Firm Faces $200M Claim for Gender Bias

Greenberg Traurig is in the midst of a lawsuit after receiving a complaint that the firm engages in “systematic, firm-wide” discrimination of females.  The allegations also came with a demand for $200M.  The EEOC – the government body responsible for enforcing employment law – found reasonable cause to believe that Greenberg Traurig engages in such discrimination in violation of Title VII and the Equal Pay Act.

While much time is spent reviewing the firm’s lawyer’s malpractice insurance and risk management techniques, insurance deemed “ancillary” such as employment practices insurance or employee theft insurance is often overlooked. challenges each client to take a holistic approach to risk transfer and not to rule out the importance of all “ancillary” coverages. Contact a licensed broker today in order to review the adequacy of your insurance.







Michigan Lawyer Hit with $1.2M Malpractice Judgement

A Southwestern Michigan man sued Robert Payne and Robert Payne and Associates over how his medical malpractice case was handled. Payne had allegedly filed the suit after the statute of limitations had passed.

Several attempts were made to serve Payne and a default judgement of $1.2M was granted in Berrien County Trial Court.

Contact today to discuss better protecting your firm.










Suit over Misdirected Assets

Atlanta based nursing home operator Mariner Health Care has sued Troutman Sanders for allegedly allowing $40M from a $1.3 billion asset sale to go to another client of theirs. The firm is also accused of attempting to cover up the issue after the fact.

The issue shows the potential risks of not carefully vetting clients for potential conflicts of interest.

With M&A hitting a feverish pace advises clients to make sure their malpractice insurance correctly covers the cost of allegations of wrongdoing.









Stanford Receiver Sues Lawyers

The court appointed receiver managing the Stanford ponzi scheme aftermath has sued the law firms of Greenberg Traurig and Hunton & Williams. The government appointed receiver stated that without “corrupt regulators in his chosen offshore jurisdiction of Antigua, shady accountants, and skilled and complicit lawyers to help him” Stanford could not have executed his scheme.

Contact today to protect your firm against the cost of malpractice litigation.









Patent Attorney Sued over Patent Application

H&M Aeronaut Tool Company sued the law firm of Gibbons P.C. over a patent application that was filed by the firm on behalf of H&M.  Shortly after the patent was approved, a competitor was found to be making a similar product.  In court, H&M was unable to assert the patent due to improper language used in the application.  H&M then sued Gibbons for lawyers malpractice, stating the the application could have been prepared more effectively.

While the court did find in favor of Gibbon, the defense costs and potential costs to the reputation of the firm were large, explains  Patent law is a particularly risky area of practice and requires specialized insurance policies. Contact a broker to assure that your firm is properly protected.

Whistleblower Sues Attorneys

Bradley Birkenfeld won $104M by filing the largest whistle-blower award ever paid by the IRS against UBS.

However, he  ended up in jail for helping a real estate developer avoid taxes. Birkenfled is suing his former attorneys at Schertler Onorato for $60 million in damages plus punitive damages and attorneys fees. He claims the firm committed legal malpractice by not properly negotiating immunity for him in the proceedings.

Contact today to discuss restructuring your legal malpractice insurance to better protect your firm.







Admission of Errors: Ethics rules, public policy or Insurance Policy?

An Illinois District Court of Appeals ruled a case of first impression on a policy language dispute.  In Illinois State Bar Association Mutual Insurance Co. v. Frank M. Greenfield & Assoc’sthe dispute arose because the attorney sent a letter to a client admitting to an error, and by doing so, a clause in the lawyers professional liability insurance policy was triggered stating that the insurance no longer was in force.  The court issued summary judgement in the law firm’s favor based on two principals.  The first is that the lawyer had an ethical duty to inform his client about a mistake – even if the insurance policy forbade it.  The second opinion described that an insurance policy should not trump good public policy.

A ruling on this particular part of the insurance policy is new and will impact future court decisions.  As each law firm professional liability policy is unique, it is important to contact an experienced broker who can help break down your firm’s insurance.






“Merger Madness”

Norton Rose is merging with Fulbright & Jaworski to create a 3 800-lawyer super firm. We expect the string of mergers to continue – small firms, large firms and everyone in between. The potential liabilities to the businesses and directors and officers can be catastrophic.

Contact before you agree to a merger to better protect your firm and it’s partners.

FDIC Initiating Additional Lawsuits against Law Firms

The FDIC released a report that indicates their intent to “sue professionals who played a role in the failure of the [financial] institution in order to maximize recoveries.”  The report later goes to explain that it has 46 lawsuits that are aimed at the professional service firms who were engaged to work on failed banks before they went insolvent.  Some of these parties include law firms for professional malpractice.  The FDIC acts as receiver for the failed banks and has the right to initiate claims against firms who may have had a part in the failure. reminds firms that when engaging higher-risk client and working in higher-risk industries, it is important to review the risk management and insurance coverage the firm carries.  Exclusions, coverage parts, policy wording, limits and deductibles all play a role in determining whether a firm has the right protection for their work. Contact us for an assessment of your current coverage.

Is Social Media Now Allowed in Courtrooms?

The Florida murder trial against George Zimmerman is hardly news.  However, the allowance the judge made to allow social media to be used in and during the case is.  The judge on the case has allowed two unique activities to continue.  The first is to permit the defense attorney to broadcast information about Zimmerman online and through social media.  The second is to consent to information gathered from social media sources to serve as evidence in the criminal trial. reminds clients that client confidentiality and ethics should guide the use of social media – both internal and external.  Strong internal policies should be developed to prevent the unauthorized and dangerous distribution in confidential information. Contact a licensed broker to discuss how to build an internal policy and ways to insure the firm from technological risks.