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Debut Demo of the first-of-its-kind Virtual Ethics Risk Assessment at the ABA’s 46th Annual National Conference on Professional Responsibility

Missoula, Montana, June 3, 2021 —ALPS, the nation’s largest direct writer of lawyers’ malpractice insurance, today launched a free virtual resource for law firms looking to improve their practice and mitigate risk. The idea for the ALPS Virtual Ethics Risk Assessment, affectionately known as Vera, was born a few years ago, but 2020 provided the [...]

Why Documenting What You’re Not Retained to Do Can Be Important Too

In my experience, too many lawyers appear to be quite comfortable running with an assumption that their client’s understanding of what the scope of representation is aligns with theirs.  This is one of the reasons why I suspect trying to convince lawyers to document scope of representation on all new matters is a never-ending task.  [...]

Buying Insurance For A House Already On Fire

On February 23, 2021, the Montana Supreme Court issued an opinion delivered by Justice Laurie McKinnon in ALPS Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Keller, Reynolds, Drake, Johnson & Gillespie, P.C., 2021 MT 46 (Mont. 2021) which upheld the lower court’s ruling that there was no coverage for a claim because the insured firm had [...]

Why It’s Worthwhile to Look for the Learning with Problem Clients

When it comes to problem clients, we all have a story or two to share; but what if it becomes more than that? What if a lawyer comes to realize that he or she is dealing with a problem client far more than once in a blue moon? It can happen, and if and when [...]

A Malpractice Avoidance Checklist

If you were to collect everything I (and many others like me) have written on risk management for lawyers, I suspect the collection would fill a tome or two; but sometimes less is more.  It is with this sentiment in mind that I offer this brief Malpractice Avoidance Checklist that covers the basics: Always try [...]

To Arbitrate or Not To Arbitrate? That Is the Question

Many states permit lawyers to include in their engagement agreements arbitration provisions which would require potential clients to arbitrate future malpractice claims. It is an issue with which many states are now grappling, so it would behoove lawyers to check the law in their own states if they are considering including such a clause. States [...]

By |2021-05-18T14:03:16-06:00April 28th, 2021|Managing Your Practice|0 Comments

Why There is No Such Thing as a New Normal

I’ve been telecommuting for over a decade now, so when a COVID-19 stay at home order finally made its way to Montana, not much changed for me personally, at least in terms of my work routine.  In fact, it actually got a bit better due to the adjustments ALPS had to quickly implement in order [...]

ALPS In Brief – Episode 55: Estate Planning Gone Wrong

In this episode of the ALPS In Brief podcast, Mark Bassingthwaighte offers some insights in the arena of estate planning that are commonly overlooked. He covers dabbling, client misconceptions, common mishaps, beneficiary challenges, testamentary capacity nuances, and more. Listen in on these tips to keep in the back of your mind. Transcript: Hello and welcome. [...]

Mindfulness Means Not Hitting Someone in the Mouth

I recently read an article that was a Q & A with a wonderful meditation teacher/writer/thinker, Sharon Salzburg (also, a co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society), in which she referred to an old New York Times piece about a mindfulness pilot program in a fourth grade classroom in Oakland, California. Asked to define mindfulness, one of the [...]

By |2021-03-22T13:15:59-06:00March 24th, 2021|Managing Your Practice|0 Comments

People Are Strange, When You’re A Stranger

As I stood, hip-deep in a snowdrift retrieving my dog's poop, I heard a man start yelling and looked up to see that I had let go of the leash while wading into the drift, and my dog had apparently engaged (without incident) the dog being walked by the other man. The flood of invectives [...]

By |2021-03-22T13:17:29-06:00March 9th, 2021|Managing Your Practice|0 Comments
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