About Lockton Affinity, LLC

Lockton Affinity, an affiliate of Lockton Companies, was formed in 1987 to meet the dynamic, specialized insurance needs of affinity groups, non-profits, associations and franchises.

Withdrawing from a Case

Withdrawing from a case usually comes from irreconcilable differences between attorney and client. The manner and means of terminating that relationship can affect the likelihood that a malpractice claim will be presented.

First, know and follow the procedures applicable in your jurisdiction. Many states provide in their own Rules of Professional Conduct when withdrawal is mandatory and when it is permissive. Other states follow the ABA Model Code of Professional Responsibility (DR 2-110) or the Model Rules of Professional Conduct (Rule 1.16).

When a matter is pending in a tribunal, your jurisdiction will likely have specific requirements to follow. ABA Ethical Consideration 2-32 provides a good overview of the considerations to keep in mind:

Considerations when Withdrawing from a Case

A lawyer should not withdraw without careful consideration and attempt to minimize the […]

October 17th, 2019|

How to Send a Proper Engagement Letter

An engagement letter is a contract between you and your client. Each new client or project, big or small, should start with a letter that is signed by all associated parties. These letters can be used as binding contracts in the event of fee disputes, collection issues and more. Overall, this documentation delivers peace of mind and security to both parties.

Why send an engagement letter?

First and foremost, an engagement letter sets expectations for both parties. Your client will know exactly what to expect from you, as well as what is expected of them. This can help prevent misunderstandings and should strengthen the relationship down the road.

In the rare event of a dispute between you and your client, the legally binding engagement letter can serve as the go-to document for […]

October 10th, 2019|

Do You Follow These Social Media Guidelines?

People’s willingness to disclose personal information on social media can be particularly helpful in the discovery phase of litigation. Snooping on opposing parties, witnesses or jurors through social media can provide a treasure-trove of information that might have once taken a private investigator months to obtain. However, lawyers need to be aware of the emerging ethical violations that could result from their online sleuthing activities.

Before Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, the Model Rules of Professional Conduct addressing communication with non-clients has less room for interpretation. For example, Model Rule 4.2 advises that “a lawyer shall not communicate with a person known to be represented by another lawyer in the matter, unless the lawyer has consent or is authorized to do so by law.”1

Trying to interpret how social media’s communication features […]

August 15th, 2019|

How thorough is your file documentation?

Many malpractice claims are filed because of improper file documentation. Too often, when a ruling is unfavorable to a client, they will deny they ever understood the risks of the plan. If a client denies conversations occurred and there is no documentation, the lawyer is faced with a “he said, she said” scenario.

To prevent a claim being filed against you, always document your file regarding key strategic decisions.

Proper file documentation shows you advised your client of potential risks and allowed the client to make an informed decision on how to proceed.

File documentation at the start of a client relationship

Each new client or project, big or small, should start with an engagement letter that is signed by all associated parties. Though each engagement letter will be different, always include these […]

June 27th, 2019|

5 Reasons Small Law Firms Need Professional Liability Coverage

Professional liability insurance is critical piece of protection for small and large firms alike. In the event a malpractice claim is filled against your firm, a professional liability policy will help cover the cost of certain legal fees, and judgments or settlements your firm may face.

  1. The odds
    Even if your practice is small and you are extremely diligent in your work, your firm can be sued. Though you may work in a space where “everyone knows everyone” and you trust that your clients would never sue your firm, you truly never know. An estimated 4-17% of lawyers are sued each year, and of all reported malpractice claims, 70% are made against firms with fewer than five attorneys.
  2. Peace of mind
    An error-free representation does not mean you are free from […]

June 4th, 2018|

The Importance of Professional Liability Insurance

As an attorney, you know the legal profession has a multitude of risks. From malpractice claims and legal fees to security breaches and lost laptops, your firm faces inherent risks each and every day.

According to the latest ABA Profile of Legal Malpractice Claims*, legal malpractice claims continue to rise. Although less than 15% of cases result in a payment to the plaintiff by trial or settlement, there was a huge increase where claimants received more than $1 million. Unfortunately, even if you win a claim, it is costly to defend yourself. Adequate insurance is more important than ever to protect you against the unexpected.

To protect yourself, your partners and the assets of your firm from the costs of a potential claim, get Professional Liability Insurance from the NYC Bar […]

November 7th, 2017|