Lawyers Mutual knows that merely thinking about a legal malpractice claim, much less being on the receiving end of one, can be an unnerving experience.

That's why we've made the process of claims reporting as easy and painless as possible. In fact, we've come up with a few simple steps for notifying us when something goes wrong.

Know When to Report.

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.

Some problems, such as blown deadlines, clearly must be reported. Other obvious triggers: 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.

Other situations are less obvious. Remember, though, that you must report both meritorious and groundless claims. Even though you haven't yet been sued, you must still report it. When in doubt, report.

Report Promptly.

You should report a claim or a potential claim to Lawyers Mutual as early as possible, for two reasons:

First, late reporting may result in a lack of coverage under your policy. Second, incidents that are reported early can frequently be repaired.

Start with a Phone Call.

The easiest way to initiate the claims reporting process is to pick up the telephone and call our claims staff at 800.662.8843. The phone call must be followed by a written report before a claim is considered properly reported under the policy.

Claim Must be Reported in Writing.

You will be asked to provide a narrative that summarizes the nature of your representation and the circumstances of the mistake. You might be asked to meet with claims counsel or to provide a complete copy of the case file.

Cooperate in Your Defense.

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.

At Lawyers Mutual, when you purchase a policy it comes with the services of a claims staff dedicated to tending to your concerns. Let us help you. Call when you have a question about an actual or potential claim. Remember, we're on your team.

This information was prepared as a reference for you. Lawyers Mutual does not imply through this information that coverage will be provided for a specific situation or activity. Please refer to your policy or call our office if you have questions about claims or coverage under your Lawyers Mutual policy.