Risk is rampant in the professional service provision world, and sometimes the ones who do the suing on behalf of their clients are themselves being sued by angry clients who believe that, either by their attorney’s actions or inactions or via bad advice, financial loss or damage was the outcome. To mitigate the substantial risk this presents, lawyer professional liability insurance is a must for these professionals.
When the sue-er becomes the sue-ee
Say you are sued for negligence–which is the most common reason for such cases that are heard in court. Here are some common examples of what could have transpired to land you before the judge:
- Failing to prepare properly for an upcoming trial
- Failing to follow court orders
- Failing to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires
- Failing to meet other key deadlines in the suit
Other common reasons for these suits
A breach of fiduciary duty, wherein the client is harmed due to a conflict of interest that the attorney has–for example:
- Existence of social, financial, or other ties that would compromise your ability to represent your client fully
- Representing a client’s adversary in the same case
- Lying about or failing to communicate material information about a case to your client
- Making improper sexual advances to a client
- Settling a case for less than it is worth without obtaining the client’s authorization to do so
- Failing to inform a client about a settlement offer
- Misuse of funds received from a client
Breach of contract is another incidence in which attorneys could end up in court for allegedly violating the terms of an agreement in situations such as agreeing to take an action (e.g., filing documents or performing research), but then failing to follow through as promised.
Make sure to always follow through and have good processes in place to help ensure mistakes are not made. Also, contact a professional insurance agent to learn more about lawyer professional liability insurance today (and whether your policy may have any coverage exclusions), because no firm should be practicing without it.