The Risks That Come with Serving on a Corporate Board

Underwriters in the legal malpractice insurance space often exercise caution when reviewing applications of firms that have one or more attorneys serving as an officer or director of a for-profit, non-profit, or closely held corporation. Of course, additional scrutiny will come into play if one of more of the entities also happens to be a [...]

Why It’s Important To Keep Your Emotions In Check After Learning a Malpractice Claim Is In The Works

It’s quite normal for an attorney to have an emotional response after learning a malpractice claim is on the way.  Problems arise, however, if the emotional response happens to be an irrational response that doesn’t get worked through. Sometimes the situation is viewed as a personal affront. “How dare my client do this” or “How [...]

By |2021-09-29T14:12:00-06:00September 22nd, 2021|Managing Your Practice|0 Comments

Are You Giving Your Clients Non-Verbal Cues About Your Competency as a Lawyer?

The number of times I’ve observed or heard about a problematic nonverbal interaction with a client (to which the involved lawyer or staff member was completely oblivious) probably wouldn’t surprise anyone.  After all, who hasn’t walked away from an occasional conversation knowing they haven’t been heard, been treated in an unexpected negative way from time [...]

ALPS In Brief – Episode 58: The Vera Project

Mark Bassingthwaighte: Hello, I'm Mark Bassingthwaighte, the risk manager here at ALPS. And welcome to another episode of ALPS In Brief, the podcast that comes to you from the historic Florence building in beautiful downtown Missoula, Montana. Today, I wanted to spend a little time and share some backgrounds, introduce you to et cetera, to [...]

What Lawyers Should Be Thinking About before Entering into an Of Counsel Relationship

The term “of counsel” has multiple meanings. It has been used as an honorary designation for retired partners, a special designation for firm attorneys who are neither a partner nor an associate, and to describe part-time attorneys who have created an association with a firm. Some even try to use the term solely for advertising [...]

Why Don’t Malpractice Policies Typically Cover Consulting Work? Understanding the Ancillary Services Coverage Concern

Market forces drive change and, at times, even bring about innovation.  So, in response, when a lawyer or firm decides to adjust the business model in some fashion in order to stay relevant or drive growth, I see that as a good thing as long as all the ramifications of the change are thought through [...]

What Lawyers Need to Know About Amazon Sidewalk

Call me crazy, but I simply don’t trust that Big Tech has my best interests at heart with everything they do.  In fact, I think it’s quite the opposite.  Big Tech became Big Tech by focusing on the interests of their stockholders and the bottom line.  Yes, the user experience has always been front and [...]

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 [...]

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