If the insured is permitted to hire his or her own attorney at the insurer’s expense, that attorney’s advice to settle will generally not support an inference of bad faith. American Employers’ Insurance Co. v. Crawford, 87 N.M. 375, 381, 533 P. 2d 1203, 1209 (1975). An attorney representing solely the interests of the insured will likely recommend a settlement within the policy limits since such a settlement would eliminate any exposure of the insured to an excess judgment. Even if the exposure to liability is slim, the personal attorney is concerned only with protecting the client’s assets. Counsel’s recommendation to settle must be considered in light of this concern.
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