Risk Management Alert: The Temporary Emergency Video Notarization Law Expires March 1, 2021
Temporary Emergency Video Notarization Law Expires March 1, 2021
Your Lawyers Mutual policy requires you to report any act or omission that might reasonably lead to a claim against you. That is a broad requirement. You must report both actual and potential claims.
Your policy states in section IV. Notice of Claim or Suit: "as conditions precedent to coverage afforded by this policy, upon any Insured becoming aware of any act(s) or omission(s) which could reasonably be expected to be the basis of a claim or suit covered hereby, notice thereof must be reported to the Company as soon as practicable, together with the fullest information obtainable; and if claim is made or suit is brought against any Insured, such Insured shall immediately report to the Company such claim or suit, and immediately deliver, or cause to be delivered, to the Company, at its offices, 5020 Weston Parkway, Suite 200, P. O. Box 1929, Cary, North Carolina, 27512-1929, every demand, notice, pleading and summons or other process received by such Insured."
Because your policy requires it. In addition, you purchased your professional liability insurance policy for peace of mind and financial protection. Don't hesitate to use your policy when needed.
As soon as you become aware of it. Notify us in writing of a claim or claims incident promptly. This is so regardless of the client's knowledge or action in the matter and regardless of whether or not you believe the claim has merit.
A claim is not considered reported until it is submitted in writing. However, you can begin the process with a phone call to our claims staff. You will be asked to complete an Incident Reporting Form and to provide a narrative that summarizes the nature of your representation and the circumstances of the mistake. You might also be asked to meet with claims counsel or to provide a complete copy of the case file.
By calling our claims staff.
Late reporting occurs when the attorney is aware of a claim or potential claim but does not promptly report it. Late reporting could result in loss of coverage.
No. You must report any act or omission that might reasonably lead to a claim against you.
Default judgment entered against your client; missed statute of limitation; missed lien in a title search; case dismissed because the wrong party was named; case dismissed because of improper service; threatening or complaining letter from client; State Bar grievance filed.
After reviewing your report, our claims staff will work with you to determine a course of action to resolve the claim or incident. Your knowledge of the client, the circumstances surrounding your representation, and the substantive area of law will help us find a responsible solution.
You must still report it.
Yes. Your cooperation in the claims process is not just a good idea - it is required by your policy. In fact, lack of cooperation could result in a loss of your coverage. You will be involved in all major decisions related to your claim.
Hopefully. The earlier a claim is reported to us, the more likely we will be able to resolve it with the least amount of financial and emotional expense to you.
No. In fact, your coverage might be voided if you try to handle the problem on your own without notifying us.
While we have the right to settle your claim without your consent, it is important to us that you are comfortable with a settlement. We do everything within reason to accommodate your wishes. Please review your policy or contact us with questions.
When a claim is reported to Lawyers Mutual, one of our top priorities is to determine if the error can be corrected or the damage lessened. We call this our Claims Repair program. It is led by an experienced team of in-house claims attorneys and outside counsel who work side-by-side with our insured attorneys in repair efforts large and small.
Do not admit negligence, discuss your claim with anyone other than our staff and defense counsel, or attempt to settle the claim on your own. Also, don't panic. With Lawyers Mutual, you get excellent insurance coverage along with the services of a claims staff devoted to providing prompt and personal attention to your concerns. We're on your team.
Yes. Preserve all time sheets, notes, pleading, memoranda, correspondence and work product.
See N.C.G.S. 1-15(c). Simply stated, the statute of limitations is three years from the last act or omission of the attorney giving rise to the cause of action. Under the statute of repose, no claim may be asserted more than four years after the attorney's last act or omission that gives rise to the cause of action. The statute is extended beyond the three-year period only in cases where the discovery of the injury or damage is not readily apparent. A good summary of the statute of limitations/repose can be found in Carlisle v. Keith, 169 N.C. App. 674, 614 S.E.2d 542 (2005).
Only a small percentage of the incidents reported to us develop into lawsuits. If your claim does become a lawsuit, we will help you find a defense attorney. Your defense attorney will send regular reports to our claims staff and will work closely with you and us. Remember that you will be a client of that attorney. Treat your lawyer as you want to be treated by your clients.
Yes. The Fiduciary Coverage section of your policy provides coverage to a lawyer serving as personal representative of an estate. As with any coverage, the fiduciary coverage is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy. For example, your policy does not provide coverage for claims based upon your rendering of investment advice.
No. We recommend that lawyers serving as personal representatives hire outside investment advisors.