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Professional Liability Blog

We explore and analyze current issues and relevant topics to help accountants, attorneys, architects and engineers, insurance agents and real estate brokers avoid a professional liability case.

Professional Liability Blog
April 26, 2021

Insurance Applications Matter – Montana Supreme Court holds one attorney’s failure to disclose potential malpractice claim precluded coverage for claim against entire law firm

This article discusses the Supreme Court of Montana’s opinion in ALPS Property & Casualty Insurance Company v. Keller, Reynolds, Drake, Johnson & Gillespie, P.C. (“ALPS Property”), in which the supreme court decided that Professional Liability insurance coverage was precluded for an entire law firm and three of its attorneys based on the failure of one attorney to disclose a potential legal malpractice claim on an insurance application.  The court found no coverage based on the common law known loss doctrine and based on a prior knowledge provision in the claims-made professional liability policy.     

Professional Liability Blog
September 8, 2020

Public Policy Prohibits Involuntary Assignment of Legal Malpractice Claim Among Litigation Adversaries

This article discusses the Supreme Court of Iowa’s opinion in Gray v. Oliver, where the Supreme Court decided, as a matter of first impression, that a judgment creditor could not prosecute a legal malpractice claim it obtained as an involuntary assignment from the judgment debtor. Such an assignment violates public policy and threatens the integrity of the attorney-client relationship.

Professional Liability Blog
March 3, 2020

Missouri Court Rules Legal Malpractice Claim Survives Death of the Client and Reaffirms Objective Standard for Reporting Claims to a Malpractice Insurer

The Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District confirmed an attorney is judged by an objective standard when determining whether the attorney should have reported a potential claim to his or her legal malpractice insurance carrier.  Additionally, the court held a legal malpractice cause of action survives death of the client.

Professional Liability Blog
November 1, 2018

The “Tripartite” Relationship and an Insurers Right to Sue Panel Counsel

Summary: This article provides a brief overview of the “tripartite” relationship between an insurer, its insured, and panel counsel and the theories under which a direct action can be brought by the insurer against panel counsel for legal malpractice. The “tripartite” relationship refers to the relationship among an insurer, its insured and defense counsel retained by the insurer to defend the insured. Panel counsel are familiar with the “tripartite” relationship and the ethical and professional concerns that it entails.