Practice Management

24
Feb
2017

Practice Management:

Do I need malpractice insurance?

OSBA Staff
Columbus, OH

A lawyer needs to have legal malpractice insurance (also called lawyers professional liability insurance or LPL coverage) OR inform a client that she/he does not have malpractice insurance at the time of the client’s engagement or at ANY time subsequent to the engagement if the lawyer does not maintain such insurance.  (See Ohio Rule of Professional Conduct 1.4.) This insurance must be in the amounts of at least $100,000 per occurrence and $300,000 in the aggregate. The lawyer also must inform the client if the lawyer’s malpractice insurance is terminated.

If the lawyer does NOT have malpractice insurance, she/he must have the client sign the NOTICE TO CLIENT form found in Rule 1.4. The lawyer must keep a copy of the notice signed by the client for 5 years after termination of representation of the client.

You should also be aware of Rule 1.4, comment [8] which states that, “although it is in the best interest of the lawyer and the client that the lawyer maintain professional liability insurance or another form of adequate financial responsibility, it is not required in any circumstance other than when the lawyer practices as part of a legal professional association, corporation, legal clinic, limited liability company, or limited liability partnership.” If you practice as part of a legal professional association, corporation, legal clinic, limited liability company, or limited liability partnership, you will need to comply with the requirements of Rule III, Section 4. Financial Responsibility (See Supreme Court Rules for the Government of the Bar of Ohio.)

Visit the Ohio Bar Liability Insurance Company (OBLIC) to learn more and to apply for malpractice insurance. OBLIC has provided lawyers professional liability insurance to Ohio lawyers since 1979. OBLIC was founded by Ohio  lawyers in the Ohio State Bar Association for Ohio lawyers. OBLIC is part of the OSBA family and is proud to serve the LPL insurance needs of Ohio  lawyers.