Civil Procedure Professional Malpractice

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ABA Takes Restrictive Approach to Use of Law Firm Letterhead in Debt Collection - ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and...

Brief Summary: The American Bar Association (ABA) has concluded that a prosecutor who allows a debt collection company to use the prosecutor's letterhead to demand payment from borrowers violates Model Rules 8.4(c) and...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Whether Party's Own Apparent Neglect Can Lose Right to Set Aside Default

In the closing days of its September term, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to decide a question relating to the operation of Section 2-1401 of the Code of Civil Procedure: under what circumstances is the apparent lack of...more

Courts Applying Gunn v. Minton Must Distinguish “Forward-Looking” From “Backward-Looking” Patent Issues

One long-standing feature of the U.S. patent system is exclusive court jurisdiction over patent cases. Exclusive federal jurisdiction at the trial level, combined with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s...more

Accountant’s Fiduciary Duty as Independent Auditor

In North Carolina, an accounting firm now owes a fiduciary duty to its audit client, both as a matter of law and as a matter of fact. On November 4, 2014, a North Carolina appellate court held — for the first time —...more

Illinois Supreme Court Adopts Measure of Malpractice Damages in Securities Cases

Last month, the Illinois Supreme Court handed down its unanimous decision in a case being closely watched by the local bar associations – Goldfine v. Barack, Ferrazzano, Kirschbaum & Perlman. Goldfine involved the issue of...more

Texas Court Construes Professional Liability Policy to Require Defense of Law Firm in Fee Dispute

In Shamoun & Norman, LLP v. Ironshore Indemnity, Inc., Cause No. 3:14-1340, In the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas, the federal district court construed a professional liability policy issued by Ironshore to...more

Third Circuit Upholds Defense Cost Reimbursement Clause in Professional Liability Policy

On October 10, 2014, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals decided Camico Mutual Ins. Co. v. Heffler, Radetich & Saitta, LLP, where it enforced a policy clause providing for repayment to the insurer of defense costs, and confirmed...more

Insurance Recovery Law -- November 2014

Payment of Costs Doesn’t Preclude Unfair Trade Practices Claim Against Insurer - Why it matters: In a significant victory for policyholders, Massachusetts’ highest court ruled that an insured had a valid unfair...more

Ninth Circuit Offers Guidance to Defendants Seeking to Establish Removal Jurisdiction

The Supreme Court recently denied a petition for a writ of certiorari in Leite v. Crane Co., 49 F.3d 1117 (9th Cir. 2014), cert. denied, 574 U.S. ___ (2014) (No. 14-119), a case in which the Ninth Circuit established the...more

Appellate Court Notes

- SC18975 - Connecticut Ins. Guaranty Assn. v. Drown - SC18975 Concurrence - Connecticut Ins. Guaranty Assn. v. Drown - SC18975 Dissent - Connecticut Ins. Guaranty Assn. v. Drown This started as a medical...more

NY Court of Appeals holds that a client’s failure to appeal bars a legal malpractice action only where the client was likely to...

Addressing a question of first impression in Grace v. Law, et al., the Court of Appeals adopted the plaintiff-client’s contention that a “likely to succeed” standard should be applied, rejecting the defendant-attorneys’...more

Supreme Court of Mississippi Affirms Disclaimer Based on Professional Liability Exclusion

In its recent decision in Gray v. Arch Specialty Ins. Co., 2014 Miss. LEXIS 534 (Miss. Oct. 23, 2014), the Supreme Court of Mississippi had occasion to consider whether allegations against a paramedic company for negligent...more

Recent Nevada Opinion: Retroactivity Rules and Ex-Parte Communication With Treating Physicians Prohibited

On July 10, 2014, the Supreme Court of Nevada published Leavitt v. Siems, 130 Nev. Adv. Op. 54 (2014), which addressed issues related to expert testimony. This case provides two important takeaways: (1) the basic legal...more

Recent Developments in PA and NJ Regarding Scope of Privilege for Health Care Facilities Engaged in Peer Reviews and Self-Critical...

Three recent cases offer guidance to health care entities in Pennsylvania and New Jersey regarding the discovery of documents created in connection with peer reviews, quality of care reviews and adverse event investigations...more

Blurring the Lines between False Claims Act Litigation and Putative Federal Malpractice Law: The DOJ Quietly Invokes “Worthless...

On October 10, 2014, the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced a civil settlement agreement (the “Settlement”) with Extendicare Heath Services, Inc. and its subsidiary Progress Step Corporation (collectively,...more

“Uncollectibility” Is an Affirmative Defense to Legal Malpractice Claims in Washington

The Washington Supreme Court addressed two issues of first impression regarding legal malpractice claims in Schmidt v. Coogan, No. 88460-9, (October 9, 2014) and held: (1) that “uncollectibility” is an affirmative defense to...more

SCOVA Refuses to Incorporate Prior Discovery Rulings from Previous Non-suited Action

In Temple v. Mary Washington Hospital, Inc., et al., Record No. 131754 (Sept. 12, 2014), the Supreme Court of Virginia opined on an obscure, yet significant, issue related to the common practice of incorporating discovery by...more

High Court hears appeal on hospital’s duty of care to man murdered by mental health patient

Last week, the High Court of Australia heard argument in an appeal against the decision of McKenna v Hunter & New England Local Health District; Simon v Hunter & New England Local Health District [2013] NSWCA 476. The...more

Colorado Supreme Court Protects Quality Management Privilege for CDPHE-Licensed Providers

Colorado hospitals and other licensed and certified health care facilities scored a significant victory on October 14, when the Colorado Supreme Court issued its en banc ruling in Simpson v. Cedar Springs Hospital, Inc. (2014...more

Do Lawyers Professional Liability Policies fall within the “no prejudice” amendments to New York’s Insurance Law for late notice?

The New York State Insurance Department has issued an ambiguous opinion taking the position that the amendment to Insurance Law §3420(a)(5), changing the “no prejudice” rule, applies to all liability policies, which arguably...more

Talk Amongst Yourselves: HIPAA Does Not Preempt Florida Med Mal Presuit Authorization Law

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently concluded that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) does not prevent the application of a Florida law requiring...more

“Prior or Pending Litigation” Exclusion Bars Coverage for Litigation that Was Unknown to Policyholder

Companies that do business with the federal government, or whose business transactions otherwise involve payments by the government, undoubtedly understand the exposure they face to “whistleblower” or “Qui Tam” lawsuits...more

Talk Amongst Yourselves: HIPAA Does Not Preempt Florida Med Mal Presuit Authorization Law

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently concluded that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) does not prevent the application of a Florida law requiring...more

Recent 11th Circuit Cases Provide Important HIPAA Guidance - Healthcare Providers Should Be Proactive by Reviewing Their HIPAA...

On Oct. 10, 2014, the 11th Circuit opinion in Murphy v. Dulay provides significant guidance regarding HIPAA authorization forms. One of the most important provisions of the opinion focuses on the fact that HIPAA...more

Hacking Coverage Dispute Under Professional Liability Policy Gets the Go-Ahead from Federal Court

On October 6, 2014, a federal court denied a professional liability insurer’s motion to dismiss a coverage dispute over a $3.5 million payment the policyholder-bank made when a bank customer’s account was targeted by a...more

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