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MICRA’s Cap on Noneconomic Damages Does Not Apply to Joint Tortfeasor’s Pre-Trial Settlement to Offset Damages Award at Trial

In Rashidi v. Moser (No. S214430, filed 12/15/2014), the California Supreme Court held that in medical professional negligence cases, the noneconomic damages cap applies only to the amount of damages awarded to a plaintiff in...more

"Damages" in an Injury Lawsuit: An Introduction for Lay People [Video]

Anyone who has survived a serious injury caused by someone else's fault wants to know what the legal system provides by way of hard dollars. In this video, attorney Alfred Clarke explains the different types of "damages" an...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

Fewer Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Means Victims Go Uncompensated

Notable Declines in Medical Negligence Litigation - Medical malpractice laws exist so that victims of negligence can seek financial compensation for their injuries. When a healthcare professional behaves negligently,...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

Doctors, Lawyers and the Controversial Prop 46

What's the most controversial measure on California's November ballot? The insurance regulation bill, Prop 45, may be a good contender – but more than likely the controversy over Proposition 46 will win the contest hands...more

Appellate Court Notes

SC18974 - Weaver v. McKnight - An important evidentiary ruling in this Med Mal case. After holding that an OBGY Board Certified Doctor acting as the plaintiff’s expert witness should have been allowed to opine on the...more

Court decides when statute of limitations for "wrongful act or omission" against counsel begins

In Lee v. Hanley the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth District decided an issue concerning the interpretation of the one-year statute of limitations relating to allegations of wrongdoing in the performance of...more

Appellate Court Notes

SC18942, SC18993, SC18994 - Perry v. Perry - Attorney appointed for a minor child cannot appeal the trial court’s award of only a portion of her fees w/o trial court permission. But that same attorney has personal...more

Understanding the Relationship Between Medicare and Medicaid Liens and Litigation

Behind many personal injury and professional malpractice cases lurks a nagging reality that will almost always impact settlement negotiations – a Medicare or Medicaid lien. In general, a lien is a security interest granted...more

Federal Judge Concludes Restitution May Be Covered Under Commonly Used Professional Liability Policy Language

A federal judge in Minnesota recently held that “restitution” paid to settle a class action lawsuit was covered under the terms of a professional liability policy. The court in U.S. Bank National Ass’n et al. v. Indian Harbor...more

U.S. Bank v. Indian Harbor: Another Blow to the Restitution/Disgorgement Defense

In recent years, purchasers of D&O and professional liability insurance have been stunned to learn that their carriers have denied coverage for a wide range of claims on the theory that their policies do not cover loss that...more

Massachusetts Court Holds No Coverage Under Lawyers’ Malpractice Policy for 93A Claim

In its recent decision in Am. Guar. & Liab. Ins. Co. v. Lamond, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103117 (D. Mass. July 29, 2014), the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts had occasion to consider what portion...more

Trial Court's Calculation of Lodestar Is Affirmed

In Syers Properties III, Inc. v. Rankin the California Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District affirmed the trial court’s grant of an award of attorney fees. The appellant contended that the trial court should not...more

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Damages Measures for Malpractice in Securities Cases

Our reports on the oral arguments from the May term of the Illinois Supreme Court continue with Goldfine v. Barack, Ferrazzano, Kirschbaum and Perlman. Goldfine poses a number of issues about legal malpractice actions arising...more

New Jersey Court Allows Rescission of Policy and Awards Damages to Insurer

In its recent decision in Colony Ins. Co. v. Kwasnik, Kanowitz & Assocs., P.C., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87659 (D.N.J. June 27, 2014), the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey had occasion to consider the...more

Undoing MICRA

It has been over thirty-five years since California became a leader in healthcare reform, addressing the malpractice insurance crisis in a measured way. In 1975, the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (“MICRA”) capped...more

Illinois Court Outlines Elements to Consider for Good Faith Analysis of Settlement Demand

To settle or not to settle: that is the question for liability insurers. If you are pondering whether you must accept a plaintiff’s settlement offer, read on. A recent Illinois case, Huang v. Brenson, 7 N.E.3d 729 (Ill. App....more

Florida Supreme Court’s Decision in McCall v. U.S:

- Determined that the statutory caps on wrongful death non-economic damages (i.e., mental pain and suffering) provided in Section 766.118, Florida Statutes were unconstitutional because they violated the right to equal...more

Florida Supreme Court Holds Statutory Cap on Non-Economic Wrongful Death Damages in Medical Malpractice Actions Violates the...

In Estate of Michelle Evette McCall, et. al. v. United States of America, SC11-1148 (Fla. 2014), the Florida Supreme Court decided the following certified question: Does The Statutory Cap On Wrongful Death Noneconomic...more

Don't Rely On Your Expert's Speculation To Save You From Summary Judgment

Just because an expert says something is so doesn't mean that it is. That's the lesson of Judge Gale's ruling last week in Carter v. Clements Walker. He rejected the evidentiary value of an expert's report stating that...more

The constructive general inter vivos power of appointment: A trap for the unwary trustee and his counsel

The constructive general inter vivos power of appointment is the product of the marriage of power of appointment doctrine and creditors’ rights doctrine. It is a topic that is taken up in §4.1.3 of Loring and Rounds: A...more

Illinois Supreme Court to Decide Whether Interest and Fees are Available on Legal Malpractice Claim

Our previews of the latest additions to the Illinois Supreme Court’s civil docket continue with Goldfine v. Barack, Ferrazzano, Kirschbaum and Perlman, a case from the First District Appellate Court. Goldfine poses a number...more

The Uniform Trust Code’s stealth attack on the Trustee’s time-honored duty to defend his trust

One of the critical duties of a trustee traditionally has been to defend his trust against internal attacks. By that I mean to defend the trust against those who, in contravention of the settlor’s intentions as expressed in...more

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