Call Us Today For A Free Quote | 866.940.1101
Professionals Insuring Professionals
 

One of the leading causes of lawyers professional liability insurance claims are conflicts of interest. Beyond representing both parties is a proceeding such as a divorce, there are many hidden conflicts that can cause a law firm problems.  Not finding conflicts can lead to loss of clients, loss of fees, disciplinary issues and attorney malpractice claims.  Lawyers need to consider not only actual impropriety, but the appearance of impropriety when determining when to engage a client.

If you feel that there might be a conflict or potential, but are comfortable that it would not result in how you address the matter and does not violate the rules of professional conduct, at the very least make sure to get informed consent from all parties that are impacted.  But certain things are a definite “no no”, i.e. representing both parties in litigation.

As a minimum, make sure as part of your client intake procedures check conflicts before engaging the client.  A conflict check prior to engagement helps prevent later claims of legal malpractice and/or ethical violations arising from an alleged conflict of interest.  Get as many facts as possible regarding the potential parties to the matter to be sure that you do not have any conflicts of interest with any other parties or potential parties should a litigation matter result in third-party claims, counterclaims or cross-claims.  Utilize a conflict checking software program to ensure that the engagement is proper. 

It is good practice to create and maintain the following file opening procedures: 

1.       Prepare a file-opening form. 

2.       Establish procedures so that a file/billing number is not assigned without first performing a conflicts check. 

3.       Update file-opening forms when new parties are added to a matter and make sure to update your conflicts system. 

Utilize conflict checking software that can search all active, inactive and closed matters for potential conflicts. Remember conflict checking software is only as good as the information in the system, “garbage in garbage out”.  Be sure that all relevant client information is entered into the conflict system, frequently updated and adequately backed up in the event of system failure.

Attorneys that do not perform adequate conflicts of interest checks can expect malpractice claims, disciplinary issues, and higher attorney malpractice premiums.

Share |


No Comments


Post a Comment
Name
Required
E-Mail
Required (Not Displayed)
Comment
Required


All comments are moderated and stripped of HTML.
Submission Validation
Required
CAPTCHA
Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code
 
Enter the Validation Code from above.
NOTICE: This blog and website are made available by the publisher for educational and informational purposes only. It is not be used as a substitute for competent insurance, legal, or tax advice from a licensed professional in your state. By using this blog site you understand that there is no broker client relationship between you and the blog and website publisher.
Blog Archive


View Mobile Version
Quick Contact
Referrals
We love referrals! And thank you even more for your continued business.
Customer Service
Self policy service any time of the day, directly from our website.
Join Our Newsletter
Stay in touch with the latest events, news and offers we have.
From Our Blog From Our Customers
Read More Read More
Stay In Touch With Us Helpful Site Links Read the News
Sign up now to receive new and updates Stay up-to-date with the latest industry, community and agency news through our newscenter. We also provide handy hints on how to save on your insurance.

Read More
We have the expertise to find you the right coverage at the right price 
Powered by Insurance Website Builder