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June 28, 2013
Lawyers Must Notify Insurer in a Timely Manner (Fourth Circuit Ruling)
We recently wrote about how failing to notify your insurer in a timely manner could put you at risk. Here’s a ruling from the Fourth Circuit that highlights that, as reported on Law360.

Law360, New York (June 28, 2013, 4:35 PM ET) — The Fourth Circuit on Friday said an insurer for Baylor & Jackson PLLC isn’t responsible for nearly $1 million in settlement costs in a malpractice suit against the firm involving a government contracts claims protest, finding that the firm’s claim wasn’t timely and that the insurer suffered actual prejudice from delayed notification.

[src: Law360, "4th Circ. Says Insurer Needn't Cover Firm In Malpractice Suit," by Kathryn Brenzel; posted here on June 30, 2013]

May 5, 2013
Texas plant that exploded had $1 million in liability insurance
The fertilizer plant that exploded last month in West, Texas, holds just $1 million in liability insurance, a negligible amount compared to the estimated cost of the damage caused by the blast, lawyers said… “Others have estimated the damages at $100 million — far more than the amount of insurance we have heard the company may have had,” the statement said. [src: LA Times; posted 31 May 2013].

April 25, 2013
Chicago Insurance Dodges Legal Malpractice Suit Coverage
A New York state appeals court ruled Thursday that Chicago Insurance Co. is not obligated to cover defense costs for an attorney accused of selling estate planning services to senior citizens and then passing clients off to financial services representatives who swindled them.
– Red the full article at: Law 360

March 13, 2013
New Time Limit for Legal Malpractice Cases in Michigan
Michigan recently enacted a new statute of repose for legal malpractice claims, MCL 600.5838b, which gives plaintiffs six years after the date of the alleged malpractice was committed to bring suit, regardless of when the claim was discovered, or when the legal representation ended.
– Read the full article at: Detroit Business Law

February 26, 2013
Supreme Court Finds Patent Legal Malpractice Cases Can Be Heard in State Courts
On February 20, 2013, the Supreme Court issued a decision addressing the critical question of where plaintiffs can or must sue when their claims implicate patent law but are not traditional patent law claims. See Gunn v. Minton, 568 U.S. ___ (Feb. 20, 2013). Specifically, the Supreme Court unanimously held that a claim for legal malpractice against an attorney based upon the attorney’s role in earlier patent litigation or patent prosecution does not “arise under” the patent laws and, therefore, does not have to be litigated in a federal court. The decision overturns a line of cases from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit holding that an aggrieved client’s claims for legal malpractice against his or her patent attorney must be brought in federal court under a statute that gives federal courts exclusive authority to hear claims “arising under” the patent laws. In a sharp departure from prior Federal Circuit decisions, at least with respect to legal malpractice claims, the fact that a claim implicates patent law is no longer sufficient to confer federal courts with exclusive jurisdiction to hear the matter.
– Read the full article at JD Supra Law News

December 16, 2012
Mississippi Supreme Court Ruling May Affect Attorney Malpractice Rates

An Oct. 18 Mississippi Supreme Court decision has the potential to change the state’s legal malpractice insurance market and increase premiums for lawyers who carry it…. “The entities most affected are people who write legal malpractice insurance. who are now reinsurers for excess insurers, in a manner of speaking,” said Matt Steffey, professor at Mississippi College School of Law in Jackson. “They kind of have that role even though they have no ability to monitor litigation in the same way an excess insurer could. You’ve put the liability on an entity that is less able to influence the litigation, and that seems to be inefficient and undesirable from a policy perspective.” View full article at Insurance News Net.

November 21, 2012

Elements to a Social Media Policy

A social media policy can be an effective method to prevent legal malpractice if it is implemented properly and enforced. It does not guarantee that malpractice will not occur; therefore, it is important to be supported by comprehensive lawyers’ professional liability insurance in Missouri. Look no further than The Bar Plan for any and all of your legal insurance needs. In the meantime, be sure to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for legal advice and other risk management tools. Full article from The Bar Plan.


October 24, 2012

Litigation Privilege Doesn’t Shield Lawyers From Malpractice Suits by Unhappy Clients

The privilege that generally shields lawyers from liability for statements made in the course of litigation does not apply when clients sue their lawyers for malpractice, the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division, held Oct. 9 on a question of first impression (Buchanan v. Leonard, N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div., No. A-2243-11T4, 10/9/12).

To stretch the litigation privilege to cover clients’ malpractice claims against their lawyers would be contrary to New Jersey’s commitment to ensure that lawyers adhere to accepted standards of legal practice, Judge Joseph L. Yannotti reasoned in his opinion for the court.


August 7, 2012

Law Firms Facing Rise in Large Malpractice Claims: Study
Although the frequency of malpractice claims brought against law firms in the U.S. appears to be leveling office, the number of large claims is rising sharply.

A new study by insurance broker Ames & Gough finds a growing number of leading malpractice insurers have paid claims in excess of $50 million.

Ames & Gough polled six insurance companies that on a combined basis work with more than 75 percent of large and midsized U.S. law firms. Four of the six insurers reported their company had paid or had participated in paying a claim of $100 million or greater and another had made a payment of $50 million to $100 million. The insurers participating in the survey were: AXIS, Beazley, CNA, Fireman’s Fund, Hartford and Ironshore.


July 6, 2012

How to Determine If Cyber Insurance Coverage Is Right for YouInsurance-policy-with-computer-mouse
Standard business liability insurance can cover misfortunes such as missing computer equipment or a storm-wrecked office. But would it help you survive the loss or theft of valuable company data inside your computers, a website shutdown from a power failure or hacker attack, or a false-claims accusation triggered by an edgy Twitter post? Probably not.


June 11, 2012

Insurance Fraud

Insurance Information Institute | June 2012
“Insurance industry estimates generally put fraud at about 10 percent of the property/casualty insurance industry’s incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses each year, although the figure can fluctuate based on line of business, economic conditions and other factors.”

May 11, 2012

Do Safety Incentives Discourage Workers from Reporting Injuries?

Insurance Journal, By Andrew G. Simpson | May 10, 2012
“Many employers are in the dark over whether their safety incentive programs encourage or discourage the reporting of injuries and illnesses by their employees, or if they have no effect.”

April 9, 2012

New Jobs Act Does Not Reduce Management Liability

Insurance Journal, By Olivia Oran | April 9, 2012
“Any U.S. corporate executives who think they can use the Jobs Act’s relaxed rules for public listing to cut corners on accounting and disclosure may want to think again…”

March 9, 2012

California Independent Contractor Law May Be Liability for Agents, Brokers

Insurance Journal, By Don Jergler, February 20, 2012
“A new California labor law designed to punish employers for misclassifying workers has broad legal language that can possibly impact insurance agents and brokers who knowingly advise clients on employee classifications to the tune of thousands of dollars per misclassified worker…”

February 27, 2012

It’s tough out there

The National Law Journal, February 27, 2012
“The U.S. economy began to rebound in 2011, but that was not enough to convince law firms to ramp up associate hiring. Most law schools sent smaller percentages of their 2011 classes into first-year associate jobs at the nation’s largest 250 law firms than they did in 2010. Among the 50 schools most popular with hiring firms, 22 percent of 2011 graduates landed associate jobs — down from 27 percent in 2010…”

October 1, 2011

How to avoid a liability insurance nightmare with the right coverage

A lawsuit has just been filed against your company and several of the company’s executives. Your first thought: “We have general liability insurance, and paid a lot of money for it. The insurance company will pay the lawyers to defend us and pay any settlement or judgment that might be entered. No need to worry.”


September 28, 2011

Jones Explains New California Workers’ Comp Calculations at Public Hearing

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones explained during a public hearing in Sacramento on Tuesday why the Workers Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau is restructuring how the state’s workers’ compensation pure premium rate is calculated, a move that was supported by the Association of California Insurance Companies.


September 19, 2011

California Acupuncture Work Comp Physician Update

California acupuncture laws and regulations establish California licensed acupuncturists as treating physicians in the worker’s compensation system but not as primary care physicians. California worker’s compensation rules define a primary care physician as “a physician who has the responsibility for providing initial and primary care to patients, for maintaining the continuity of patient care, and for initiating referral for specialist care.