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.

Policy’s Directive Not to Admit Liability Conflicted with Attorney’s Ethical Obligation to Disclose Mistake to Client

An attorney admitted making a mistake in drafting a client’s will.  In a letter sent to all beneficiaries of a trust, the attorney acknowledged several beneficiaries received less money than they otherwise would have received if the client’s wishes were carried out as intended ($919,900 versus $1,783,800).¹ The attorney had a professional liability insurance policy…

Caught Red Handed – Another Example of Client Trust Account Abuse

Some attorneys still have not learned.  Improper handling of client trust accounts is an ethical violation of the highest degree. In this disciplinary case, attorney Ray Jetmore King of Gahanna, Ohio was sanctioned by that state’s high court for misuse of client trust account funds.  In particular, King began paying personal and office expenses with…

Ostrich Defense Rejected: “Trial” Attorneys Listed on Pleadings Could Not Avoid Malicious Prosecution Liability by Claiming “Other” Attorneys Actually Worked up the Case

Shareholders of a software firm sued director Christopher Cole for alleged fraud.  Cole won summary judgment on the shareholders’ claims due to a lack of evidence.  The shareholders were represented by the Meyer law firm (“Meyer”) for purposes of working up the case in the pre-trial stage, and by Robert P. Ottilie and the law…

Something For Your Lawyer to Have and to Hold: Professional Liability Insurance

Attorney Robert Trainor is licensed in Ohio and Kentucky.  In 2011, the Supreme Court of Ohio suspended him from practicing for 24 months for failing to notify a client he did not carry professional liability insurance and mishandling client funds.  (The court indicated it would allow Trainor to serve the last 18 months on probation,…

Coverage for Body Parts “Illegally Harvested” in 2003, Excluded by the Terms of a 2006 Insurance Policy

Plaintiffs Memorial Properties, LLC (Memorial) and Mount Hebron Cemetery Association (Mt. Hebron) are the manager and owner of Liberty Grove Memorial Gardens (Liberty Grove).  In this suit, Plaintiffs brought a declaratory judgment action against two of their insurers (one past, one present), seeking defense and indemnification under two separate policies of insurance. The underlying actions,…


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