A License to Steal

03/26/2009 | Legal Malpractice

Well, its happened again. I was contacted by a potential client that hired a lawyer to handle a personal injury case, the lawyer malpracticed the case and, surprise surprise, the lawyer doesn't have any insurance. The client's personal injury case was a good one and the lawyer simply didn't know the time limitations on filing the suit.  It's forever lost.  So, in my opinion, the lawyer has stolen the value of that case from his client.  And, to top it all off, the lawyer's failure to carry insurance adds insult to injury.
Why does the Kentucky Bar Association, or any state's bar association for that matter, not make legal malpractice insurance MANDATORY?  At the very least, make lawyers disclose to clients that they don't have any insurance.  At least that way the client can make an informed decision about whether this is the lawyer they want to hire.

Based on this article from 2008 and this article from 2006 only Oregon, has made legal malpractice insurance mandatory.   About 22 other states have made lawyers disclose whether they carry insurance or not--but sometimes they only have to disclose to the Bar, not clients. Worthless.

So, what's the deal Kentucky?  Are we going to let lawyers continue to represent people without being financially responsible when they malpractice, or are we going to continue to allow them to have a license to steal?

Hans