This Div is a JS Trigger
Issue 50 | March 2018


This newsletter includes information to help lawyers reduce the likelihood of being sued for malpractice. The material presented is not intended to establish, report, or create the standard of care for lawyers. The articles do not represent a complete analysis of the topics presented, and readers should conduct their own appropriate legal research.
Beat the clock: Condition 4.3 of the policy requires timely notice

We have noticed, on a few recently reported claims, that there has been a substantial delay between the date the lawyer became aware of the alleged error and the date the claim was reported. Reporting claims or potential claims in a timely manner is a condition of policy coverage. The reporting obligation is set out at Condition 4.3 of the policy, which states:

4.3 Notice Requirements

(a) Written notice. An Insured shall, as soon as practicable after learning of a Claim or becoming aware of circumstances that might constitute an Occurrence or give rise to a Claim, however unmeritorious, give written notice to the Insurer at the local address for service shown in the Declarations. This is a condition precedent to the Insurer’s liability for the Claim or Occurrence under this Part A.

(b) Information. After notification, the Insured shall submit promptly to the person(s) designated by the Insurer all information reasonably required by the Insurer that the Insured is reasonably capable of providing. In addition, the Insured shall immediately forward to the person(s) designated by the Insurer any demand, notice, summons or other process received by the Insured in connection with the Claim or Occurrence.

(c) Failure to notify. If the Insured fails or refuses to give notice in accordance with paragraphs (a) and (b) of this Condition 4.3, LIANS may, at its sole discretion, assume the Insured’s responsibility for provision of notice and information. Coverage with respect to any Claim reported in the first instance by LIANS shall apply to protect the Insured only to the extent that the position of the Insurer or LIANS has not been prejudiced by the Insured’s failure to give notice.

If you are put on notice that a claim might be or will be made against you, you have an obligation to report that matter to LIANS. If someone alleges you have made a mistake, even if the allegation is completely without merit, you have an obligation to report. If you discover you’ve made a mistake that could give rise to a claim, even if no one else has raised it, you have an obligation to report. These examples are not exhaustive of the situations that could trigger the reporting requirement.

Late reporting can put your coverage at risk. If LIANS’ position is prejudiced by a delay in reporting, coverage could be denied. The last thing we want to do is deny you coverage. Timely reporting is not only your obligation under the policy (and Rule 7.8 of the NSBS Code of Professional Conduct), it is always in your interest and always to your benefit.