Former WNBA Owner Sues Lawyer

The former owner of the LA Sparks WNBA franchise has sued his lawyer Marc Samotny and law firm Patzik, Frank & Samotny for legal malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and negligent misrepresentation. The plaintiff, Gemini Basketball Holdings, claims the firm kept information from them during the debt restructuring they were hired to handle. When the negotiations fell apart Gemini was pushed out of their ownership stake.

Contact ProtectLawyers.com today to discuss your firm’s insurance program.

$960,000 Judgement for Incorrect Parties Listed on Contract

Thompson & Knight (T&K) were ordered to pay $960,000 in damages to its client Patriot Exploration for their work.  The problem arose as T&K was engaged by Patriot to represent them in a transaction where Patriot would obtain the right to use some land owned by Apollo Resources, Inc..  T&K listed “Apollo Resources” on the contract, but  the public records had Apollo Natural Gas (an affiliate company) on the title.  This led to a delay of numerous months and eventually Patriot engaged new lawyers to correct the contract and finish the negotiations.  The lost revenue from the delay and additional costs correcting the error made up the bulk of the $960,000 judgement for the law firm’s malpractice.

ProtectLawyers.com explains that while an incorrect name listed on a contract may seem benign, the repercussions can be large.  For firms of all sizes, simple mistakes, errors and omissions can lead to costly judgments. Contact a broker to discuss how law firm professional liability insurance can be an integral part of your firm’s risk management.

 

 

 

 

Suit Against The Hartford Settled

A series of lawsuits between an attorney and The Hartford insurance company have finally been settled. The case centered around a 2009 trial where a Texas attorney was accused of making illegal bribes to two Hartford claims processors to get increased insurance settlements for clients. The case ended in a mistrial.

The attorney later sued The Hartford, saying the claims handlers had extorted $3 million from him. He accused the insurance company of negligence, economic duress, interference with his attorney-client relationships and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The case was settled out of court.

Contact ProtectLawyers.com today to discuss your malpractice insurance coverage.

Steven Tyler’s Attorney Sued by Manager

After losing the contract as an American Idle judge Steven Tyler’s management company has sued his lawyer, claiming a breach of fiduciary duty and intentional interference. They are seeking $8M in damages plus interest, punitive and exemplary damages, legal fees and other costs.

Contact ProtectLawyers.com today to discuss better protecting your firm.

Law Firms and Suicide Pricing

A Bloomberg Law interview suggests large law firms are quoting unsustainable “suicide prices” for work to keep partners busy, leading us towards more insolvencies.

ProtectLawyers.com works with law firms to protect against the costs to partners of bankruptcy and allegations of mismanagement.

Back-Office Savings

A WSJ article highlights the moves law firms are making to right size their cost structures, no surprise to anyone in the industry. Downsizing can lead to very costly employment practices claims if not handled correctly and under-staffing can lead to costly errors.

Contact ProtectLawyers.com today to discuss ways to streamline and enhance your insurance program.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DLA Piper Wins Motion to Dismiss due to Plaintiff’s Lack of Expert Testimony.

A New York federal court dismissed the law firm DLA Piper from a lawyers malpractice lawsuit brought by a bankrupt former client.  The former client alleged that DLA Piper did not perform certain work properly and was partially responsible for the client declaring bankruptcy.  The court said that the plaintiff failed to produce expert testimony or facts to substantiate the claim and dismissed the lawsuit.

“Nuisance suits” such as these are a reason every law firm should purchase professional liability insurance for their practice.  Insurance such as directors and officers insurance and errors and omissions insurance has the benefit of defending a firm even in the event of a frivolous lawsuits. Contact us today to discuss how to better protect your firm from lawsuits

E&O Claim Denied for Failure to Repay Loan Suit

A California woman has sued her former law firm and it’s insurer after it denied the firms claim to cover losses from a failed loan.

The woman, a former client, had lent the firm $300,000. The court agreed that the malpractice policy was not written to cover default on a debt.

Contact ProtectLawyers.com today to better protect your firm against all claims, including those traditionally covered under a directors & officers insurance policy.

Bryan Cave wins judgement notwithstanding verdict in New York malpractice case

A failed business venture led plaintiff Herbert Feinberg to file three successive lawsuits.  The first was against his former business partner, the second against the CPA firm who compiled financial statements for the business and the third against the lawyer who represented Feinberg in the first case.

That third lawsuit was against attorney Jerome Boros – now of the law firm Bryan Cave.  The suit alleged that Boros failed to advise the plaintiff of his ability to limit estoppel in the arbitration which would have allowed the plaintiff’s suit against the accounting firm to have proceeded.  The jury concluded that Feinberg was right.  On appeal, however, Boros was granted judgement notwithstanding the verdict.  The appellate judge stated that it was not possible to limit estoppel in the original arbitration, and should not have been convicted in the underlying decision.

While significant because of the case law it establishes, this matter also highlights the need for attorneys to maintain cohesive professional liability insurance.  Boros performed the original work while at one law firm, but was sued while at a second law firm.  Lateral hires, mergers and acquisitions need special care as attorneys need to assure that their professional liability insurance remains uninterrupted and without gaps in coverage.  If your firm is discussing M&A or lateral hires, contact a broker at ProtectLawyers.com today to discuss how to best structure your insurance.