Byte of Prevention Blog

by Will Graebe |

Spring Cleaning

The concept of spring cleaning has its origins in various cultural and religious traditions, dating back thousands of years. Ancient cultures in Egypt, Persia, and China had traditions of cleaning rituals around the time of the vernal equinox, which marks the beginning of spring. More recently, when people started heating their homes with coal in the winter, the arrival of spring offered an opportunity to clean the soot that had accumulated from burning coal.

Spring also marks a time of rebirth and renewal. It’s an opportunity to let go of those things that no longer serve us and to dust off and mend those things that have fallen into disrepair. Spring offers a promise of new beginnings. As winter fades and loosens its grip, spring offers a renewed vitality and energy to take on those things that we might have put off.

What do you have in your life that is no longer serving you? What needs to be repaired or cleaned up? Are there changes that need to be made in your law firm? Is there a new hobby that you have been thinking about but haven’t yet tried? Are there relationships that need your attention? Is there something in your work that you want to change?  Whatever it is, spring is a great time to make these changes.

If you’re looking for a place to start, let me suggest that you pull out your malpractice insurance policy and dust it off. Most lawyers purchase their malpractice coverage and then don’t stop to think about it until they have a claim. Maybe you purchased your coverage when you were just starting out as a lawyer. Is the coverage that you purchased at that time sufficient to address claims that might arise in your current practice? If your practice has grown and the complexity and size of the matters you are handling has grown, you might need more coverage.  If you are uncertain, you can call one of our underwriters or claims attorneys to discuss the adequacy of your coverage.

And while you have your policy out, take a look at your reporting requirements. Note that you have a duty to report both potential and actual claims. If an act or omission on your part could reasonably be expected to be the basis of a claim or suit, you have a duty to report those matters to your malpractice carrier. Note that your duty to report these matters is not dependent on whether you think there would be merit to a claim. Many lawyers assume that they don’t have a duty to report threats of claims by clients where the lawyer thinks the claim is frivolous. That is incorrect. If a client threatens a claim, you should report those matters immediately. If you have matters that haven’t been reported but should have, take this opportunity to submit those matters to one of our claims attorneys.

So, whether it’s your malpractice insurance policy or a new hobby or a change in your work environment, take advantage of the energy and renewed vitality that spring offers to tidy up or change what needs changing.

About the Author

Will Graebe

Will Graebe came to Lawyers Mutual in 1998 as claims counsel. In 2009, Will became the Vice President of the Claims Department and served in that role until 2019. After a two-year sabbatical, Will returned to Lawyers Mutual as claims counsel and relationship manager. In his role as claims counsel, Will focuses primarily on claims related to estates and trusts, business transactions and real estate matters. Will received his J.D. from Wake Forest University School of Law and his undergraduate degree from Stetson University. Prior to joining Lawyers Mutual, will worked in private practice with the law firm of Pinna, Johnston & Burwell.  

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