It would be nice to tell you that great client selection prevents a client from hell. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that even when you decline to represent the prospective client you will not be sued. The claimant might be the opposing litigant. Then there are the professional litigants that file suit hoping you will not respond and then collecting from you after the deadline for response is missed.
Out of the blue you receive notice that malpractice claim has been made against you. Now you get dragged into the malpractice claim web created by this litigant. You may be in good company as this litigant may have filed against every judge, state and/or federal official.
Even if the case is clearly frivolous, the attorney needs to put the malpractice insurer on notice. Handling the claim yourself is not a good idea. Not letting the insurer know may result in no coverage should there ultimately be damages. Worse yet non-reporting could open defenses for the malpractice insurer to deny coverage on future claims.
Best advice is to notify your insurer promptly and determine with the claims department on how to best dispose of the claim and get on with life. Most insurers will not hold this one claim against you in the future, especially if it is an isolated incident that results in no damages.
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Lee Norcross, MBA, CPCU
Managing Director, CEO
(616) 940-1101 Ext. 7080