What is Cyber Liability & Do I have It?

You know cybersecurity is important. We know you know cyber security is important. It feels like the whole world preaches the importance of cybersecurity because – well – it’s important. But although it’s vital for everyone, it’s even more so for law firms because they handle sensitive client information. We’ve provided articles on how to avoid phone scams, wire transfer fraud, phishing emails and other common technology-related crimes law firms often face. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention...

Ready for a Vacation? Tips for Lawyers Looking to Get Away

We learned all the hobbies, we baked all the breads, we watched all the Netflix – but even with all that, 16 months is a long time to be cooped up. As the world begins to reopen, we’re all eager shake off this cabin fever. For lawyers, however, being away from the office can be a little more complicated than other professions. Whether you’re planning an actual getaway or just taking some time off to unplug and relax, you’ll want...

Considerations for Attorneys With Clients in Cannabis-Related Businesses

We were probably the first lawyers professional liability insurer to openly declare the willingness to write coverage for law firms providing legal services to cannabis business clients. Many insurers declined to underwrite firms with these types of clients, while others crafted specific exclusions for claims arising from clients in a cannabis business. On the other hand, we felt this niche area of practice was largely business transactional, along with corporate and business organizational, and that there was not too...

Don’t Be Someone’s Big Catch: Tips to Avoid Phishing Scams

Scam emails have been around nearly as long as email itself, and unfortunately they’re not likely to go away any time soon – or maybe ever. WHAT EXACTLY IS PHISHING? There are a lot of scams, and phishing is just one type. Phishing is a technique to obtain information like login credentials, credit card numbers or other sensitive data by impersonating a trustworthy business or person. One very common example is a would-be scammer impersonating your financial institution contacting you about...

PHIL’S CORNER: Prior Acts – the 2nd Trigger of Coverage

We have made an effort to make sure policyholders have an understanding of a claims-made policy, on which professional liability is written. The easiest means to do so is to focus on the major differentiations from an occurrence-based policy. What is known as the “first trigger” of coverage in a claims-made form is that a policy must be in effect when the claim is first reported. This makes continuity of coverage critical. If coverage lapses, is discontinued at renewal or...

The Two Biggest Errors in Oil & Gas Practices

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Oklahoma is ranked fourth in the top oil-producing states in the country. Oil and gas is a rewarding business, not just for the country and for the state, but also for attorneys who practice in this area. However, like with most resources that generate lucrative income, it comes with risks and requires complex knowledge and expertise. Unlike most countries, oil and gas resources in the U.S. are privately owned (except where the land...

Court Bonds 101 (and How to Get One)

As most lawyers know, a court bond is a tool to ensure a party will fulfill their responsibilities as ordered by law. Probate attorneys, for example, must often post a bond on behalf of an executor, administrator or conservator of an estate. However, the need for a bond also arises in a wide variety of other matters, such as appeals, injunctions, TROs, replevin actions and more. HISTORY OF SURETY BONDS Although the seemingly modern concept of surety bonds has definitely increased...

Criminal Malpractice Lawsuits May Be Fewer, but No Less Costly

Criminal defense malpractice lawsuits are not common and are significantly different from civil cases when proving malpractice. Apart from the difficulty involved in proving ineffective assistance of counsel, the plaintiff must first overturn the criminal conviction before pursuing the malpractice lawsuit. There is a huge burden of proof on the plaintiff to demonstrate that they would have had a different outcome if not for the actions or inactions of the attorney. That’s why 80% of the criminal law claims...

Avert Controversies With an Engagement Letter

One of the best instruments for an attorney to protect himself or herself from a malpractice lawsuit is a well-drafted engagement letter. The engagement letter is frequently disregarded by attorneys – instead, the attorney opts to just engage in a verbal agreement. However, a written engagement letter can be critical to both preventing and defending a professional liability claim. Significantly, the engagement letter ensures the attorney and the client are in agreement regarding items such as: Who is the client; ...

PHIL’S CORNER: Dividends – Sharing Our Efforts

Phil’s Corner is a special column from OAMIC’s President & CEO Phil Fraim. I am sure the favorite envelope you receive from us has to be the one containing the policy dividend check. In all honesty, it is our favorite one to send because it means we had something left in which to share with you, recognizing your efforts that made it possible. What a crazy year 2020 turned out to be. Yet, with all the uncertainty that seemed to grow...