Know the Risks: Being On Your Client’s Board of Directors

Know the Risks: Being On Your Client’s Board of Directors It can be very gratifying, both personally and monetarily, to be asked to serve on a client’s board of directors. It is also easy to understand why a client might make the request. The attorney may have worked closely with the company’s founders to create the business and will likely have a solid grasp of the company’s aims, the marketplace challenges it faces and its associations with industry partners, vendors,...

Office Sharing and Avoiding the Risk of a Malpractice Claim

Office Sharing and Avoiding the Risk of a Malpractice Claim With the combined expense of actual office space, staff and equipment, many lawyers choose to enter into an office sharing arrangement as an economical way to hang out their shingle. Although there may be initial cost-saving benefits, there are disadvantages to sharing offices with other professionals, such as increased exposure to bar grievances or malpractice claims, disqualification motions, and imputed knowledge of confidential communications. The primary issues are avoiding misleading the...

Avert Controversies With an Engagement Letter

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...

What to Consider When Your Client May Have a Diminished Capacity

What to Consider When Your Client May Have a Diminished Capacity When OAMIC receives a claim involving an estate, whether that is a trust document or a will, the issue often is was the client competent at the time the estate document was executed? The lawyer should be careful to fulfill continuing commitments to the client both to represent their interest and, in some situations, to seek additional help for the client. Oklahoma Rules of Professional Conduct, 5 O.S. 2021, Ch. 1,...

Statute of Limitations and the Oklahoma Governmental Tort Claims Act

Statute of Limitations and the Oklahoma Governmental Tort Claims Act Every year, it seems we have at least one claim that is the failure to provide timely notice under the Oklahoma Governmental Tort Claims Act, 51 O.S. §151 et seq. Usually, we see this problem in the context of a claim against a medical provider, such as an ambulance service or even a hospital. By the time plaintiff’s counsel finds out the defendant is considered a political subdivision under the...

Claims: Not If but When

Claims: Not If but When The thought of a legal malpractice claim is stressful and unnerving. The truth is, however, lawyers should expect two to three claims in their careers, according to the American Bar Association. It’s not usually a matter of “if” it will happen – but “when.” Even if the claim doesn’t have any merit whatsoever, it still requires attention. The sooner we know about a claim, potential claim or incident, the better off you are. Reporting early allows us to immediately begin our claims process, and...

How To Exercise Proper Due Diligence Before Closing the Doors to Your Law Practice

How To Exercise Proper Due Diligence Before Closing the Doors to Your Law Practice Walking away from a law practice is not as easy as turning off the lights and locking the door. It takes a bit of planning. The more organized your office is, the simpler those steps will be. If you already have a procedure to produce a list of client names and contact information for all open files, an up-to-date calendaring system with all deadlines and follow...

RECENT CLAIMS: Wire Transfer Scams

RECENT CLAIMS: Wire Transfer Scams Lately, we’ve had a series of insureds who have called us because they have fallen victim to a wire transfer scam. Read below to learn about the most common scenario we see, what you should look for to prevent becoming a victim, and coverage information. Scenario Attorneys are an easy target for wire transfer scams because they often wire money to or on behalf of their clients. These scams are sophisticated and all those we’ve seen at...

What Legal Malpractice Is… And What It’s Not

What Legal Malpractice Is… And What It's Not It's a myth that only bad lawyers have malpractice claims. In fact, the American Bar Association estimates that each attorney can expect 2-3 claims in their career. But what exactly does a legal malpractice claim entail? Let's discuss. 5 things they must prove The claimant/plaintiff must prove the following to establish a legal malpractice claim: The existence of an attorney-client relationship;A breach of the lawyer's duty to the client;Facts constituting the alleged negligence;The breach of...

What Exactly Is Tail Coverage and How to Know If You Need It

What Exactly Is Tail Coverage and How to Know If You Need It Tail coverage, formally called an extended reporting endorsement, is often the final piece of your legal malpractice insurance. It is used for events like retirement, disability, leaving private practice or even death. Since legal malpractice is a claims-made policy, continuity of coverage is extremely important – and this importance doesn’t end when your circumstances change. In order to be covered, you must have a policy in place both...