1 AT TO R N E Y S Professional Liability L e w i s B r i s b o i s. com
2 Professional Liability More than ever, our professional clients need representation they can count on. Changing economic times have resulted in litigation strategies targeting nearly every type of professional. Our professional clients often find that today s business partners become tomorrow s adversaries. When a lawsuit results, our Professional Liability team of attorneys responds quickly and with precision. Our relationships with our professional clients and insurance companies are based on communication, trust and results. Whether through motion practice, jury trial or, when appropriate, early settlement, we work together with our clients toward efficient case resolution. Lewis Brisbois Professional Liability Practice comprises attorneys located throughout all of our nationwide locations. Either by way of direct engagement or retention through the professional s insurance carrier, we represent, among others: accountants, architects & engineers, attorneys, bankers, computer and media professionals, (cyber law), financial planners, healthcare providers, insurance brokers and agents, school districts and municipalities, property appraisers and inspectors, real estate appraisers, brokers and agents, and securities brokers (FINRA). Members of our Professional Liability Department are experienced in handling litigation in both State and Federal Courts through trial and on appeal. Our attorneys are licensed to practice in most States and represent professionals in administrative proceedings. Lewis Brisbois is engaged in representing clients across multiple practice areas. Where appropriate, members of our Professional Liability Practice work with attorneys from other practice areas within the firm to provide legal representation of the highest quality to a broad range of professionals. Since our firm s inception, no other law firm in the United States has successfully defended members of such a wide array of professional occupations. ACCOUNTANTS ERRORS & OMISSIONS Lewis Brisbois represents accountants and CPAs practicing as sole practitioners, in small partnerships, or in large accounting firms. We are well qualified to efficiently handle the representation of such professionals on a wide range of legal issues which might arise in connection with compilations, financial statements, audits, projections, tax return preparation, tax planning and management information services, business and personal financial management, expert testimony and investment advice. Members of our department include attorneys who have, themselves, practiced as accountants, tax preparers, tax consultants and tax attorneys. We have defended enrolled agents, bookeepers, accountants and CPAs for more than two decades, with significant trial experience and success. We have a depth of experience as to the standard of care applicable in the broad range of practice areas of our clients. Given our background and experience in a wide spectrum of areas in which our clients, themselves,
3 practice, this combination has given us a premier reputation in the defense of accountants. ARCHITECTS & ENGINEERS Our attorneys are experienced in representing architects, engineers, surveyors and environmental consultants. Allegations against design and environmental professionals, when asserted in the context of larger construction defect matters, are often difficult to litigate. Professional claims against design and environmental professionals should be handled differently from claims against various subcontractors, as the issues and applicable legal standards are generally very different. This is the focus of our litigation efforts in larger multi-party litigation. We have been successful in enforcing limitation of liability provisions, obtaining dismissals on favorable terms, and in utilizing claims for unpaid fees to successfully alter the settlement position of the other side. We have also defended individual companies and design professionals in two-party claims as well. Our experience enables us to communicate with our clients regarding plans, designs, specifications and details. Our ability to comprehend complex design issues and address them in a manner approved of by our clients has earned us the trust of many larger design firms and their insurance companies. Our litigation on behalf of our design professional and environmental clients generally involves a close working relationship, as it is important that the technical issues not be overlooked, and that any claims be viewed in the context of the construction and business activities at the time of the design. Lewis Brisbois is also able to advise regarding potential work, or contractual issues, in a transactional capacity. We have performed contract review and analyzed various provisions of contracts for many of our clients. LEGAL MALPRACTICE Since its founding, Lewis Brisbois has successfully defended thousands of lawyers, as well as the firms in which they practice, ranging from sole practitioners to some of the largest law firms in the country. The underlying legal problems involved in these cases include personal injury, commercial litigation, divorce and family law, patent litigation, real estate, tax, probate, bankruptcy, products liability, criminal law and malicious prosecution. Many of these cases involved multi-million dollar claims in either state or federal courts. The development and implementation of an effective defense for legal malpractice claims depends heavily on the underlying area of law. Within our firm, we have attorneys who specialize in tax law, intellectual property and patent litigation, bankruptcy, products liability, environmental law and toxic torts, employment and labor law, workers compensation, maritime law, entertainment, and corporate law. Our size and depth of practice provides our firm with access to knowledgeable practitioners in numerous practice areas, enabling us to efficiently analyze a claim and pursue the most expeditious defense strategy, often without having to first retain outside experts or consultants. Some of the wide array of underlying legal matters involved in these cases include: Bankruptcy Business Litigation and Transactions
4 Civil Litigation Collection Commercial Litigation Construction Defect Criminal Law Defamation Divorce & Family Law Employment Environmental Estate Planning & Probate Immigration Intellectual Property & Trademark Malicious Prosecution Medical Malpractice Personal Injury Products Liability Real Estate Tax Toxic Torts Workers Compensation Many of these cases involved multi-million dollar claims in either state or federal courts through trial and on appeal. In addition to defending suits brought by our clients former clients, we also defend suits brought by third-parties, such as malicious prosecution, abuse of process, claims of conspiracy, and claims brought by disgruntled heirs. Lewis Brisbois has been the prevailing counsel in numerous published appellate decisions involving lawyers. In representing lawyers accused of legal malpractice, we have worked for every major underwriter of legal malpractice insurance policies, and we are the counsel of choice for many self-insured law firms. We have also represented attorneys in disciplinary proceedings brought by state licensing agencies. Lewis Brisbois has extensive experience in the area of risk management for attorneys. In addition to their legal practice, our attorneys participate in a wide array of Bar or insurer sponsored seminars on risk management for attorneys as well. We also offer toll free hotlines for various insurers to prevent claims from being made or reduce exposure before a claim is made. As a preventive measure, our attorneys offer in-house continuing legal education programs to law firms and insurers on topics designed for their practices. We also represent insurers who write legal malpractice in offering coverage advice and in initiating declaratory judgment actions seeking declarations of no coverage or a rescission of the policy Lewis Brisbois Legal Malpractice lawyers understand the negative impact that a legal malpractice claim can have on an individual or firm s professional image. Our team of experienced defense attorneys recognizes the amount of discretion it takes to successfully defend an individual or law firm against a legal malpractice claim. We take pride in defending all legal malpractice cases in a sensitive and highly confidential manner. In representing lawyers accused of legal malpractice, we have worked for every major underwriter of legal malpractice insurance policies, and we are the counsel of choice for many self-insured law firms. We have also represented attorneys in disciplinary proceedings brought by state licensing agencies. In January 2011 Lewis Brisbois published the fifth edition of our bi-annual California Legal Malpractice & Malicious Prosecution Liability Handbook. The handbook is 168 pages and contains summaries of California case law and statutes pertaining to legal malpractice, malicious prosecution and related causes of action brought against attorneys. SCHOOL DISTRICTS & MUNICIPALITIES Working within our Professional Liability Practice, Lewis Brisbois has a talented pool of experienced attorneys who specialize in the unique aspects of school district litigation. Either by way of direct engagement or through engagement by the professional s insurance carrier, our attorneys represent, among others, teachers, administrators and school board members in defending claims arising from performance of their
5 professional duties. Such claims run the gamut from the simplest negligence claim of a public employee involved in an automobile accident, to more sophisticated, complex claims under Section 1983, concerning alleged violations of Constitutional rights including discrimination claims based upon age, race and gender, and failure to educate. Working within the firm s Professional Liability Practice, Lewis Brisbois has a talented pool of experienced attorneys who specialize in the unique aspects of school district litigation. Either by way of direct engagement or through engagement by the professional s insurance carrier, our Group represents, among others, teachers, administrators and school board members in defending claims arising from performance of their professional duties. Such claims run the gamut from the simplest negligence claim of a public employee involved in an automobile accident, to more sophisticated, complex claims under Section 1983, concerning alleged violations of Constitutional rights including discrimination claims based upon age, race and gender, and failure to educate. Members of our Professional Liability Department are experienced in handling litigation in both State and Federal Courts through trial and on appeal. Our attorneys are licensed to practice in multiple State and Federal jurisdictions and also represent professionals in administrative proceedings before many different State agencies. Where appropriate, members of our Department work with attorneys from other practice areas within the firm to provide legal representation of the highest quality to a broad range of professionals. No other law firm in the United States has successfully defended members of as many, or as varied, professional occupations than have been represented by Lewis Brisbois since its inception. Lewis Brisbois has experience and expertise in representing municipalities, school districts and their employees in claims covered under errors and omissions coverages tailored to their needs. We have extensive experience in designing defense strategies to successfully defend such claims. From identifying possible pleading defects early on in litigation leading to prompt dismissals, recognizing legal and factual issues necessary to craft investigative and discovery strategies designed for summary adjudication by the courts, or effective trial defenses before juries, our firm has historically provided the highest quality representation to municipalities and school districts beset by claims and litigation of all types. MISCELLANEOUS PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY When the economy is down, we anticipate litigation will rise. We recognize this is the time our Professional clients rely on our support. Our team of lawyers are trained to handle Miscellaneous Professional Liability matters from the claim stage, through trial and appeal. We represent professional conservators, home health care providers, insurance consultants, Insurance Agents and Brokers, Attorneys, Realtors, Appraisers, ERISA plan consultants, School Districts and Municipalities, private and public university officials, travel agents, tanning salons. We are proud of our ability and experience in representing a broad range of professionals. Insurance Agents & Brokers Insurance agents and brokers work today in an increasingly treacherous environment. The internet has opened the door to some fairly sophisticated forms of insurance coverage. That s the good news. The bad news is these new coverages have resulted
6 in an increasingly diverse array of potential lawsuits against insurance agents and brokers, who represent themselves as having specialized knowledge. As a result, insurance agent and broker errors and omissions claims continue to grow in number and in complexity. We are particularly well prepared to meet the challenges faced by the new environment presented for insurance agents and brokers. We have lawyers who are experts in this field, who have written and lectured on the topic of insurance agent and broker E&O, and who consistently achieve outstanding results in defending agents and brokers in a variety of claims. We provide an aggressive defense, often disposing of cases at the pleading stage or on summary disposition. We are highly qualified and experienced in taking cases through verdict and on appeal. The key to our success in representing insurance agents and brokers is our understanding of the various defenses available to them. We have extensive experience and understanding of how insurance works, how it is marketed and how it is sold, as well as how to identify and understand coverage issues. This experience gives us a tremendous advantage in representing our insurance agent and broker clients. We represent a wide range of clientele from individual brokers to large managing general agents involved in the procurement of specialty or surplus lines insurance coverage throughout the world. We are attuned to the most recent, cutting edge issues for insurance brokers and agents, including legal issues arising from ERISA plans, group health plans, and offshore carriers. Our firm is an acknowledged leader in representing the interests of individual insurance agents and brokers (whether acting in the capacity of retail brokers of wholesale brokers), surplus lines brokers, specialty line brokers, general agents, managing general agents and third-party administrators regarding virtually all types of insurance including property and casualty, professional errors and omissions, directors and officers, life and disability, individual and group health coverage and ERISA plans. Real Estate Professionals Real estate transactions present a virtual minefield of potential claims against a wide range of real estate professionals. For over 30 years, our firm has successfully defended thousands of real estate professionals on every aspect of residential and commercial transactions, including real estate agents and brokers, escrow officers, title companies, appraisers, home inspectors, leasing agents and mortgage brokers. We have extensive experience in handling the defense of claims for professional negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, negligent misrepresentation and fraud based on alleged faulty preparation of sales documents, failure to follow escrow instructions, negligent appraisals, and the failure to properly inspect property and to disclose defects. We provide seminars on recent appellate decisions affecting real estate agent and broker liability, as well as loss prevention techniques. We also represent clients in all aspects of the real estate industry including developers, owners, managers, buyers, sellers, landlords, tenants, contractors, subcontractors and brokers. We pride ourselves on our commitment to providing high quality representation to our real estate professional clients.
7 Data Processing The Firm has represented a number of computer-related businesses in defense of a range of errors and omissions claims arising from claimed errors in programming, data input and hardware and software recommendations. Nationwide Securities Litigation & Related Services In the these volatile times, when the financial industry faces an uncertain regulatory environment, volatile markets, and a rise in consumer claims, we provide an experienced and nationally available team of litigators to efficiently and effectively protect and defend financial brokers and broker dealers from claims of financial malpractice. We have extensive experience in litigating consumer claims, with an understanding of the legal issues, rules and guidelines involved, and the financial environment in which the claim is being made. Our nationwide team of qualified and experienced litigators are available to represent financial members throughout the nation before the Financial Industry Regulatory Administration (FINRA), and before most state and federal courts. These matters involve claims of negligence, misrepresentation, fraud, underperforming investments, churning, unsuitability, failure to diversify, failure to supervise, failure to use due diligence, violation of open sky laws, and numerous other allegations of error or omission by the financial representative or their broker dealer. In the past we have achieved positive results for our clients through successful negotiations by settlement, or when necessary, trial or arbitration. Our successful representations of our clients, our broad experience in financial products, and our ability to represent our clients across the nation sets us apart from other firms in the representation of securities brokers and broker dealers in all such matters.
8 Professional Liability Practice Chairs ESTHER P. HOLM Orange County DUANE C. MUSFELT San Francisco JOSEPH C. CAMPO Los Angeles
9 Professional Liability Practice Vice Chairs MARK K. ANESH New York CHRISTOPHER C. WHITE Dallas GEORGE J. ZISER San Francisco
10 Firm Overview Established in 1979, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP is a national, full-service law firm with nearly 900 attorneys and 30 offices, in 16 states and the District of Columbia. Our national practice is sophisticated, multi-faceted and well-versed in current legal trends, while our individual state practices provide vast resources and knowledge of procedural and legal nuances. Lewis Brisbois offers legal practice in nearly 30 specialties, and a multitude of sub-specialties associated with each practice area. Our attorneys have broad knowledge, expertise, and sensitivity to their clients unique needs. Through interaction among its practice groups, Lewis Brisbois provides a wide range of legal services to each client with a continuity of representation over multiple disciplines. We have built longstanding relationships with corporate and institutional clients based on our ability to provide comprehensive service on a national scale. At Lewis Brisbois, diversity is an integral part of our firm culture and our daily life. We accomplish diversity not by committee or initiative, but through the true and committed practice of hiring the best people for the job and consistently rewarding excellence. The success of these policies is reflected in the fact that Lewis Brisbois has repeatedly received national recognition for its commitment to embracing diversity. Lewis Brisbois is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse group of talented lawyers and staff, and demonstrates that commitment through non-discriminatory hiring, retention and promotion policies. The diversity of the firm s client base is matched by the diversity of our attorneys. With offices from Los Angeles to New York, our attorneys reflect the communities in which they live. The firm s culture has fostered a diverse group of professionals committed to promoting the best interests of our clients, our communities and the legal profession. We are committed to supporting diversity through new and ongoing relationships with minority and women-owned businesses. Lewis Brisbois is known for its commitment to principled advocacy, an unflinching work ethic, and unyielding recognition of our duty to provide the highest level of service to our clients, who choose us because we take the time to understand their business interests and philosophies. We have developed sophisticated proprietary risk evaluation and litigation management processes that many of our clients have incorporated into their business practices, and we help them manage and defend claims and litigation. As a result, they are avoiding and reducing losses that impact their bottom line. Our practice includes pre-suit counseling and problem solving based on a structured and accurate analysis of likely outcome. We know our clients objectives are often best served by a pre-suit resolution, and we are often judged by the advice and counsel we provide toward that end. However, when trial is the answer and in the client s best interest, no law firm in this country understands and better executes a trial strategy than Lewis Brisbois. We are truly client driven and result oriented. For more about Lewis Brisbois, please visit us at.
11 Nationwide Locations ATLANTA 1180 Peachtree Street NE Suite 2900 Atlanta, Georgia T: F: DENVER The Brind Mansion 825 Logan Street Denver, Colorado T: F: LAS VEGAS 6385 South Rainbow Blvd. Suite 600 Las Vegas, Nevada T: F: ORANGE COUNTY 650 Town Center Drive Suite 1400 Costa Mesa, California T: F: SAN FRANCISCO 333 Bush Street Suite 1100 San Francisco, California T: F: BEAUMONT 550 Fannin Street Suite 800 Beaumont, Texas T: F: BOSTON 75 Arlington Street Suite 500 Boston, Massachusetts T: F: FORT LAUDERDALE 200 Las Olas Circle 200 S.W. First Avenue Suite 910 Fort Lauderdale, Florida T: F: HARTFORD 100 Pearl Street Suite 1438 Hartford, Connecticut Tel: Fax: LOS ANGELES 221 North Figueroa Street Suite 1200 Los Angeles, California T: F: MADISON COUNTY, IL Mark Twain Plaza II 103 W. Vandalia Street Suite 300 Edwardsville, Illinois T: F: PHOENIX Phoenix Plaza Tower II 2929 North Central Avenue Suite 1700 Phoenix, Arizona T: F: PROVIDENCE 10 Dorrance Street Suite 700 Providence, Rhode Island Tel: Fax: SEATTLE 2101 Fourth Avenue Suite 700, Seattle, Washington T: F: TAMPA 3812 Coconut Palm Drive Suite 200 Tampa, Florida T: F: CHARLESTON 209 Capital Street Third Floor Charleston, West Virginia T: F: HOUSTON 3355 West Alabama Suite 400 Houston, Texas T: F: NEWARK One Riverfront Plaza Suite 350 Newark, New Jersey T: F: SACRAMENTO 2850 Gateway Oaks Drive Suite 450 Sacramento, California T: F: TEMECULA One Ridgegate Drive Suite 245 Temecula, California T: F: CHICAGO 550 West Adams Street Suite 300 Chicago, Illinois T: F: LA QUINTA, CA Main Street Suite 203 La Quinta, California T: F: NEW ORLEANS 400 Poydras Street Suite 1320 New Orleans, Louisiana T: F: SAN BERNARDINO 650 East Hospitality Lane Suite 600 San Bernardino, California T: F: TUCSON One South Church Avenue Suite 2100 Tucson, Arizona T: F: DALLAS 901 Main Street Suite 4100 Dallas, Texas T: F: LAFAYETTE 100 E. Vermilion Street Suite 300 Lafayette, Louisiana T: F: NEW YORK 77 Water Street Suite 2100 New York, New York T: F: SAN DIEGO 701 B Street Suite 1900 San Diego, California T: F: WASHINGTON, D.C. 601 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Suite 900, South Building Washington, D.C T: F:
12 CLIENT FOCUSED RESULTS DRIVEN