Claims-MadeLaw Firm

What should lawyers report to their Legal Malpractice Insurer?

By February 10, 2014 No Comments

Lawyers must report more than simply ‘claims.’ The notice provision of a policy requires that lawyers disclose to the malpractice carrier not only claims but potential claims. A potential claims is any fact or circumstance of which the lawyer is aware that may give rise to a claim. Also, the application each year will require that any potential claims be reported.

Could these situations be considered potential claims?

  • Client demands you waive or refund their fees
  • Written request to toll or waive a statute relating to a potential civil or administrative proceeding
  • Client alleges malpractice or threatens to sue verbally or in writing
  • Client requesting their file
  • Client initiates a bar complaint (often there is deductible-free defense and loss of earning coverage for lawyers included in the policy) more on this in a later communication.
  • Client reports a firm to the fee dispute panel of the bar
  • If an attorney is considering explaining an error or omission to the client, state bar there is likely a duty to report it to the carrier as well.

Legal Malpractice insurance carriers often provide confidential hotlines for free consultation regarding potential claims. The ABA also has a potential claims hotline for its members. We suggest contacting the carrier or a hotline with anything that may give rise to a claim.

Author Marcus Cusick

Marcus Cusick operates Guardian Brokers; a specialist insurance agency focused on providing risk management and insurance to professionals throughout the West. Marcus advises clients on improving practices, claim prevention, malpractice, ethics, and regulatory agency discipline.

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