As attorneys, we tend to focus on how to avoid being sued by a client in the first place. But when a malpractice lawsuit strikes (and it inevitably will), here are some steps to consider to help you through it.
Step #1: Immediately report a claim to your malpractice insurer, whether or not the client has filed suit yet. You can potentially lose coverage if you fail to report claims to your carrier in a timely manner. Review your policy to ensure you comply with any required notice provisions. You will also want to determine your policy limits and deductible and review any provisions regarding the selection of counsel to defend your firm.
Step #2: Identify the lawyers involved in the matter that prompted the lawsuit. Call a meeting to let them know about the malpractice claim and seek each attorney’s cooperation as the case evolves.
Step #3: Remember the adage, “A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client.” Lawyers are trained to access a client’s case dispassionately; it is difficult to remain detached when you and your law firm are the ones involved in a lawsuit.
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