The Sandberg Phoenix professional liability team has extensive experience representing accountants, attorneys, architects and engineers, insurance agents and brokers, real estate brokers and a wide range of other professionals. These attorneys believe the best way to avoid a professional liability case is to learn from the past, and they write extensively about previous cases, current issues and relevant topics relating to a very important subject in the Professional Liability Blog.

A Clean Break Nixed: Virginia’s Continuous Representation Rule Resurrects Legal Malpractice Claim Against Attorney

Attorneys who have withdrawn from representing a client, either at the client’s request or for other reasons, may experience a lingering fear of later being the subject of a legal malpractice claim In some states like Virginia, such a fear may be heightened if the “continuous representation rule” is found to apply. The recent case…

When Things Go South: A Corporate Director’s or Officer’s Personal Liability to Third Parties for Corporate Misdeeds

Generally, corporate officers and directors do not have a special relationship of trust (i.e., a fiduciary relationship) with third persons or creditors transacting business with the corporation. Moreover, unless they sign in an individual capacity, corporate officers and directors who negotiate and execute a contract on behalf of the corporation are not personally accountable on…

Corporate Directors Beware: A Shareholder Direct or Derivative Suit Might Be Around the Corner

Every corporate director needs to be aware of the potential for a shareholder derivative lawsuit or a shareholder direct lawsuit. In Missouri, a derivative action is a suit by the corporation conducted by shareholders as the corporation’s representatives. Nickell v. Shanahan, 439 S.W.3d 223, 227 (Mo. banc 2014). Derivative actions are aimed at rectifying injuries…

Despite Agreement, Staffing Agency’s Nurse Was Hospital’s Employee

Firms, hospitals, and professional companies across the country have insurance policies in place to protect them when their professionals are accused of malpractice. But who qualifies as “their” professionals? In Interstate Fire & Casualty Company v. Dimensions Assurance Ltd., 843 F.3d 133 (4th Cir. 2016), the Fourth Circuit was tasked with determining whether a nurse…

Auditing Statements: The Critical Distinction Between Fact and Opinion

Often times, there is a very fine and sometimes even blurred line between fact and opinion. As the Second Circuit recently indicated in the case of In re Puda Coal Securities Inc., an accountant’s potential liability for its audit statements can largely come down to the fact that such statements … are nothing more than…

Corporate Boards Need to Think About Cybersecurity

It seems like we can’t go a week without hearing about a cybersecurity breach at a major US corporation. Corporate boards need to be aware that improper oversight of cybersecurity issues could lead to a shareholder derivative lawsuit. One such example from within the last couple of years is Palkon v. Holmes, 2014 WL 5341880,…

Statute of Limitation and Statute of Repose Expired? Not So Fast! A Medical Malpractice Claim May RELATE Back!

In a matter of first impression, the Illinois Appellate Court in Lawler v. University of Chicago Medical Center had to determine whether Illinois’ medical malpractice statute of repose bars applying the “relation back” doctrine to add a new claim under the Illinois Wrongful Death Act. The relation back doctrine allows an original, timely filed pleading…

In Illinois, Architects Not Required to Guarantee Habitability of Condos

Recently, the Illinois Appellate Court had to decide whether a claim for breach of the implied warranty of habitability can be brought against condominium architects purportedly responsible for alleged design defects—in particular, when the developer is insolvent. The court said no. Board of Managers of Film Exchange Lofts Condominium Association v. Fitzgerald Associates Architects P.C.,…

On a Not-for-Profit Board? Don’t Forget Your Fiduciary Duty

Board members of not-for-profit corporations are usually volunteers who offer their time and expertise to serve organizations they feel strongly about. Many times, however, board members either forget or don’t even realize they are in a fiduciary relationship with the not-for-profit they serve. According to Black’s Law Dictionary, a fiduciary relationship is a “relationship in…

He’ll Build a GREAT Wall: Architect Avoids Public Nuisance Claim

In Fisk v. Town of Redding, 138 A.3d 410 (Conn. App. 2016), the Connecticut Court of Appeals decided a plaintiff injured after a fall from a wall could not maintain a public nuisance claim against the architect who designed the project. The plaintiff fell from a retaining wall built as part of a bigger municipal…

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation.
This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. © 2014 Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard P.C. All Rights Reserved.

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