Suspended and/or disbarred attorneys want to obtain coverage to protect their past acts. So it begs the question can a suspended attorney obtain an attorney malpractice insurance policy?
Most attorney malpractice insurance policies have an outright exclusion for a suspended attorney. Even without a specific exclusion, as a suspended attorney, they should not be performing any of the services defined as a professional service. As such we know of no malpractice insurer that will write a new policy to cover a suspended attorney for attorney malpractice.
Although some malpractice insurers will permit the coverage to continue until renewal, many will cancel as soon as notified of the attorney’s suspension.
Typical coverage exclusion for a suspended attorney is:
“Professional Legal Services rendered by an Insured while the Insured’s license to practice law was suspended, revoked or surrendered.”
If the suspended attorney has current coverage that is being canceled or non-renewed, depending on the policy language, some insurers will permit the purchase of an Extended Reporting Period endorsement (ERP), but many will not. A typical condition for purchasing an ERP is:
“The Insured’s license to practice law has not been suspended, surrendered or revoked.”
It is important to check your policy if suspended to see what rights you may or may not have. Chances are you will lose all of your past acts.