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Avoiding Common Legal Malpractice Claims and Ethical Issues

Date: Monday, March 25, 2019
Time: 1:00 - 2:30 pm EST
Length: 90 minutes

Sponsored by Lorman Education Service

Registration for Session Only: $199.00

Registration plus Session Recording and Written Materials: $268.00


Gain an in-depth understanding of legal malpractice in order to keep yourself and your practice safe and ethical.

Malpractice exposure is a relatively unappreciated risk by most attorneys and law firms, largely thought attributable to random or unanticipated events and disappointed clients. However, legal professional liability claims and the ethical issues frequently triggering claims have historically demonstrated consistent trends and commonly identifiable characteristics.

This information will identify common risk areas, warning signs, and opportunities to implement strategies and techniques to avoid or mitigate legal professional liability claims and ethical issues. Using case studies, ethics opinions and war stories to illustrate the risk landscape, this material will provide the tools and confidence to successfully manage the ongoing professional liability and ethical risks inherent in the practice of law.

Areas Covered in the Session:

Claim Trends: ABA Standing Committee Profile of Legal Malpractice Claims

• What Areas of Practice Generate Claims?
• What Types of Activity Generate Claims?
• What Types of Errors Generate Claims?
• What Size of Firms Experience Claims?
• How Much Do Claims Cost?
• How Long Do They Hang Around?
• What Does the Data Tell Us About the Trends?

Cyber Risk Trends

• Social Engineering/Fraudulent EFT Requests
• Ransom Attacks; Commercial Espionage
• Smear Campaigns - Panama Papers
• Social Media Statements by Law Firm Members or Client

Risk Management Tools Overview: Avoiding and Mitigating Claims

• Client Screening - New and Continuing Clients
• Communication and Documentation - Beginning, Middle, End
• Conflict Management
• Client Expectation Management
• Firm and Attorney Management
• Professional Liability Insurance - Risk Transfer

Client Screening and Retention

Communication at the Beginning of the Representation

• Engagement and Retainer Agreements: What RPC Requires and Prohibits
• Scope of Representation Issues
• Liability Limitations
• Non-Engagement/Declination Communication

Communication During the Representation

• Minimum RPC Requirements
• What Is Happening, What Is Needed, What Are Potential Outcomes or Consequences
• No Cover up: Ethical Duty Includes Disclosing Errors Made
• Scope of Ethical Requirement of Disclosure of Attorney Errors
• Privilege for Conversations With Law Firm General Counsel?

Case Study - Communicating Attorney Errors and Law Firm General Counsel Privilege Issues

Communications Required for Electronic Data Breach

Ethical Issues: Conflicts, Conflicts, Conflicts

• What Is a Conflict - RPC
• What Is a Waivable Conflict
• RPC Codified Conflicts

Conflicts With Former Clients/Prospective Clients

• Rules; Ethics Opinions/Case Studies
• Prospective Clients (or Soon to Be Former Clients)

Managing Conflicts

Managing Clients

• Communication and Documentation
• Problem Client Red Flags
• Suits for Fees
• Closing Letter/Declination Letter

Managing the Firm and Its Attorneys

Risk Transfer: Professional Liability Insurance

Credit Information (Sponsored by Lorman Education Services):

  • CLE
  • NALA
For Detailed Credit Information page click here

Only registered attendee will receive continuing education credit.

Instructor Profile:

Christopher Piety, Aspen Specialty Insurance Solutions, LLC

  • Joined Aspen Insurance in 2011 as vice president of professional liability claims, and is currently serving as senior vice president - underwriting counsel and professional liability risk management
  • Has worked in the professional liability industry for 30 years and holds licenses as an attorney, claims adjuster, and insurance broker
  • Frequent speaker on professional liability risk management issues
  • Member of numerous professional organizations
  • J.D. degree, Golden Gate University School of Law
  • Can be contacted at 415-800-0012 or

(Not available outside the US)