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.

Law Firm Prevails in Pursuit of Attorney Fees, But at What Cost?

Introduction In Storino, Ramello & Durkin v. Rackow, 45 N.E.3d 307 (Ill. App. 1 Dist. 2015), a law firm prevailed in seeking nearly $110,000 in attorney fees from its former clients under a contingency fee agreement that rewarded the firm based on how much was saved in special assessments the Village of Bensenville had sought…

Missouri Legal Malpractice Warning: Failure to Timely Request Post-Judgment Interest Results in Forfeiture

In SKMDV Holdings, Inc. v. Green Jacobson, P.C., — S.W.3d —, No. ED102493 (Mo. App. E.D. Apr. 12, 2016), the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District reversed an award of post-judgment interest because its inclusion in an amended judgment was “untimely, and therefore void.” Id. at 38. If the initial judgment does not include an…

Solo Practitioners Beware: Failure to Follow Multiple Rules of Professional Conduct Can Equal Indefinite Suspension of Law License

Introduction In Erie-Huron Cnty. Bar Assn. v. Smith, 2016 WL 911280 (Ohio Mar. 10, 2016), the Ohio Supreme Court upheld the Board of Professional Conduct’s ruling to indefinitely suspend a solo-practicing attorney’s law license. The Supreme Court held an indefinite suspension was warranted due to the attorney’s failure to file bankruptcy petitions on behalf of…

Your Case is Pending on Appeal? If Malpractice is a Concern, Don’t Forget to Disclose

Introduction In Bar Plan Mutual Ins. Co. v. Likes Law Office, LLC, 2015 WL 6023075 (Ind. App. Oct. 15, 2015) (No. 02A03–1502–CT–65), the Indiana Court of Appeals examined an attorney’s duty to disclose a potential claim when completing a malpractice insurance renewal application—particularly when an attorney has a favorable judgment from a state’s intermediate appellate…

Insurance Company Prevails after Denying Coverage for Attorney’s Wrongful Conduct

In Gandor v. Torus Nat’l Ins. Co., 2015 WL 6043621 (D. Mass. Oct. 15, 2015), the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts granted an insurer’s motion for summary judgment finding there was no professional liability coverage for two underlying claims stemming from an attorney’s alleged malpractice in handling his client’s appeal of a…

When Preparing Tax Returns Equals an Illegal Recommendation to Utilize Tax Shelters: The Limits of Professional Liability Coverage

Introduction Concurrent causation can be a tricky doctrine to apply, but nonetheless is important in determining whether professional liability insurance will cover a claim. Generally speaking, concurrent causation mandates coverage if two causes—one covered by a policy, the other excluded by a policy—contribute to a loss. But, this simple formulation is not as straightforward as…

Lawyers Mixing Legal Counsel with Business Interests? Not So Fast

Introduction In Burk & Reedy, LLP v. Am. Guarantee & Liab. Ins. Co., 89 F.Supp.3d 1(D.D.C. 2015), the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia examined a professional liability insurer’s duty to defend when the insured attorney is involved in both the legal and business aspects of a failed transaction. The case serves as…

Taylor v. Bar Plan (Mo. 2015): A Reminder About the Outer Limits of Professional Liability Insurance

INTRODUCTION This past March, the Missouri Supreme Court had occasion to review whether an insurance policy would cover certain malpractice claims against an insured attorney who was found liable for breaching certain fiduciary duties owed to the client. See Taylor v. Bar Plan Mut. Ins. Co., 457 S.W.3d 340 (Mo. banc 2015). Though the Supreme…

Arbitration: Not So Confidential After All?

Introduction Arbitration is a powerful tool for those involved in a professional malpractice action—an area of liability that, despite numerous state efforts, can still be resolved using alternative dispute resolution. See, e.g., Triad Health Management of Georgia, III, LLC v. Johnson, 679 S.E.2d 785, 789 (Ga. App. 2009) (statute providing that “no agreement to arbitrate…

I Want My Money Back: Fraud by Insured Results in Rare Attorney’s Fee Claw-Back Award for Insurance Company

They say fraud doesn’t pay—or, at least they say that about crime.  Anyway, it sure didn’t pay in the case of Protection Strategies, Inc. v. Starr Indem. & Liab. Co., in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit agreed that an insurance company should get its money back from the company it…

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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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