Here is an inclination to logically act upon without pause in the event that a California attorney you are considering hiring in a legal matter informs you prior to any retainer papers being signed that he or she does not carry malpractice insurance: bolt from your chair and run out of that individual’s office.
It is reasonable, after all, to assume that a duly credentialed professional who you have the right to rely upon for counsel and advocacy — in any industry — extends some protection to you in the form of insurance safeguards that can be invoked if downside realities relating to negligence or bad-faith representation ensue.
Without such protection, you might be victimized twice — by both lawyerly incompetence resulting in personal harm and the lack of any remedy to redress such an injustice, respectively.
And that is certainly a double whammy that any California resident with an outstanding legal matter to resolve will want to avoid at all costs.
Because, again, those costs can be significant when a California lawyer either lacks legal malpractice insurance entirely or is, conversely, underinsured in some material fashion.
Many state residents might think that every attorney in California must carry malpractice insurance. That seems a reasonable assumption, right?
It is not the case, though, which renders it an imperative for a prospective client to directly ask would-be counsel whether he or she carries insurance and what its particulars are. If a policy is in place, does it protect against an attorney’s fraud? Will it reasonably compensate for acts of malfeasance and/or negligence? What are its limits?
Unsurprisingly, disputes between California attorneys and clients who justifiably rely upon their competence and professionalism arise with some frequency across the state.
When they do, an injured party can turn to a proven malpractice attorney who routinely advocates with passion and knowledge geared toward obtaining maximum money recoveries in response to attorney conduct that has yielded client damages.