Tales from the Claims Files

/Tales from the Claims Files

Document, Document, Document

A lot of legal malpractice claims come down to a he-said-she-said between the lawyer and the client and, despite ethical obligation of candor imposed upon lawyers, more often than not those type of disputes go the way of the client absent that documentation. Imagine the client who negotiates a business deal and comes to you [...]

Timely Reporting Of Potential Legal Malpractice Claims Is So Important

Your ALPS policy is a “Claims Made and Reported” insurance policy. What does that mean? It means that as a condition precedent to ALPS’ obligation to defend or indemnify you, you must immediately report any claim, or something that could reasonably be expected to be the basis of a claim, to ALPS during your current [...]

When Facing a Malpractice Claim, Please Try Not To Make Things Worse Than They Already Are.

For over 20 years now, I have worked for an insurance company that insures lawyers for their malpractice. Trust me when I say I get it. There are going to be times when an insured doesn’t necessarily agree with every decision the company must make in trying to resolve his or her claim. That’s going [...]

A Decision to Share Office Space Can Be a Great One, Except When It Isn’t.

Some attorneys prefer working in an office share setting. And look, I get it. The reasons for doing so can be compelling. There’s the savings on overhead, the presence of others who can provide personal and professional support, the opportunity for cross referrals, and the list goes on. While I have no desire to quash [...]

Don’t Be a Jerry

Missoula, Montana is home base to ALPS, the largest direct writer of attorney legal malpractice in the nation. Montana is also the home of some of the biggest skiing in the United States. Thus, it seems natural to us to discuss some legal pitfalls we see during the week on the claims desk and illustrate [...]

Why You Must Immediately Report a Cyber Claim.

It seems that every week, the news reports on yet another company that suffered a cyber breach.  Law firms, even small firms, are not immune from cyber-attacks.  As you know, your ALPS legal malpractice insurance comes with a separate Cyber policy attached unless you opted out of this coverage.  However, as this is a new [...]

When Following Your Heart Gets You In Over Your Head

With the daily grind of the practice of law we seldom take time to think about why we got into this business in the first place. With the exception of those who think it's the most socially acceptable venue for belligerents, I suspect the answer is to help people and make a good living. Those [...]

The Defining Moment of a Malpractice Claim

As a risk manager for the past 20 years, I’ve had more conversations with lawyers than I can keep track of and that were about more topics than I can remember. Of course, because I work for a legal malpractice insurer, it should come as no surprise that a number of the ones I do [...]

Engagement Letters Matter

Could there be a better time than spring to think about engagement letters?! The birds are singing, the flowers are out, the sun is shining, and it’s the perfect time to clean up those client files and make sure you’ve got all your ducks in a row. Engagement letters can be summarized in one simple [...]

Help Us Help You!! Keep A Complete Copy of Every File

“I did not keep a copy of my file.” …   Those are some of the most tragic and disappointing words I can hear from an Insured as we are discussing the malpractice claim they recently reported.  Those nine little words can drastically change the outcome of a claim.  Defending a malpractice claim filed against an Insured [...]