven W. Quattlebaum and Leon
Holmes, for appellant Unigard Security Insurance Co.
     James, Yeatman & Carter, PLC, by: Daniel R. Carter, for
appellant Employers Surplus Lines Insurance Co.
     Wright, Lindsey & Jennings, by: M. Samuel Jones III and Claire
Shows Hancock, for appellee Murphy Oil USA, Inc.

     Per Curiam.
     These cases arise from an action filed by Murphy Oil seeking
declaratory judgment against a number of its insurance carriers. 
Some of the defendants settled out of court.  Lloyds of London and
California Union were granted summary judgment.  A third insurance
company, Associated International, prevailed against Murphy Oil at
trial.  On March 26, 1996, Murphy Oil obtained judgment against
Unigard Security Insurance Co. and Employers Surplus Lines
Insurance Co. in the full amount of its claim against all of the
defendants.  On May 16, 1996, Murphy Oil also was awarded attorneys
fees for the declaratory judgment action.
     There are three separate appeals now pending with regard to
this lawsuit:
     1.  In Case No. 96-843, Unigard & Employers are appealing the
declaratory judgment entered against them on March 26, 1996.
     2.  In Case No. 96-1060, Unigard & Employers are appealing the
May 16, 1996 award of attorneys' fees to Murphy Oil.  
     3.  On April 25, 1996, Murphy Oil filed a Notice of Appeal
contesting the summary judgment granted to Lloyds of London and
California Union, and the defense verdict in favor of Associated
International.
     There are also cross-appeals filed in all of the three
separate appeals.  
     The parties to these appeals have filed a number of motions
which essentially pertain to whether the separate appeals are to be
treated as one, and whether the appeal filed by Murphy Oil USA,
Inc., is to be considered a cross appeal of Case No. 96-843.  The
following orders are entered with respect to the motions pending
before this court:
                         Case No. 96-843
     1.  The Motion of Employers Surplus Lines Insurance Company to
filed joint abstract is granted.
     2.  The Motion of Murphy Oil USA, Inc., for clarification
regarding the briefing schedule and record on appeal is granted,
and the appeal by Murphy Oil USA, Inc., with respect to Associated 
International Ins. Co., Lloyds, and California Union Insurance
Company is designated as a cross-appeal in Case No. 96-843.  A
briefing schedule shall be established by the clerk's office in
accordance with this designation.
                        Case No. 96-1060
     1.  The joint motion by Employers Surplus Lines Insurance
Company and Unigard Security Insurance Company to stay the appeal
until the resolution of Case No 96-843 is granted.
     2.  The cross-motion of Murphy Oil USA, Inc., to consolidate
the appeals in Case No. 96-843 and 96-1060 is denied.
     3.  The Motion of Employers Surplus Lines Insurance Company to
file a joint abstract with Unigard Security Insurance Company is
granted.
     4.  The joint motion of Employers Surplus Lines Insurance Co.
and Unigard Security Insurance Co. and Murphy Oil USA, Inc., to
stay briefing schedule until resolution of the other pending
motions in Case No. 96-843 and 96-1060 is granted.
     Jesson, C.J., Glaze and Corbin, J.J., not participating.