Bringing and Defending Legal Malpractice Claims: Standard of Care, Damages, Privilege Waivers, Expert Testimony

A live 90-minute CLE webinar with interactive Q&A

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

1:00pm-2:30pm EST, 10:00am-11:30am PST

Early Registration Discount Deadline, Friday, October 18, 2019

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE webinar will provide an in-depth examination of the frightening world of legal malpractice. The panel will examine the detailed aspects of both bringing and defending such a claim, from pre-suit demand and negotiation to the technical aspects of the suit itself. This webinar is designed for those who defend attorneys in malpractice claims and those who bring suits against them.


Whether through a missed deadline, an undisclosed conflict, or a costly drafting error, all lawyers are subject to the risk of a malpractice claim. A legal malpractice claim has many unique elements. Expert opinions on the standard of care may be necessary before filing the complaint and address whether a lawyer's violation of an ethics rule can be the basis of a claim.

Attorney malpractice cases often feature a "trial within a trial," where the defense lawyer attempts to show that the plaintiff would have lost regardless of the malpractice. Pinning down damages presents the challenge of drawing lines of causation and consequence.

The role of insurance hovers over the substantive dispute. Whether the lawyer/defendant is in a "must-carry" state or was simply prudent, the claim against the lawyer is likely covered. The plaintiff must be aware that it is possible, in some instances, by pleading intentional or fraudulent acts to jeopardize coverage. Conversely, defendants must be sure to abide by their policy's notice provision or risk losing coverage.

Listen as this multifaceted panel applies real-life experience to these technical and challenging claims.



  1. Legal bases for attorney malpractice claims
    1. Contract
    2. Negligence
    3. Breach of fiduciary duties
  2. Pre-suit issues
    1. Demand letter
    2. Insurance notification
    3. Early ADR
  3. Unique aspects of litigation
    1. Role of experts as early as the filing
    2. Waiver of privilege
    3. "Trial within a trial"
    4. Role of ethics rule in setting the standard of care
    5. Seeing the underlying claim through to completion
  4. Measures of damages
    1. Fee disgorgement
    2. Damages flowing from the alleged malpractice
  5. Insurance issues
    1. Plaintiff issues
    2. Defendant issues


The panel will review these and other essential matters:

  • The bases for legal malpractice claims
  • The aspects of legal malpractice litigation
  • The role of insurance in the dispute


Guerra, Jennifer
Jennifer M. Guerra

Copeland Stair Kingma & Lovell

Ms. Guerra's practice has focused exclusively on civil litigation and litigation-related issues, including the...  |  Read More

Hungeling, David
David J. Hungeling

Hungeling Law

Mr. Hungeling focuses his practice on complex litigation. He received his J.D., magna cum laude, in 2000 from Georgia...  |  Read More

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